3DS Virtual Console Gets GBA and NES Games… Or Does It?

30 July 2011
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Game Boy Advance NES Classics

Nintendo announced Free 3DS Game Downloads For Early Adopters via their new 3DS Ambassadors program, which rewards early adopters who bought a Nintendo 3DS before the 3DS Price Drop 2011, which goes into effect on August 12, 2011.

That price drop slashed the 3DS price by a major $80, a huge, huge price cut. Naturally, those who bought a 3DS recently are quite a bit upset that they had to pay such a premium, and the 3DS Ambassador Program is Nintendo’s way of rewarding them. They are doing so by giving 3DS owners TWENTY free downloadable titles. Ten of these are NES Virtual Consoles games, while the other ten will be Game Boy Advance Virtual Console titles.

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  • Ferry update: These NES games are actually GBA games as well, just part of the GBA’s emulated “Classic NES Series”, that were originally released in 2004-2005. Nintendo’s own 8 titles from this series they are likely to offer are: Donkey Kong, Dr. Mario, Excitebike, Ice Climber, Metroid, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. And in Japan they got 8 more classics like: Kid Icarus, Clu Clu Land, Wrecking Crew, Super Mario Bros.: the Lost Levels, The Mysterious Murasame Castle, Famicom Fairytales: New Onigashima, Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir, and Famicom Detective Club Part II: The Girl who Stands Behind.

    What’s most interesting about this announcement is the fact that Nintendo Entertainment System games and Game Boy Advance games are not yet available on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console (via the 3DS eShop).

    Ambassadors will get the ten NES games for free before they are released to the general public. These versions of the games will not have added features, which include multiplayer (whether this is online multiplayer or offline multiplayer remains to be seen, probably the former sadly), however when they are released to the general public, Ambassadors will get to download the updated versions free of cost!

    The NES games Ambassadors will get for free include: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda and more unannounced titles (let’s hope they throw Metroid 1 in there).

    That leads us to the Virtual Console Game Boy Advance games. Nintendo says that GBA titles will remain EXCLUSIVE to Ambassadors as a reward for buying the 3DS early before the 3DS 2011 Price Drop, and that these GBA Virtual Console titles will NOT be released to the general public. Of course, this remains hard to believe, more likely they are timed exclusives.

    The GBA games Ambassadors will get for free include: Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare Inc.: Mega Microgames and Mario vs. Donkey Kong among others.

    Having downloadable GBA games for fans to purchase via the eShop would be huge, as many GBA games are beloved, such as (huge list impending!):

    Golden Sun 1 and 2, Metroid Fusion, Advance Wars, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, A Link to the Past/Four Swords, Metroid: Zero Mission, Lunar Legend, Drill Dozer, Car Battler Joe, Game & Watch Gallery 4, Mario vs Donkey Kong, Mario Pinball, the Super Mario Advance series, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, Ninja Five-O, Fire Emblem, Mario Tennis: Power Tour, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance,Mega Man: Battle Network series, Ultimate Card Games, Demi Kids, the Final Fantasy Advance series, Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, the Castlevania series (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow), Wario Ware Twisted, Yoshi’s Topsy Turvey, Kirby Tilt N Tumble, Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hands and Boktai 2, the Mega Man Zero series, GunStar Super Heroes, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, F-Zero GP Legend, and F-Zero: Climax, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, Kirby: Nightmare In Dreamland, Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, Pokemon Leaf Green/Fire Red, Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire… damn I need to stop listing games huh? Ahem. I apologize, I just got a little carried away…

    As you can easily see, the Game Boy Advance has some of the best games of all time, and is one of my personal favorite systems. You simply cannot beat the library of crazy awesome titles for it. Not releasing GBA games for the 3DS Virtual Console would be CRIMINAL, and paramount to never re-releasing EarthBound and Mother 1 and 3 *glares* And given Nintendo’s recent push for digital titles amidst the flagging 3DS system sales, you’d have to imagine that Nintendo KNOWS full well that they have a treasure chest of GBA games that people would be willing to pay for. To not make them available makes ZERO sense at all.

    Thus, most reasonable people have come to the conclusion that Nintendo is simply testing the waters with the 3DS Ambassador Programs “timed”-exclusive Game Boy Advance titles, to gauge interest and see how much playtime they get on people’s 3DS systems.

    What are your favorite Game Boy Advance Games of All Time?


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  • About the author

    Josh Romero

    By Josh Romero: He is a lover of videogames, as well as metal music, Gilmore Girls, chatting, social networking, Phoenix Suns, reading, writing and many other nerdy things. Read his posts here and connect with him on Youtube.

    • Now would be a perfect time to buy one.

    • Depends on how much you love having exclusive GBA & NES games! And if you were going to get one anyway and want to play games on it NOW, then its not so bad. 

    • CloettesDaddy

      well i bought mine MONTHS ago and i’m STOKED about it. Can’t wait til the 1st!!!

    • GUESTY

      I really hope two of the GBA games are Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (loved all ports and remakes of it) and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

    • GUESTY

      I really hope two of the GBA games are Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (loved all ports and remakes of it) and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

    • Adriane Fox

      Kirby Tilt’n’Tumble was a GBC game, not GBA… 

    • Anonymous

      BEST GBA GAME HANDS DOWN Wario Ware: Twisted.

    • supermcawsomevill

      Lets just hope that the first Donkey Kong Country (GBA verson) is not going to the eshop.

    • Actually, Game Boy Advance games won’t be coming to 3DS – As the previous generation DS was backwards compatible with GBA games and it still runs alongside the new generation 3DS for a long time, until 3DS takes over from the DS at the end of 2012. We won’t be seeing any GBA games until the generation after 3DS. Home consoles deliver -2 generations (e.g. Wii only enables you to download N64 games and Wii U will enable you to download Gamecube games) for VC, whereas handhelds are more accesible for backwards compatibility and run -3 generations behind in terms of VC software.

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