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Retrospective on Nintendo's 3DS Ambassador Program - Retro Revolution

Posted on Monday, October 3 @ 16:35:26 PST by KevinS

So in early September, Nintendo tried to begin making amends to the early adopters of the 3DS (which included me) by releasing for free the following titles:
  • The Legend of Zelda - Awesome as always
  • The Legend of Link: Zelda II - Not quite as awesome, but still fun
  • Super Mario Brothers - Yup
  • Yoshi - Left-field a little, but all right… needed a puzzle game, I guess
  • Metroid - There we go, awesome once again
  • Donkey Kong Jr. - It's not bad, amusing for a while
  • Balloon Fight - Hasn't aged well
  • Wrecking Crew - Has really not aged well
  • Ice Climber - OK, not as good as I remember
  • NES Open Tournament Gold - Counts as a sports game I guess
It does disappoint me that only a few of these are still genuinely fun, even to my retro sensibilities, but I'm surprised at the general quality of the games I've gotten for free. Super Mario Brothers is a classic, and while I'm still getting adjusted to the slidey pad (as the D-pad is slightly too low and stiff for constant, comfortable use), I can get still through the game in under ten minutes. I'm fully aware that the world record is a shade over five, and I am perfectly fine with that. It's still fun.

There are surprising amounts of early NES titles in that list. NES Open Golf? Wrecking Crew? Why not some of the other black box games like Skiing or Slalom, or maybe just… Golf? I rather liked the original Golf. I wish I were as awesomely buff/fluffy as the Man in White! I guess I'll be OK playing as Mario in the nastiest-looking stripe gear for a while, but I don't know how long my eyes can hold their focus. I suppose it plays more tight and clean than the original Golf, but there's something about the crudeness that makes me sigh with contented relief.

That said, I've played it more than anything. Nothing rational has come to my mind as to just why.

I think I can see what they were going for, though; there's definitely an originalist NES idea running through the selection. Early black box games (notably Ice Climber and Wrecking Crew) with a touch of simplistic later games (Yoshi's a standout) do give a pretty good impression of the NES. While the GBA games are a bit up in the air (I've read in a few places that Mario Kart Super Circuit, WarioWare Inc, and Metroid Fusion are on the docket, which make sense), I wonder if there will be a general theme or just a smattering of best-sellers. It would work either way, but I almost want a wrapping point.

I fully realize that Nintendo didn't have to give gamers anything for buying the 3DS early, and the package has enough gems that I'll be bouncing between games for a little while, but even so I have to look at what we're given objectively. I would like a few classics along with a few niche titles, but I'll settle for a number of games I've played before with a few classics I missed for whatever reason. Maybe one or two Japan-only titles, that would be pretty sweet (*cough*Mother 3*cough*), but I'm not holding my breath.

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