Opinion; Five Great Nintendo Classics (that I Only Experienced through the eShop)

As a Nintendo fan goes, I have to say I’m probably not quite as dedicated as some others out there.  Indeed, with my constantly changing interests, general lack of money and tendency to buy very few games a  year in general, there are actually quite a few top Nintendo classics I completely missed out on back in the days of their release.  So here’s my list, a list of Nintendo classics that I only got to enjoy through the eShop and later rereleases

5. The Legend of Zelda Four Swords

Fourswordsposter

And I’ll be perfectly honest here, I severely doubt I’m the only one who only ever played this game once it was free on the eShop.

So why did I never get to enjoy it before?  Well, I guess the fact I didn’t feel like buying a Link to the Past remake back in the GBA days had something to do with it, the fact the title was a packaged extra with a game most people had already played didn’t do it any favours.

It was also because without a single player mode, the game would have been impossible for me to even start, let alone finish.  Why?  Because I’m living in a part of the UK where registered Jedi probably outnumber Nintendo fans, so trying to find anyone to actually play the game with would be damn well near impossible.

Either way, once I downloaded it from the eShop and actually decided to try it out, I found the game was quite a fun experience.  Best Zelda game ever?  Of course not, but still far superior to most of the utter crap released on digital stores in this day and age, and about a hundred times better than just about anything you can get on an iPhone.  So I’m happy Nintendo decided to make it available back then.

4. The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages

The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages

The next game on the list is a potentially unexpected one.  Namely, the Oracle games.

Yes, both of them.  That’s why both Ages and Seasons are mentioned on the same list, I somehow managed to get through the Game Boy Color days as a Nintendo fan without owning or ever trying either.

But thankfully, I decided to try them out years later.  And so, I finally got to experience what games like Ages had to offer.

Namely, an interesting world with a real sense of adventure to it, lots of unique and interesting people to meet and some very nice gameplay mechanics and items that I almost wished to see in the other games in the series.

And so while Ages didn’t quite live up to Seasons in my honest opinion, I still think it’s a great game that I should have bought and played back when I actually owned a Game Boy Color and was looking for new and interesting things to enjoy.

3.  Wario Land 2

Yes really.  Someone like myself, a guy who’s moments away from opening the world’s first Wario fan site, didn’t originally play Wario Land 2 when it was released on Game Boy back in the olden days.

warioland3logo

As per usual, various reasons explain why.  A lack of interest in games outside the console arena at the specific time it was released, me only getting a Game Boy Color a few months or years after the game was first out… heck, I’m pretty sure Pokemon was a good reason too (I like many others was downright addicted to that series back in its heyday).

But while it never got to shape my childhood and become as nostalgic as Wario Land 4 (at least to me), I did eventually get to play it many years later on the 3DS as a Virtual Console game.

It’s as good as I ever expected.  The level design was interesting and fun, the music was catchy (especially the ending theme) and generally, it was a game I really would have enjoyed had I thought to buy it back when it was actually new.

Either way, you live and learn I guess.

2. The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons

The_Legend_of_Zelda_Oracle_of_Seasons_and_Oracle_of_Ages_Game_Cover

The other game in the Oracle duology that I never really got to experience in their original form, The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons comes higher on this list for one reason alone;

I simply consider it the better and more enjoyable game.

You can probably guess why.  Combat as a focus with tricky boss battles that take off many hearts?  Hardly any forced mini games or gimmicks you have to put up with?  Puzzles that involve merely exploring the dungeon and surviving encounters with monsters and traps rather than messing around with blocks and switches?  That’s pretty much the ideal Zelda title for me.

And as mentioned about Ages, the linked game system is a very good feature I should mention again too. Two games with seperate stories that you connect together to unlock secrets?  That’s rather cool if I say so myself.  I just perhaps wish it worked the other way round in terms of what game you got the secrets in,  I mean, doesn’t it make more sense to get the codes from the game you’ve beaten and take them to the new adventure rather than unlock things in your now cleared original file?

Ah well, it’s a classic game regardless.  Definitely one I wish I’d tried when it was new.

1. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

Okay, this is admittedly a bit of a cheat entry, in that it’s a game I bought for the 3DS as a physical game card instead of a download.  But when you consider my story with it, I think the same general deal still stands; I didn’t care much for Ocarina of Time prior to the 3DS, and gained a much better appreciation of how great the game actually is once I played it in the form of Ocarina of Time 3D.

Ocarina of Time 3d box

So what was my story in regards to Ocarina?  Well, sit back, this might take a while…

Basically, I missed out on much of the Zelda series during the Nintendo 64 era.  Why?  I don’t know.  Probably didn’t feel like trying anything different for much of the time the console was out, and it also came down to Pokemon (like many of the games listed above).  Either way, I missed out on playing it then.

I then got a free disc with Ocarina of Time and this game called Master Quest when I bought The Wind Waker a few years later.  Again, I never really got too interested in the game then, probably because it was only a nice extra included with the main title.  Or because I have no sense of direction, either one works.

It was the 3DS version in 2011 that changed all this. Long story short, I wanted to buy a 3DS (partly because I realised demand would go up significantly after E3) and needed a game, so I picked this one (out of interest in trying to actually complete the whole thing for the first time ever).

Ocarina of Time battle

And as you may have expected, I really liked the game from that moment onwards.  With no other distractions for a few weeks and the feeling that I should be focusing on this one game due to it being something I actually bought for myself, I ended up appreciating it’s fantastic design much more.  I collected everything, beat all the sidequests, completed Master Quest mode and then got 100% there as well.

And so through the 3DS remake, I finally got to experience the ‘best game of all time’ in the way it was intended.

So that’s my list of classic Nintendo games I only got to experience in digital (or in one case, just later) rereleases.

What games did you only get to enjoy a decade or two after their release thanks to digital distribution and the eShop?

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Michael Ocampo

A Link to the Past (playing right now), Minish cap, metroid fusion, Super Metroid