Retro gems on a budget.

I’d like to take a moment to remind everybody out there that there are a lot of amazing titles for your current and last gen systems. For this post, I will be concentrating on the Nintendo systems. The Wii, though long dead, still has an active online marketplace where you can purchase Virtual Console titles. You can also access it through the Wii U by booting up the Wii dashboard. Sure, it’s a bit of a pain in the butt, and the Wii Virtual Console isn’t as sharp as the Wii U version, but there are a lot of games that simply aren’t available for the Wii U. Namely, most of the TurboGrafx-16 games, all of the Neo Geo games, Arcade games, and the Sega Master System games. At one time, the Wii even had Commodore 64 games, but unfortunately, they were pulled from the shop. What is on the Wii U shop, however, still includes some top quality games.

You can go online and pay $4.99 for Mighty Final Fight, the adorable super deformed version of the arcade hit Final Fight. Normally, the NES game is worth well over a hundred dollars and is exceedingly rare. Earthbound Zero, a game that was never commercially available outside of Japan has a home on the Wii U, and is an important part of Nintendo history. Wild Guns on Super Nintendo is another extremely rare game that is a scant $7.99 for the virtual version as opposed to the high price tag a physical copy would set you back. It’s also getting a long overdue sequel for the PlayStation 4 soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Even though it has its problems, the Virtual Console is a wonderful online shop to find some amazing titles. Some people only collect physical games, and may even look down on buying digital copies. For me, digital copies are amazing. Sure you don’t actually have it to hold, but if you do own an actual copy of the game, this is a great way to keep your collection safe. It’s also a great way to save real estate on your entertainment center. Some people just don’t want half a dozen systems hooked up to their TV, and this is a great way to consolidate.

Playing digital copies might bring up the argument that you might as well emulate. I disagree to an extent. Emulation can be an awesome way to try out games never before available to you. Take Little Samson, for example. It’s one of the last NES games, and is an awesome platformer that has tons of charm and is super fun to play. It’s worth close to $400 or $500 just for the cartridge alone.

If somebody simply wants to play this incredibly game, but doesn’t have that money laying around, then yes, emulation is your best bet. I wouldn’t recommend it for games that are commercially available, such as any of the games on the Virtual Console, but for a game that literally has no other way to obtain it besides the physical cartridge and emulation, I say it’s fair game. If I ever have the chance to buy it digitally, then I’d be happy to.

It’s important to support these kinds of things, and the only way a company will listen to you is if you spend money. It doesn’t matter if you sing a game’s praises from the rooftops if you’re not willing to drop a couple of bucks on a digital copy. Likewise, if you buy every terrible iteration of a game and complain about it non-stop on the company’s forum, all they care is that you kept buying it over and over.

Look at the original Star Wars trilogy when it came out on Blu-Ray. Personally, all I ever heard was people complaining about the CG changes they made to what was a near perfect series, but they bought it anyways. Fans begged Nintendo for a new Metroid game for years and when we finally got one in the form of Metroid Prime Federation Force, fans actually attempted to get the game cancelled through petition because it wasn’t what they wanted. Most reviews of the game are surprisingly positive, and it was made by a very talented developer, but because of its abysmal sales, Nintendo has no reason to spend a ton of money on a game if fans will try to get it canceled and boycott it before it’s even out.

Some people might point at the brief success of AM2R, the fan game with the acronym “Another Metroid 2 Remake” and all the support it got in the two days it was available before Nintendo sent a cease and desist. That was a free game. Fan games made by people in their free time that are downloaded for free are hardly a viable business tactic. It might seem plausible for Nintendo to buy it and release it on their own, but it would be hard to justify this to a board of investors that might not be all that close to video games.

All they care is that people buy things. Spending money inspires companies continue whatever trend that got you to spend money in the first place. That’s why it’s important to support games that you love by purchasing them. I understand not everybody has the money to do it all the time, and that it falls in a grey area to buy used games, where the company doesn’t actually make money from the sale, but it’s still important none the less. Lord knows I can’t buy everything I want to, but that makes the decision to purchase something all that more important.

In short, go check out the VIrtual Console. It has some awesome games. This is probably what lead to the creation of the Classic NES plug and play console. Who knows, maybe if that sells well enough they’ll make a Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, or Gamecube version. In China, Nintendo officially released a system called the IQue, a plug and play N64 that has a bunch of fantastic games built into it. I for one, would love to see more stuff like that in the US. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with us? What are your favorite games on the eShop? Let us know in the comments!