Anyone that's hopped onto Nintendo's eShop and has spent an ample amount of time browsing knows that things are far from ideal. The 3DS version of the eShop especially needs some serious fine tuning, what with it's clunky interface. There are dozens of digital games to pick up but some titles cannot be found without using the search function. The Wii U eShop is certainly an improvement over it's 3DS counterpart. The interface may not be the best, but the setup is still much better than the portable version. But the big thing I'd love to see improved upon on both fronts would be the pricing of some of the eShop games.
Digital distribution is an excellent way for old-school gamers to re-experience classic games and for the newer generation of gamers to see what all us old farts thought was the bees knee back in the day. So it's a bit disheartening to admit that some of those games we used to love so much way back when don't withstand the test of time and not every NES eShop offering is worth the $4.99 price tag.
|Donkey Kong is a piece of Nintendo|
history to be sure, but at three levels, it
really is hard to justify paying $5 for.
|Don't even bother with Golf. Just|
pick up NES Open Tournament Golf instead.
Super Mario Bros. 1-3 are unquestionably classic games and well worth every penny. The same goes for The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. But the likes of Urban Champion, Golf, Tennis and Clu Clu Land? I don't know who in their right mind thought those games were worth shelling out $4.99 for. The gameplay in Tennis and Golf is so shallow and underwhelming that there really is no reason to fork over that kinda cash for such bland sports games. If you want a better NES sports offering, cop Ice Hockey, which is easily worth the $4.99. Games like Urban Champion should be 99 cents, and even then, I think some would argue that the game should sell for less than that. If 99 cents is too low, perhaps $1.99 is more just.
The way Nintendo sells games on the Wii U and 3DS eShop is infinitely better than the method used on the Wii. All games on the Wii's shop channel were purchased with points via a Wii Points Card and all games had set prices. There were no sales so every SNES game that wasn't an import was 800 points, the equivalent of $8. With the eShop, Nintendo can and does occasionally offer sales on games. Sometime after the Wii U launch in 2012, Nintendo was selling Kirby's Adventure for a mere 30 cents. I think $4.99 is a great bargain for one of Kirby's best games, but 30 cents? That's less than pocket change.
|Considering what a physical copy costs these|
days, $10 for a digital EarthBound is an absolute steal.
Game Boy Advance games have recently been added to the Wii U's eShop library. (Why, just the Wii U and not the 3DS? I'm not sure. Perhaps Nintendo wants those that were part of the 3DS ambassador program not to feel like that got shafted. But considering they got 10 NES and 10 GBA games for the very low price of free, I don't see how they could possibly feel screwed in that regard.) I really have no problems with the price point of GBA games. I automatically assumed they'd have a set price for $9.99, but it turns out GBA games are going for $7.99, same as SNES games and sometimes, they sell for a bit lower. The exception is WarioWare: MegaMicro Game$, which is selling at $6.99, an amazing deal for an amazing game.
The one SNES game that exceeds the $7.99 tag is EarthBound, carrying a $9.99 price. I cannot argue against that because physical copies of EarthBound, just loose ones, will cost you close to a hundred dollars. I have a friend that gave me his copy of EarthBound years ago, complete with the Nintendo Power strategy guide that came with the game. To say that was a huge blessing would be an understatement. EarthBound was one of the most requested games on the Wii's Virtual Console service but it never saw the light of day. Miraculously, the game was released for the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2013, giving many a chance to see what the game is about for a very affordable price.
I guess my main beef with prices on the eShop lies with the earlier NES games. Some of Nintendo's first batch of NES titles, just haven't aged well, or some were turds to begin with. Although it isn't just Nintendo's games. NES Ghosts 'n Goblins is arguably harder than the arcade version so I can't see a reason to price it at $4.99. Will Nintendo budget on NES eShop prices and cut some of the unworthy titles? I'd like to say yes, but deep inside, I know they won't.