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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nintendo Should Do More Compilation Releases

I really like Nintendo. Granted, they can be a very strange company. They don't quickly adapt the way the competition does and some of their business decisions are pretty suspect, but Nintendo is still around for a very good reason. In the decades gone by, they've put out some truly spectacular games and they continue to do so to this day. 

In the ever growing ranks that is digital media, compilation releases are thankfully, still a thing. With a catalog as impressive as Nintendo's, you'd think they'd be up for far more compilation releases than what they've done in their 30 plus year gaming history. But despite Nintendo's incredibly rich history, very few compilation releases from the Big N actually exist and some have never even made it outside of Japan.

One of Nintendo's earliest
compilation releases.

The NES is a goldmine of first party releases. For a lot of fans, NES Remix and NES Remix 2 hit the right notes but for others, it rang a bell of disappointment because these games were bits and pieces of full games chopped up into one big mini game collection. As fun as it was to clear the first level of Donkey Kong as Link, it would have been awesome to have the full version of Donkey Kong nestled along side The Legend of Zelda and a plethora of other Nintendo NES greats. Think of it: a Nintendo NES Collection with Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Dr. Mario, Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Metroid, Punch-Out!!, Excitebike, Kirby's Adventure, NES Open Tournament Golf, and EarthBound Beginnings to name plenty. They could even go the extra mile and give us some of those games that never made it outside of Japan like Devil World, both entries of the Famicom Detective Club series, and Joy Mech Fight. A Nintendo NES Collection would sell like hotcakes as a single Wii U disc game.

Let's not forget about the Game Boy. The little handheld that could, would and did has earned Nintendo so much change and it is longer overdue for some more love. The 3DS handles Game Boy games greatly, even removing that dreaded blur affect from scrolling so its a perfect system for a Nintendo Game Boy Collection. That and the 3DS is, well, a handheld. It would rock to have Super Mario Land, Tetris, Balloon Kid, Super Mario Land 2, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, Donkey Kong, Mole Mania, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Mario's Picross, Wario Land 1-3 and all those other sweet first party GB games on a single 3DS cart.

Super Mario All-Stars was a big deal in 1993.
The 2010 re-release, wasn't treated as such.

Nintendo's 16-bit baby, the SNES, arguably the pinnacle of Nintendo's systems. Nintendo has so many stellar first party SNES titles that its almost scary. How incredible would it be to have Super Mario World, F-Zero, Pilotwings, SimCity, Battle Clash, Metal Combat, Yoshi's Island, Star Fox, Super Punch-Out!! EarthBound, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country 1-3 and all those other glorious first party SNES games in one sweet, sweet set? 

It really is puzzling that Nintendo hasn't put out more collections than what they have, especially when we know they are capable of doing so. In 1993, Super Mario All-Stars, which collected Super Mario Bros. 1-3 and The Lost Levels with 16-bit graphics and sounds was a platform fan's dream. When it was re-released in 2010 for the Super Mario Bros. series 25th anniversary with minimal in the way of extras fans and critics didn't recieve it as well. True, Nintendo could have and should have included Super Mario World, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine  on that collection and yeah, the extras were lacking, but it was more of a missed opportunity than a bad compilation. 

Kirby's Dream Collection. A dream collection indeed.

2012's Kirby's Dream Collection was without question one of the best compilation releases Nintendo put out in years. Not only did it contain six of Kirby's platforming adventures, but the extras and presentation was top notch. It was the kind of collection that was so lovingly put together that it made you wish Nintendo would give some of its other franchises that sort of love for an anthology release.

Nintendo seems perfectly content with re-releasing their old games digitally on the eShop, which is fine but a release like Kirby's Dream Collection showed that Nintendo was willing to release a compilation of games that could already be purchased individually since at the time, just about every game in Kirby's Dream Collection could be purchased on the 3DS and the Wii. Its always nice to have as many options as possible to get your retro gaming fix and compilations in the vein of SEGA's Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection and Rare's Rare Replay from Nintendo would certainly be profitable and welcome. 

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