Poll

Which of these DS games would you recommend?

Animal Crossing: Wild World
Big Brain Academy
DK Jungle Climber
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Kirby Canvas Curse
Kirby Mass Attack
Kirby Squeak Squad
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
Mario Hoops 3-on-3
Mario Kart DS
Mario Party DS
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Metroid Prime Hunters
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
Pokémon Ranger
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
Star Fox Command
Style Savvy
Super Mario 64 DS
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Wario: Master of Disguise
WarioWare: Touched!
Yoshi Touch & Go
Yoshi's Island DS
I would not recommend any of these games :(
All of these games are great :)
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day
New Super Mario Bros.
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Picross 3D

Author Topic: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round F: DS VC)  (Read 33167 times)

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Offline Mr. Bungle

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Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round F: DS VC)
« on: March 14, 2021, 02:33:56 PM »
Background
The Wii U eShop will only be open for a limited time so it is worth looking at the games there while there is still time to buy them. In the first few months we looked at all the available eShop games, but we omitted the Virtual Console releases, until now! Nintendo introduced the Virtual Console (VC) with Wii as a way to sell games from previous systems a la carte. That same service continued with Wii U and 3DS before being replaced with a Netflix style service bundled with the Nintendo Switch's Online membership.

The Nintendo DS Virtual Console
The DS is Nintendo's best selling console to date. At about 154 million units sold, it was the last handheld to be available before smart phones became ubiquitous. The dual screen format was novel yet it made porting the games to other systems a challenge. Of course since Wii U has two screens and one of them is a touch screen, all the pieces were there for putting some great handheld games on your TV.
In April of 2015 those pieces came together and over the next two years a total of 31 games were made available on the Wii U eShop. All 31 titles were published by Nintendo and they are all still available for $9.99 (with the exception of the two "Brain" games which are $6.99). I would like to mention that since the two screens in a Wii U set-up are not connected, it is not exactly a one-to-one mapping from the DS. Nintendo provided a variety of screen settings that you can choose from depending the game and your play style. My personal favorite is to have the top screen of the DS mapped to the TV and the bottom screen of the DS mapped to the Gamepad.

The Games
The following 31 titles comprise the DS VC for Wii U with information in the following order
Game Title (Release year, Developer, Current cartridge cost*)
* Loose cartridge only, USD, source: https://www.pricecharting.com/
  • Advance Wars: Dual Strike  (2005, Intelligent Systems, $20)
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World  (2005, Nintendo EAD, $13)
  • Big Brain Academy (2006, Nintendo, $3)
  • Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day (2006, Nintendo SPD, $3)
  • DK Jungle Climber (2007, Nintendo, $14)
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (2009, Intelligent Systems, $36)
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse (2005, HAL, $18)
  • Kirby: Mass Attack (2011, HAL, $15)
  • Kirby: Squeak Squad (2006, HAL, $18)
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005, Alpha Dream, $22)
  • Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (2006, Square Enix, $10)
  • Mario Kart DS (2005, Nintendo EAD, $10)
  • Mario Party DS (2007, Hudson Soft, $11)
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (2006, Nintendo Software Technology, $7)
  • Metroid Prime Hunters (2006, Nintendo Software Technology, $9)
  • New Super Mario Bros. (2006, Nintendo EAD, $11)
  • Picross 3D (2010, HAL, $7)
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team  (2006, Chunsoft, $13)
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky  (2008, Chunsoft, $88)
  • Pokémon Ranger  (2006, HAL, $21)
  • Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia  (2008, Creatures Inc., $28)
  • Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs  (2010, Creatures Inc., $25)
  • Star Fox Command  (2006, Nintendo EAD, $7)
  • Style Savvy  (2009, Nintendo SPD, $8)
  • Super Mario 64 DS  (2004, Nintendo EAD, $14)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass  (2007, Nintendo EAD, $16)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks  (2009, Nintendo EAD, $45)
  • Wario: Master of Disguise  (2007, Suzak, $11)
  • WarioWare: Touched!  (2005, Intelligent Systems, $11)
  • Yoshi Touch & Go  (2005, Nintendo EAD, $10)
  • Yoshi's Island DS  (2006, Artoon, $12)

The Highlights
Clearly since all models of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems are backwards compatible with DS, these games can be played there by sourcing the cartridge. However no DS virtual console exists for the 3DS. Personally, I have WarioWare Touched! digitally on my 3DS, but I believe that was a Club Nintendo reward of some sort.

There are only two re-releases that I know of: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team was remade for Switch last year and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a remake of the first Fire Emblem on the Famicom that was also released last year on Switch.

If you are tracking down the original software then it is worth noting that many of these are quite affordable with the exceptions being Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky ($114 CIB), The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks ($67 CIB), and the aforementioned Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon ($76 CIB).

The closest we get to a third part release is the Square Enix developed Mario Hoops 3-on-3.

Looking at release years the DS was quite prodigious spanning eight years. The bookend releases are typical with Mario kicking off the launch of the system and Kirby closing out the show.

Comments
I welcome any corrections to the information I found when compiling the list. The price information here is for the US so let me know about differences in other regions. Not sure what to comment, consider questions like:
  • Which screen setup do you prefer when playing DS games on Wii U?
  • Do you like touch controls more than motion controls?
  • If Pokepal became a NWR Junior Ranger, would that make him a Pokémon Ranger?

Next Round
Join me next week as Wii finish off the Virtual Console for the Wii U e Shop.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 05:27:15 PM by Mr. Bungle »

Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round F: DS VC)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2021, 05:52:52 PM »
Reviews
The review info is in the following order
Game Title (Metacritic Score, NWR Review Score, Link to NWR Review)

The Highlights
The best reviewed game on NWR is Kirby: Canvas Curse which received a 9.5 from Michael Cole who thought it was "Genuinely Fresh and Fun".

The best reviewed game on Metacritic is Mario Kart DS which #4 for all DS games - only beat by Chrono Trigger (3), Flipnote Studio (2), and GTA Chinatown Wars (1). To be fair this did get a 10 from NWR when released and the re-review on Wii U VC is the 7.5 posted above.

On the lower end we see some consensus that Wario: Master of Disguise is perhaps the weak link in this chain.


Offline Discord.RSS

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round F: DS VC)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2021, 06:10:53 PM »
I played almost none of these.
The Metroid Prime Hunters multiplayer seemed very impressive to me at the time, I recall it being fast-paced not unlike a Quake II, but no idea if that's really true?
Kirby Canvas and Yoshi Touch & Go are both similar ideas executed slightly differently. Kirby is a much more complete experience, and probably the best execution of this formula. Wonder if they could get away with marketing Yoshi as a rogue-like nowadays...

Honestly the one I played most was Brain Age, which is an okay game but also very much part of the then-current brand of pseudoscience. Don't see a point in getting that on Wii U either because it's a much less convenient system to do quick daily math problems on.

Only ones I'm sorta interested in and would like to hear opinions on:
- Animal Crossing Wild World has a great soundtrack, and I guess this is the only proper entry on the console? Or was City Folk on the eShop too?
Suffers from the same daily use problem I suppose, but I do really like the dinky style. Is there any point in playing this in a post-New Horizons world?
- Star Fox Command I feel like this probably ranks pretty low in the already spotty Starfox catalogue huh?

Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Bonus Round F: DS VC)
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2021, 07:29:19 PM »
Or was City Folk on the eShop too?
Nope, just Wild World, amiibo Festival, and Plaza.
Since amiibo Festival was not available on the eShop and Plaza was delisted in 2014, Wild World is the only AC software for download on the Wii U eShop.