Ten games we want in the 3DS Ambassador Program

July 29, 2011

Nintendo’s announcement yesterday of a 3DS price drop was accompanied by an offer of free games for early adopters. Called the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, it provides ten NES games and ten GBA games to people who buy the system before August 12. Here’s the thing: only five of each are announced yet. Here’s what we want from the remaining ten, keeping in mind the company’s previous announcements.

Already announced: Yoshi’s IslandMario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid FusionWarioWare Inc: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. We’re assuming we won’t get games with special cartridge features, and we definitely won’t get third-party titles.

The RPG: Golden Sun. The GBA is a treasure trove for good role-playing games, and if we had it our way, we’d get ten of ’em. We’re hoping just one will make it in this group, and if we had to choose, we’d love to get a shot at Golden Sun again. Last year’s revival, Dark Dawn, was great, and we’re hoping another one’s in the works. The visuals, impressive at the time, are a bit dated now, but the underlying systems remain. Also good: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

The strategy game: Advance Wars. Portables are a great place for turn-based titles, and our favorite 3DS launch title, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, was good in some part because it reminded us of this GBA marvel. In this first game, you play as Andy, Max and Sami as they guide Orange Star to war against other nations. Also good: Fire Emblem.

The sports game: Mario Golf: Advance Tour. Sports games don’t always age well, but they do when under the auspices of the skillful team at Camelot. The Game Boy Color and Advance games took the fun gameplay of the console games and shaped extensive single-player experiences around them with progression and story. Also good: Mario Tennis: Power Tour.

The platformer: Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. Most of the platformers on the GBA were ports. We don’t say that as a complaint, as we got gems like Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World and the already-in-the-collection Yoshi’s Island. Still, though, it was nice to get some original efforts. In this one, we got some of the same Kirby action with some multiplayer twists (that may or may not work in a 3DS version). Also good: Donkey Kong Country.

The adventure: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. We’d love Link to the Past, but that version was bundled with Four Swords, something we’re already getting for free later this year. The Minish Cap was an original experience, though, with an aesthetic tied to The Wind Waker and a few quirks. Also good: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team.


Already announced: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, The Legend of Zelda. It’s a safe bet we won’t get anything that’s not already out on the Wii’s Virtual Console, and they’ll stick with first-party games.

The puzzler: Wario’s Woods: We’re not going to get any third-party games in this package, and we’re probably not going to get sequels. The best we can hope for is a great game that may not get noticed otherwise, and Wario’s Woods is the kind of puzzler more should have played. Dr. Mario has been run into the ground, and for that matter, it’d probably also sell. Wario’s Woods is a better freebie. Also good: Yoshi’s Cookie.

The platformer: Kirby’s Adventure: A great platformer on the system, and one every early adopter would be happy to have. One caveat: we’d also accept the GBA remake, Nightmare in Dream Land. Either way, it’s Kirby’s first fleshed-out game, and adds to the Dream Land games in ways that would stay with the series until now. Also good: Super Mario Bros. 2.

The action game: Metroid: The first adventure of Samus Aran is still a classic, and giving this one out should rekindle interest in the Game Boy gem of a sequel. This one gets the same caveat as Kirby’s Adventure, as Metroid: Zero Mission was also great, but we doubt the collection will include two GBA Metroid titles. Also good: Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream.

The fan favorite: Kid Icarus: Well Nintendo, you’re releasing a sequel to an obscure NES game and hoping for name recognition. Why not put Pit’s original adventure in this pack to remind people of it? It doesn’t exactly play in any way reminiscent of the new game, but it’s a great title nonetheless. Also good: Super Mario Bros. 3.

The Zelda-esque game: StarTropics: Okay, this is a game beloved by the type of core Nintendo fan that bought the system at launch purely out of loyalty. It’s similar to The Legend of Zelda, and some even prefer its action-oriented gameplay. It’s not quite like releasing Earthbound Zero here, but we suppose it’s the best you can do for the same group of people. Also good: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

What do you think of our picks? What do you want to see?