Much to the dismay of many 3DS and Wii U owners, Nintendo recently announced that it would be closing down their respective eShops in March 2023. The news came as a bit of a surprise to many Nintendo fans; Although the Wii U hasn’t been the company’s most successful console, it’s gained quite a cult following over the years, and both it and the 3DS eShop have been home to countless stellar titles that aren’t easily obtainable elsewhere. However, by far, one of the biggest losses coming with this Nintendo eShop shutdown is the disappearance of some excellent Pokemon titles.
Thankfully, this cloud does have a silver lining. Pokemon fans have almost a whole year before the eShops shut down, so there’s still plenty of time to pick up some Pokemon games that are otherwise pretty hard to find, and transfer some classic pixel-art monsters into some more modern Pokemon titles.
Pick Up All The Classic Game Boy Titles
For those growing up in the 1990s, and a handful of those who came after, the original set of Pokemon games have an extremely powerful nostalgic hold over them. Even just glancing at the iconic, beautiful water color box art is enough to send a shiver down many Pokemon fans’ spins, in the best possible way.
Unfortunately, picking up an old copy of the original Game Boy games isn’t the easiest task, with even shabby second-hand copies coming in at about $30-50, and boxed copies starting at a whopping $100. The 3DS eShop offers a saving grace.
The Virtual Console is one of Nintendo’s greatest concepts. Beginning on the Wii, the Virtual Console offers a plethora of old NES, SNES, Game Boy, and GBA games, along with a few other consoles. There are two main benefits of the Virtual Console, those being that it preserves older games, and that it allows new players to experience these historic titles at minimal cost and effort.
The 3DS’ Virtual Console is home to all of the original Game Boy Pokemon games. For just $10 a pop, fans can get their hands on Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Crystal, Gold, Silverand even the Japan-exclusive Pokemon Green. On top of this, Pokemon fans can also grab the Pokemon Trading Card Gameand Pokemon Puzzle Challengeanother two classic Game Boy Color titles.
Any Pokemon fan that hasn’t yet given these original titles a go, or those who want to guarantee that the option is there in the future, should pick up these games while they can. It’s fascinating to see how the Pokemon franchise has evolved over the last two decades.
Transfer Any Classic Pokemon To Pokemon Home
One of the 3DS’ best Pokemon titles isn’t even a game. Releasing in 2013, Pokemon Bank lets 3DS users store and transfer their Pokemon between games. When the service first dropped, it was limited to just the games players had on that specific console, but with the release of Pokemon Home in 2020, players could upload their Pokemon collection to the Cloud. From there, players could use their collection in a number of Pokemon titles across different platforms.
With the announcement that the 3DS and Wii U eShops are closing down next year, Game Freak decided to make the Pokemon Bank service free for all users, as opposed to asking for a subscription. So before March 2023, Pokemon fans should make sure that they upload any of their classic Pokemon to Pokemon Bankand then upload them straight to Pokemon Home.
Pick Up Any Pokemon Virtual Console or eShop Exclusives
While the original set of Pokemon Game Boy games will likely be most fans’ first port of call, the vast swath of Wii U Virtual Console and eShop exclusives shouldn’t be forgotten about. While titles like Pokken Tournament can still be played on the Switch, there’s one or two Wii U exclusives that may be worth picking up for fans of the franchise.
One such Wii U exclusive is Pokemon Rumble Uthe third entry in the Pokemon Rumble series, and actually the first Pokemon game released on the console. With 649 Pokemon to choose from, players set about battling their way through arena after arena, unlocking new Pokemon as they go. Pokemon Rumble U may not have received the best reviews upon launch, with many outlets finding the game too simplistic and repetitive, but it’s certainly a unique part of Pokemon history, and something worth preserving for those who love the series.
When it comes to Pokemon Virtual Console games, the Wii U has a pretty good range. Starting with the Nintendo 64 era, fans can grab the original Pokemon Snap. The gameplay is pretty simple, but it’s fun to compare the original to the most recent Pokemon Snap offering on the Switch.
Moving onto the Game Boy Advance era, the Wii U Virtual Console has two offerings, one being Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Saphireand the other being Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team. Though Mystery Dungeon isn’t the most popular Pokemon spin-off, it’s still worth trying, especially if fans didn’t pick up the Mystery Dungeon remake on Switch.
The Wii U Virtual Console brings a slew of Pokemon DS games to the console, including Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Teamand Pokemon Ranger. While the former is simply a DS version of the GBA’s Red Rescue Team, Pokemon Ranger is one of the more unique Pokemon titles. In Range, players take on the role of a titular Pokemon Ranger, and capture Pokemon by drawing circles around it with the stylus. It received pretty mixed reviews, but it’s another Pokemon title that deserves preservation.
The Wii U Virtual Console is also home to the Pokemon Ranger sequels, Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almiaand Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signswhich both fared slightly better when it came to reviews. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky is also available on the Wii U Virtual Console. There’s a lot of Pokemon content for fans to pick up before the Wii U and 3DS eShop closes in March 2023.
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