Tag Archives: Virtual Console

Pokemon Gold and Silver Available on 3DS Today

Meanwhile, on the retro-nostalgia front, Nintendo is bringing more old school Pokemon games to the 3DS today in the for of Pokemon Gold & Silver.

For the GameBoy Color

Back in 2016 Nintendo re-released Pokemon Red, Blue, & Yellow for the 3DS Virtual Console as part of the Pokemon 20th Anniversary celebration.  I went in on Pokemon Blue to discover how things went way back in the day, and I was surprised by how nearly fully formed the first generation of Pokemon games really were.

Now we have the second generation available, and with that comes some rounding out of the Pokemon standard features including:

  • Pokemon breeding
  • Held items for Pokemon
  • Dual-type Pokemon
  • Steel and Dark type Pokemon
  • Shiny Pokemon
  • Pokemon experience tracking

In addition the games are in full on color, no longer having to support the original monochromatic GameBoy hardware.

Virtual cartridges for the Virtual Console

As with the first generation releases, Pokemon Bank will be getting an update to allow players to move their Pokemon from these titles to Pokemon Sun & Moon, or to Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon when the latter ship this coming November.

So I am much more likely to spend time this weekend playing retro Pokemon than anything else, and all the more so since the 2009 remakes of these titles, Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver rank very highly on my list of favorite Pokemon titles.

The only quest is, do I go with Gold or Silver?

The Next New Pokemon Games are Old Pokemon Games

My daughter and I were talking about Pokemon about two weeks back and I was wondering when we might hear about the next Pokemon game.  Nintendo and Game Freak had been on about an “every 18 months” schedule, where they would release a title, announce the next title a year after that, and release it six months later.

And when I say a Pokemon game, I mean a game from the core RPG line of games on their handheld platform, the games started it all way back when and not one of the many subsidiary titles.  The last pair in that long line of games to come out was Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, just about a year back.

So I figured we were about due to at least hear about the next entry in the line.  And it just so happened that Nintendo had their Nintendo Direct event last week where they announced a pile of new games.  I watched on Twitter as they announced one thing after another… and then the event was over… and no NEW Pokemon game in the core RPG mold was announced.

But back in the list of things was an OLD Pokemon game… actually three… that had been mentioned.  Here in the West we will be getting the original, first three Pokemon titles to come out way, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow.  The full announcement is here.

Old games come to the Virtual Console

Old games come to the Virtual Console

The titles will be arriving in the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console section of the Nintendo store right on the 20th anniversary of the original launch of Pokemon Red in Japan.  And we won’t even have to wait two and a half years to get versions for other markets.

The games that started it all 20 years ago

The games that started it all 20 years ago

And that is pretty cool, bringing back a 20 year old game for players today.

I’m just not all that excited about it.

Yeah, I an pro retro gaming and going back to examine our roots.   And I thought Twitch Plays Pokemon was pretty amusing.  But the GameBoy era wasn’t my time.

So the old monochrome graphics really don’t do much for me.  I started on the Nintendo DS hardware with Pokemon Diamond & Pearl nearly a decade after the originals.

Still, I will take this as a sign of things to come.

I noted previously that the Nintendo DS series of Pokemon games, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black, White, Black Version 2, and White Version 2, had all been pulled from store shelves because the Nintendo WiFi network support for them had been brought down, so Nintendo could no longer live up to what was being promised on the side of the box.

Go ahead, try to find some of those games for sale.  Some people are charging a premium for the more popular titles on that list.

Top Prices at Amazon

Top Prices at Amazon… better buy used…

I was able to get White Version 2 for a discount a year ago, but Black Version 2 was going for well over list already.

So my hope is that we might get some re-worked versions of the DS titles for the Virtual Console some day… though I wouldn’t throw over a new title for those quite yet.  I have grown used to the updated graphics on the 3DS.

Wii Virtual Console

Where we find hype beats nostalgia.

Like the other two current generation console systems, the Wii has an interface to let you purchase games for you system over your network connection to the internet.

The Wii version of this feature, called the Virtual Console, is focused on the past.  It is an emulator that lets you play games from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and the Nintendo 64 system (N64) as well as from Sega Genesis and NEC TurboGrafx-16.

It is a nostalgia machine.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I do not have much in the way of longing for these old console games.  Of the systems supported, I have only owned the Sega Genesis, and I did not play that very much.

Still, there is always room for a little nostalgia… even that false nostalgia for things you never experienced in the first place… like the 1950s… well, I never experienced the 1950s.

So, between bouts of Wii Tennis and Mario Party 8, I bought some Wii Points (the unit of currency in the land of Wii) and picked out four games available on the virtual console.

Three of my picks were based on nostalgia.


The first game I got was Elevator Action.  In the arcades of my youth, this was probably the last game I was any good at playing.  It came along at about the time I decided to save my quarters to buy Apple II software.

In the arcade it was really fun.  Even on the MAME system at the office, it is still a blast so many years later.  I also remember playing a pretty good version of it on my youngest cousin’s GameBoy a few years back.

Unfortunately, the version on the Virtual Console is from the NES, which is a pretty old system.  The game play isn’t quite the same, and it isn’t just the Wii controller that gets in the way.  It is obviously a port from the time when there was a serious performance gap between the arcade and the home console.  I would rather play the MAME version on my PC.

Nostalgia: 0 for 1

Super Sonic!

My next buy was Sonic the Hedgehog.  This was the game that came with my Sega Gensis 15 years back.  In my mind, this was a safe choice.  I had played and enjoyed this game before.  The graphics, if out of date, would still be decent, and the sound would be good.

And so they were.  It looked and played just like I remembered.  The only part I did not remember was how bad I was at the game back then.  And I have not gotten any better since 1992.  I have not made it past the second level.  Ouch.

Still, my daughter enjoys watching the demo that plays when the game sits idle.  She picks up the controller and thinks she’s playing.

Nostalgia: 0 for 2

Get Exited!

The third nostalgia purchase I made was Excite Bike.  While a bit wary of another NES game, I had actually seen this one reviewed on one of the gaming site who gave it a thumbs up for retro gaming.

And it is pretty good.  It made the transition from the arcade to the NES intact and actually improved.  It is simple, fun, and seriously worth the $5 in Wii Points for the retro experience.  I remember playing this in the arcade.

This game was a double bonus as my daughter latched onto it right away and we spent a Saturday afternoon racing blocky dirt bikes.

Nostalgia: 1 for 3

Go Kart!

The fourth purchase I made for the Virtual Console was Mario Kart 64.  Not being indoctrinated in Nintendo, I am not very familiar with the Mario Kart series.  Sure, I have heard of Mario Kart, but I have also had a couple of people tell me that Mario Kart was over rated.  I was looking for something else to play one afternoon and figured where there was smoke (hype), there might also be fire (fun).

Mario Kart 64 is fun.  A lot of fun.  It lived up to the hype as far as I am concerned.  I have easily played Mario Kart 64 ten times as much as my other Virtual Console purchases combined.

The only down side to the game is that it requires a somewhat delicate touch to steer, more so than my daughter can manage.  So she is not enthusiastic about the game, though she likes to sit an tell me what to do while I play.  And when my youngest cousin comes by (21 year age difference between us) she plays with me because she actually had a Nintendo 64 system at her house when she was younger.  She is pretty good too.

Hype: 1 for 1

More Virtual?

Nintendo releases three titles to the Virtual Console library every week.  So far though, only these four titles have caught my eye and been worthy of my Wii Points.  I understand that, some day, you will be able to buy and download new games in addition to the retro fare from Nintendo, but right now we’re stuck reliving the past.

Have you bought any Virtual Console games?