Best handheld gaming experience for old side-scrollers
July 22, 2013 11:02 AM   Subscribe

I recently got the itch for a new handheld gaming console, and I'm wondering about the best option. I'm especially interested in playing the side-scrolling Mario and Donkey Kong Super Nintendo games of my youth.

I know these games are available on Game Boy Advance cartridges (which are playable on the Nintendo DS) but can they also be downloaded (or um, otherwise loaded onto*) the newer 3DS (or 3DS XL)? The most important feature for me is the biggest backlit screen I can get.

I also might invest in a few new games if there are any really killer titles available for the newer handhelds. Any recommendations on that front (for whatever system that gets recommended as the best option for the old-school experience)? I'm mostly interested in platformers and shooters, I tend to hate RPGs, and I'm indifferent on puzzle/racing games. I also prefer single-player games and generally don't like using touchscreens to play.


*Despite my incompetence at figuring out what is compatible with what, I'm pretty comfortable with following instructions on things like homebrew games (have done it with an old PSP)
posted by cosmic osmo to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a List of Virtual Console games for Nintendo 3DS. Virtual Console is Nintendo's 'emulator service' where you can buy older games and play them on your newer hardware. In terms of bigger screen, you should be looking at the 3DS XL.

I believe you could also hunt down an older DS Lite XL, because it has a GBA slot, but those GBA 'ports' of SNES games are pretty miss-or-miss, in my opinion.
posted by destructive cactus at 11:18 AM on July 22, 2013

For a large, bright screen, you really can't beat the 3DS XL. destructive cactus already mentioned the Virtual Console (note that they don't offer any SNES games, afaik), so for new games, definitely check out the new 3DS Donkey Kong and Mario Land games. They're basically the old games with shiny new graphics. Try Kid Icarus Uprising too.
posted by sonmi at 11:52 AM on July 22, 2013

I love my 3DS XL. I just noticed "Shantae" from the Game Boy Color is now available. And the newer Shantae game was a great side-scrolling platformer too. I recommend them highly.
posted by tacodave at 4:09 PM on July 22, 2013

3DS XL's eShop also has Cave Story, which is a kind of modern homage to those days, and a great fit for the system.

I can't be the only 3DS owner waiting for SNES games to finally show up on virtual console. It's a glaring omission for sure.
posted by Theophylactic at 3:40 AM on July 23, 2013

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