Trying to scratch that handheld gaming itch

As with a lot of people, I go through phases. These can vary from curiosity over a certain kind of food to an interest in sports cards. Gaming phases happen very often for me. The recent most recent one is that I am in is going back and playing games on my Nintendo 3DS. I love handheld gaming and for whatever reason, I wanted to go back and see about getting and playing some of the major releases for the 3DS that I originally missed out on. Unfortunately, the current market is making that hard to do.

My collection of Nintendo 3DS games is pretty extensive but a few gaps I wanted to fill. To make some sense of what I’m interested in, here is a list of a few:

  • Boxboy (Download only)
  • Dragon Quest VII
  • Dragon Quest VIII
  • Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
  • Persona Q2
  • Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
  • Rhythm Heaven Megamix
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV

Outside of Boxboy, which is a download-only game, I thought I could find most of these games in stores or online. If I couldn’t find new copies, I thought that a used copy would suffice. 

I started looking at what Amazon had to offer. Their marketplace is all over the place. Most titles are $49.99 CDN with a couple of exceptions. Your luck on Amazon can vary greatly, especially with regards to 3rd-party sellers. They often offer games at a lower price but get you on the shipping. If you limit to Prime shipping (which in my eyes usually means they are reliable), you’ll almost always pay full price.

There are a few games through Amazon that aren’t listed above but are tempting to pick up. But I want to fill my collection with games I am really interested in not a few just because they are cheap.

I checked out a few other game shops, including begrudgingly going to EB Games.

The two (still-open) stores I went into, have almost nothing available and that included used games. Their website is no better, making it next to impossible to order and a real sign that they’re business is dropping faster than we originally thought.

I was a bit surprised that Best Buy still carries 3DS games. The prices are no better but they still have some Nintendo 1st Party games, including Ultra Sun and Moon, Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, and a few others. They even offer download codes through their website. 

I went on eBay but that wasn’t much help, either. The prices there are also much too high then I’m willing to spend, especially in situations where sellers are offering games at price-points higher than through the Nintendo eShop.

The eShop looks like the place to get these games but the prices are still a tad unreasonable. I have no idea why they haven’t discounted these games to a more reasonable $19.99 – $29.99 CDN range. I can only assume that because so few people are playing the 3DS/2DS that there is no reason to drop the price of games. The fact that Nintendo 2DS consoles are still sold at full price is another head-scratcher. In Canada the 2DS XL is only 60 dollars cheaper than the Switch Lite, which doesn’t make any sense (they bundle it with Mario Kart 7, but that doesn’t really make it better). 

It’s crazy to think that because people aren’t playing the console that discounting digital versions of the game doesn’t make sense. I think it’s the opposite, especially as it would give me more reason to go back and play. It doesn’t seem that many of the classic 3DS (or even DS) games will get Switch ports, so why not offer them on the cheap and get more people to buy either the Nintendo 2DS or 2DS XL?

While I consider what to do about getting some of the games I want, I’ll go back and play what I have. I really want to play Majora’s Mask, I started playing Paper Mario Sticker Star, and I will try to finally get back to Xenoblade Chronicles and Metroid Samus Returns. I am still considering some of those ‘cheaper’ 3DS games I came across but they aren’t my focal point.

Hopefully, this phase lasts a bit longer, especially considering how few games out there at the moment.