What’s this, Nintendo is giving away a game if you buy some other games? The last time I got something from Nintendo in a deal like this was the Gamecube’s The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition, back before Nintendo realized how much their old games were worth. While the game on offer isn’t anywhere near as awesome as Zelda, it is somewhat rarer, since it has never been released in America before.
3DS owners can get a download of Donkey Kong: Original Version if they buy one of five games from the 3DS eShop before January 6. Retro enthusiasts are likely aware that the NES version of Donkey Kong was missing some animations and one of the four levels compared to the original arcade version, due to the limitations of early cartridges. This version, previously only released in Europe on the red Mario 25th Anniversary Wii, adds those elements back in to the NES ROM, allowing gamers to play through the entire game.
That doesn’t actually make it arcade perfect, though. It would be even better if Nintendo were to rerelease the arcade ROM, which has only resurfaced once before, in Donkey Kong 64. While there’s no official statement on why Nintendo avoids the arcade version, some speculate it may due to problems with Ikegami Co. Ltd., a sub-developer that wrote much of the original game’s code and was not happy to see it reverse-engineered for the NES version.
Either way, it’s cool to play through the entire game, even it’s not a perfect version. People have been enjoying the original NES version for years, after all. All you need to do is buy Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone!, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Style Savvy: Trendsetters, or Crosswords Plus before the January 6 deadline. The only games I care about are Paper Mario and Professor Layton, and I would prefer hard copies of those, so I may be picking out whatever’s cheapest just to get a rare ROM.