The Completionist decided to remain true to his name and collected every single Wii U and 3DS eShop game before Nintendo closed down the service, giving him an almost complete archive of every game on both platforms.
The Completionist (aka Jirard) has been on YouTube for over a decade, with the goal of completing any game he touches. This means nabbing every single achievement and in-game reward, something that can take anywhere from a few hours on shorter games to hundreds of hours for larger titles.
However, he decided to step outside the realm of completing a single game and set his sights on completing his game library for the 3DS and Wii U ahead of the closure of the Nintendo eShop.
This venture was not only a massive financial investment, but it took Jirard almost an entire year to figure out how to undertake the task of buying every 3DS and Wii U game for the sake of preservation. There was a lot more to the process than just buying every game on the store.
YouTuber freezes credit cards while buying every eShop game
The Completionist went in knowing that this project would take a herculean effort, but it wasn’t clear just how much effort it would take until he got deeper and deeper into the logistics of buying every game.
The first problem was getting his hands on enough eShop funds to buy everything. Jirard knew the bank would likely flag his account for what could be seen as unusual purchases, meaning that his best route was to go around and buy up Nintendo eShop cards from retailers.
He got a bunch of his friends together and formed teams that were tasked with buying up as many eShop cards as they could. Some retailers had restrictions on how many gift cards could be purchased at a time. Jirard speculated this could be due to suspicions of money laundering after getting turned away at a few stores. Meanwhile some other stores were less restrictive and allowed them to walk with thousands of dollars worth of eShop cards.
Then, after spending just over $18k, Jirard’s credit cards got frozen just before crossing the finish line. He’d have to go back and get more later, but yet another obstacle lied in wait just ahead.
After spending five figures on eShop cards and attempting to load them onto his account, he ran into a problem: Nintendo wallets can only hold $250 dollars at a time, meaning he’d have to load cards into the account as he went. On top of that, he could only download so many games at once on either system. And on top of all that, they found out that only 300 games could be stored on an external hard drive/memory card at a time on both the 3DS and Wii U, regardless of how much memory they had.
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on Esports, Gaming and more.
It’s important to note that, with the eShop closure, games would only be available for download “for the foreseeable future.” That means that he not only had to purchase every game to keep them, but he also had to have them all in storage as well.
“This whole experience has completely broken me,” Jirard remarked as he went over the painstaking process of getting past the various roadblocks Nintendo had in place to keep him from buying and storing these games en masse.
3DS games had another massive obstacle for The Completionist
As if every other obstacle in his way wasn’t enough, Jirard also realized that some games on the 3DS had restrictions on when you could pay for DLC. For some titles, he only had to beat the first few levels of a game in order to pick up downloadable content. For others, he’d have to beat the entire game.
Additionally, playing games on the 3DS stops all downloads on the system, meaning that he’d have to cease his operation until he was able to play through sections of select titles on the system.
After thousands of hours and dollars invested into this project, the Completionist managed to download the entire 3DS and Wii U library. Or, at the very least, what was available to him. He mentioned in the video that some games were actively getting pulled from the storefront as he tried to purchase them, meaning that his collection would never be fully complete. But he did everything he could to buy as many games as possible, coming out to 2,413 games purchased across both systems.
Once the eShop is down, the only way games on those systems get preserved for new players is through piracy, something that Nintendo and other companies have put effort into shutting down. Justifiably so, but that comes with the very real threat of games being entirely erased from existence. And, even if games are maintained via piracy, you can’t play them with their intended peripherals without modifying an existing 3DS or Wii U.
Jirard took on this massive project with the motivation of spotlighting how difficult game preservation can be and keeping an archive of the games thousands of game developers worked on.
You can watch the full video chronicling his journey here: