Of all the announcements that were made in the most recent Nintendo Direct, I was really excited about Super Nintendo games finally being available on the New Nintendo 3DS as Virtual Console releases. Prior to this announcement, the only games available on the 3DS were Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear, and NES games. And to be honest, games from those systems don’t work that well for me anymore, save for a few exceptions. 16-bit era games are different though – they have a certain level of polish, especially visually, that make them palatable for me. I’m more than willing to spend my hard-earned cash on 16-bit re-releases – I already shelled out for Sega’s 3D remakes of Streets of Rage 2, Gunstar Heroes and Outrun.
Together with the announcement, Nintendo also mentioned the SNES titles that will be released on the 3DS Virtual Console and the initial release lineup is pretty impressive, including classics like Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, F-Zero, Earthbound, Donkey Kong Country, Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In Japan, Capcom and Konami even joined in on the fun, with several of their SNES classics also set for release – the Mega Man X games, the Final Fight games, Contra III: The Alien Wars and Super Castlevania IV to name a few.
However, as impressive as this initial list is, there are a few SNES classics that I think are worth re-releasing. Games that I really enjoyed playing back when they were first released and that I think still holds up against today’s standards. I’ve narrowed down my wishlist to five titles (limiting myself to Nintendo, Capcom and Konami titles only as they are the only publishers with planned releases) – in no particular order, here are the SNES games that I’d like to get released for the 3DS Virtual Console:
I talked about Metal Warriors when I wrote that piece about my memorable Konami games and I’m going to talk about it again right now because Metal Warriors is simply awesome – a platform/action game where you not only get to pilot a Macross/Gundam looking mech – you also have other mech types at your disposal. I have to admit, I don’t remember much about the level design of the game, but what really stuck out for me are the different types of mechs in the game and how different they are in terms of gameplay.
What made this game unforgettable for me is how they used the visual state of your mech as the indicator for health – your mech shows damage as you take hits, up until the point that it looks like it’s about to explode. By then, you have a choice to remain in your mech and hopefully encounter some healing power ups or exit the mech. With either option you risk certain death, but each has its own benefit – staying in the mech means you retain your offensive firepower, exiting out makes you a smaller target but you won’t be able to even put a dent on opposing mechs.
Metal Warriors also has a two player versus mode that would be great for Download Play, and it’s one of the rarer SNES titles to ever come out. Despite being published by Konami, this game was actually developed by LucasArts so I’m not sure who owns the rights to publish this again.
The original Punch Out!! on the NES was really well known back in my circles when I was a kid, but I never got the chance to play that to be good at it. Because of Little Mac’s inclusion in Super Smash Bros., I have a desire to play Punch Out!! now and see if I’ve gained the skill needed to beat the game, but the NES graphics don’t appeal to me anymore.
Which makes Super Punch Out!! a perfect alternative. The SNES sequel to Punch Out!!, Super Punch Out!! employs similar mechanics but is all dressed up in better 16-bit visuals. I was actually surprised that this wasn’t a part of the initial titles planned for a Virtual Console release, but if Nintendo is going to release more SNES games for the New Nintendo 3DS, then I’m very certain that Super Punch Out!! is going to be one of them. I don’t have a reflex-based game in my library yet, so I’m definitely going to get a copy of this.
The second game on this list that was developed by LucasArts and published by Konami, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a top view run and gun action game for one or two players where you get to face zombies and other monsters. I only played this game a few times, but I always see this title included in top SNES games lists so I’d like to see what I missed out on. The timing is good too, what with zombies being in the mainstream pop culture.
To be honest, the game doesn’t look as visually appealing to me as the best games that the SNES has to offer. Thankfully, Zombies Ate My Neighbors takes a tongue in cheek humorous approach (a la Zombieland) so the cartoony graphics work well for it. Unlike Metal Warriors which has yet to be re-released, Zombies Ate My Neighbors was released previously for the Wii Virtual Console (IGN gave this version the Editor’s Choice Award when it came out) so a New 3DS Virtual Console Release is not at all far-fetched.
The third Konami game on this list and probably the least likely to see a Virtual Console release is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, a beat ’em up game featuring one of the most popular cartoon franchises in the Nineties.
Turtles in Time was originally an arcade game that employed several advancements in beat ’em ups such as giving each Turtle his own attributes and special moves, basic and advanced attacks like dashing slide kicks and that memorable “into the TV screen” throw attack. It also made good use of time travel as a means of bringing the Turtles across a good variety of stages. The SNES version of Turtles in Time was a port of the arcade game, but had some key changes that made me like it more. Aside from being able to play it endlessly in the comfort of my own home, the SNES Turtles in Time employed more elements from the cartoon series such as the Technodrome stage and the characters Slash, the Rat King, Bebop, and Rocksteady as end level bosses.
While the arcade version of Turtles in Time has been re-released in various forms (i.e. the panned 2009 Re-Shelled remake), the SNES version has yet to see Virtual Console treatment. I’m not exactly sure if Konami can re-release their old TMNT games due to possible licensing issues. They haven’t yet, but if ever they decide to, I’m surely getting a copy of Turtles in Time.
When I started writing this, I didn’t have this game in this slot but the closer I got to writing about the fifth game on this list, the more I wanted to include this. And I really didn’t want to make this list consist of Konami games but there’s no denying how great their hands were during the 8-bit and 16-bit era. But anyway, you’ve seen the box art so yeah, The Adventures of Batman & Robin is the last game on this list.
The Adventures of Batman & Robin is an action platforming game developed by Konami for the SNES. Based on the Bruce Timm created Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman & Robin presented its levels as if they were episodes of the cartoon (complete with episode title screens).
When I first played The Adventures of Batman & Robin, I was disappointed simply because it did not have a two player co-op mode and didn’t even feature Robin as a playable character despite being mentioned in the title and featured prominently on the cover art. Turns out that development of the game started when the cartoon still had the title of Batman: The Animated Series, so it really was meant to be a solo Batman game. When the cartoon was retitled, the developers had to follow suit,
Once I got past that disappointment, I was sold – this game captured the look and feel of the cartoon. Seriously, it really felt like I was playing as Bruce Timm’s Batman. His abilities were captured and represented well, such as the use of various gadgets and his martial arts-based attacks. Even Batman’s enemies were turned into well designed end level bosses. If you thought Batman: Arkham Asylum was the first good Batman game, well it isn’t – this game came out fifteen years before Arkham Asylum. If this sees a Virtual Console release, I’m definitely going to buy a copy.
And there you have it – five SNES titles that I not only want to see get released for the New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, I’m guaranteed to buy these games if they ever do get released. Like I said, I didn’t intend for this list to be dominated by Konami but I couldn’t help it. At this point, I think I like Konami’s games more than I do Capcom’s (or Nintendo’s, for that matter).
What do you think about my list? What do you think about SNES games finally getting the Virtual Console treatment for the New Nintendo 3DS? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment or two below!