Friday, April 19, 2013

Virtual Console Wishes: Titles I Want to See (Wii U), Part One

At the Nintendo Direct that occurred on this past Wednesday morning, Satoru Iwata revealed that the long-awaited April update to the Wii U will happen next week. Alongside the OS load time improvements and other new features is the official launch of the Wii U's Virtual Console. A surprising and out-of-nowhere announcement was that Earthbound would finally be hitting Nintendo's classic gaming marketplace. If that game can reach the Virtual Console, I wondered what other games could get that chance. I even listed games that really have no chance, but we can hold out hope anyway. After you've glanced at my list of ten games, why not write up some of your own in the comments section?

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)


I start off this list with a game that many, many gamers have been clamoring for. It's Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. While the Game Boy Advance port of the game is available for Ambassadors on the 3DS, the SNES original has never been placed on the Wii Virtual Console, even after all of these years. Yoshi's Island is a remarkably well made game with excellent level design (every enemy, coin, and item placement serves its own purpose), terrific music, and charming visuals. Here's hoping that Nintendo finally places the game on their Virtual Console. Maybe the Wii U is just the opportunity they've been waiting for.

Star Fox (SNES)


The title that introduced an animal space opera into the minds of many gamers, Star Fox was one of the first Super FX-enhanced games for the Super Nintendo, offering a 3D-like experience. The game contained three different paths to take, and each one had its own difficulty level and unique stages. Thus, there was a fair amount of replay value to be had with the game. The fact that the original Star Fox is not on the Virtual Console after so many years is worrying. Perhaps emulating Super FX games takes more effort than Nintendo has time for, but it would be great to see such titles like this finally arrive for players who never got to experience them to be able to.

Stunt Race FX (SNES)


The second Super Nintendo game to utilize the system's Super FX chip, Stunt Race FX (known as Wild Trax in Japan) was a cartoony 3D racer developed by Nintendo EAD and Argonaut Games. The game had different classes of vehicles to race as, fully 3D tracks with overpasses, speed bumps, and elevations, and the gameplay was quite good. We haven't seen any Virtual Console games featuring games that needed the Super FX chip, which is a shame. While they look incredibly dated now, the gameplay is still as great as ever. Here's hoping the Wii U's VC bucks the "no Super FX games" trend.

Uniracers (SNES)


A game released by DMA Design (who would later become a little-known company known as Rockstar North) and Nintendo of America in an effort to show that the Super Nintendo could show games as fast as SEGA's Sonic the Hedgehog, Uniracers was a 2D racer where unmanned unicycles performed stunts to speed up and earn points. The game consisted of over forty unique tracks that offered their own challenges and difficulties. Unfortunately, my wish to have Uniracers on the Virtual Console is nothing but a pipe dream as the lawsuit that DMA Design faced from Pixar, due to their claim that DMA ripped off the rider-less unicycle idea from one of their short films, means that the game cannot be released. In fact, the original print run on SNES ended around 300,000 copies, making for a rare and much desired game.

Mega Man X3 (SNES)


A rare Mega Man game on the Super Nintendo isn't just Mega Man 7 (which is another game that both of us at SuperPhillip Central want on the Virtual Console) is Mega Man X3, the third and final Mega Man X mainline game to launch on a Nintendo home console. The game had Mega Man X and Zero (who could be a playable character for the first time in series history, though if he died he'd be gone for good) facing off against Dr. Doppler and his creations. While the weakest of the SNES Mega Man X trilogy, Mega Man X3 is still a worthy game to play, and one that we cannot wait to show up on the Wii U Virtual Console, if it ever does.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES)


The lone Nintendo Entertainment System game on this list is the second TMNT game on the system, a much better one than its predecessor. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game is one of the most loved side-scrolling beat-em-ups ever conceived. The NES version of the arcade game offered new levels, enemies, and bosses, and you never had to worry about the game taking all of your pocket change in the process. Sure, if we got the game now we wouldn't get that certificate for a free slice of pizza at Pizza Hut, but you have to make sacrifices. Seeing how Konami made the original game, and now the IP is with Activision, I won't hold my breath for the turtles to return to Nintendo's Virtual Console, but I can dream...

Pilotwings 64 (N64)


In North America, much like Pilotwings was a launch title for the Super Nintendo, the follow-up known as Pilotwings 64 was a launch title for the Nintendo 64, alongside Super Mario 64. This flight simulator game had players competing in various challenges to upgrade their pilot's license, thus giving them access to harder challenges and newer areas. From an island having a festival to a miniature mock-up of the United States, three different vehicle challenges were spread across these different islands. At this past week's Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata stated that Nintendo 64 Virtual Console games (along with Game Boy Advance ones) were on the way. I'm hoping Pilotwings is one of the first new Nintendo 64 games included for the service.

Bomberman 64 (N64)


While I prefer this game's sequel, The Second Attack, to the original, Bomberman 64 is still one heck of a blast. Yes, pun most certainly intended. The game contained its own story mode set in six different worlds, each based off of a color. For instance, there's Green Garden and Blue Resort. Bomberman 64 was a bit tricky as it required players to cross chasms by bouncing across bombs. Very tricky stuff. It was still enjoyable, however. What was also enjoyable was the multiplayer mode, a facet of every good Bomberman game. This one had elevated arenas for players to obliterate each other in. Bomberman's future in gaming is bleak, as Konami subsidized Hudson, the creators and studio behind the character. Who knows if they will allow such games from Bomberman's past to arrive on Nintendo's Virtual Console. We can only hope.

Snowboard Kids (N64)


A wacky and wild racer, Snowboard Kids allows you to shred powder down some fantastical courses, some not even related to snow. From amusement parks to cherry blossom-filled Japanese villages, Snowboard Kids offered a lot of crazy courses, nine in all. The gameplay itself was somewhat similar to Mario Kart, as players could use items to trip up opponents on their way to the goal. Here's a bit of trivia, the same developer of this game, Racjin, also developed Bomberman 64. How's that for some knowledge? Regardless, Snowboard Kids was an exciting and atypical racer that needs to be put on the Wii U Virtual Console. As Stuart Scott famously declared, t's as cool as the other side of the pillow.

Mischief Makers (N64)


The final game that I'd like to bring up is one that comes from the brilliant minds at Treasure. Mischief Makers was a game that mixed 2D platforming with 2D puzzle-solving to create one innovative and original experience. The heroine primary line of offense is grabbing enemies, objects, and even projectiles to chuck them back at foes. All of this added to something that was a breath of fresh air at the time, and one that still is a breath of fresh air. The Virtual Console would allow forgotten games like Mischief Makers to get another chance in the spotlight and allow more people to play games like this. All we can do as gamers is hold out hope.

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You've seen my preliminary picks of what I'd love to see on the Wii U Virtual Console. There's many more games that I haven't even touched on. What games would you include for a part two?

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