Thursday, June 28, 2012

Virtual Console Wishes: Titles I Want to See (GB/GBC), Part One

Next month in North America, Nintendo will be releasing two 3DS Virtual Console games weekly as part of their Summer of 8-bit celebration. Such notable titles include Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, and Kirby's Pinball Land. Those will at least be the ones I'm picking up. But what about those games that haven't been announced to come the Virtual Console's way? That's what this article is all about. Today I will be talking about games for the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Note: Part Two will be posted next week, so if you don't see your favorites listed today, wait for and check out Part Two.

Donkey Kong Land trilogy (GB)

The Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the Super Nintendo were graphical wonders, but the pretty presentation of the games wasn't the only worthwhile part to the whole ensemble. The platforming was superb as was the level design. Rareware used the foundation of the gameplay and design of the DKC trilogy and used them to create the Donkey Kong Land games. Halving the amounts of bits made for some technical limitations in the games such as only one Kong being on screen at the same time, but the trilogy was still a barrel of monkeys. I mean that a good thing.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons (GBC)

There really are no bad handheld Zelda games (argue about Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks all you want, but I reviewed them positively). Capcom's now-defunct Flagship studio developed a duo of Zelda games, released simultaneously, both with the ability to affect one another through generated passwords. Each game featured its own main feature (time travel for Ages and season-switching for Seasons), had eight dungeons, a myriad of secrets, and huge sprawling worlds to explore. I enjoyed my trip back to Koholint Island with Link's Awakening DX. I look forward to my trips back to Labyrnna and Holodrum if Nintendo ever re-releases this pair of near perfect games on the eShop.

Pokemon Trading Card Game (GBC)

Unlike the previous two entries of this special article, I have never played the aptly named Pokemon Trading Card Game, although I did collect loads of real world Pokemon trading cards. (Gotta love those foil cards.) Instead of shelling out six or seven real world bucks per booster pack and hoping you get lucky and getting no doubles, you could invest in virtual cards and expand your collection greatly. Soon, the world will crumble at your heels as you parade around with a masterful deck of cards. So if you'd rather not have a box full of cards in your closet like me, you're probably clamoring for Nintendo to release Pokemon Trading Card Game on the eShop-- perhaps even if you already own a physical copy.

Mega Man Xtreme 1 & 2 (GBC)

Taking the familiar gameplay of the Mega Man X series and translating it and shrinking it to fit on the limitations of the Game Boy Color hardware, both Mega Man Xtreme games come off as remixed versions of the console titles, particularly X1-X3, as the stages and bosses are recycled. While called difficult by most critics due to said limitations, the Xtreme duo of games are ones I would like to try out as I've never played them. And seeing as how big of a nut I am of Mega Man, I'm sure I could find some enjoyment from these games.

Mario Tennis (GBC)

The first Mario Tennis game to showcase a story mode with light RPG elements, Mario Tennis for the Game Boy Color is one of the better entries in the franchise. It's one that I'd love to have on my 3DS in digital form, even though I already own a physical copy. Those batteries can't last forever, you know. Growing your character over time from weak tennis neophyte to tennis pro through playing multiple matches and gaining experience points is an entertaining dynamic, something that the series had never seen before. 

Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow (GB)

The games that started it all, Pokemon Red, Blue, and later on Yellow initated the phenomenon known as Pokemon, still going strong to this day. Remember when some people called it a fad? Regardless, I'd love to relive the classic gameplay of these three games. The only main stumbling point would be the matter of trading Pokemon between versions. How would it be handled with digital versions of the games when Nintendo has a habit of being lazy with the Virtual Console? Probably a pipe dream, now that I think of it.

Shantae (GBC)

I love 2D platformers, but I was unfamiliar with Shantae and the game's developer, Wayforward, when the game originally came out. I was young. I had no money. I was naive. What can I say? Fast forward to the present, and my interest in the game is high, coming off reading reviews and impressions by various sources. Imagine my surprise when I see on eBay used versions of the game going for high sums of money. If the Virtual Console serves no other purpose, it should serve as a means for out-of-print titles to get a second chance under the sun on the eShop. 

Mole Mania (GB)

A sensationally popular genre on the Game Boy was the puzzle game. Since the day of Tetris hitting the handheld and dominating sales charts and players' time, the genre had many developers heavily invested in it. One of Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto's most unknown games is Mole Mania, a title where you moved a mole through levels, clawing your way through patches of dirt in order to bring a ball from the start of the level to the goal. I think portables are the perfect place for puzzle games of this variety, and having never gotten to play Mole Mania-- you guessed it-- it's another game I'd love to experience on the eShop.


Next week I will have the second part of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles I'd foam at the mouth to see on the 3DS's eShop. Until then, feel free to name what games you'd be interested to have on Nintendo's Virtual Console service.

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