Inspired by a recent list on episode 73 of Retroforce GO!, I decided to make a quick list of games that I’m waiting for on Virtual Console. Some are games that most everyone has heard of, but some are relatively unknown to a great many people, and that is a shame. So, without further ado, I present you with my Virtual Console wish list.
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Bionic Commando – This one is a no-brainer. You play as a soldier trying to take down Master-D and the Badds (Hitler and the Nazis in the Japanese release). Your character cannot jump, but instead has a bionic arm that lets him swing, climb, even smack around bad guys. Plus, the levels don’t have a specific order to be completed in. While some levels contain items that must be found before progressing, the order isn’t set in stone.
After its recent re-imagining into Bionic Commando: Rearmed, the Wii is the only system that can’t play Bionic Commando. While it’d be nice for Nintendo to get their “storage solution” into our hands in time for Capcom to feel that releasing Rearmed as a WiiWare title is a worthy proposal. However, in the meantime, the least that Capcom could do is release the original title on the Virtual Console. Easily one of the most amazing video games ever released for the original NES.
Blaster Master – No NES game had a more detailed world than this side-scrolling-birds-eye action-platformer. Similar in style to the Metroid series as areas of the game must be backtracked to access hidden items, new areas, and additional levels. What makes this game so much fun is you drive around a tank that can receive a variety of upgrades as the game progresses. But, in order to defeat the bosses that litter the world, you must exit your tank and use your very vulnerable driver to venture deeper into the underbelly of the world to face them. Plus, the story is about rescuing your frog from the clutches of the mutants that live under your hometown. How awesome is that?
Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers – Capcom made a number of great games using Disney’s licenses and this is one of the most popular. Two-player cooperative, smooth gameplay mechanics, and incredible level design (making the world around the characters huge was done here first and never better on the NES). Unfortunately, it seems that Disney doesn’t know how to capitalize on the greatness that is the Virtual Console, as none of their titles have hit the service, yet.
Clash at Demonhead – This is my personal favorite from this list. I assume that I got this game as a gift from my parents for some holiday or another. It’s possible that they even just picked it up at random one day because they love me. Anyway, the important thing is that the game is incredible. You play as Bang, a special operative on a mission to stop some terrorists from detonating a doomsday device that will destroy the world. Like Bionic Commando, the game has a fair amount of non-linearity to it. You start at the bottom of the mountain and have to make choices about which paths to take to reach the top. Not every path is required to complete the game, but many contain important items or objectives. This is likely to show up in a future edition of Classic Gaming Sporadically, so I’ll give more info to you then.
Double Dragon II – While the Interwebs is filled with people fawning all over the original Double Dragon, I was always disappointed in the lack of two-player coop in the NES release. Double Dragon II, on the other hand, did not make such an oversight and was one of the most entertaining gameplay experiences of my childhood. My brother and I spent countless hours working together to reach the final boss and get our collective asses kicked again and again. But it was always fun, even when it felt like work.
Duck Tales – Yet another Capcom game, and another Disney title at that. In this one, Scrooge McDuck’s fortune has been stolen and with the help of his nephews and friends, he’s on a quest to get it back. With some of the most unique gameplay elements of any licensed game, as well as incredible music and level design, this game should be at the top of many gamers’ wish lists. Perhaps one day, Capcom and Disney can get together with Nintendo and make those wishes come true.
The Goonies II – The Goonies was incredible and Konami was quick to cash in with a game loosely based on the movie. The game was pretty great, but the sequel was one of the most amazing platformers of all time. You play as Mikey on a quest to rescue the rest of his friends. They’ve been captured by the Fratelli family, freshly escaped from prison. Armed with a yo-yo and your wits, you set out to find them. The game world is one of the most complex I’ve ever seen, with doors everywhere: some which take you into to rooms full of items, secrets, and hidden pathways; others that lead directly to alternate areas of the game. It’s easy to get lost, but that’s part of the appeal. The world feels huge for an NES game, and indeed for many games made today. With a music soundtrack inspired by The Goonies theme from the movie and spot-on gameplay mechanics, I can’t wait to see this hit the Virtual Console.