Everyone has been talking about what games they'd like to see Nintendo load up on the virtual console. It's easy to pick out huge favs like Goldeneye or Kid Icarus, but really, what the Virtual Console should offer in addition to those huge hits is hidden gems we've mostly never heard of or forgotten about, so without further ado, here's my top ten in no particular order:
For the few Sega owners who were unfortunate enough to buy the Sega CD (or at least convince their parents that they had to have it for Xmas, which I did), this was not only one of the systems few bright spots, it's also generally considered the best of the Sonic titles, and gamers should definitely get another chance to experience this classic. It would be a good way to remind gamers that Sonic hasn't always been horrible (which he has been since the move to 3D) and a good way to pump people up for Sonic & The Secret of the Rings.
Much like our old buddy Sonic, Jim was a a brilliant 2D superstar that fell hard when he tried to make the jump to 3D. Featuring hilariously memorable characters like "Professor Monkey-for-a-head" and a sidekick who looked like a cute puppy but would turn into a raging mutant ready to kill you if he got angry, EWJ's off-the wall humor and great gameplay should known to a whole new generation of gamers.
It's been repeatedly stated that the Wii seems perfect to be the rebirth for the ailing adventure genre. What better way to test the waters than with one of the greatest adventure games to ever grace a console? Flashback features one of the better plots and mind-bending puzzles right up there with some of Sierra's greatest point and click titles, but features a little more action to boot.
Zombies ate my Neighbors
Consider it the grandfather of games like Dead Rising. It features similar zombie/monster bashing action, only in a much funnier manner. You use a wide variety of what would normally not be considered real weapons (like a squirt gun & silverware) to fend off hordes of the undead (and a few other monsters like were-wolves) and hopefully help some other survivors along the way. Sound familiar? Pretty much the only real difference between the two is you don't take photographs in ZAMN. It's classic fun with a good humorous twist.
The Simpsons Arcade game
Possibly the best arcade game to never appear on a console (due to lame licensing issues) and the best Simpsons game by a longshot, this classic deserves to finally be available somewhere other than a dingy arcade or the back room of a movie theater. It's filled with brilliant beat-em-up gameplay similar to the equally awesome TMNT arcade games, but with the great humor the series was known for in its early years.
Wing Commander Series
I tired to pick one, but the entire Wing Commander series is just too excellent to single any one out above the other. Good flight games are few and far between (the only recent one on consoles has been Crimson Skies) and I always considered the Wing Commander games superior to the Tie Fighter/X-wing games. They created a fairly original universe, with some great innovations, such as your choices & performance in missions (i.e. you could lose a mission but it would affect how the story played out rather than just simply losing the game) having real impact along with voice acting that didn't suck (still a rarity today) and some of the best space dogfights in gaming history make this series a seemingly obvious choice, but considering it's mostly been forgotten since it's initial heyday and may be overlooked in favor of more popular series like the Tie Fighter/X-wing games, I feel it deserves a chance to be rediscovered through the virtual console.
RTS games on consoles have an ugly history. But Dragonforce is the one game that truly got it right, as it's not only the one good console RTS game, but one of the best RTS games in history. However, being on the Saturn, it didn't really have a chance to find much of an audience. Putting it on the VC might give developers a good blueprint on how to make RTS games work on the console. Granted, I still have my copy, so I wouldn't buy it, but I'd sure as hell convince others to, considering the going price is nearly $200 and this would obviously be a much cheaper way to experience it.
Licensed games suck as a rule. But when you get a good development company behind it, occasional magic happens, and Capcom did that with a series of excellent Disney titles in the 8 & 16-bit days, and Ducktales is one of the finest examples of this. staying true to the clever Disney cartoon while providing excellent Mario-esque gameplay. It's simply a must-download should it ever appear on the VC.
Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers
And this would be another example of Capcom's ability to take what would normally be a shoddy kiddy title and make something special out of it. The basic gameplay is pretty much lifted from Mega Man (minus getting your enemies weapons) but add in flawless and fun co-op gameplay and you have yourself one of the best titles to ever grace the NES and yet another I would instantly download if it became available.
Goonies is such a revered classic with such great characters that anybody would love to see the gang in a brand new adventure, as long as it did justice to the original, and that's exactly what we have in Goonies II. Featuring fairly identical but equally good gameplay to Metroid (travel around a map, find gadgets that help you access new areas of the map), this might have been forgotten in subsequent years, but it still ranks as a classic by anybody who played it.
Ok, there's your top ten not so obvious choices for inclusion in the hopefully soon to be vast VC library. Will they still hold up after all these years unlike many so-called "classics"? I guess we'll only really be able to tell when & if they are available, but I'd be willing to bet they are definitely worth your Wii points.
Christmas... thing of the day: Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!