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I know this is a topic that's been covered several times by many folks, but it'd be ignorant to say that Wii U's Virtual Console service is doing just fine right now. With around 20 or so titles to choose from, I guess it's easy to say that it's doing "just fine," but just fine isn't good enough anymore. The service, and the eShop in general, is starving for titles that could re-energize the platform and breathe new life into a version of the Virtual Console that's being overly criticized for having a strong lack of new content.
While we're waiting for the impending release of Earthbound later this year, I figure it's time to wax nostalgic and think of the games that kept us going throughout childhood. Third-party, platform availability and licensing issues aside, here are five games I strongly believe could benefit the Wii U Virtual Console, and the eShop in general, in the long run.
5.) Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64)
During the launch period of the Nintendo 64, there were some amazing titles available for play; between Super Mario 64, Wave Race 64 and this, I was able to keep busy between trips to the video store. Turok Dinosaur Hunter not only goes down in history as one of the first, er, first-person games I've ever played, but also one of the first games with that big M on the front that my parents let me play without supervision. What's so harmless about a guy killing dinosaurs, right?
Well, compared to today's games it's relatively tame, but when Nintendo finally brings us some games from their third home console to their current one, they should seriously consider this gem. It's bad enough that the Turok reboot completely passed over the Wii (though I can understand why), but the fact that Nintendo has seemingly ignored this game kinda annoys me personally. It's a decent game where its flaws are completely overshadowed by great level design, fluid combat and some of the better graphics on the console at the time.
4.) General Chaos (Genesis/Mega Drive)
An underrated gem by any and all means, General Chaos deserves a re-release. I don't know if Nintendo plans on bringing back Genesis games (or Mega Drive, if you're on the other side of the ocean) for the Virtual Console, which they should, but if they do they shouldn't ignore all the fan's pleas for this game to be re-released.
For those who were never exposed to this game growing up, it's basically a comical spoof of the strategy genre, that turns into less of a spoof the more you play; the more you put time into this frenetic strategy game, the more likely you are to look at the clock and realize you missed class. This game would be more than enough to tide over the most humble of retro gamers until more Wii U retail titles released.
3.) Disney's Aladdin (Genesis/Mega Drive)
I know this was also released on the Super Nintendo, but most gamers nowadays agree that this was really the superior version of the two, or at least the more memorable. Aladdin is your basic left-to-right platforming game, except you can throw apples, slice the pants right off of your enemies and make camels spit up at your foes. Other than licensing issues I really don't get why this hasn't been released on the Wii Virtual Console in the very least.
Maybe once Disney Infinity releases later this year Disney might have a reason to license the game for re-release... and hopefully when they do, they authorize a re-release of the Genesis version. And please, for crying out loud, don't make it an HD remake. I'm personally sick of hearing about them. Between the HD versions of Castle of Illusion and DuckTales, I think we've had enough, at least for now.
2.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time (Super NES)
I know what you're thinking; it's bulls*** that Nintendo pulled the first Ninja Turtles game for NES from the Virtual Console, and I actually agree. However, can't we all agree that the game actually really sucked compared to this? I'd rather see this Ninja Turtles game available for the masses than that original one on NES. In addition to just looking and sounding very authentic, this version allows you to team up with a buddy to take on Shredder's minions.
Playing this game was excellent on the Super NES at its prime, and in my opinion no other Turtles game has come even close to replicating this game's awesomeness. However, I think only one title deserves re-release more than this...
1.) Star Fox (Super NES)
Right from the first day I owned a Wii in 2008, I noticed a very strange absence in the Wii Shop's Virtual Console section. I had Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Star Fox 64, Mario 64, Yoshi's Story and others, but still, it felt like one classic from my childhood was missing. As I picked up my GameCube controller to play Star Fox 64, it hit me like a Landmaster being dropped on my house;
"WHERE'S STAR FOX?!"
Don't get me wrong, I love Star Fox 64. It's one of the best games of all-time and I maintain that to this day. However, I can't think of a single reason why Nintendo hasn't released the original Star Fox so old fans and newcomers alike could experience the thrill of picking Course 1, 2, or 3. However, they've deprived those fans of that very pleasure. Newcomers couldn't hear the awesome 16-bit guitars of Corneria. They couldn't hear the groovy funk of Fortuna. They couldn't hear the eeriness of Venom's boss themes, or discover how to get to the Black Hole.
Maybe one day, we'll see these fine games get the re-releases they deserve. Until then, I can keep dreaming I suppose.