When Nintendo announced the eShop for the 3DS, it announced a couple of things. First, it announced that it would include the DSi Ware Store. Second, that it would feature a new portable Virtual Console. But, more interestingly, that it would feature newly remade NES and SNES games that would take advantage of the features of the 3DS. Nintendo dubbed these games, 3D Classics. The first titles, Excitebike, Xevious, and Urban Champion, have already come out and demonstrate some of the upgrades that can be done to these old games. The following are the 3D Classics I’m most interested in seeing for the SNES. In addition, I will also discuss how the title can take advantage of the features of the 3DS. As a default, I would like every title to feature Widescreen 3D, no HUD (Heads Up Display) on the top screen (unless specified), and a customizable control scheme, and optional C-Pad controls. Also, most of the extra bells and whistles, such as level selects and extra functionality should be given to the player after they beat the games as a reward for their hard work.
Even though it is very unlikely that Nintendo will ever make any 3D Classic SNES games, I'm still doing the Top Ten just in case I'm wrong. Also, I have a feeling that the SNES will eventually join the NES, GB, GBC, and GBA in the 3DS Virtual Console. If it does, and there are no 3D Classics SNES games, then just disregard the upgrades and take this as my Top Ten 3DS Virtual Console: SNES Edition.
Release Date: July 1993 Developer: Almanic Publisher: Enix
E.V.O. Search for Eden is one of the most unique games I’ve ever played in my life. You start off as a fish in the ocean and you evolve through the ages into more complex organisms. In order to evolve, you have to defeat other organisms and eat their remains. This will net you evolution points which you can use to evolve different parts of your body. The evolution mechanism is very interesting. You can allocate points to whatever part of your body you want and evolve in whatever fashion you see fit, under the restrictions of your current form. You could end up evolving into a human or even a dragon. You can also gain Evo Points from crystals scattered throughout the world. These crystals may also grant your temporary evolutions. Throughout your journey, you will be guided by Gaia, daughter of the Sun and goddess of the Earth. The object of the game is to reach a paradise called Eden and become Gaia’s partner.
The graphics are nothing special right now but they were pretty good for the time. The music is very good, though. It fits the game perfectly and can be very haunting at times. The game is very story driven and surprisingly moving. But saying too much would just spoil the surprises. I have always wanted to own this game and I have been waiting for it to arrive on the Virtual Console from day one. Given that Nintendo has seen fit to release what it considers to be obscure hidden gems on its 3D Classics line, I think E.V.O. is ripe for the picking.
Upgrades: I would like a Save Feature after every level and a Level Select. The touchscreen should include Gaia giving you tips on every level and perhaps a map of the area. A New Game+ option would be great too. An evolution mode would be awesome. It would allow you to view possible evolutions to your creature for each area.
Mega Man X Trilogy
Release Date: December 17, 1993 Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
Like I’ve said before, every system needs a Mega Man game. And the SNES got a couple of excellent ones. The Mega Man X series is a spin-off of the original Mega Man series. The main character is not Mega Man, but a more advanced version called “X” built by Dr. Light before he died. X was discovered by Dr. Cain, who used X as a base to build more “reploids” for the benefit of mankind. The reploids eventually go bad, being led on a revolution by another powerful reploid called Sigma. This is where Mega Man X begins.
The Mega Man X games for the SNES were a bit of a departure for the Mega Man series. The games were given a more serious tone and a more flexible hero. You could still fight other reploids and adapt their abilities into X, but now you could upgrade your armor, gain dash moves, and even learn some Shotokan techniques. If I had to choose, I would choose to have to the first game in the series.
Upgrades: I would like a Save Feature after every level. No Level Select is needed because the game already features one, unless you want to go to the later levels. The touch screen can be used as a menu for weapons, items, and energy tanks. A Boss Rush Mode would be great. It would also be cool to play as the bosses, like in Mega Man Powered up.
Donkey Kong Country Trilogy
Release Date: November 21, 1994 Developer: Rare Publisher: Nintendo
While the rest of the world focused on the arrival of the Playstation, Nintendo shipped out one of the greatest titles ever created for the SNES. Donkey Kong Country proved that there was still life left in the old 16-bit system and that it could produce beautiful graphics that rivaled those early block-ugly PS1 games. You play as Donkey Kong, grandson/son (depending on who you ask) of the original Donkey Kong (Cranky Kong). The story is simple. Your horde of bananas was stolen by the Kremlings and you have to get it back. That’s it. Along the way you meet up with your buddy Diddy Kong (a chimpanzee) and some other animal buddies who help you along the way.
Interestingly enough, the sequels do not feature Donkey Kong as a playable character. In the second game you play as Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong, while in the third game you play as Dixie and Kiddie Kong. The games have excellent graphics, music, and gameplay. I think the strongest game is the second game, but I’m more interested in playing the first one because I have a stronger connection with this one.
Upgrades for Donkey Kong Country: Save after every level. Level Select. Map on the lower screen. Please add all these elements from the GBA version: Candy dancing mini-game at Candy's Dance Studio. Time Attack mode. Add different colored critters. Stronger bosses. Funky summon. Video game Hero mode. Keep your lives when saving. More voices and sound effects. Scrapbook.
Upgrades for Donkey Kong Country 2: Save after every level. Level Select. Map on the lower screen. Please add these elements from the GBA version: Intro. Save anywhere. Keep lives and banana coins after saving. Mini games. Cranky commentary when a boss is defeated. The boss at the end of K. Rool's Keep; Kerozene.
Upgrades for Donkey Kong Country 3: Save after every level. Level select. Map on the lower screen. New world: Pacifica. Receive Banana Bird from Bramble New minigames. Virtual Reality machine. Bachelor bear. 5 extra banana birds to collect, increasing the total to 20.
Release Date: August 23, 1991 Developer: Nintendo EAD Publisher: Nintendo
The F-Zero series is my favorite racing game series (along with WipEout). It’s just so much fun to zip along in zero gravity racers (hence the name). The game feels much faster than other games of its genre (except for once again WipEout) and it has a cool personality because of the different drivers and vehicles.
The game seemed short but it had three different leagues with different tracks each and you could choose three difficulty settings for each league. The player is awarded one boost after every lap and they could be saved for later use. These could be used strategically to gain advantage over the competition. The first game featured only four main crafts and characters. The characters were Captain Falcon, Dr. Stewart, Pico, and Samurai Goroh. I loved using Goroh’s Fire Stingray because it had great cornering. I really hope we get to see this game on the 3D Classics line, and eventually a sequel on the system.
Upgrades: Tracks from the GBA games. Add a detailed map at the bottom of the screen, like the one in Mario Kart DS. Add all characters and ships from F-Zero GX. A track creator would also be welcome. A ship creator would also be really cool.
Release Date: March 1st, 1993 Developer: Nintendo, Argonaut Software Publisher: Nintendo
Star Fox was the first 3D polygonal game developed on the SNES. It used new technology in the form of the Super FX Chip. “The Super FX Chip was a customed developed RISC processor was that programmed to act like a graphics accelerator chip that would draw polygons to a frame buffer in the RAM that sat adjacent to it. For those games, the data in this frame buffer were periodically transferred to the main video memory inside of the console using DMA in order to show up on the television display.” In other words, it allowed the 16-bit system to use rudimentary polygons as graphics for 3D gameplay.
The game itself was a lot of fun. You played as Fox McCloud, leader of the mercenary squadron called Star Fox, composed of anthropomorphic animals Slippy Toad (a toad), Falco Lombardi (a Falcon), and Peppy Hare (a hare). You are tasked by General Pepper (a dog) to defeat the evil Emperor Andross (a monkey) who has unleashed his army against the good forces of the Planet Corneria. You fight alongside your squadron whom you have to rescue all the time. An SNES sequel was developed for the game but was never released because they wanted to focus on the N64.
Star Fox is so difficult to emulate that it has yet to arrive in the original Virtual Console. Hopefully, the 3DS can serve as the Nintendo system that is finally able to emulate this masterpiece.
Upgrades: Make all HUD elements appear on the lower screen, even the character dialogue. Save after every level. Stage select. Full playable version of Star Fox 2.
Release Date: November 1991 Developer: Quintet Publisher: Enix
Actraiser is another truly unique game by Enix. You play as nameless god who must rid his land of evil in order for his people to thrive. There are two aspects to this game. The first is the side-scrolling action stages which play like other action side-scrollers of the time. You use your sword and magic to defeat enemies and clear the land of evil. The other aspect of the game is a sim-builder. You build your civilizations from the ground up. The more you build the more people can live in these places. You have to fight monsters in this mode too in order to help your subjects thrive. As you progress in the sim-builder, your people will give you offerings of things they have found or developed, such as magic scrolls or bridge building technology.
This game is truly unique. I have never played any game quite like it. While either game mode alone is nothing to write home about, together they make up an amazing experience. This is an example where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The graphics are excellent and the music is amazing. The music, in fact, is really epic and exciting during the action modes, and nice and subdued during sim mode. The game had an SNES sequel that did away with the sim aspect, and lost its identity in the process.
Upgrades: Stage Select in easy and professional mode with saves after every stage. Allow us to take every magic with us to the action stages. Boss Rush Mode. More action stages. In the sim mode, move all menus to the lower screen and allow touch control. More sim stages.
Super Castlevania IV
Release Date: December 1991 Developer: Konami Publisher: Konami
Super Castlevania IV is a remake of the first Castlevania for the NES. And what a remake it is! You play as Simon Belmont and your quest is to banish Dracula once more, just as your ancestors have done before you. But this remake adds five levels, better control and graphics, more enemies, and probably the most epic soundtrack of any Castlevania game ever. This is my favorite old school Castlevania game and it has always been my dream to take it with me wherever I go. This is one of my favorite games ever and I want to play it on the go now!
Upgrades: I would like a Save Feature after every level and a Level Select. The touch screen can display a map of where you are and can be used as a menu for weapons. Instead of losing the weapons you acquire, you can hoard them and use them when you need them. Every time you die, you lose the weapon you were using. I would also like a Boss Rush Mode.
Release Date: April 18, 1994 Developer: Nintendo R&D1, Intelligent Systems Publisher: Nintendo
I played Super Metroid for five minutes when it first came out. It wasn’t until it came out for the Wii Virtual Console that I really played this game. I loved it so much that I finished it the next day. It is a truly amazing game and a wonderful evolution of the Metroid formula. Atmospheric graphics and moody music make this game a truly unique experience. It also has a compelling story that is continued from the first two games and picked up in Fusion and Other M. In fact, all Metroid games are one huge Space Opera that should be “required playing” for all Nintendo fans.
Among the new additions to the game is a new map system which revolutionized the way the series plays. No longer were you forced to make your own maps in graph paper. The game now keeps track of your progress and allows you to know where you are at all times. This addition is so important that countless other series have added similar map systems to their games, including Castlevania.
Upgrade:The touch screen can display a persistent map of where you are and can be used as a menu for weapons. Introduce hint rooms, (like the Sheikah Stones from Ocarina of Time 3D) which will help those who get lost. Instead of having your weapon substituted by a better one, I would like to have access to all the weapons at all times (once you acquire them).
Super Mario Saga
Release Date: November 21, 1990 Developer: Nintendo EAD Publisher: Nintendo
The Super Mario Bros. series is my favorite platformer series of all time. The NES games were brilliant games that became instant classics. The SNES follow, up Super Mario World, follows this tradition while adding better graphics, sound, and other technological advances that were impossible to be performed on the original NES. One of these advances was Yoshi, Mario’s dinosaur buddy. With the power of the SNES, Shigeru Miyamoto was finally able to achieve his dream of having Mario ride a dinosaur. It was a strange dream, indeed, but one that became perfectly harmonious with the gameplay once you liberated Yoshi from his egg prison.
After Super Mario World, Nintendo did something that was highly irregular at the time, but Tuesday for us in this day and age. They remade four of their masterpieces into one game. Super Mario All-Stars included graphically and aurally enhanced versions of Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, and the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 2, which was redubbed “The Lost Levels.” All the games looked and sounded even better than their original versions and you could now save your progress, but their gameplay remained the same.
The last “Super Mario Bros.” game for the SNES is not a Super Mario Bros. game at all. In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Baby Mario was separated from the stork who was carrying him to his family. He lands on Yoshi’s Island where the inhabitants, Yoshis of different colors, must work together to get Baby Mario back to his family. The game plays very differently from other Super Mario games. You control one Yoshi at a time and must take Baby Mario from the beginning of a level to the end, where a different Yoshi will continue the journey. If Yoshi is separated from Baby Mario, he will have a few seconds to reunite with him. If the timer runs out, Baby Mario will be kidnapped by Baby Bowser’s Minions and you will lose a live.
All of these Mario games are excellent and I want all of them to be available on the 3DS in some way or another. However, if I had to choose, I would like to have Yoshi’s Island. I have barely played this game so it will be fresh for me. In addition, this game uses the Super FX Chip 2, therefore, it is very difficult to emulate and has yet to appear on the Virtual Console. I’m hoping Nintendo will be able to get this game working on the 3DS.
Upgrade: The Touch screen can display a map of where you are in addition to all the information you usually have on the top screen. You can also use the touchscreen to choose any item you have collected in the game, instead of having to use select them outside only. Add extra elements from Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, Super Mario Advance, Super Mario Advance 4, and Super Mario Advance 3.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Release Date: November 21, 1991 Developer: Nintendo EAD Publisher: Nintendo
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is my favorite SNES game. It is an amazing evolution of the first Legend of Zelda. It introduced many new things to the series: Better graphics and sounds, scrolling through areas that are bigger than the current screen, diagonal movement, etc. But the biggest addition to the game is one that, just like Super Metroid’s map, was adopted by many other series, including Metroid Prime. This element is a Parallel Dimension, known here as the Dark World. The Dark World is analogous to the Light World but twisted by the heart of its ruler Ganon.
A Link to the Past is a prequel to the first two Zelda games. This Link, receives a telepathic message from Princess Zelda and he goes to the castle to save her. He learns that a wizard named Agahnim is kidnapping maidens in order to open a portal to the Dark World. Link eventually meets up with Agahnim and defeats him, but the portal to the Dark World has already opened. This is where the game truly opens up.
I am confident that this game will reach the 3DS in one way or another. Miyamoto has already expressed interest in remaking this game in 3D and his word is law in Nintendoland. So I believe it is not a matter of if, just when, and how.
Honorable Mentions: Alexay, Contra III: The Alien Wars,Demon’s Crest, Earthbound, Final Fantasy III (VI), Final Fight Trilogy, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Land 3, Mario Paint, Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, Pilotwings, R-Type III, SimCity, Super Adventure Island, Super Bomberman, Super Ghouls & Ghosts, Super Mario Kart,Super Mario RPG,Super Punch Out!!, Super R-Type, Super Smash TV, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV Turtles in Time, Zombies Ate my Neighbors.
Tune in soon for my 3 part Top Ten Licensed Games for NES, SNES, and Genesis on the 3DS Virtual Console.
Then Top Ten N64 Ports/Remakes for 3DS followed by Top Ten Gamecube Ports/Remakes for 3DS.
The Trivia Section did not fit into the body of the article, so you will find it in the first post.