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Making Old, 3D Again: The Virtually Forgotten

3d-gbc.jpgThe 3DS is certainly hitting a lot of news posts as of late. As the up and coming new kid on the block, everyone is talking about it and its ability to display games in 3D. With the announcement of the 3DS Virtual Console, I can't help but get excited about experiencing beloved titles once again.

I've been giving consideration to the kinds of titles I want to see on the 3DS Virtual Console that will be re-releasing Gameboy and Gameboy Color titles (possibly Advanced down the road) with dashes of 3D effects on them. So hit the jump to see my next pick of a title I want to see on the 3DS Virtual Console!

I propose we get some of the best titles in the Virtual Boy catalog!

Yea, yea I know I sound insane. I know Nintendo obviously will want to do everything they can to distance themselves from the Virtual Boy with the 3DS. I also know that they've only said that they plan to emulate Gameboy and Gameboy Color games, with the possibility of adding Game Boy Advance titles down the road. Though hopefully any self-respecting gamer is secretly praying each night that they eventually add WonderSawn Color, NeoGeo Pocket Color, and GameGear to the lineup with added 3D effects, hey a guy can dream, right?

I know the Virtual Boy has a bad reputation and with good reason. Many people found the black and red visuals to be very hard on the eyes and while Nintendo had some great titles on the horizon for sort of a "reboot" of the system, they decided to can the little guy before titles like Donkey Kong Country 2, Bound High,Super Mario Land, and Dragon Hopper could be released for it.

However, just because a system doesn't happen to have a solid lineup through and through doesn't mean there aren't some gems to be had. After all, even N-Gage had those Pandemonium ports and...um...that bad Sonic Advance port. Okay, okay bad example.

I cannot help but wonder just how many of you spouting out hate of the Virtual Boy have ever actually laid hands on one. I have owned two of the systems myself and there are a couple games I've always really enjoyed for the system that I think a lot of gamers will too, given the chance to replay them again or experience them for the first time. So here are my picks for some games I thoroughly enjoyed on the system and hope and pray someday get a second chance at life on the 3DS.

Mario's Tennis is a great example. This pack-in game for the console actually is the title that truly spawned some really killer Mario sports titles. We all love Mario's Tennis for the Nintendo 64, it was always one of my favorites on that system, but we have the Virtual Boy version to thank for laying the ground work. The game features nice looking sprites though on fairly bland backgrounds. However, the 3D esque effects give some nice field of view and allow you to experience depth much better than any previous tennis title that came before it. Sure some stage variety would have been nice, as well as more game mode options, and items, but this title is simple, fun, and back in the day, came free with the system. This game being emulated on the 3DS would make a killer downloadable title and I have a feeling would sell very well for Nintendo by the name "Mario's Tennis" alone.

Galactic Pinball is hands down one of my favorite pinball titles ever created. Developed by Nintendo's Intelligent Systems (Super Metroid, Tetris Attack, Paper Mario, etc.) this title featured addictive, simple gameplay with fun mini-games built into each board (one with a fun Samus Aran cameo). Galactic Pinball is known for having some of the best sound effects and music of any Virtual Boy title and while the gameplay is fairly straightforward (it is pinball after all) and never quite reaches the same quality of Turbo-Grafx 16's Devil's Crush, the boards all have some unique aspect of them that keep the gameplay fresh. Controls are simple and tight and the depth effects added a fun visual aspect to the game that the 3DS will be able to easily mimic. Your corneas will be begging for a break once you get hooked on this little gem.
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Wario Land for the Virtual Boy was, in this platformer fans opinion, THE reason to own the system. Great level and visual design along with addictive, fun platforming shows what Nintendo shines at. This fun game plays very similar to the first Wario Land title with some added items. The game has fun boss battles and the levels themselves are quite large with lots of areas to explore. Wario often had to jump between different layers of the stage (think Donkey Kong Country Returns) to obtain all the items in a stage, though like other Wario Games, you don't have to go out searching for every piece of treasure, but it is certainly a joy to do in this game. The 3DS Virtual Console was made for a game like this, I surely hope Nintendo does not shun the chance to let gamers experience one of the best and most forgotten title in the Wario Land series. The only real downside to this title is that is rather short, but it plays much better than Wario's more recent outings. I'm looking at you Wario Land 4 and Wario Land: Shake It. This addictive platformer will have you begging for more.
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Jack Bros. was a title published by Atlus. It had a limited run and is one of the more rare titles to find on the console. When it is seen on eBay! It sells for way more than any average gamer would want to pay for it. It would be nice to see this title brought back to life. It features the mascot characters from Megami Tensei, in the first title in that series to be officially translated and released in North America. You pick one of three characters, Jack Frost,Jack Lantern or Jack Ripper, and push through levels to collect all keys on the floor in an over-head view. The gameplay can be compared to The Tower of Druaga, a classic arcade game by Namco and also the classic Atari Arcade title, Gauntlet. However, Jack Bros has a lot more character to it and is easily one of the most unplayed games on the system despite having solid, addictive old school gameplay.

Mario Clash is a title that adds a 3D element to the traditional Mario Arcade game you've probably experience at least once on your GameBoy Advance. The game features that classic Mario gameplay of knocking Mario's opponents off the platforms. While the gameplay did get repetitive, much like the old school Mario Arcade title, but the added stereoscopic 3D effects allowed a bit more depth to the gameplay. Mario was now giving the ability to knock off enemies on different layers of the playing field, and allowing Mario to hop in the middle of the stage depending on level to knock off enemies in the background and foreground. This title would be perfect on 3DS, even if it was a newer, re-made game that allowed for multiplayer with Luigi, in the same style of the Mario Arcade game. So come on Nintendo, if we can't have Virtual Boy titles on the 3DS Virtual Console, give us a downloadable Mario Clash 2, maybe with some nice Paper Mario and Mario Galaxy themed levels and boss battles? Yep, I'm very much a wishful thinker.
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So who knows if Nintendo will hear the cries of those of us who've experienced these wonderful titles first hand. I simply would love for these games to come back and show that despite all of the hate about the Virtual Boy that has been dished out over the years, gamers who've never seen or experienced the console themselves can see that there were pretty nice little gems on the system that have gone unnoticed or have just plain been forgotten over the years. I think the bigger names of Mario's Tennis and Wario Land would end up being big sellers on the Virtual Console, especially in the earlier time frame when there are less titles to choose from and gamers are looking to try something fresh on their new handheld.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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