Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the best of the best Virtual Console games (and those funky colored controls)!
It's been nearly two months since Nintendo unleashed its Virtual Console on the world, and already we are seeing some amazing games. Today's gamers are finally able to go back and check out all of the TurboGrafx-16 games they missed out on the first time around, they can relive their favorite Genesis moments, and there are tons of great Nintendo games currently available for the NES, Super NES and Nintendo 64. I'm talking about games like Military Madness, Comix Zone, Super Mario 64 and more. Actual games you might want to spend your money on.
But even with more than thirty games available for the Virtual Console there are still thousands of titles that have yet to be uploaded to the server. Games like Battletoads, Kid Icarus, Shinobi III and Mario Kart 64 are completely missing from the Wii's emulator. Eventually Nintendo (and the various third
This is NOT the way you play Virtual Console games!
parties making these games happen) will get those big titles on the Virtual Console, but that doesn't mean that every game will make the cut. Hundreds of games will no doubt be left out in the cold. There are a lot of reasons why you won't be able to download these games, from licensing issues to lack of interest.
As a public service Defunct Games has put together a handy guide of the 25 games you definitely won't be able to buy in Nintendo's store. Over the next five pages we will unveil these games and explain just why they are destined to be lost in the shuffle. Not all of these games are bad; in fact many of them are the best of their respective genres. But all of these games have one thing in common; they are 25 Games We Will Never See on the Virtual Console!
Jeopardy is one of the longest running game shows on television, so it shouldn't surprise you that there have been dozens of versions of the game released on game systems. This 8-bit NES version was actually developed by Rare, the same company responsible for some of Nintendo's biggest hits. This game gave you hundreds of questions, a number of characters to choose from, and the fun and excitement of ringing in first. But where's Alex Trebek?
What's the Hold Up?
While Jeopardy! may have some licensing problems, that is surprisingly not the reason that we will never see this game show released on the Virtual Console. Instead this game will stay in the shadows because nobody would actually be able to get any of the questions/answers. Jeopardy! on the NES is full of questions about outdated science, 1950s movies, obscure 70s TV shows, one-hit wonders, and radio shows. What makes this even more depressing is that the questions in this NES cart were dumbed down for the general NES owner. Unfortunately these twenty year old questions will no doubt confuse and bewilder current owners of the Wii (a group that probably doesn't even know that there were such things as radio plays). Need more proof that this will never be included on the Virtual Console? Nobody likes typing in names like "Genghis Khan" and "Buckaroo Banzai". And forget spelling; is "crab apple" one word or two? And why does this game consider video games to be a fad? And what do you mean "Photograph" doesn't work? You mean I actually have to put "Photography"?? Oh forget it, it's not like you'll ever have to download this game anyway.
Yo! Noid (NES)
Younger gamers may not remember the Noid, but for people of a certain age this Dominos Pizza mascot was an annoying character that made you think twice about ordering delivery. Apparently Capcom thought the Noid was a lot more endearing then he actually was, because they turned this 30 second spot into a feature length game.
What's the Hold Up?
There are some mascot characters that have withstood the test of time. Characters like Mario and Ronald McDonald have proven that they are good at selling products. Noid, the Dominos Pizza mascot, on the other hand, was not quite as successful as those other characters. This is the Capcom game based on those stupid claymation commercials, a half-assed platformer that isn't worth remembering. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard for Capcom to pony up the two or three dollars Dominos wants for this out of date mascot ... but why bother? Does anybody even remember this mascot? If you said yes then you probably already own this game.
Whether you're a fan of the cartoon, comic or Robin Williams's movie, everybody knows who Popeye is. Perhaps that was the thinking behind one of Nintendo's earliest games. This is a 2D action game that was okay at the time, but certainly doesn't hold up in today's gaming landscape. If you've played the original Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong then you will no doubt feel right at home when experiencing Popeye for the NES.
What's the Hold Up?
Nintendo isn't known for its licensed games, but believe it or not they have released a few over the past twenty-five years. One of the earliest examples was Nintendo's version of Popeye, an original Mario Bros.-style action game that had you going from ledge to ledge trying to outsmart Bluto. It would make sense for Nintendo release as many first-party games as they possibly can, but this is never going to happen without a little money changing hands. And besides, in this day and age do kids even know who Popeye is? I don't care how much spinach you eat, there's no way that Nintendo is going to give you the long, forgotten Popeye game.
The X-Band was a cartridge that plugged into the top of the Super NES or Genesis to bridge the connection between online and offline games. Although it only supported dial-up connections, the multiplayer wasn't bad and allowed for some heated competition.
What's the Hold Up?
To be fair, X-Band wasn't really a game so much as it was a way to get your Super NES and Genesis games online. But let's not focus on that, instead it's important to point out that we will never see this because Nintendo isn't very serious about online gaming. A year ago it felt like the Big N was finally starting to get it, but since then we've had to deal with friend codes, limited support and no definitive plan for the Wii's online service. The X-Band reminds us that when Nintendo didn't want to do it a third party had to step up, and maybe that's what needs to happen now. Perhaps one of Nintendo's third parties should step up and show everybody how online gaming works in the 21st century. Then again, Sega already did that on the GameCube with bad results. So who knows, maybe online gaming on the Wii isn't meant to be.
Last Action Hero (SNES)
This is a 2D action game based on the 1993 box office dud of the same name. You take control of Arnold Schwarzenegger and beat people up while belting out lame one-liners. If you're the type of person that watched this 14 year old movie an felt like you wanted to be Jack Slater ... then I'm afraid you're a sad, sad individual.
What's the Hold Up?
Believe it or not, Last Action Hero is not on this list because of licensing problems. Unlike other movie games on this list Sony actually owns this license, which definitely sets this game apart. Forget for a moment that this is another mediocre action game based on a mediocre action movie, the real problem with this game is that it's made by Sony. That's right, the Last Action Hero and countless other lame movie games (No Escape, Hook, 3 Ninja Kick Back) will never see the light of day on the Virtual Console because they were developed by one-time third party, Sony Imagesoft. Thankfully this isn't a problem, these games (including everything else Sony did before the birth of the PlayStation) aren't very good and aren't worth $8 each.