Before last summer it was announced that the 3DS’s Virtual Console would be receiving Game Gear games in addition to all the Game Boy games that have appeared on the eShop.
So far, that’s never happened.
Right now, it’s still quite possible that Game Gear games will eventually see the light of day on the 3DS especially as the amount of 3DS’s sold continues to increase.
Hit the jump to read our list of games we’d like to see released on Nintendo’s shiny new portable.
10. Dynamite Headdy
Alex Riggen: Treasure’s Game Gear version of Dynamite Headdy is an amazing technical achievement. While it’s not quite as impressive and over-the-top as some moments of the Genesis game this is still one of the best looking Game Gear games available. The gameplay is fun and addicting just like any other Treasure game and the game is unique enough from its 16-bit brother to justify a purchase from any Dynamite Headdy fan. The only real complaint I ever had with the game was due to the Game Gear’s sometimes blurry screen which shouldn’t be a problem on the 3DS.
9. Road Rash
Scott Morrison: Road Rash on the GameGear was an amazing port, and was my most-played GameGear game outside of a few Sonic titles. Somehow, the 8-bit game maintained the speed and insanity of the Genesis version with little struggle. I could see this game excelling on the 3DS for two reasons: 1. Nostalgia, and 2. Online Multiplayer. Even if the multiplayer mode was only 2-player, it would be amazing to play against my childhood friends who are currently on opposite ends of the country. I think the Road Rash series escaped everyone’s minds with vehicle combat franchises such as Twisted Metal breathing more freedom into the genre. While this is completely understandable, I think Road Rash would flourish as a hand-held title if a simple save function replaced the password function, making this a logical game-on-the-go. More than anything, I simply want a reason to crowbar my friends again while punching cops, as I take home a trophy held by a bikini babe.
Scott Morrison: Ristar is a logical addition to the eShop since the Genesis version was on the Wii’s Virtual Console. Ristar is also a logical choice simply because it’s a great game and would look amazing in 3D. The game used the same moving background graphic technique as the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, which I believe could look beautiful with the 3DS’s technology. Ristar is a vibrant, fun adventure that could shine on the 3DS in every way. Each level had its own character and atmosphere that I believe would fit right in to the 3DS library. The GameGear version of Ristar also had additional content compared to the US Genesis version, which would make this copy seem like a nice bonus for gamers who have only enjoyed the Genesis version on many Sega collections thus far. I could see Ristar appealing to younger crowds, and the fanboy inside me sees this as an opportunity to ignite a spark in hopes of creating a sequel or absolutely anything else incorporating Ristar.
7. Shining Force: Sword of Hayja
Sven Wohl: Shining Force is one of those Sega franchises that never quite made it in the West. I personally played only the first one as a Gameboy Advance port, but I really enjoyed it. It’s only normal for me to want to play some more games of this franchise. Since the Sega Game Gear isn’t exactly widespread, this would present a great opportunity for Sega to not only please fans, but also to gain some new ones by releasing this for the 3DS…
6. Phantasy Star Gaiden
Flake: One of the many things that has always irked me about JRPG’s is that even in a continuous series, the plot of one game is almost always discarded when the sequel is made. How lame. You spend umpteen hours powering your heroes up to defeat a big bad evil, only to have your achievements forgotten when the credits roll. Phantasy Star Gaiden expanded the story started in the original and added consequence and scale to Alisa’s tale.
Despite the move onto a portable system the game holds up great in the audio/visual department and the gameplay is as solid as any of the main line series. While I know there is not a snowball’s chance in Hawaii of this game making it to the 3DS (the only English translation is a fan-made patch) it would be a great way to call attention to the series before Phantasy Star Online 2 is released.
5. Mega Man
Kris Knigge: Mega Man on Game Gear is a weird bastard of a game. Comprised of graphics and stages from Mega Man 4 and 5 (but with a splash of Wily Wars’ art direction), and developed by the now-defunct Freestyle games, the game was only released in North America. The game can be pretty unfair too, with the Game Gear’s tiny screen forcing the player to perform often-fatal leaps of faith, which makes the game a lot harder than your standard Mega Man.
Why is it good then? Because despite its failings, it’s still classic Mega Man at its core, and playing such a good looking game on a portable was mind-blowing. Besides, given how strange the game’s development was, it’s amazing that it plays as good as it does. If nothing else, it’s a game every Mega Man fan should experience.
4. Fantasy Zone
Mike Kyzivat: Fantasy Zone can be best described as Defender if it was programmed by Strawberry Shortcake. It is known as a cute ’em up, or a shooter with a happy colorful theme, and I think it would fit right in with the software on the 3DS. The basic premise is you are a little egg shaped, green, blue and red space ship with angel wings and you are tasked with shooting down these almost space station like enemies that a scattered throughout strange colorful levels, and which drop money when destroyed. Unlike most shooters you can move around freely (like Defender) looking for the stationary giant enemies to toast. Once you’ve toasted all of them in a given level a boss appears that you must destroy as well. The money you make killing all these cute enemies can be used to buy new weapons or power ups for your Opa-opa ship.
It would make a good port for the 3DS, because it is a simple, easy to follow game with colorful graphics and a level up system. This is everything little kids love. Plus (if it’s possible) this game would look really cool in 3D. And lastly, I’d love to see one of SEGA’s by gone mascots (they used to hide Opa-Opa in all their games) get a little more attention.
3. Sonic Chaos
Tom Kyzivat: As an avid worshipper of the great Shuma-Gorath, I embrace chaos. And as an avid Sega Addict, I embrace Sonic. Do you see where I’m going with this?
That said, Sonic Chaos ironically falls into the category of Game Gear games that I actually haven’t played, but have wanted to. Although the basic layout and levels seem pretty typical for a Sonic game, it’s actually quite pretty for being 8-bit, and the fact that Tails is a playable character is pretty intriguing. Not only that, but playing as Tails actually changes the gameplay a bit–he runs slower, can’t access special stages or collect Chaos Emeralds, but he can fly. Playing as Tails is considered the “easy mode”, but it’s pretty innovative that this easy mode actually alters the way the game is played. And if you’re still not convinced, I have two words for you: rocket boots.
So why haven’t I played it? Well, I’m not the biggest fan of portable systems, the Game Gear being the last portable I’ve actually played. Some might say I’m behind the times, to which I would reply, “Shuma-Gorath! Destroy these non-believers!!!!”
John Doherty: I think I should start this off by saying the Game Gear is my biggest Sega blind spot. Sure I’m aware of the hits on the system, however I’ve never actually played them. When I tell people this they almost always ask if I’ve ever played the Game Gear Shinobi and my answer is unfortunately no.
I’m aware of this game however and would love an opportunity to play it. The concept of rescuing other ninjas and getting their powers sounds like a lot of fun.
Hopefully Sega realizes that there are a lot of people who are in the same boat as myself regarding the Game Gear. This is a unique opportunity to let some of these obscure games get a second life.
1. Sonic Triple Trouble
Josh Newey: Despite a generous handful of enjoyable gaming excursions, many of the more fickle gaming audience are likely to roll their eyes when you try to convince them that the Game Gear possesses a “must-have” title. I feel bad for those haters of Sega’s handheld gaming brick, as they’ll never get to experience the enduring charms of Triple Trouble.
Like Sonic Chaos, Triple Trouble is a brand new Sonic game built from the ground up for the system. While this fact is by itself unremarkable, it affords both games a substantial helping of fresh, bold ideas that haven’t been seen in almost any other Sonic outing. Perhaps because the Game Gear was Sega’s secondary gaming machine, the developers appeared to feel more comfortable stretching out their legs and trying new directions. For the first time, Sonic doesn’t lose all of his rings after being hit. For the first time, players can actually attack after bouncing off of springs. Players finally get to face robot bosses that aren’t Robotnik. Stages are filled with brand new special items like rideable springs and rocket shoes. Oh, and did I mention that this is the first handheld Sonic that features Knuckles?
While Sonic Chaos is definitely a solid game worth your time, Triple Trouble is easily the most robust Sonic game on the Game Gear, and is consistently cited as being the best overall game that the handheld has to offer. Despite its obvious age and technical limitations, it is indeed a must-play for anyone longing for old-school Sonic charm. If we don’t see this on the 3DS in the very near future, I will be downright shocked.