Just when we all thought the 3DS Virtual Console was dead in the water after the lack of new additions in 2015, (along with Japan going for nearly two years without a single title, not counting special promotions) Nintendo had to surprise everyone by announcing that New 3DS owners would be treated to Super Nintendo games being available for the Virtual Console. While the launch lineup is unfortunately slow and lacking in quality titles, (Earthbound, A Link to the Past and Super Metroid are arguably the “must haves” for when they eventually launch) in addition to the baffling lack of the $1.50 discount provided on the Wii U’s Virtual Console for owning the game on the Wii, it’s hard to be motivated to repurchase everything. Here’s hoping My Nintendo finds a way to solve that issue, but that’s a completely different issue for another time. For the time being though, let’s take a look at my top six SNES games that should be released on the New 3DS eShop as soon as possible, either due to being must haves that are worthy of a double dip, or rare games that have never deserved their chance to shine.
Game Number 6:
Wild Guns (Natsume Inc, 1995)
The first of many obscure games on this list, Wild Guns is a rail shooter published in 1995 by Natsume Inc. Known for its western setting and challenging co-op gameplay, Wild Guns is a great high score game for both the single player and for those with friends around. It’s uncertain if the SNES VC games will support download play multiplayer like the NES games currently do, but even if it doesn’t for some baffling reason, Wild Guns is still a great game worth picking up, and if it does indeed support multiplayer, then it’s a must buy for any fans of classic rail shooting games, and a game that deserves to make it to the service as fast as possible! For those a bit uneasy on the pricetag of $7.99 for when/if this game does hit the New 3DS Virtual Console, a good look at used prices for a legitimate cartridge may convince you to pick it up. (They go for $250-$500 these days!)
Game Number 5
Ys V: Ushinawareta Suna no Miyako Kefin (Japan only, 1995)
This is probably a game that’s on the “not ever going to happen” list, but it’s still worth hoping for nonetheless. The Ys franchise is a well received set of action RPGs published by Falcom, a very popular game developer in Japan who’s still making new games to this day! Currently, publisher XSeed Games has released versions of Ys I, II, III, IV, VI, and VII on modern systems, leaving Ys V as the only one to not have an official english release. (though it does have a fan translation, more on that later) Most of the Ys games that were brought over by them were translated from the PC versions of the modern remakes, or from the new PSP/Vita installments. However, this is where things get tricky for Ys V. The game has only been released on the Super Nintendo back in 1995, the Playstation 2 a decade later, and on an obscure Japanese website known as Project EGG, all of which are Japan exclusive. Meanwhile, versions of Ys I, II, III and even IV are everywhere, both in Japan and in North America (Especially with Ys I). So why is Ys V not getting its chance to shine? Well, that may be because this game apparently got a negative backlash in Japan upon its first release, prompting Falcom to nearly shelve the series until they felt confident to make Ys VI for the Playstation 2 many years later, and even then that was only made due to the success of PC ports of the first two games! Therefore, that may be why Falcom won’t rerelease this game on the Japanese Virtual Console service, or rerelease the PS2 version on the PS3/PS4. Good luck hoping for a translation, as like with all retro Japanese games, the cost of translation would almost always exceed the profits created by a digital rerelease, making it not really that likely that Ys V will get an english release period.
Still, despite the big mess it would take for this game to get localized, I still put it on this list solely for a few reasons. One of them is because of the Fan Translation. In 2013, Aeon Genesis released a fan translation for Ys V after years of work, and so far it seems Ys fans who’ve finally got to experience the story like it for the most part, despite it being the least remarkable entry in the series. Xseed has worked with fan translators before, most notably when bringing over the Ys III remake, Oath in Felghana to the PSP. As unlikely as it may be, there’s still a slim chance that they could work things out in order to give Ys V the english release it deserves, and what better system to rerelease the Super Nintendo game on than the New 3DS, due to the Virtual Console being new? That being said, despite this being the most unlikely of any title on the list to get a rerelease, (even in Japan where Falcom would rerelease the original version, since they haven’t done so already for the Wii or Wii U) I still feel that now is the perfect time for Ys V to get the attention it deserves. Here’s hoping Adol can return to the land of Xandria once again.
Game Number 4
Actraiser (Quintet, 1990)
Another obscure yet still beloved game, this time from developer Quintet. (now part of Square Enix) In this game, you take control of a resurrected God who must defeat the evil demons that plague the world, with a unique mix of 2D platforming and city simulation, Actraiser is famous for the unique genre mix and for the amazing soundtrack, composed by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro. As one of the few Enix published titles to get a rerelease on the Wii’s Virtual Console (but not the Wii U yet, for some reason), this is a must have for any SNES fan, and having this available on the go would be an even better deal. Here’s hoping Square Enix gets their classics rereleased as soon as they can.
Game Number 3
Gradius III (Konami, 1991)
Ah yes, the infamous port of Gradius III. Originally a launch title from Konami, this version was notorious for removing some levels and adding a lot of slowdown. Yet still, this is ironically a lot more fun compared to its brutal arcade counterpart. Whether you consider slowdown to be a pain or a blessing, Gradius III is still a good game for high score fans, and having it on the go so that you could share high scores on miiverse would be worth it! This was already rereleased on the Wii’s Virtual Console, so hopefully Konami won’t take too long to bring it over to both the Wii U and the New 3DS Virtual Console service.
Game Number 2
Final Fantasy III (Squaresoft, 1994)
This one really needs no explanation. Considered by many to be one of the best games of all time, mainly due to the engaging story and characters, along with the fantastic soundtrack, Final Fantasy III/VI is a game that really deserves to be taken on the go, and in 2006, it was available in that format, in an enhanced port known as Final Fantasy VI Advance. However, there are still plenty who prefer the Super Nintendo version for its charming script and superior sound quality, and with this being the only potential way to play FFVI on the New 3DS, let’s hope that Square gets this out on the eShop ASAP, so that more people can experience this wonderful game.
And finally… Game Number 1
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (Natsume Inc, 1995)
Poor Lufia. The story of the efforts to get this game rereleased are as sad as the story of the game itself! Back in 2015, Natsume Inc tried relentlessly to get this game put up on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, but unfortunately it seemed they were too late. After accepting their leftovers from the Wii’s Virtual Console, they flat out refused to accept Lufia II, among other SNES titles that Natsume hoped to rerelease. Come Feburary of 2016, the only new Wii U VC SNES title that isn’t a Wii leftover is the abysmal Pac Man 2: The New Adventures. Why Nintendo choose that game over Lufia II, I’ll never understand. Granted, Natsume Inc didn’t say that they would never ever accept SNES games ever again, and while the Wii U VC may be slowing down with them, the New 3DS is just out of the gate. This is their chance! If Natsume could get this game submitted to NCL for a release on the New 3DS Virtual Console, it would give many fans the ability to play this title without paying crazy prices for a physical copy. (which may likely have a dead save!) SNES games are alive and kicking on the New 3DS, and there’s no excuse for Nintendo to deny the game this time. Not only would it join the already amazing Lufia: The Legend Returns, but it would allow many newcomers to experience this cult classic for the first time ever. Often considered to be one of the SNES’s greatest hidden gems, Lufia II NEEDS a rerelease, and the time is now. Hopefully, Natsume can push super hard for this game to be put on the New 3DS Virtual Console, so that the legend of the hero Maxim will be retold…
So those were my six picks for SNES games that should come to the New 3DS Virtual Console! Do you agree/disagree with my picks? Have any ideas on what games you’d like to see come to the 3DS? Let me know in the comments below, and hopefully our games will eventually come to the Virtual Console service.