It’s been a loooong while since I made something like this! Back in the Wii U VC days, I was pretty hyped whenever a new system dropped, thinking about all the fun games that could be added to it, and I even made a few opinion articles thinking of games I’d love to see on VC. Some came true, a lot didn’t.
Still, with the low sales of the Virtual Console service, (a situation I’m drafting a full-fledged opinion article on for the future) Nintendo shifted to incorporating classic games in the form of their subscription service, Nintendo Switch Online. At first I worried it would stick to the boring, done-to-death reissues we’ve seen three times over now for NES, but when they started adding SNES to the lineup, they finally went bold and added some pretty cool obscure gems, much to the ire of boring people wanting Earthbound to be added solely so they can play for 45 minutes, get mushroomed, and then never touch it ever again.
With that said, it’s pretty clear that even Nintendo is having trouble finding third parties to work with and put games out on the service, with them shifting from monthly drops to quarterly ones, with even Japan getting nowhere near the same amount of goods they got back in the Wii U era, with them too suffering from the quarterly releases.
That’s where the Nintendo Switch Expansion pass hopefully kicks in, as it’s adding both N64 and Genesis games at an extra cost, with a promising launch lineup for both systems: already we’re seeing N64 games new to rerelease, and even the mythical Controller Pak is finally being emulated, if Winback is any indicator. That being said, I personally don’t have much N64 games that I find noteworthy to even wish for, so we’ll just ignore that console and focus on what’s likely to be updated more often, the Sega Genesis catalog.
Heavily implied to be worked on by M2, (the makers of the Sega Ages series which, sadly bombed for the same reasons as the VC) hits like Musha and Castlevania Bloodlines are already showing huge promise for the Genesis library, and a willingness to go after the obscure not unlike they did for the Genesis Mini. Some have wondered if there’s even anything worth adding to the Genesis catalogue considering the existence of the Genesis compilation by D3T, but anyone who’s played that will immediately point out the sheer amount of input lag that makes all but the RPGs remotely playable, to the point that the whole library of that compilation would be infinitely better under M2’s banner.
With that said, here are just a few games I’d personally love to see on NSO, along with my guess on if it’ll actually happen or not. (even if Japan only!) All packshots used in this article were sourced from Sega Retro.
Mega Man the Wily Wars: Right off the bat when Genesis on NSO was revealed, this was a game talked about as one very likely to come over, if not one actively being discussed. Capcom has been pretty shy with NSO in general, only throwing low-tier table scraps like Ghosts and Goblins and Super Ghosts and Goblins, but they did throw the two solid Breath of Fires onto the service, and Strider is even making it as part of the Genesis launch, so there’s still a chance some stuff like their great ports of Ghouls N Ghosts and Mercs end up on the service.
Still, of all their Genesis output, Mega Man The Wily Wars is easily the most coveted, and one I hope comes to the service despite Capcom’s preference on compiling old Mega Man titles into multiplat compilations. It’s a remake of Mega Man 1-3 in 16 bit, and was notorious for infamous slowdown… Yet M2 managed to configure the emulator on the Genesis Mini to ignore that slowdown, leading to a much better game! Add a super cool unique mode known as Wily Tower, and you have a lesser known entry I don’t see getting into its own compilation. (unless they throw it in with the GB Mega Man games due to branding, but I doubt that) I give this a very likely chance this shows up on NSO.
Exile: Edia has done great work in making fun Telenet gems available on the SNES app, and soon is to release some of the PCE Valis games in their own retail set, so why not give the Genesis NSO some love, too? Exile would be a perfect choice from them, since it’s a RPG/Action hybrid not unlike Ys III, and one that is pretty darn fun to play.
While the PCE version is more known, that was done by Working Designs, and while they didn’t mess with it too much, the fact they own the rights to the translation work means that port is a lot more work to put back into circulation than this version. It’s at least coming to Evercade in the near future, but I’d definitely be down for this on my Switch, and I give this a super high chance of coming over.
Crusader of Centy: Discussed many times as a Zelda-like on the Genesis, this game is also notorious for being like most Atlus published games, by being stupidly expensive and hard to seek out. Combine that with never ever being reissued, and you have an odd game that I’d originally give a low chance of happening for the same reasons I would to Tail Concerto, but considering how trademarks have been filed for this game, it may very well be super likely, and a fantastic pick if so.
Battle Mania, 1 and 2: Two over the top shooters from Vic Tokai, these two are just mindblowingly incredible, yet insanely rare games that just show tons and tons of charm. Female protagonists, high-intensity action, godlike music, the second one alone would more than offset the cost of your entire subscription due to how incredibly rare it is!
Unfortunately, Vic Tokai games have never really been reissued, and it seems to have something to do with uncertainty on who exactly owns their games. While the dreadful Decap Attack will likely come up due to being fully owned by Sega, Battle Mania may take a bit of a miracle to get republished… So I’ll have to unfortunately give this one a very unlikely chance of happening, but one I hope to god does!
Twinkle Tale: Another obscenely rare shooter for the Genesis! This one is a pretty quirky one where you take control of a witch and blast your way through overhead stages, and it’s tons of fun. Developed by a strange company with barely any history to them, I have zero idea who owns this game, and have been asking a lot of people in the business to try and reissue it on cartridge or compilation in some form, with no luck.
Could M2 pull it off, even on just the Japanese app? Perhaps, but I’m going to give this a next to impossible due to the sheer uncertainty of who owns this IP to begin with. Still, a holy grail like this would be a huge get for NSO.
Warsong: The first game in the legendary Langrisser series, we actually got this one in the states! Weird art redesign aside, it’s a super good localization, and one that I hope would lead to a worldwide release on NSO. The second game appeared on the Japanese mini, and Gleylancer (from the same devs at Masaya) is even getting a native port to the Series X, PS5, and Switch in a week, so I give the Japanese version of this at the very least a Very Likely chance of showing up on the Genesis app. A remake exists on Switch, and while it is pretty darn fun, the original art style and music just hits so much better, and would be the preferred method to go about playing this game.
Truxton: Toaplan made lots of ports to the Genesis, and Truxton is easily the most famous of the ones that made it west. With M2 working with them to port the arcade versions of these games to PS4/Switch, and them putting out Slap Fight MD on the Japanese mini, I’m absolutely certain they’ll try to get this on there somehow. In fact, I’m gonna be bold and say I feel it’s an assured pick in the first two years of the service. At the very least, it will at least show up in whatever Truxton compilation they do for shot triggers…
Rocket Knight Adventures: This is another Konami gem that hit the Genesis, and became beloved worldwide, earning some sequels on the SNES and 360 later down the line. Somehow, this original game was never reissued, but I feel that could easily change, and is hopefully already in the works due to Castlevania and Contra being here! The chances of a Rocket Knight compilation is next to impossible, so I’d absolutely see Konami dropping this on M2 to port to NSO, so much so that I’m giving it an assured pick that’ll show up in the first year. I know I certainly want to play it!
Target Earth: Hey, it’s Masaya again! This game started the Assault Suits series and got a great HD remake for PS4/Windows not too long ago, but the Genesis original was only reissued on the Genesis Mini: the Japanese one, to be specific. While I don’t think it’s fully assured due to the fact that the remake exists and we haven’t even gotten Cybernator/Assault Suits 2 on the SNES app, I definitely hope this one ends up coming out, as it’s a damn great sidescroller, made better in Cybernator! I give this a Very Likely shot of at least showing up on the Japanese App.
So there you have it! Ten Genesis games I’d love to see on Switch Online’s Expansion pass. I definitely see M2 at least doing a couple of the ones I’m hoping for, but for all we know, we may get all or none of them! Just what games do you hope to see them put on the service? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.