Nintendo has a knack for releasing some of its older game library for the new generation of systems, as it's done for the Nintendo Wii with its Virtual Console line-up, and as it's currently doing with its NES classics on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, in both original and 3D Classics format. And the system library is growing on the portable front, with such recent favorites as Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden and Ghosts n' Goblins joining the line-up, and Super Mario Bros. 3, among others, ready to join the fold in the months ahead.
But while we wait to see what the big "N" has officially in store for the system, we've come up with our own dream list of NES games here at Prima Games, including a few classics that we wouldn't mind seeing again, just for the sake of taking them with us to the office and ripping through them within several hours. Time. While we can't guarantee all of these will see a release, it'd still be great to see them get consideration, at the very least.
Without further ado, here's a rundown of the NES games we'd love to see in the 3DS eShop…
The Battletoads first emerged on the scene well into the NES' life cycle, producing a side-scrolling beat-em-up that was every bit worth the $50 that it was charged at the time. Rare did a splendid job not only with the game's gameplay, but also its graphics and music. (That pause tune remains one of the best you'll ever hear when a game's not in action.) And sure, it gets frenetically hard at times, especially during the speeder bike race, but it's just the sort of game to get your blood pumping when you're on the go.
C'mon, this one is practically a gimme. Even though you can get Tetris in both retail and downloadable form on the system, there's a certain sense of magic surrounding the NES version, even though it lacks the two-player competitive feature from the super-rare Tengen cartridge. The music is nice to listen to, and the gameplay remains classic Tetris, without any silly rules involved or strange graphic backgrounds to endure. Sometimes the best way to do something is to keep it simple. Look how the Game Boy version turned out…
The original Contra games for NES (not counting Contra Force – we'll happily skip over that one) are still worthy action titles, especially if you've got the multiple lives code to help you get through some of the tougher stages. The original Contra is still a testament to swell action, taking a good amount of time – and weaponry – to get through. Super C ups the ante even further with better presentation, as well as overhead stages that challenge you from every corner. These are both worth locking and loading with.
Since Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is closing in on a spring 2013 release date, why not give fans of the series that dose of classic Konami goodness to keep them busy in the meantime? All three NES games – the original, the RPG-oriented Simon's Quest and the extraordinary Dracula's Curse – are worth playing through, not only for discovering new characters, but also for epic boss encounters and getting a hang of the many weapons you'll get your hands on throughout. Boomerang for the win!
Blades of Steel
Hockey is officially back, as the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to a new deal and have a mini-season underway. So what better way to celebrate than with the best NES hockey game ever made? Blades of Steel is fast-paced and a lot of fun, as hockey should be, and the retro-style atmosphere created in the visuals and music make you feel like a champ as you shoot the puck into the net. This one's good fun while you wait for the actual game to start in the arena.
If Taito can go out of its way to re-release some of their best hits for the iOS front, then clearly they can do the same for the 3DS eShop. And what better way to start than with this bubble-blowing delight, which features a little dinosaur defeating his enemies by trapping them in bubbles and then popping them before they can escape? With dozens of stages to choose from and high scoring opportunities galore, Bubble Bobble is a game for all ages to enjoy.
The modern-day takes on Blaster Master aren't bad, but, honestly, if you're going to release the game right, you might as well go back to the NES original that inspired the series to begin with. The original BM is still a delight after all these years, giving you the option of roaming around in a vehicle and then running around on foot to defeat enemies in strange, surreal worlds. With exciting boss encounters and hours worth of replay value, this one should be added to the eShop without hesitation.
Another Rare-produced gem that shouldn't be overlooked, Cobra Triangle is a thrilling combination of high-octane boat racing and action, as you'll take on enemies while competing in events and rescuing those in need. The diverse amount of activities in the game are pretty sweet, and the boss fights are worth enduring as well, if only to prove what a tough little boat you have. Nintendo needs to give this one heavy consideration.
River City Ransom
Finally, we've saved one of the best – and most hilarious – NES games for last, an inspired brawler where you take on dudes in the streets, then take the money that they spew out (by saying "BARF!" in the process) and buying new items and power-ups. Featuring all sorts of kooky characters, enjoyable fight moves, and graphics that are adorably cute for a brawler, everyone should go through River City at least once. It's the easiest pocket change you'll make all day.
What classic NES fare do you want to see on the eShop?