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	<!-- date published or updated -->
	<time pubdate datetime="2008-08-18T18:00:00+01:00">
		<sup>6:00<abbr>pm</abbr> • 2008</sup>
		<abbr title="August">Aug</abbr> 18
	</time>
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<section>
<h1>What’s Missing on the Virtual Console?</h1>
<p>
	<strong>I have a love-hate thing</strong> with the Nintendo Wii
	<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Console" rel="external">Virtual Console</a>.<br />
	I love it on principle, but hate it in practice. It’s over-priced, unpolished and lacks the right games.
</p>
<dl>
	<dt><del>Super Mariokart</del></dt>
	<dd>
		<p>
			<small>(Update: Now available, it only took two years.)</small>
		</p><p>
			Why didn’t Nintendo release
			<a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/super-mario-kart/screenshots" rel="external">Super
			Mariokart</a> on the Virtual Console alongside
			<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Kart_Wii" rel="external">Mariokart Wii</a> for a
			double-whammy of handling goodness? I saw a
			<dfn title="‘Super Nintendo Entertainment System’ (Famicon to some)">SNES</dfn> + Mariokart
			bundle at a local game shop going for £45. The demand is immense.
		</p>
	</dd>
	<dt><del>Sonic The Hedgehog (Master System)</del></dt>
	<dd>
		<p>
			<small>(Update: This is now on the U.K. Virtual Console)</small>
		</p><p>
			Already released in America, but held up here in Europe. This is not the same as Sonic The
			Hedgehog on the Mega Drive. What the 8-Bit
			<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_System" rel="external">Master System</a> couldn’t
			do with graphics, it made up with gameplay. The levels are creative and well designed, adding
			clever additions like the auto-scrolling Bridge level and my personal favourite the vertical
			waterfall level that (a bit like Super Mario <abbr title="Brothers">Bros.</abbr> on the
			<dfn title="Nintendo Entertainment System">NES</dfn>) would not allow you to go back; which when
			climbing a waterfall meant that if you missed a jump, you died – there was no retracing your
			steps. The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Game_Gear" rel="external">Game Gear</a>
			version of the game however left this facet out as the screen was too small to do the tricky
			jumping sections.
		</p><p>
			The only letdown with the game is the lacklustre bosses. The 8-Bit system was just unable to fill
			the screen in the same way the 16-Bit Mega Drive could.
		</p>
		<img src="/blog/virtual-console-missing/vc-sonic.png" alt="Screenshot of Sonic The Hedgehog—Sega Master System. Image via mobygames.com/game/sega-master-system/sonic-the-hedgehog/screenshots" width="512" height="384" />
		<p>
			The strength and longevity of the 8-Bit systems even meant that it remained commercially viable
			for some time to release new games on the older Master System as Sonic The Hedgehog was followed
			up by a number of Master System-specific games that did their own thing, rather than trying to
			imitate the Mega Drive releases; most notably
			<a href="http://www.theghz.com/sonic/son2_gg/son2_gg.html" rel="external">Sonic 2</a> and
			<a href="http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Chaos" rel="external">Sonic Chaos</a>. (Both of which
			of course should be on Virtual Console)
		</p>
	</dd>
	<dt>Pokémon</dt>
	<dd>
		<p>
			What are you afraid of Nintendo? That somehow Virtual Console sales will prevent people from
			purchasing <abbr title="Nintendo DS">DS</abbr>es?
		</p><p>
			Love or hate Pokémon, the original games
			(<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_Red_and_Blue" rel="external">Pokémon Blue /
			Red</a>) stand alone as superb RPGs in their own right, before all the Pokémon craze took off.
			If anything, the over hype / marketing / craze of Pokémon that followed soured the image of the
			games in some people’s minds.
		</p><p>
			Much like how Tomb Raider lost the plot when the marketing-men ran with the idea that everybody
			liked the game solely because of Lara Croft©, when the truth was that the first Tomb Raider was
			<abbr title="in my opinion">I.M.O.</abbr> the nearest to perfect game ever created. Ignore what
			you don’t like about the Pokémon brand, and you will find an RPG that will truly <em>grip</em>
			you.
		</p><p>
			That said, I am still of that crowd that swear by the
			<a href="http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/List_of_Pok%C3%A9mon_by_Kanto_Dex_number#.23001_-_.23051_Bulbasaur_-_Dugtrio" rel="external">original
			151</a> and refuse to get with the times. Just keep remaking Pokémon Blue every five years, and
			I’ll be happy, thanks.
		</p>
	</dd>
	<dt>Metal Gear Solid <ins>Ghost Babel</ins> (Gameboy Advance)</dt>
	<dd>
		<p>
			Everything that made <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid" rel="external">Metal
			Gear Solid</a> great, in a Gameboy. Sheer 8-Bit brilliance.
		</p>
		<img src="/blog/virtual-console-missing/vc-mgs-gb.png" alt="Screenshot of Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel. Image via gamespite.net/toastywiki/index.php/Games/MetalGearGhostBabel" width="320" height="288" />
	</dd>
	<dt>Ys (Master System)</dt>
	<dd>
		<p>
			<small>(Update: The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TurboGrafx-16" rel="external">Turbo
			Grafx 16</a> version of
			<a href="http://www.vc-reviews.com/games/tg16/ys_book_i_and_ii" rel="external">Ys Book Ⅰ &amp;
			Ⅱ</a> is now on the U.K. Virtual Console, but it lacks the difficulty level of the Master
			System version, and what took me weeks, only takes a few days)</small>
		</p><p>
			Just the most immensely big RPG for the Master System. Huge. How it was crammed into a Master
			System cart I will not know. The combat would be considered very weak now, but it struck a balance
			between Zelda-esque exploration and stat-based battles without being turn-based. Yes, you just
			“bumped” into each other until HP<abbr title=" is less than or equal to ">≤</abbr>0, but the
			immense
			<a href="http://msxmaps.msxblue.com/Ys_1_Area_02_Temple.jpg" rel="external" type="image/jpeg">maze-like</a>
			world you had to explore and the equipment upgrades made it worth it.
		</p>
		<img src="/blog/virtual-console-missing/vc-ys.png" alt="Screenshot of Ys—Sega Master System. Image via //www.mobygames.com/game/sega-master-system/ys/screenshots" width="512" height="384" />
	</dd>
	<dt>Commodore 64 games that matter</dt>
	<dd>
		<p>
			There’s about 6’000 games for the Commodore 64. During late 80s the U.K. was the centre of the
			gaming world, with America having to wait to get games released in Europe first (imagine that!).
			During those years, you could quite literally code a game in your bedroom and it become a
			top-selling game overnight. Many of the companies in the industry now came from those days of
			idea-tolerance. Your game’s hero could be anybody or anything —even if it was ridiculous. You
			didn’t need millions in venture capital, a strong “brand” and “attitude” just to make an
			entrance into the market.
			<br /><br />
			Do you honestly think you could get away with “James Pond” now?
			<br /><br />
			Here’s some “missing” C64 games in the Virtual Console from my stand-point: (In no order)
		</p>
		<ul>
			<li><a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/stunt-track-racer/screenshots" rel="external">Stunt
			Car Racer</a></li>
			<li><a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/elite/screenshots" rel="external">Elite</a></li>
			<li>Any <a href="http://www.yolkfolk.com/site/games.php?type=1" rel="external">Dizzy
			games</a>, especially
			<a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/kwik-snax/screenshots" rel="external">Kwik
			Snax</a></li>
			<li><del><a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/mayhem-in-monsterland/screenshots" rel="external">Mayhem
			in Monsterland</a></del> (now available)</li>
			<li><a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/sentinel-/screenshots" rel="external">The
			Sentinel</a></li>
			<li><a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/flimbos-quest/screenshots" rel="external">Flimbo’s
			Quest</a></li>
			<li><a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/midnight-resistance/screenshots" rel="external">Midnight
			Resistance</a></li>
			<li><a href="http://www.mobygames.com/game/c64/fiendish-freddys-big-top-o-fun/screenshots" rel="external">Fiendish
			Freddy’s Big Top o’ Fun</a></li>
		</ul>
	</dd>
</dl>

<hr />

<p>
	<strong>Any other suggestions of your own?</strong><br />
	Mail me on the signature link below.
</p>
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