There are some games that never came out for systems that I really wish had been made. I think a lot of us get hyped up about games on one system (or maybe even a franchise) and wish they hadn’t been discontinued and had carried on.
I’m trying to be somewhat realistic here with my dream list of games. So, on my list, the hardware must actually be able to support such a game with limitations and the licensing can’t have been impossible. I’ve tried to limit to one game per system with maybe a runner-up mentioned.
Galaga for NeoGeo Pocket Color
We got Pac-man for the NGPC but we never got Galaga. And the little handheld has that built-in arcade-like thumbstick – just awesome for shooters. Unfortunately, it just didn’t have a lot of shooter games to go with it – especially of the spaceship variety.
I mean I love Cotton on this system.. I really do. But that game alone just isn’t enough (and it’s really expensive to boot). The non-inclusion of Galaga is a real shame too because the license was there for this with Namco. After all, we got classics like Pac-Man didn’t we? Galaga could and should have been out for this system and I have no idea really why it wasn’t. After all, it was on the Game Boy, GBC, GBA, Game Gear, etc.
I’d have also liked to have seen Devil World make it to the NGPC but it was licensed by Nintendo so there’s no way that would have happened.
But there are flashcarts for the NGPC and the GBA can run NES games via an emulator, so who knows?.. maybe one day we’ll get a fan homebrew of it *fingers-crossed*?
Snow Brothers for Wonderswan
The Wonderswan has that awesome ability to turn 90 degrees and become a tall-aspect screen (tate). Besides the obvious shoot’em-up applications, this setup seems awesome for arcade-style games where you go up to reach the top. Also the Wonderswan really excels at the traditional simple black and white games (like Tetris and Space Invaders). But the Wonderswan is quite capable of running more complex games – like Dakimakura (Ghost and Goblins). It’s beautiful on this little handheld.
One example game I can think of that would be perfect for the form-factor is Snow Brothers where you defeat fire-demons by turning them into snowballs and then rolling them down to kill their mischievous brethren. This game is pretty fun in a 4:3 or landscape mode (which the Wonderswan was great at), but imagine if it was vertical? I think that would be really fun.
Of course Donkey Kong would be awesome for this as well, but (again) it’s licensed by Nintendo. We did get Rainbow Islands (an awesome little game) and that’s sort of similar to Snow Brothers in that it’s a kitschy title with a pleasant atmosphere, but it’s not really the same thing.
Cotton for Game Boy Advance
In case you didn’t know, Cotton is a very fun little side-scroller shoot-em-up (really a cute-em-up) where you play as a witch battling her way through nightmarish landscapes full or Kirby-like villains (evil trees and all). Like TwinBee you can shoot power-ups (crystals) to change their nature (and save them up for a special attack). For extra firepower you can have fairy’s follow you on your broom (also a power-up).
I think it would have been awesome if we could have had this game come out on the Game Boy Advance in some form. Since it’s a side-scroller, the aspect ratio would have been just fine and the GBA certainly had enough power to handle such a game (see all the other ports of shooters like Gradius).
As a runner up I could have settled for Magical Chase (let’s be honest.. they’re very similar) coming out for the GBA in place of Cotton (it came out on Game Boy Color, after all).
Super Mario All-Stars Collection for Nintendo DS
I think Nintendo really dropped the ball on this one. Super Mario All-Stars was a Super Nintendo release where Nintendo took the NES Mario games and redid the graphics on them – redrawing the 8-bit sprites to be 16-bit. Aside from playing 16-bit versions of the old classics, US players were pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the Lost Levels (marketing term for the Mario 2 that Japan received instead of the US).
When the GBA came out, Nintendo released older Mario games individually (as sort of a cash grab). Though, to their credit, some titles – like Super Mario 3 and Super Mario 2 USA – got extra features in the Super Mario Advance series that really made the GBA versions great to own. Unfortunately, Super Mario 1 didn’t get this treatment and is just a simple NES port over to the GBA. I always found this kind of odd because Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for Game Boy Color was a fantastic update (albeit with a smaller screen of course).
(These are really the two games I’d have loved to play on the Nintendo DS)
So back to my point.. the Nintendo DS definitely has the power to run a version of Super Mario All-Stars if it was optimized for the handheld (meaning they built it as a new game but with the maps, sprites, etc of the old. But for some reason Nintendo never released it (maybe there just wasn’t time or they didn’t see enough interest). And, as far as I know, so far it has never come out on Nintendo 3DS as well (which I do find bizarre since there are plenty of SNES virtual console games and this would require emulating a rom rather than doing coding). We did see a Wii home console port (again.. sort of emulation instead of a revamp) but no portable version yet. And that’s a real shame since these would make excellent games for that purpose. I guess for now, there’s always the flash carts and homebrew SNES emulators, right?
Galaxy Force II for Sega 32X
The old 32X didn’t get a lot of love during its lifetime. If you didn’t know, this was an add-on to the Sega Genesis that added additional scaling and horsepower. It was marketed as a new console essentially but it needed to sit on top of your Sega Genesis like some sort of parasite. The reason it’s beloved today is really for the quirky titles that came out on it more than anything.
Add to that the fact that Sega made some fantastic Super Scalar games in the arcades and you’ll see where I’m going here. We got Star Wars Arcade and Space Harrier but we never got a Galaxy Force game specifically for the 32X. But oddly enough we got a version for Sega Master System and for Sega Genesis – two systems woefully inadequate for this task (SMS?.. really Sega?).
The 32X probably would have been that sweet spot where the game could adequately perform like the arcade did. There was the later versions on Sega Saturn, but I always thought the 32X really deserved a port of this game (certainly over the Sega Genesis).
Dirty Drivin’ for Any Modern Console
This is a very cool combat racing game that I played with friends at a Dave and Busters (a family-friendly retail-chain barcade). I was really disappointed that it wasn’t available on modern consoles. I’m sure the 360 or the PS3 could have handled it just fine. I realize that part of the charm here is in the arcade cabinet itself – the skull slot machine handle being your fire mechanism for all the goofy power-ups and weapons you acquire (‘Yank the crank’).
And I know there are other great combat racing games like Blur that are also very entertaining. But I would love to play Dirty Drivin’ for a home console. It would also be especially fun to play online as well.
Road Rash for Any Modern Console
I really would have throught this series would have another lease on life by some company at this point (maybe even digitally-only). Road Rash is sort of a weird hybrid of brawler and motorcycle racing. It was created by Electronic Arts (EA) back before they lost their way. These games came out on all sorts of systems back in the day (Genesis, Sega CD – even including the 3DO and the Game Boy Advance). It’s actually a really fun game and sort of a neat concept. You need to be decent at racing as well as knowing when to beat down your fellow racers to succeed in this game.
The last port came in 2000 on the PlayStation with Road Rash: Jailbreak. It wasn’t the best game in the world and I think the 3DO version is better personally.
If beating other racers into pulp to win races sounds like your cup of tea, be sure to check this series out – just don’t expect a modern remake anytime soon unfortunately.
So what are some games that you’d have liked to see come out for a system you love but didn’t?