A while ago team member James “Jimbob” Langston, did an article on the original console war of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System vs SEGA’s Mega Drive from a Nintendo fans perspective, on how SEGA Mega Drive games are now by going back to play some classics via the SEGA Mega Drive Collection on PS3 (also on other systems).
There has been other ways to play Mega Drive games via official means such as appearing on PSN not just that collection, but one of the best ways to play these classic have appeared on a Nintendo system that’s the 3D Classics on the Nintendo 3DS thanks to M2.
Recently Street of Rage 2 a true classic beat’em up appeared on the 3DS, along with fourteen others which includes things like Sonic the Hedgehog which has been updated to have the dash from Sonic 2 which is one of two games still to come later this year but nothing is confirmed after that.
As someone that grew up the other side of Jimbob as a SEGA fan and knowing that the Mega Drive has an excellent library, here’s bunch of games that M2 should give the 3D treatment that someone like Jimbob can now go play and see that the Mega Drive is the better 16-Bit console.
But so far all the games that have appeared as a 3D Classic have been SEGA games that they either developed or published which leaves out a strong library of Third Party games such as Road Rash, the far better than the SNES counterpart Aladdin along with the other Disney Platformers, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Mortal Kombat II and so forth.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty from SEGA that should still come to the 3DS.
As I brought up Mortal Kombat II a game that won’t be coming to the 3DS classics, that I start with a forgotten alternative in....
Which came out 1993 to capitalise on the popularity of fighters of the time but unlike a lot of fighters Eternal Champions didn’t start in the arcade, it was for the ground up for the Mega Drive and later got a sequel on the Mega CD and two spin-offs as even unlike Mortal Kombat II at the time, Eternal Champions focused on story which allowed to have those spin-offs at such an early stage.
Virtua Fighter 2 & Virtua Racing
Eternal Champions isn’t the only fighter that should make the leap to the 3DS, in 1996 SEGA released Virtua Fighter 2 on the Mega Drive alongside the Saturn counterpart which did receive Virtua Fighter 1 along with the 32x. At the time VF2 along with Virtua Racing pushed the graphic capabilities of the Mega Drive and 32x in the case of Virtua Racing with its deluxe version.
When you think of the Mega Drive and platformers, Sonic The Hedgehog comes to mind but he isn’t the only cool dude to grace the 16-Bit system there’s also this lot: (don’t worry I’m coming back to Sonic)
Talking of Sonic, the Sonic Team developed Ristar which is a bit of a forgotten game as it was coming out around the time of the Saturn that it got overshadowed. Unlike Mario where it’s about precision jumping or Sonics speed, Ristar is all about his stretchable arms that allow him to grab ledges, enemies are so forth.
From Game Freak of Pokémon fame, Pulseman which only actually got a cartridge release in Japan and only SEGA’s online service in North America, the game has been released again since on the Wii’s Virtual Console to glowing reviews.
Toejam and Earl & its sequel Toejam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron
These cool dudes are actually making a comeback thanks to a Kickstarter which will be there fourth game after their third on the original Xbox. There is a difference between the first and second game, the first is almost in a top down view where you explore the world where the second is a more traditional side-scrolling 2D platformer.
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Wonder Boy in Monster World AKA Wonder Boy V: Monster World III, Monster World IV
Not strictly a Platformer as the series’ do have more action elements as well. The Wonder Boy series is a bit confusing as it’s really two, one being Wonder Boy the other being Monster World with some game just in one of the series some in both hence Wonder Boy V: Monster World III and to confuse things even more SEGA own the Wonder Boy & Monster World IP’s & have released some of the games on Wii Virtual Console but there not the only ones to have a bit of Wonder Boy as the developers Westone also had a publishing deal with Hudson Soft (now part of Konami) and the Wonder Boy games also appeared on other systems with new characters & a different titles with the most well-known one being Adventure Island which is actually the arcade version of Wonder Boy.
Let’s now move into more Action game territory starting with two games with a bit of a cult status:
Chakan: The Forever Man
This might have some licensing issues as it’s based on a comic book which is still running today and there is even a live action movie but neither use the game events as canon. The game came out during a time of colourful games and this was a dark & moody along with being highly difficult and is one of the reason’s it’s got a bit of cult following.
Talking of comic books, Comix Zone which came out in 1995 is set in one where the main character Sketch Turner is dragged into his comic. The game is remembered fondly due to its unique aesthetic and rather good soundtrack.
Golden Axe I & II
These two seem a no-brainer to re-release as 3D Classic, especially the second which might even rival Streets of Rage 2 as one of the best beat’em Ups on the Mega Drive & 16-Bit era.
The Revenge of Shinobi & Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
The 3DS Classic already boast’s Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master which too many is a high point of the Shinobi series but it would be nice for anyone that have only played Shinobi III on the 3DS to play more games featuring Joe Musashi starting with The Revenge of Shinobi which some would argue is the best Shinobi game still, which includes a soundtrack composed by Yuzo Koshiro. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi which was the second Shinobi to come to the Mega Drive but not the second in the timeline, the main reason I think this should come to the 3D classics is that you get a dog companion.
Now on to another genre which many would say the SNES was the best to go for them and that’s RPG’s be it traditional Japanese, Action, Strategy, Tactical with the Final Fantasy Series, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past but the Mega Drive did get its fair share of quality RPG’s the most notable being:
Phantasy Star II, III: Generations of Doom & IV: The End of the Millennium
The SNES might have had Square’s Final Fantasy series but the Mega Drive got SEGA’s own Phantasy Star which includes PSIV: The End of the Millennium arguably the best JRPG on the system and even one of the best all time alongside PSII according to Nintendo Power who must like that one as you fight Mother Brain in it
Shining Force 1 & 2, CD and Shining in the Darkness
Another well-known but forgotten series of SEGA’s, Shining in the Darkness was the first of the Shining series but not actually the genre the series known for as it’s a Dungeon Crawler where the series is more well known for being a Tactical RPG. Nintendo do have their own in Fire Emblem but at the time that wasn’t coming outside of Japan, where Shining Force the first of these Tactical RPG’s was and so did its sequel which at the time of release was panned but in recent times it has appeared on IGN’s Top 100 games of all-time for instance. For a little bonus there’s also Shining Force CD which is actually two Game Gear games Shining Force Gaiden I & II bundled together for the west as at the time both Gaiden hadn’t come outside of Japan.
Now where going into Action RPG territory with Landstalker which actually got a sequel on the SNES which hasn’t been released outside of Japan, both spiritual successors appeared on SEGA systems Dark Savior for the Saturn and Time Stalkers for the Dreamcast
Crusader of Centy/Soleil & Story of Thor/Beyond Oasis
Both of these games are a clone of a certain Nintendo series The Legend of Zelda, and who doesn’t want more Zelda games even under a different name on the go. Story of Thor/Beyond Oasis is the better of these two clones.
I made this article to talk about the SEGA 3D Classics that should come to the Nintendo 3DS and that we know of only two more coming out, after the just released Streets of Rage 2. The last two though are two stand out classics of the Mega Drive that’s Gunstar Heroes from Treasure and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the last few games I’m going to talk about are inspired by those last two games.
Alien Soldier, Dynamite Headdy and Light Crusader
Treasure is a well-known Japanese studio best known for likes of Gunstar Heroes and SHUMP’s such as Ikaruga, they also did some lesser known Mega Drive games starting with their only RPG Light Crusader which is actually very western focused not Japanese in still. Dynamite Headdy is a platformer where you play as a puppet that can detach your head and can be fired at enemies, obstacles for instance. Alien Soldier is very similar to Gunstar Heroes but focuses more on boss battles along with higher difficulty and pushing the Mega Drive to its limits when it arrived in 1995.
To round of what has been come a very long winded article with SEGA’s mascot, the blue blur himself with:
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
If you don’t know your Sonic history, back in the day SEGA pretty much did DLC before DLC was a thing as they released Sonic & Knuckles which came on a cartridge that allows you put another cartridge on top. That if you put Sonic 2 on top you could play Sonic 2 with Knuckles instead of Sonic & Tails but this wasn’t the biggest deal as in early 1994, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 came out and it wasn’t a full game due to time constraints and cartridge costs that it was split into two that in late 1994 Sonic & Knuckles came out and putting those two game together you get the full experience as it was intended. They have come out together a few times that I can’t see why it can’t be done again.
Some say that’s the best game on the Mega Drive and the best Sonic, myself I played Sonic 2 as one of my first games ever that I have nostalgia for that and remains one on my favourite Mega Drive games but if we could have some other Sonics that are related to the Mega Drive would also be cool starting with what is arguably the best Sonic and that’s Sonic CD innovative time-travel based gameplay and fantastic soundtrack.
If you want to go even more obscure in Sonic history with a game that hasn’t been re-released at all, that’s the 32Xs Knuckles’ Chaotix which doesn’t actually star Sonic and had a partner system which we would see in Sonic Heroes and Boom.
Hope you enjoyed this trip down Mega Drive game memory lane.