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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Much Needed Re-Releases Part 4

Through compilations and the rise of digital gaming, replaying the games of yesteryear has become quite the easy task. Want to play Super Mario Bros but don't own an NES? That game has been ported to nearly every Nintendo platform under the sun. Ditto for the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Sadly, not all games have been so lucky. Welcome to Much Needed Re-Releases, where we'll discuss games that should get an extra shot at life.

Astro Boy: Omega Factor (GBA)

I love Astro Boy. For a long time, he's been one of my favorite robots in any medium. There have been a number of games staring Osamu Tezuka's most popular character, but 2004's Astro Boy: Omega Factor for the GBA is really the only one you should bother caring about. 

Part beat 'em up and part shooter, Omega Factor not only gives you access to Astro's amazing abilities, but you can power them up, too. By increasing the strength of Astro's Omega Factor, you can turn Mighty Atom's dinky finger laser into Ususke Urameshi's Spirit Gun. This is also one of the prettiest games on the GBA and among the handheld's best. That bit of scenery porn when you drop down in Metro City is still breath taking to this very day. If you needed anymore reason to want this game on the Wii U eShop, it was co-developed by Treasure. Also, butt cannons! 

Panel de Pon (SNES)

Since Nintendo no longer holds the license to Tetris, what was originally Tetris Attack (which had nothing to do with Tetris in the slightest) would have to be re-released as Panel de Pon, the name it originally was titled before Lip and her friends were booted out and replaced with Yoshi and company when the title left Japan. 

For me, this is the greatest puzzle game ever. Multi colored blocks rise from below the screen and you arrange them so three or more of the same color matches up either vertically or horizontally, making the blocks disappear. The brilliance of Panel de Pon lies in it's simplicity. Lining up three or more blocks is easy but setting up chains and combos to make your score skyrocket or send a huge garbage block crashing down on your opponent is the stuff that intense games are made of. Panel de Pon has seen re-releases as Puzzle League and Planet Puzzle League but those were on the GBA and DS respectively. It was also released as Pokemon Puzzle League for the N64 and GBC. Never has the SNES version of Panel de Pon been released outside of Japan under its original title. 

Contra (NES)

It really is difficult to think of Konami now a days and reflect upon how great they once were. Before the company was the butt of internet memes and hate news, they once put out some of the finest third party titles and the NES version of Contra is not just a shinning example of a port done right, for many, this is the definitive version of the game to play.

Super C and Contra III: The Alien Wars saw digital releases on the Wii's Virtual Console but mysteriously, the NES version of Contra was never added. Yeah, Contra III is my favorite but it feels a little odd having digital versions of Contra III, Super C but not the NES version of Contra. This is the game that introduced many a kid to the run 'n gun shooter as well as the Konami Code. Alas, given Konami's current fool-hearty mentality of mobile only games and micro transactions, the odds of us seeing NES Contra aren't looking too hot.  

Star Fox (SNES)

The original Star Fox may seem slow and a bit clunky compared to the titles that would succeed it, but this game still holds up pretty dang well. Much of the stuff we experience in Star Fox Zero, Slippy always getting himself in trouble, Falco being a jerk and whatnot, all started in the first Star Fox game. Instead of branching paths that lead to other levels, you get to choose between a beginner, intermediate or advance difficulty of three different routes from the get go. So why hasn't Star Fox hit the Wii U's eShop? Well, from my understanding, Nintendo doesn't own the  Super FX chip that would be required to bring Fox's first mission to the Wii U. So until that gets straightened out, SNES Star Fox is grounded.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Forget a re-release of Panel de Pon, how about a followup? I find it strange that Nintendo's never really built upon that winning formula, though perhaps its best not to mess with perfection.