Nintendo has promised that the 3DS Virtual Console service will be home to more than just Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles. With that in mind, I just had to compile a list from the Game Boy’s old rival, the Sega Game Gear! With a wealth of Sega titles already available for download on the Nintendo Wii, it only seems like a matter of time until we start to see some games hit the 3DS…and it’s really about time. Due to the inability to play Game Gear games on any other piece of hardware, gamers have been at the mercy of both the Game Gear’s horrendous battery life and the forward march of time. If you have a working Game Gear today, I envy you. Now what follows below is my personal list of most anticipated Game Gear Games.
What Is It? Triple Trouble is one of the many Sonic the Hedgehog platformers available on the game Gear, originally released back in 1994. Though the Game Gear was technically inferior to the Genesis, Triple Trouble proved itself to be a capable and fun platformer. Unlike the first few Game Gear Sonic games, most of which were ports from the Sega Master System, Triple Trouble is new, unique, and quite large in scope. There are a total of six zones in the game, complete with special stages. This game is available as a secret bonus in Sonic Adventure DX and for the Nintendo GameCube, as well as the Sonic Gems Collection.
Why Is It Worth Playing? Again, unlike most of the other Game Gear Sonic games, Triple Trouble is all new. Each zone has three stages, and most of the levels are surprisingly well-designed and large in scope. The developers managed to squeeze everything they possibly could out of the Game Gear, making a platformer that just couldn’t be done on Nintendo’s Game Boy. Though there are many criticisms about the game, Triple Trouble has amazing visuals for the Game Gear and is very enjoyable to play.
What Is It? Tails Adventure is unlike most every other Sonic the Hedgehog games available, most notably because Tails is the main character. This makes it one of the series’ first official spin-offs. Tails Adventure is somewhat similar to Nintendo’s Metroid series thanks to its non-linear platforming and action elements. In it, Tails must search an island for weapons and special items to defeat enemies, the Kukku Army, and retrieve the Chaos Emeralds. Like Triple Trouble, this game is also available in both the Sonic Gems Collection and in Sonic Adventure DX.
Why Is It Worth Playing? Tails Adventure can best be described as a slower-paced platformer, with emphasis on collecting items, backtracking, and RPG elements. The nonlinear design and surprising amount of content made Tails Adventure stand out in the Game Gear library and make it a worthy game to play still today. There are about a dozen stages to complete, and over 20 unique items to find and use. Each item makes exploring the island fun and interesting. With the ability to use the 3DS restore point function and suspend play to go online and look at game walkthroughs, many of the game’s problems could be alleviated.
What Is It? Mega Man on Game Gear is essentially a remixed adventure, combining stages and enemies from both Mega Man 4 and Mega Man 5. This is similar to the first four Mega Man adventures on the Game Boy, which drew inspiration from NES games rather than original material. This is the only Mega Man game available on the Game Gear and one of the few released for SEGA platforms in general.
Why Is It Worth Playing? For 2D run-and-gun action, it doesn’t get much better than Mega Man. Even though this pocket version is more or less an abridged remix of two NES classics, it packs a lot of fun into a tiny 4-megabit cartridge. The Game Gear’s color display and backlit screen made this game more closely resemble its NES counterparts, though the system’s limited battery life and the lack of a continue feature made the adventure more difficult to play on the original hardware. Having this game available on the 3DS Virtual Console would fix all of the problems that came with the hardware and it would also fit in perfectly with the line of Game Boy Mega Man titles.
What Is It? Defenders of Oasis is a classic turn-based role-paying game with a setting and story that draws heavily from Mesopotamian mythology and stories like Sinbad the Sailor, Aladdin, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The main character, the prince of Shanadar, is accompanied by a Genie and two other comrades who help fight for peace. The story only has loose connections with other games in the “Oasis” series though. The game mechanics differ greatly from both Beyond Oasis for Genesis and Legend of Oasis for Saturn.
Why Is It Worth Playing? DoS is, at its core, a quality RPG. While the combat mechanics are fairly typical for a JRPG, but that’s what made the game interesting—there simply weren’t many RPGs available for SEGA platforms early on. The colorful graphics and catchy soundtrack made the game stand out in comparison to what Nintendo offered on the Game Boy, but the original hardware’s short battery life made playing a lengthy RPG difficult.
What Is It? Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya is a portable entry into the strategy RPG series Shining Force, which first appeared on the Sega Genesis. It is a direct sequel to Shining Force Gaiden, a Game Gear title which unfortunately did not make it out of Japan. Despite this setback, players can still jump into this adventure quite easily. The game basically plays out as a series of turn-based battles on a variety of grid-based environments, separated by story cutscenes. Unlike other JRPGs, there is no emphasis on exploring a game world or dungeon-crawling.
Why Is It Worth Playing? Shining Force I and II for Sega Genesis are irreplaceable classics and forerunners for the strategy RPG genre. They blend together decent storylines with compelling gameplay. Sword of Hajya thankfully managed to retain the feel of the console games without sacrificing authenticity. The battles are every bit as compelling and the graphics looked fantastic considering the hardware. The Game Gear managed to closely mirror the home console versions quite well. Playing on the 3DS would make battles quite a bit easier as well, with the ability to make restore points mid-battle.