News Article

Japanese Virtual Console list - December 2008

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

It doesn't look like Japan's going to get much of a holiday treat - There's only one notable game to speak of being released the whole month, and pretty much all of the other games were never released in the west! There's only 10 titles lined up for the month in total, which is also a surprisingly low amount.

The full schedule for December is as follows:


  • Atlantis no Nazo (December 2nd)
  • Life Force
  • Ninja-Kun: Majou no Bouken (The same series Ninja JaJaMaru-kun is from, perhaps a possible import?)

Super Famicom:

Sega Master System:

Sega Mega Drive:

PC Engine:

  • Space Invaders: Fukkatso no Hi (December 2nd, this includes the original game, and an upgrade with changing backgrounds, vastly upgraded graphics and background music)
  • S.C.I.: Special Criminal Investigation (The sequel to Chase H.Q.)
  • Jigoku Meguri
  • Fire Pro Wrestling 3: Legend Bout

From the web

User Comments (60)



slangman said:

Awesome life force. Might give it a download if it's good. Although i would like to play the PC Engine version.



Dazza said:

Life Force is certainly worth a look, it's my favourite shooter from the NES days. I also have a fond spot for Wonder Boy in Monster Land too. Everything else seems a bit meh. Where's the Neo Geo and N64 games??!



Terra said:

That it so great to see that Life Force is finally coming. I didn't think it was going for a long while but in this case, i'm glad to be proven wrong.

As for the rest, it's all rather average. Oh well, too bad for Japan



Starwolf_UK said:

Space Invaders: Fukkatso no Hi (December 2nd, this includes the original game, and an upgrade with changing backgrounds, vastly upgraded graphics and background music)
So they get a better version for 200 points less? I dare Taito to release this in America and Europe now that they've released the SNES one...though Nintendo probably released the SNES one due to Space Invaders Get Even and the PC Engine one would be one of those retsricted (in terms of release date) imports.



blackknight77 said:

I still own the Life Force cartridge. It's 2 players, its hard, it has cool music, it uses the infamous code, and its a must download!!!!!!

Yay for Life Force!

Hopefully it will be released in NA in the next few months



7th_lutz said:

Life Force is very good Nes Shooter. I hope Life Force get release in North America soon. I know it is one the best Nes games not on the vc in North America.

I wouldn't get Life Force if it gets a North American release on the vc though.



Link79 said:

Well it's about time we finally have Life force on the way soon.
I don't know what it is about that game but I just love it.
It's my absolute favorite shooter! The awesome music and cool looking bosses are pretty neat. I love that boss theme btw. It's been stuck in my head for years. My favorite track is stage 3 with the flames and spewing fireballs.



HeikeKagero said:

Only 10 games? Not a great month for Japan.

This also puts Japan at 399 games so I wonder if they will get something special for there 400th game which will be the first VC release of 2009



blackknight77 said:

"Only 10 games? Not a great month for Japan."

Better than 5 or 6

Edit: Actually I know what you mean if Japan's releases drop off their is a good chance NOA and NOE might too



Bass_X0 said:

Yeah, ten games a month is pretty good compared to our November which only got five games. I hope we get a better December. I am hoping for SoM sometime.



HeikeKagero said:

Wow I didn't even realize that we (US) only got 5 games in November.

What kind of crap is that? Still 10 games isn't much for Japan



RadioShadow said:

@Starwolf_UK: Japan has the SNES version as well. The PC Engine does sound like a better cheaper option mind.

And they're getting Earthworm Jim too (import for them). Lucky them. Give us Tetris Attack already Nintendo.

But nothing great in that list know.



Bass_X0 said:

If the rumors are true, Nintendo can't give us Tetris Attack now because it uses the name Tetris on a game that clearly isn't Tetris. Which pretty much sucks for us.



Starwolf_UK said:

Wow, I didn't think Earthworm Jim would ever hit there.
According to Wikipedia the Megadrive version did come out in Japan. The SNES version certainly did since if you look over at Gamefaqs there is boxart for it.

Still I know what you mean about it being strange and I thought the same



Corbs said:

Lifeforce was a big hit with NES shooter fans. There just wasn't a lot to choose from back then and it featured playability and both vertical and horizontal scrolling levels that not many other shooters at the time featured. Although it hasn't aged as well as some of the other shooters of that time period, it's still a solid title and one no shooter fan should miss.



Ricardo91 said:

Life Force!? How dare they!

I'm surprised to see them get Earthworm Jim. I wonder how that would sell down there.



feng said:

I remember playing this in the arcades it was called salamander though, i never played the nes version but it looks good i would get this for sure.



Shiryu said:

Life Force? Wow, gotta get that one.

Also very nice to see FirePro Wrestling 3 showing up there, I wish they made one for Wiiware/proper Fire Pro Wrestlign Returns Wii.

I am a bit sad with the lack of SNES games, tough...



Nadroc516 said:

i hope WE get something good the monday before christmas, like last year with donkey kong country 3. almost this entire year i have been like eh...towards VC but for whatever reason, i was extremely confident that the monday before christmas would be awesome.
so i really hope we get a solid game. Majora's Mask? Donkey Kong 64? hopes



Bass_X0 said:

Maybe they will one day. And to see how easy it was to understand Panel De Pon, I played the ROM of it a while ago. The menus are in Japanese but it really is the same game. The menus might be confusing for some though.



Adamant said:

We got Pokemon Puzzle League, though, which is a better version of the same game. Stop whining, we got the better deal.

"There's only one notable game to speak of being released the whole month"

What? I see Salamander, Wonder Boy in Monster Land and Earthworm Jim. How is that only one notable game?

"Ninja-Kun: Majou no Bouken (Part of the Ninja JaJaMaru-kun series)"

Other way around, actually - Ninja Jajamaru-kun was a spinoff of Ninja-kun, but then proceeded to get a ton more games, while Ninja-kun got somewhat left behind.



marktheshark said:

Well, it looks like at least most, if not all of the games that were Japan-only in that list don't need to be translated. So I guess all those japan-only games on that list could be released on the US & European VCs while we wait for the Japan only RPGs to start coming out on the VC*. At least that's what I'm guessing.

*Yes I know they have to be translated.




YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LIFE FORCE cant wait for this to come out here hopefully soon



kitroplious said:

There's only 10 titles lined up for the month in total, which is also a surprisingly low amount.

I think Japan is going to have a big WiiWare month rather than VC.



Outrunner said:

Would prefer the PCE version of Life force too. And no N64 game again? Things are slowing down a bit...



King_Elemento said:

I'm assuming they're holding all the good stuff (ie. N64 games, examples should be obvious) back on everyone, and giving the Japanese, as well as (hopefully) everyone else, a Christmas Present.



Bass_X0 said:

Even if they were, the only ESRB rated N64 games at the moment are Aero Fighters Assault and Beetle Adventure Racing. According to the coming soon list.



Nobarai said:

Life Force, Nobunaga's Ambition, Fire Pro Wrestling.
There's some decent games in there.



King_Elemento said:

@41. Bass X0:

Doesn't stop ESRB, or anyone else, from rating games though, they could be in the process of rating some as we speak.

I'm hopeful, but also doubtful. D=



KingMike said:

There were actually a few decent Jajamaru games.
But if I'm correct about which one this is, this is another crappy one that'll hopefully stay over there at least.
Though supposedly Salamander and Life Force had some differences.
I wonder if Atlantis no Nazo is a pontential import?
Activision at one point planned to release it in the US, rebranded as Super Pitfall II.



Supermarioman said:

Life Force is suppoed to be a great classic, so I'll try that. Any other games that sound good this time around. Maybe the U.S. will get a good holiday surprise.



Adam said:

Perhaps it will be an especially good WiiWare month for Japan?



CanisWolfred said:

Finally, some mention of Life Force! They had me worried for a moment that it wouldn't ever be released! And that Nabunaga's Ambition looks pretty cool, too.



Chunky_Droid said:

Only one notable game and it's Life Force!? What about Wonder Boy in Monster Land??? That game totally rocked EVERYTHING when it came out, one of my favourite games of all time, definitely in my top 20



Roihu said:

No EarthBound/Mother 1/2?
I'm disappointed.
I may just have to play it on the computer, then.
I waited until this month.
And since it appears that it's not coming this year, I'm giving up.
Haven' really heard of the games out right now, so I have no comment on them.



Bass_X0 said:

Only SNES Earthbound will come to VC one day. Don't expect the NES version to come outside of Japan. Japanese VC games never get translated except for S&P.



KingMike said:

But the NES version was translated.
They just decided to hold it until a time when it would be more profitable to manufacture release.
That time just hasn't come in the past 17 years.
And with no manufacturing costs for the VC, I'm hoping it will come.
Currently, I'm going to hope for maybe next summer at least one of them will come, since it will be the anniversary of both games.
Mother 1 will be 20 years old in July and Mother 2 will be 15 years old in August.



Betagam7 said:

Great to see Fire Pro making an appearance. Hope it comes to Hanabi

Whoever thought it appropriate to write about there being only "one notable game" needs to get clued in or think about expanding their horizons



Chunky_Droid said:

I'd love to give Fire Pro a go, as the closest to playing the Fire Pro series was No Mercy which used the N64 Fire Pro engine.



Betagam7 said:

erm...don't know what firepro you've been playing. I think you're confusing it with AKI's Virtual Pro Wrestling which THQ used as the Engine for its AKI made WWF games on N64.

Fire Pro is a strictly 2D experience on all its formats. It's unlikely to come out in the West though for the same reasons it never did originally.



Betagam7 said:

Both excellent games though. If AKI put out a Wiiware wrestling game with that engine where you had to make every character from scratch as a CAW I'd still buy it and pay 2000 points for it



Betagam7 said:

I don't think Fire Pro will come to the west as the only ones that ever have were the GBA games with there heavy palette swapping and as VC games always remain untouched then its unlikely they'll come as "Dink Krakon" would be all over them faster than a "Steam Odin" stunner

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