Below are ten arcade classics that we would love to see on the Virtual Console Arcade. Keep in mind that these games are listed in no particular order. Now we know that there are a ton of great games we left out, but we only had ten spots to fill, after all. We also tried to avoid tossing in too many obvious choices in order to keep the list a bit more interesting. Now on to the list.
Popeye is one of those oft-forgotten Nintendo classic arcade titles that generally gets lost among all of the Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. games. The game takes the premise of the Popeye cartoon series in which Popeye is trying to rescue his true love Olive Oil from the clutches of the evil Bluto. As Popeye, you have to run around catching all of the kisses that Olive Oil is blowing at you. Of course you'll have to avoid Bluto until you can eat your can of spinach and knock the bully out once and for all. While not quite on par with the Donkey Kong games, Popeye is still one of the more playable arcade titles of the era.
Donkey Kong is where it all began for our favorite plumber, although at the time he was still moonlighting as a carpenter. Donkey Kong has kidnapped Mario's girlfriend and carried her to the top of an unfinished building. Mario must climb his way up the building as Donkey Kong tosses a barrage of items at Mario in an attempt to stop him. Donkey Kong was not only one of the most popular games of its time period, it was also one of the most playable. While we've already seen the NES version of the game released on the Virtual Console, it's missing the famous "Pie Factory" level that fans of the game love so much. The Virtual Console Arcade would be the perfect opportunity for Nintendo to finally release the best version of the game complete with this normally missing level.
Shinobi might not have enjoyed the success it deserved during its early run in arcades, but that doesn't make it any less great. It's also the game that introduced the gaming world to Joe Musashi and the unique multi-layered playing area the game featured. The classic platforming action combined with the ninja-style game play made for one amazing arcade experience and one that definitely deserves another chance to shine via the Virtual Console arcade.
When Strider first burst onto the arcade scene, there was really nothing else quite like it. Everything about the game was flashy and over-the-top. From the outstanding visuals to the advanced play control system, it was impossible to play Strider without being completely blown away. From the multi-directional scrolling to the unique grappling action, there were plenty of unique features that made the game such a beloved action/platformer. While the Mega Drive version of the game was impressive, there's still nothing quite like the actual arcade version of the game.
As great as the original Donkey Kong was, its sequel is every bit as good. Donkey Kong Jr. turned the tables and this time around Mario became the antagonist. In an effort to exact revenge on Donkey Kong for kidnapping his girlfriend, Mario turns around and kidnaps the big ape himself and now it's up to Donkey Kong Jr. to rescue his papa from the clutches of Mario. You'll have to climb your way through 4 amazing levels, once again crawling with dangers. Unlike the NES Donkey Kong release on the Virtual Console that was missing a level from the arcade release, the NES version of Donkey Kong Jr. features all of the arcade levels. That being said, it would still be nice to have the actual arcade version of the game available on the Virtual Console.
Karnov is one of those classic arcade titles that somehow got swept under the rug for the most part when it was first released in arcades. Not only did it not fare well in arcades, but even the few ports the game saw didn't exactly light up the sales charts. The actual game play system is a bit simplistic, even for its time period, but you can't help but love the level designs and unique power-up and item system the game uses. And who doesn't love a fire-breathing Russian? The game featured a fairly high level of difficulty, so it's certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you can appreciate a great classic side-scroller, you'll definitely love Karnov.
Arabian is another game that many people don't even know exists. When Atari put this game into arcades, even the company spokespeople didn't have many kind words to say about the game, supposedly even going so far as to not hand out the flyers for the game at the electronics show the year the game made its debut. But anyone that's played the game will tell you that it plays a lot better than it looks. In Arabian, you get to take on the role of an Arabian Knight and you'll have to climb and kick your way through the game's many levels gathering up the lettered jugs in each level in an attempt to spell out "Arabian." The storybook theme and the unique game play makes Arabian a uniquely charming classic arcade game that truly deserves a second chance on the Virtual Console Arcade.
Not many arcade games from the era got as much hype as Atari's Marble Madness did. It was designed by a young kid named Mark Cerny and featured very advanced physics for a game of its time period. The game became quite popular, mainly due to the huge amount of marketing muscle behind it, but it didn't hurt that it was wildly addictive to play, not to mention almost impossible to master. While the trackball control the game makes use of would be difficult to replicate using any of the available Wii controllers, the analog stick would seem like an adequate substitute. Either way it would be nice to see the actual arcade version of this amazing game be made available for Wii owners to enjoy.
Tutankham took the King Tut theme and wrapped it up into an interesting tunnel-crawler. While the game's basic game play design was nothing terribly revolutionary, the way your character was controlled was quite interesting. You could move around the tombs in all 4 directions, but you could only fire to the left or right, leaving the up and down directions vulnerable to enemy attacks. This required careful planning and maneuvering if you wanted to successfully complete each level. Your goal was to loot as many treasures as you could find and then locate the key and locked door to proceed on to the next tomb. The gradual climb in difficulty made the game quite challenging in later levels, but addictive nonetheless.
Many gamers back in the day wrote Mr. Do off as nothing more than a dumbed-down Dig Dug clone, when in actuality it was a much more playable game overall. You took on the role of Mr. Do the clown and your task was to harvest the many rows of cherries strung throughout each level. Of course you had the trademark bad guys chasing you around the entire time, not to mention a host of other hazards to avoid. The game featured wildly colorful visuals and enough variety in each level to keep you wanting to advance further into the game. The simple, yet addictive play control of the game made it nearly impossible to stop playing and despite a huge number of ports to various consoles and computer over the years, there's still nothing quite like the arcade original.
Okay, you've seen our list, now we want to know what classic arcade games you'd like to see show up on the Wii Virtual Console Arcade.