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Features: The Game Gear Games We Need on 3DS Virtual Console

Posted by James Newton

We go digging in the Sega vaults

We already know about the first five Game Gear games for 3DS Virtual Console, but looking further down the line, what titles would we love to see made available on the console's download service? Below are just some of the games we'd love to download after the eShop launches in May.

Shinobi II: The Silent Fury

The first Shinobi is already confirmed for the service, so its successor is a no-brainer. Unusually for a Shinobi game, you don't just play as Joe Musashi: there are five ninja to control, each with their own unique powers, that you must rescue throughout the game. Once they're a part of your group, you can switch between them mid-level to utilise their abilities. Regarded as the best handheld instalment in a classic series, this is a must for 3DS.

Defenders of Oasis

A Game Gear-exclusive RPG, this Arabian-themed title is the closest Western gamers got to a portable Phantasy Star (though two entries in that series were released in Japan.) Drawing from Aladdin, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and more, it's a good little title that deserves a wider audience.

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap

Like Alex Kidd, Wonder Boy had his time long ago. No longer considered relevant in today's gaming environment, fans of the adventurer can already get a slice of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap on Master System through the Wii's Virtual Console, but who could resist taking his finest outing wherever they go?


Already available on Virtual Console in Japan, Pengo is an old arcade title that frequently features in retro round-ups such as this. The titular penguin runs around a top-down maze, kicking ice blocks at enemies to take them out: imagine a Pac-Man that fights back and you're halfway there.

Mega Man

Game Gear's back catalogue is littered with famous titles you never knew made it across to Sega's portable console. A case in point: Mega Man, an original title that blended elements from Mega Man 4 and Mega Man 5 that was only available in North America. Although the console's small screen size made the game even more difficult than usual, it's still a title that fans of the Blue Bomber would want to check out.

Panzer Dragoon Mini

Another title in a big franchise that many gamers never knew about, Panzer Dragoon Mini was a Space Harrier-like take on the game's universe that only ever saw the light of day in Japan. Naturally it can't live up to the series' famous graphical beauty or musical quality, but for an 8-bit portable version of the shooter it's not a terrible effort. The good news is that it's unusually light on dialogue for a Panzer Dragoon game, so there'd be next-to no localisation work needed to bring it across to Europe and North America.


Everyone's favourite Sonic Team platformer that's not Sonic, the Shooting Star's 8-bit outing is surprisingly faithful to its Mega Drive cousin, keeping the game's bright atmosphere, catchy music and long stretchy arms firmly intact. It's one of the finest platformers on Game Gear and highly deserving of a Virtual Console revival.

Baku Baku Animal

Match the food with the animal that eats it: things are really that simple in this puzzle classic that contains more cheeky chomping than you can shake a bamboo stick at. This is still one of Sega's finest puzzlers, with a simple concept that is even more addictive than it sounds.

Shining Force Gaiden Games

There are three Shining Force games on Game Gear, only one of which — Shining Force: Sword of Hajya — saw release outside of Japan. Strangely, Sword of Hajya is the sequel to Shining Force Gaiden, which was only released in Japan on Game Gear, though it does make up the first half of Shining Force CD (confused yet?).

The already-localised Sword of Hajya is likely the only title we could see find its way to 3DS Virtual Console, but it would be rude to leave predecessor Shining Force Gaiden and closer Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict from this list.

Tempo Jr.

Talk about obscure: a Game Gear-only sequel to a 32X-only platformer, this is a real hidden gem in the console's catalogue. You play Tempo, an oddly musical grasshopper capable of taking out enemies with finger-clicks, kicks head-stomps, with the ability to hover and even unleash a Moonwalker-style dance that turns all nearby enemies into coins. It's an off-beat title that boasts some great animation, and certainly beats developer SIMS Co.'s other famous Game Gear title, Tails' Skypatrol which — strangely — you won't find on this list.

Of course, these are just some of the Game Gear games we'd love to see on the 3DS's Virtual Console, and you're likely to have your own picks, so why not share them below?

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User Comments (57)



Kevin said:

The only one I'd buy is Tails' Adventures. My sis had it and enjoyed it.



Philip_J_Reed said:

A Mega Man game blending elements from 4 and 5? That sounds...kind of awesome actually! Bring it on.



DrCruse said:

Don't forget Tails' Adventure, Halley Wars, and the rest of the Sonic series. I've got to question Tempo Jr. though. It's probably one of my least favorite Game Gear games.



madgear said:

No mention of Castle of Illusion, which closly rivals the Megadrive version - unless this is just a list of feasible games. You may as well throw a few unlikely ones in, though - afterall, we'll probably get all of those.



PatrickElliot said:

Vampire: Master of Darkness and Ax Battler! Those were the ones I remember playing. Never knew about Panzer Dragoon mini, sounds pretty sweet. I actually have a cart for Sylvan Tale too but its Japan-only and not likely to hit the VC. Its a great SEGA-made Zelda clone though. There is even a fan translation!



motang said:

I have no knowledge of the Game Gear, so everything will be of new experience to me.



blackknight77 said:

I never owned a Game Gear growing up, so I'm not very familiar with its library. Was Ecco the Dolphin on Game Gear? If so I hope its added to the VC 3DS library. I'm glad to see Columns will be released. Its a perfect game on the go.



SMW said:

Baku Baku Animal? That must be where they got the idea for the Zoo Feeder minigame in Virtua Tennis 2009.

From that list, Panzer Dragoon Mini sounds the most interesting to me. Ristar I can do without since I already have it on Sonic Mega Collection.

Sadly, I don't know much else about the Game Gear even though I still own one. The only games that I bought were the Sonic ones. Looks like I'll be counting on you guys for your reviews then.



The_Fox said:

I remember trying the Mega Man title years ago. I didn't play it long enough to form an opinion of the actual gameplay but the music was awful.



weirdproq said:

I would like Tail's Sky Patrol. I think this game would definitely come to the Eshop because it's already on a Sega compilation.



retro_player_22 said:

I want to play Virtua Fighter Animation, Ristar, Arch Rivals, Shinobi II, Shining Force Gaiden ,and Sonic Triple Troubles.



EdEN said:

Agree on all except Dragon's Trap. We've got enough versions of that on the Wii VC as to make the trip to the 3DS.



JoeDiddley said:

I can't get excited for any of those really, I already have Ristar but I would get the Game Gear version.



Weskerb said:

All I remember enjoying on the game gear was Sonic and Chuck Rock. I have the Master System version of Sonic on th VC and I doubt Chuck Rock will ever come out.



Lotice-Paladin said:

Tempo AND Tempo Jr need to be released. It's only fair to release both iterations.

Whilst we're at it, Fantasy Zone Gear and Tails' Adventure. Good list though.



TeeJay said:

I remember having this a LOOONG time ago. The only game I can remember really enjoying was Sonic and some Jurassic Park game vaguely lingering in the edges of my memory. So I guess I'd like to see those.



JebbyDeringer said:

Most of the Game Gear games were just ports that had to have the graphics/gameplay adapted for a less powerful system. The Sonic games were completely different from their console counterparts though and I did play them quite a lot though they definitely weren't as visually striking.



MeloMan said:

1. Tails' Adventures
2. Sonic Chaos

These are about the biggest ones I'd like, the rest are for me to discover. Pengo kinda catches my interest, and the Shining Force games are always a possibility for me.

Didn't know there's a Mega Man game, I'm all over that if it comes. Given there's still some Mega Man games Capcom is sitting on for the Wii VC (and not to mention the entirety of the MMX series and MM64), then I won't hold my breath for this one.



potomas said:

probably wont download any game gear game,why cant we just have megadrive games on 3ds



DrCruse said:

It's not really possible for the original Tempo to be released, seeing that modern consoles, including the 3DS, are highly unlikely to have 32X downloads.



DarkLloyd said:

just to be clear the shining force games on gamegear are not a port of the ones on the sonic's ultimate genesis collection right?



RadioShadow said:

The Game Gear actually had a better pallet than the NES and Master System. The games that were not ports took advantage of this and in some cases made the graphics look sweet.

As for the games I would like, well there are a few! Let's see:

  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sonic Labyrinth
  • Streets of Rage II / Bare Knuckle II
  • Alien Syndrome
  • Tails' Sky Patrol
  • Micro Machines
  • Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Puyo Puyo [Puzzlo Kid] / Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

I don't understand why they are releasing "Columns" as there isn't anything appealing about the game and the Game Gear version does nothing special. "Sonic Drift 2" isn't a bad 8-bit racing game, I just can't see many people downloading this. Sonic Triple Trouble is a decent Game Gear only game, which is a sequel to Sonic Chaos. I will buy it when I get a 3DS.

Has it been confirmed if it will have a 3D features like the Gameboy games?



StarBoy91 said:

Tempo Jr. looks very good, from the screenshots I've seen on the MobyGames website.



7th_lutz said:

I am very familiar with Game Gear. Shining Force: Sword of Hajya is one of my favorite games for Game Gear. I first tried Game Gear out as a teenager in 1991 in a store and I later got it as a Christmas gift in 2007 or 2008.

The problem with Game Gear was the screen itself. I can be difficult to see stuff on Game Gear's screen due to blurriness.



astarisborn94 said:

So there are good games for the system aside from the Sonic games? This should be interesting.

@BassX0: Yes, but it doesn't hurt to request them.



Ronald0wnzu said:

I remember playing all the Sonic GG games on Sonic Adventure DX for GC and I thought they were pretty terrible. Some shouldn't even be priced for $0.99 on the 3DS (not saying they will though).



SwerdMurd said:

not my favorite version of wonder boy 3, but the original shinobi has the ultimate jams. I wouldn't mind Phantasy Star portable either....pretty average but not a bad time-waster.

Never played that game gear megaman...might need to track it down



NeoShinobi said:

I would really like to try out the Shining Force games, as well as Panzer Dragoon, didn't even know there was a version on the GameGear.

As for the Sonic games. I actually enjoyed just about all of them on the GameGear, except for Sonic Blast, that game can rot in hell.



shiningmoogie said:

Shining Force! I'd love to see SF: Final Conflict released and would gladly let them base their translation on the one I did for the game.
Now for a shameless plug for the Shining Force:SOS 20th Anniversary Campaign - please lend your support to our celebrations - only a few days remain! - you can even support via email now!



mightyzinn said:

I want to see sonic triple trouble,sonic choas,tails sky potrol,sonic 2,sonic 1 and awsome stuff like that



CaPPa said:

I'd like to see:
Shinobi II: The Silent Fury
Sonic The Hedgehog
Alien Syndrome
Ax Battler
Tempo Jr
Ninja Gaiden
Smash TV
Strider Returns
Star Wars/ESB/ROTJ
Batman & Robin/Batman Returns

The game I'd really like though would be Rastan Saga, but I think that was Japan only so it probably won't ever appear.



Katernity said:

I sold my game gear about 10 years ago, but I have fond memories of the Taz game.



TimboBaggins said:

I am ashamed that not a single person mentioned Taz-mania. This along with Castle of Illusion were my absolute fav game gear games after Sonic 2

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