News Article

Sega Names First Game Gear Games for 3DS Virtual Console

Posted by James Newton

Surprise! Sonic!

The news that Game Gear and TurboGrafx-16 games are coming to 3DS Virtual Console was welcomed by all, and Sega has already announced five of the games it'll be bringing to the service when it launches in late May.

Classic gem-stacker Columns and ninja outing Shinobi (known as The G.G. Shinobi in Japan) will need no introduction to most Sega gamers, but Dragon Crystal, the 8-bit sequel to Mega Drive dungeon-crawler Fatal Labyrinth, will be a little less familiar.

Rounding out the quintet are Game Gear-exclusive Sonic titles Sonic Triple Trouble — the game that introduced Fang the Weasel to the world — and Sonic Drift 2, one of the first games that made Sonic fans ask "if he's so fast, why is he in a car?"

There are no prices or solid release dates for 3DS Virtual Console games, but our constantly updated Nintendo Life 3DS FAQ contains everything we know.

SEGA Game Gear Classics Make a Triumphant Return on the Nintendo 3DS

Hit Game Gear Titles Coming to the Nintendo eShop

SAN FRANCISCO and LONDON - March 2, 2011 - SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced that they are partnering with Nintendo to produce a series of fan favorites from the Game Gear™ that will soon be available for download on the Nintendo eShop service for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS™ system. First announced today during Nintendo’s keynote address at the Game Developers Conference, SEGA’s favorite classic games will be among the first titles to be offered exclusively for download on the new platform.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Game Gear system, and we believe that releasing these titles on the groundbreaking Nintendo 3DS is a great way to commemorate the occasion,” said Haruki Satomi, vice president of Digital Business at SEGA of America. “Both new fans and those with fond memories of time spent playing their Game Gear will surely find something to love in our upcoming lineup of Nintendo eShop titles.”

Five releases are planned for the launch of the Nintendo eShop, with more to be announced later this year. For more information about Nintendo eShop titles from SEGA, please visit


From the web

User Comments (61)



James said:

That's my Game Gear up there, by the way. It's not as scratched as it looks!



outrun2sp said:

Excellent. Im able to run them on iphone.

Shinobi 1 and 2 on GG are excellent underrated games.

Also Outrun, wonderboy 3, ninja gaiden would be welcome.

Strange choice of sonic games though. Why not go for sonic 1 which is the best.



Lost_Hope said:

This is some good news!

Dragon Crystal is a very enjoyable roguelike; if it makes it overseas, I'll get it for sure.



James said:

@Bass Yes, we'll be reviewing 100% of 3DSWare and 3DS Virtual Console games, so expect the same great coverage you get now only on 3DS!



Sabrewing said:

Here's hoping for the Shining Forces, Crystal Warriors and Defenders of Oasis!



Bass_X0 said:

Can we have a feature on what Game Gear games that Nintendo would like to see on the 3DS?



DrCruse said:

This is going to be epic. I've never got a chance to play Dragon Crystal on the original hardware, but it looks great.




This is great news! I never owned a Game Gear, but I'd love to play some of the games! Especially Shining Force!



TeeJay said:

After watching it on Youtube I'm thinking of getting Sonic Triple Trouble, but I'll wait until your review of the game to decide.



Oregano said:

@5 You should have said 'so expect the same great coverage you get now only IN 3D!!'



kevohki said:

Ick.. Sonic Drift 2. Such an awful game. Even worse than Tail's Sky Patrol and Sonic Chaos.



Kevin said:

Just give me Tails' Adventures Nintendo! That's all I want from Game Gear.



Lotice-Paladin said:

That's a tenth of the whole GG library already (not including Japanese exclusives).

I kind of hoped they'd vary the first five...Tails' Adventure instead of Sonic Drift 2 and Fantasy Zone Gear instead of Dragon Crystal.

Ah well, those will be coming down the line.



madgear said:

It was called GG Shinobi in the UK too - it was awesome. However I never managed to beat it, the last stage is incredibly tough. Sonic is great on the GameGear as is Castle of Illusion - I'm kind of worried we wont see that one, though.

When I was a kid, if you told me I'd have a handheld that was a GameGear and Gameboy combined I'd never have believed it. Think the only problem with this (and it's not exactly a problem) is LCD screen are so much better these days that all those little graphical artifacts on the GameGear screen will be lost - probably for the best.



DiggerandIndy said:

"Sonic Drift 2, one of the first games that made Sonic fans ask 'if he's so fast, why is he in a car?' "
It was also one of the first games to make Sonic fans to ask "Hey! Where's Sonic Drift 1?"



warioswoods said:

It's particularly impressive that Nintendo went the extra mile to faithfully recreate the battery life.



Adam said:

Glad to see some roguelike love, though I've read there are some issues with the game. According to Youtube comments, at least, sometimes there's randomly no exit to a level and you have to teleport if you're able to or let yourself starve. I hope it's not a common issue because it looks decent enough for a VC game.

Triple Trouble was my favorite Sonic as a kid. If I were to ever pick up another Sonic, that would be it.



Token_Girl said:

I figured this was coming, but as soon as I loaded the page today and saw this, my heart asploded! I'm psyched that they're releasing Triple Trouble first, since that's the only game that isn't available on the Wii's VC on the Master System. When this drops, that's the day I'll be running around town to find a 3DS!

I hope they release Sonic 1, 2, and Chaos on the 3DS too, since I remember them as portable titles (I'm relatively confident this will happen). It'll be nice to be able to play all my game gear titles on the go again (you know, without having to drag around my game gear).

Isn't Turbograpfix 16 on the Wii VC? That's nice, but I guess they'll make you buy two copies of the same game instead of allowing to link with your Wii. I'd be angry in principle about this, but I'm too happy about having Game Gear games available to feel anger.

Also - James, I understand. Where were screen protectors in the age of the Game Gear when we really needed them?



James said:

@Token Girl I've actually had it refurbished since then so it looks a lot nicer, but at the time I took that photo it was wrecked!

@Madgear Ah, I thought it was just straight-up "Shinobi" here. Shows what I know!

Also great shouts on Baku Baku Animal and Woody Pop!

@Starlight 10%? Not according to Wikipedia!



madgear said:

To be fair I think it might have just been Shinobi on the box but the title screen definately said GG Shinobi because I always used to wonder if the GG stood for Game Gear.



AUnkownFuture said:

I never heard Shinobi on the Game Gear but i may get it. I have played Sonic Drift 2,Sonic Triple Trouble and Tails Adventure and Skypatrol on Sonic Gems Collection. I think ill wait for TurboGrafx 16 games. The games im looking for for the TurboGrafx 16 are Gate of Thunder and Lords of Thunder and maybe more.



retro_player_22 said:

Yes now all we need are some Lynx, Genesis Nomad, Neo Geo Pocket Color, and Game Boy Advance supports and the 3DS VC would be as awesome as Wii.



CrazyOtto said:

The member Starfox is goibng to be really happy, he made a few posts saying he really wanted the SMS/GameGear Columns on the Wii's VC.



SafariSuz said:

|sf>I've never played that version of Shinobi nor Sonic Drift 2, but I'll probably buy anything Game Gear that Sega releases (minus sports titles). The non-licensed catalog games on this machine had such a consistent level of quality that I didn't fear getting burned by a purchase. Granted, I didn't have as much money to burn then as now (especially since the GG carts generally cost more than Gameboy), but I managed to buy a decent collection.

Still, this looks like a logical diverse collection for the first five titles, although I probably would have expected the Game Gear version of Hang-On instead of two Sonic titles. Dragon Crystal and that version of Columns were very memorable and deserve the headlines. Besides, Dragon Crystal was one of the first titles released and Columns came with the system.

@35 retro_player_22

Well, one of the Game Gear puzzle titles, Slider, was part of a series that included the Lynx title, Super Squeak (?sp). However, instead of having this Virtual Console expand into the area of overreaching, I'd rather see Sega release a lot of Game Gear titles. I mean, look what happened with the Wii's Virtual Console. There are several Commodore 64 games I used to love, but so few of those titles made it to VC. I'm still very sad that I'll never see Space Taxi on VC, nor will I even be able to purchase the Impossible Mission games, since NOA has stopped releasing any C=64.

There are around a dozen to two dozen Game Gear games that I really want Sega to release and I'd rather not see any new consoles diluting the playing field until the "movie star games" appear, because I don't want to be waiting until 2015 for Baku Baku, Psychic World, Woody Pop, Crystal Warriors, Defenders of Oasis, Shining Force II, or Solitaire Poker in the same way that I've waited for Stinger, Gun-Nac, Parasol Stars, Flicky, or Truxton. The beauty is that Game Gear has such a smaller pool of games that Sega can choose, so we might get nearly all of those amazing titles.



MeloMan said:

Dragon Crystal... I'm going to have to investigate that one as I have no idea what that game is like. Good on SEGA for Sonic Triple Trouble, and like Token Girl, I hope Sonic Chaos (portable form) will be released where it belongs. I now needs Tails Adventure, a game I only dabbled in previously, so Tails and I can finish what we started.

On a slightly different note, I'm expecting Nintendo to announce 3DS VC support for GBA and Virtual Boy once the system takes off for several months, so I shall wait patiently for the inevitable announcement on these...



MasterGraveheart said:

They call me Sonic!
Cause I am faster then sound,
I keep 'em jumpin' around!

Blue hedgehog, Sonic!
With incredible speed,
I'm movin' my feet!

...Yeah, I find that song annoying too, sorry... let's try another!

Through the dark,
too the light,
it's a supersonic ride,
gotta keep it goin'!
Sonic Boom~
Sonic Boom~ (Trouble keeps you runnin' faster!)
Sonic Boom~
Sonic Boom~ (Save the planet from disaster!)
Sonic Boom~
Sonic Boom (Spinin' through a world in motion!)
Sonic Boom~
Sonic Boom~ (Take it all the way!)



JamieO said:

Get in, G.G. Shinobi from the off! That's a great start for Game Gear games on 3DS Virtual Console.

I like @Madgear's perspective where he considers announcements like this and how he would have reacted when he was a kid back in the early 90s (comment 22). We would have gone nuts if so many of our favourite handheld games were available on one portable back then. I like to think like that too, it makes me feel grateful for how accessible retro gaming has become today.



FluttershyGuy said:

Geez Louise, that's already three more Sega VC games than first party games Nintendo's announced for their own system! What does Nintendo think this is? Wii VC? Guess Sega's trying to win a mini-handheld war against Nintendo, here almost 20 years after the Game Boy vs. Game Gear battle!



JDesensitized said:

I hope Sonic 1 is put on there sooner than later. A lot of memories with that one.

Also Fantasy Zone Gear!



Pastry said:

Uhh.... If Shining Force comes out on the 3DS... it will be insta-buy. Shining Force is my favorite video game on the Genesis and I've heard great things about the Game Gear ones.



DarkLloyd said:

looks like
sonic triple trouble is day one buy along with super mario land and zelda dx



k8sMum said:

ah, the memories! i got my then very young son a game gear when they first came out...i played it for hours before i gave it to him (he didn't know i had it yet). i loved that heavy, huge, but lit old system.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@17,39 For Tails's Adventure (and a bunch of other lesser-known Sonic games), just get Sonic Gems Collection. In fact, I can already play all of the Sonic series Game Gear games except Sonic Blast (I can't get anywhere near all 130 Emblems and all 60 missions in SADX) in either Sonic Adventure: DX or Sonic Gems Collection.

@42 Blue streak speeds by.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Too fast for the naked eye.
Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic, he can really move.
Sonic, he's got an attitude.
Sonic, he's the fastest thing alive!
He's the fastest thing alive!



Beau_Skunk said:

TurbografX games sound cool. It'll be nice to have portable versions to Bomberman '93 & '94 soon.
...(I wonder if it's possible to get a lower price if you already purchased the games for Wii.)

Most Game Gear games look like watered-down 8-bit versions to Sega Genesis games, but they still have some nice gems. So this is good to hear "Triple Trouble" was a pretty good Sonic game. (Stiff movements aside.)
Though, I hear the "Master System" versions of Sonic 1, 2, and Chaos are better then the GG versions. (They all have a larger view for one thing.) I'd rather see those ported to the 3DS then the GG versions.

Nack/Fang was a pretty cool character. Shame Sega forgot about him. (At least he still appears in the official StH comics by Archie.)



Mach-X said:

@57 the SMS/GG versions of those sonics are virtually identical. No difference in sound/gfx other than the further out view for the SMS versions. I highly doubt you'd want to play them on a portable as the sprites would be sooooo small lol.



Betagam7 said:

I used to love Dragon Crystal, its a very good rougelike in the veign of Fatal Labrynth. Its a perfect choice for on the go gaming.



CaptainAsh said:

The GG version of Shinobi was just... sweet!! ...and damn challenging! super-recommended!!

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