Feature: Where Are The Super Nintendo 3D Classics?

Release these games, the 3DS prints money

The 3DS is a wonderful handheld console and over its short lifespan we've seen 3D remasters of the excellent Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64. The eShop library has delivered the goods with 3D Classics releases of NES games Excitebike, Kirby's Adventure, Kid Icarus, TwinBee, Urban Champion and Xevious, all expertly remastered by Japanese developer Arika.

It doesn't end there, of course. Sega — in conjunction with developer M2 — has done an excellent job in remastering the likes of 3D Sonic The Hedgehog, 3D Streets of Rage and 3D Shinobi III to name but three amazing games, and more are on the way.

All of this got us thinking. Why aren't there any Super Nintendo 3D Classics yet? There is an ever-growing library of NES games on the 3DS Virtual Console (not to mention the 10 Game Boy Advance games given away in the Ambassador promotion), but to date SNES games have not been forthcoming — most likely for technical emulation reasons on the hardware. While emulating SNES games may not be within the capabilities of the 3DS, it is surely more than capable of hosting remasters developed from the ground up for the system.

Without further ado we have hand-picked five Super Nintendo games which we think would get this new series of 3D Classics off to a flying start, and we've crossed our fingers, toes and any other available limb in the hope that one day, this will actually happen.

Following on from the success of Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, what better time to honour the classic original from 1992? Sure, it's already on the Wii U eShop's Virtual Console, but let's be honest the split screen format isn't ideal. Let's take care of that with a remastering. In this 3D Classics version you can enjoy the main gameplay on the top screen and the map or rear view mirror can be placed on the touchscreen. In 2 player mode you could enjoy a bit of privacy. Also imagine how good the Mode 7 effects in this game would look in 3D!

The Wii Virtual Console plays host to the excellent Star Fox 64 and we have the excellent remaster of the same game already on 3DS. Still, it's a crying shame that 1993 Super Nintendo Classic Star Fox / Starwing has not yet made it to the Virtual Console due to the difficulties of emulating that wonderful but complex Super FX chip. With the power of a remaster all those technical difficulties would be magically swept aside, allowing nostalgic gamers to relive Fox McCloud's original outing. As Star Fox 64 benefited so much from stereoscopic 3D effects, we'd imagine this would look great, too.

It would be criminal for Super Mario World to not be in our top 5, wouldn't it? Yes, this has seen Virtual Console releases on the Wii and Wii U, but nothing would beat playing it on the go. Emulating the Game Boy Advance version would be fine and dandy, but imagine how good this would look with 3D effects. Also, the second screen could neatly display the map at all times, constantly reminding you of your progress through that massive game world.

We've been banging on about wanting a new F-Zero game at Nintendo Life for years now, so much so that we're starting to give up all hope. So let's at least have a 3D remaster of the 1990 SNES launch title and Mode 7 bonanza which was F-Zero. This is a game which would look truly wonderful in 3D, and there's scope to improve things; the map overlay on the original has always been a bit weedy, so let's pull that off and place on the bottom screen of the 3DS.

Another no-brainer. If we can't have Metroid Dread, then let's have 3D Classics Super Metroid instead. Who could possibly resist this? The 3D effect alone would justify the effort of rebuilding the game from the ground up, and the map and weapon inventory could be neatly tucked away on the second screen. Lovely!

Third Parties

While the 5 games above would be safe bets if Nintendo ever decided to throw wads of cash at either M2 or Akira to make all our dreams come true, we can always allow our minds to wonder what more could be achieved with classic remasters of third party titles. Here are some of our favourite ideas.

Axelay — Konami's Axelay would be on the top of our list to get a 3D Classics makeover. This was one of the few shmups on the Super Nintendo and it certainly impressed at the time with levels switching between a vertical and horizontal viewpoint, not to mention the gorgeous Mode 7 effects and huge end of level bosses. The only downside was that the game pushed the Super Nintendo to its very limits and there is some severe flickering and slowdown at certain parts of the game. The 3D Classics remaster would take care of that, we wager. Interestingly this game was released on the Wii Virtual Console in 2007 in North America, but never in Europe.

Doom — This one is far-fetched but we can dream! With id Software beavering away on Doom 4 at the moment, what better time to re-release the original classic...in glorious 3D? The Super Nintendo version of this old school FPS was published by Williams Entertainment, developed by Sculptured Software and released in 1995. It was a technical achievement to get this game running on the SNES at the time, only made possible with the Reality engine and Super FX 2 chip.

Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting — Capcom has never been shy of making a quick buck from its old IP, so this would be a strong possibility. Granted, we already have Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition on the 3DS, but the 16-bit version of the original would surely satisfy the whims of the retro gaming connoisseur.

ActRaiser — Wouldn't it be wonderful to see Enix's action platformer-meets-God-sim on the 3DS? If only so we could hear Yuzo Koshiro's legendary soundtrack again. The Populous-style town-building segments could be given a 3D makeover, too.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts — Sir Arthur might blush at the thought of us seeing him in his underpants in 3D, but this would be a strong contender for a classics remaster we feel. Imagine how great this would look with the mists on the stage 2 ghost ship at the foreground of your vision; we're practically salivating at the mere thought of it.


So there you have it, our top 5 selections for Super Nintendo 3D Classics and some wildcards from third parties. Do you think these would be a big success if Nintendo chose to tackle remastering these 16-bit classics? What would some of your choices be? Post a comment and let us know!