Back when Nintendo first showed off the 3DS, among the system's most enticing offerings was a series of remade Nintendo classics -- NES and Super NES ports with 3D effects added.
Sadly, only six of these actually came to fruition through a collaboration between Arika and Nintendo, and of that half-dozen only two games really fell into line with gamers' expectations: Kid Icarus and Kirby's Adventure. The other four games ranged from "decent" (Xevious) to "What, seriously? No! You jerks" (Urban Champion). For whatever reason -- my guess is "no one owned a 3DS at that point and sales tanked" -- Nintendo fell back on a boring old Virtual Console service shoveling up straight renditions of NES and Game Boy classics. Which is fine and all, but there's something wonderful about playing Kirby with funky layered graphics. And Arika even tweaked Kid Icarus to make it subtly but substantially more playable.
Fittingly, then, Sega is the company to gleefully do what -- yes -- Nintendon't, even long after the 16-bit console wars have faded to a distant memory. Where the 3DS platform maker is content to go the easy route, Sega has teamed up with its partners in emulation, M2, to blow away Nintendo and Arika's meager offerings. Rather than slap together a handful of 3D tweaks for iffy first-gen NES games, Sega is exploring its arcade and Genesis classics and giving them a proper facelift.
According to Press the Buttons, the first eight titles on offer consist of the following arcade and Genesis classics:
- 3D Altered Beast
3D Ecco the Dolphin
3D Galaxy Force II
3D Shinobi III
3D Sonic The Hedgehog
3D Space Harrier
3D Streets of Rage
3D Super Hang-On
Aside from Altered Beast -- the 16-bit equivalent of Urban Champion -- this is a respectable line-up of offerings. And, coming from M2, each one bound to be presented with the utmost care and fidelity. M2 is the developer behind the 3DS's Game Gear emulator, and it's their attention to loving recreation that makes the Game Gear Virtual Console so much more feature-rich and user-friendly than Nintendo's own barebones offerings.
It's a shame Nintendo doesn't seem to have any interest in treating its own rich catalog with such affection. But it's nice for weary Genesis veterans to have the chance to be smug about the Nintendo-versus-Sega again after all these years.