ESRB rates two Game Gear games for 3DS; we list 6 others worth porting over

During last year's Game Developers Conference, Sega revealed that Game Gear games would be making their way over to the 3DS shop. Nearly one year later and we haven't heard a peep from either company, leading some to assume that the deal had fallen through. This, apparently, isn't the case, and according to ESRB listings, the 3DS will soon be getting the previously promised Game Gear games. 

The first two listings are for Shinobi and Sonic Triple Trouble, which are the two most obvious games to bring over. Shinobi's handheld outing is one of his most famous, and Sonic Triple Trouble is a solid Sonic game. But there are other Game Gear games we'd like to see brought over to the 3DS, and we've compiled them for you below.

1. Sonic Drift 2

Back before kart racers starred everyone from Papa Smurf to Fred Flintstone, Sonic Drift and the more widely-played sequel were a slightly more unique concept. Though nowhere near as memorable or as timeless as Super Mario Kart, Sonic Drift 2 remains a cute diversion and a reminder of when kart games were new enough that this didn't feel like a total rip-off. And compared to some of the lame friends Sonic has these days, the line-up of racers isn't too bad.

2. Mega Man

Looking at the name, it's easy to assume that this is a traditional port of the original NES version of Mega Man. Surprisingly, that's actually not the case. Mega Man for the Game Gear was more of a remixed, using different elements of Mega Man 4 and Mega Man 5 to create a new game in the series. It's difficult, lacking continues after death, but it's a surprisingly strong entry in the series, and one that has been completely forgotten.

3. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Mickey hasn't starred in a ton of great games, but Castle of Illusion was one of the few. Developed by Sega, the Disney adventure was best on the Genesis/Mega Drive, but the Game Gear version was a fine portable substitute, featuring candy-colored visuals and a classy soundtrack. Other licensed classics like Simpsons and X-Men Arcade have been rereleased, so why shouldn't Disney and Sega work together for a common profitable goal?

4. Columns

After Game Boy became a phenomenon thanks to Tetris, Sega gave packed-in puzzle games a chance with this gem (hah, we're so clever). Columns burns bright in the memories of virtually every Game Gear owner, so this title getting 3DS emulation is a pretty much a given. We probably won't play it for more than 15 minutes, but no trip down Game Gear memory lane would be complete without it.

5. Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya

The Sword of Hajya is a direct sequel to Shining Force Gaiden, bringing turn-based tactical battles to the handheld. Many consider the RPG to be one of the best games on the handheld, even if the American version contained some controversial changes, such as buffing up certain Mage spells to make the game easier (which, in turn, made enemy Mages horrifically difficult), and we'd love to see it make its way to the 3DS.

6. Road Rash

We tried to keep this list fairly low on  direct ports (except Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, since that's sort of on another level entirely) but, seriously. Road Rash! This criminally abandoned series needs some love, and maybe, just maybe, a 3DS port will remind everyone how amazing it is. Every so often it shows up in a "best of the Genesis" collection, but it's more than that. Much more. EA needs to get off its butts and make a new one, stat, though we'd settle for at least a port to the 3DS in the meantime.


3DS game gear


  • Dadyo238 - February 2, 2012 5:16 p.m.

    I've been wondering when those Game Gear games would show up. Also, how early in development does a game get rated by the ESRB? Also, first!
  • Skeletortilla - February 2, 2012 8 p.m.

    No joke about that Shining Force game. I remember getting to the last dungeon, but being stuck on this one battle for months because of how overpowered the spells were. I think I actually restarted the game and leveled up whatever characters were best for taking out spellcasters mainly for those final encounters.
  • DirkSteele1 - February 3, 2012 12:05 a.m.

    I actually preferred the Master System / Game Gear version of Castle of Illusion over the Megadrive, but they were both excelllent. That game should be on any best of list.
  • Cloudiology - February 3, 2012 1:01 a.m.

    About a year ago I got to level 999 in columns! Megadrive though. Couldn't have done it without auto save! God bless emulation..
  • nai1210 - February 3, 2012 1:02 a.m.

    Castle of illusion was one of my fave megadrive games,only played a small portion of the game gear version but remeber being amazed out how close it was in quality,game gear games always looked amazing as most people where playing tetris on a green and black screen,,it's a shame the machine didn't do better at retail,can't remeber the price but i do remeber it would eat through battery's in no time
  • veryweirdguy - February 3, 2012 1:58 a.m.

    Glad to see Triple Trouble getting a release! Used to love that game.
  • Kermit1970 - February 3, 2012 2:50 a.m.

    I've still got my Game Gear. Not to sure about games though
  • sirdilznik - February 3, 2012 3:23 a.m.

    Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya is flat out awesome, Shining Force: Final Conflict is good too. I'll snap those two up immediately if and when they come to the 3DS VC.
  • BigWillis - February 3, 2012 3:52 a.m.

    No doubt they will be massively overpriced as well.
  • Higgins - February 3, 2012 4:12 a.m.

    Castle of Illusion was the first video game I owned. I even had it BEFORE the console, and I remember sleeping with the cartridge (don't laugh) under my pillow. It was truly a sacred object. Then came GG Shinobi, which is awesome beyond words.
  • Bawheidbob - February 3, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    Wow i recognized Shinobi from the screenshot there - really great game that i played a lot to the point where i could complete it without taking any damage let alone losing a life. I was actually just thinking about 'retro' games and if one should go back and play them as it may spoil the memories but i think i might go for it if any of these games appear.

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