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?
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.