Later this week, the last two Sega 3D Classics, Shinobi III and Streets of Rage will hit the 3DS eshop in the west, ending “Series 1” of these brilliant ports. While not getting the same amount of attention in the games media as the new consoles, the Sega 3D Classics are still quite important, as they truly raise the bar for digital distribution of classic games. If you read any of the interviews with developer M2 and Sega producer Yousuke Okunari, you know much love and effort is put into this series. Finally, classic games- some over 25 years old- are getting similar remaster treatment to what Criterion gives films. Pixel-perfect renditions of the game’s visuals (with some added perks like widescreen and 3D) combined with a wealth of options make these 3DS versions the absolute best (and most affordable!) way to play the titles in this series.
Series two of the Sega 3D Classics line kicks off in Japan this week as well, with 3D After Burner II, another Super Scaler gem. This second round of 3D Classics could see release in the west, IF the first series does well, according to Okunari-san. If you’ve read any of my Sega 3D Classic reviews, you know why I really want this series to continue, both in Japan and the west. Now, I’m not super big on telling people what games to buy (OK, maybe I kinda am) and I DEFINITELY am not a fan of companies playing the whole “if you want <X GAME> then you need to buy <Y GAME>” card. But I think this case is different- buying Sega 3D Classics not only nets you some super fun games, but also establishes a new gold standard in how classic games are sold in the digital age, and paves the way to a wonderful classic Sega future on a kick-ass system that pretty much everyone owns.
So! How do ensure that we get the Good Ending with more awesome ports of awesome Sega games? Well, here’s my step-by-step plan:
1) Buy the games!
Capitalism! Supply and demand! This is a no-brainer!
2) Rate the games!
Those stars in the description of games on the 3DS eshop? They don’t come from question mark boxes, ya know! The eshop sports a pretty user-friendly rating system for games that you’ve played for at least an hour. If these Sega 3D Classics get enough high scores, who knows, maybe they’ll attract the attention of some casual and nostalgic eshop browsers!
3) Tell Nintendo & Sega you want more 3D Classics!
Now that we have EarthBound on the Wii U Virtual Console, you can stop requesting it in every one of your Club Nintendo surveys. Instead, tell Nintendo you want more Sega 3D Classics (this is probably even more effective if it’s actually a survey for a 3D Classic)! Otherwise, you can bug Nintendo on Twitter or Facebook and Sega on both as well. While you’re at it, why not drop M2 or Okunari-san a message telling them how much you love their work? They deserve it!
For the love of classic games! For the future generations! For the potential releases of 3D OutRun and 3D Phantasy Star! For the blue skies!
Let’s ensure a future of Sega 3D Classics!