Nintendo finally releasing more classic arcade games on Switch; 5 Arcade Archives titles that we want to see
At E3 2018, Nintendo announced their plans to release more classic arcade titles on the Switch eShop as part of its “Arcade Archives” program. Priced at $7.99 a pop, Nintendo added the original Donkey Kong as well as the previously Japan-only Sky Skipper to the list of already available digital games, with the latter arriving on the eShop this week.
Now that Nintendo has opened up the flood gates to their classic arcade titles, here’s five more we want to see get the “Arcade Archives” treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, Radar Scope was not truly the first arcade game created by Nintendo. However, it deserves a place on the Arcade Archives list on account of it being the first arcade game worked on by Shigeru Miyamoto. Originally released in 1979, Radar Scope was a shooter similar to Space Invaders, and was well-received in Japan.
Gamers in the United States, however, largely missed out on Radar Scope, as US arcades didn’t order the cabinet in nearly as high of numbers as Nintendo expected. Staring in the face of a huge financial loss, Nintendo’s CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi scrambled to get another game programmed to fit the specs of the Radar Scope cabinet. Enter Miyamoto-san and the original Donkey Kong, and the rest is gaming history.
Released in 1979, Sheriff is one of the first dual-stick arcade shooting games predating others classics as Robotron 2084 and Smash TV. Players control the town sheriff who has to blast through a gang of advancing outlaws. Sheriff was successful enough to spawn a sequel which was released under the title Bandido, which dropped the dual-stick control scheme in favor of a single joystick and fire button.
Now the we have dual analogue controllers, porting games with dual-stick controls makes for a far more satisfying experience. If we never see an official release of Sheriff, Nintendo at least paid homage to one of their early arcade successes by including a Sheriff-like minigame in WarioWare: MicroGame$! for the Gameboy Advance. Nobody said that Nintendo collecting was easy… at least not when done legally.
Shigeru Miyamoto initially envisioned the original Donkey Kong as a Popeye game, but Nintendo wasn’t able to secure the rights to the characters from King Features. Lucky for us, a deal for the Popeye characters was eventually locked down following Donkey Kong’s resounding success, and arcade dwellers now had two great games brainstormed from the same concept.
In Popeye, you play as the titular sailor man ascending several platforms to rescue Olive Oyl from the villainous Bluto (Brutus?), all with the assistance of your trusty can of spinach which allows Popeye to serve Bluto a hearty wallop. Given that King Features seems to be in no rush to do anything with the Popeye character, allowing Nintendo the chance to keep the Popeye brand alive by porting this classic arcade game to the Switch is almost a no-brainer on their end.
Released in 1980, Helifire is a unique shooter in which players control a submarine in which they must evade helicopter attacks from the sky and other ships attacking by sea. Your submarine isn’t helpless, though, as it can move in eight directions and strike back at enemies with an endless supply of missiles.
Helifire never received a home release, and the arcade machine is considered extremely rare by collectors. It would be great for younger Nintendo fans to get a chance to play the game, as well as for older gamers with memories of playing the originally to have an opportunity to take a well overdue nostalgia trip.
Donkey Kong 3
Let’s face it, we already have tons of ways to play Donkey Kong Jr., and Nintendo is likely going to add it to their Arcade Archives anyway, so we might as well ask for something else!
In Donkey Kong 3, you play as an exterminator named Stanley whose greenhouse was broken into by Donkey Kong. Now it’s time to grab your bug spray pump and wreak holy vengeance!
Donkey Kong 3 played more like a shooter than a platformer, and it was perhaps the least popular installment in the series as a result. Dropping DK3 into the Arcade Archives would be a great way for Nintendo to get this sequel into the hands of more players.
So that’s our list. Feel free to tell us which Arcade Archives games you’d like to see. With any luck, the Nintendo fairy may actually deliver.
Wait… Tingle is the “Nintendo fairy?” Stay away from my house – and my kids… freak show.