I think it’s always been well established that Namco’s Dig Dug contains one of the weirdest concepts of any game in history. But I also think that its pure quirkiness is part of what made the original arcade game such a massive hit. I mean you are a little man who runs around underground with a giant air pump blowing up dragons and big bloopy things, dodging falling boulders and collecting the magic fruit that grows down there. All makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Well this strange mix of Boulderdash, Pac-Man and Bomber Man is just as good on the NES as it was in the arcades. It has all the original levels here which combined with the colourful graphics and decent sound make this one of my favourite NES games. Dig Dug still holds just as much nostalgia for me as any other title from the so called Golden Age of arcade games. It still holds up just as well in gameplay department today as it ever did and is tremendous fun. So what you waiting for? A new magic air pump to arrive?
Mighty Final Fight
When it comes to scrolling beat ‘em ups Capcom’s Final Fight is without doubt one of the most celebrated but many people don’t seem to realise that it actually got a NES release. This is probably because it came so late in the system’s life – June 1993 no less! Most people are also quite startled to see the change in design, with the graphics far more resembling River City Ransom and Kunio-kun game than Capcom’s classic coin-op. They did keep the plot the same as the arcade game though and it features all the same characters too. The basic gameplay is also much more reminiscent too, if a bit more simplified. Mighty Final Fight does fall down a little though in only being a one player game, much like the NES version of Double Dragon, but for those playing it on the 3DS Virtual Console like me this is of little consequence. Another similarity between both games is that Mighty Final Fight also features an experience points system where you must level-up your character to succeed.
Without doubt Jaleco’s City Connection is one of the true hidden gems of the NES Virtual Console library. It’s actually a conversion of a fairly obscure arcade game released in 1985, that was also known as Cruisin’, and is very unique as a driving game for the time. This is because the game is viewed side-on and scrolls horizontally, rather than a standard behind the car point of view. It also combines driving with platforming as the basic idea of the game is to race across each stage colouring in all of the roads. To do this you have to jump in between them and also avoid all the enemies that are trying to stop you. Your foes can be stopped by grabbing cans of lubricant to create oil slicks, causing them to spin out of control and explode! One of most notable features of City Connection is the locations. Set across a number of famous locations including Egypt, Japan, London, Grand Canyon and Easter Island – notable landmarks can be spotted in the background.