30 Awesome Famicom Games that Didn’t Come to North America – Part 2: 11-20
11. Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi (Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light)
The Fire Emblem series just recently enjoyed a release on the Nintendo 3DS with Fire Emblem Awakening, but the series got its start on the Famicom. Fire Emblem on the Famicom is the turn-based, strategy RPG that you know and love, albeit with less features. Even though the Famicom game is much more basic than recent Fire Emblem titles, I immediately got sucked into its challenging, tactical gameplay all over again. This game also introduced Marth, whom is arguably the most recognizable character in the Fire Emblem series.
Gimmick is an adorable platformer developed by Sunsoft that actually did enjoy a release outside of Japan, but unfortunately, it still didn’t come to North America. You play as the cute green doll known as Yumetarō. Yumetarō can spawn stars above his head and throw them at enemies, or he can hop on them and hitch a ride to reach high ledges. Don’t let this game’s cutesy manner fool you, as it can be quite challenging due to slippery controls and persistent enemies. Regardless, the game is still a lot of fun, plus it has awesome chiptunes from Sunsoft.
13. Hello Kitty World
I know what you’re thinking: a Hello Kitty game, really? Well, yes, and the game is most definitely awesome. Hello Kitty World is similar to the Balloon Trip mode from Balloon Fight, and its sequel, Balloon Kid. Your objective in Hello Kitty World is to reach the end goal, but getting there can be challenging. You’ll need to master the “floaty” controls to hover above obstacles and avoid enemies. An interesting feature of this game lets you abandon your balloons. Doing so will let you reach previously inaccessible areas. Don’t fret: you can always fill up two more balloons with air to continue the adventure.
14. Hi no Tori Hououhen: Gaou no Bouken
Hi no Tori is a generic platformer, but it does have one interesting gameplay mechanic that makes it worthwhile to play. The main character has the ability to create blocks, which can be used to reach high ledges, or to cross large gaps. The game doesn’t have the prettiest visuals, and it is a little odd, but it can still be quite inviting. Why this is, I’m not really sure, but I would love to explore this game a little more.
15. Holy Diver
I can’t say that I liked Holy Diver the first time I played the game; however, after some more time with the game, it has grown on me. Holy Diver is a sidescrolling action game, reminiscent of the Castlevania games. You play as a character named Randy, who relies on magical attacks to defeat enemies. Your goal is to wade through enemies and jump over pits, until you reach and defeat the stage boss. You’ll gain new magic abilities as you play, one of which is called Blizzard, which has the ability to freeze enemies and turn lava pits into ice.
16. Itadaki Street: Watashi no Mise ni Yottette
The Itadaki Street series might not seem familiar at first, but Wii owners recently enjoyed the series when a game known as Fortune Street was released in late 2011. While the first iteration on the Famicom lacks the attractiveness of Super Mario characters, its addictive, stock-based gameplay is there in full force.
17. Joy Mech Fight
I’ve heard of Joy Mech Fight before, but didn’t know kind of game it was until now. Joy Mech Fight is an absolutely brilliant fighting game, on a console that had very few fighters. I played through a bit of the game’s story mode, and boy is this game fun. You start with a very basic looking robot and must help a scientist defeat and recover enemy robots. Once an enemy robot is recovered, it becomes playable as it’s added to the game’s roster of fighters. Joy Mech Fight isn’t as in-depth as other fighters, but its two button control scheme can unlock a formidable move set – just like another two button fighting game from Nintendo.
18. Kero Kero Keroppi no Daibouken 2: Donuts Ike ha Oosawagi
Kero Kero Keroppi no Daibouken 2: Donuts Ike ha Oosawagi (Keroppi 2) follows the adventure of Keroppi, a cutesy frog character whom sets off on an adventure to rescue his frog friends. It’s about as standard as platformers can get, but it can be quite fun, when its controls aren’t driving me crazy. Keroppi has a powerful croak that can defeat enemies, but his jump can be hard to control. When jumping, Keroppi begins to accelerate as he falls, which makes landing on small platforms quite difficult. Fix the jumping issue and Keroppi 2 would be a blast to play.
19. Konami Wai Wai World
Konami Wai Wai World is another game I discovered thanks to GameCenter CX. I thought this game was frustratingly difficult, but I really like the concept. Wai Wai World is an action game – which happens to be similar in gameplay to Castlevania – where the objective is to rescue characters from classic Konami games. You play through stages based on Konami games and rescue a character from that game. Once you rescue those characters, they become playable. You start with Konami Man and Konami Lady, but soon enough you’ll be playing as Simon Belmont, Goemon, TwinBee and more.
If you’re a diehard EarthBound fan, then you’ll already know that it was actually the second game in the JRPG series. The first game, you guessed it, was Mother on the Famicom. EarthBound borrowed a lot from Mother – including the first person battle system and modern setting – but Mother is a unique experience. Fans of EarthBound should check out this game to experience its humble beginning.