Namco Bandai Backs Virtual Console Arcade In A Big Way

By Spencer . March 26, 2009 . 1:54am

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Virtual Console Arcade opened up today with a games from Sega, Tecmo, and Namco Bandai. Expect a lot more games from Namco Bandai in the coming months.

 

Thirty Namco arcade classics have been announced for service in Japan. At the moment this news is just for Japan, but their line up gives us a good idea of what we’re probably going to see in North America this year.

 

Here’s the list. Games marked with an asterisks are available now, each one costs 800 Wii Points ($8).

 

Assault
Burning Force
Cosmo Gang the Puzzle
Cosmo Gang the Video
Cyber Sled
Dragon Buster
Dragon Saber
Dragon Spirit
Emeraldia*
Finest Hour
Galaga 88
Gaplus*
Hopping Mappy
Knuckleheads
Mabael Land
Mappy
Numan Atheletics
Pacmania
Pehlios
Return of Ishtar*
Rolling Thunder
Samurai Ghost
Shadow Land
Sky Kid
Solvalou*
Splatterhouse
Starblade
Tower of Druaga
Wonder Momo
Xevious

 

Arcade ports of Dragon Saber and Samurai Ghost? Awesome! Are there any games on the list you’re excited about?


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  • Zefiro Torna

    We’re apparently getting a better deal on prices than Japan, with 500 points for Druaga and Mappy, while Gaplus is 600 points. Certainly looking forward to Splatterhouse arcade!

    Hmm… but I wonder if Namco will pull an Xbox Live and put all their VC arcade games on a gigantic compilation disc in the future.

    • daizyujin

      Yes, those prices are rather inflated considering all the Namco Museum collections that have came out over the years. The 500 point sounds about right to me. It puts it more in the impulse purchase category.

  • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

    DRUAGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • daizyujin

    I guess we can’t really expect games less than 15 to 20 years old then?

    • jarrodand

      Well, some games probably (eventually). They’ll likely be lower end stuff though (ie: Model 2, System 22/23, ST-V, etc)… we’re already getting early 3D games with Cybersled (System 21, 1993), I think we’ll see more. I wouldn’t expect to see a bunch of Naomi, System 246 or Type-X titles ever though.

      Namco’s lineup is surprisingly good already imo (it comparably murders their XBLA classics), but I want to see Sega, Taito and Tecmo step it up, as well as other companies stepping to the plate (IREM, Capcom, Konami, Atlus, G-mode, ASW, Jaleco, X-Nauts, Million, 8ing, Cave, Mitchell, etc). Still, this is seriously cool.

      • daizyujin

        Yeah it probably will stay around N64 level games. Anything more like Naomi would be getting within a level or two of the Wii’s actual power, making emulation very difficult. Still, I didn’t see Cybersled before I posted, that is is a little more advanced than I was expecting. I remember playing that at the local Aladdin’s Castle way back when. I guess it brings hope for Model 1 and maybe Model 2 though that might be stretching it.

        • jarrodand

          I’d say Model 2′s a safe bet, given Sega already developed an emu that’s Wii compatible (via Sonic Gems Collection on GameCube). M2′s doing Sega’s games for VCA and they already nailed Model 2 emulation for the Sega Ages line on PS2 too. And speaking of M2, I hope all this VCA attention gets us closer to a WiiWare release for Fantasy Zone 2 DX.

          Anything more complex seems out though, yeah. While Wii might be able to handle something more “mid gen” like Model 3 emulation with enough tweaks (and that’s a big “might” imo), I sort of doubt it’d be worth the effort… though I do sort of wonder about the possibility of Tri-Force games games given the code’s already Wii-compatible? Think we could see F-Zero AX or Key of Avalon in time?

          • daizyujin

            That is a good point, the Sonic Gems Collection is a great starting point, I had forgotten about that even though it is right on my shelf. Worth every bit of the $30 I spent on it too.

            From what I can tell about emulation, it seems like there always needs to be about a two generation gap in hardware before a more general purpose emulator for a system can be built. The PS3 can do PS1 games pretty well across the board via emulation but it has that gap while the 360 seems to have a lot of trouble playing even the most basic of original Xbox games.

            From the things I hear from “the community” about injecting of roms, the N64 emulator used by Nintendo needs to be tweeked fairly regularly in order to play different games. Most all I have seen says that compability between one game and another with the exact same version of the emulator is very low. Considering there is only really about a one and a half generation gap in tech, it makes this a little more understandable. If that is the case, the emulator may very well need to be tweeked for each Model 2 game. I suppose that might limit the amount of titles they offer (kinda like how N64 titles seem to be limited by comparison to NES and SNES games on the VC.)

            Triforce is another beast, the main difference between Gamecube and Triforce is the different amount of ram and the clock speed. Officially Gamecube is actually slightly faster but has less ram. It really shouldn’t need an emulator but would be more closely related to how Sumo Digital had to port Outrun 2 from Chihiro to Xbox via compressing the ammount of ram used. Not sure exactly how much effort that would take, it don’t appear that GC/Triforce differences are nearly as large as Xbox/Chihiro ones are.

          • jarrodand

            Yeah, N64 is highly modified per game (or more specifically game engine) from what I’ve heard. I’d expect the same for 32bit level 3D arcade hardware like Model 2, ST-V, HNG64 or System 22. I can see other issues preventing other hardware too, like System 11/12 being PlayStation based keeping it from being brought over or maybe memory concerns for higher end 2D hardware like CPS3 making them not viable. As far as Model 2 though, I’d expect pretty much any title that made it to GC/PS2 (VF2, Virtual On, Sega Rally, Sonic Fighters, Last Bronx, etc, etc) to make it to VCA.

            Also, from what I understand Wii actually has the same amount of RAM as the standard TriForce setup (88MB each) though the pools and speeds are different, TF can be manually expanded depending on game title and Wii likely reserves more memory for it’s background OS. The difference between Outrun 2 Chihiro (512MB) and Xbox (64MB) was pretty dramatic and the conversion was almost flawless… the reason AC based generally have so much more RAM is mostly due to reducing loads or even keeping the entire ROM in memory after start up. Thinking about TF though, I actually think games like Virtua Striker 4 or Key of Avalon would likely make more sense as expanded disc releases anyway.

  • D.A.K.

    Not ports, emulations. They already stupidly released Donkey Kong/JR. etc. crappy NES versions, maybe now they will release the real versions. I’ll personally just keep running M.A.M.E. since it’s better, as well as the great NES/SNES emulators that have been ported to the WII. I don’t see why anyone would want to waste the space of having the entire emulator plus the rom plus all the other stuff for each game rather than just have ONE emulator and a bunch of roms that does save states and the lot.
    I never understood why anyone would pay for Virtual Console when the free emulators are better.

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