Nintendo's Famicom Mini: Shonen Jump 50th Anniversary Edition proves all that glitters is not gold
Dragon Quest, Captain Tsubasa titles headline an all-star lineup of dreadful pap.
Nintendo's "Classic Edition" plug-and-play consoles are an unqualified success: the recent SNES Classic Mini, released last October, has sold in excess of 5 million units worldwide as of last month and demand continues to outpace supply; there was never any doubt there'd be a successor, the only question was the format. Would they take the logical step and introduce a N64 Mini? Jump into the handheld space with a replica Game Boy? Refresh the existing mini-consoles with new and expanded software libraries? The immediate answer, at least in Japan, seems to be the latter.
According to reports from the latest issue of the venerable weekly boys' magazine Weekly Shonen Jump, Nintendo is collaborating with Shonen Jump to release a limited-edition, gold-tinted Famicom Mini in celebration of Shonen Jump's 50th anniversary. Dubbed the Nintendo Classic Mini Family Computer Weekly Shonen Jump 50th Anniversary Version, this system will contain an entirely different lineup of 20 games spanning across Shonen Jump's considerable stable of creations, from Dragon Ball to Saint Seiya to Fist of the North Star, and capped off with an honorary Jump alum, the original Dragon Quest.
Here's the announced list of titles, annotated with videos and English titles where applicable:
- Ankoku Shinwa: Yamato Takeru Densetsu
- Captain Tsubasa (released in English in a heavily-modified form as Tecmo Cup Soccer Game
- Captain Tsubasa 2
- Tenchi wo Kurau (released in English as Destiny of an Emperor)
- Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden
- Dragon Ball Z: Kyoushuu! Saiyajin
- Dragon Ball: Shenron no Nazo (released in English in a heavily-modified form as Dragon Power)
- Dragon Quest (released in English asDragon Warrior)
- Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden
- Famicom Jump II: Saikyou no Shichinin
- Hokuto no Ken
- Hokuto no Ken 3: Shin Seiki Souzou Seiken Retsuden
- Kinnikuman: Kinnikusei Oui Soudatsusen
- Kinnikuman Muscle Tag Match (released in English in a heavily-modified form as Tag Team Match: M.U.S.C.L.E.)
- Magical Taruruuto-kun: Fantastic World!!
- Rokudenashi Blues
- Saint Seiya: Ougon Densetsu
- Saint Seiya: Ougon Densetsu Kanketsu-hen
- Sakigake!! Otokojuku Shippuu Ichi Gou Sei
(If you'd like to see the listing for yourself, click here.)
What might not be evident just from reading the list or watching some of the videos is that most of these titles are... well, awful, either by virtue of being unrecognizable as character games or simply by being unfun ordeals held together by the tears of a million duped children. Of course, the demand for these products is driven by nostalgia and as such, memorability matter a lot more than quality and well, them there Saint Seiya games sure are memorable. Be honest, if Nintendo of America announced a NES Classic: LJN Edition, don't tell me you wouldn't be the least bit tempted to pick it up.
(Respect where it's due: Tecmo's Captain Tsubasa games were original, top-class character games and hold up reasonably well.)
The Shonen Jump FC Mini will go on sale from July 7 for the price of 7,980 yen. If you're planning on rolling the dice on an import, or just want to spitball your own NES Mini: Bottom-of-the-barrel Licensed IP Shlock Edition, let us know in the comments.