Conspicuously Absent - Wii Edition
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The Wii Virtual Console was an excellent way for new gamers to get a glimpse into gaming's history and try out classic games with out having to shell out ridiculous ebay prices. Unfortunately, not all great games from Nintendo's previous systems saw a Virtual Console release.
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1. Platform: NES
Platform: NES
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2. Video Game: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:387]
Video Game: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
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Reason: Poor Public Image

Starting this list with kind of a cheat, the re-release 'Punch-Out!!' is available, but let's face it, Mike Tyson was a much more epic final boss than Mr. Dream. Unfortunately, Iron Mike's antics over the years caused Nintendo to decide that he was not a good role-model for children and they removed his name from the game back in 1990. Still, most people prefer the original over the reissue.
 
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3. Video Game: Contra [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:322]
Video Game: Contra
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Reason: ????

Super C and Contra III: Alien Wars both got a Virtual Console release, but not the original. No idea why this one is missing.
 
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4. Video Game: Tetris (1984) [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:190] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Video Game: Tetris (1984)
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Licensing Issues?

Whether you prefer the Tengen version for its 2-player mode or the improved graphics and soundtrack of Nintendo's, Tetris is a sad loss. Apparently after a decade of having not earning a red cent from this, the most popular game of all time, Alexei Pajitnov reacquired the rights to his property. I guess he didn't want Nintendo to publish his game anymore.

The Tengen version would never be republished by Nintendo. In the late 80's Tengen stole code for Nintendo's lockout chip from the U.S. Patent Office to circumvent Nintendo's licensing agreement and produce their own games for the NES. A massive lawsuit ensued over the course of many years with Tengen eventually found at fault.
 
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5. Video Game: Metal Gear [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:3239]
Video Game: Metal Gear
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Reason: Developer Request?

It's possible that Hideo Kojima requested that the sub-par NES port of his MSX game Metal Gear not be reissued on the Virtual Console. The NES version doesn't even have a fight against Metal Gear in the game! Instead you fight a computer screen. Lame. Still it was a seminal title to be passed over from the NES back catalog.
 
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6. Video Game: Bionic Commando (1987) [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1492]
Video Game: Bionic Commando (1987)
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Controversial Content

Far better than the reboot in the 2000's, the original Bionic Commando was a Capcom gem. The Japanese title is enough to explain why it never saw a Virtual Console release; Hitler's Revival: Top Secret!

Even when the game was localized for North America back in the 80's Capcom made changes to tone down the Nazi title, story, and imagery, but with today's politically correct sensitivities Capcom would have had to rebuild the game from the ground up.
 
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7. Video Game: DuckTales [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:828]
Video Game: DuckTales
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Licensing Issues?

Although the issue of republishing licensed properties saved many Wii gamers from having to experience anything from LJN's back catalog it also blocked the release of a few truly good games, like Duck Tales. Many retro gamers would have loved for this to come to the Virtual Console, but I'm sure disagreements between Nintendo/Capcom and Disney over licensing fees likely killed this one.
 
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8. Video Game: R.C. Pro-Am [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1508]
Video Game: R.C. Pro-Am
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Reason: Competitor's Product

Sadly we mark the first of many Rareware games that will never see a reissue on anything but a Microsoft console. Although R.C. Pro Am would have been a welcome release on the Wii's NES library it is nothing compared to the absences we will see once we hit the N64 era. If only Nintendo had purchased Rare instead of Microsoft snapping them up. :'(
 
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9. Video Game: Baseball Stars [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:1551]
Video Game: Baseball Stars
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Reason: ????

This is the first SNK title on our list and it becomes a pattern. Not sure why none of their games appear on the Virtual Console.
 
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10. Video Game: Dr. Mario [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:959]
Video Game: Dr. Mario
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Reason: Alternate Release Available

Nintendo chose not to re-release the original Dr. Mario because they had published an updated version already to the Virtual Console.
 
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11. Video Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:840]
Video Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Licensing Issues?

Somehow the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made it to the Virtual Console, but not number II, the port of the Arcade Game. As the first game was later de-listed, perhaps the Arcade Game was originally scheduled for a release before something happened.
 
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12. Video Game: Batman: The Video Game [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2563]
Video Game: Batman: The Video Game
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Licensing Issues?

It is likely that Nintendo just didn't want to have to negotiate with Warner Bros. over their licensed property. Even if they had opened negotiations, Warner would have been more interested in a game that advertised their current Batman series rather than remind people of the now-defunct Tim Burton iteration
 
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13. Video Game: Dragon Quest [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1400]
Video Game: Dragon Quest
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????

Okay, this one I really don't understand. Enix has several titles released on the Virtual Console (Actraiser, Ogre Battle), so why would they not release their flagship series, Dragon Quest?
 
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14. Video Game: Tecmo Super Bowl [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:584]
Video Game: Tecmo Super Bowl
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Licensing Issues

Tecmo Bowl is on the Virtual Console, but no Super Bowl. Why? Bloody Electronic Arts. EA holds the sole rights to publish NFL-licensed games. Although there were some gameplay improvements over Tecmo Bowl, Super Bowl's main draw was its full NFL team roster. Not a chance.
 
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15. Video Game: Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:817]
Video Game: Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????

Again, why, Enix? Why no Dragon Warrior series on the Virtual Console? You're combined with Square these days and all their Final Fantasy games have been ported over, but no Dragon Warrior. I don't get it.
 
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16. Video Game: Crystalis [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1091]
Video Game: Crystalis
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????

The second SNK title on our list to fail to grace the Virtual Console. Some kind of bad blood between SNK and Nintendo?
 
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17. Video Game: Shadowgate (1987) [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:2155]
Video Game: Shadowgate (1987)
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????
 
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18. Video Game: Micro Machines (1991) [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1606]
Video Game: Micro Machines (1991)
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Licensing Issues? Bad Blood?

Although licensing issues are the more likely reason Micro Machines never made it onto the Virtual Console, it is possible that Nintendo refused to republish this game due to a grudge held over from the 80's. Micro Machines was developed by Camerica, the original publisher of the cheat device, Game Genie. Nintendo went to court about the Game Genie against Camerica/Galoob and lost. Could it be that the big N didn't want to send any money in the direction of their old adversary?
 
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19. Video Game: Maniac Mansion [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:464]
Video Game: Maniac Mansion
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Licensing Issues? Controversial Content?
 
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20. Video Game: Metal Storm [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:4767]
Video Game: Metal Storm
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????
 
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21. Video Game: Battletoads (1991) [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1890]
Video Game: Battletoads (1991)
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: Competitor's Product

Another title by Rareware, now property of Microsoft. Battletoads is a graphically impressive, but frustratingly difficult game that many still lament the loss of.
 
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22. Video Game: Cobra Triangle [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:4858]
Video Game: Cobra Triangle
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????
 
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23. Video Game: Dragon Quest III [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1504]
Video Game: Dragon Quest III
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
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Yet another Dragon Warrior game missing from the Virtual Console library. Why Enix?
 
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24. Video Game: Rygar (NES) [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:3315]
Video Game: Rygar (NES)
Jerod Keryluik
Canada
Abbotsford
British Columbia
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????
 
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25. Video Game: Kid Niki: Radical Ninja [Average Rating:4.93 Overall Rank:7316]
Video Game: Kid Niki: Radical Ninja
Jerod Keryluik
Canada
Abbotsford
British Columbia
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Microbadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner KniziaMicrobadge: I play with blue!Microbadge: Plays Games with LoverMicrobadge: Good games do not need expansions!Microbadge: I love a good box insert!
Reason: ????
 
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