Portable putting, rolling, and role playing.
Anyone who has been listening to Radio Trivia from the beginning will know I have a soft spot for the Mario Golf series—especially the GBC release. Perhaps Camelot's finest hour, Mario Golf manages to strike a surprisingly elegant balance of RPG elements and golfing gameplay the development team couldn’t quite reproduce in its subsequent portable Mario Sports games. Given that its N64 counterpart is available on the Wii Virtual Console, this one's a shoe-in for release on the 3DS service.
In Mario Golf, you play as a promising young upstart with dreams of being the world’s best golfer. To reach that goal, you must win each course's championship and best its reigning pro golfer. As your character completes rounds of golf and clears side-quests, he or she earns experience points that can be allocated toward improving the player's various statistics. The clever and varied course designs are conveyed surprisingly clearly within the handheld's visual limitations. While Mario & Co.'s presence is surprisingly limited for what is ostensibly a Mario game, navigating the town-like clubhouses and tearing up the links are both a blast.
Kirby Tilt 'n Tumble is a perfect selection for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. This late GBC Kirby release came with a built-in motion sensor, and the player had to tilt the GBC to roll Kirby around in the various levels and flick the system to make him jump. Kirby progressed through each level by navigating around obstacles, hitting switches, and leveraging his famous copy ability. Nintendo toyed with releasing a Kirby TNT sequel for the GameCube but ultimately canned the project.
With gameplay somewhere between Zelda and Super Monkey Ball, TNT had some clever concepts and level designs. Tilting the world could cause blocks to slide in or out of your way, and of course an errant tilt could easily send Kirby falling to his doom. Ultimately this game was rendered all but unplayable by the GBC and original GBA’s unlit screens, as well as its unfortunate incompatibility with the GBA SP. Since the 3DS features a very comparable tilt sensor, what better game to bring to Virtual Console than this under-appreciated gem with brand recognition?