News Article

US VC Releases - 18th February - Ninja Gaiden III

Posted by Damien McFerran

There’s a bit of a surprise this week for North American Virtual Console fans - seemingly out of nowhere comes Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden III.

We’ve already had the first two Ninja Gaiden NES titles and this release completes the trilogy, but sadly it also turns out to be the weakest of the three in terms of gameplay. This game is so frustrating it should really come with a health warning – or at least a voucher for a replacement Wiimote, because it’s almost inevitable that you will smash your controller into a thousand pieces if you decide to give this game the time of day.

The other pick is the excellent Phantasy Star II for the Genesis/Megadrive. A fine example of a traditional JRPG, this sci-fi epic packs in around 40 hours of gameplay and therefore represents an ideal purchase if you have nothing better to do with your life than sit around in your underwear all day long.

So there you have it – two games instead of the usual one. Hurrah!

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom - NES - 500 Wii Points

Phantasy Star II - Mega Drive / Genesis - 800 Wii Points

PLEASE NOTE: These games will not be available to download from the North American Wii Shop Channel until 9 a.m. Pacific time on Monday 18th Feb

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User Comments (53)



Shortay said:

Decent enough week for the US, but we don't even have Ninja Gaiden 2 yet...

Hopefully 3 game weeks for all next week!



7th_lutz said:

Phantasy Star 2 is a great game, I recommand use a walk through.

Ninja Gaiden 3 is the toughest Ninja Gaiden game on the nes.

Hopefully Shining Fore 2 will be coming soon.



ChinSpin said:

I can't get past the dessert level.I even tried to play it again last week since I still have the carttrige and I can't PASS IT!!!!!!



v404 said:

Haha! Probably the funniest update yet.. Go Damo!

A good VC release week too, considering.. PS2 is a great game. NG series is overrated IMO & part 3 is certainly not the best of the series. But I won't complain about getting 2 major releases in a week.

I hope we get more weeks like this!!



ChocoDK said:

Well I am not really interested in either but maybe I will check out Phantasy Star II but I don't know. I am happy with last weeks release of Harvest Moon.



Viral said:

Not to sound negative or anything, but I think Nintendo is holding back many gems in the collection now. I was reading my NPower here in England and noticed a lot of games are going to be coming out this 2008 year. Now, I can imagine Nintendo withholding these games because of this list in the magazine :

Fire Emblem series - It's coming out on the Wii and DS
Final Fantasy series - Too many remakes on the DS/GBA and they're re-designing IV just like they did III
Kirby series - There's a new Kirby planned for Wii, just hasn't shown much and it's a redesigned version that was originally intended for the Gamecube.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors - There's a game coming this year called Zombie Massacre, maybe they're release these two in sync.
Star Wars series - Star Wars Force Unleashed is coming for Wii
Super Mario Kart (SNES) - It's coming for Wii, so they may release these two in sync as well.

Those are opinionated guesses, kinda like how Super Metroid came out around the time of Metroid Prime 3. Sounds coincidental? Or do you think Nintendo will do the same for all big franchises? I think they will. Although, I'm surprised why no Resident Evil 2 (N64) was released for VC when Umbrella Chronicles came out...



Adamant said:

Why would Nintendo let you download 4 games for 800 points when they can let you download them individually for 500 each? SMB3 hasn't been on the VC for THAT long.

Yes, they may release SMAS at some point down the line (though I doubt it), but there's no reason to nag about it. Just download the originals if you want the games that much.



Starwolf_UK said:

@Viral. Quite a few of those Nintendo has no control on.

Frankly, we'll never see Final fantasy on the VC. Why should Square-Enix give FFIV to us for 800 points when they can sell the DS remake as a £30 game and probably have greater sales! Still, I hopw Square-Enix doesn't end its VC support with ActRaiser. Square-Enix has quite a few titles that are more then welcome on the VC such as Illusion of Gaia, Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger.

GBA remakes are probably not the reason. Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland is a remake of Kirbys Adventure for instance. And not to mention all those Super Mairo Advance games...

Fire Emblem. Well the VC in Japan has the two most popular titles out on it. The other 3 they can release one of them is getting a remake on the DS and I geuss the other 2 have emulation difficulties (for Nintendo).

Kirby. Kirby Superstar won't be making it to the VC due to having a DS remake in development. That, Kirbys Dreamland 3, Kirby 64 and Kirby no kira kira kids (Kirbys star Stacker would be its US name I suppose) are the only Kirby games left.

Super Star Wars. Is paying how ever much the Star Wars liscence is for a few SNES ROMs that will never make back the liscence fee (unless they find a gaping hole in the old contract they can exploit) worth it? Is the publisher/developer of those games even arround anymore?

Super Mairo Kart. Its one of those SNES games that uses the DSP1 chip. Not an easy thing to emulate by any means. Chips are what are holding back quite a few SNES titles; Pilotwings, Star Fox, Yoshis Island...

As for this weeks release. Both games are hard but as for Ninja Gaiden 3. Its one of those games where it was made harder for the US release. In this case they probably went a little mad. The Japanese version had you taking less dmage, unlimited continues and passwords.



KhaoShar said:

PhantasyStar II hits US VC / will global equality be next?

In other news, we hear that the north american and the european versions of Nintendos download portal 'VirtuaConsole' (VC) are finally getting a bit closer to each other. Proof of this could be the release of famed SEGA roleplaying-game (RPG) 'PhantasyStar II', that is going to occure in the US only three days after the release in the EU on monday, Feb.18th.

After discussions of global in-equallity and increasing doubts about Nintendo's global release policy, gamers are finally beginning to hope again.

"This is a good start", said KhaoShar, a member and frequent poster in VirtuaConsole Reviews (VC:R; "But this can't be all, Ninty (a term for Nintendo, the editor) still has a long way to go to re-gain the trust they seemingly destroyed by purpose over the last few months. The first step is done, now continue this way!"



Bass_X0 said:

"""Frankly, we'll never see Final fantasy on the VC. Why should Square-Enix give FFIV to us for 800 points when they can sell the DS remake as a £30 game and probably have greater sales!"""

True. But there will come a time when all copies produced of FFIV DS will have been sold and no more will be produced. That is the time to release FFII on the VC.
I believe its the right time for NES Final Fantasy 1 to be released on the VC. It wouldn't step on the toes of the GBA or PSP versions because those two are old releases now and Square should have made all the money they are going to make from those two handheld ports by now. Putting NES Final Fantasy 1 on the VC would make Square even more money, not less.



Viral said:

Bass, I agree you with about Final Fantasy franchise on the VC. 1 and 2 respectively, should've been on the VC from the getgo. As for the games mentioned by StarWolf and Adamant, the only one I'm particularly worried about is Super Mario All Stars for the simple fact I didn't get my Wii until December 2007, thus, missing out completely on Super Mario Lost Levels. I've beaten the others and even downloaded them already, I just haven't had the joy of dying repeatedly in the original Lost Levels. If they brought it back, I'd be perfectly happy to just download it and forget All Stars, but until they do...All Stars is my only hope...And admit it everyone, if they had Fire Emblem on the Wii, you'd download it.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

The recent two weeks have been quite pleasing compared to the shocking start of this new year. Although I´d trade Eternal Champions for Ninja Gaiden III any day, Phantasy Star II is great to have around!

I´ve given up on ever seing Square games on VC. I just hope for more SEGA rpg:s (Shining Force II) and a western release for Y´s Book 1&2.



Bass_X0 said:

"""Super Star Wars. Is paying how ever much the Star Wars liscence is for a few SNES ROMs that will never make back the liscence fee (unless they find a gaping hole in the old contract they can exploit) worth it? Is the publisher/developer of those games even arround anymore?"""

The developers of the game aren't around anymore however LucasArts who published the games in Europe is still active and do still own the Star Wars license. Whether they actually can or even want to release the old Star Wars games on VC is another matter.



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

We won't be seeing Final Fantasy on the VC for a long long time, if ever. And even though Starwolf_UK holds out some hope for it, I don't think we'll see Chrono Trigger on the VC either. It's not strictly a flagship game, but there are some cases in which securing licensing is difficult because of the breakup of development teams, license owners working for different companies nowadays, etc. These factors make it very difficult to come to a final agreement, and Chrono Trigger is one of those games.

It's nice to see Square Enix's support for the VC, but no one should imagine this means we'll ever see Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior. We should be very lucky to get some more second-tier games from these companies, like Soulblazer, RoboTrek, 7th Saga, ActRaiser II, Brain Lord, Rad Racer, and maybe, if we're really really lucky, FF: Mystic Quest.

I'm not going to complain about the quality of games on the VC because I still haven't come anywhere near playing the currently released ones that I want to play. I just get frustrated when I see a flood of complaints about games we don't have when people haven't stopped to think about the logistical difficulties and economic implausibility involved.

The fact of the matter is that Nintendo still does have a lot of great games up their sleeves, and we just have to be patient for them. But you're dreaming if you think the VC is getting every third party's flagship titles.



Tim said:


PhantasyStar II being released a bit closer to each other is nothing more than coincidence. Blades of Steal had a close release last year. Why start a trend to break a trend to start it all over again?

A lot of us figure that because Nintendo doesn't have to physically push vc games onto store shelves it should be technically easy to release these games simultaneously. Technically speaking, it is.

What we all forget is that there is divisions within Nintendo. There's Nintendo of America, Nintendo of Europe and a very good chance they don't talk with each other as much as we do on



Bensei said:

Why do PAL users have to wait until it really releases to know what they get?



v404 said:

Yeah, how come all of the sudden the US VC releases have been announced early? Where do you find that info?



Starwolf_UK said:

The US releases are handed out on the Friday to press members so that they can prepare reviews for their site/whatever over the weekend.

I don't know if Vc-reviews is one of these offically given the info but they know where to get the info from either way (i.e. someone who has the info tells them).

Japan has its releases announced for the month. Though that isn't always a good thing as quite alot of the time at least one game from that fails to materialise



Kevin said:

To Shortay-01: Oh yeah? I'd trade the ninja gaiden trilogy to have the mega man games. Now you know how I feel.



Rossi said:

Where did you find the information before there released may i ask? Nice week for you US.. i am still stuck on which NG to get..



deadly_by_design said:


I think NG2 is the best, but you may find other opinions.

I'd like to see SMW2: Yoshi's Island, myself. Also, Secret of Mana (no matter how iffy the VC release is) would be the ultimate VC game for me. Three player co-op RPG - how can you get better than that?



Dazza said:

@Rossi - The information is found on Nintendo's press release. It tends to get leaked on various forums and several different readers email VC-Reviews to make sure we're up to date! So generally we will know 2-3 days in advance for the US VC releases. Handy for us if we need to write some surprise reviews!



Kelvin said:, I'd also love to see Yoshi's Island on VC. It's one of the best platformers ever made, perhaps even better than the original Super Mario World, and I absolutely adore the game design. I'm also holding out hope for River City Ransom, which I never got to finish the first time around.



Shortay said:

@Kevin: I don't even want the Ninja Gaiden games, it's just that I know others do. You guys have the Anniversary Collection anyway. I'd rather have Super Smash Bros. Brawl released in the EU in next few months, so it's a two way street; it's not like the US has things worse off, much better in fact.



NESgamer said:

@Chin Spin.... I understand you man, it's really frustrating that stage, and some of the later ones are even harder.

Ninja Gaiden games are tough, but Ninja Gaiden III have some legendary levels!.

I won't buy it, i have them on my old NES. But is a recommended purchase, even if is the lesser of the trilogy.



whalleywhat said:

"this sci-fi epic packs in around 40 hours of gameplay and therefore represents an ideal purchase if you have nothing better to do with your life than sit around in your underwear all day long."



alvieao said:

At least there's two games this week instead of one. Nintendo keeps their great games under their sleeves, which is why each week passes by with some releases of less to decent titles. Square-Enix haven't released anything else since ActRaiser. How about releasing Treasure's Mischief Makers (Yuke Yuke Troublemakers)? That is if both Square-Enix and Treasure can agree on something...



tnk4god said:

where the heck is tetris attack, I have been waiting like forever.

This was released in japan a long time ago, come on nintendo, get it out already



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

@master of retro, I saw Mega Man Anniversary Collection used at a local EB for $10 the other day. That's about $1.15 per game. That's the same price for 8 games as it is to get the two games currently on the VC for 500 points a pop. I guess you might want to shell out the extra $$$ so you can use the Wii Remote instead of the GC controller, though..............




why would you guys want Spy vs Spy?

It was basically a horrible 2 player game and the Wii doesn't have multiplayer.



JNoodles said:

Agreed with Steady Mobbin... Wait...? The Wii does have multiplayer. As far as I'm concered games like Bomberman '93, F-Zero, and Mario Kart still work as great as the originals.

I'll make sure to pick up Phantasy Star II ASAP, as I'm in a huge need of VC RPGs. BREATH OF FIRE II IS NOT ENOUGHHHHHH!



Viral said:

Maybe I should invest in a better computer to run my EMULATED games on, you know, the ones NINTENDO hasn't released yet...aka SUPER MARIO RPG...



Bass_X0 said:

From Official Nintendo Magazine's "Ask Nintendo" feature --

Question: Why are there so few games (with most of those being low profile titles most people won't want) being released for the Virtual Console at the minute? There used to be three a week but now there is often only one. Is it because you are preparing for the launch of WiiWare?

Reply: Wii is only just over one year old and there are already over 180 titles available for the Virtual Console in Europe. The releases vary week by week. Some weeks just one game is added, on other weeks it can be more.

Typical Nintendo to avoid answering the question by telling us info everybody already knows.



toaster said:

Oh well. No complaints here. I am just happy for the games we do have, and the fact the Virtual Console exists at all.... I'll take what I'm given any day.



deadly_by_design said:


It's okay to say it. SMW2: Yoshi's Island is better than the first Super Mario World. Especially in terms of art direction. The only downside is Baby Mario's crying.



Bass_X0 said:

its an incentive to get him back just to shut him up. its probably intentional to be annoying for that reason.



Kelvin said:, I agree completely. I can't wait for Yoshi's Island. And Bass X0, you're probably right; Baby Mario is most likely deliberately annoying, or you wouldn't rush to get him back!



tnk4god said:

I rushed to not play that game, the baby crying was like nail on chalk board for me, do people even know what a chalk board is now days? What with white baords and smart boards and



Fwow13 said:

@steadymobblin22 - to each his own

It wasn't a great game, but I liked it. And I've given up dreaming for the "great" games to be released, the wait just drives me insane. For now, I'll wish for the mediocre games that I like to come out on VC since it seems those are released more often than others.
(I'll never give up the dream on Super Mario RPG though)



Fwow13 said:

They are basically enormous touch screens. You can use them like a white board (only without using markers) and they'll also connect to a computer and display presentations, figures, etc.



Rossi said:

Thanks Dazza, shame this does not happen for EU... I may buy NGII if its the best!

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