News Article

EU VC Releases - 2nd May - The Hanabi Festival Returns!

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Europeans who have had their Wii for a while will no doubt remember last September - Nintendo of Europe introduced a special "Hanabi Festival" dedicated to give us import game goodness. With games such as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Mario's Super Picross and Sin and Punishment becoming available to us for the first time ever, who could refuse? Certainly not us!

Well, it looks like Nintendo knows that we won't say no to imports, because today's update includes three games, all import titles, and all marked with the Hanabi Festival fireworks icon that the import titles last year were labelled with. They're also all 100 points more expensive than other games on their respective system, but surely this is worth paying to experience some awesome games you've (Most likely) never played before!

Leading the bunch this week is Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou (Ambition of Gofer).is the Japan-only sequel to the original Gradius. It is available on the Japanese Virtual Console on both the Famicom (NES) and PC Engine CD (Turbografx-CD), but thankfully, Konami has given us the superior Turbografx-CD version. As it is an import, it costs 900 Wii Points.

Final Soldier is the only main game (Non-spinoff) in the Star Soldier series never released outside Japan. It is generally considered to be one of the lesser titles in the series, but it is still quite enjoyable and shares many similarities to the other games available on VC. It costs 700 Wii Points.

The last import game sadly isn't really worth looking into - Columns III: Revenge of Columns is a rather subpar second sequel to Columns, also on VC. Columns 2 was never ported to the Mega Drive, so that explains the gap. Columns III is basically the same as the original Columns, but adds some features that feel more unnecessary than good. The game costs 900 Wii Points. This game was released in the US and Japan - This is the US version.

According to the Wii Shop, none of these three games are limited-time ones. Also, more imports will come in the next weeks, but it doesn't say which.

CONGRATULATIONS! go to VC:R staffer Damo today! His wife gave birth to a baby boy weighing 6 lbs 10 this morning at 2 a.m. Yay!

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User Comments (55)



Rexy said:

No Puyo Puyo 2? Disappointing import week, after all that build-up.
I'm not interested in any of the three titles myself, though I can't help but think others might.



Mazero said:

I'll get Gradius collection if I want Gradius 2. As for the rest, not interested



trustno1 said:

Why does Australia get even less games each month? This Sucks cause i love the VC.
Why dont they release the same games in each region?



Bass_X0 said:

because american games are imports too. and two shooters in one week? lame... no downloads for me this week but that doesn't matter. I'm playing Paper Mario.



v404 said:

WOW!! What a crap week for EU. 2 shooters!! LOL. I'm still in awe of how many shooters are shoveled on us on the VC. Quite possibly my least favorite genre of game. I didn't even realize how many shooters existed until the VC as we're given new ones every week!



DEMON212 said:

What? Did Australia not get these like?

Serpent, not all imports. Battle Lode Runner was 600.



Mario_maniac said:

Australia got them. When I loaded up the VC channel, I was literally going "Hoo! Hoo!" out of excitement, before I realised that I was getting a little bit ahead of myself... teehee.

DoReMi Fantasy confirmed to be coming within a couple of weeks, people! Time to go get some more points! Ugh, what would we do without the Hanabi Festival? Much love to you, Nintendo.



Ruffy said:

I was wondering when the Hanabi festival was coming again........
hopefully this means we will get Rondo of Blood in the next 3 weeks.... i'll have my fingers crossed the whole time (just hope they dont fall off, due to bad circulation)



DEMON212 said:

Doesn't matter, DKC2 and NES Football hadn't

I'm a bit gutted at the lack of a release schedule. They told us every Hanabi game that was gonna hit last time, so why not this time?



Viral said:

I think Nintendo should release Gameboy games too...or at least, Gameboy Color games.



Jon2 said:

Three games and all imports. This is more like it Nintendo! Keep 'em coming!



dark_moogle said:


Hanabi Festival (which means something like Fire Flower Festival IIRC) is when Nintendo releases import titles on the Virtual Console for Americans and Europeans/Australians. Last year in Australia we had imports for 3 weeks, and I think it was the same in America as well (although in Aus, Mario Bros: Lost Levels was a limited time release)

If you want to see what has been made available in past Hanabi Festivals, look under the 'imports' section in the Wii Shopping Channel. Just note that import games cost an extra 100 Wii Points (200 in the case of Sin and Punishment because menus and text were translated into English)



Kelvin said:

v404, the 8-bit era, and the early days of the 16-bit generation, were ruled by shooters and platformers, so expect a lot more!



Shortay said:

When I heard 'Hanabi Fesival' I immediately hoped for DoReMi or Rondo of Blood:(



CopyofCopyX said:

There will be more imports in the next weeks.
Nintendo said in the Wii-Shop-Channel that the Hanabi Fesival returns and it will last for some weeks.
So we still could get DoReMi or Rondo of Blood...



Mario_maniac said:

We'd have to get DoReMi Fantasy soon. The OFLC have been sitting on it for ages now, and the Hanabi Festival is the perfect time to release it. I'm still kinda doubtful about Rondo of Blood, though; wasn't DKC2 already previously rated by the OFLC? Then again, I guess they'd have to rate every release, and not just keep the previous release from years ago.



CopyofCopyX said:

Maybe Ninja Gaiden 2 will be released as well.
Not that unlikly, the first part came with the first Hanabi Festival-



aphexbr said:

Damn... this was unexpected. I really hope Gradius 2 isn't a limited time release, as I need to wait a couple of weeks before I can afford it!



Charco said:

@Mario maniac: I think Rondo might already have been rated due to the PSP port having been released? At any rate, import titles are good news to me even if they are not games that I am rushing to download. It bodes well for the future of the VC.



Gameguardian said:

Hurray for the Hanabi Festival! Go download Gradius II right now, it's awesome (but hard though)

And congratulations on your family addition Damo, good luck with everything!

/ All the best / GG



Splutter said:

hmm nothing that tickles my fancy but fair play to them for giving us some import games, I imagine they'll be lapped up as usual and send the big N the right message



Knuckles-san said:

A ok week i guess, better than the "one game a week" thing which has been going on.
And congrats Damo



Mario_maniac said:

Here's a list of the games we're bound to see before the festival ends:

• Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
• Cho Aniki
• DoReMi Fantasy: Milon no DokiDoki Daibouken
• Star Parioder
• Digital Champ Battle Boxing
• Gley Lancer

And perhaps Super Turrican 2, but I'm not sure if it was ever released in PAL territories. Bio Miracle, Gley Lancer and DoReMi are the only ones that pique my interest, I might give the others a miss.

Oh, and congrats Damo.



slangman said:

YAY for another Hanabi Festival. Downloading Gradius 2 and Final Soldier for sure. Such a shame we got palmed of with Columns 3 though.

Congrats to Damo have a good one.



blackknight77 said:

At least Nintendo of Europe will put out more than 1-2 games a week. Plus I think thats a pretty good line up for 2 weeks in a row.



E-dawg said:

Congratulations Damo! Not a bad week, but I wont be picking up any of them, as most of you probably know I'm getting bored of shooters...



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

Congratulations for the son,Damo!

Mario Maniac: Super Turrican 2 was released in PAL version. Hope you are right about Cho Aniki, the first game is said to be nice. And GOOD shooters will always be welcomed by me, so yay for Gradius II!



RGVEDA said:

I hope we will get Super Mario Bros 2 Japan next Week. And then unlimited!!!




Zantagor said:

I can't believe our european friends are still whining even though they're getting so much importations. Us? We got like 2 or 3, we didn't even get Mario Picross Seriously, lately NOA have been given us the shaft VC wise, I think the last time I bought something on VC was like in october or something.



E-dawg said:

While PAL territories are quite lucky in terms of VC releases, the US/Canada have heaven for normal game releases and prices. Remember in Europe/Australia we don't have Smash Bros Brawl yet and we will be paying the extra €/$ for it...



Zantagor said:

@E-dawg True enough, though you did get Mario Kart Wii 1 week earlier But yes, pricewise you guys are seriously getting screwed. (like Canada used to for quite a while, paying almost 20$ more while the american dollar was on parity with ours)



samman said:

BRILLIANT. this is the best week ever. Gradius 2 on pc engine is a class A game. One of my personal BIG 3 that I want.

Better than the arcade. Im pleased to see titles like this. Its good that they have rounded of the star soldier trilogy even if star soldier is a weaker entry im gonna get it.

I think they should just release Rondo of Blood untranslated if its too much effort to localise it. Double Dragon 2 / Fighting street / Star Parodier next.

Also why not host NTSC versions of the current catalogue. Offer them as free downloads if you already have the respective game. Nintendo will see allot of movement on VC.

Its no good releasing PAL games because only kids will buy them because they are a compromise. I havent got any PAL games except N64 Mario and Lylat Wars. Thats why im concentrating on the TG16 catalogue.



Cipher said: has just listed Hanabi Festival games for the rest of the month:

"Over the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to enjoy other never-before-seen greats such as Gley Lancer (SEGA MEGA DRIVE), Cho Aniki (Muscle Brothers) (Turbografx), Puyo Puyo 2 (SEGA MEGA DRIVE) and Star Parodier (Turbografx), and more."



Bananiac said:

Good to see a steady flow of titles to the EU VC, especially some "unknown" imports. Though I don't much care about the 3 games this week.

And good luck to Damo! Got a baby girl last week myself.
Happy fathers day...




I thought Life Force was Gradius II. Obviously I was wrong. Life Force is one of my favorite games ever, and Im not even a big fan of shooters.



CopyofCopyX said:

That is bad... I'm not talking about Damo that is great.
No, the last time Nintendo also did show every game in a similar mail. If this is true, then there will be no DoReMi or Rondo of Blood.



Bensei said:

You have Brawl, it's impossible that you could make us even more jealous



TomMc said:

Whats the point having a hanibi festival just before wii-ware games come out im wating for wii-ware because all these these vc games look rubbish and a waste of wii-points! )|



Quimby said:

Congratulations Damo, you're in for some fun in the next couple of weeks. My boy, Drake, is now about 8 and a half weeks and the time (so far) has been magic. Enjoy.

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