News Article

USA VC Releases: Mario Golf and Shining Force II

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Nintendo has dropped the ball on Hudson again! Digital Champ: Battle Boxing and Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou, both announced for release in the US today, have been pushed back in favour of two other games! When will they learn? It's not all bad news though...

You can finally stop complaining about the lack of recent Nintendo 64 releases - Mario Golf will be released in the US later today. Before you haphazardly download it you should take note - Unlike later Mario sports games, such as the GameCube versions of Mario Golf and Tennis, there's not a whole lot of Mario elements present in this game. It's basically just a normal game of golf, but with Mario characters. It's still a very good golf game, but if you were hoping for a more unique representation of the sport you should look elsewhere! Another thing to note is that the game could originally be linked with the Game Boy Color version to unlock additional characters - This can obviously not be done in the VC version, meaning the extra characters are not available.

Today's other game was released in Europe on Friday - No, it's not Earthworm Jim, but rather Sega's strategy/RPG classic, Shining Force II. If you liked the first game (Which was added to the VC about a year ago), or if you enjoy games like Fire Emblem or Advance Wars, this should be right up your alley. It doesn't do much different from the original, but improves on pretty much everything there already was, basically meaning that Sega stuck to the formula of not changing what works well.

In the wacky world of WiiWare, today you will be able to download GameLoft's Midnight Bowling and Riverman Media's interesting puzzler MadStone. If you downloaded Capcom's Mega Man 9 (If you didn't: Why!?) you can also download two downloadable content packs today.

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User Comments (100)



slangman said:

Great week, looks like us Europeans will get Mario Golf in 2 weeks time. Oh and Hudson is wrong with their releases, again. I had a hunce this would be the case again.



Bass_X0 said:

haha... everyone believed the TurboGrafx games were confirmed. I think these may be the better games.



Starwolf_UK said:

Nintendo have done a switch again...I bet Hudson are real pleased now while Nintendo laughs in the corner saying they're the only release authority.

I do appreciate these are better games though and Nintendo may have swapped this weeks and next weeks VC games so that Mairo Golf and Shining Force 2 are not killed by World of Goo (Shump fans will buy Gradius regardless and nobody wants Digital Champ Boxing).

Mairo Golfing fans, remebver, the path to Metal Mario is abusing save and quit to make sure you always get birdies. Its what real pro-golfers do which explains their performance...



Chipmunk777 said:

Ahhh! I remember mario golf! That game was loads of fun! I don't think I'll download it, since we already have one golf game But, Shining Force II!!!!! I'll have to download that the next free moment I get



blackknight77 said:

Good week, but I am don't trust that Hudson site too much.They are starting to become the fountain of mis-information. However I am sure Gradius 2 will come out this month



Rootbeer said:

Oh no! I was really looking forward to Digital Champ: Battle Boxing! ¬_¬

Pretty darn solid week.



Drake said:

Remember, Hudson gets the dates straight from Nintendo, so it's not Hudson's fault different games are released instead.



Chunky_Droid said:

Man I've been refreshing the press page for the last half hour and NOTHING. Then came here and WOW, Mario Golf!!!



The_Joker_72190 said:

This is a good sign for N64 games

Maybe nintendo will actuaully release super smash bros!!!

...hopefully lol



AlphaNerd01 said:

Shining Force II! Awesome, instant download. Work is going to be torture today...

As for Mario Golf, I prefer the GC version... I'm glad the VCR team pointed at the the 64 version is just kinda "golf," nothing unique. A good game nevertheless.



lordbowser said:

Nice week, I for one wanted some Gradius 2 action but these games are great too. I really need to get the first Shining Force soon.



Cipher said:

I'm not even gonna complain. I could, because I REALLY want this game, but I'm glad you guys have it. Hopefully we'll get it next Friday.



Jockolantern said:

I am stoked beyond words that we finally got Shining Force II. I will gladly accept Gradius II being delayed a bit if it means having this timeless strategy masterpiece available on the VC at long last. It is certainly the best game in the short-lived series and is as damn near close to perfection as strategy gaming reached until Final Fantasy Tactics hit the market years later. Instant download for me and should be for all RPG/Strategy fans as well.




really wanted earthworm jim 2day but guess we'll have 2 wait hopefully not 2 long



Cheezy said:

MARIO GOLF...O M F G!!!!!!! I'm peeing my pants right now. A new N64 game finally, and, it's MARIO GOLF!!! Too bad I bought Wii points two weeks in a row. My moms getting a huge hole in her wallet because of all this. Hopefully, we won't get anything good next week, so I can finaly stop buying Wii points.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Not bad...nothing I'd buy (don't like video game golf and its pain-in-the-butt controls, and have too many other RPG's to play to look into Shining Force), but I'm happy enough for those who want them. At least they're not games that people will almost universally hate on.



The_Fox said:

Well, this is good news! We went from kind of a crappy week under the assumption that the Hudson games would be here (I know many of you like Gradius 2, but don't we have enough shooters?) to a very good week! Sweet!



Nobarai said:

Woohoo! Mario Golf..... Too bad I already have it for the N64
I recommend getting it if you haven't....



Rexy said:

I was not expecting Mario Golf; what a nice surprise for you across the pond As you may know, I have a dislike for videogame golf, but I still think it'll do great for N64 game sales here regardless of taste.

Enjoy your week



WarioFan63 said:


I think the collective power of people who would burn down Nintendo headquarters if they didnt get Shining Force 2 caused this switch.

Though yeah, I secretly didnt think the month would open with Turbografx Imports so I was kinda worried for Hudson all weekend.

At this point though, I say we form a party and go on a 50 hour quest to find out who the hell keeps feeding Hudson the wrong dates. Im not buying into that "Theyre doing it to discourage early release dates" paranoia!



Waxxy said:

"Another thing to note is that the game could originally be linked with the Game Boy Color version to unlock additional characters - This can obviously not be done in the VC version, meaning the extra characters are not available."

Well that's stupid... I know they've had to leave out features that the Wii didn't support before (The "rumble stone" or whatever for TLoz:OOT, and the ghost saving feature from MK64) but this is the first time they've dropped any significant content because of it. Surely they could come up with another way of allowing these characters to be in the game? It seems a total waste to have that data available but not used just because the Wii doesn't support a certain type of hardware connection...



ReZon said:

Maybe Hudson should stop confirming things they have no control over?



worrybomb said:

It stinks that Hudson is once again bamboozled by Nintendo. However, just for this one time, I'll look past it. One of the games may not be Earthworm Jim, but we get a Mario game and we didn't have to wait until the 300th VC title either.

If you're tired of Wii Sports Golf and don't feel like spending the extra money on other Wii golf games (Super Swing Golf series, We Love Golf!) then Mario Golf for the N64 should be right up your alley or in this case, par 4 course. While the graphics may be a little dated, it is still one of the most enjoyable golf games I have played in my lifetime. Also the mini-golf mode is quite fun and great for multiplayer.

Finally Shining Force II. Put it this way...if Nintendo would've released this one game alone with no other VC titles and WiiWare games, this would still be an awesome update. Some may think it's an upgrade to the first one but it's more than an mere upgrade. Better music, enjoyable characters, great storyline, lots of characters and character classes, new weapons via mithrill, plot twists...I keep going and going. if you love stragety games or even the slightest Genesis fan, give this game a download. You won't be disappointed. Peter the Phoenix awaits you. =)

Overall, a great VC update...much better than the previous known one from Hudson. I hope we get Gradius II next week but in the meantine, enjoy these games folks.



Bass_X0 said:

I agree, Waxxy. They should have had the link-up content unlockable at the start. If their stats were dependent on your progress on the GBC game (I never had the GBC game) then Nintendo should have just made some suitable stats up for them.



Ricardo91 said:

Hey! Nintendo surprises us in a GOOD way this time! About damn time we got a new N64 game!



Cipher said:

@ Waxxy and Bass X0: Just keep your fingers crossed we DO get GBC games in the DSi Shop Channel and that Mario Golf 64 can somehow be updated to recognise the DSi as a sort of Transfer Pak. It is possible, just very difficult to implement.



whalleywhat said:

Dang, another good week. I guess Gradius II is next week?

edit: This is starting to become a dilemma. I want to make room for Gradius II, Orbient and World of Goo, but I kind of want to download both of these.



BJWanlund said:

Honestly, the first Mario sports game (Mario Golf N64) was not Mario-esque enough, but Mario Tennis for the N64 was most definitely as Mario-esque as the GC titles, with colored trails, power shots, smash shot trails that were purple, and a Bowser's Castle court with Mario Kart-style items. I know this only because I own Mario Tennis N64, and loved it!

I think Mario Tennis: Power Tour and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for GC will probably get a Wiimake soon... And maybe even Mario Golf & Mario Tennis games for DS?!




Rapadash6 said:

Wow, the ol' switcheroo again, eh Nintendo? In all honesty NONE of these four games interest me all that much, which is fine as I'm still knee deep in Super Mario RPG, Mega Man 9 and Warioland. As for Mario Golf, I actually pawned my original copy when Toadstool Tour came out and I never looked back, so I don't see any reason to buy it again now. Hopefully the next N64 game will be something a little more exciting like Super Smash Bros or Majora's Mask.



Corbs said:

I loved Mario Golf back in the day, but the Gamecube version spoiled me too much to go back to the N64 version. As for Shining Force II, it's one of the best strategy titles ever made and a worthy addition to the Virtual Console.



RadioShadow said:

Where's Earthworm Jim? Shining Force 2 isn't groovy enough to download.

At least Mario Golf is out! But I own that game and I need to save space on my Wii.



Kevin said:

Mario Golf, huh? I'll think about it but then again I'm probably gonna download it at some point. Can't wait to go home and play as Protoman in Mega Man 9!



Saki said:

...if i hate SRPG's will i hate shining force, because now i have 2000 points and no earthworm jim



Bendover83 said:

@Corbie: The GC version did the same to me, I loved it.
Once again Hudson got kicked to the curb. I knew they would because the second week of September we got TG16 games so next week we should as well since its the second Monday.
I'm glad N64 games are back, hopefully we're not going to wait every 5 months for a new one. If that did happen, the next one would be around the 300th release. I've got a good feeling EWJ will come out this month but right now SFII is a must buy.
Castlevania III should also come out for Halloween week IMO.



Adamant said:

Dammit, people, Nintendo COULDN'T keep the GBC characters in the game, because they aren't complete characters, just character models who will recieve the stats your GBC guys have when you link them over. It was a bonus feature allowing you to use the characters you've been building yourself in a different game, not "unlockable content".



MrPoo6321 said:

I love Mario Golf! I used to play it for hours when I was a kid... I traded it with my cousin though, for F-Zero X. I think it was a pretty fair trade, considering F-Zero X is still in my collection. I guess now I can have a virtual copy of Mario Golf, but there's just one problem... I'm totally out of room for it. I guess I could delete TV Show King, but I also want to download Mega Man 9 and World of Goo when it comes out next week. Not to mention Earthworm Jim, whenever that hits the US VC. Too many games, too little space. It's a drag.



CanisWolfred said:

Never cared for Mario sports games, but I do intend on getting Shining Force II once I'm down with the original.


Yes, not sure why you have to ask when you already know you SRPGs. It's just a very good SRPG, albeit a bit basic. It makes a good starting point for people who want to get into SRPGs, but I don't think it'll change your mind about the genre if you already hate it.



Atlantis1982 said:

No thanks, I play Albatross18 (Pangya as I rather like to call it), and that satisfies my quirky golf gaming.



AlexSays said:

Which is better: Shining Force or it's sequel?

And I'll pass on Mario Golf. I still have the cartridge for my N64.



MarkyVigoroth said:

Yay! A N64 game! (That must be the reason why the TG-16 games have been pushed back.) I may also get Shining Force II...



The_Indigo_Effect said:

I'm a huge Fire Emblem fan, but I wasn't impressed by the first Shining Force (yeah, I know they're very similar). My question is thus: I've heard many people say that the sequel is vastly superior, so in your professional opinion(s), should I buy it?



The_Bear said:

The masses say SF2 is better, but I think the first is better. Just my personal opinion. The sequel is definitely more polished and longer, though.



Aloth said:

I´ll have to find time.... I'll pass on Mario Golf too, but I´ll get SFII for sure.



I would never get either of these games. I don't like Mario sports games, and I definitely don't care for Shining Force or any of its sequels. I don't have enough Wii points for frivolous spending anyway.



MaxPlastic said:

Poop. I wanted EWJ... But this isn't a bad week...
I just realized I haven't DLed anything for the VC in like... Five weeks!
... Why didn't I get Mega Man 9? O_o



RurouniTeeter said:

Mario Golf? Yay!
Now I can tell my dad we can play Mario Golf again. XD
We used to always play this. I personally kinda like it more than GCN one cause its more of a challenge.
Goes to put Wii Points in and download
Shining Force 2 also? Sweeeeet... I like as well.



timp29 said:

Hudson have some great games up their sleeves. Lets hope nintendo treating them like second rate developers doesn't cost us, the gamers. :/
On a lighter note OMFG N64 game!!! YAY!



worrybomb said:

@ x.SuperMario.x

If you have to get a Shining Force game, get SFII. It really improved on Shining Force 1 in every category.

Update: You also don't have to worry about missing any connections from the previous SF since there really is no connection story-wise.



carson said:

WOO HOO!!! ive been waiting for Mario Golf! I will probably download this sometime this week. Mario Tennis would be really nice too. I love Mario Tennis



Digiki said:

I'm a huge Fire Emblem fan, but I wasn't impressed by the first Shining Force (yeah, I know they're very similar). My question is thus: I've heard many people say that the sequel is vastly superior, so in your professional opinion(s), should I buy it?

/ that
also since Mario Golf came out Mario Tennis shouldn't take too long to come out and Mario Tennis is fantastic, bummer about the GBC transfer characters though.



BJ1 said:

Mario Golf! Oh boy, my brother is going to be so happy, today!



classicmike said:

Wow, what a surprise! Mario Golf, Shining Force II, and two downloadable content packs for mega Man9! Too bad for those wanting Digital Champ: Battle Boxing and Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou today, but in my opinion, these two are better.



classicmike said:

@ timp29: Well I doubt Hudson will leave soon because, from my point of view, most of their games are made on Nintendo. So it's going to take a lot more than a few wrong guesses for Hudson to leave the VC. Also, maybe they only made a incorrect assumption that their games would be released today.
@ Max Plastic: You didn't download Mega Man 9 yet?!



Twilight_Crow said:

It's good too have an N64 game, I'm planning on Downloading Mario Golf in the future. Shining Force 2, mmm sounds good, but I'm not very good at strategy games, is it too hard for a beginner?



marktheshark said:

This week is a miss as I have to get a new router since the old one isn't working.

As for Mario Golf, the chances of me downloading it were already low, but the lack of the GBC characters and no way to bring them kills any chances of downloading it for myself. For now.

As for Shining Force 2, I've 2 questions.

1. How hard is it? Can a beginner of strategy RPG's like me be able to handle it?

2. If one of your party members were to die, will there be no way to revive them for the rest of the game like in Fire Emblem?



worrybomb said:

@ marktheshark

1. It's not that hard. Compare to Fire Emblem, you'll be able to adjust to Shining Force quite easily. Doesn't mean that it won't kick your arse if you make a miscalculation.

2. You'll be able to revive dead party members via a church located in every town you visit. It'll cost you money though.



JiggyGF said:

"2. If one of your party members were to die, will there be no way to revive them for the rest of the game like in Fire Emblem?"

You can revive them for a very cheap price. I'm not sure about the overall difficulty, but if you die on a stage you get to keep all your experience gains, level gains, item gains, and money when you try again, so I think you should be fine.



worrybomb said:

@ Jiggy37

You're right about everything except for the money part. For every battle lost, your total gets reduced to half I believe.



Adamant said:

You can't have the GBC characters since this isn't the GBC game. Come on!
They're not characters in the N64 games, just emptry character models to be filled with whatever stats you had in the GBC game, which will usually be far far lower than any of the other characters you can play as.



Corbs said:

To me Shining Force II was a much better game overall. I liked the original, but to me Shining Force II just does everything a bit better than its predecessor.



Bass_X0 said:

just emptry character models to be filled with whatever stats you had in the GBC game, which will usually be far far lower than any of the other characters you can play as.

So Nintendo makes up some suitable fixed stats for them and has them unlocked from the start. Whats the problem there? Okay, so they won't be custom characters anymore but I think people would rather have more characters than empty gaps in the selection screen.



Kelvin said:

Not interested in Mario Golf really, but it bodes well for the excellent Mario Tennis to be released!



Adamant said:

@Bass X0: I don't see how they could do that, and it just seems so pointlessMaking up unique stats would be adding an all-new character to the game, and just copying someone elses stats would make them completely pointless.
Plus, you'd always stare at empty gaps in the original as well - those gaps would only get filled when you decided to upload them, and would be deleted shortly afterward - they don't stay on the character select screen forever (plus, you probably weren't playing with all of them at the same time anyway, so there'd be empty holes regardless). The holes were always just there to be temporarily filled when, and only when, you're actually going to use those characters.



Mario_maniac said:

It's doubtful, but there's always the chance that when (if) the GBC version of Mario Golf is released on the DSi Virtual Console, there may be some functionality included. For now, I'm just going to scour eBay for the N64 version.



Cally said:

Thanks for setting the facts straight, Adamant. I always appreciate that.

"If you downloaded Capcom's Mega Man 9 (If you didn't: Why!?) you can also download two downloadable content packs today."

. . . although I'm kinda far behind in my backlog to download anything else right now. . MM9 is definitely the most intense game in the "original" series (it's an Inticreates game, all right), but it's like one of the best NES game ever I also finally finished Ys and finally posted a short review that kinda reflects the sheer euphoria of it all.



Marioman64 said:

omg I LOVE Mario Golf 64! It was the only Mario Golf game with putt-putt I mean COME ON, who doesn't like putt-putt???

i'm gonna download it ASAP



blackknight77 said:

I like putt-putt, but around these parts we call it miniature golf
And Mario has not ventured into that game yet



Mayhem said:

If you haven't played N64 Mario Golf, get it now... better than the Cube version imo.

(then again so was the Tennis)



Cocoa_Man5 said:

i agree with you 100% the N64 version of mario tennis actually required skill where as in the cube version you would get those annoying game breakers that made it easy for anyone to be able to win. (i also think mario tennis for the N64 had a very mario themed atmosphere to it such as mario himself being the ref, as well as the various character themed stages.)



whalleywhat said:

A lot of people say the Shining Force games are really similar to the Fire Emblem, but I really don't think they are, apart from being in the same genre. I've only played a bit of 2, but the first one really isn't that strategic at all, plus you can just grind by letting everyone die and replaying a level. The fact that characters permanently die in FE makes you consider every move, and each level is almost like a puzzle. Plus, you can see ahead of time what your damage and % to hit are. There's a lot about the Shining Force interface that's really dated. I haven't played the Sega Saturn SFs, maybe they improve on a lot of that stuff. They're fun games, nice character designs and animations, and some of the towns have an almost Earthbound vibe, but I think the series are on entirely different levels.



RurouniTeeter said:

I don't see why some people are kinda disappointed the Gameboy Color characters are not in N64 VC copy of Mario Golf...
It's really no big deal... You got enough people kinda as it is... And besides... Just buy the N64 real copy so badly if you want them. =P
That's just how I see it though.



Devastator said:

Do you think additional material for the Force Unleashed will be available through the VC.



Adamant said:

"i agree with you 100% the N64 version of mario tennis actually required skill where as in the cube version you would get those annoying game breakers that made it easy for anyone to be able to win."

You could (and should) turn those off. Yeah, the special attacks were kind of a miss there, and most people didn't really like them. Good thing they weren't required.



Starwolf_UK said:

Do you think additional material for the Force Unleashed will be available through the VC.
Firstly, DLC is available through game software and not the Wii shop (though it uses Wii points anyway). Secondly, if a game has such DLC it has a red "Pay and play" logo on the box. Force Unleased doesn't have these.



Mixer152 said:


cant wait till that poo comes to the UK I loved that game. I really shouldnt have sold it



marktheshark said:

Hmmm. What were these 4 characters in Mario Golf that could be played in the N64 version only when you transfer them from the GBC version?



classicmike said:

@ marktheshark: It was the boy character and his partner and the girl character and her partner, which you had to choose which one you wanted to be at the beginning of the GBC game.



worrybomb said:

Prediction on what VC title will appear this Monday?

I'm guessing Earthworm Jim. I really doubt they'll be another VC title but I'll welcome it.



Bendover83 said:

Those two TG16 games are coming this Monday.
Gradius 2 and Digital Champ: Battle Boxing.
I'll be surprised if EWJ came out.



Bass_X0 said:

probably because hudson keep announcing them on their site even thought apparently nintendo doesn't want them to.



Nath17 said:

Great week for the Americans. Here's hoping that Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 is on the horizon for every region.

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