News Article

Nintendo Download: 21st February 2011 (North America)

Posted by James Newton

Faxanadu leads the charge

It's been two weeks since we last saw a Virtual Console game, which means it's time for another one, this time in the shapely side-scrolling form of Faxanadu on NES. There's also a couple of WiiWare demos and some DSiWare puzzle games of course, as well as headline WiiWare download... well, we won't spoil it.

Virtual Console

Faxanadu (NES, Hudson) – A classic side-scrolling RPG from the NES days, this is well worth 500 Points from anyone's account. Flick through the pages of our Faxanadu review to increase your wisdom statistic.


Remote Racers (QubicGames, 500pts) – A 3D racing game from the team behind AiRace, this could be well worth a look for gamers after a knockabout racer on the go. We'll strap ourselves into the drivers' seat and bring you a review later this week.

Arctic Escape (Teyon, 500pts) – A top-down puzzle escape game that borrows elements from Lemmings and Chu Chu Rocket, this is all about cutesy penguins trying to get to a helicopter to make their way home. Our review will be online this week.

G.G Series: DRIFT CIRCUIT (Genterprise, 200pts) – The latest in the budget G.G Series, this is a slightly different racing game to what you might expect – read our First Impressions: G.G Series: Drift Circuit in anticipation of our upcoming review.


Cozy Fire (dtp young entertainment, 500pts) – Fireplacing have crashed and burned as a fireplace simulator, but dtp's effort is a little better, what with the ability to stack your logs however you like. A thrilling experience it ain't, but our Cozy Fire review will warm the cockles of your heart.

Jewel Keepers: Easter Island (Nordcurrent, 500pts) – Embark on a dangerous expedition in which matching three like-coloured items causes them to disappear. Consult our Jewel Keepers: Easter Island review that reveals other surprising information about this take on the venerable puzzle genre.

WiiWare Demos

Rage of the Gladiator (Ghostfire Games) – One of WiiWare's better titles, this is a first-person fighting game in a Punch Out! style, except instead of boxing you're fighting mythical creatures including minotaurs, hydras and more. Our Rage of the Gladiator review gave the game a solid thumbs-up.

Learning with the PooYoos: Episode 1 (Lexis Numérique) – A demo of the first educational game in the series, this is worth downloading if you have a young child, with our Learning with the PooYoos: Episode 1 review full of the other information you'll need to make a buying decision.


Feb. 21, 2011

Not everyone is cut out to be a president, but every Wii™ and Nintendo DSi™ user must act as commander-in-chief of his or her own gaming republic. On this Presidents Day holiday, Nintendo recommends reaching across the aisle in the spirit of bipartisanship, creating harmony between new and classic titles, puzzle games and platformers, sprawling console adventures and crisp hand-held challenges. Start with the fantasy-fueled fun of Faxanadu, a memorable RPG from the NES™ era making its appearance on the Virtual Console™ service. Test your resolve even further with a demo version of the action-filled Rage of the Gladiator for the WiiWare™ service, available to download for zero Wii Points™. Most importantly, boost your diplomacy by sharing your favorite WiiWare and Nintendo DSiWare™ game recommendations with friends and spreading fun throughout the 50 states and beyond.

Virtual Console

Original platform: NES
Publisher: Hudson Entertainment
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence, Use of Tobacco
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: You are an adventurer who has just returned to his hometown, the Elf town of Eolis, at the base of the World Tree. You find the village in peril: The Elven water supply has dried up, monsters are causing chaos and the once-proud Tree is slowly wilting. Equipped with the last of the King's money and the trust of the people, you set out to climb the World Tree, braving obstacles, fiends and dangers to discover the source of this corruption. Wield weapons and magic, get hints from townsfolk and experience a world of new environments as you ascend to the top of the world.


Jewel Keepers: Easter Island
Publisher: Nordcurrent
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: One day, world-renowned Easter Island expert Professor "H" received a strange letter from the capital city of Hanga Roa. It was a cry for help from an unknown person, saying that something bad was happening on the island. Without hesitation, the Professor, his assistant Joel and his granddaughter Ivie rushed to the island, where many puzzles, mysteries and quests awaited them. Can you help him to reveal the greatest secret of Easter Island?

Cozy Fire
Publisher: dtp young entertainment
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: We all long for a cozy open fire, particularly during the cold season. But not everyone is able to snuggle in front of a warming blaze. The WiiWare service opens the door for a fireplace to fill the room with a magical and cozy atmosphere. Select from a variety of logs and use the Wii Remote™ controller to stack them up. Next, light the virtual match and your home will soon be snug and glowing. Choose from six available fireplaces: fire alone, campfire, rustic, classic, elegant and Zen. Poke and tend the fire to keep it going. Add more logs to keep the fire burning, just like a real fire. Want to just sit back and relax? In Butler mode, new logs will be placed on the fire automatically, and the logs never burn down in Non-stop mode.

Rage of the Gladiator (demo version)
Publisher: Ghostfire Games
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen) – Animated Blood, Alcohol Reference, Violence
Price: 0 Wii Points; full version available for 1,000 Wii Points
Description: Rage of the Gladiator is a fantasy-based fighting game in which you must fight for your life in the arena. Prove yourself by conquering all opponents. Features include: amazing 3D graphics, animation, lighting, shadows and special effects. With full voice acting, each boss has its own personality and taunts you mercilessly. Use insane finishing moves – summon a fiery meteor or a savage tornado, or transform into a hulking colossus 10 times your size. Customize your character and specialize in skill trees – Offense, Defense or Magic – to gain new powers. Enjoy masterpieces of blood-pumping music by legendary composer Sean Beeson. Beat the game to unlock Challenge Mode, where bosses are much tougher. The game also supports the Wii MotionPlus™ accessory.

Learning with the PooYoos: Episode 1 (demo version)
Publisher: Lexis Numérique
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: EC (Early Childhood)
Price: 0 Wii Points; full version available for 500 Wii Points
Description: Welcome to the first fun, poetic brain-trainer for children aged 3 to 6. With the PooYoos, a merry band of adorable baby animals, children will have fun while learning development basics like numbers, letters, lateralization, shapes and colors. Children get to dance with their new friends and receive lovely interactive rewards. There are two levels of interactivity, so any child can play. This game has been designed for use by children who have not yet grasped reading.

Note: Some demo versions do not support all game features, and players cannot save their in-game progress in demo versions.

Nintendo DSiWare

Publisher: Genterprise Inc.
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points™
Description: Use your drifting technique to gracefully slide past the competition. Steering around corners lowers your speed, so it's all about choosing the best course line and being able to use your drifting skills with precision. At the start of each three-lap race, conditions for winning will be displayed. After that, it's up to you and your speed-demon prowess to drift through the Grand Prix and steal first place. Choose between EASY, NORMAL and HARD difficulty levels – perfect for beginners and advanced racers alike.

Arctic Escape
Publisher: Teyon
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: Take control of a bunch of penguins that are always getting into all sorts of trouble. A cunning scientist abducted them from Antarctica, and now they need your help to get back home. Lead them safely through more than 100 frosty levels by using commands such as walking, jumping and waiting. Guide them to avoid broken ice areas, falling cages, wolves and other dangerous obstacles. This special top-down-view puzzle game is easy to pick up but impossible to put down.

Remote Racers
Publisher: QubicGames
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Cartoon Violence
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: Select one of eight vehicles: Speeder, Monster, Candy, Dozer, Tank, Stunt, Mantis and Rocket. Race against AI or the clock on 15 great tracks. Jump in the garden, drift through the cellar, ride on the beach and dive in the ocean. Use power-ups and transform your vehicle to gain an advantage over your opponents. Complete 32 challenges in eight Championships.

From the web

User Comments (66)



MarkyVigoroth said:

I sense a dissonance. I mean, this VC release reminds me of Zelda II, though the latter is not deemed that highly.

Then again, this IS a VC release, which automatically makes this a international treasure. /semi-satirical, semi-realist/



Philip_J_Reed said:

I've wanted to give Faxandu a spin since I was a kid, and never got around to it for whatever reason. So...yeah, good week for me!



Link79 said:

Yay Faxanadu! An Nes game I haven't played is a rare thing. Can't wait to check it out!



Sonic1994CD said:

2 weeks to wait for this nes game that no one probably played before thanks Nintendo, next time you should put a game that people know about.



Bass_X0 said:

And there was me expecting America to get to Natsume Championship Wrestling.



MeloMan said:

FINALLY!! You and I Faxandu will get to finish what we started... up the tree we go!

@ Chicken All I can say is if you liked Zelda II in any kinda way, this game is a no brainer, but I'm sure you already know that what with your colleagues and the review out, lol

Rage of the Gladiator demo is cool too except that I have the game already.

And... Cozy Fire. Well, I did ask for another developer to create something better but I see it's only marginal... guess I'll go study the review.



_Joejoe_ said:

Whoa... First Adventure Island 2, then Bomberman Hero, then Faxanadu... since the Konami take over we've been getting a stream of Hudson VC...



odd69 said:

Yes i think im going to pick up Faxanadu. Not bad of an update too with the rage of the gladiator demo.



Sonic1994CD said:

Well then just give us vc demos like on the 3DS, you can do WiiWare so you can do vc demos.



FonistofCruxis said:

You got me excited saying that there was a headline wiiware game. I was wondering what it was as it might've come to eu soon afterwards but it was just a joke about cosy fire.



retro_player_22 said:

Wow I would had never guess Faxanadu still made to VC especially when Hudson is already long gone or in other words got bought by Konami.



Bass_X0 said:

I hope Adventure Island 2 is out next week.

VC games are released every other week. You'll have to wait at least two weeks to find out.



vherub said:

glad to see the continued demo support, they must be increasing interest. It would be fantastic if games also had a 100-200 point sale the week the demo came out



Spoony_Tech said:

Faxanadu is one great game. Although I can see myself getting bored with it kinda quick its still one of my all time favorites and will definitely pick it up. If You never played it try it out for only 5$. Good old school fun.



Ryno said:

Faxanadu is awesome! I played this a ton as a kid, 500 point well spent!



jbrodack said:

The wiiware demos are great for weeks when there are no good wiiware releases.



OverlordMao said:

Awesome, I was just about to download RotG, but now I finally get the demo to try it out first!

Also, SWEET, Faxanadu is out!



Awesome5 said:

I'm glad they finally got a demo out for Rage of the Gladiator. It was a great game, and definately deserves getting a bigger audience. Hopefully a demo will boost its sales.



Neko_Ichigofan said:

Great update Faxanadu looks good I'm not a fighting game kinda gal but my brother will probably post his excitement later
btw my brother & I share this account



rjejr said:

Just an FYI - not sure what the RotG demo will entail but the first level is easy and ramps up considerably after that. Had it since release and not past 4th level yet. So, if I had to do it all over again I wouldn't, but if the demo is the first level only then I would jump on it, and then regret it later.



BlueBandanaJake said:

Sweet, Faxanadu! Man, I've been wanting to play this for quite a while now, and here it is! And Rage of the Gladiator Demo? Very good!

Lol at Cozy Fire.



starcrunch061 said:

Cozy Fire? Man, WiiWare really scrapes the dregs for that one.

I'm pumped about Faxanadu (I'm not sure why people think Zelda II isn't thought well of - while some people might not like it when compared to Zelda, it's still a solid game). I played this game so many times when I was a kid.



FluttershyGuy said:

Already have Faxanadu (have for about 22 years now LOL), but it's good to see that classics like this can still make it to VC! Anyone who gets it in VC is luckier than me. With Wii's save state, you won't have to mess with the password system. Not sure how many times I lost progress because I made a mistake on the tedious passwords. So easy to get killed, also, so anybody who gets it expect to die often! It's worth it though! Great game.



mattnd2007 said:

i thought you guys were serious when you said we won't spoil it, and something amazing came out today. well gladiator demo was fun, don't know if i'll buy it though.



FluttershyGuy said:

I haven't seen "That guy from Faxanadu" post about today's VC update yet. This is his day of glory, where is he???



Linkuini said:

How is Faxanadu? Sounds like it's more playable than Zelda 2, but are the levels interesting?



SwerdMurd said:


Already downloaded it. Started about an hour ago. I'd say it's on par with Zelda 2--slightly different/clunkier physics and more of an emphasis on the RPG elements but a great game with great music.



Capt_N said:

I'll have to see if fax is worth the remaining 500pts of my Christmas points card, otherwise one of the Bit games, or I'll hold out for the blue bomber's 5th outing.



BulbasaurusRex said:

Wow, lately the Virtual Console service has been outperforming the new WiiWare releases (not counting the demos) even with VC releases only every other week. Who would've predicted that?



Noire said:

With Faxanadu on VC and Xenogears on PSN, this is turning into an awesome week for retro games imo. Picking up shortly~



Philip_J_Reed said:

Dang, Faxandu has some monumentally stodgy controls! Still pretty good, though. It says a lot that I bothered to stick with it. A lesser game I would have given up on.



vio said:

I love you Hudson. Truly one of VC's best supporters. Thank god their recent troubles didn't affect their VC support.



IAmChristinaAguilera said:

Faxanadu, FINALLY. Aww, looks like they aren't using the version that I used to have with the incomprehensible "Nello." Old English font. @LegendofPasta99 @Swerd_Murd @Chicken Brutus Faxanadu is an overall better game than Zelda 2 (I think), but Zelda 2 definitely had better play control (would you expect any less from Nintendo?). Still, the characters had more character, the music is more memorable, the RPG elements are more fun, and as for the levels, did Zelda 2 ever have anything this atmospheric?:

Rage of the Gladiator is fun! Punch-Out AGAINST A ****ING MINOTAUR



WolfRamHeart said:

Yes, Faxanadu! Finally! I will be downloading this in a few minutes. It has been years since I last played it but I am sure that I will be enjoying it as much as ever!



Philip_J_Reed said:

@53: Oh, it's a blast, don't get me wrong. I'm really enjoying it, especially now that I know what to expect from the controls.

...having said that, I can imagine this game will get insanely hard by the end. I just re-activated one of the three dead fountains, and it was not easy. Drank a lot of red potion, to be sure...



Vinsanity said:

Faxanadu eh? That seems worthy of "down-losion". I wish they'd get Crystalis up there...who has the rights to it anyway? I know SNK made it, but Nintendo remade it for Game Boy Color - one of NST's two EXCELLENT GBC remake/sequels (the other being the underrated Bionic Commando: Elite Forces).



Spoony_Tech said:

@42 His day of glory was a while ago LOL. He's not from north America and this was released in Europe like weeks ago.



chiwii said:

@rjejr: The RotG is three levels. I can't remember their names, but it was the green drunk guy, the ram-like guy, and the Sea Witch. I didn't struggle too much with the green drunk or the ram.

The Sea Witch was more challenging. I think it took me about 3 tries just to beat her, and then another couple of tries to improve my rank to A. I really enjoyed the demo, but I'm concerned about the difficulty. Did you find that it really ramped up after the Sea Witch?



brooks83 said:

@58 - Yeah "ThatGuyFromFaxanadu" got the game weeks ago, but there is an American user that has a Faxanadu related name "NotEnoughGolds" that hasn't commented yet.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@61 The first 5 opponents go down pretty easily, and then it gets quite a bit tougher, but with practice they're all pretty beatable the first time through. It's when you play Challenge Mode (which is exactly as advertised) that it can take over an hour to beat a single opponent.



PSICOffee said:

I thought we already had this? Well whatever, good to have it now. I already have Faxanadu for the NES.



NotEnoughGolds said:

@62: I am here!
I will be downloading this soon as both of my NES copies have been loaned out. It might be time to change my avatar back to the weapons merchant.



vio said:

No PSICOffee. It's been on the European and Japanese VC services since late last year, but it hadn't been on the North American VC until now..

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