News Article

Nintendo Download: 26th April - Virtual Console (North America)

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Retro goodies and virtual tours

We've now received the launch day details for the Wii U Virtual Console in your region, North America. As in Europe, those of you that have bought these titles before on the Wii Shop but want the improved Wii U versions can upgrade at a lower cost — a NES title you already bought on Wii will cost you just $1, while a SNES upgrade is $1.50; the prices below are for first-time purchases, and all titles are available right now, a day earlier than in Europe. You lucky North Americans.

Wii U Virtual Console

Super Mario World (Nintendo, $7.99) — Widely regarded, including in our own staff votes here on Nintendo Life, as the best Super NES title and the finest of Mario's 2D adventures. Whether you agree with that or not, most will happily admit that this is classic platforming from start to finish.

Ice Climber (Nintendo, $4.99) — Reminiscent of a time of more simplistic, arcade-style titles on the NES, this is a franchise that's been dormant for a long time, though the characters have become famous in Smash Bros. In truth this one can feel loose and awkward to play, so is perhaps for die-hards only.

Kirby's Adventure (Nintendo, $0.30 for a limited period) — This home console debut of Kirby, which introduced his power absorption technique, is currently available for another couple of weeks as part of the 30 cent Famicom Anniversary celebration, but this confirms that it'll stay on the service at its standard price when the deal ends. We think it stands up rather well in our Kirby's Adventure review, so don't delay.

Donkey Kong Jr. (Nintendo, $4.99) — Rather like Ice Climbers, this harks back to arcade-style origins, in this case with single screen action puzzle solving. A notable twist is that Mario is the villain in this game, and in short bursts can be fun, but up against some of its rivals it can feel like a clunky, flawed experience.

Balloon Fight (Nintendo, $4.99) — This was the somewhat low key title that kicked off the Famicom Anniversary celebration, so there are decent odds that many already bought this cheaply. Perhaps now more famous for its modern appearance in Nintendo Land, we weren't completely convinced of its current day merits in our Balloon Fight review.

Excitebike (Nintendo, $4.99) — This bike racer has seen recent life as a free 3D Classic, but it arrives on Wii U in its original NES glory. It's simple but iconic racing fare with a modest number of tracks, but the track editor should give it some extra life.

Punch Out!! (Nintendo, $4.99) — This one has already been in the Famicom Anniversary celebrations at €0.30 / £0.30 for a limited period. If you did miss out this is your second chance, albeit at a much higher price, to pick up one of the true iconic classics of the NES library. You can see what we thought of the experience on Wii U in our Punch Out!! review.

F-Zero (Nintendo, $7.99) — Another title that's been available at a bargain price until recently, this is one of the finest futuristic racer you'll find, and still stands up today. High speed action with terrific visuals and music, you can read all about it in our F-Zero review. This is the 60Hz US version of the game.

Wii U eShop

Wii U Panorama View (Nintendo, $2 per virtual tour) — Originally shown off extensively at preview events before the system launched, this app takes you on fixed tours where you move the GamePad at any angle to see a "window" into a 360 degree view. A free preview will be available to download, or you can choose from four full tours to purchase; we plan to give you our views on this app soon.

So those are the treats coming to you, North America, and we'll be working on Wii U specific reviews for those not yet covered under the Famicom Anniversary promotion. Let us know which of these downloads is top of your wishlist in the poll and comments below.

Which of these games will you download first on Wii U? (232 votes)

Super Mario World


Ice Climber


Kirby's Adventure


Donkey Kong Jr


Balloon Fight




Punch Out!!




Wii U Panorama View


Nothing for me


Please login to vote in this poll.

From the web

User Comments (108)



dragon_rider said:

About time! Sure, the selection for this week is paltry, but I look forward to next week. Still getting SMW!



New_3DaSh_XL said:

Definetly getting Super Mario World! it's one of the 2 Mario games I haven't played; the other being Sunshine.



Lalivero said:

Getting Super Mario World and Kirby's Adventure, just because I still haven't gotten that one yet for the whole celebration thing.

Also going to try out this Panorama View.



ThePirateCaptain said:

You need to get on Sunshine man!

I'll be downloading Super Mario World as soon as I am able. That, F-Zero, and Super Metroid are the only decent games confirmed as of now.



SetupDisk said:

Does the transfer process take a long time? I have a lot of VC still on my wii.



bonham2 said:

Still $8 for a SNES game??? Nintendo, GET WITH THE TIMES!!! I will not be buying ANY NES/SNES games for the Wii's VC price of $5/$8. If they dropped the price to $2-$3 for NES and $4-$5 for SNES, I would spend HUNDREDS. I would probably buy every game I have ever liked or even considered.



lividd3ad said:

Is there any reason why America seems to be getting these before us in Europe? Seems a bit silly.



Whopper744 said:

Alright. Glad it's finally here. SMW alone is worth it. I wish they would at least give us a release date (for their third time being released) for when they will decide to make them available to download again to the Wii U. I've been hoping for some Zelda.



boywundr said:

@bonham2 Yeah, I'm slightly disappointed in that price as well. You can pick the cart up for about the same amount (of course, you do need to own and hook up the system, but still...). It has me concerned for the GCN prices if/when they hit the eshop. These prices go from impulse buy to nah...



Ryno said:

Nothing for me in the first round outside of the .30 cent games. I have the original cart for SMW so I wont download that otherwise I would since it is fantastic.



Whopper744 said:

@Ryno I can't say I disagree with you. it does add some good old suprise to it, but I kinda feel like I have already played this game for about 6 years now. Kinda not sure if I want to do it again with waiting on the same day.



DarkEdi said:

I could download but this games looks better in the Wii than Wii U. It needs a patch to fix that, even the bright and sound are worse in Wii U.

If there could be a way to add the ID to Wii so we don´t transfer...



dragon_rider said:

@DarkEdi How can you tell? The Wii U doesn't support 240p so it scales it to 480 or 720. Snes games were never meant to be played on an HDTV.



darklinkinfinite said:

@Joshers744 I definitely agree with you there. Actually its not so much that we have to wait for weekly releases but that we have to wait for weekly releases, most of which are already available on the Wii Shop channel that I have access to on my Wii U.



SCAR said:

What kind of TV and sound setup are you using? As far as I can tell, everything is way better on Wii U. I'm pretty sure the game in being displayed in 1080p as full screen, and 2.0 PCM.



Whopper744 said:

@darklinkinfinite Yep. Good point. If I could see a good reason why they are doing it this way, maybe I could understand, but I really just don't see the logic in this one.



DarkEdi said:

I look the games more blury and the colors less brighter for some reason in the Wii U. I downloaded the Kirby, Balloon Fight, etc and i look them worse. Even the sound is less (except for SNES F-Zero). I think this happens in the NES games only but i want to check later the other consoles in Wii U format. In any case i will continue to download the VC games in my Wii.



Giygas_95 said:

I'd actually rather have Super Mario Advance 2 (Super Mario World) as a VC title on the 3DS because it lets you play as Luigi and it gives him his own unique appearance and characteristics. I hope they do GBA titles on the 3DS eventually.



yienwae said:

I've already downloaded PunchOut for the NES earlier. But I am seriously considering downloading the SNES version of PunchOut. The only other title right now that I may consider getting is Super Mario World. I wish they would put in Donkey Kong. That is the one classic I would download in an instant.



DerpSandwich said:

People are seriously still willing to spend eight bucks on an SNES game? I'm voting with my dollar here and not buying a thing unless it's on sale or the prices drop. Those prices are absolutely ridiculous.



sonicfan1373 said:

They should do an almost full release of every system available on the Wii VC every month for the Wii U. For example, April could be the month of NES, May could be SNES, June could N64, July (with Sega's help) could be for Genesis (Mega Drive). By 2014, they should start releasing new systems on the Wii U's VC (namely Saturn, Dreamcast, and Gamecube). By late 2014 (assuming Wii has been discontinued and retail games are being discontinued) Nintendo should release Wii titles on the VC service.



Discostew said:

Are you only limited to upgrading VC games that are available on the Wii U, or can you upgrade any NES/SNES VC game you have in Wii mode?



evildevil97 said:

Gonna pick up everything I have the Wii VC discount on. Updating for off-TV support on some of these is worth it.



AbeVigoda said:


I feel the same way. I have a modded Wii with every single NES, SNES, Genesis, etc game on it, yet still considered buying some games on the Wii-U VC.

Not at these prices.



Gregor said:

@Discostew You don't need to upgrade you VC games. Just pop in your SD card from your Wii into your Wii U and you can play the VC games in compatibility mode. They arn't forcing you.



Ren said:

Prices too high. NES games should be 1 dollar, and it would be hard NOT to download all of them. At these prices they're real purchases not impulse and even buying them digitally with the risk of losing it in a few years when the system is replaced is just not worth it. I spent a lot Wii Games downloaded and now it's all dead on the main WiiU system (and lauded gamepad), what a slap in the face! I won't re-buy this stuff with every new console.
20 year old games are nostalgic diversions, not major game releases, it's ridiculous that they seem to be living in a bubble over at big N, like we don't have access to ANY of the flood of cheap great games that are out there that aren't Nintendo. It's just sad.



Discostew said:

@Fusion14 I know I don't need to, but that wasn't what I was asking. I'm asking if you can upgrade those that are not currently listed in the Wii U VC launch, but that you own as Wii VC.



Discostew said:

@Ren Priced too high? Maybe, but Nintendo won't change their pricing if people continue to buy them at their set prices.



Ren said:

People will buy at these prices but not in anything like the numbers they would at something more reasonable. This kind of product (licensed classic games/downloadable) is NOT about pricing a regular game release. It's pure marketing, which nintendo doesn't seem to get at all. I don't buy these games because it's an amazing new experience I saw reviewed in the paper. I buy because I have Nintendo on my mind, the games of my youth, and because as a nerdy game head I just like getting more games. This is advertising; if I see tons of cheap classic games on the WiiU backing up the gaps in new expensive releases you can bet I'll buy more of those ones and I'll more likely buy a WiiU at all if I get some cheap or free games from my youth. They need to keep people in front of it and on and games will sell. Why not suggest similar games as you open them? Nintendo has to re-build the brand with each new console because they do NOTHING to maintain the brand loyalty along the way. Their games are so good that the rabid fans are there anyway, but more is more, and that's what they want but they don't get the market.
This kind of online business is about the fast nickel NOT the slow dime, it's so bizzare that Nintendo doesn't get that, aren't they a huge company with full time professionals working there? They run their retail and marketing strategy like a 10 year old at a lemonade stand.
The old games are a finished product ready to go for cheap to drag people into the door to buy the new ones, why pretend like they're some kind of golden jewels? I love them but they are still 20 year old computer games. That is eons for a computer product, just use them for marketing.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Europe gets Mario's Super Picross and we miss out AGAIN? WTF, Nintendo? WHY WON'T YOU GIVE AMERICA PICROSS ANYMORE?

That's it...first chance I get, I'm going to Miiverse to complain. Gotta do SOMETHING to get it through their thick skulls...



brooks83 said:

Everyone on Miiverse in America demand Mario's Super Picross. If I had a Wii U I would.



Ryno said:

@Joshers744: I will give you a reason, games sell they best right around their launch. If all those games are launched at the same many of the less popular games will not sell as well as being launched during their own week.



SparkOfSpirit said:

As long as they have sales this time, there's nothing wrong with the prices.

Anyway, weak line up aside next week will be the real test for the VC. If we go back to one release or none then it's panic time.



KAHN said:

actually, it's kind of cool that Europe gets something we don't for once. usually, Japan gets something, US gets it a couple months later, and Europe is lucky to get anything.



Whopper744 said:

As much as it sucks for me, from a money making standpoint, I guess that makes sense. I do agree with you too that 8 dollars for an awesome SNES game is a good deal.



DerpSandwich said:

@Ryno But that's because there's a limited supply of physical cartridges and shipping costs are also a factor. With digital copies the supply is basically unlimited, and the profit margin is basically 100%. They're completely different markets.

It used to be worth it to pay all that money because it was the only way to get those games. Now it's just not true.



HawkeyeWii said:

Ice Climber, Balloon Fight and DK JR are not worth $4.99 combined, let alone separate. I'd love to get DK JR, but not at that price! I would be hesitant to get it at half that price!

Nintendo really needs to work on their pricing!



Ryno said:

@Joshers744: But SMW will only cost you a 1.50 since you have it already right? And BTW, I do see your point too about wanting to upgrade your games as soon as possible. Playing some of the classics on the GamePad is pretty rad.

@DerpSandwich: I guess for me if a video games give me "x" amount of hours of enjoyment, then $5 or $8 seems reasonable to me no matter how old is. Also, its not near 100% profit. They have a transaction/processing fee that they have to cover for every time a credit card is processed.



daveh30 said:

I really hope they start adding Wii U eshop/ VC games to the Club Nintendo rewards alongside the 3DS and Wii downloads...



Emaan said:

Virtual Console is here!..and I'll be getting Panorama View, go figure



Whopper744 said:

@Ryno yeah it'll only be 1.50 for me, but that game is like "my game" if you know what i mean. I was born in 89 and that's the first game I remember playing. Darn thing got me addicted to the stuff. haha.



DerpSandwich said:

@Ryno But that fee is likely no more than 50 cents, and technically it's only when you purchase eShop credit. And one $20 purchase of credit can get you several games with no fees themselves. It's not quite 100%, but I imagine it's pretty darn close.



Ryno said:

@Joshers744 Oh, I know what you mean! I was 10 years old when I got my SNES with Mario World and that game holds a special place for me too. The only reason why I haven't downloaded it yet is because still have my original copy.



Ryno said:

@DerpSandwich: It's probably a little more with a "transaction fee" and "processing fee" but whatever... I also wonder how many people by extra eShop credit beyond the individual purchase price. I don't.

Maybe they will have sales on VC games for those who think the price is to high.



miiandmario said:

Really happy about this I am definitely getting super mario world and kirbys adventure (mainly cause its 30 cents). Anyways I cant wait to see what other games will make it to the virtual console (hopefully some gamcube games)



DerpSandwich said:

@Ryno Yeah, I don't normally buy too much more than I need. It's different with Microsoft points, because I can often get the cards for cheaper than they're worth, but unfortunately I can't seem to say the same for the eShop.



GamerJunkie said:

IDK if I will pick any up. I get 10 games for 5 bucks in indie bundles (many very good games on steam/desura)and Nintendo wants 7 bucks for SMW that I bought who knows how many times in my life.

They need to bundle all the classic games, then release more modern games like Wii VC ASAP.

I got all the cheap .30 ones so far, I think I will wait for SMW and excite bike, the prices are too high IMO for old NES games with nothing added.



cheetahman91 said:

$5 for games like DK Jr. and Ice Climbers? Heck no. Nintendo should do like they do with Gameboy games where they charge a dollar less for the simpler titles.



bahooney said:

I love how everyone is freaking out about the prices of these games "8 BUX FOR A FREAKING SNES GAME!?!!1 IF DIS WAS FIVE BUX I WOULD GEDDIT BUT LIKE DAT PRICE DIFFERENCE OF THREE BUX REALLY FROSTS MY BOTTOM!! AROOOGUH!!" It is 8 dollars. Eight. Dollars. These are games we paid $60+ back in the early 90's, and you had no problem then! How many of you guys dropped $30 on the NES classics series for GBA? These games, specifically SMW, are ones we will most likely be coming back to YEARS from now. Would it be nice if they were cheaper? Of course. But these aren't iPhone games that you'll impulse buy and never remember playing a couple of years down the road. Nintendo is world-renown for their software quality, and these games have resonated with us in ways words can't formulate. Your desired price of $5 is a $3 difference, which is next to nothing.

tl;dr go home, whiners. you're drunk.



brooks83 said:

I think the prices were ok during the Wii's lifetime, but these games are now a generation older. As a retro gaming enthusiast, I will still buy the games at the prices they are now, but many gamers may not. I mean, you can buy PS1 games on PSN for $5.99 (with a handful of exceptions), which is $.99 more than an NES game on the VC.



JebbyDeringer said:

$8 is a lot though. I can get year old games (good ones even) for $7.50 on Steam sales. It doesn't really matter that the game was $60 at one point. The original price point was meant to pay for the game and make profit which they have more than done during the SNES days. Now sure there is a cost for them to re-release but $8 is probably netting them some serious profit per sale. If you are a hardcore F-Zero fan or think you might be sure $8 is not a lot but there are many games I like so $8 x X number of games adds up.



brooks83 said:

And how many VC games have you downloaded, dragon_rider? Are you putting your money where your mouth is? I'd be willing to bet you and everyone else here would download even more games if they were $1 or $2 cheaper.



Ren said:

ebay doesn't mean anything unless you're talking about collector enthusiasts. Do I need to put up a link to the ios app store? That is the primary audience for games now. Even us old gamers have sweet phones with good games on them. The pricepoints for gaming have spread into different categories and these ancient games just naturally fall into the cheap categories. They are ANCIENT. It doesn't matter how good they are, it just means they will sell better as 'small' games, and will do well that way because they are indeed better than mobile games. Nintendo is not treating them differently and it's a mistake.
I never said I didn't have the money, but there are so many games and options out there now that I prioritize my game spending according to the accepted pricing model now. Which is:
big huge HD games $50 maybe,
ok games in my pocket $2-$6,
quick throwaways/ one gag mini games FREE
really deep portable new portable games $10-15
retro games that I love (VC) ?
where doe it fit in there? games in my pocket at best, mini games for some of them. I will not spend $2+ dollars on 20+ year old games, because it's stupid; I've played them before, and I can emulate them elsewhere if I really want them bad enough.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@0SP_ZELDAiii: What, did you come through a time warp or something? That information is YEARS out of date! Europe is CONSTANTLY getting stuff we miss out on now...hence we're still waiting for Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Wario Land 3, both of which they've had on 3DS VC for MONTHS...Picross e 1 AND 2 (they seem to have a particular vendetta against Picross lately)...not to mention, y'know, retail games such as ALL THREE Project Rainfall titles.



FyreeTSG said:

MARIO WORLD!!! (need money however)---

Can we PLEASE get ONLY Nintendo games, nothing off the crap systems like TG16, Neo Geo, Commodore, and (sorry fans)--but we REALLY don't need another resurrection for Master System, DO we?

I'd also like to see the games we DIDN'T see on Wii VC, which we should have got like 5 years ago---including NES Tetris(we have the GB one on 3DS, so what's the hold up??)

AND N64 needs more support, as does Arcade games---somehow get a deal done w/ WB for the Classic MORTAL KOMBAT games!!



SCAR said:

Just sell your Super Mario World cartridge for $8, then you have money to buy the Wi U version. That's what I did, and it's better because it's in HD, on the GamePad, and won't break! Lol.



sdcazares1980 said:

How about releasing games that have never been released for the VC like Yoshi's Island (SNES) and Super Double Dragon, mmmmkay?



Ren said:

"them their money" ? I don't emulate anything but old games are old games. When I watch old movies online I expect to pay 3 or 4 dollars for it even in HD (or I could buy a 2 dollar tape second hand). If I want to play them, then yeah, I'll pick up an old machine second hand. I'm not giving them "their money" then either, is that wrong too? We're talking about really old game properties here. Their like pieces of classic art; they are part of the culture and are replayed and reprinted in many ways, but cheap cash-ins from Nintendo are still not ok. I've lost a lot of faith in Nintendo after this poor launch, but it's strange how rabid fans can be, Nintendo is a company just hoping to make some money; they don't need anyones defense.



Marioman64 said:

goodbye lost winds 2, you will stop working after I transfer over to get off-TV super mario world. i loved you



Marioman64 said:

^the above is so i can get the reduced price to get a game I already have a snes cartridge of and a wii vc version of



sr388survivor said:

Agreed. I know a lot of people want other systems but for me it's always disappointing when I go to look what games are released and some obscure NeoGeo game or something lol.



Marioman64 said:

also apparently its lost winds 1 and not 2 that doesn't transfer over.
anyway i'm still REALLY avoiding the transfer because I want gamecube control. originally I wanted my wii stuff because i still had to get friend medals on metroid prime trilogy, but nintendo shut off wiiConnect24 so i'll never unlock anything there without hacking now
also with the gamecube thing, the bomberman wiiware game has an 8 player mode (4 wiimotes and 4 gamecube controllers) which will blatently not work anymore... it's frustrating. can't I just link my wii and wii U accounts and have it say "oh hey you have this on your wii? you get the discounted price. I may have to pay more because I'm avoiding transfering



Marioman64 said:

@SCAR392 but the SNES version on an actual SNES has 0 controller latency issues, wireless controllers have a small delay that some people don't like



TheRealThanos said:

@FyreeTSG and @skjia
I never owned a TG16, Neo Geo or Commodore 64, but I have played many of the games that were published for them at a friends house and with a colleague of mine, who is a collector. I just didn't have the money then to buy all these consoles/home computers. (especially not the ridiculously expensive Neo Geo... ) I do have almost every Commodore (Amiga) system after that and I do not agree with you. Besides that I still own a Saturn, a Dreamcast and every Nintendo system (and handheld) from the N64 up till now so yeah, I love Nintendo but I'm also a gamer and can appreciate a good game any day of the week, even if it's not on a Nintendo system, as you should too.
A good game is a good game, PERIOD. I do think that the the VC on Wii/DSi and so on did certainly not give us all of the best games on those systems, so on that point I could agree that some games are rubbish and it also made me wonder why they were brought to Virtual Console in the first place, but still...

Each of us has had different game console memories and experiences and thrashing them without even knowing what great games were published on them is very narrow minded and saddening, to say the least...



ACK said:

I don't mind the prices. As others have said, I vividly remember paying over 60 for some SNES carts (although, at that price some, like Earthbound, still feel like a good investment). I feel privileged to have easy access for a reasonable price. I've gone through so many controllers and vintage hardware, I'd prefer not to fire up my old systems unless necessary (otherwise unavailable games like The Guardian Legend, which I was playing last night).

I want every game like most people, but an overabundance leads to an under appreciation that I find unsavory. These prices work like fast food detractors... VC game or value meal? Easy call. And like that other unhealthy craving, the price works in my favor. Cheap enough to sate my hunger, but not so cheap as I could let myself engourge everyday.

Also, the prices have the benefit of giving us heavy Wii VC supporters piece of mind. I don't see why Nintendo should devalue their back catalog now, just a few years later. The real concern is that if we pay a significant price on a VC collection, we absolutely deserve security and a system to share accounts among console. This is where Nintendo is in the wrong.



Gregor said:

@Ren as long as you don't emulate those games. Look at everything that has ever been on the eShop. See all those things? You may not emulate them. You have easy access to them from VC so there is no reason to rob Nintendo of their great games. MMMKAY? YOU UNDERSTAND?



sr388survivor said:

I wasn't thrashing any consoles I was just saying for me personally it's disappointing when there are still a lot of classic Nintendo games that have yet to be released on the VC. As I said I realize other people want the other consoles and obviously they wouldn't release those games if people didn't buy em.



Ren said:

I MAY do as I please. I'm a long time loyal fan but I owe Nintendo no special favors.
Welcome to the internet.



Gregor said:

@Ren Fellow loyalists and comrades in gaming decency and morality, let us begin the flaming treatment on this theif and trespasser. CHARGE!



Ren said:

"gaming decency and morality". Interesting idea; I too am a fan of science fiction. you realize this is the comments section of a video game website, right?



TheRealThanos said:

@skjia Point taken. Most of my comment was actually meant for FyreeTSG, but you seemed to agree with him, which is why I added you in the comment. No offense meant, though, I just like open minded gamers is all...



Gregor said:

@Ren a video game website based around Nintendo. If you casually come on here saying you are going to emulate games that you can get from the eShop you WILL have ankle-biters on your tail. Either pay for the god damn games or don't play them. Simple as that. Emulation is ilegal.



TheRealThanos said:

@Fusion14 Far be it for me to rain on your parade, but you're wrong, and not even a little bit:
The only thing you are right about is the fact that it is illegal to own copies of ROMs/CD's/DVD's that you do NOT own yourself. And it goes without saying that making several copies and trying to make a profit off of them is even more illegal and will amount to 'true' piracy, if such a distinction can even be made...
An emulator however, is not a copyrighted program or similar in and of itself and because of that can NEVER be illegal and neither is the act of emulating systems on other platforms such as PC or a softmodded Wii in itself.
That being said, although I do not condone piracy and so on, I also use copies of games that I bought, for my PC as well. Keeps my originals in mint condition. And not to forget: gets rid of the nasty CD/DVD checks on PC by using NoDVD files.. ;D

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