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

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

57%

Ice Climber

1%

Kirby's Adventure

2%

Donkey Kong Jr

2%

Balloon Fight

1%

Excitebike

  0%

Punch Out!!

  0%

F-Zero

2%

Wii U Panorama View

16%

Nothing for me

19%

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