It's that time, North America, and you've undoubtedly got a particularly meaty lineup this week. All three Virtual Console services have new content, and the region gets a special retro Mario offer on the Wii U. There's also a stone-cold classic for 30 cents, along with quite a few new offerings of both the retail and download-only variety — we think there should be something for everyone this week.
Wii U Virtual Console
Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo, $4.99) — As is well known now, when it comes to the first Super Mario sequel, the West got an entirely different deal than those in Japan. Despite its style being an oddity in the series, this is still a lot of fun and, arguably, provides a template for how Mario can shake things up in the future. Running and jumping is still there, but some levels take plenty of exploring to figure out, while the four playable characters — each with different abilities — and the enemy tossing mechanics stand up rather well. We'll be adventuring through this again on Wii U, but in the meantime you can check out our Wii Virtual Console Super Mario Bros. 2 review.
Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Capcom, $7.99) — Capcom's recent promise of 16-bit goodness on the Wii U begins here, with this classic and grueling action game ready to test your skills and patience in the best possible way. With terrific sprite graphics and classic music to help you along, we suspect this one will make liberal use of the Wii U save state and restore point functionality. We'll review this version, but in the meantime you can check out our glowing recommendation in the Wii Virtual Console Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts review.
Wii U Virtual Console Promotion
Super Metroid (Nintendo, $0.30) — We suspect that this is the Famicom Anniversary promotion that many have been waiting for, as you can pick up one of the finest games to grace the Super NES for less than a bar of chocolate. Even if you have this one already, the promotion price is still only one fifth of the normal "upgrade price" from the Wii edition, and is still considered by some to be the definitive Samus Aran adventure. You can read why we think it's a true classic in our Wii Virtual Console Super Metroid review, while we work on an updated assessment.
Wii U Retail Download
Resident Evil Revelations (Capcom, $49.99) — Arriving on 21st May, this is the HD re-release of the terrific 3DS title, with improved visuals and some subtle tweaks to the formula. There's a free demo to try until it lumbers around the corner, and we're currently slaying plenty of ooze to bring you a review very soon.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Warner Bros., $TBC) — This full-fat HD version of the title — released last year on PS3 and Xbox 360 — features an open-world environment to explore, along with the usual LEGO super hero shenanigans that we've come to expect. This Wii U version will include off-TV play on the GamePad, as well as separate screen multiplayer. Available from 21st May.
Wii U eShop Temporary Discount
BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Gaijin Games, $11.25 until 30th May, normally $14.99)
The Starship Damrey (Level-5, $7.99) — After last week's epic psyche-out, the first of the Guild02 titles arrives this week, and it's the adventure/exploration title from Kazuya Asano and Takemaru Abiko. You awaken on the named starship with no memory of who you are or how you came to be there, and you have to explore and figure out your environment without any hints or tips to guide you. It sounds intriguing, and we'll try to remember how to find it on the eShop to bring you our review, soon.
Swords & Soldiers 3D (CIRCLE Entertainment, $6.99) — CIRCLE has stepped in to port Ronimo Games' excellent side-scrolling real-time strategy title, which originally became a favourite on WiiWare. With quirky humour, solid challenge and a decent amount of content, we're hopeful that stylus controls will improve on the solid pointer controls of the Wii title. This port has a lot to live up to, and we'll see whether it's up for the battle; in the meantime you can see how much we liked the WiiWare version in our Swords & Soldiers review.
Bowling Bonanza (Enjoy Gaming, $5.99) — If you've had enough of those smelly bowling alley shoes, this may give you the chance to get a frame in whenever you feel like going for some strikes. The blurb for this title promises much, with hot-seat multiplayer, a rating system, four modes and ten alleys to choose from, among other things. We'll see whether it's the Kingpin of the genre in our upcoming review.
Dress to Play: Magic Bubbles! (EnjoyUp Games, $3.99) — This is the second entry in this series, where you go from dressing up your avatar of choice to playing a different game in order to unlock more outfits and goodies. This time around the secondary game appears to be a match-puzzle affair; we'll work on our fashion sense and bring you a review.
3DS Virtual Console
Mega Man 5 (Capcom, $4.99) — Isn't it about time you buy another NES Mega Man re-release? With the Blue Bomber now starting his assault on the Wii U eShop, we still have the completion of his 3DS roll-out to finish, and we're now approaching the end of this particular run. While fans will argue over the best of the NES classics, we still believe this is a thoroughly excellent game in our Wii Virtual Console Mega Man review. We'll be giving a fresh take on this one on its new portable home very soon.
Harvest Moon (Natsume, $4.99) — After a bit of a delay from the European release, The Game Boy Color debut for this popular series finally arrives on the North American Virtual Console. It has a decent amount of the farming simulation gameplay that's so well known, though we did feel that a little too much had been stripped away from the home console equivalents in our Harvest Moon review.
California Super Sports (Cypronia, 500 Nintendo Points) — This title combines six games and sports commonly played in the U.S., including Target Football, Croquet and Dodgeball. You'll be taking on 1-3 CPU opponents, with controls that make use of the touch screen in particular. We'll dig out some fashionable shorts and a headband for our review.
Wii Virtual Console
The King of Fighters '99 (D4 Publisher, 900 Nintendo Points) — Three words: Neo Geo, fighting. This is the sixth Neo Geo entry in this particular franchise, all of which have graced the Wii Virtual Console in North America. This time around there are a few tweaks, such as teams having four members instead of three, while three power stocks can be used to enable Counter Mode or Armor Mode for extra bad-ass powers. We'll gear up for another brawl and review.
There's certainly plenty going on this week, North America.. Let us know what you plan to download in the poll and comments below.
What will you be downloading first this week? (294 votes)
Super Mario Bros. 2 (Wii U Virtual Console)
Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Wii U Virtual Console)
Super Metroid (Wii U Virtual Console Famicom Promotion)
Resident Evil Revelations (Wii U retail download)
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii U retail download)
BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Wii U eShop temporary discount)
The Starship Damrey (3DS eShop)
Swords & Soldiers 3D (3DS eShop)
Bowling Bonanza (3DS eShop)
Dress to Play: Magic Bubbles! (3DS eShop)
Mega Man 5 (3DS Virtual Console)
Harvest Moon (3DS Virtual Console)
California Super Sports (DSiWare)
The King of Fighters '99 (Wii Virtual Console)
Nothing for me this week
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