Review: Solomon's Key (VC Arcade)

A near-identical version of a game already available on the Virtual Console

Way back when the Wii came out in late 2006, one of the initial games available on Virtual Console was the NES version of Solomon's Key. Now that arcade games have been added to the service's catalogue, Tecmo has chosen to release the original arcade version. But is it really worth another 500 Wii Points?

The gameplay in this arcade version is, as you might have guessed from the screens and video, exactly the same as its home console port. As Dana the Magician, you must collect a key in each stage to open a door. You must then make your way over to said door to reach the next level. Dana's special ability is that he can create and destroy blocks to stand on; using this ability, he can create platforms and makeshift staircases to reach almost any area.

If you've already played the NES version of the game, you'll probably instantly notice that the levels are, for the most part, exactly the same. The only change is that the arcade version of the game has two extra-dangerous enemies which were replaced by weaker ones in the NES version - The amount of enemies in each stage is unchanged. The NES game actually has a few extra stages not in the original arcade release, a total of 49 including secret ones.

The arcade game, on the other hand, has 51 stages; however, five of those are bonus rounds not seen in the NES game, which offer no challenge (they pretty much exist just to give you free items), meaning that overall, the NES version of the game has a handful more "normal" stages.

One obvious difference between the two versions is the game's graphics and sound quality, as you might've guessed. The graphics have a gritty yet interesting arcade look to them, but the music and sound effects actually don't really sound that much different.

The only real "advantage" this version of the game has over the NES one is that, like all arcade games on Virtual Console, you can configure some game settings; you can set the amount of lives, difficulty level, timer speed as well as the score threshold for extra lives.


If, for some reason, you haven't yet bought the NES version of Solomon's Key, then there's no questioning which one you should pick up; this one has a few fairly minor features over the NES game, but for some reason costs exactly the same amount of Nintendo Points, making the choice pretty easy. If you have already bought the NES version, then it's really quite pointless to pick this up, unless you really love the game! Still, as there are no real huge advantages or disadvantages between the two versions, we can't really do anything but give it the same score.

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