VC Arcade Reviews

Super Hang-On (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Super Hang-On (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Winning run

Name a SEGA arcade racer from the 1980s. Now name one that isn't Out Run. Chances are you've come up with Super Hang-On (or maybe Power Drift if you're really trying), the motorbike racer that's the Pepsi to Out Run's Coke. The fact it's taken SEGA five years to bring Super Hang-On game to the Western Virtual Console is a big surprise,...

1942 (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

1942 (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

A relic best left forgotten

Capcom's 19XX series is quite fondly remembered, for offering some unique and very solid gameplay over the five installments it has had so far. At least, that mostly counts for the later four, but not so much for the first. Although not as bland as Exed Exes, 1942 does not really offer too many novelties other than its Pacific War theme. It's another vertical shooter,..

Black Tiger (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Black Tiger (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Ghosts 'n Goblins 'n Gimmicks

In 1985, Capcom released the infamous Ghosts 'n Goblins upon the world. Still regarded as one of the most challenging games ever made, it was a smash hit and cost many players many, many quarters as they died again and again. Although it would get a sequel eventually, after two years, Capcom decided to make a similar game with a few added gameplay elements. In Black..

Exed Exes (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Exed Exes (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Extremely excruciating

We've seen a metric tonne of shoot 'em ups made available on Virtual Console already. With well-known classic games like the Gradius and Star Soldier series as well as lesser-known greats like Cho Aniki and MUSHA among them, there's more than enough good stuff available to satiate the desires of any fan of the genre. Because...

Ghosts 'n Goblins (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Ghosts 'n Goblins (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

The original quarter-eating monster returns

Over two years ago, before Nintendo introduced the Virtual Console Arcade, Capcom released the NES port of Ghosts 'n Goblins on Virtual Console. Arguably the most well-known version of the game out there, it's infamous for being an incredibly challenging and, frequently, totally unfair game. While it would...

SonSon (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

SonSon (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

A chimp off the old block

Looking for an arcade game that resembles a side-scrolling Ice Climber in which you control a monkey that hurls fireballs at angry dinner plates? Then look no further! Capcom has seen it fit to release 1984's SonSon from its trove of arcade treasures, and while this isn't likely to be the game anybody was particularly waiting for, it offers a pleasant enough diversion as..

Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Commandon't

General William T. Sherman is popularly credited with coining the phrase "War is Hell", but we don't think he ever got the chance to play Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando. If he had, he surely would have said, "War is kind of dull, and a little crappy." Originally released to arcades in 1985, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando (herein referred to as..

Zaxxon (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Zaxxon (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

One for the history books, but not for everyone

In 1982 Sega made a little gaming history with Zaxxon: the first 3D arcade game to use an isometric perspective – even more shockingly, it used sprite-based graphics at a time when 3D games were pretty much all being done with vectors. Whilst Zaxxon got a lot of attention due to its flashy graphics...

Ninja Gaiden (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Ninja Gaiden (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

The original, but possibly not the best.

Ninja Gaiden is a game best known to many as a series of action-platformers that started out on the NES and has continued into the present day on the current crop of HD systems as a 3rd-person action game. It's worth remembering that it started out as an unforgiving beat-em up in arcades and thanks to Tecmo's...

Shinobi (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Shinobi (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Put on your ninja suit and rescue the kiddies once again!

After treating retro gaming fans to the delights of Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III from the Mega Drive / Genesis, it is only right that SEGA bring us back to basics and let us get our grubby mitts on the original arcade game from 1987 where this glorious franchise began. Considered to be...

Golden Axe (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Golden Axe (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Sega's classic fantasy side-scroller hits the Virtual Console in its original arcade form - but is it any good?

It would be fair to say that the expansion of the Wii Virtual Console to incorporate arcade releases has been extremely welcome, but it has resulted in one rather unusual side-effect: we’re seeing rampant duplication of titles already available. We’ve already had the likes of..

Solomon's Key (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Solomon's Key (Virtual Console / Virtual Console 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..

Rygar (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Rygar (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Lesser-known than its NES counterpart, but is it still worth picking up?

When you utter the name "Rygar", many people will instantly think of the NES game with the same name. In it, you played as the bare-chested warrior Rygar, making his way through both side-scrolling and overhead stages using his unique weapon, the Diskarmor, to take out hordes of enemies and defeat evil. Like most NES..

Tecmo Bowl (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Tecmo Bowl (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Older. Prettier. Just not wiser.

In every genre there is one game that stands as a pinnacle to which other games in that genre aspire. Final Fantasy VII, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Sexy Poker. In their respective genres, these games are the standard by which other games are judged. Tecmo Bowl for the NES is often cited as that standard for classic American rules football games. But..

Altered Beast (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Altered Beast (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Welcome to your doom!

There’s no two ways about it: Altered Beast is a terrible game. Even here, in a perfect conversion of the arcade original, it’s so horrendously stodgy and repetitive that it makes you wonder quite why anyone holds it in the slightest bit of regard. For those lucky few amongst you yet to engage in a little beast altering,...

Space Harrier (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

Space Harrier (Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

An interesting slice of gaming history for fans of early 3D games.

Space Harrier is notable for being one of the first arcade games to use a motorised cabinet in its sit-down version, and in the realms of sprite-based third-person 3D shooters it's certainly at the more advanced end of the scale. It was highly popular back when it was released in the...

The Tower of Druaga (Arcade)

The Tower of Druaga (Arcade)

Scale a skyscraper to rescue your lost love in The Tower of Druaga.

The Tower of Druaga is a moderately infamous arcade game. As the knight Gil (Who is really Gilgamesh) you must work your way up a gigantic 60-floor tower to rescue your beloved princess Ki from the clutches of the evil Druaga. Each floor is quite literally a maze - Your objective on every single floor is to locate the key and then..

Gaplus (Arcade)

Gaplus (Arcade)

Remember the timeless classic, Galaga? Say hello to its successor, as the arcade version of Gaplus hits Virtual Console!

When Galaga first burst onto the scene back in 1981, it garnered almost instant popularity due to its intense shooting action and almost endless level of variety and challenge. Gone were the days where a fixed group of aliens...

Mappy (Arcade)

Mappy (Arcade)

It's a cat-and-mouse game like no other as you take control of Mappy, a brave police-mouse.

Arguably the most popular game in the first batch of arcade releases, Mappy follows the formula of other succesful titles of the time, including Namco's own Pac-Man - Your job is to collect objects while avoiding all enemies. The premise is that a gang of cats, called the Mewkies, have stolen a bunch of..