Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Ok, so this is a new monthly feature that we are going to be running on in the upcoming future. Due to the runaway success of the Virtual Console (and I have always been enthusiastic about it to be honest) we are going to be integrating some new features into the site that revolves around the Virtual Console.

The first feature being this very article you read now – every month we will be taking a look at the best games released for the Virtual Console and giving a summary of the game itself, and how it has stood the test of time. We are also looking at incorporating reviews from our friends over at Virtual Console Reviews so you get all the updates and news as it happens.

Note: Because this is a new feature Issue 1 will cover the releases of Virtual Console games over the months December and January. Future editions will only include one month worth of releases.

Here is the pick of December and January’s releases:

Super Mario Bros; NES; Platformer; 500 points.

No real need to explain the concept of this game seeing as all of you will have played it at some point. The infectious fairground style theme song and the hordes of Goombas and other such bad guys make for a real nostalgic treat.

Funny thing is given the age of this game it still feels as fresh as ever. The levels are well designed, the musical score is perfection and the character sprites (while simple) are well animated. Or maybe I’m just biased?


Gunstar Heroes; SEGA Mega Drive; Shooter; 800 points.

The best Mega Drive game ever? A lot of people really do concur that this game is nothing short of phenomenal. And they’re right because put simply Gunstar Heroes is a highly graphical intensive, fast paced shooter.

If any game has stood the test of time – this is it.


Super Mario 64; Nintendo 64; Platformer; 1,000 points.

The game that perfected the 3D platform engine. Still games can only aspire to be as innovative, diverse and engrossing as Super Mario 64 but still games don’t succeed.

While the graphics feel a little bit jagged compared to the current generation the game still looks and sounds as good as ever. Discovering those stars may not be as jaw dropping as first time around but the gameplay is still as varied as ever.


R-Type; PC Engine; Shooter; 800 points.

Now before we get into this mini-review we should probably state to our readers that R-Type is hard. In the olden days games generally were a helluva lot harder and this is an example of it. However, perseverance can be rewarding and thus R-Type is a great game for those looking for a challenge.

Graphically and musically R-Type is sublime offering bright and colourful sprites and a memorable and frantic music score. And the end of level bosses – well – download it and find out for yourself.


Toe Jam And Earl; SEGA Mega Drive; Miscellaneous; 800 points.

The ultimate chill out game with the two funkiest characters in video game history. The duo have crash landed on Earth and need you to help them gather back the pieces of their space ship so they can return back to Funkatron.

No game has ever been whackier, and while this game can be pretty frustrating at times it’s worth downloading for the soundtrack alone.


Donkey Kong Country; Super Nintendo; Platformer; 800 points.

The big release that became available as soon as you unpacked your Nintendo Wii on December 8th was Donkey Kong Country. A SNES cult classic that while lacking in the depth of the Super Mario games really packed a gigantic punch in the graphical stakes. All the character sprites were beautifully animated and rendered in 3D creating for a gloriously colourful and graphically intense world.

To this day the graphics still look as phenomenal as ever, although the gameplay seems to be notably shallow – particularly when compared with the likes of Super Mario World.


Ristar; SEGA Mega Drive; Platformer; 800 points.

A game that was introduced late into the life of Mega Drive offering large colourful sprites and gameplay akin to Sonic The Hedgehog. This game provides the usual platform formula and really struggles to offer anything new to the series. However this does not by any means make it a bad game as everything is so well executed in Ristar once you persevere through the slow start you’ll find yourself engrossed in this platformer.

While the games structure may feel a little dated for new players, those who never experienced Ristar first time around are urged to pick up this awesome title.


Honourable mentions:

  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (SEGA Mega Drive)
  • The Legend Of Zelda (NES)
  • F-Zero (Super Nintendo)
  • Golden Axe (SEGA Mega Drive)
  • Bomberman '93 (PC Engine)

Remember you can use the comments system or forum to tell us what you have been playing on the Virtual Console.