First, allow us to have a grumble. Since the New Year started Nintendo seem to think VC gamers are happy with less rather than more; the usual policy of releasing three games each week has been thrown out of the window and we're lucky to get two some weeks. Shame.
Anyway, rant over. This week's North American VC releases are a bit underwhelming, if we're honest. Pac-Attack is a nice enough puzzle title featuring Namco's pill-chomping mascot, but it's hardly AAA stuff. Riot Zone (AKA Crest of Wolf) is a pretty dire Final Fight/Streets of Rage clone that has very little in the way of redeeming features.
Pac-Attack (Super NES®, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 800 Wii Points): Pac-Man makes a rare appearance outside of a maze environment in Pac-Attack, a fun and quirky puzzle game. This unique entry in the genre puts its own twist on established conventions and adds one of gaming's most iconic characters to the mix. The goal is simple: Keep your screen clear of falling blocks and ghosts by lining up blocks horizontally, causing them to disappear. Clearing the ghosts, though, requires the help of a hungry Pac-Man (who just happens to swing by every so often for a snack). It's up to you to get all of the ghosts lined up for him, because Pac-Man will keep eating them until he is stopped by a block or he runs out of ghosts. In addition, his range of movement on the playing field is limited to horizontal or downward—thus adding further strategy. There are three game modes to choose from: 1 Player Normal, 2 Player VS., and the challenging 1 Player Puzzle. Feel like gobbling up some ghosts?
Riot Zone (TurboGrafx16 CD-ROM, 1 player, Rated E 10+ for Everyone 10 and Older - Tobacco Reference, Violence, 800 Wii Points): Riot Zone is a side-scrolling fighting game that follows two heroes as they fight to take down an evil organization. The crime syndicate Dragon Zone has kidnapped Hawk's girlfriend and it's up to him and his partner detective, Tony, to get her back. Join them as they jump "fists first" into the grim Kowloon district. Play as Hawk or Tony and fight through all five stages in the deadly Kowloon district. Smash down the Dragon Zone goons in areas like the Harbor, Abandoned Warehouse and the Ghetto. Both characters have unique skills and attacks. Hawk is a master of karate, while Tony is a hard-hitter. That being said, both guys are massive and possess killer techniques. The hard-boiled action is enhanced by the game's realistic sound effects.