Hanabi festival five at last

While we speculated on the return of the Hanabi Festival recently, Nintendo were busy putting the finishing touches to the fifth instalment of their import spectacular, due to launch this Friday.

Kicking off with the fantastic Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and taking in IronClad, Milon's Secret Castle and, er, Lode Runner, there's plenty of good stuff lined up for the coming weeks. We'll be sure to bring you a review of Rondo of Blood after it hits your Virtual Console smack between the eyes and if you haven't already read them be sure to check out our reviews of Ironclad, Milon's Secret Castle and Lode Runner which may (or may not) get you excited for these games.

Here's the official press release from Nintendo to gear you up for the imminent neck-nibbling:

Hanabi Festival, Nintendo’s celebration of Virtual Console gaming, returns starting on 12th March – with an all-star line-up of classics never before seen in Europe.

Named after the infamous Japanese fireworks festivals, this year’s Hanabi Festival will light up your Wii with an explosive array of games.

Hanabi Festival is a feast of gaming fun and this March there is something for everyone to get their teeth stuck into, featuring the action adventure epic CASTLEVANIA RONDO OF BLOOD.(Turbografx)

Previously available only in Japan on the PC Engine system, CASTLEVANIA RONDO OF BLOOD is the legendary and beautifully rendered tenth instalment of the famous Castlevania series.

We will continue in the following weeks with more classics appearing in Europe for the first time, including the action-packed fantasy, Milon’s Secret Castle (NES), IRONCLAD (NEOGEO) and Lode Runner® (NES).

No official pricing has been announced yet but you smart cookies know what to expect from Hanabi by now.