It seemed quite likely that Nintendo of Europe would be starting the fifth Hanabi Festival with some Castlevania goodness, but as it turns out, this is not the case! At least there's two different import games instead, one of which is another highly recommended title. WiiWare gets the short end of the stick for once with just one new game, while DSiWare gets five.
The biggest of the first two Hanabi Festival releases this year is Ironclad, a shoot 'em up on the Neo Geo. A fairly standard horizontal shoot 'em up in terms of gameplay, its biggest drawing point is that it looks really nice - Everything is rendered in mock 3D and looks absolutely great. Of course, the gameplay itself being good as well only helps the cause. There's several different level exits which lead into different stages, also meaning there's quite a bunch of replay value. You can read what Sean thought of the game here. The first Neo Geo import, and also the first new Neo Geo game on VC in over a year, it costs 1000 Wii Points.
Today's other import pick is a lot less interesting. Lode Runner is the first instalment in the moderately well-known puzzle series, and sees you running around and digging up blocks to collect all the gold strewn about every stage. The blocks fill back in after a while though, so know what you're doing or you could get trapped! There's practically no reason to get this - Battle Lode Runner, which has been out for years, is superior in practically every single way, despite costing the same - 600 Wii Points. Read our thoughts and make up your mind on which game is better, it shouldn't be too hard!
Although WiiWare only gets a single new game this week, it's not a low-key one. Military Madness: Nectaris is intended to be a revival of Hudson's classic hexagon-based strategy series, and seems to be just like the first game, but with improved graphics and audio. We'll review it soon, but if you're a strategy nut, then picking this one up should be pretty safe. It costs 1000 Wii Points.
Although DSiWare gets five new games, most really won't be interesting to many people. The only exception is Pop Island, a graphically pleasing 3D multiplayer game in which you play as cube-shaped animals, battling it out over each other's flags, which you're trying to capture and take back to your base. Although obviously most fun with friends, the game's still fairly pleasing on your own, and for 500 DSi Points, not too expensive, either. You can read our review here.
We still don't really know much about Elemental Masters. It claims to be a combination of a strategy and RPG game, but judging by the screenshots and video, it simply seems like an intricate card game. Luckily, it's been out in North America since last Monday, so we should have a review soon. It costs 800 DSi Points, if you're feeling brave.
Likewise, we're also a bit in the dark about 4 Travellers: Play Spanish. From what we gather, it's nothing more than a fairly limited means of learning some Spanish ("More than 240 words" doesn't exactly say much, anyway), but it could be handy for those who are completely unfamiliar with the language and would like a simple basis. Like Elemental Masters, it was released in North America last Monday, so a review should be arriving soon. It also costs 800 DSi Points.
Finally, there's two more games we know everybody has been absolutely dying for. Simply Mahjong and Simply Sudoku are, as their titles imply, quite simply two more games based on the two popular puzzle games. There's not really many mahjong titles, but did we really need yet another DSiWare sudoku game? Both only cost 200 DSi Points, at least! We'll review them soon.
No Castlevania just yet! Will you be partaking in any of this week's delights?
Ah well, only a matter of time for Castlevania
That sucks! everybody wants castlevania! How could they do that?
It seems like there keeping the game all for themselves XD
Awww, poor Europe. Akumajou Dracula X Chi no Rondo is a good game, and I thought it was gonna be released this week in Europe.
i was obsessed with Nectaris back in the day, as soon as I get home I'm buying that
It's the 12th of March
We already knew the order of releases for each game from the nintendo website. Every one who checked it must have saw that Iron Clad was next after Zaxxon. Two games this week was a surprise so Castlevania should be released next week if there are two games again.
That's an awesome update. Military Madness on the Wii, Pop island, and that Elemental Masters game looks interesting on the DSi, and Majong would be good to have too.
Pop Island was my favorite wares. Too bad Eu gets it too late, but atleast they get it. Been stalking this sites for months, finall I have joined.
Welcome to NintendoLife, Ovi.
Although, Ironclad does look interesting.
I'd love it if NoA was to punk NoE and release it here on Monday
Once someone downloads Ironclad, please post if we have 50Hz or 60Hz. Cheers!
I was hoping for Castlevania too, especially after the press release. Oh well. I'm curious about IronClad and need a review for Military Madness.
Thanks StarBoy. Elemental Masters looks pretty cool, but seems pretty high price.
Welcome to N. life Ovi!
EUs update doesnt look to bad imho. You guys got great multiplayer game with (which includes DL and play) Pop Island. One of DSIwares must buy, instant DL's imho. Enioy
I just got component cables for my HDTV! Looks good! I am content at the moment that it looks like it does because I had composite cables, and that was no good. Im fine right now with the Wii.
Iron Clad is still contains Spanish text like the aes-bootlegs. Hope Iron Clad doens't end like last ninja 3. As there a re better roms made from the japanese wii release.
Getting pissed (from alcohol and horrible iron clad relaese)
Ironclad run in 60 Hz one of the best neo geo games
And yes it's almost in English except when you die. The texts get in Spanish
So if Rondo of Blood comes over, will it still be japanese? or will it be in english?
also, i'm actually pretty excited for ironclad. i've been wanting a side-shooter, but haven't been able to pick one. now i know what i'll be getting.
not a bad weekto bad no castlevania but at least you guys have a date for castlevania N/A still has no date for it
"Not with it's most anticipated" my @$$! Dear G-d please tell me we get Ironclad next week!
No such luck. Next week is going to be a nintendo published game.
I hope you're wrong, or I might have to start bustin' heads!D=<
[me prevents any head bustin' at all times] :3
@wiiplayer26: Did I miss something? What makes you so sure the next VC game in America is going to be a Nintendo published one?
Not sure about getting Castlevania - I've got the Dracula X Chronicles on PSP and a TV link up cable so technically I already have it. Plus I still have about 5 Castlevania's to finish off anyway. So Ironclad actually was my most anticipated Hanabi game. Any news on whether there are more imports to come or if it's just the 4 that have been announced?
But the "Coming soon" list said the castlevania game would be released March 12. Misleading us?
i want Mahjong here too D:
Woohoo! A turn-based strategy game! I've been waiting for a good one of those to come to WiiWare.
Hanabi Festival eh? Maybe this means we might get Super Dodge Ball this time around...
So is this "Mahjong" game actually a Mahjong game, or just another Shanghai game?
No Super Mario Kart again, but two VC games this week!
So its locked in 60hz thats good. Whats this about the spanish txt though.
No such luck for us Australians. We only got 4 Travellers Play Spanish for DSi this week. This is just pathetic! Europe gets 5 DSi games and we get 1 of those, possibly even the worst one! And so the list of games I want from Europe that have been denied from us grows...
Wow, both Ironclad AND Military Madness! Think I'll get Ironclad first and wait for the review of Military Madness. If it hadn't added much extra to the original game other than new graphics, then I might pass.
@Mario Party Fan 999 - I thought Australians could change their region settings and buy games from the European shop?
@25. bboy2970: Because its our 350th game!
#100: Zelda II
#150: SMB: Lost Levels
#200: Harvest Moon (I think)
#250: Super Mario RPG
#300: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Two Virtual Console games released in one week for the first time in 2010! And when was the last time Virtual Console got more releases than WiiWare?
No download for me this week though. I will save my points for Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Super Mario Kart.
@Adamant: it's almost certainly going to be a Shanghai game (which is oddly not available in the Japanese DSi - shop; Sunsoft haven't even released a retail version).
@11 Ristar42 Unfortunately although it gives you a pre purchase warning that Ironclad runs at 60Hz the game runs at 576i. As a previous post says the on screen text is almost all in Spanish too.
Also the graphics seem much darker than any of the other VC games I have downloaded, as if the brightness of my TV has turned itself way down - never played the game on NeoGeo though so not sure if this is not the way it's supposed to look.
576i for Ironclad = No buy for me. When will Nintendo learn that we Europeans want 60hz 480P?
Maybe this means we might get Super Dodge Ball this time around...
Nope. The four games have been revealed. Anything else will have to wait until next time.
And yes it's almost in English except when you die. The texts get in Spanish
¡Ay, ay, ay, no es bueno!
I think all of the emulators on WII are hard coded to 50 hz except for the TG16 and NES. Cant think why theyve done it like this. A stupid oversight I predict.
50hz neo geo games is a disgrace. 50hz import neo geo games is even worse.
Nintendo have lost so many sales from me because of this. I would have most likely had 60 or so games accross snes / md and neo geo if it wasnt for this.
Yeeeees I´m buying Ironclad right when I get home from work tonight =D
Military Madness seems to be a game with good pedigree, but I will definately wait for reviews. I guess it will take a while what with it being an online strategy game and that. May I ask who's reviewing it?
@ Mario Party Fan 999
Its 2010 and Nintendo is still only releasing 1 DSIware game in AU. What makes it even worst is that you guys get a over priced,240 word Spanish game. Thats uncalled for. Nintendo must really hate AU or somethinh because it seems that way not supporting DSIware and all. I wonder what AUs ever did to Nintendo.
Great to see another SHMUP coming to Europe. I've no idea what Ironclad is like but I'll definitely get it at some point.
"Battle Lode Runner, which has been out for years, is superior in practically every single way, despite costing the same - 600 Wii Points."
Shhh.... don't tell Nintendo, but Battle Load runner is the only import on the VC that does not have the additional 100 point surcharge.
cheapogamer, why do you assume it's Nintendo's fault? Maybe the publishers are too cheap to get it rated by the OFLC? Every region requires a separate rating, and some publishers can't afford that (some small studios have eve said that this is the reason their games are only released in North America, they can't afford to localize it for EU or AU).
Also, aren't there now like 15 sudoku games on DSiWare?
@ TJ Spyke
I was only JK about Nintendo hating AUs though
Still one release seems really bad for AU....
And yes their are like 15 sudoku games in the DSIware shop. Not sure how many have made it to AU though.
Look at the bright side, guys. Ironclad is still pretty good.
I for one don't give two sh*ts about when we get Rondo of Blood. I'd rather have Ironclad. I can play Rondo on my PSP.
Simply Mahjong (possibly)
Downloaded and I think its 50Hz, though never having played it I'm not certain. Certainly has boarders and seems a little slow - Funny they would state its 60Hz on the shop page, but then, it only took 15 months and trading standards for Nintendo to have Last Ninja 3 removed...
Good game but a weird ROM, as others have said - this is not the CD release.
Outrun2sp - I'm in complete agreement with you about the general 50Hz situation.
I'd get Ironclad but I'll still save some extra points for Rondo of Blood.
Go get Ironclad, of course a doublewinged Fokker is the craft of choice when it comes to blastning robots!
Ironclad looks like the most amazing Neo Geo game ever witnessed.
America got Super Mario Kart for Christmas 2009. Maybe Europe will get it for Christmas 2010.
For the Wii, yes. For the DSi, no. For some reason you can only choose between Australia and New Zealand if you got a DSi here. That sucks even more!
Time for PAL gamers to start sending in their complaints about Ironclad. This is becoming a disturbing trend. Why are we being asked to pay MORE for imports that do not even run like the original games did?
Complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org for UKers out there who are upset about this.
Meanwhile, does the fact that Nintendo are apparently erroneously advertising this as 60hz deserve a second complaint to trading standards?
People that supported 50hz in the first place are guilty of keeping it this way and its too late to change. The ones that said, well it was like that in the first place. Look at the charts, they are paying for sonic, golden axe at 50hz.
It does Betagam. People would have paid money based on the incorrect information.
Add all hanabi md games to that list too as they say 60hz.
Too be honest i'm not all that fussed about 50hz-60hz and I can't be arsed to explain my reasons why.
I do mind, thats why I normally dont touch the Megadrive or Neo Geo on the VC.
I say, add the option - then eveyones happy, I'm sure an emulator could manage it - most old Megadrive games boot the same ROM in different regions (hence the poor 50Hz non-optimised games).
If Nintendo are advertisng 60Hz import games (I'm not certain with Ironclad, but it is boarded and seems slow) that may mislead potential purchasers, they should correct this oversight either by stating they are in 50Hz, or providing a version that boots in 60Hz.
Croz, what an interesting and informative post that was, why did you even bother posting it?
I havn't checked it but if Outrun is correct about the megadrive games also falsely advertising 60hz then you can count that complaint to Trading Standards going in tomorrow morning.
Giving poor conversions is one thing but misleading the public who are buying them is quite another.
Nintendo can trot out the old "that's the way it always was" excuse till its blue in the face for its ordinary PAL re-releases but for Hanabi games this is groundless from the start and for them to be falsely advertising them as 60hz combined with the recent Last Ninja 3 fiasco just screams the question "does Nintendo even have a clue what is being put on its VC service?"
Outrun, for the record I disagree with you on one point, its never to late to effect a change. It took 14 months with Last Ninja 3 but the consumer won in the end. All it takes is for people to make a small effort and fire off that email.
Quite, Betagam -
My unfamiliarity with Ironclad makes it difficult to know for certain (also its a pretty weird ROM) and I dont have enough points to get to the pre-download screen on a confirmed 50Hz import, such as Pulseman, to check at the moment.
I'm getting some points tonight so will check out the Sega claim to see if there is anything behind it.
Cool, we shall see -
Ironclad looks different to the screen ratio in the screen shots and slower than the versions I've looked at on youtube.
Just got around to emailing Commodore Gaming as I was still yet to hear about a refund!
Just checked and the Sega hanabi titles including pulseman do indeed carry a message saying "runs in 60hz", unless there is some secret mode to activate this appears to be at best a mistake and at worst an outright lie and something that anyone who bought the game should feel free to take Nintendo and Sega to task on.
Pulseman, Gley Lancer and columns 3 are hanabi (which is a stupid term nintendo europe have come up with by the way). Anyway they all give a 60hz only warning and are locked in 50hz no matter what setting you have your console on. I run in 480i and they look absolutely dreadfull. Horribly upscaled and bordered. So you have a valid arguement.
Ironclad is the same. I tried metal slug and never got a neo geo game again on VC. Its so badly pixellated that it looks like the mobile version I have on my nokia n95.
Another nitpick. Dynastic hero which is one of the most sought after games on the TG16 after rondo of blood runs in 60hz but the sound is out of sync. Its like theyve used a cue sheet that is 2 seconds out and with each new track it gets worse and worse, near the end of the game tracks are beginning 14 seconds into the song. I have seen videos and this doesnt happen on the american version. I complained and they said something about when a game is submitted it is complete.
I am a bit of a hardcore gamer so may be hated by some for my smash bros comments but I vent opinions anyway. So many people are buying 50hz versions of games and not complaining that I dont think they will ever change it. Im suprised to see some of the people that are getting them here as they seem to know about their games but still buy them.
Paying with a credit card for that 50hz rubbish. Wont be me I tell you.
50hz is untouchable for me. Im 32, back in 1993 i had a sony tv that ran 60hz from the megadrive days onwards. Only in the 8 bit generation was I running 50hz so I kinda am ok with that.
I think the word "Hanabi" is uniquely creative.
(OUTRUN2SP) i started buying import consoles in 1992 which was a USA SNES,cos the pal snes games had big borders and the games were slow,then i went on to buy a USA NEO-GEO, CHIPPED PS1,JAP N64,JAP SEGA SATURN,then a JAP DREAMCAST,all the games that run in 50hz are pants if u ask me,so why nintendo decided to run all games at 50hz on the VC has baffled me.
A NEO GEO GAME?!?!
About damn time. When that game hits the American VC I am BUYING.
So the shop channel is presenting incorrect information about imports then - I shall be emailing too.
Hey Outrun, seems we are the same age, I'm also pretty specific about retro games and had modded / import consoles in the 16 & 32bit days to avoid 50Hz. Seeing 50Hz only on the VC was a major disappointment, has certainly put me off many a purchase
I'm around the same age as you and Outrun so yeah, I think we 30+ folk are definately more discerning in our taste. Seriously though, we lived through the problem the first time hence out concern to see history repeating itself. Educating the new audiance about why they are being ripped off is the kay thing here.
Whats so bad about 50Hz and 60Hz? I never encounter problems with vc.
Ezekiel, you won't encounter the problem in the States it only effects PAL areas. Basically NTSC games from back in the day were 'forced' awkwardly into a PAL shaped hole resulting in audio and visual problems that can be seen here:
Or a direct VC comparison here:
Note the slower speed of the PAL games as well as the compressed (squashed) appearance of the sprites and the added borders that has come about from trying to force one television format into another without properly recoding it. offering a 60hz option eliminates this problem and has been the standard method offered to PAL gamers since the days of the Dreamcast.
However, for some reason the VC emulated games, often being just ROMS of the original don't usually offer this. The problem we have here though is that Nintendo is actively promoting some games as running in 60hz when clearly they do not, thus misrepresenting their product on the Wii shop channel. This makes it seem as if Nintendo, not for the first time, is not even checking the content going onto its shop for quality and is just taking the publishers word for it.
I'm way behind schedule on writing an article detaling the problem which I hope to have finished by the end of the month and which Damo has indicated he will host for discussion here.
Hope Ironclad makes its way here soon too, Neo Geo CD games are hard to pass by.
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