Wii Virtual Console - News


  • News US VC Releases - 27th August - Ghouls 'n Ghosts

    he second week in a row North American gamers can call themselves spoiled - Three brilliant games this week once again. Highlight of the bunch is Ghouls 'n Ghosts, the second in the incredibly difficult platformer series. This is the version..

    he second week in a row North American gamers can call themselves spoiled - Three...

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    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Ghouls 'n Ghosts

    Arthur must go forth to save his beloved Princess and destroy the root of all evil!

    When you look at this game today, it's hard to believe that it was one of the very first Megadrive releases. Sega did an amazing job of reprogramming the Capcom arcade original for their 16-bit console - the port isn't quite arcade perfect but you have to look...

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    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Wrecking Crew

    Wreck, not dreck

    Wrecking Crew's a bit of an oddball. Despite starring Mario, it flies under many peoples' radars, partly because it launched simultaneous with the legendary Super Mario Bros. and several other titles, thus meaning it was quickly overshadowed. Wrecking Crew's genre is hard to nail down, but is essentially a mix of a platformer and...

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    Virtual Console / NES

    Review Lunar Pool

    Unique and futuristic flair

    The humble pool simulator has never made for the most exciting game, so a futuristic version of the classic pub game set on the moon is an intriguing proposition. It is worth noting that Lunar Pool is based on American pool, which is very different game from what the British play. This game is more similar to billiards in...

  • News EU VC Releases - 24th August - Wrecking Crew

    Sorry, European gamers. No Super Metroid just yet. But instead, you get underrated NES game Wrecking Crew. This odd little game went completely under the radar when it was first released (This can be blamed on Super Mario Bros. and others releasing on the same day), even though it's actually a very fun game. This one should be checked out, don't miss out on it again just like 20 years ago!Alongside Wrecking Crew we get another NES title, Lunar Pool. It's below average, but if you're a billiards fan you might want to check it out. Don't say we didn't warn you though! The VC already has better games where you sink balls into holes (Kirby's Dream Course, etc.)!As expected, Europe also gets Neutopia. This game proves that ripoffs don't always have to be bad, as it pretty much improves on The Legend of Zelda in every way. Don't miss this one.All in all, a pretty good week for Europeans, despite no Super Metroid. Check out the reviews:Wrecking Crew - NES - 500 Wii PointsLunar Pool - NES - 500 Wii PointsNeutopia - Turbografx - 600 Wii Points


  • News Hardware Focus - Super Nintendo

    Though Nintendo's domination of the 8-bit era - attained through a combination of the company's business acumen in entering the market when most other were hesitant at best and the practices employed post-success to ensure the monopolistic domination of said market - had, in terms of units sold, been their most successful, the 16-bit era brought...

  • News US VC Releases - 20th August - Super Metroid

    he moment a lot of you have been waiting for has finally come! Yes, the legendary Super Metroid is now available in North America! Ask any Metroid or Super Nintendo fan and they will gladly admit that it's one of the greatest games ever made for the..

    he moment a lot of you have been waiting for has finally come! Yes, the legendary Super Metroid is...

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    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Super Metroid

    A true classic

    Metroid was very popular in the late 80s and early 90s. Despite only two games being released, players loved it for its unique atmosphere and construction: the whole game consisted of one gigantic overworld with many places to explore and items to find. On top of that, there were plenty of secrets: who can forget the fact that you get...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Neutopia

    You play as a young warrior named Jazeta. The princess Aurora was kidnapped by the evil Dirth, and the king send you on a mission to rescue her.

    If you've glanced over the screens and video you might've already seen - This game is extremely similar to the original The Legend of Zelda game. The overworld is similar, the gameplay is similar, what you...

  • News Hardware Focus - Nintendo Entertainment System

    Fingerless gloves, in-ear headphones, Michael Jackson, The Cosby Show, Transformers action figures and the Back to the Future movie are just a few of the things people think of when reminiscing about the mid 80s.

    Many things were fads to be forgotten forever, others live on as icons of the generation. The Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES to its...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 17th August - Wave Race 64

    ake to the waves on your own personal watercraft and experience some of the best water effects in video game history. Yes that's right Wave Race 64 has finally made it to Europe's Virtual Console. This is one of the best racers on the system and well..

    ake to the waves on your own personal watercraft and experience some of the best water effects in...

  • Feature The Virtual Console Archive on German TV!

    It seems we are famous at last - we've made it onto TV!

    Well, in Germany, at least. Yes, the country that just can't seem to get enough of The Hoff also loves the VCA. We were featured on a recent episode of GiGa's 'WiiMotion' show, which, if you couldn't have guessed from the title, is devoted to Nintendo's shiny new console. Although they only...

  • News US VC Releases - 13th August - Metroid on the NES

    Three games that get 3/5 this week... not exactly an amazing selection, but there's something for everyone here.

    Samus worshippers will be over the moon to discover that Metroid (NES, 500 points) is now available. We gave the game quite a harsh review as we feel it's totally overshadowed by Super Metroid (out in the US next week, fact fans)...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Cratermaze

    Cratermaze is a comical action game set in a parallel world

    Cratermaze started out life as a Doraemon game but presumably because the franchise wasn't known so well in its native Japan then Hudson thought that changing the sprites might make it make it more attractive to the American audience. So basically you play a little chubby dude who floats...

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    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Shining in the Darkness

    Dark Sol has vowed to reign over the enchanted Kingdom of Thornwood, and only you can stop him.

    Anyone who has played the Atari ST classic Dungeon Master (or one of the many clones that appeared in its wake) will know full well that first person RPGs can be a hell of a lot of fun. Back when Sega first announced Shining in the Darkness (often called...

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    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Breath of Fire II

    A breath of fresh air

    Capcom’s Breath of Fire series isn’t really respected that much these days. The last instalment — the underrated Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter for the PS2 — was a bit too different from previous games and didn’t really make the impact Capcom possibly hoped for. Compare this to the fanfare that followed the release...

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    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Volleyball

    Not volley good

    Volleyball represents yet another of Nintendo’s dated sport sims. Comparing to Soccer, Baseball, Ice Hockey, Tennis on the NES this game is the worst of the bunch.  Considering it was released in 1986 it is understandable that the graphics and sound are nothing to write home about. The players continually bop up and down all...

  • News August is the 'Month of Metroid'!

    To coincide with the launch of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on the Wii this month (if you live in North America that is!) Nintendo have also announced that Metroid on the NES will become available on the 13th of August on the Virtual Console.

    European readers can now laugh as they already have it in their shop. ^_^ The real news here is that Super...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 10th August - Breath of Fire II

    So Europe, no Wave Race 64. Still it's not all bad, let's have a look at what goodies are up for grabs this week:

    One of the most popular RPG's of all time continues with the next epic quest in Breath of Fire II. Re-enter the magical life of hero Ryu, a dragon morphing warrior, as he unknowingly embarks on a vast adventure in search of his missing...

  • News Too Hip to be Square - A look at non-Square RPGs

    Square is well known as a giant of the console role-playing game scene, with hugely popular titles like the Final Fantasy and Mana series, Chrono Trigger, and others just highlights from an impressive back catalogue. The SNES' reputation as the gaming machine of choice for rpg fans was largely down to Square's efforts. But the company's statement of support for the Virtual Console has been rather vague. Will we see these classics on the Wii? Will games unavailable in certain regions (Chrono Trigger again) be made available to all? And, with enhanced remakes on other systems, including Nintendo's own DS, do we want to see the originals on the Wii at all?

    These questions have already been the subject of many a debate among Wii enthusiasts, but what has perhaps been forgotten is that the console rpg genre did not begin and end with Square. So here is a brief selection of some of the best rpgs available for the Virtual Console's emulated systems, that weren't produced by Square (or Enix, since they're the same thing nowadays). Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun (MD/Gen)Dungeons & Dragons is the grand-daddy of the rpg genre. It's where it all began, and pretty much every console based rpg can trace its roots back to the original pen-and-paper D&D game. So it comes as no surprise that there have been numerous attempts to adapt D&D itself to an electronic format, some more successful than others. In the feature on games we hope never come to the Virtual Console, we looked at one of the worst, Heroes of the Lance, but Warriors of the Eternal Sun is one of the better efforts. The game is immediately off to a good start with its fascinating premise. Instead of the usual 'defeat the dark lord' plot, the game's story is more about exploration and survival, as the player is dumped in an alien and unfamiliar land and is tasked with finding allies, and ultimately, a way home. It's a clever twist on familiar rpg tropes, and it immediately sets the game apart from its peers. Less interesting, but still worthy of mention is the gameplay, which sees a fairly close approximation of the pen-and-paper D&D rules mixed with a smooth action-oriented interface. Not only that, but venture into a dungeon, and the game reinvents itself as a claustrophobic real-time first-person crawler that forces the player to develop a whole new set of tactics. These different modes of play mean that the game does feel slightly bitty, as if it's three games bolted together, but on the whole it works well, and it's certainly different. And that's Warriors' key strength; it's a break from the norm. It's notable for its unusual plot, and for being a rare entry by D&D into the console market, a field dominated by Japanese style rpgs, but it shouldn't be forgotten that it's a good game in its own right. Earthbound (SNES)This one is a legend. If you've got any interest in console rpgs at all, you've heard of this one, even if you've not played it. Part of its fame comes from its scarcity; this game was never released in Europe, and had a limited release in the US, coming out as it did in the pre-Final Fantasy VII days when Japanese gaming companies underestimated the audience for the rpg genre outside their homeland. It's also famous because the Earthbound series did away with so many of the features of the genre that even back then had started to become formulaic; the game is set in something resembling the modern day (albeit filtered through a 50's B-Movie sensibility), the protagonist is a young boy who wields a baseball bat rather than a broadsword, and enemies can be seen, and avoided, on the world map, years before Final Fantasy XII 'pioneered' the feature. That said, the basic mechanics of the game make it clear that Earthbound is an rpg at heart; battles are command-based, hit points and levels are present and correct, and towns are places to heal and shop for items. Earthbound's great success is in its originality; there's nothing quite like it, and moreover, the developers have really thought about how to make the game unique, rather than merely tack on some superficial differences. But Earthbound is also a strong game in its own right, with a compelling plot and a likeable cast; we can only hope that it appears on the Virtual Console one day. Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber (N64)For some reason, while the SNES was swimming in rpgs, the N64 barely had any (and no, Ocarina of Time doesn't count). Of those that were available, Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber is about the best, and we probably wouldn't even count it if there was a wider field available, as it's more of a wargame than an rpg, even more so than titles like Shining Force. Still, there is a plot of sorts, and the characters do develop in a believable and sympathetic manner, but this game is all about the fighting... and the fighting is fantastic! With such a focus on combat, the developers really needed to get things spot on, and while not quite there, the team behind OB64 did get very close indeed. There's a lot of tactical depth in the game, and individual skills and weapon statistics are very well balanced; you really have to think about your forces and their abilities in this game, and if you don't plan ahead, you'll find yourself over-extended and vulnerable. The battles look great, with sumptuous environments and well-animated characters, and the stuff in-between the fights looks good too, a huge improvement over the SNES original with its 8-bit-style world map screens. What the SNES game lacked in visuals, it made up for in tunage, and that's carried through here, with a set of rousing themes only slightly marred by their relatively short length (should have gone for the CD drive, Nintendo!). All in all, Ogre Battle 64 is a very strong game, and easily the N64's best rpg, only it's not much of an rpg at all... (and yes, technically publisher Quest is now part of the Square empire, but it wasn't when this first came out!) Phantasy Star IV (MD/Gen)The Phantasy Star series is arguably the biggest rpg franchise outside of the Square/Enix umbrella, largely due to the hugely successful online editions of recent years. However, the franchise began on Sega's 8-and-16-bit home consoles with a sequence of cracking rpgs that should not be overlooked simply because they're not as swishy as their online descendants. Our particular favourite is the first game, the Master System's killer app, and probably the finest 8-bit console RPG ever produced. That first game is rivalled in quality by its 16-bit sequel Phantasy Star IV, which is often considered to be the best of the entire series. The game benefits from superb graphics and sound, so good in fact that you'll barely believe that the game's running on a Mega Drive; in-game visuals are detailed and polished, creating an effective sense of a lived-in world rather than merely a game setting, and there are some very nifty manga-style cut-scenes scattered throughout the plot. Battles are wonderfully animated, and the sprites used for both the player characters and their opponents are bursting with lifelike detail. The gameplay also shows the signs of this close attention to detail, as well-designed environments abound, and the battle system is a masterpiece of simple design yet complex depth. In terms of plot, the scale is suitably epic, and yet the individual characters are never forgotten; by the end of the game, you'll be left with an astonishingly well-developed cast of believable personalities. It's all very well put together, but it's also very hard; random combat syndrome is very prevalent in the Phantasy Star series, and each game has a very steep learning curve. IV is no exception, and those used to the more mellow difficulty ratings of the Final Fantasy series may be in for a rude awakening. Even so, this is one of the best console rpgs ever made, and it'd be a crime if it doesn't appear on VC. Notable MentionsThe astute will note that there are no NES or PC Engine/Turbografx titles in this list. There are a number of reasons for that. The PCE was well known for its shoot-em-ups and coin-op conversions, but like the N64, it didn't get many rpg titles, certainly not in the West. The Ys series found a home on the system, but with its arcade style gameplay (there are platforming elements, and battles are more about reaction and positioning than stats), the series can't really be counted. The big rpgs on the NES came mostly from the Square and Enix stables; Japan got the Megami Tensei series of modern-day horror rpgs, which would be very welcome on the Virtual Console, but we're not holding our breath. The NES was also one of the only consoles (alongside Sega's underrated Master System) to see entries from the venerable Ultima series; a huge franchise on home computers, Ultima never really dented the console market, despite solid releases of both Ultima III and IV. The NES versions of both games had graphics and sound modified to be more similar to Japanese rpgs of the time, but the core gameplay is still there; Ultima pioneered the framework that console rpgs continue to follow to this day, including stuff like the split between overland travel and tactical battle screens, so while the early games aren't much to look at, they're certainly interesting from a historical perspective. So there you have it; a brief look at worlds of adventure beyond the realms of Square. We'd be overjoyed to...

  • News Wii Menu and Shopping Channel Updated

    We're a bit late to the party as you may have already seen the blinking blue light from your Wii beckoning you to check your messages by now. There is a nice surprise today as the Wii firmware has an update due which when applied will add some nice few features to the shopping channel to help you buy your Virtual Console games.

    These are the changes...

  • News Wii Menu Updated

    A few small changes have been made to the menu and the shopping channel.

    There has been a small update to the Wii menu system that Nintendo will have sent you a message about this morning, as long as your Wii is online. The changes are listed below: The time is now displayed on the menu in a big LCD style. The weather channel now shows the current...

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    Virtual Console / Nintendo 64

    Review Wave Race 64

    Splash wave

    Given that Wave Race 64 was a launch title for the N64, and that it has now been over 10 years since that launch, it is all the more baffling to play it today. Comparison with modern games tends to put the graphical and physics achievements of older titles into stark relief, but Wave Race is the exception to the rule. In the years since,...

  • News US VC Releases - 6th August - Wave Race 64

    repare to get wet as yet another N64 classic hits the Virtual Console! Wave Race 64 was one of the first games for Nintendo's 64-bit console, and it speaks volumes for the quality of the game that it's still considered one of the finest racers available..

    repare to get wet as yet another N64 classic hits the Virtual Console! Wave Race 64 was one of...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Galaga '90

    Galaga in the 90s

    This game started out life as Galaga ’88 in the arcades and saw a conversion to the Japanese PC Engine under the same name. Understandably in the two years it took to get released in North America the name needed incrementing so it didn't appear too out-dated but the excellent gameplay remains intact. Sequels to classic games...

  • News Visit the new and exciting Virtual Console Forums!

    Our associated forum, The Virtual Console Forums has undergone a bit of a transformation recently. If you have never visited why don't you check it out? We have a community of almost 400 members and there is always something going on of interest for fans of Nintendo and the Virtual Console.

    For those who have already signed up, please update your...

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    Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive

    Review Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

    The ninja master returns

    Nasty Neo Zeed is back causing trouble again, and it’s up to our hero Joe Musashi to teach them a lesson they won’t forget with his supreme ninja skills. Unlike the original arcade classic, however, there are no hostages to be rescued and you now have an energy bar to spare you from one-hit kills. You have a limited...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 3rd August - Sega Week - Shinobi III

    Its Sega week again folks! This time the big S has gone all out and given its fans some of the greats from its back catalogue. A good variety too so there's probably something for everyone here no matter what you taste is.

    First in my list this week is the excellent Shinobi III. It is strange that the original Megadrive Revenge of Shinobi wasn't...


  • News US VC Releases - 30th July - Dynamite Headdy

    he Virtual Console is like a box of chocolates: You never know which games have the tasty caramel filling and which ones are going to make you want to vomit. Of course that's why you have the Virtual Console Archive as your guide to which chocolates are..

    he Virtual Console is like a box of chocolates: You never know which games have the tasty...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Drop Off

    Brave five rounds of haunting, nightmarish dreams

    Drop Off is a paddle and ball game like Atari’s classic, Breakout. There is nothing bad about making a game like Breakout, games like Arkanoid did an excellent job of just that. The innovations in that game made for an addictive game experience. It’s a shame that the same cannot be said of Drop...

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    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Star Soldier

    Not quite a super star

    We’ve already been blessed with the sublime Super Star Soldier and Soldier Blade but now it’s the turn of the game that started it all as the NES classic Star Soldier hits the Virtual Console. Released on the NES way back in 1986, Hudson’s shooter went down a storm in Japan but failed to replicate this success in the...

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    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Dynamite Headdy

    Headdy, the central protagonist of the game, is the star of the Treasure Theatre production of Dynamite Headdy.

    Treasure has already secured its place in history as a purveyor of "gamers' games", encouragingly flying in the face of the accepted practice of style over content to provide such stone-cold classics as Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga...

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    Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Kirby's Avalanche

    The call has gone out throughout Dream Land – the First Annual Ghost Trap Competition has begun!

    This is basically Puyo Puyo given a lick of paint, but... wait a minute, isn't that exactly what Damo typed for Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine? Well, it holds true for this game as well. Only this time, instead of Dr. Robotnik and various robots from...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 27th July - Devil's Crush

    Just two games to choose from in Europe this Friday so you are hardly spoilt for choice. Still when the game is as good as Devil's Crush it is hard to complain, this devilish game sure plays a mean pinball!

    A first to Europe is Kirby's Ghost Trap (Kirby's Avalanche in the USA) - it's yet another falling block puzzler in the mould of Dr Robotnik's...

  • News Japanese Virtual Console list - August 2007

    Nintendo of Japan have updated their list of upcoming games for the Japanese Virtual Console for August 2007. There's nothing really new or exciting about this list, however we did find it interesting that Gradius is being released again on the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 format when the NES version is already available on the VC!

    Next Week N64: Wave...

  • News US VC Releases - 23rd July - Shining Force

    It's turned-based tomfoolery ahoy in this month's selection of US Virtual Console games - Sega's amazing Shining Force is here and whatever your viewpoint on this genre it simply begs to be downloaded. This is the original and best version of the game - ok, so the recent GBA port looked nice, but the gameplay was tinkered with in the most shameful fashion.

    We also have that cute little nutsack that is Kirby! Ok, so he's the kind of mascot you'd imagine your kid sister liking, but you can't deny that 'Kirbs' has starred in some pretty dope games in his time a...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Devil's Crush

    Shoot the ball onto the board with the Devil Shooter

    After the wonderfully wacky Alien Crush you would have thought developers Compile would have struggled to create an even more unhinged pinball simulation - but you’d be wrong! Devil’s Crush improves on its spiritual predecessor in almost every way possible. Firstly, the ball physics –...

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    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Shining Force

    In ages long forgotten, Light fought Darkness for control of the world.

    Although Shining Force takes place in the same universe as fellow Megadrive/Genesis epic Shining in the Darkness, the games themselves couldn’t really be more different. Whereas SitD is a first person dungeon crawler, Shining Force is a turn-based strategy title more akin to...

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    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Metroid

    Where it all started

    More than 20 years have past since Metroid first blew away NES owners with its clever mixture of platforming, exploration and character upgrades. It went on to become spawn many sequels over the years, becoming a much-loved franchise for Nintendo fans – but nostalgia aside, is Metroid still high-quality by today’s standards?...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 20th July - Street Fighter II Turbo

    Here's what Euro gamers get today...

    Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting will satisfy the needs of most retro gamers. This is the perfect choice for gamers in Europe (PAL) region as the game features a speed select system so you don't have to play in slow-mo like the original SNES SF2. It's an excellent game that most people will be familiar...

  • News US VC Releases - 16th July - Paper Mario

    The latest batch of Virtual Console releases will no doubt be greeted with whoops of joy up and down the American continent - Paper Mario is here! You moaned, you whined and you begged - well Reggie has heard you and decreed that it will be so - the N64 classic is now available for download! Let the wine flow and the fine meat be consumed! Hurrah!


  • News Game Explosion - OFLC Update

    he Australian Office of Film and Classification has recently updated its site with a flood of new games, which means only one thing - they're all Virtual Console-bound! Although this is Aussie-related, the rest of the world is bound to get these titles as..

    he Australian Office of Film and Classification has recently updated its site with a flood of...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Silent Debuggers

    Oh bugger

    'Silent Debuggers' has to rank as one of the greatest names ever for a videogame. The first few minutes might convince you that this is a great game too. The funky intro music really sets the scene with style along with some nicely drawn anime style scenes. Welcome to the world of the debuggers, a duo of fearless bounty hunters tasked...

  • News Papier Mazza And Zonk Hit Virtual Console

    Nintendo 64 and Turbo-Grafx favourites Paper Mario and Zonk hit the European Virtual Console yesterday.

    Here's the essential information you're dying to know: Launched on the Nintendo 64 in 2001, Paper Mario™ brilliantly blends the world famous plumber’s platform exploits with a hilarious quest and interesting characters. On a mission to free...

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    / Nintendo 64

    Review Paper Mario

    A two-dimensional adventure which is anything but thin!

    Remember Super Mario RPG? It was basically the swansong of the SNES, and though sales for it were fairly poor (Since people had moved on to new consoles and all), the games managed to build up quite a fanbase, and is, nowadays, one of the most popular Mario games ever made, despite not being...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 13th July - Paper Mario

    Another first for Europe! From today our Euro friends can download the wonderful Paper Mario for the N64. As one of the later games out on the N64 it is possible that many people missed this at the time, well now is your chance! This is basically an RPG set in the Mario universe - the twist is all the characters in this odyssey are made from paper! This comes highly recommended.

    As if all that wasn't enough Air Zonk on the Turbografx is up for grabs today as well. It is a shame that this game came out today it will most likely get lost in the rumm...

  • News Hardware Focus - TurboGrafx-16

    It's Turbo time!

    The history of the TurboGrafx-16 system is basically a tale of two countries. Electronics giant NEC and game developer Hudson joined forces in 1987 to design and release the PC Engine game console to compete head to head with Nintendo and Sega's 8-bit systems. Offering a nice step up in terms of visuals and audio capabilities, the...

  • News Games we hope never get released on the Virtual Console

    Only the churlish will argue with the assertion that the Wii's Virtual Console has been a great feature. Veteran gamers have been able to revisit their gaming pasts, while those newer to the scene can discover whole new worlds of electronic entertainment that they might otherwise have missed out on. On the Virtual Console Archive forums, I've seen delighted youngsters expressing their excitement at playing the mighty Streets of Rage 2, and even as a crusty old veteran, I've been surprised now and then, most notably by the excellent releases available for the PC Engine/Turbografx, which I never got to play the first time around.


  • News US VC Releases - 9th July - Air Zonk

    Today saw the release of three more Virtual Console games for the North American region, but only one of them is really worth downloading. No prizes for guessing which!

    Air Zonk features the futuristic relative of our prehistoric hero Bonk and is a pretty zany side-scrolling 2D shooter. The visuals are bold and impressive - the TG-16 really could...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Air Zonk

    A fun shmup

    Air Zonk is a horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up with the cuteness factor cranked up to 10 in much the same way as Konami's Parodius. Hudson essentially took the Bonk character and renamed him Zonk for this one which makes the game even stranger. Perhaps they felt it wasn't appropriate for a caveman to be jetting around in the sky...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 6th July - Sega Megadrive day!

    A bumper week for the Sega Megadrive. 3 sequels as well, very funny!

    It's great to see Sonic 2 finally, a game well worth downloading, now Sonic has a spin he can charge on the spot and his buddy Tails. Ecco: The Tides of Time manages to improve on the excellent original game with 3D style levels and many cool new gameplay features. Golden Axe...

  • News Hardware Focus - Nintendo 64

    Since the 80's Nintendo's name has been synonymous with gaming, the company's current market dominance highlighting how attuned they have become to the requirements of the market, and providing the buyers with the very things they need.

    However, given the current success of the DS and Wii, it is perhaps too easy to forget that it was achieved...

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    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Ecco: The Tides of Time

    Flipper the video game

    Good old Ecco the Dolphin, after saving his dolphin chums from an invading alien race you would have thought he could have just spent the rest of his life in peace spinning a ball on his nose! These plans were shattered when the queen of the Vortex took it upon herself to travel back in time to start her trouble again. An...

  • News US VC Releases - 2nd July - Super Mario Bros 2

    It's one of the better weeks for a while for North American retro gamers. Super Mario Bros. 2 is a welcome addition to the Virtual Console library. Some call it the black sheep of the early Mario series but we think it's a refreshing change to the basic Mario formula. There is something satisfying about lobbing a turnip at a shy-guy!

    If that's not...

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    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Dragon Spirit

    A fantastic world of adventure unfolds in this vertical-scrolling shooter.

    Throughout the history of shooting games we've faced a hell of a lot of alien rebels and futuristic baddies. The 2D shooter seems to lend itself to these situations - but it's always nice to see a company try something fresh and new. The PC Engine/TG-16 blast-a-thon Dragon...

  • News TurboGrafx-16 in Australia from 7th July

    As we reported back in early June Hudson have finally sorted out the legalities of selling TurboGrafx games in the Australian region on the Virtual Console. The first batch of 11 games is indicated to be ready for download on the 7th July as follows:

    Alien CrushBomberman '93 Bonk's AdventureDungeon Explorer


  • 5

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Kirby's Dream Course

    A new spin on crazy golf

    Kirby much like our friend Mario has never been afraid to offer his own take on another genre. In this case the world renowned sport of mini golf. Unlike other pitch and putt games like EA’s Zany Golf on the Megadrive Kirby has a few tricks up his sleeve. To destroy enemies in your path you roll into them rather than...

  • News Japanese Virtual Console list - July 2007

    Nintendo of Japan have updated their list of upcoming games for the Japanese Virtual Console for July / Summer 2007. No great surprises there really other than the excellent Wave Race on the N64 and Treasure's Dynamite Headdy on the Megadrive. Many of the games are already out in the USA or EU, of course no one has got Paper Mario yet but it's only a matter of time.

    Check out the list: NES: Star Soldier - Hudson Flappy - DB Soft Ca...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 29th June - Kirby's Dream Course

    Here are the goodies on the Virtual Console for you cool cats in the EU this week:

    Kirby's Dream Course - SNES - 800 Points Dream Course is a golf video game which is viewed from an isometric perspective. Instead of using a ball, Kirby is used as the ball. The player must set the power, angle, and spin to connect with various enemies found...

  • News WiiWare - Brand new downloadable games for 2008

    Not to be outdone by Microsoft's XBOX Live Arcade service our friends at Nintendo have announced they want a slice of the action in an announcement made this morning. The WiiWare game creation service looks like it will be a much less rigorous system than Microsoft's offering.

    This looks to be fantastic news, but here at the VCA we can't help but...

  • 3

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting

    Time to get hyper

    If there's one thing the Virtual Console service has taught us, it's that some games have aged better than others. Playing the original Street Fighter II after all these years is a real eye-opening experience - it is almost too slow to be playable (especially for PAL gamers). After years of Street Fighter updates from Capcom, it...

  • News US VC Releases - 25th June - SF2 Turbo

    American gamers - eat, drink and be happy - Nintendo does love you after all! F-Zero X has finally been released so you can stop all the moaning and groaning.

    One of the finest games on the N64, this really needs to be downloaded by everyone. It remains impressive even to this day, with loads of craft on-screen and blisteringly fast racing action...

  • News Super Turrican 1 & 2 coming to the Virtual Console

    There was a pleasant surprise as two top notch retro blast-em-ups were rated by the ESRB for release on the Wii Virtual Console. Factor 5's Super Turrican and Super Turrican 2 are both top quality games. The series started life in 1990 on the Commodore..

    There was a pleasant surprise as two top notch retro blast-em-ups were rated by the ESRB for...

  • 11

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Mega Man

    The Blue Bomber's debut

    The Mega Man series will need no introduction to most gamers; this game spawned five sequels on the NES, not to mention numerous games on other systems over the years. Mega Man has come a long way since his début way back in 1987. This originally story spins the yarn that Dr Light created six master robots for industrial...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 22nd June - Mega Man

    It was always going to be a tough act to beat following last week's release of F-Zero X on the N64. Still it's as if Nintendo of Europe is not even trying! Here are this week's new releases:

    Mega Man - NES - 500 Points This is where it all started. Capcom's cute robot blaster franchise all started here 20 years ago. The graphics and sound are very...

  • 2

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review China Warrior

    China Warrior is a side-scrolling action game that was released around the same time as the TurboGrafx16 in Japan.

    When the PC Engine was first released in Japan, China Warrior (or 'The Kung Fu' as it was known in the Land of the Rising Sun) was put forward as a showcase for its graphical prowess. Technically the first game on the system (it was...

  • Feature Top 10 shmups we want to come to the Virtual Console

    Every good retro gamer enjoys a good shmup

    During the late 80s and early 90s almost every other game was a shmup. They were very much the FPS of the day! The gaming history books are littered with many failures and uninspired clones but we'll cut through the crap and bring you the cream of the crop that we one day hope to see on the Virtual Console...

  • 1

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Bloody Wolf

    Rambo on the TG16

    Anyone familiar with Ikari Warriors, Mercs or Capcom's Commando will instantly recognise this style of run n' gun action. Yes it's another Rambo clone! That's not such a bad thing - guns, explosions and death is what we all want from our retro games right? The action is viewed from a pseudo overhead / side-on perspective which...

  • Feature Top 10 platform games we want to come to the Virtual Console

    Platformers. They're one of the most popular videogame genres, and for a good reason: They're simple, fun and easy to get in to. VC's already packed with quite a bit of them, but there's still many greats that are missing. Here's a selection of platformers I feel should be added to VC soon, because it'd be a shame to not have them on there:

    10. The...

  • News US VC Releases - 18th June - Bloody Wolf

    Cries of outrage and despair can be heard across the Americas today as F-Zero X is not going to be up on the Virtual Console as it was last Friday for the Europe! So is it all bad news? Nah, it's not all that bad.

    Bloody Wolf is our top pick this week. This run and gun game deserves to be played by everyone. It's not much to look at but it is good...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 15th June - F-Zero X on the N64

    For the 100th Virtual Console game for the EU our friends at Nintendo of Europe have pulled out all the stops. We are treated to the excellent F-Zero X on the N64! Now that's the way to celebrate the 100th game!!

    Anyone who has played the original F-Zero on the SNES will have an idea of what to expect here. Pick a futuristic craft and battle it out...

  • 5

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Lode Runner

    A lode of rubbish or not?

    The timing could have been a bit better for this as the far superior Battle Lode Runner for the TurboGrafx became available on the Virtual Console only two months ago. Is there a reason to bother with the NES original when for just 100 more points you could be enjoying better graphics, music and a whole host of new gameplay...

  • 1

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Golden Axe II

    Not long after the malign reign of Death Adder has ended, another evil rises.

    When I first clapped eyes on Golden Axe 2 as a lad I was over the moon. Being a massive fan of the original I simply could not wait to play this. Graphically, it looked even better than the original and promised to be the sequel I was waiting for. Sadly, it actually turned...

  • News US VC Releases - 11th June - Sonic 2

    ot a bad day for retro gamers in North America. Here's what you get: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - Sega Genesis - 800 Points Without a doubt the best Sonic game to date. Sega managed to top the original Sonic with this one. It's our personal belief that Sonic 2..

    ot a bad day for retro gamers in North America. Here's what you get: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 -...

  • 17

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Sonic the Hedgehog 2

    Dr. Eggman (aka Dr. Robotnik) is searching for the Chaos Emeralds to fuel his new Death Egg engine.

    Any gamer worth his or her salt will remember the day Sonic 2 was released. Cheekily dubbed 'Sonic Twos-Day' (it was released worldwide on a Tuesday, you see) it became a massive seller for Sega and cemented Sonic's position as one of the most popular...

  • 14

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Balloon Fight

    Balloon Light

    Before games like Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo's NES console relied on simple arcade titles to keep itself afloat. Balloon Fight used an already-successful gameplay mechanic similar to that of William's Joust arcade release, and while it offers up some simple arcade enjoyment, the repetitive gameplay keeps it from lasting,...

  • 3

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Adventures of Lolo

    Run Lolo Run

    Before HAL labs created our favourite pink puffball named Kirby there was a blue blob by the name of Lolo. In 1989 when Adventures of Lolo was first released it got modest attention due to the quality of the game but as a brand never really made it big. However Lolo has been known to surface as a bad guy in some of the Kirby games so...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 8th June - Adventures of Lolo

    Europe didn't quite make it to the 100 game mark this week. Today's releases take the EU library to the 99th game so next week might be a biggie. Still it's not all bad this week! Many hardened retro gamers will be delighted to hear that Adventures of Lolo is finally out. Lolo is a great example of the old NES top down puzzler, these sort of games were a dime a dozen but Lolo stood out as one of the best. It is well worth a look and comes highly recommended.


  • News Australia to get TurboGrafx-16 games in July

    bit of a turn up for the books this one. Our Austrailian counterparts have been restricted from downloading TurboGrafx-16 games since the start of the Virtual Console service seemingly because the console never made a debut in that region. It wasn't the..

    bit of a turn up for the books this one. Our Austrailian counterparts have been restricted from...

  • News 4.7 Million Virtual Console Sales

    Nintendo have announced that the Virtual Console service has already generated over 4.7 million sales, with Mario being the favourite.

    "No one has more value in their back catalog than Nintendo. Huge numbers of gamers remember and love their favorite NES and Super NES games; the ability to buy and play those games on the Wii without having to hook...

  • News US VC Releases - 4th June - Zelda II

    oday's Virtual Console update for North America is a bit lacking in the old WOW factor. Nintendo have made a big deal about Zelda II being the hundred game on the American VC so we will mention it first as by our reckoning it is actually the 97th! haha -..

    oday's Virtual Console update for North America is a bit lacking in the old WOW factor...

  • 8

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Milon's Secret Castle

    A musty old place

    Milon’s Secret Castle is one of those games you’ve never heard of, but when you do finally acknowledge its presence you realize that it inexplicably has an enormous following. A minor classic in the Hudson library, Milon was originally published in 1986 to fairly lukewarm critical response. To be perfectly honest, time has...

  • 0

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Dead Moon

    This side-scrolling shooter includes a total of six scenes spanning areas from Earth to the moon.

    Those naughty aliens! At least this time they had the sense not to try and invade the planet Earth. They are just intent on wrecking the moon instead rather annoyingly! As a solo starfighter pilot it is your job to put an end to this intergalactic...

  • News Zelda II is the 100th Classic Game Added To Virtual Console

    Here's a recent press release from Nintendo. It should be of interest to North American readers who are patiently waiting for Zelda II to be available in their region. Nintendo was saving it for the 100th game to be made available on the Virtual Console. How sweet! The bad news is they've decided Paper Mario will be the 250th game! (Tee hee, only joking!)

    What is interesting is the most downloaded games figures. This really illustrates how the classic Nintendo franchises are still loved by the gaming community and perhaps those getting back into gaming with the Wii after a while. 4.7 million downloads to date! Nintendo must b...

  • 2

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron


    The original ToeJam & Earl was a quite a big hit for Sega at the time so it was a no-brainer than a sequel should be released. With the success of Sonic the Hedgehog it must have seemed like a logical step to reinvent ToeJam & Earl to be a 2D side-scrolling platform game as well. The exploration of an almost open-end world and long...

  • 1

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review World Sports Competition

    Feeling sporty?

    There won't be many gamers out there that remember this one most likely. World Sports Competition is a game based on the Olympic Games, but without the official license. As to be expected the games are represented as a series of mini-games which you and up to four other friends can take part in. All the usual Olympic events are...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 1st June - Sega goodies

    Much like last month Sega release there of their classic back catalogue on the Virtual Console in Europe. Gamers will be delighted to finally get their greasy mitts on Streets of Rage 2 finally, for many this is considered the holy grail of two player scrolling beat em ups. Kid Chameleon and Toejam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron are also up for grabs. Both are average examples of the platform genre unfortunately. Other Sega platformers such as Sonic and Ristar are much more accomplished.

    Not to b...


  • 4

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Kid Chameleon

    Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon.

    The first thought that enters your head when playing Kid Chameleon is probably 'Mario Clone'. The game steals ideas from Nintendo's finest, such as jumping on the heads of enemies and bashing item boxes from below. It's not the first game to copy Mario and it certainly won't be the last, but back in the early...

  • News Japanese Virtual Console list - June

    Here's a taster of what the Japanese Virtual Console will be getting in June straight from Nintendo of Japan themselves. There are no real surprises here. Most of these games are ESRB rated already or even out in North America or Europe at present. Still it is nice to see Paper Mario and F-Zero X due for release so soon.

    Famicom (NES)Adventures of...

  • News US VC Releases - 28th May - Actraiser

    This week for North America it's a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. The good being the excellent Actraiser, for those still uninitiated for this wonderful game it is a hack and slash platform game and a God sim game all in one. A strange mix that only Square Enix could pull off. Truly outstanding even now.

    The bad is Hudson's J.J. & Jeff,...

  • 0

    Wii Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review J.J. & Jeff

    Two bungling detectives on a crazy adventure

    The PC Engine (Japanese name for TurboGrafx-16) has always been a console to attract weird games. If you've ever played Toilet Kids and Photograph Boy then you will know what I mean. This particular game started out life as Kato Chan & Ken Chan in Japan, aside from the characters being changed to...

  • 3

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Mach Rider

    Return of the Mach

    The action is fast and furious in this crazy motorbiking game. You have to blast your way through enemy vehicles and barrels on the track in addition to avoiding oil slicks. The pressure is always on to keep going fast to avoid enemies ramming into you from behind! Getting to the end of each course before the timer runs out adds...

  • News EU Virtual Console Releases - 25th May, 2007

    Nintendo this week add Super Mario Bros 2, Mach Rider and Blazing Lazers into the European Virtual Console service.

    "This week sees NES classic Super Mario Bros. 2™ hop onto the Virtual Console. In this 1989 classic, Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad go for a picnic which doesn’t quite go to plan when they end up in the mysterious land of Subcon...

  • 34

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros. 2

    A strange, but entertaining dream

    It should be no secret by now, so let's get it out of the way first - Yes, the Super Mario Bros. 2 that most of us know, that is, this one, is technically not really a Mario game. Originally released in Japan as Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic), it was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto,...

  • News Europe VC Releases - 25th May - Super Mario Bros 2

    Another excellent week for the European Virtual Console. OK so you didn't get Streets of Rage 2! Super Mario Bros 2 should more than make up for it! The black sheep of the Mario family will keep you entertained for ages. Mach Rider isn't going to turn..

    Another excellent week for the European Virtual Console. OK so you didn't get Streets of Rage 2!...

  • News Paper Mario coming to the Virtual Console

    Nintendo Power have a piece in their May issue which would seem to indicate that Paper Mario is coming to the Virtual Console. No dates are given and as this came out in 2001 it is already ESRB rated so it's harder to validate this from another source at present.

    Still we live in hope. With Super Paper Mario doing so well in North America on the Wii...

  • News US VC Releases - 21st May - Streets of Rage 2

    Today is maybe the greatest day the Virtual Console has had with 3 serious heavy hitters from Sega, Nintendo and Hudson all arriving on the same day. Streets of Rage 2 will not need an introduction for seasoned retro gamers. It's generally considered the greatest 2D scrolling beat-em-up there is in existance. A very welcome addition to the VC library.

    Not to be outdone by Europe who got this last week North America gets Donkey Kong Country 2 - Diddy's Kong Quest. This is a superb platformer which really shows the graphical abilities of the SN...

  • 8

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Streets of Rage 2

    The best one

    For many of our readers this game will need no introduction. If you haven't yet played Streets of Rage 2 then you are in for a treat. Simply put this is probably the best scrolling beat-em-up available on any console. Yes it is that good! Sega didn't do just a lazy update of the original - this sequel got the full treatment. So what's...

  • 4

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Blazing Lazers

    Blazing Lazers is a vertical-scrolling shooter that was praised for surpassing the limitations of the hardware of its time.

    Originally released in Japan as Gunhed, Blazing Lazers was one of the most heavily featured titles in the original TurboGrafx-16 adverts, and with very good reason. Considering the age of the title (it was originally released...

  • 10

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Yoshi

    An eggciting puzzler?

    In the early 90s, presumably following the success of Tetris, Nintendo went through a phase of releasing one falling block puzzler after another. Dr. Mario, Yoshi’s Cookie and Wario’s Woods are key examples of this. Many gamers will no doubt have forgotten this puzzler simply known as Yoshi in North Amer