This week’s additions to the Virtual Console service are:
Cybernator (SNES, 1 player, rated E 10+ for Everyone 10 and Older – Mild Fantasy Violence, 800 Wii Points): It is the near future. Resources are dwindling, and the major powers of the world are in dispute over territory. Pilot the Cybernator G5-E for the 95th brigade of the mechanized marines and throw yourself into the war. Get briefed before each mission to confirm your targets, and then do your best to clear each of the seven stages, freely using the suit’s equipped tools and four types of weaponry. By collecting the “power chips” left by defeated enemies, it is also possible to reinforce each weapon up to a maximum of three levels. It is left to your judgment as to whether to reinforce a specific weapon or to power up all weapons simultaneously, adding a bit of strategy to the nonstop action. The powerful background music, military-like atmosphere (look for bullet marks on the walls and the strained communication during combat) and intense story development combine to give the world of Cybernator a gritty, sci-fi feel that you won’t soon forget.
Alien Storm (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, rated E 10+ for Everyone 10 and Older – Mild Fantasy Violence, 800 Wii Points): Shape-shifting aliens have infiltrated the city, creating chaos and panic! Fortunately, a trio of heroes called the Alien Busters has agreed to wipe out the invading creatures. The members of the team wield their own special attacks, and they unload a world of hurt on the Martian menaces from the city streets to the mother ship. Gordon, a tough guy with a bazooka, has a special gunship attack, while Karla has a flamethrower for alien crisping, though she prefers to use her special ballistic-missile attack. Finally, Slammer the robot can self-destruct at will and attacks the intruders with an electric whip and other devices. Take the aliens by storm and save your city.
Monster Lair (TurboGrafx16 CD-ROM, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone – Mild Cartoon Violence, 800 Wii Points): Join young Adam and Laura as they embark on a fantastic adventure in this comical action/shooting game. Featuring beautiful music brought to life by the power of the CD-ROM, the game consists of 14 rounds packed with cute monster enemies. Players can either play alone as Adam (or play with a friend controlling Laura) as they battle their way through round after round. The first half of each round is the action scene, where players must avoid obstacles and pits. Use your Power Boost weapons against enemies and restore your Life Force with food as you head for the gate at the end. The second half is the exhilarating shooting scene, where players must shoot down flying enemies. Take out the boss at the end to clear the round and move to the next one.
The past week saw the addition of three new games on the American Virtual Console service. Here’s the scoop:
NES Play Action Football (NES, 1-4 players, rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): “Ready! Hut hut hut…” Nintendo takes to the gridiron with the classic football powerhouse NES Play Action Football. Featuring a distinct overhead viewpoint that creates an almost 3-D field, the action is more simulation-based than many of the more arcade-based games of the time. Play through four 15-minute quarters (in accelerated time) and even substitute players when your first-stringers get tired. Want more options? Each of the eight available teams has multiple running/passing plays to choose from while on offense, as well as a wide selection of defensive schemes that can be run when you’re on the other side of the ball. And in addition to viewing two full teams on the screen at once without any slowdown, you’ll hear voice snippets at key points of the game. Line up, and see if you have what it takes to win the Power Bowl.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone – Comic Mischief, 800 Wii Points): Sonic and Tails are back for another adventure as they again battle the evil Dr. Eggman (aka Dr. Robotnik), who is desperately trying to collect all the Chaos Emeralds to rebuild his Death Egg. Our heroes must again find the Chaos Emeralds before Dr. Eggman does, but winning the race won’t be easy this time – a new adversary, Knuckles the Echidna, has arrived on the scene and will do whatever he can to keep Sonic and Tails from reaching their goal. Grab all the golden rings, find various bonus zones and overcome Knuckles and Dr. Eggman as you rocket through the third chapter in Sonic’s adventures.
Neutopia II (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, 600 Wii Points): Experience improved graphics and controls in this exciting sequel to the action role-playing game Neutopia. Take on the role of the main hero’s son and watch as the story begins with the apparent revival of Dirth, the evil demon. Once again you’ll need to rely on your magic compass and the information you’ve gathered to find entrances to labyrinths and defeat the bosses in them. Make your way through the field, which can be tricky at times, to search for and find hidden information and items, or move blocks and destroy walls to uncover secret rooms. Like the original, this game has a save function, a finely tuned difficulty level and a fast-paced story, making it truly an RPG that everyone can enjoy.
This week has seen the release of four classic games on the Wii Virtual Console service. Here’s the deal:
Adventure Island (NES, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Comic Mischief, 500 Wii Points): A mysterious tropical paradise known as Adventure Island is the setting for this side-scrolling action game. The evil Witch Doctor has kidnapped Tina, the true love of Master Higgins. To save her, you must safely guide Master Higgins through eight perilous stages – including dense forests and creepy caves – while defeating all of the enemies in your path. Each area is made up of four rounds filled with enemies determined to stop you in your tracks. In addition, as time passes, Master Higgins’s vitality is automatically drained. To keep going, he must eat constantly by grabbing fruit, milk and whatever other goodies he can as he races toward his goal. Sometimes eggs containing miraculous items like axes to throw at enemies or honey that grants temporary invincibility will appear. Use items skillfully to help you clear the areas. At the end of each area you’ll face the Witch Doctor, who you must defeat to advance. Go, Master Higgins, go!
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (NES, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Learning can be fun, especially when you play along with Donkey Kong Jr. Practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by directing Junior, a cute little monkey who must climb up and down vines to collect numbers and math symbols to solve the math problems his father gives him. Compete with a friend in a race to solve problems in Game A or add more challenge with Game B. Of course, you can also practice on your own. This game is perfect for younger players who are looking for a fun and easy way to develop their math skills.
Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole (Sega Genesis, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, 800 Wii Points): After hearing of the legendary treasure of King Nole, the elvish treasure hunter Nigel undertakes a quest to gather various pieces of the famed loot. His journey takes him through Mercator Island’s villages, caves and dungeons that hold King Nole’s riches. Along the way, he’ll have to help the inhabitants of the island while fighting against the treachery of Duke Mercator, who is searching for the treasure as well. A variety of obstacles and foes will try to deter Nigel, who must use all his wits and skills to defeat Duke Mercator and uncover the secret of King Nole’s treasure.
Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure (TurboGrafx16, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone – Comic Mischief, 600 Wii Points): The hard-headed hero is back for more side-scrolling action in the third installment of the popular Bonk series. It’s up to Bonk once again to thwart the plans of the relentless evil King Drool. There are seven rounds scattered throughout the Dinosaur Kingdom, each one filled with fun contraptions and comical enemies. Grab a Flower Copter or exchange 16 Smileys at the end of each round to play up to eight different bonus stages. Or you can change the size of Bonk by grabbing the new red or blue candy items. Depending on the situation, you can change your size to bonk your way through a dead end or to get a hard-to-reach item. And if that’s not enough, you can grab a friend and put your heads together to defeat King Drool in the new two-player mode.
Three new retro games are headed for the Wii Shop Channel this week. Here’s the scoop:
Super Metroid (Super NES, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Mild Violence, 800 Wii Points): The Space Pirates, merciless agents of the evil Mother Brain, have stolen the last Metroid from a research station, and once again Mother Brain threatens the safety of the galaxy. Samus Aran must don her awesome array of high-tech weaponry to retrieve the deadly Metroid hidden deep within the cave-riddled planet Zebes. Super Metroid features excellent graphics, with a huge variety of enemies and worlds to explore. The side-view action will be familiar to many players, only now there are new weapons and items, including the Grappling Beam, which allows Samus to swing across large chasms, and the X-Ray Scope, which reveals secret passages.
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Sega Genesis, 1 player, rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older – Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence, 800 Wii Points): In this thrilling sequel to The Revenge of Shinobi, Joe Musashi finds that Neo Zeed – the crime syndicate he believed he had wiped out two years earlier – is indeed still alive and well. The return of Neo Zeed and its leader, the mysterious Shadow Master, forces Musashi to return from exile and confront the growing evil. As the Shinobi, the master of long-forgotten Oboro Ninjitsu martial arts, Musashi must utilize all his powers to overcome his various enemies. Thanks to his considerable combat skills and special Ninjitsu moves, only the Shinobi can thwart Neo Zeed and vanquish the Shadow Master.
Neutopia (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, 600 Wii Points): In this action role-playing game, you take control of a brave boy who sets off on a journey to rescue the kidnapped princess and reclaim the eight medallions that were stolen by the evil demon, Dirth. You’ll need to rely on your magic compass and information you’ve gathered to find entrances to labyrinths and defeat the bosses in them. Solve puzzles, avoid traps, move blocks and destroy walls to uncover secret rooms in the labyrinths. Carefully use your map to uncover hidden treasure and powerful equipment. Travel the land, underground, sea and sky on your quest to recover the medallions. With a save function, the right difficulty level and a system that doesn’t include experience points, this is truly an RPG that anyone can enjoy.