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A Super, Mega, Fatal Virtual Console Update

by Neal Ronaghan - October 15, 2008, 2:10 pm
Total comments: 16

Two timeless classics and two Neo Geo fighters reawaken NWR's dormant Virtual Console Recommendations.

This entry of Virtual Console recommendations comes after another long hiatus. It's been a long time coming as most of these games have been on the Wii Shop Channel for a month or, in some cases, many months. Please enjoy our recommendations of some Nintendo system classic alongside some Neo Geo games while we try to get the metaphorical Virtual Console update boat afloat. Once again, if you have any games that you want to hear us write about, feel free to make a comment in the talkback section. See you next time!

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

SystemVirtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost800 Points
ControllersWii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedMay 13, 1996

Super Mario RPG is a highly revered Super Nintendo classic and is also the brainchild of Square and Nintendo. Created under the watchful eye of Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario RPG mixes Mario's platforming elements with a Square's tried-and-true RPG style. When it was released in 1996, it was well received by critics.

The big question with this game is if it holds up twelve years later. The graphics' poor aging notwithstanding, Super Mario RPG still presents a compelling and welcoming RPG environment. While not as in-depth or long as your Final Fantasies, it is fast-paced and packed with humorous characters and an entertaining plot. In my opinion, Super Mario RPG is one of the premier Super Nintendo games, and it is a relief to have another classic game on Virtual Console.

Recommended for Everyone

- Neal Ronaghan

Mega Man 2

SystemVirtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost500 Points
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedYear 1989

Mega Man 2 is one of the greatest games ever released on the NES, and probably one of the best games ever made, period. The action is roughly similar to its predecessor, yet it feels distinctly different. Notably, the game no longer keeps a running score, and the player is unable to revisit previously-cleared stages.

Mega Man 2 is largely a benchmark for the rest of the series: Mega Man must defeat eight robot masters before venturing to Dr. Wily’s multi-stage castle. He gains vehicles upon completing certain stages, which would later be replaced by Rush the dog in subsequent games. The E-tank is introduced, and the infamous “teleport room” makes its first appearance. The game is more accessible than the original, although a few ridiculously difficult sections are retained for good measure (the “security system” boss, Wily’s final form—save your Bubble Lead!).

The individual bosses have more personality than in the first game, the level design is absolutely wonderful, and the soundtrack contains the most memorable video game music ever composed. The opening cinematic, coupled with its wonderful score, is worth the $5 alone. Mega Man 2 also features probably the most awesome boss sequence in the history of the series: Robot Dragon!

Recommended for Everyone

- Zachary Miller

King of the Monsters

SystemVirtual Console - NEOGEO

Cost900 Points
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB Rating
ReleasedYear 1991

King of the Monsters is an old Neo Geo arcade game that brings to mind the Showa-era Godzilla films. It’s essentially the original daikaiju arcade brawler, featuring six monsters and large cityscapes. The game is 2D, but character sprites have very forgiving damage zones, so two monsters don’t have to be on exactly the same plane to cause damage to each other. Gameplay is extremely sparse—monsters can kick, punch, throw, jump, and use a special attack. Cities are squared off by electric fences, and one of the more ridiculously cheap strategies is to throw your opponent into said fence, then wail on him while he’s knocked down.

The game’s AI is suspect in that its goal is to consume quarters, so opponents will never hesitate to make up any difference in HP with cheap tactics. The city itself hinders your progress, and buildings block your advances (until you crush them), while the military guns you down. Grappling is especially unforgiving, as button-mashing almost never breaks your hold in the later stages. The AI has inherent advantages in this department, because, again, the goal here is to make you empty your wallet. Still, King of the Monsters is a fun romp for the daikaiju fan, and the multiplayer aspect is actually quite entertaining, as the playing field is much more level.

Like other Neo Geo games on the Wii, King of the Monsters may force you to abandon your component cables (depending on your TV) and switch over to composite, a chore that I’m amazed hasn’t been addressed yet.

Recommended for Fans

- Zachary Miller

Fatal Fury 2

SystemVirtual Console - NEOGEO

Cost900 Points
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingTeen
ReleasedMar 1993

Fatal Fury 2 is heavily inspired by Street Fighter 2. It has the same colorful, humorous art style, the same pacing in the battles, and the same overall structure even down to the intermittent bonus levels, in which an object must be destroyed. Whereas Street Fighter 2 had destructible cars, Fatal Fury simply has destructible stone pillars. Finally, Fatal Fury 2 has a stereotypical character roster including: the Asian karate champion Kim Kadhwan, the American boxer Axel Hawk, and the Spanish bullfighter Lawrence Blood. Even the characters' move sets share many similarities to those found in Capcom's beloved game.

However, Fatal Fury 2 isn't a complete Street Fighter 2 clone. The two-laned battlefields, in which players not only move left and right but also in and out of the picture, works well. The game also has some beautiful scenery, with plenty of movement going on in the background. Apart from hit detection issues and some moves that are overly powerful (I found that the game can be beaten on a high difficulty level using the same move over and over again), Fatal Fury 2 offers a decent enough alternative to Street Fighter 2.

Recommended for Fans

Special thanks to The Video Game Museum for screenshots


cdvuOctober 15, 2008

Secret of Mana? That game should definitely get a review. One of the best SNES games of all time.

BeautifulShyOctober 15, 2008

I take it Secret of Mana is going to be reviewed.

Ian SaneOctober 15, 2008

When going through VC backlog I would give more obscure titles priority.  Mega Man 2 is awesome.  Everyone knows that.  Even though it's fun to read a review of it it isn't necessary.  No one is wondering whether that game is worth downloading.  But with the more obscure titles it's good to have a recomendation.  We want to be able to avoid the crap and check out gems we might not be so familiar with.  Prior to the VC I didn't know squat about the T-16.  When the VC Recommendations were more regular it was like a crash course in non-Nintendo videogame history.  These updates are useful for any fan of retro gaming - including those that want to hunt down the original cartridges.

BeautifulShyOctober 15, 2008

Wow I agree with you. I am like like you Ian I didn't know anything about the TG-16 before the VC.

Also Knoxxville asked about you.Go check out the hard drive thread in Nintendo Console disscussion.

Sorry, I'm still not convinced MM2 is for me.

So we got a request for Secret of Mana and...?
Any random games anyone's interested in. Maybe along the lines of the aforementioned TG-16 games or some other obscure titles?
It's that time of the set where we take requests.

vuduOctober 16, 2008

Shining Force II pls.

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

Sorry, I'm still not convinced MM2 is for me.

It's five dollars!  What have you got to lose?  Answer: Five dollars.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusOctober 17, 2008

I'm not sure I agree with all of the complaints over SMRPG's graphics. They are a relic of its time and as a gaming enthusiast I enjoy seeing games that tried to be more at their time. Now if we want to argue about bad graphics, look no further than FF7 where the graphics are so poor they actually interfere with gameplay. SMRPG didn't have any instances of this IIRC.

Ian SaneOctober 17, 2008

Are the people who complain about Mario RPG's graphics (and DKC's) playing on a huge ass HDTV?  Because you have to remember that at the time those games were released it was assumed that you would play them on a smaller TV with regular A/V cables.  The wrong resolution can make any game look like crap.

I find those games still look great to me but I play them with A/V cables on a normal sized TV on the actual SNES.

KDR_11kOctober 18, 2008

Rendered games look like crap on any TV.

SchadenfreudeOctober 18, 2008

Mega Man 2 is fantastic. I just beat it today.

DAaaMan64October 18, 2008

My Wife is fantastic. I just beat her today.

I agree 100% with Schadenfreude and DAaaMan64.

Infernal MonkeyOctober 19, 2008

Quote from: KDR_11k

Rendered games look like crap on any TV.


Also hey NWR, do a review of Cho Aniki. Recommended for everyone.  :-*

ArbokOctober 19, 2008

My respect for Zachary Miller just shot up a full fold for his use of "Showa-era Godzilla films" here.

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