Virtual Console Mondays: July 9, 2007

by Steven Rodriguez - July 10, 2007, 4:28 pm
Total comments: 1

The games of the past head a week where we'll soon see the games of the future.

E3 is this week, and Nintendo could have drummed up a little hype by releasing some great classics to get people's excitement up. It did not choose to do that, instead opting to release two of its NES games that are not very good. Hudson, who is not attending E3, too the opportunity by bringing a kind-of sequel to its number one franchise. Overall it's a down week on VC, but the next few days are really more of a showcase for the games of the future instead of the games of the past.


Yoshi

SystemVirtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost500 Points
Players2
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedJun 1992

Click here for a video preview

What do you get when you take the cookies out of Yoshi's Cookie? Just plain ol' Yoshi. The green dude's puzzle game is a traditional falling-block game with a twist; you can't move the block pairs as they creep down the screen. To position blocks you must switch the columns and the stacks they contain. Two of the same kind of block that touch in a stack will clear, but to score big points you need to sandwich as many as possible between a top and bottom half of a Yoshi egg. The more you get, the bigger the Yoshi that pops out of it.

Yoshi succeeds in bringing something different to the table, but that's about it. A lot of the game revolves around you getting lucky with the right egg halves at the right time to score big. If they don't come, or you mix up the egg halves incorrectly, you're screwed. Skill does come into play, but there's too much luck and chance in the game to make playing it satisfying. There aren't any other game modes besides the primary one, either. Even puzzle fans are better off waiting for something else to come around.

Not Recommended

- Steven Rodriguez



Mach Rider

SystemVirtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost500 Points
Players1
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB Rating
Released

10/18/1985 Released

Click here for a video preview

Mach Rider was one of the original launch titles for the NES. It's a fast paced futuristic racer that may very well have been the inspiration for F-Zero. Some may recognize the name of the game from the trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, which was given out after you receive the Speed Demon bonus. The game itself is about an alien invasion on earth. Mach Rider (the name of the main character) must ride around on his machine gun equipped motorcycle dodging obstacles and shooting enemies.

The game is relatively simple. The A button accelerates and the B button shoots the machine gun. Do yourself a favor and make sure you realize that the motorcycle can also be shifted to faster gears. If you stay in first gear the whole time you will be constantly killed by crazy kamikaze motorcyclists who ram into the back of you. For the first 20 minutes that I played the game I thought it was the most frustrating game of all time. Once I figured out that pushing up on the d-pad changes gears, it got a little bit better. Overall though, the graphics and technology really show their age. Although you are moving incredibly fast for a game of the time, it's next to impossible to really see what's coming ahead. Mach Rider is really nothing more than a mindless waste of a couple minutes before moving on to something different.

Not Recommended

- Mike Gamin



Air Zonk

SystemVirtual Console - TurboGrafx-16

Cost600 Points
Players1
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedDec 1992

Click here for a video preview

In the halcyon days of the console mascot Hudson Soft took a huge risk and completely re-imagined their iconic Neanderthal Bonk as the hero of a futuristic side-scrolling shooter. With its 5 modest levels, Air Zonk didn’t exactly catapult Bonk back into the ranks of Mario or Sonic, but it did deliver a clever twist on the shooter genre. Equal parts cyberpunk fantasy and cuddly cartoon, Air Zonk is spilling over with ideas, from the sizable variety of wacky weapons and weird “option" add-ons for your ship (er, flying android caveman) to the bizarre blobs-in-a-hovercraft bosses. In tone and creative ambition the game feels like a precursor to Viewtiful Joe, off-kilter and action heavy from start to finish.

But for all the imagination, the gameplay begins to wear a little thin over the game’s measly 5 levels. While there’s a pretty stiff challenge in the Medium and Hard settings, you could breeze through the game in half an hour on Easy. The enemies all seem to have the same basic attack patterns, either aiming right for you or standing still like giant roadblocks waiting to let loose a spray of bullets when you kill them. Admittedly, there are a lot of better options for shooter fans on Virtual Console, but if you’ve played all the way through Super Star Soldier and Gradius 3, Air Zonk is a fun enough diversion while it lasts. Just don’t expect it to last.

Recommended for Fans

Thanks again this week to VG Museum for the screenshots.

Talkback

Games for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

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