It's another clean sweep of awesomeness with this week's batch of games.
Quick! Look at that! It's another Nintendo 64 game on Virtual Console! These beasts are still pretty rare, but it seems that when one of them appears in the wild it's something worth taking a good look at. This week's N64 classic is no exception. The other two games in the pack shouldn't be ignored, however. Check out our recommendations of the three releases for this week, and please, keep your windows rolled up and your doors locked. We wouldn't want any accidents!
|System||Virtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Controllers||Wii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube|
|Released||Apr 20, 1989|
Adventures of Lolo is the first in a series of simple puzzle/adventure game from a time when HAL Laboratory was its own third party publisher. As Lolo, you must brave the Great Devil's castle to save your love, Lala. Lolo must evade the room's baddies and collect (walk over) all of the cleverly placed heart blocks within a stage to unlock the stage's treasure chest; grabbing the chest's jewel will simultaneously destroy all baddies and open the path to the next stage.
The castle's stages are presented in a top-down, tile-based view and are generally a few screen-widths tall and wide. Lolo is not a strong hero and will immediately die if he takes damage. The player must therefore solve each stage by evading the enemy and using the room's layout to Lolo's advantage. Most importantly, Lolo can push tile-wide boxes to trap enemies or block their projectile attacks. Heart blocks, before collected, can also provide cover. On some stages collecting hearts will give Lolo special moves vital to solving the puzzle, such as a limited number of egg shots (projectile attacks), which can temporarily disable (and even allow Lolo to move) some enemies. Other special moves include a bridge Lolo can deploy to cross one block of water and a hammer that can destroy a single boulder. If the player finds himself trapped within a level, he can commit suicide and retry the level by pressing Select.
Lolo's simple design is very approachable, yet it manages to provide some very clever scenarios. While Lolo does not have much replay value, its gameplay remains fresh and its main melody is as haunting as ever.
|System||Virtual Console - TurboGrafx-16|
|Controllers||Wii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube|
Few people will challenge that Galaga is one of the all-time greats in the classic shoot-'em-up category. Galaga '90 (which is the same game as Galaga '88, as it is known in Japan and in Namco Museum 50th Anniversary) retains the Galaga formula and adds better graphics, branching level paths, the ability to start a game with the twin-firing dual ship, and even a way to get a tri-firing triple-wide ship. There are also new types of enemies that require multiple hits to take down or can combine to make a larger baddie that is harder to hit.
Though Galaga '90 is bare-bones compared to a lot of the other shooters available on Virtual Console, the game plays like the original Galaga. That means the emphasis is on skill and accuracy instead of powering up and avoiding like other shooters. As such, doing well in any Galaga game is extremely satisfying. This newer version Galaga doesn't stray far from the original formula, and that's a good thing. Why mess with greatness?
|System||Virtual Console - Nintendo 64|
Wave Race 64 is the progenitor of the GameCube launch title, Wave Race Blue Storm. It can also be considered a launch title itself, being one of the only three first party N64 titles available during the console's first four months on the market. It also happened to be one of the first games to display just what kinds of visual effects the hardware of Nintendo's third home console was truly capable of, exhibiting some truly amazing water effects that many games to this day still struggle to emulate. It was also one of the first games to emulate the physics of moving water, as well as emulate the effects that weather would have on water, and subsequently the race as well. The contributions that this game has made to racing games and games in general cannot be overlooked. Many of the technical achievements displayed in this first generation software of the 5th generation of game consoles are still in use today, including the precision control that the title introduced to the racing genre. It was one of the first games to truly take advantage of the 360 degree range of control that the analog stick made possible.
Overall, this game is a true classic in every sense of the venerable word. The options and content available may be limited, but that does not prevent this game from being a must have. There are many competitor wave rider racing games out there, most notably the Jet Moto series on the PlayStation family of consoles, but these are just poor imitators compared to Wave Race 64. If you are an old fan of the game and have $10, pick it up. If you are some one who has never played this game, but are curious about it and have $10, pick it up. If you are any of the above and don't have $10, trade in a game or two and get a points card, then get this game. This is a piece of gaming history, for that reason alone I must recommend this game to everyone.
Thanks to VG Museum for some of this week's classic screenshots.