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Virtual Console Mondays: August 20, 2007

by Steven Rodriguez - August 21, 2007, 1:11 am
Total comments: 17

Metroid is the top of the class of this week's three releases. For real this time!

Have you downloaded Super Metroid yet? (Seriously, it's really good!) If not, then perhaps you're waiting to see what the other two games are this week. All three of the current releases are on this page, so feel free to check them out and see if more than one of them are right for you. They probably are; this week is another quality clean-sweep, wherein we've recommended every game for everyone. The first game we're talking about today, however, is one we simply can't recommend enough.

Super Metroid

SystemVirtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost800 Points
ControllersWii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedApr 18, 1994

Click here for a video preview

It could be said of the original Metroid on NES that the game's ambitious design was too far ahead of the technology of that time. If so, then Super Metroid was when the technology caught up. A stunning supernova of gameplay, graphics, music, atmosphere, and replayability, Super Metroid is easily one of the best and most highly recommendable games yet released on Virtual Console. Although it's one of the best games Nintendo has ever created, its debut on VC marks the very first time it has been re-released since the Super NES days. (It did receive a Player's Choice reprint back a year after the initial shipment.)

I really can't say enough about this game. It revolutionized 2D adventure games, made the Metroid series one of gaming's elite, set the stage for the excellent Metroid Prime games... and oh yeah, it's still ridiculously fun and addictive. By practically any measure of quality, Super Metroid is one of the greatest games ever created for any system in any era. Even if you've never played a Metroid game of any kind, or if you've never even bought a single title from Virtual Console, download this game. Download this game! DOWNLOAD THIS GAME.

Recommended for Everyone

- Jonathan Metts

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

SystemVirtual Console - Genesis

Cost800 Points
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
ReleasedJul 22, 1993

Click here for a video preview

As everyone knows, Shinobi is Sega's ninja-action franchise. It has long been something for the hardcore, but the third game in the series was made so that the gameplay was slightly easier...but just slightly. There's a life bar that gives you a lot of chances to screw up before you die, a feature that wasn't in the first two Shinobi games. The game isn't a push-over of course, as it'll challenge you as you get deeper into it. Of course, if you're the type of person that likes a challenge, you can jack up the difficulty two notches to Expert and reduce the amount of shurikens you start with. The game is great with the default difficulty, but it really becomes something else when you're fighting for survival, ninja style.

There's a lot to be said about Shinobi III. It looks fantastic, it plays very fast, and you'll be needing all the ninja moves in your arsenal to win the day. You can cling to walls, ride on horses and surfboards (!), and kill enemies with grace. It was one of the better games back in the 16-bit days, and is still just as good today. If you've still got some points left over after getting Super Metroid, Shinobi III is a great next game to grab.

Recommended for Everyone

- Steven Rodriguez


SystemVirtual Console - TurboGrafx-16

Cost600 Points
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedApr 1990

Click here for a video preview

Do not adjust your television sets: This game is not The Legend of Zelda. No, instead it's Neutopia, a TG-16 clone of said NES classic. Similar in most every way, it's got the same grid-based overworld, dungeon setup, combat system, health meter, equipment, map system, and even the same corny "collect eight items, save the princess, save the world" story as LoZ. Perhaps "clone" is too light of a word to use here. Maybe "rip-off" is the better term?

No, actually. It would be unfair to pigeonhole this game as a crappy knock-off. As a matter of fact, it has much of the same secrets and gameplay tricks such that you'd expect to see in a Zelda game, albeit not as well designed or thought-out. On the other hand, it looks a great deal better than the original NES game. If you squint while playing Neutopia , you could pretend that it's the super-secret third Zelda quest. That's not a bad tag to be stuck with.

Recommended for Everyone

- Steven Rodriguez

Thanks to VG Museum for the classic screenshots.


MashiroAugust 20, 2007

Thumbs up Samus approves of the Super Metroid write up.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 20, 2007

I'll have to check out Neutopia, never heard of the game before.

Smoke39August 20, 2007

Finally Super Metroid! I'm already about to go kill Ridley, though. Based on some videos, Shinobi III was looking appealing to play after Super Metroid, but then it turned all sci-fi outa nowhere. Bleh.

UltimatePartyBearAugust 20, 2007

Is that faustsmiley.gif in that Shinobi shot?

dubnobasswithmyheadmanAugust 21, 2007

How does Super Metroid play on the gamecube controller? Are any of the button combos awkward to press? I totally want to buy Super Metroid because I missed out on it back in the day. But i refuse to buy a classic controller just because Nintendo won't put button mapping configs in their emulator.

Smoke39August 21, 2007

Super Metroid's controls are fully configurable. :D

cartman414August 21, 2007

Word on Super Metroid. Dunno about recommending Neutopia for everyone, enjoyable as it may be. It has similarly stiff controls in terms of direction and attack to Zelda I.

dubnobasswithmyheadmanAugust 21, 2007


Originally posted by: Smoke39
Super Metroid's controls are fully configurable. :D

Sweet, thanks man. I'm downloading this when I get home.

Ian SaneAugust 21, 2007

Shinobi III reminds me of a time when games were just so f*cking cool. You have a ninja wandering around in the open taking on an army of bad guys straight out of a pre-Image early 90's comic book and riding a SURFBOARD all presented with a straight face. Like jumping from missile to missile in Contra III this sort of insane, yet cool, stuff was common in videogames in the 2D era. These days they strive for realism so often that goofy fun cool stuff like this is absent. This is why I never get into World War II games or most Tom Clancy games. How can something sort of like real life compare to stuff like this? I don't want to be a formal soldier in uniform fighting other soldiers. I want to be some muscle bound guy dressed like Rambo with a huge gattling gun shooting aliens while I'm snowboarding down an erupting volcano.

I think this is clearly the best VC week yet and probably the best they'll ever have. Not only all all three games of exceptionally high quality but they also are obscure titles that have not been endlessly re-released. Maybe one of the Zelda or Mario games is better than Super Metroid but THOSE games have been available in some format for years. For many Super Metroid is like a brand new game. It's a more significant VC title than some great game that was re-released on the GBA two years ago.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 21, 2007

Unless, of course, they get around to re-releasing GB/GBC games and they have a week with Super Mario Land 2, Metriod II and Link's Awakening. That week would rule.

NeodymiumAugust 21, 2007

I'm really interested in Neutopia, since I don't already own it. Same can't be said for the other two, although I obviously love them.

Also, as Bob said, they need to get around to Game Boy so that other more great and hard-to-find games come around. I think that a DS adapter that uses SD cards through the GBA port would be perfect for compatibility with GB, Game Gear, Turboexpress (basically the TG-16 games, I know), and NeoGeo Pocket support.

ReyVGMAugust 21, 2007

I don't know if any of the news posters will read this but... why not put the images in their original sizes? They are already small enough and resizing them even further makes them lose their appeal to someone that doesn't know how the game looks. Plus it makes the images look all blurry and nasty :P

18 DaysAugust 21, 2007

No fair. Australia got stuck with crappy Wave Race 64.

Caffeinated CheeseAugust 21, 2007


Originally posted by: 18 Days
No fair. Australia got stuck with crappy Wave Race 64.

I'm glad someone agrees with me about that one!

WR64 is not crappy! But it's no Super Metroid, either.

Has anyone else noticed that Super Metroid's music sounds a lot like ActRaiser's music? Of course, Actraiser came out a few years earlier...

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 29, 2007

Yo! What's the hold up on this week's VC recommendations? I mean, I already got an e-mail from Nintendo telling me what I should get, why can't you tell me what to get too?

(to be fair, Nintendo told me to get everything though...)

CalibanAugust 29, 2007

By the way, Neutopia sucks, the hit-dtection in this game is horrible, trash.

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