We cover three obscure yet worthwhile games in this week's installment of Virtual Console Recommendations.
Nintendo released Virtual Console titles for both the Wii and 3DS services this past week, and the staff of Nintendo World Report have played both of them, as well as a prior release, to give you our recommendation of whether you should buy them.
To start us off, James Dawson played Gargoyle's Quest, the Game Boy title released this week on the 3DS eShop. Does the mix of action platforming and RPG elements stand the test of time?
After that, James Dawson also covers Fortified Zone, a top-down shooter for Game Boy that came to the eShop in July. Does the game offer up enough to be worth the asking price?
Finally, Carmine Red takes on The Ignition Factor, the Super Nintendo title released this week for the Wii's Virtual Console. Does the game offer enough depth to make it stand out on the crowded Wii Shop Channel?
Read on to find the answers to all those questions.
|System||Virtual Console - Game Boy|
In Gargoyle’s Quest you play as Firebrand, the same red gargoyle that terrorized Arthur in the Ghosts ’n Goblins series. However, this time Firebrand is tasked with saving the Ghoul Realm from the evil King Breager.
The game is very similar to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, mixing action platforming with RPG elements. The game’s overworld is scattered with towns and lone NPCs, who often offer up hints as to what lies ahead. Battles are played out in the form of a mini platforming level, in which all the enemies must be dispatched in order to advance. The platforming in Gargoyle’s Quest is also rather unique, as Firebrand has the ability to both cling to walls and hover for short distances. The bosses range in style, including a series of four eyes that shoot projectiles, and a demon that can break its body into four bees. All of the bosses, as well as every other enemy in the game, must be brought down with Firebrand’s projectiles, which will be upgraded along with his other abilities as the game progresses.
While Gargoyle’s Quest is by no means an easy game, it is much more manageable than the series that spawned it. The game is great for anyone who is looking for a challenge, and enjoys platformers and RPGs alike.
|System||Virtual Console - Game Boy|
Fortified Zone is a top-down shooter where you play as two secret ops on a dangerous mission to infiltrate an enemy fortress. The game is remarkable in that the two operatives, Masato Kanzaki and Mizuki Makimura, are used to accomplish different tasks. Masato is a powerhouse, having the ability to use special weapons that are dropped by the games many enemies, such as the flamethrower and grenades. Mizuki, who lacks that ability, is able to jump over spikes that block many of the game’s paths.
The game itself is a simple top-down shooter, where the main objective is to go from room to room killing enemies and solving rudimentary puzzles, until you reach the level’s main boss. The bosses in the game range from a platform with mounted cannons, to a dragon that seems a little out of place. After the level’s boss is defeated, you will advance to the next level, of which there are only four in the game.
The game does suffer from being far too short, as it can be finished in a little over an hour. But, if you are looking for a distraction with interesting enemies and bosses, look no further than Fortified Zone. It should be able to provide decent entertainment while you wait for next week’s releases.
|System||Virtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Released||Nov 11, 1994|
Fair warning: read the operations manual before playing The Ignition Factor. The game doesn't give you a tutorial, so you may want to do your homework before facing your first blaze.
That's because The Ignition Factor isn't a re-skin of a 16-bit action game with fire instead of bad guys: it's actually a rescue simulation that rewards planning, deliberate execution, and time-constrained problem solving in multi-floor levels. The actual gameplay of extinguishing fires is extremely easy to master, but the strategy lies elsewhere. How much equipment do you weigh yourself down with? Do you completely extinguish a blaze before moving on or put out just enough to squeeze past? How can you reach all the survivors in a level before time runs out? Each new mission in the game has a different layout, new puzzles, and unique environmental hazards. On top of that, they don't always play out the same way: your actions can induce the game to change the layout of the starting fires, or even add bonus objectives mid-mission.
There are rough edges in the game: a good amount of trial and error is necessary to learn how to beat a mission, even more to master it. However, setbacks in The Ignition Factor yield clear lessons on what not to do, and mastery of one mission is made all the sweeter by each new challenge, puzzle, and environment around the corner.