Arcade games are now available on Virtual Console! The launch slate contains four classics from Namco Bandai and Tecmo.
One of the surprising announcements that came out of Iwata's keynote at GDC 2009 was the addition of Virtual Console Arcade, which adds arcade games to the ever-expanding list of platforms available through Wii. The first games, available today, are from Namco Bandai and Tecmo.
Gaplus, from Namco Bandai, is the successor to Galaga and is very similar to the arcade classic. It is a vertical shoot-'em-up that features various different Blaster Heads, such as the Phalanx and the Sidewinder. These power-ups give the player various abilities – like the ability to get help from enemies. Gaplus is available now for 600 Wii Points ($6).
The second game, also from Namco Bandai, is Mappy. It puts the player in control of a police-mouse who must recover stolen goods from criminal cats. The titular mouse travels through the villainous Goro's mansion navigating through different obstacles, such as trampolines and dead ends. Mappy is now available for 500 Wii Points ($5).
The Tower of Druaga is the final game of the week from Namco Bandai and takes place in a large skyscraper where the intrepid Gil sets out to rescue his lost love. Armed with only a sword and a shield, Gil must travel through each maze-like floor searching for a key. He can also find hidden treasure in the levels. The Tower of Druaga is available now for 500 Wii Points ($5).
The lone game from Tecmo is STARFORCE, another vertical shoot-'em-up. STARFORCE features 25 levels, hordes of enemies, and plenty of hidden bonuses. One super-secret target in the game even doles out a million bonus points. STARFORCE is available now for 500 Wii Points ($5).
Seen on the projector screen behind Iwata were logos for the above four games and Sega's Space Harrier as well as Namco Bandai's Emeralda, The Return of Ishtar, and Solvalou, but no information was released as to when they will come out. It is also still unknown if Virtual Console Arcade releases will occur separately or if they will merge with the weekly Virtual Console and WiiWare updates.
Note: The below press release is from Nintendo of Europe, but the games are the same as the North American ones.
WELCOME TO VIRTUAL CONSOLE ARCADE – LEGENDARY ARCADE GAMES NOW AVAILABLE TO PLAY AT HOME!
25th March 2009 – Say hello to Virtual Console Arcade - our new addition to the Virtual Console family of retro gaming systems! Inserting coins is now a thing of the past, as classic arcade games become available to download through the Wii Shop Channel, starting with Gaplus, Mappy, The Tower of Druaga and STARFORCE!
VIRTUAL CONSOLE ARCADE:
Each game features virtual credits that you can add at will. In some games you can also access a special menu to change settings such as game difficulty or number of lives.
Our Virtual Console Arcade line-up begins with four favourites from Namco Bandai and Tecmo (Gaplus, Mappy, The Tower of Druaga and STARFORCE) and other big-name publishers will also be bringing their wares to the Wii Shop Channel in the future, so watch this space!
GAPLUS® (NAMCO BANDAI, 500 Wii Points):
Remember the timeless classic, Galaga? Say hello to its successor, as the arcade version of Gaplus hits Virtual Console!
As before, you command a lone fighter ship, facing down hordes of invading aliens. Their mission: to take over your world. Your mission: to stop them at all costs. This time around you'll have the use of a number of collectable Blaster Heads, such as the Phalanx and Sidewinder, which will aid you in your battle - and some even let you bring enemies over to your side!
MAPPY® (NAMCO BANDAI, 500 Wii Points):
It's a cat-and-mouse game like no other as you take control of Mappy, a brave police-mouse, in this arcade classic!
A gang of thieving cats have stolen treasures from all over the city and brought them back to their mansion! Your job is to infiltrate their mansion and negotiate traps, trampolines and dead ends to find all of the treasures and bring them back to their rightful owners. But watch out! Goro and his hench-cats are stalking the mansion and if they find you, you're finished!
THE TOWER OF DRUAGA® (NAMCO BANDAI, 500 Wii Points):
Scale a skyscraper to rescue your lost love in The Tower of Druaga, the well-loved arcade classic!
Armed only with his trusty sword and shield, Gil has to battle his way through monsters and mazes to find the key to each floor and ascend to the next. As a bonus, Druaga's treasures are scattered throughout his tower. If Gil manages to grab even a few of them, he'll be a rich man...if he ever gets out of the tower.
STARFORCE™ (TECMO, 500 Wii Points):
A huge global hit at the arcades, this classic shooter blasts its way back on Virtual Console!
STARFORCE is an exhilarating vertical shooter, in which one button is your key to shooting down hordes of attacking enemy units. Sound simple? Try finding all of the hidden special bonuses scattered across 25 areas! Hunt down the super-secret target in the game for a whopping 1 million bonus points!
Note: The below press release is from Nintendo of Europe, but the games are the same as the North American ones, with the exception of Gaplus, which costs 600 Wii Points in North America.