If you get all three games this week, you'll unlock a secret, hidden game: Street Fighter F-Zero X-II: Hyper Fighting China Warrior!
This week is a nice turnaround from last week's boring sportsfest. The big news today is that Nintendo realized that people want more Nintendo 64 games on Virtual Console, so it came out with a classic racing game from the system's library. Capcom is back with an update to an existing SNES VC game, and the TurboGrafx-16 adds another good title to the catalog.
Here's what we have to say about this week's releases. Please remember that our views are simply recommendations; the decision to buy is yours, and yours alone.
|System||Virtual Console - Nintendo 64|
|Released||Sep 30, 1998|
So far, the Virtual Console has been curiously thin on racing games, but F-Zero X is here to save the day. This futuristic racer packs an incredible sense of speed, very smooth graphics at 60 frames per second, and up to thirty cars on the track at any given time. X is a huge improvement over the original F-Zero (also available on VC) thanks to the three-dimensional graphics and gameplay, huge selection of vehicles, and a larger set of tracks. This game also introduced the boost vs. shield mechanic, in which you increase the risk of exploding every time you use a turbo.
F-Zero X has a lot to offer for just ten bucks. There are four GP cups of six races each, all of them very challenging (even on the "Novice" level!). Beat all of those on Expert, and you can unlock the extremely cool X Cup, which features randomly generated tracks. The legendary Death Race tests how long it takes you to knock all of your opponents off the track. Of course, there's also an equally smooth 4-player mode. F-Zero X is a tough game, but the process of learning to play better is highly rewarding. Fans of the GameCube sequel should definitely check this one out, too!
|System||Virtual Console - TurboGrafx-16|
|Controllers||Wii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
Playing as a Bruce Lee look-alike named Wang, China Warrior takes you through stages where you need to punch and kick your way through various types of enemies and hazards. Wang moves through the stages automatically, but you still have full control over basic movement. When encountering a boss, the punch-and-kick gameplay used during the stage translates well into what is essentially a light version of a fighting game. The nice thing about China Warrior is the enormous character sprites, which really make things stand out.
This game is rather impressive for a launch-era TG16 game, and years later, it's still not too bad of a game to play through. The first few levels will be a cakewalk, but pretty soon you'll be dodging knives, leaping over snakes and really working to find an opening on the boss characters. It's quite challenging. China Warrior is an old-school side-scrolling action game that may surprise fans of the genre, and isn't a bad deal for the price.
|System||Virtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting, or SFII'HF for short, is one of many updates to the Street Fighter II line of games, and the second SNES version. The improvements over the first game include the four bosses as selectable characters, better graphics, better sound, improved character balance and the turbo speed settings. You can play the game at the standard Street Fighter II speed, but being able to crank up the turbo is what makes this the preferred classic fighter. For best results, play with the Wii classic controller, since its traditional layout will make it easier to summon your kicks and punches.
If you downloaded Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, you're probably feeling screwed right now. After all, SFII'HF is the exact same game, except better in every way. Although both games are classics in their own rights, the original is depreciated because of Turbo. Just remember that Capcom's got another SFII SNES game that's likely coming after this one, so although we're recommending SFII Turbo for everyone, buy it at your own discretion.