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A Cowboy Walks Into a Tent

by Andy Goergen - December 16, 2010, 11:58 pm
Total comments: 4

A trio of classic games sits before our crew, waiting for judgment.

This week, the Virtual Console recommendations takes on three unique games: an Old West style shooter, a European import, and a trip through the big top. Break out your Wii Points and take a look at these titles from the Virtual Console backlog.

First up is Ufouria, a game which was never released in the United States. The game was called Hebereke in Japan, and later released in Europe. It made its North American debut last October on the Virtual Console. Jonny Metts takes a look at the game and helps you decide if it's worth your Points or your time.

Next up is Wild Guns, an arcade style shooter evaluated by Pedro. This game provides an incredible challenge, but will it be too much for most gamers to enjoy?

Lastly, we take a look at Aero the Acro-Bat, a game seemingly born out of the Sonic-led mascot wars of the 16-bit era.  Does the game hold up, or will this big top collapse?  Zach Miller gives his take.

Ufouria: The Saga

SystemVirtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost600 Points
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Classic,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedNov 19, 1992

Ufouria is a platformer-adventure that plays like a combination of Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) and Metroid. This late-era NES game (an import from Europe) has great controls, catchy music, and colorful characters who are brought to life with hilarious animations. It takes a lot of patience to get through the early part of the game, as you start with just one character and no special abilities. If you master bopping enemies (hold down on the D-pad as you jump on them), the additional characters and new skills will come quickly.

Ufouria is more about exploration than combat, and the overworld design is surprisingly complex and sophisticated for an 8-bit game. Dying will always send you back to the map’s center, but this location eventually becomes a convenient hub once you gain certain abilities. While the game is impressive in many ways, it is extremely weird, and the gameplay can seem idiosyncratic at times. Fans of non-linear exploration and non-traditional 2D platformers should find plenty to enjoy.

Recommended for Fans

- Jonathan Metts

Wild Guns

SystemVirtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost800 Points
ControllersWii Classic,GameCube
ESRB RatingTeen
ReleasedOct 1994

Wild Guns for the Super NES is a game I had never heard of until Derek Alexander, known on YouTube as the Happy Video Game Nerd, did a video highlighting this title. He called it an underrated gem of a game, and I can't help but agree with him, even if many gamers will find it inaccessible. Wild Guns is an arcade shooter that takes place in a third-person perspective, meaning that the character is on-screen while they shoot villains on a still background akin to a shooting gallery.

Players can choose to play as Clint or Annie, characters clearly inspired by Clint Eastwood and Annie Oakley, in a world that combines the dangers of the future with the unrelenting heat of the Old West. Wild Gun's gameplay features many minor elements that add much to the complete package, such as the ability to run, duck, and jump out of the way. These may seem basic at first, but when the game gets very intense these moves will save your life. The character will even alert you of incoming fire by a small text bubble above their heads. Shooting enemy bullets will cause a gage at the bottom of the screen to rise. When it is full, you can use your most powerful weapon, the Vulcan Cannon.Enemies come out non-stop, and the levels end with a huge boss fight where all of your skills will be tested.

Unfortunately, aiming with the D-pad can be awkward, especially if you are a Wii gamer used to aiming with the Wii Remote. In addition, the game can be really hard from the very beginning. It becomes tolerable when you have a second player, but even then Wild Guns will be an unrelenting challenge. Because of that, Wild Guns is recommended for fans of classic shooters. The challenge is fun and the clever design can lead to some very satisfying game sessions.

Recommended for Fans

- Pedro Hernandez

Aero the Acro-Bat

SystemVirtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost800 Points
ControllersWii Classic,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedOct 1993

You may have vague recollections of playing and possibly enjoying this late-era SNES mascot platformer from Sunsoft. Seeing it on the Virtual Console now, you may be tempted to spend the 800 points to play it. This is something you should never do. Aero the Acro-Bat is virtually broken and incompetent. Almost every aspect of the game is plagued with unnecessary problems: an arbitrary time limit, instant-death spikes, invincible enemies, a useless offensive moveset, poor animation and problematic level design, bad music, and infuriating difficulty.

The loose control and walking speed, which increases perpetually, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to run through the stage with any kind of precision. Because you spend so much time limping around to avoid instant death, it becomes difficult to meet the level's goal (and then get to an arbitrary exit point) within the time limit. Using canons to propel our cheiropteroid friend vertically is an act fraught with inconsistency and frustration.

Stay well, well away from this circus-dwelling bat. He will bring you nothing but sorrow.

Not Recommended

- Zachary Miller


I keep hearing Aero the Acro-Bat 2 is a much, much better game. It might even be a good game! Any truth to that?

And indeed, Wild Guns should be in every shooter fan's library.

No idea. If Neal gifts it to me for the VC recommendation, I can tell you. But gawd, the first game is unbelievably terrible.

I got Wild Guns last Christmas during the forum's secret santa. It makes me happy. ^_^

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusMarch 19, 2012

Wild Guns is a really gem. It's Time Crisis before time crisis. Unfortunately only the early stages have a significant amount property damage. Damn fun with two players.

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