It's Monday — and that means three new releases for the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console. Let's review today's additions:
- Pokemon Snap — imagine the theme of a Disney World ride, crossed with the gameplay of the original Star Fox and Fatal Frame. Despite sounding like a chimeric horror from the Stygian abyss, it's actually a fun, if simple, game.
- Baseball Stars 2 — I've never played this game, but I have many fond memories of the NES original. I'm still trying to figure out how it is Nintendo can offer Neo Geo games to be downloaded to the Wii's wee 512MB hard drive. I remember Neo Geo cartridges having huge capacities, and a quick visit to Wikipedia confirms then run up to 90 megabytes. Will Nintendo eventually update the Wii to support external hard drives through its USB port, similarly to how v3.1 of the system software allowed USB keyboards? Or will we have to use SD memory cards? I don't own any of those, but I do still have my Neo Geo memory card — all 8 KB of it.
- Ghosts 'n Goblins — the original game in the franchise and the third for the Virtual Console. I remember tearing my hair out over this one as a kid, not just because of the difficulty (which is still high enough to turn me bald), but because I could never get the level select code in the Official Nintendo Player's Guide to work. No wonder: it was misprinted.
Rather than check the actual plodding Shop channel every Monday, my weekly fix for this news is The Virtual Console Archive. Though their editing could stand some work, they provide a fairly thorough gist of each VC game, as well as a rating and YouTube video. Other parts of their site include indices and news, which is how I learned about the new Wii Gift feature. (Guess Nintendo decided this holiday option wasn't worth making my disc slot glow blue.)
Ghosts and Goblins. That game brings back a lot of memories. It was an incredible challenge. I remember making it all the way to the end, defeating the last boss, only for the game to tell me that I had to do it again to actually beat the game.
I don't really see myself picking up this title. I do find it quite interesting that as a kid with unlimited time and limited money I'd finish games like this. Now as an adult with constrained time and much more money, I find that I'd most likely turn my nose up at such a challenging game.
I remember Pokemon Snap being surprisingly fun despite being a pretty short game. It's next on my list of games to download.