Virtual Console Wrap-up – 6/9 Releases

Yea, I know we kind of spaced on talking about last week’s VC new release, but really, it was Ninja Combat…do you care? I don’t. Good, moving on then.

So this week we’re getting a pair of import games, Dig Dug and Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (which just may have the most awesome name ever), both from the NES. Or Famicom. Or Famicom Disk System in the case of the latter. Anyway, let’s hear some more about them.

Dig Dug
-Genre: Puzzle
-System: Famicom
-Release Date: 1985
-Price: 600 Wii Points

Aaron Sirois: No matter what you play it on, Dig Dug is one of those classics that anyone should be able to enjoy, and the fun only gets better with multiple people. Just make sure that if you’re playing with another person that you don’t let them blow you up rather than the enemies! Of course, we’ve so many reissues of this game that chances are you already have it, but it’s still worth a buy for those of us that don’t.

Danny Cox: The music, the creatures, and the simple gameplay make Dig Dug friggin’ awesome. I’ll tell you what sucks though is digging through the ground and trying to avoid that Mardi Gras mask looking dragon as he floats through the gravel…you make a perfect path underneath a rock and get ready for it to crash down upon his head as you’ve lead him into a great trap…only then you realize you took out a little too much ground and the rock splats you dead instead. Man…those are some fun times and well worth the points needed to get it.

Alex Lucard: This is a classic, wonderful game. I played it all the time on my 2600 and I’m sure this is going to be added to my VC collection. It’s simple, addictive, and yet can be very challenging at times. It’s nice to see Dig Dug on the VC. I realize it is probably not a title anyone was clamoring for, but it’s still a high quality game that deserves to be on here more than a lot of other options.

Charlie Marsh: Hey, it’s Dig Dug. It’s simple, it’s primitive, and it has the potential to get boring after a while, but it’s one of those amazingly fun classics that all gamers should be required to play at least once.

Mark B.: Dig Dug is always good times. Sticking a pump into a monster and inflating it until it explodes never really gets old no matter the incarnation, and the NES version of the game was pretty solid. For $6, if you don’t own a version of Dig Dug or, God forbid, have never played it, you’d be well off to download it and try it out.

Nathan Birch: A classic, and I’m sure the NES version is about as good as any (personally I mostly played it on my friend’s Commodore 64). Dig Dug is probably my favorite of the big early arcade hits, beating out the likes of Pac-Man, Space Invaders or Asteroids (although Donkey Kong is also in the running). Since playing Dig Dug any game that incorporates the ability to dig through the ground at some point scores points with me. That said, charging an extra buck for the game seems kind of cheap. Yeah, the NES version never came out in North America, but about 10 other versions did. The justification for the higher price on import games is that most Americans haven’t been able to play the game before, but I find it hard to believe any classic game fan hasn’t played Dig Dug in some incarnation.

Christopher Bowen: OK, I like Dig Dug as much as anyone. It’s a cute little game, and while it’s not my favorite Namco game – not even in the top five, really – it’s a good enough game. But…XBox Live has an arcade perfect version of this game, with leaderboards and all the fixings, for $5. Why is Nintendo giving us the inferior NES port with no extra anything for $6? This makes no sense. The only reason I can see for giving us premium pricing like this is because Dig Dug was never released in America for the NES, so we’re getting Japanese pricing. Bullshit! There is no Japanese in the entire game! Avoid this version of a game that’s been as whored out as much as any other Namco arcade game over the years. If you ABSOLUTELY have to have Dig Dug on your Wii, try to find Namco Museum Remix on the cheap.

Guy Desmarais: Dig Dug is fun. I love Dig Dug. It’s a game so simple and fun that I don’t see how you could hate it. You know, the kind of game that doesn’t look like much on the outside, but which you just can’t stop playing until your stomach starts growling, telling you that it’s time to do something else. Even then, you still wanna push your luck and see how much longer you can tolerate your hunger because, hey, you’re still having fun playing the game. Not sure about you, but that’s how it used to be for me. Some people were addicted to Donkey Kong, others to Pac-Man, but I was always a Dig-Dug man.

Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
-Genre: Platformer
-System: Famicom Disk System
-Release Date: 1985
-Price: 600 Wii Points

Christopher Bowen: Now here’s something worth the premium pricing! Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is an old Konami game where you play a baby with a rattle…a rattle that makes enemies inflate like balloons. Once you blow them up, you can ride them, or hit them in various places to attack enemies (necessary to beat bosses in much the same way you’d fight Mouser in SMB2). It’s not the perfect game – there are areas where you have to crawl through ground that take away from the experience – but it’s a quality game overall. Even better, this is yet another Famicom Disk System game to make it over to the US. For those that don’t know what that is, picture something much akin to an old Apple II disc, but connected to an old Famicom, in a proprietary format, and you more or less have it. Even better, the VC eliminates the need for loading times and side switching. There are a lot of good, obscure titles that could stand to come over, and it would also be nice if they released the FDS version of Metroid (save slots are groovy).

Nathan Birch: Bio-mira-bo-fuck-what? I certainly wasn’t importing games back in the 80s so I don’t know anything about this one. A Wikipedia search reveals it has a flying baby in it though, so…there’s that.

Mark B.: Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is one of those games that basically works on the concept that

1.) It’s weird and Japanese
2.) No one’s played it

and assumes you’d be willing to buy it based on that. This, mind you, ignores the fact that it was originally slated for a US release until, by all indications, Howard Phillips (of Howard and Nester fame) stepped in and said it wasn’t very good. Ouch. That said, it’s not a BAD game; you smack things with your rattle and send them flying, whereupon you can bump into them to send them in a specific direction or ride them for a boost, but otherwise it’s basically a Mario-type side-scrolling platformer. You could do worse than this, and if you love platformers it’s worth a look.

Charlie Marsh: Aside from the fact that the name is awesome, I don’t know much about this one. It looks fun, and definitely looks unique, so I say pick it up if you’re looking for something different that you’ve never played before.

Alex Lucard: With this release, we are one step closer to finally getting Parodius in the US, which is a dream of mine. It’s a Famicom disk title, making it the first from that add-on to be released on the US VC. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is a cute little platformer that plays like an acid trip. There are definitely better platformers for the NES, but weirder? I think not.

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