Virtual Console Wrap-Up for 9/22

Monday the 22nd marked an important day for most retro gaming fans. It was a day of true anticipation, and a day to rejoice. It was a day when true retro gaming lives.

Monday, September 22nd, 2008… was the day Mega Man 9 was released to WiiWare.

Of course, being a new game, that isn’t under the umbrella of the Virtual Console, or this wrap-up. Therefore, I expected this to be a shoddy weak in terms of releases; I figured if we were lucky, we could get another crummy Sonic game that four people care about.

Alas, that wasn’t the case, as Nintendo not only dropped two games on us, they dropped some notable releases at that. Are they worth your points? Let’s find out.

(All information and release dates are for American releases only)


Super Dodge Ball
Developer: Technos
Publisher: CSG Imagesoft Inc.
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Original Release Date: June, 1989
Price: 500 Wii Points

Christopher Bowen: It’s funny, on both the GBA and DS, this game has been recreated, remade and redone, but no one’s gotten it right yet. Super Dodge Ball is still an outstanding game in the Kunio Kun series of sports titles, and it’s stood up well with age. While it’d be great to be able to play people over the internet – why doesn’t the VC have network play again? – that should not weigh down this great game too much. Definite recommendation to purchase.

Alex Lucard: Ah dodge ball. Such a traumatic memory for some. The fear of being hit in the face with a big red ball. the cruel taunts when you were unable to catch the ball. The purposeful picking off of your teammates until only you were left because your opponents knew you utterly sucked and wanted to save you for last, watching you try to horde all the balls on your side so that you could prevent a multi ball throwing based pummelling.

Then there was me who quite enjoyed inflicting that sort of torment of my peers when I was an asshole juvenile.

Super Dodge Ball is one of those games that is insanely fun, even though on paper, it seems like it should suck ass. Also, unlike real dodge ball you are encouraged to hit people in the face in this game.

At 500 points it’s cheap and a great piece of yesteryear. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly worth getting over the handheld updates that have been released.

Guy Desmarais: It’s the only good dodgeball game that is available as a video game. Even if you don’t really like the sport, the game itself is fun. Buy this one. VIVE LE DODGEBALL.

Nathan Birch: A classic, and this is in fact the first chance I’ve got to own it. As a kid I could never find it in any store and it never materialized in my Christmas stocking, so I just rented it over and over and over. Considering the fact I probably paid more than 5 dollars for every one of the countless times I rented the game, the asking price for this one seems more than fair.


Vectorman
Developer: Blue Sky Software
Publisher: Sega of America
System: Sega Genesis
Original Release Date: October 24, 1995
Price: 800 Wii Points

M.L. Kennedy: Vectorman was touted as being innovative, but all I remember about it is that it was crazy hard. I have it on the Sega Smashpack for the Dreamcast, and it’s never charmed me enough to merit an attempt to get to the second level.

Christopher Bowen: You know… somehow, Vectorman went from being an underrated gem, to being an overrated piece of garbage, as Sega kept shoving it, and some of their other titles, down our throats. Now, I think a playable version of Vectorman is included in the box of Count Chocula I had this morning for breakfast. It’s available on the Sonic Gems Collection (Gamecube), for anyone with a PS2 or PSP, it’s available on the Genesis Collection, and even failing both of those games, this game isn’t really good enough to stand on it’s own; it’s decent enough, but it’s an entirely overrated shooter who’s number one accomplishment – the graphics – have not stood up to age.

Recommendation to pass. If you HAVE to spend 800 points, and don’t have it yet, take Gunstar Heroes instead.

Alex Lucard: This is one of those games Sega itself seems to love and praise and shove down everyone’s throat, even though most gamers seem to find it boring but pretty (for its day). Notice that you never hear the cries of “Re-release Vectorman!” or “Where is Vectorman 3?” or “Why doesn’t Sega put Vectorman in more games?” This is because no one bloody cares. Sega put it on the Smash Pack for the DC and PC. They put it on the Sega Genesis Collection for the PS2 and PSP. Now we have it on the VC and still no one cares.

Where’s that Shining Force 2 Sega?

Guy Desmarais: Nice try by Sega to create a new platformer megastar which didn’t quite catch on despite its use of every technology available back then to create impressive graphics. Some say it’s because it didn’t get as much praise as it deserved, I say it’s because it’s a boring game that looks second rate when compared to many other platformers of the time. Pass.

Nathan Birch: This was basically Sega’s answer to Donkey Kong Country, showing the Genesis could do pre-rendered graphics too. Of course everything had to be reduced to an assortment of balls to make it work, but they hid their limitations well and the game was just damn fun. Since I was more of a Sega fan in the 16-bit days I insisted this game was actually better than DKC and I still find faster, cooler and less frustrating than the ape-starring series. It’s one major flaw is it’s a bit on the short/easy side, but what the hell; I still recommend it.


So there you have it! One undeniable classic, and a decent, if overrated shooter, from Nintendo this week. A very nice haul for those that have points to burn, if I say so myself.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a new WiiWare game to play…

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