I’m not as critical as some others for one-game release weeks when it comes to the Virtual Console; I only ask that if they’re going to release one week to not make the game a total stinker.
This week, Nintendo releases Wolf of the Battlefield: MERCS, a Genesis port of the arcade hit of the same name, and the sequel to the classic hit Commando. Does it measure up to it’s namesake? Is it a good SHMUP? Let’s ask the experts:
Wolf of the Battlefield: MERCS
System: Sega Genesis
Original Release Date: April, 1990
Price: 800 Wii Points ($8)
Christopher Bowen: I’m a huge fan of Commando, so naturally, I was a huge fan of MERCS. In fact, I’m such a huge fan of MERCS that I went and bought the XBLA game sight unseen. Whoops.
Anyway, this is the Genesis version, which has an original mode tacked onto the main mode. This is a nice touch, though MERCS is a game that is designed to munch quarters; the game’s a bit rough when put to console rules, meaning limited continues. Still, it’s a good shooter for the Genesis; not the best on the system by far, but I’d buy it for $8.
Nathan Birch: Mercs (and it’s predecessor Commando) were fun enough in the arcades, but I never really liked them enough to bother with the home versions. Apparently the Genesis version has no multiplayer, which is a pretty huge blow against it. Capcom run and gun games aren’t really my thing frankly, but if they’re yours there are a lot worse options than Mercs (like say, Gun.Smoke).
Aileen Coe: If you’re nostalgic for arcade run-and-guns or otherwise just want a game where you blow lots of stuff up, then this should be a good investment, especially given it has another mode in addition to the arcade mode. Just be prepared to replay stages a lot and burn lots of continues (hey, better than burning through quarters). And like Nate mentioned, the lack of multiplayer is a black mark against this game.
That’s it for the Virtual Console this week; the ultimate verdict is that MERCS is a fun game, but strictly for SHMUP fans.
On the Wii Ware service this week is Lit, a horror puzzle game that involves keeping your character in lit areas to avoid being sucked into the darkness. It’s like Alone in the Dark in a sense, if that game didn’t suck. Lit runs for $8 as well.
Until next week, this is Chris Bowen, wishing the classic controller came with turbo fire right about now.