Well would you look at that, the VC Arcade is getting a little attention this week. I’d almost forgotten it, what with there having been nothing released on it since it was first added to the shop channel. The new game we’re getting is Space Harrier for 800 points. It also seems we have a bit of a disagreement over whether you should look into it or not…
Original Release Date: 1985
Cost: 800 Wii Points.
Christopher Bowen: Sega’s doing really well at throwing their older games at us lately. Last week, they released a bunch of Genesis games on XBLA as if that freaking meant something (Oh boy! My 234023th way to purchase Phantasy Star II!), and now we’re getting a shooter that’s at least fifteen years past it’s sell-by date, and has not aged well.
Put it this way: unless you’re sitting here, specifically saying “oh boy! The arcade version of Space Harrier!”, and you don’t own a 360 (meaning you can purchase Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection), this game isn’t for you; it’s outdated, antiquated, and doesn’t entertain beyond five minute bursts, at which point you realise just how poor it really is. This is specifically for people who grew up on Space Harrier and routinely put their names on the top 10 scoreboards.
Alex Lucard: This is another example of where we pat Chris on the head and push him into the dark corner he usually resides in with Sports games and Fire Emblem…
Although you CAN get the arcade version of Space Harrier on the Ultimate Genesis Collection, you A) Have to unlock it and B) The sound is pretty messed up on it. It’s not a good port.
The Wii version here actually has the original surround sound CD quality soundtrack you would have found in the arcade cabinet rather than well, the squarkiness of the Ultimate Genesis Collection version.
You should also ignore Chris in the following areas:
A) “Outdated” as the gameplay remains one of the most unique shoot ’em up experiences of all time.
B) “Antiquated” as the game holds up amazingly well today unlike a lot of things on the virtual console, including other shoot ’em ups.
C) “Doesn’t entertain beyond five minute bursts” as the game is only 15 minutes long at max if you’re halfway decent at it. It is an old school shoot ’em up after all. We used to beat Gradius before the bus came to take us to school in the morning.
The Space Harrier franchise is arguably the fastest-paced shoot ’em up series of all time. It’s insane. The graphics still look great for a game that’s two and a half decades old. The sound quality is where it should be meaning we finally have the arcade perfect version of this game for home play and it’s a game that will wipe the floor with 75% of the people who play it because it’s that hard and outside the box with gameplay.
There are only two problems with this. The cost, which is eight bucks. Unless you are an audiophile or want the true arcade experience, the Ultimate Genesis Collection can be found for about twenty bucks these days and it gives a hell of a lot more games (But no Sword of Vermillion. Booo.) The second is that the wiimote is a piece of shit for this game so you’re going to need the Classic Controller for this. For the love of god, use the D-pad and not the analog stick. Analog sticks are shit for Shoot ‘Em Ups and it will just end up hurting you rather than helping you.
As this version of the game nets you unlimited continues a lot of thrill of finally beating this is gone. My advice is to try and beat the game will only a few continues for that realistic Arcade experience. Or you know, when you would bring twenty dollars in quarters to the arcade so you and your friends could finally take down the Lich King in Dungeons and Dragons the Arcade Game.
If you are even REMOTELY a fan of shoot-em up’s, you’ll want this game. There’s a reason why Space Harrier 2 was one of the top five most requested games Sega had for Genesis games when they first opened up the VC back in 2006. The arcade version of SH1 is EVEN f’n better, so if you’ve never played it and you don’t have a PS3 or 360, this is a must buy.
In other news what the fuck has Wii Ware and Square-Enix done to my lovely Rainbow Islands???
On that note, yes, one of the three (!?) new Wii Ware games this week is Rainbow Islands: Towering Adventure, which indeed looks like ass, though I felt it looked like ass the first time around. It’s 800 points if you’re interested. Rounding out this week’s releases is Let’s Catch, a game about playing catch for 1000 points (yes, seriously, catch, for 1000 points) and Eduardo the Samurai Toaster, which looks so bizarre in every possible way that it has to be good, for 800 points. Choose wisely…