Virtual Console Wrap-up – 10/26

Every so often, the VC comes out with something that breaks through the relative monotony of most weeks with something much anticipated. This week would just happen to be one of those weeks, as we’re getting Zombies Ate My Neighbors from the SNES, as well as the arcade version of Golden Axe, as a bit of a bonus. Let’s hear what DHGF has to say about them!

Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: Konami
Original Release Date: 1993
Cost: 800 Wii Points

Matt Yeager: Great, Zombie Ate My Nieghbors is FINALLY available on the service. Now get started on an HD remake that lets me play with Friends over Xbox Live and I’ll be happy.

Adam Powell: Oh man. I played a LOT of Zombies Ate My Neighbors back in the day. Me and my buddy Nick, a case of Diet Mountain Dew. This is pretty much what we’d do when it was too shitty out to go skate. I love that game. I like that 12 packs of soda are bombs. Awesome.

Guy Demarais: I love Zombies Ate My Neighbors. That was the original Zombies killing game. Well, there might have been more before, but this was the first one I cared about. I never really had much fun with the single-player game, as the difficulty seems to be made just right for two players, but gets annoying when played alone. Still, if you have someone to team up with, this is a game that will keep you addicted for a while. Great shooter, highly recommended.

Christopher Bowen: There are two types of people that will like Zombies Ate My Neighbors: those that like B-level horror movies and anything that takes the piss out of them, and those that just like good video games.

There’s a lot of good schlock here for fans of that, but this is really a well made video game. It’s a bit hard at times, and there are a few cheap hits, but welcome to mid-90s action gaming. There’s a steady difficulty curve, a lot of different weapons to use, and a fair amount of challenge later in the game. I don’t like password save systems, but if it bothers you that much, passwords are on GameFAQs. Welcome to late-00s gaming.

I recommend this game, even at the somewhat high $8 price point that SNES games go for. It’s also nice to see the VC finally getting some really good titles for a change. I’ve been hard on the VC lately, the way an overbearing father would be hard on his underperforming son, and this gives me at least a little bit of hope the service hasn’t tuned me out completely and started hanging out with the local hooligans.

Nathan Birch: This is not the kind of game I’d usually like, as run-and-gun shooters were never my thing, but this game is just undeniably fun. A lot of it comes down to the sheer variety and bits of classic Lucasarts cleverness sprinkled throughout. Oh, and I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, but hopefully this is the Genesis version with the blood intact!

Alex Lucard: While I’d prefer the Genesis version as it was a better overall game (and cheaper on the VC by two dollars), this is definitely a game that’s getting my money as I’ve been waiting for this since they announced it was coming to the Virtual Console nearly TWO YEARS AGO. Bit of a delay there guys, eh?

I love how over the top the zany parodies are and it’s as funny as the gameplay is frantic. A perfect choice for Hallowe’en.

Chuck Platt: Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a perfect time capsule of it’s time. The graphics are very 16-bit perfect, with enough detail to be cool and pixelly enough to remind you it started life on a cartridge. The music and voice were so good that it was one of like three or so SNES games that my friend Lang and I left the TV volume on and didn’t replace it with Pop Will Eat Itself or Weezer CDs on our boombox. Everything about Zombies Ate My Neighbors screams LucasArts in the best possible way, from the art design to the B-movie schlockiness of the plot. A true favorite of mine from the 16-bit era, a sort of pre-Loaded with one of my favorite player characters of all time. One of the few SNES games I still own and a game I recommend to anyone with a Wii and a pulse.

M.L. Kennedy: In Zombies Ate My Neighbors, you throw forks and spoons at werewolves to kill them.

Therefore, it is one of the greatest games of all time.

Mark B.: Zombies Ate My Neighbors is basically the exact sort of game the VC was made for: awesome classic games that few people got to play and many people really should. Back when LucasArts cared about making awesome games, Zombies Ate My Neighbors was one of their better efforts, as it was essentially a hilarious overhead run-and-gun shooter where you fought zombies, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls with weird weapons in environments that were practically ripped from every bad horror movie ever.

In short: it was awesome.

I concur with Alex that the Genesis version of the game (IE the less edited version) would have been the better choice, but in the end, I’m willing to part with my cash for the SNES version, as quality gaming should be rewarded regardless, and it might encourage LucasArts to go back to making GOOD games instead of all of the mediocre Star Wars games they’ve been churning out. I doubt it, but one never knows.

Golden Axe
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Original Release Date: 1989
Cost: 900 Wii Points

Mark B.: I’m not nearly as objectionable to the release of the arcade version of Golden Axe on the VC as one might think. I mean, I don’t need to own it (it was released on the Xbox Live Arcade a while back), and the Genesis version is generally better in that it plays a little better than the arcade version and offers more stages (though the arcade version looks better), but still, I’m fine with the release. As I’ve said before, I like that people are releasing arcade games for the console, I like that inevitably this means we’ll see things like Outrun and Elevator Action on the Wii, and honestly, Golden Axe is a fine game, overall.

On the other hand, the arcade version on Xbox Live is $5, almost HALF the cost on the VC, and I can get the Genesis version from like ten different places, so I don’t think this is something y’all need to run out and buy.

Alex Lucard: Oh god Sega, give it a rest. You want to give us Arcade games. How about House of the Dead? How about Virtua Fighter? How about Spider-Man? You’ve over-exposed Golden Axe since the 16 bit era. This game hasn’t aged well, it wasn’t very good in the first place and you keeping trying to rehash it as if the 42nd port of this game is going to suddenly make people care. Stop stop stop.

Christopher Bowen: Oh, yeah… uh, there’s another game, isn’t there?

Uh, so… OK, uh, Golden Axe, uh… ah, fuck it. This game has been shoved down our throats before, and it didn’t age well from twenty years ago. Skip it.

Nathan Birch: Despite arcades having a reputation of being better than consoles back in the day, the arcade version of a game wasn’t always better than the console port (a point illustrated perfectly by last week’s VC release of the arcade version of Rygar). Thankfully this isn’t the case with the arcade version of Golden Axe, with looks infinitely better than the Genesis version and is generally just a more satisfying play. Yeah, the Genesis version got a couple extra levels, but the arcade version still comes out on top in my opinion.

Of course the question is whether you still want to play a Golden Axe game in 2009. They were solid brawlers, but kind of slow and clunky compared to the likes of Streets of Rage or Final Fight. If you must play Golden Axe though, this is probably the best way to do it.

Wii Ware this week sees Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the Leviathan, as usual, for 1000 points, and Ghost Mansion Party, a Halloween-themed Mario Party-ish game for the whole family, for another 1000 points. Until next time, I whole-heartily recommend Zombies Ate My Neighbors (and kind of Ghost Mansion Party, which looks okay except for the price tag) for the upcoming holiday.



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