Minna No VC Friday
More Virtual Console releases popped up today on the European Wii Shop Channel, as we all expected.
Breath Of Fire 2
An epic Japanese RPG where an ancient evil threatens the world and begs for a hero to squash it. Battles are turn-based and the franchise twist is the ability to transform your own hero into a much more powerful dragon form. It's very long, somewhat hard-coreish, has very good art and controls reasonably well.
We feel a bit of shame now for recommending the NES version of Galaga back when that released, as this updated TurboGrafx version really is a lot nicer. The general point still stands though: it's a great little arcade shooter, stage based, somewhat similar to Space Invaders but much more interesting. Enemies can break out of their formation and dive at you, your ship may end up taken hostage, you may get it back and use two at once etc. Quite casual-friendly, too.
A fast recreation of the sport where, not unlike Ice Hockey, you again control an entire team's movement with just one d-pad, resulting in tough calls and chaos, especially in multi-player mode. And again, as the game doesn't have a grand structure, it doesn't have much longetivity when playing alone.
The easiest thing to skip is Volleyball, though it does have its merits as a multi-player game.
Breath Of Fire 2 is the real deal, it's a huge game with a grand story, and as much as we're thrilled with the possibility of SNES-generation RPGs coming onto the Virtual Console, this particular specimen isn't quite the reason why. Breath Of Fire 2 is very ambitious and serious in its story-telling, but it lacks that polish you'd expect from a Square production in its gameplay and control. It certainly is no Chrono Trigger. As such we appreciate the notion but would recommend skipping this, waiting a few months and then reconsidering the options. We're confident that by christmas this year there will be more and better RPGs to choose from.
Galaga '90 … yeah. We really like it, and you might, too, but please don't expect much structure. It really is just a high-score hunt. While '90 makes the original's infinite equal waves of enemies a little more interesting by throwing in boss fights and bonus stages, there is nothing in the way of proper levels, like in, say, Super Star Soldier and friends or Gradius.
The recommended course of action for the week is to contemplate whether an arcadey wave-shooter would be worth 6€ to you, and to skip the rest.