ron, Sep-14 2007

Confusing VC Friday

We're not sure why or how it happened, but way earlier than usual, there are three new Virtual Console games available on the Wii Shop Channel. Two of them were previously unreleased outside of Japan, the prices are different, and one of them is a timed offer. Will somebody please tell us what this means?

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels

This is actually the proper, sequel-shaped and real Super Mario Bros 2, but it was only released as such in Japan, until today that is.
The Lost Levels is kind of the hardcore expansion pack to Super Mario Bros, with such devious level designs that masters of the original control system, which is pretty much unchanged, can finally put their skills under a full stress-test. The game requires much more precise running, jumping and air-control than the original ever did.
Strangely enough, this game costs 600 points, which is 100 points more than the standard price for NES games.

Neutopia II

Like Neutopia I, this TurboGrafx sequel is the spitting image of the first Legend Of Zelda, and following its big, err, let's say "inspiration", it features a monster-ridden non-linear fantasy world that you will explore in a top-down perspective while picking up all sorts of new weapons and items, which in turn allow you to solve more puzzles and reach more areas.
It seems to be bigger, and the graphics are slightly more stylized, which means it aged better.

Mario's Super Picross

Picross is a popular logic-puzzle game involving the crunching and matching of numbers across the columns and rows of a grid. It's almost adequately described as a hybrid of Sudoku, Minesweeper and a picture book. You may have played this on the DS recently, albeit with better controls.
This game costs 900 points, 100 more than usual for SNES games.

Neutopia II is a pretty and satisfying adventure game, and we'd recommend you give this series a shot if you enjoyed Legend Of Zelda and/or A Link To The Past. The Nintendo originals should be played first though.
The other two are certainly curious, but should be skipped. The Lost Levels is amazingly hard and punishing. If you can play through Super Mario Bros without dying even once, you're ready to consider this. Otherwise spare yourself the humiliation.
Picross is a clever game, but it's much better with a stylus. We also don't approve of this price hike, at all, especially not for such a primitively presented puzzle game. The DS version may be even more expensive, but it controls better, looks better, sounds better and is much more portable of course. There's no reason to prefer an old version if it doesn't have any additional charms.


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