Virtual Console Roundup • Page 2

Yoshi's Cookie, Wonder Boy, Fantasy Zone, Cali Games, Impossible Mission.

Fantasy Zone

  • Platform: Master System
  • Wii Points: 500
  • In Real Money: GBP 3.50 / EUR 5 (approx)

The second Master System offering is this curious shoot-'em-up, which takes the basic template of Defender and cutes it up until you want to puke. You're in control of Opa-Opa, a colourful little spaceship that must flit left to right and back again around pastel-hued levels. Blast the enemies, scoop up the coins they drop and spend your loot to beef up your weapons for the inevitable boss fights.

I tend not to point out the technical issues on every VC review, simply because I'd get tired of cutting and pasting comments about black borders and I think most retro-heads are pretty resigned to the fact that most games will suffer from some hiccups in that area. Much like Wonder Boy, however, Fantasy Zone suffers from some extremely noticeable sprite flickering which can be a real hindrance to the gameplay. The controls feel fudgey as well, with sluggish forward movement contrasted with a surprisingly speedy turn-around move. The result makes it hard to navigate with the sort of nimble grace you need in a shoot-'em-up, no matter how cute it looks.

As always, there are better choices available.

6/10

Wonder Boy

  • Platform: Master System
  • Wii Points: 500
  • In Real Money: GBP 3.50 / EUR 5 (approx)

First of all, who remembers the announcement that Master System games would be 400 Points? Hmm? And yet here they are, for 500. If I was conspiracy minded, I'd wonder aloud that maybe Nintendo got cranky about SEGA undercutting the price of the NES games, but I'll leave such ruminations to the tinfoil hat brigade.

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That's because we've got bigger grumbles to fry, such as the once baffling and now downright unnerving proliferation of Wonder Boy games on the Virtual Console. Not content with uploading Wonder Boy in Monster World twice (once in its Megadrive incarnation, again as Dynastic Hero), we now get our second version of the original Wonder Boy.

See, this exact same game already joined the VC in February, under the title Adventure Island, which was the name given to the NES remix.

Even without the rather misleading repetition, there's little reason to recommend this. It's decent enough for its vintage, but definitely marred by clunkiness - both in the original design and this rather flickery emulation. I feel like I've said this a hundred times in these round-ups, but the Virtual Console isn't exactly short of cute platformers - and there are plenty that are better than this early effort.

5/10

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