Virtual Console Roundup

Fatal Fury 2, Ninja Combat, Last Ninja 2, Nebulus, Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Version tested Wii

There is, it transpires, a culinary treat in certain corners of Scotland called the Munch Box. Usually purchased from discerning takeaways at a late hour, and in a state when the human tastebuds are malfunctioning due to alcohol, it's a big box full of stuff. Kebab meat, curry, chips, naan bread, onion rings - it all gets thrown in together. Some of it is delicious, in an artery-hating fat-soaked sort of way, and some of it is just the dregs of the day's trade, palmed off on the pissed-up and confused to aid in the evacuation of booze-sloshed stomachs.

Following the unexplained fasting of last week, that's sort of what we've got on the Virtual Console this week. A bumper box of five games, all sloshing about in each other's grease and juice. So join me as I finish off my fifth can of Tennent's Super, start a fight with a lamppost and get stuck into some old games.

Fatal Fury 2

  • Platform: NeoGeo
  • Wii Points: 900
  • In Real Money: GBP 6.30 / EUR 9 (approx)

The original Fatal Fury was the first NeoGeo game to land on the VC, back in October 2007, and at the time I uttered these prophetic words: "The knowledge that there are even better games in the series, and that they'll certainly offer better value when they inevitably get added to the VC, is reason enough to hold off on this purchase for the time being."

If you followed that sage advice, and have been hanging on for eight months, then now is the time to relax. Fatal Fury 2 is finally here, and offers much more value for money than its ancestor. The paltry three playable characters from the first game get five new playmates, while there are now four boss characters (not playable, sadly) rather than the solitary and stupidly named Geese Howard. He's dead now, anyway.

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Other than this general beefing up, things are much the same. The two-lane arena is still a fixture, and you can now clobber opponents from one plane of action to another, while it's still a pretty tough game, even on the easiest setting. It's an enjoyable toughness, though, the sort that relies on skilled AI opponents to ratchet the challenge rather than demanding expertise in complex special moves.

The only caveat I'd offer is that the new four-button set-up proves something of a fudge when played on the remote. The game is technically playable this way but, with attacks mapped to the A button and B trigger, you'll tie your fingers in knots trying to combine them with the d-pad. Those with a classic controller, or - even better - an old GameCube pad, will have no such worries.

A big, bright, colourful and accessible fighting game then, and one that tips the crap/quality ratio of the VC a little in the right direction.

8/10

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