Wii Virtual Console Roundup • Page 2

This week's line-up rated for your retro pleasures.

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle

Original platform: SEGA Megadrive

Wii Points: 800

Why this has been released the same week as Wonder Boy is something of a mystery, since the comparison only serves to highlight just how badly SEGA botched it. Both are side-scrolling platform adventures, but the monkey-faced Alex Kidd - surely the lamest videogame character this side of Bubsy - has none of his rival's assured design or pitch-perfect control.


I'll admit to having enjoyed some of the previous Alex Kidd games, on a basic level, but by the time Enchanted Castle rolled around in 1989 the character was already looking woefully out of date. The result is this infantile effort, plagued by horrible floaty jumping movements, imprecise attack moves and abominable collision detection. All of these factors combine to produce a singularly underwhelming experience - especially as the slightest contact with an enemy (or even standing vaguely near them) means instant death. Joy.

If that's not bad enough, the game relies on a completely random game of Rock, Paper, Scissors for boss fights and bonus items. Victory comes from blind luck, and you'll sit there plugging away at the same sections over and over, hoping the law of averages means you'll eventually choose the right option and escape from this Groundhog Day gaming hell.


Virtua Fighter 2

Original platform: SEGA Megadrive

Wii Points: 800

Virtua Fighter! On the Wii! My God, you can taste the awesome already. can't. This isn't really Virtua Fighter 2. OK, it's called Virtua Fighter 2, but it isn't the ground-breaking 3D classic that dazzled you in the arcades back in 1994. Nor is it the SEGA Saturn version you remember from the following year.


No, this is the Megadrive version of Virtua Fighter 2 from 1996. Yeah. Virtua Fighter. On the Megadrive. How does that work? Answer: it doesn't. The most obvious change is the switch from 3D polygons to 2D sprites, so the main selling point of the series - punching guys who look like that Dire Straits video - is out of the window right from the start. You can also wave goodbye to several characters - though Jeffry McWild (hobby: reggae music) is still here, thankfully - and a bunch of moves and combos are also omitted to save precious memory. Movement is lumpen and clumsy, attacks are stiff and uninspiring and it's all a rather shoddy attempt at 2D fighting.

Games like this sadly shine an unforgiving spotlight on the flaws in the Virtual Console set-up, with the lack of a demo function leading to disappointment, but most notably the insistence on pricing them according to platform. There's simply no way this warrants 800 points simply because it appeared on the Megadrive rather than, say, the PC Engine.

You may squeeze a few minutes of amusement from the reasonably flexible options - such as the ability to give fighters infinite health - but when Street Fighter II is already available for download, and infinitely superior even in its earliest console incarnation, why would you bother?


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