Virtual Console Roundup • Page 2

Flickies Island, Ghost Samurai and Art of Fighting.

Samurai Ghost

  • Platform: TurboGrafx 16
  • Wii Points: 600
  • In Real Money: GBP 4.20 / EUR 6 (approx)

Samurai Ghost is actually one of my favourite TurboGrafx games, although I should qualify that statement by reminding you, gentle reader, that I do have a weakness for bizarre games that attempted something new and failed, but in an interesting manner.

In concept, Samurai Ghost is a fairly obvious scrolling platformer-slash-fighter-slash-shooter. You control a red-haired sword-wielding fellow - quite possibly the samurai ghost of the title - and must stroll from left to right, despatching enemies with your sword or by hurling big swooshy magic attacks right into their stupid enemy faces. The reason for all this is unclear - "It's an order from the king of heaven!" cackles the opening screen, which sounds fair enough - but story isn't what this is about.

No, what makes Samurai Ghost interesting is that it attempts to mimic a more realistic sword fighting style, with your characters floppy arms moved up and down with the direction buttons allowing you to line up overhead chops and low slices as well as the standard forwards attack. It doesn't really work, of course. But they tried, and that's the main thing.

Other than that, the standard gameplay and uninspiring pace mean that Samurai Ghost is a fun curio for collectors of oddball gaming obscurities such as myself, but not something most gamers should bother with.

5/10

Art of Fighting

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

Another week, another blast from the NeoGeo trumpet, and its one that's well worth heeding. After the rather flimsy World Heroes, it's nice to see a proper NeoGeo fighting series make its debut.

3

The first thing that jumps out with Art of Fighting is the sprites - enormous, colourful and superbly animated, with SNK's arcade expertise put to good use in terms of sheer "ohmygodthatlooksamazing" impact. The second is the fighting itself; fast but not impossible, tough but fair, complex but accessible. It's not a game for button-mashers, but nor do you need to have memorised thirty different split-second combos in order to make progress.

The only things that should prevent you from downloading it immediately are repetition - unless you're a beat-'em-up completist, there's nothing here you can't already get from the cheaper Street Fighter games on the VC - and expectation; this is the first in the series, and thus features a limited selection of characters. The later titles will surely be available soon, either on the VC or as part of the planned Wii port of the Art of Fighting Anthology set.

8/10

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About the author

Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead

Contributor

Dan has been writing for Eurogamer since 2006 and specialises in RPGs, shooters and games for children. His bestest game ever is Julian Gollop's Chaos.

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