Nebulus

  • Platform: C64
  • Wii Points: 500
  • In Real Money: GBP 3.50 / EUR 5 (approx)

Now here's a C64 game that's better suited to the Wii. In fact, Nebulus fits in so well with the modern casual gaming mindset that I'd be amazed if some enterprising developer wasn't beavering away on a remake right now.

You are Pogo, a wide-eyed green froggy thing and for reasons that are never fully explained you must ascend a series of towers, which then makes them fall down. Unlike most platform games, you can actually scroll all the way around their cylindrical shapes, using doors and lifts to move you up and down, dodging the various geometric shapes that float menacingly about the place.

Like all the best games, it's a simple concept that steadily introduces more wrinkles to keep you on your toes. What really makes Nebulus shine is some memorable level design, which places the game somewhere between the platform and puzzle genres. The time limits are pretty tight - you've basically got enough time to get to the top with minimal mistakes - and the game is sometimes a little unfair in the way you can emerge from a door right into the path of an enemy, but otherwise this is yet another solid example of why the C64 deserves its place on the Virtual Console.

7/10

Alex Kidd in Miracle World

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

Roughly this time last year, the VC played host to Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, the penultimate entry for SEGA's first corporate mascot, a young chap swiftly abandoned once that speedy blue hedgehog turned up. Now we're rewinding all the way back to the beginning, and 1986, for the jug-eared whelp's first ever outing.

Enchanted Castle was outdated mush, but Miracle World - for all its rudimentary appearance - still retains a lot of charm. It's a platform game, for the most part, but it manages to spice up the basic run, jump and collect gameplay with a bunch of features that suggest the creators had been paying attention to Nintendo's nascent Zelda franchise during production.

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Alex collects money wherever he goes, and also finds all sorts of magical items to help him defeat or avoid the numerous and instantly deadly enemies blocking his path. He jumps, he swims, he rides in a speedboat, he's a versatile little fellow and the game mixes things up frequently, which helps prevent the basic gameplay from becoming tiresome.

It's ideal for younger gamers, then, or at least it would be if it weren't for the floaty collision detection, ruthless restarts and rock-paper-scissors boss fights. Aging SEGA fans will tell you that there is a system to beat these fights every time, but that doesn't make them any less clunky.

Miracle World is one of those retro games that requires a certain amount of forgiveness for its rough edges, and being able to put it in the context of its original release is helpful, but there's more than enough amusement here to make it something of a bargain at the lowest tier of the VC price structure.

7/10

About the author

Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead

Senior Contributor, Eurogamer.net

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.

More articles by Dan Whitehead

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