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Monday April 30, 2007 2:08 pm

Castlevania Heads To Virtual Console

ShockmanHeadlining this week’s Virtual Console releases is the original Castlevania for the NES. At 500 points, gamers can explore the origins of the franchise as it appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Those used to the later entries in the series will find this version somewhat limiting – the exploration elements and many of the control refinements wouldn’t appear until later releases. Instead, gamers will get six levels of sidescrolling platform action.

The other two releases this week could best be defined as “cult classics.” The Legend of the Mystical Ninja for the SNES probably didn’t have a huge following on its original release, but for 800 points gamers can experience the US-localized version of the Goemon series from Japan. The gameplay is fairly strong and graphically the game holds its own. Shockman is another arcade like title that mixes standard platforming stages with 2D shooting. At 600 points, the Turbografx16 title adds another quirky entry into the Virtual Console catalog.

Nintendo’s full press release continues below.

WII-KLY UPDATE: THREE NEW CLASSIC GAMES ANNOUNCED FOR WII SHOP CHANNEL

April 30, 2007

Vampires and ninjas and Shockmen, oh my! This week the Wii Shop Channel takes a trip into the world of ghoulish creatures, mystical curses and professorial abductions. See if you can remember which of these games sparked the whip-carrying craze of the late-‘80s! For the best retro gaming around, it’s time to pay a visit to the red-hot Wii™ video game system’s Wii Shop Channel.

The three new classic games go live at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Nintendo adds new games to the channel every Monday. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points™ to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. This week’s new games are:

Castlevania® (NES®, 1 player, 500 Wii Points): Step into the shadows of the deadliest dwelling on Earth. You’ve arrived at Castlevania, and you’re here on business: to destroy the curse of the Evil Count, once and for all. Make your way through six monstrous floors filled with bats, ghosts, zombies and every kind of ghoulish creature you can imagine. Use the legendary whip Vampire Killer and a host of deadly weapons to battle your way to Dracula’s chamber and the ultimate duel of good vs. evil.

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja™ (Super NES®, 1-2 players, 800 Wii Points): In The Legend of The Mystical Ninja, take control of Kid Ying and Dr. Yang in an action adventure through feudal Japan. A curse has stricken the village of Horo-Horo, and its beloved princess has vanished. Together Kid Ying, a daring young mystical ninja, and Dr. Yang, master of the invincible spirit transformation, must overcome 10 levels of the Dragonbeast to save Princess Yuki. Each stage contains intense 3-D and 2-D zones where the duo must perform dozens of attack moves and solve magical problems and puzzles before advancing. Battle humorous enemies like the Carp Meister, who stuns victims with poisonous fighting fish, Tanaka-U-Out, a knockout artist who wallops opponents with a bone-crushing hammer, and the Sumo Tag Team, kings of the unbeatable belly-buster crunch. Collect coins to buy new equipment and to receive clues, spend some time playing minigames in the arcade or try your luck and increase your fortune at the Quiz House and Horse Races.

Shockman (TurboGrafx16, 1-2 players, 600 Wii Points): It’s been two years since Arnold and Sonya were made into Shockmen. A message from the professor to return to their bodies has them head to his laboratory, but they are ambushed by a mysterious enemy along the way. After narrowly defeating the enemy, they catch a TV news flash announcing the Ryo Empire invasion. They find that the professor has been abducted and set out to rescue him. Shockman is a side-view action shooter that has eight stages, including Action Stages, where you jump and use special techniques, and side-scrolling Shooting Stages. This game expands on the well-paced story from the previous version and contains cooperative elements like shared life and a powerful Team Shockbeam that can be used during two-player simultaneous play.

For more information about Wii, please visit wii.com.

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