Home
Twitter
RSS
Newsletter
David Low
01 Aug, 2007

Virtual Console review round-up: NES

Wii Feature | We give our verdict on the Virtual Console's 8-bit offerings.
The Wii's Retro gaming download service, the Virtual Console, has gone from strength to strength, and has already passed the 100 game mark in all territories. With so many titles available, it can be hard to make a purchasing decision, especially if you don't know anything about a particular game and all you're going on is the short description in the Wii shop menu. Well, PALGN has decided to come to the rescue, and create a database of mini-reviews for all Virtual Console content. Over the next few weeks we'll be covering every single game available on the service, sorted by the console the games originally appeared on.

This week, we begin with the Nintendo's original home system, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

About NES games on the Virtual Console

The emulation of all systems is absolutely fantastic on the Virtual Console. It's definitely head and shoulders above the emulation quality we've seen in any of the various retro compilation discs you can buy. The NES in particular runs in true low-resolution on the Wii, giving the games that sharp look missing from other retro emulations, which usually scale the original image to their host console's output resolution resulting in a smeared image. Basically, if you use a standard AV cable, playing an NES game on the VC is almost identical to plugging the original system into your TV. Using the Wii's component cable allows for an even sharper picture and richer colours, and combined with the near perfect emulation, NES games have never looked so good. NES games on Virtual Console support the 'interrupt' feature, which allows you to pause a game at any point with the Wii home button and pick up exactly where you left off later, effectively giving every game a single save state. They also support playing with the Wii Remote turned sideways, making them ideal choices for a quick pick up and play between disc-based Wii games. And at 500 points, NES games are the lowest priced software on the system.

PAL conversion issues

PAL TV is actually a superior format to NTSC, with increased resolution, less flicker, and a far better colour system, with the only downside being a slightly lower framerate (50fps instead of NTSC's 60fps) which was chosen to match the 50Hz frequency of PAL countries' AC power supply. Unfortunately these differences mean that when it comes to games, a little effort has to be made by developers to run NTSC designed code on our televisions. The PAL NES was nearly identical to the NTSC model, the only major hardware difference being a modified picture processing unit. Some NES games were converted to run very well in PAL, but until later in the 8-bit generation, most were not.

The easiest way to convert a game to PAL is to simply squash the lower resolution NTSC picture into the middle of the screen, and run the game program 17% slower (60Hz to 50Hz). Since the NES resolution needed to scale differently to PAL TVs, and many round-tube TVs in the early 80s cut the top and bottom off the picture signal, a slightly squashed image was actually somewhat necessary at the time. But the slower gameplay issue is one that still hasn't been universally corrected in PAL games more then 20 years later.

All NES games on the PAL Virtual Console retain the PAL conversion they originally received, be it good or bad. It's easy to see why Nintendo have done this – they can't simply speed up all games 17%, as the games already converted well would then run far too fast. Hopefully in the future some kind of switch could be applied so PAL gamers can decide which version they prefer, but in the meantime all we can do is make informed decisions.

Below is a photographic comparison of three different versions of Castlevania. All shots were taken of the same standard definition 4:3 TV using original gaming hardware - respectively an AV Famicom (Japanese NTSC NES), a top loading PAL NES and a PAL Wii.

NTSC original, PAL original, PAL VC version- click for a larger view

NTSC original, PAL original, PAL VC version- click for a larger view
Close
As you can see, the image has been squashed in the original PAL release, and this has been maintained for Castlevania's PAL Virtual Console debut. This version of the game also plays 17% slower then the US and Japanese versions. The slow gameplay really isn't too much of a problem, as NES games weren't very fast to begin with - you almost have to compare it side by side with the NTSC version to even notice much difference in speed. But what can get on your nerves is when the soundtrack is slow – music really seems to drag on when it's run slower then it was supposed to be played. The only upside of the PAL versions is that there is slightly less slowdown and sprite flicker, since these games have effectively been under-clocked.

Castlevania, however, is pretty much the worst case scenario. Surprisingly many high-profile NES games were nicely converted to PAL for their original release, and this has been carried over to the Virtual Console as well. Take Super Mario Bros 2, for example.

PAL VC version on the right - click for a larger view

PAL VC version on the right - click for a larger view
Close
As you can see, the difference in screen size is much smaller in this case. On top of this, PAL Mario 2 runs almost as fast as the NTSC version, and the music has been sped up to match the NTSC speed perfectly. The version on the left is the original NTSC Japanese Doki Doki Panic game which became Super Mario Bros 2 in the west.

So which games fall into which category? Generally, first party games feature small borders, a full speed soundtrack, and gameplay that is only slightly slower then the NTSC originals – maybe about 5% slower. Third party titles are generally converted badly, with large borders and 17% slower gameplay and soundtrack compared to their NTSC versions. But later third party games were also converted well. We've listed all issues associated with each game in their individual review.

Our Virtual Console ratings system

We've given every game a 'buy' rating of 'Yes', 'Maybe', or 'No'

Yes means this is a very high quality game, and we have no problem recommending it to anyone as long as they like the genre.

Maybe means we think the game is good, but not necessarily for everyone. If you know the game or like the sound of the description, go for it

No means we think that unless you have some nostalgia for this title, it probably isn't worth your time or money today.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Games listed in alphabetical order

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Adventures of Lolo
Price: 500 Points
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Originally released: 1989 (US), 1991 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A great little top down puzzle game from HAL, you control Lolo who must collect heart icons on each of 50 levels in a quest to save princess Lala. It's quite slow paced, but considered an action puzzle classic due to some clever level designs that will really tax your brain. Old puzzle games are not for everyone, but if that's what you're after then this should be on top of your VC shopping list.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Balloon Fight
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1984 (Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A Joust clone with cuter (and less bizarre) graphics and sound, Balloon Fight is pretty basic, but addictive in that old-school arcade kinda way. In the main game, you must pop the balloons of your enemies while defending your own, then knock them off the single-screen playing field. The challenging Balloon Trip mode adds a bit of longevity, but this download is only worth it if you're after some quick early 80s arcade fun.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Baseball
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1983 (Japan), 1985 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

Another one not to bother with, Baseball is so old it's barely above Atari VCS level simplicity.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Castlevania
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Konami
Originally released: 1986 (Japan), 1988 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Larger borders, slower gameplay, slower soundtrack.

  

Konami's vampire hunting platformer was an amazing game upon release, and stands the text of time well. Detailed (for NES) graphics, tight controls and some of the best tunes ever put in a game compliment the brilliantly designed stages. It's only six levels long, but it's ridiculously hard from level four's boss onward, so you won't be finishing it any time soon. Definitely worth the points, even if the PAL version isn't quite ideal.

Worth buying? Yes

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donkey Kong
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1983 (In Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed sound

  

When first released in Japan in 1983, this was a pretty awesome version of the popular arcade game. These days, it's a compromised port of a classic but ancient game, and not really worth it apart from the nostalgia.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donkey Kong Jr.
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1983 (Japan), 1987 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

Another ancient Nintendo arcade game, and the Donkey Kong family's debut as a playable characters, Donkey Kong Jr. stars as the monkey who must save his dad after Mario captured him. Only four one-screen levels and clunky controls make nostalgia the only reason to bother with this game, classic or otherwise.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donkey Kong Jr. Math
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1984 (Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

Edutainment games have pretty much always sucked. Donkey Kong Jr. Math isn't horrible, but it's not that fun, and it's even hard to see how kids would learn anything from it. It took Nintendo 25 years to make Maths semi-fun in Brain Training, but this lesson simply isn't worth the 250+250 points.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Excitebike
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1984 (Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

This simple motorbike game is beloved by many NES fans for its addictive 2D racing gameplay. It hasn't aged terribly well, and has only five tracks, but Excitebike is a charming game that can still be fun in short bursts. And with the Wii's 'interrupt' feature, you can finally save your created tracks (to some extent).

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Galaga
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Namco
Originally released: 1988
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

One of the better Space Invaders rip-offs in the early 80s was Namco's Galaga. featuring more elaborate enemy patterns and more colourful graphics, this one will take any child of the 80's right back. This NES version is a great port, and the game is some old-school arcade fun.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gradius
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Konami
Originally released: 1986 (Japan), 1988 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Larger borders, slower gameplay, slower soundtrack.

  

The beginning of Konami's long running horizontally scrolling shooter series, and still a hard but fun game today. The NES version was a decent port of the arcade for the time, but we've since seen better ports, and it's hard to go back. Nintendo and Hudson have confirmed that the almost arcade perfect PC Engine (TurboGrafx) version will be coming to the VC in Japan, so it may be worth waiting to see if we get that before buying this one.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ice Climber
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1985 (Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

An odd vertically scrolling platformer, Ice Climber stars an Eskimo who must climb mountains while fending off animals and traps. It's fun but a little rough around the edges, so consider this one on the lower end of 'maybe'.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ice Hockey
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1988
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

This one is actually ok. Ice Hockey has cute graphics and is surprisingly deep for such an old game. Konami's Blades of Steel eventually made this game obsolete on the NES, but Ice Hockey's approachability makes it a fun pick-up game for two players even today.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kid Icarus
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1986 (Japan), 1987 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

An early semi free-roaming platforming adventure from the same team as Metroid, Kid Icarus is a fun little game starring an angel named Pit, who must save Angel Land from Medusa. It's a classic game, with nice solid graphics and a decent long-term challenge. Worth a look

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kirby's Adventure
Price: 500 Points
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Originally released: 1993X
PAL conversion issues: Larger borders, full speed gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A very late NES game, Kirby's Adventure maxed out the system, and actually looked better then many 16-bit games at the time. Kirby's console debut after two Game Boy games, it also packs a lot of content, as Kirby progresses though many colourful worlds, absorbing enemy powers and defeating bosses, all to save Dreamland. It's quite easy, but plays great and at the NES price of 500 points it is possibly the best value game on the Virtual Console. Highly recommended.

NOTE: you may notice some flickering on the left side of the screen when playing Kirby's Adventure – this is normal, and has been carried over from the original NES release.

Worth buying? Yes

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mach Rider
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1985 (Japan), 1987 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

Nintendo's early take on the combat racing genre, with something of a Mad Max flavour. This may have been edgy in 1985, and there are a few different modes, but nowadays it's a pretty bland combative motorcycle racer. The saving grace is a level editor, and thanks to the Wii you can keep your levels when the machine is turned off. This one just scrapes into the 'maybe' category.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mario & Yoshi
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1991 (Japan), 1992 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

Another weird Nintendo puzzle game, you play as Mario who must swap columns to match up falling enemies and Yoshi eggs. It seems like a primitive version of what would go on to be Nintendo's best ever puzzle game, Panel de Pon (also known as Tetris Attack and Puzzle League). It's fun enough for puzzle game nuts though.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mario Bros.
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1983 (In Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

An ancient static screen arcade game, Mario Bros is historically important for introducing many of the now classic Mario elements, including his younger brother Luigi. The NES version is pretty good port, but it's only worth it if you want some simple arcade action.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mega Man
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Capcom
Originally released: 1987 (Japan), 1989 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Larger borders, slower gameplay, slower soundtrack.

  

The game that started it all (Capcom has released 117 sequels and spin-offs, and counting), the original Mega Man is a tough, uncompromising beast that had amazing graphics and sound for its day. A poor PAL conversion hurts it, and it may be worth waiting for the superior sequels (which incidentally all received much better PAL conversions), but you still can't go too far wrong with the blue bomber's first appearance.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Metroid
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1986 (Japan), 1987 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A remarkable non-linear space adventure released in 1986, Metroid stars the enigmatic Samus Aran. Her mission on the planet Zebes is to stop the Space Pirates' plans to use the dangerous Metroid life-form as a weapon. The graphics are simple but still striking, and thanks to some great level design and one of the best soundtracks on the NES the game drips with atmosphere. You can technically finish the game in under an hour, but to start with it's very easy to get lost, and energy harvesting can get repetitive if you're in a tight spot.

It's almost causing this writer physical pain to not give this game a 'yes', but the original Metroid is just so unforgiving it can't be recommended for everyone these days. It's still worth a look for anyone with some patience (and a good map from Gamefaqs.com), but the spectacular GBA re-make Metroid: Zero Mission will be the way to go for those after an easy way to experience Samus' first adventure.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mighty Bomb Jack
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Tecmo
Originally released: 1987
PAL conversion issues: Larger borders, slower gameplay, slower soundtrack.

  

An odd little old-school platformer from Tecmo, Mighty Bomb Jack hasn't aged incredibly well. And the dinky graphics, tinny music and floaty jumps make it seem even older then it is. May be worth it for fans, but most people should give it a miss.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

NES Open Tournament Golf
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1991 (Japan), 1992 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A late-generation NES game, Open Tournament Golf looks pretty damn good for the 8-bit system. It is, however, a very dated golf simulation, utilizing the standard 'power meter' to take your shot. Unfortunately it's not very accurate, and it sometimes seems your NES (er...Wii) needs to be in a good mood for you to make a putt. Wii Golf is sitting right there in your Wii box, and we suggest you wait for the N64 Mario Golf for your old-school golfing needs.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pac-Man
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Namco
Originally released: 1984 (Japan), 1993 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A good version of the classic arcade game, Pac-Man would be a great game to waste a few minutes with every now and then. Solid but basic presentation, as addictive as ever.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pinball
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1984 (Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A very old pinball simulator. There's only a single two-screen high table, and the graphics are dated and basic. Yet thanks to some decent ball physics, it's still quite playable and addictive, and has a certain retro charm. Only if you like pinball though.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Punch-Out!!
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1987
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

Originally released as Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Punch-Out!! is in many people's opinion still the best boxing game ever made. While the gameplay really boils down to pattern memorization, it's incredibly fun and addictive. The visuals are simple but still full of character, the soundtrack is great, and the presentation fantastic. An absolute classic that's as fresh as the day it was released, and a perfect pick-up game on the Wii. Download it now.

Worth buying? Yes

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Soccer
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1985 (Japan), 1987 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

It's strange Nintendo is even bothering with such old sports games, but we're sure someone out there remembers them fondly and will want another go all these years later. Soccer is a limited and clunky version of the sport, don't bother.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Solomon's Key
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Tecmo
Originally released: 1987 (Japan), 1989 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Larger borders, slower gameplay, slower soundtrack.

  

An action-puzzler from Tecmo in the vein of Lode Runner. You play as a tiny wizard who can create and destroy blocks, and you must navigate your way around 50 rooms full of traps and enemies. Not the best looking game around, but worth a look if you want to use your reflexes and brains a bit.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Super Mario Bros.
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1985 (Japan), 1987 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, full speed gameplay, slightly faster then NTSC soundtrack

  

The highest selling game of all time by quite a margin, Super Mario Bros. is still every bit as great today as it was when it single handedly re-defined gaming in the mid 80s. The bright, imaginative graphics, amazing control, and subtle physics make it fun for everyone to have a go, but there's plenty of meat to the game, and it remains a hard but fair challenge. With the Wii's interrupt feature adding to the pick-up value even more, this would be a fantastic addition to anybody's Virtual Console library.

Worth buying? Yes

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Super Mario Bros. 2
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1988 (US), 1989 (PAL), Doki Doki Panic 1987 (Japan)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

You may know the story – the original Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 was really just an expert-level expansion pack of Super Mario Bros, and it wasn't even designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. So for a western sequel, Nintendo had Miyamoto take another game he had recently created – a licenced game based on the TV show 'Dream Factory' called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (Dream Factory: Heartbeat Panic) and retro-fitted it to become a Mario game. It was also released in Japan as Super Mario USA. Being a Miyamoto creation, Doki Doki Panic already featured some Mario elements (such as POW blocks), but its obtuse heritage meant it was quite different from the original game in many ways, and the game ended up broadening the design aesthetic of the Mario universe dramatically, particularly influencing Yoshi's Island. You can select to play as Mario Luigi, Princess and Toad, each with different abilities, and instead of jumping on enemies, you can pick them up and throw them.

It's a fantastic non-linear platformer with great graphics, catchy music, fun gameplay, and interesting levels, and would be a great VC download for anyone.

Worth buying? Yes

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Konami
Originally released: 1989 (Japan), 1990 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Larger borders, slightly slower gameplay, slower soundtrack.

  

While the original arcade beat-em up was more accessible, this action-adventure Turtles game was pretty great for its day too. Featuring a combination of overhead and side scrolling sections, you'll have to use your brain and patience as well as platforming skills to beat this long and involved quest. Some overly frustrating sections and some weird enemy designs bring it down slightly, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is still a great looking and playing game with a fantastic soundtrack. Don't expect to finish it with all your hair intact, however.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tennis
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1984 (Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

NES Tennis was pretty good in its day, but simply rotate the Remote 90 degrees you can use it to play that other tennis game that came with your Wii. Though if Nintendo releases SNES Super Tennis on the VC we'll change our tune quickly.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Legend of Zelda
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1985 (Japan), 1987 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A revolution when released in 1985, Zelda re-defined gaming with its long and involved quest. Remarkably this top-down action adventure holds up very well even to this day.

Worth buying? Yes

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Urban Champion
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1984 (Japan), 1986 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A fighter so old we're surprised the original cartridge wasn't made of wood, Urban Champion is the very model of a game that has aged badly. The gameplay becomes tedious in seconds, and any novelty it originally held has been lost in the last two decades. Avoid.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wario's Woods
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1994
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

An interesting late-generation NES puzzle game that blends platforming with Tetris. You control Toad, who must destroy block sized enemies in chains of the same colour – the twist being you actually run around the playing field and do it rather then use a cursor. Nice graphics for the NES, but it's just another puzzler.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Xevious
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Namco
Originally released: 1988
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

A very old vertical scrolling shooter from Namco. There are far better shooters on the VC (mostly TurboGrafx games), so we really can't recommend this one.

Worth buying? No

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Price: 500 Points
Developer: Nintendo
Originally released: 1987 (Japan), 1988 (PAL)
PAL conversion issues: Small borders, slightly slower gameplay, full speed soundtrack

  

Often referred to as the 'black sheep' of the Zelda series (unless you count the illegitimate Phillips produced CD-i games), Zelda II certainly is an odd mix of RPG and adventuring. It's also a very rewarding and innovative game for those willing to invest the time in it, but the steep learning curve and sometimes obtuse design mean it's not quite for everyone. Definitely worth considering – think of this as the very peak of our 'maybe' rating.

Worth buying? Maybe

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Phew! That's it for the NES for now, but we'll keep you updated as new games are released. Check back this time next week for our coverage of another retro system's games.

Related Content

Virtual Console review round-up: Turbografx
30 Aug, 2007 NEC's lost console finally makes its way to Australia.
Virtual Console review round-up: Mega Drive
23 Aug, 2007 Sega now does what Nintendoes.
Virtual Console review round-up: N64
15 Aug, 2007 Updated to cover releases to 23rd November 2007
20 Comments
6 years ago
Look out for the rest of PALGN's reviews in the next few weeks.

Brilliant article David.
6 years ago
Awesome read David, you've put a lot of effort into this.
6 years ago
Well done, kudos on the score system too, i really think this works much better for a niche setup like vc/live games.Plus it cuts down on the whole 'is the 7 in graphics comparable to a 7 on a ps3 or....?'

Really nice writeup, all the screenshot comparisons and and ntsc/pal/vc matchups would be much appreciated for those who only want to download the best.

Well done, i'm waiting for the xbox live roundup.
6 years ago
Wow, awesome article, very informative!

Happy to see big write-ups like this.
6 years ago
Live reviews will be handled like normal PALGN reviews, XBLA reviews will be a little more lengthy.
6 years ago
Great article. Would've been nice to maybe have an extra screenshot or two per game though. Spotted the odd typo here and there on my readthrough...but wasn't bothersome enough for me to go back and find out where icon_smile.gif

Is this article going to be added to as new games get released? If not, how are future VC-NES release reviews going to be handled?
6 years ago
good article. there are a few games there i was interested in, but this has changed some of those choices.

look forwards to the next roundup.
6 years ago
I'd imagine this roundup would just be exapnded upon as new games are released for vc.

Or.......am i wrong?Will they be done in blocks?
6 years ago
After all consoles have been covered, we'll periodically produce articles covering new releases for all formats, edit the new entries into these articles, and link to them.
6 years ago
Yeah well bowled Dave, great stuff. 10/10.

Lolo as a maybe though....hurts me icon_smile.gif
6 years ago
Great article David, these really help my predicament (as u saw & helped in before)

I'm looking at these from that list as 'to be' downloads:
- Zelda 2 (almost a Yes)
- Kid Icarus (due to SSBB rebirth)
- Castlevania
- SMB:2
- Metroid
- and, Megaman

icon_biggrin.gif

but Solomon's Key, a Maybe....
Shame on u icon_razz.gif
6 years ago
Brilliant!

Hopefully in the future now I won't be regretting any of my download choices.

I look forward to the SNES, N64 and Megadrive roundups.

David, did you purchase every game to test it? Had you also played all the originals on the NES?
6 years ago
That's a lot of maybe's, haha. But still, really great work.

The VC really is awesome. I know people whinge about the prices, but when you think about it, a NES game costs the same as a meal from Maccas. Surely it's worth it icon_razz.gif

I look forward to the other systems.
6 years ago
I've said it before and i'll say it again....David's articles are the best on the Internet, add to that the fact that the man actually has taste and you've pretty much got yourself a definate buyer's guide.

Chock another one up to the pile....that is frickin' awesome. The use of screen shots and relevant details in unmatched.

Awesome stuff David.
6 years ago
You know, come to think of it i have't been able to find a more concise list of vc's titles(well nes ones at least, the others will come in time).

Gamespot, ign, all piss weak comapred to this.This is the sort of article those guys link too, because they can't improve on let alone match.
6 years ago
Excellent article David. The comparison pictures speak for themselves. Its a shame to see the PAL conversions run at a slower framerate.

Is it only notocable when running next to its NTSC counterpart or is it noticeable anyway?

Nice list, top article.
6 years ago
Well i can speak for pal/ntsc super nes games Jim and as long as you don't play the ntsc(aka the faster one), you won't notice any slowdown in the pal copy, because, frankly, you don't know what your missing out on.

It's really strange plaling an ntsc version of a game you've played to death on pal, like super mario world, all the timing for your jumps and fire flower shot etc are just a lil bit out of whack(well, technically, 'in whack' as the pal timings are out of whack).
6 years ago
A few answers:
doofus wrote
David, did you purchase every game to test it? Had you also played all the originals on the NES?
In terms of reviewing the game content, I own or have owned the original cart (or disk in some Japanese cases) or have downloaded every game here - except for Donkey Kong Jr Math, although I have played it.

My comments on the PAL conversions of VC games are based on the games I have downloaded, and from research, but I'm confident the information is correct for every game.

Jim Dash wrote
Its a shame to see the PAL conversions run at a slower framerate.

Is it only notocable when running next to its NTSC counterpart or is it noticeable anyway?
It's not really a framerate issue, just a speed issue.

For well converted games, it's really no problem at all. For poor conversions, like Mega Man and Castlevania, the slower gameplay speed isn't very noticeable unless you're used to the NTSC speed, but the larger borders and slow music are noticeable.
6 years ago
Good work David, nice and fair. Though personally I would have been fairer to Mega Man and Metroid and more harsh to TMNT.
6 years ago
People are paying for games I played for free on my C64 two decades ago!? icon_razz.gif Fantastic round-up all the same.
Add Comment
Like this feature?
Share it with this tiny url: http://palg.nu/6p

N4G : News for Gamers         Twitter This!

Digg!     Stumble This!

| More
Currently Popular on PALGN
Australian Gaming Bargains - 08/12/11
'Tis the season to be bargaining.
R18+ Legislation
R18+ Legislation
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Preview
Hands on time with the game. Chat time with the CEO of CyberConnect 2.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2007
24 titles to keep an eye on during 2007.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2008
And you thought 2007 was populated.