Today's Virtual Console update brings along with it three great games for the NES, Neo-Geo, and Nintendo 64. First up is Pokemon Snap, one of Nintendo's earliest attempts at spinning off the Pokemon franchise into different genres. It's kind of like a rail-shooter, except instead of shooting things you snap pictures of Pokemon. Next up is Ghosts 'n Goblins for the NES, Capcom's earliest entry into the popular, ultra-difficult platforming series. Players control Arthur as he quests to rescue Princess Prin-Prin from the evil Astaroth (sadly NOT the Astaroth of Soul Calibur fame). And finally, we have Baseball Stars 2 for the Neo-Geo. Possibly one of the best arcade sports games ever released (and definitely one of my favorite Neo-Geo games), Baseball Stars 2 is most similar to Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball for the NES, but with a more arcade-style feel, and hilarious player names like Zombie. All in all, not a bad update at all. Baseball Stars 2 is a must-have as far as I'm concerned.
Pokémon Snap (Nintendo 64, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): As one of the most unique games in a renowned series, Pokémon Snap was the first truly 3-D Pokémon game and introduced the phenomenon to the Nintendo 64. Travel to Pokémon Island and meet Professor Oak to begin a safari, taking the best possible photographs of 63 different Pokémon as they exist in the wild, undisturbed by humans. This is not as easy as it sounds—the island has many types of climates and environments to explore, along with secret activities and hidden passages to discover. Plus, some of the Pokémon can be a little shy and won’t pose for the camera unless you tease them with special items. After you’re done, submit one picture of each Pokémon to Professor Oak, and he’ll judge it based on size, pose, technique and number of Pokémon captured.
Ghosts’n Goblins (NES®, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone—Mild Animated Violence, 500 Wii Points): Ghosts’n Goblins was a popular arcade game before it made the leap to the NES in 1986. Like later games in the series, Ghosts’n Goblins presents quite a challenge to players brave enough to take on the role of Arthur and delve into the realm of demons and monsters to rescue the kidnapped princess. Choose your weapons wisely and take advantage of their strengths to deal with the situation at hand. Pass through the six gates that stand between you and Astaroth, and teach him a lesson in chivalry he’ll never forget. Demonstrating a high level of technical prowess for a game of its era, Ghosts’n Goblins presents a unique and unforgettable universe. The stage for adventure is set. Are you up to the test?
BASEBALL STARS 2 (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 900 Wii Points): Lace up your cleats and step onto the diamond with the pros of BASEBALL STARS 2. You’ll find everything you’d expect in a classic game of baseball, but with an arcade feel and intense action that distinguish it from the pack. Pick one of six unique teams from cities around the world, then get ready for nine innings of excitement, whether you’re taking on the computer in a 15-game tournament or squaring off against a friend. There are two modes of game play, so even the most inexperienced player can compete at the major-league level (with a little computer-aided fielding). Watch as the game develops through split-screen views and close-up shots worthy of any highlight film, and see if you can catch the numerous over-the-top animations of the large and detailed player models. Think you have what it takes to win the pennant?