The Wii Virtual Console has a lot of NES games available for download. However, which ones are worth your hard earned 500 Wii points? Just because it is a retro game, doesn’t make it good, after all. Well, I’ve played a lot of NES games. The good, the bad and the so-so, and here are my pick for the best NES games on the Wii Virtual Console, in no particular order.
Adventure’s of Lolo
For all of you puzzle fans out there, this is the game for you. Adventures of Lolo is similar to Solomon’s Key, but a whole lot easier, so it will appeal to the more casual gamer as well as hardcore retro gaming fans. While the story and graphics aren’t deep, the gameplay is satisfying and there are plenty of levels to keep you busy for a while. Don’t let the cuteness of it fool you either. Some of these puzzle’s are tough!
The shmup on the list (hey, I’m trying to be fair!) Life Force outshines Gradius and Galaga by leaps and bounds. It switches up the gameplay, side scrolling shooting action in one stage and climbing shooting action in the next, which gives it the variety that most NES shmups lack.
Besides the plethora of power ups and the changing environments (they try to kill you!), Life Force’s greatest asset is the 2 player co-op mode. Yeah, just like Contra, you and a friend can shoot and fly your way through several challenging levels and defeat those alien baddies once and for all!
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
The action game on the list. While it is kind of a platformer as well, you can change items so I’m calling it an action game. This is the best Castlevania game on the NES. The graphics are pretty good for the platform, the gameplay is excellent, plus it has a lot more depth than most other NES games.
In Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse you actually have the possibility of multiple endings and multiple characters to choose from! Your ending is dependent of which character you take to fight the final boss with you, or if you go it alone. That’s pretty advanced for an NES game.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Well, I had to choose a platformer, since the NES was overflowing with them, and which platformer was I supposed to choose? Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa? It has to be Super Mario Bros. 3. Mario is a staple on any Nintendo console, and Super Mario Bros. 3 is the Super Mario Bros. game by which each subsequent game is judged. It set the standard for Mario games and some would say it has yet to be surpassed (not me, I love Super Mario World more, but I digress).
Super Mario Bros. 3 is huge. There are 8 worlds with multiple levels (and you even get to choose which levels you are going to pass, in some cases), a 2 player option, 2 different versions of the same mini game (one of the best features) and tons of secrets. So, do you know where the three warp whistles are?
The Legend of Zelda
Who didn’t see that coming? While Nintendo has yet to release a real RPG on the Virtual Console for NES (like Earthbound Zero, which I want) they do have this action RPG and the very first foray into the land of Hyrule, The Legend of Zelda. I’ll admit the RPG elements in The Legend of Zelda are lacking, there is only one town and the people there tell you only very basic things, but it sets the stage for all other Zelda games to come.
The world is large and (if you don’t have a map) a bit confusing, as you have to figure out what to do all on your own. Remember when games didn’t think you were an idiot and let you explore, make mistakes and learn from them? Yeah, that’s The Legend of Zelda. What are you waiting for? Go collect those triforce pieces and rescue the princess before it’s too late!