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This week's VC releases: Kinda spooky Halloween edition

9:49 AM on 10.29.2007 // Nick Chester

What a horrible week to have a curse! I had hoped beyond hope that Nintendo wouldn't drop the ball on this golden opportunity to release some horror-themed games this week, and for the most part I'm not disappointed.

The 8-bit nonsensical adventure of Simon Belmont, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES, 1 player, 500 Wii points) comes to the Virtual Console today! Find the clues to solve Dracula's riddle, which apparently involves finding his rib in a dusty mansion, and using it as a shield. Samurai-Ghost (Turbo-Grafx16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points), is also available today, and that's appropriate because it has "ghost" in the title. Magician Lord (NeoGeo, 1-2 players, 900 Wii Points) rounds out selection, and doesn't really have anything to do with Halloween, but it's a good game, so we'll let that slide.

The lack of Zombies Ate My Neighbors is tragic, and just thinking that we might have to wait until next Halloween for it to appear makes me sad. Or, a worldwide zombie outbreak might be a good time to release it, but I'm not holding my breath.

This Halloween, you needn't leave your own living room to encounter spooky spirits and creepy creatures from mysterious otherworlds. The Wii Shop Channel is celebrating the year's most frightfully fun holiday by offering a mix of eerie games that'll keep players' spines tingling. Mash with monsters in a classic Castlevania sequel, tangle with supernatural samurai or battle as a powerful magician-you're bound to discover cool tricks and visual treats no matter which titles you choose. Happy Hallo-Wii!

Today Nintendo adds three new classic games to the popular Wii™ video game system's Wii Shop Channel. The 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® II Simon's Quest (NES®, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone - Mild Fantasy Violence, 500 Wii Points): In this one-player adventure, you'll take on the role of Simon Belmont once again and duel to the death with Count Dracula. Grab your legendary whip, Vampire Killer, and roam freely through Transylvania on a quest to find the count's missing body parts-these are the key to breaking an evil curse. This quest won't be easy, though, for you must battle hideous fiends who stalk the land. In addition to the intense action and tight control the Castlevania series is known for, this sequel also introduced several unique game-play elements into the fold. Build experience the longer you play, buy weapons and items from merchants, or talk with villagers to get clues (some of which are false). Watch as day turns to night and then back again. Take a deep breath, steady your nerves, and help Simon end his curse and defeat the count once and for all.

SAMURAI-GHOST™ (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older - Animated Blood and Violence, 600 Wii Points): This action platformer features a samurai ghost from the depths of the underworld. In a past war, Kagekiyo managed to defeat the shogun Yoritomo and his clan. However, their evil spirits were not completely destroyed, and now, in the world known as Dark Side, they seek the time of their rebirth. In order to shatter those ambitions, Kagekiyo must make his way across seven zones and head for "The Heart of the Darkside" where Yoritomo lies in wait. Use spirit weapons to power up your sword, or other items, such as candles to recover health, and defeat the endless hordes of enemies. Each zone is not only protected by a boss but also includes demons as well as real samurai from 12th-century Japan. Get ready for some intense one-on-one combat action.

MAGICIAN LORD (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen - Blood and Fantasy Violence, 900 Wii Points): Released in 1990 and regarded as one of the NEOGEO's earliest signature games, this side-scrolling platformer mixes action with the mystical world of fantasy. A magician named Elta, last descendant of the famed Magician Lord, takes on an epic adventure to save the world from the evil Gul-Agieze. Elta must battle through eight stages, collecting the eight tomes of power that are key to defeating Gul-Agieze and his evil plans. By obtaining orbs in one of three colors (elements) that appear during the game, Elta's offensive powers and jumping abilities can be strengthened. The effect varies considerably depending on the combination of elements, though, and Elta can transform into six different forms: Waterman, Dragon Warrior, Shinobi, Samurai, Raijin or Poseidon. Can you help Elta to become the new Magician Lord?

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
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