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Today's VC releases: we heart ninjas edition

8:15 AM on 05.14.2007 // Nick Chester

This week's Virtual Console releases are surprisingly solid for a batch that contains zero first party Nintendo classics. By "surprisingly solid" I mean, of course, two of the three titles not only contain the word "ninja," but also feature these clandestine assassins as their main characters.

Starting at 9AM PST, Wii owners will be able to download: Ninja Gaiden (NES, 1 player, 500 Wii Points); Ninja Spirit (TurboGrafx16, 1-2 players, 600 Wii Points); and the usually awesome, but unfortunately out of place Pac-Man (NES, 1-2 players, 500 Wii Points).

Normally, this would be around the time where I start whining about how a perfect arcade port of Pac-Man in at least two other sources with online leadboard support for as much money (if not cheaper). But honestly, I'm too excited about whoopin' a dudes a** with chain and sickles to think of anything else.

It's the age-old question: Which is cooler, ninjas or circular yellow dot- eaters? This week the Wii(TM) video game system's Wii Shop Channel gives gamers the chance to explore this subject in depth, with three awesome classic games.

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(TM) to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. This week's new games are:

Pac-Man(R) (NES(R), 1-2 players, 500 Wii Points): Move Pac-Man through the maze, avoiding ghosts and eating all the Pac-Dots. Beware, each of the ghosts behave differently. When Pac-Man chomps a Power Pellet, he becomes invincible
and is able to eat the blue ghosts. The more ghosts Pac-Man eats in a row, the higher the score. Don't forget to eat the bonus fruit too. Released in 1980, Pac-Man is the most well-known video game on Earth and is also commonly acknowledged as one of the most successful coin-operated games in history. Enjoy this masterpiece of gaming history today.

Ninja Gaiden(TM) (NES(R), 1 player, 500 Wii Points): Players take on the role of Ryu Hayabusa, a rising warrior in his family's clan whose main role in the world is to protect the Dark Dragon Blade from falling into the hands of evil. Ryu travels to America to seek vengeance for his father's death. Players fight their way through 14 challenging side-scrolling levels while defeating gangs of street thugs, battling evil ninjas and fighting barbarian bosses by using the deadly Dragon Sword, ninja skills and Ninpo (ninja magic). Players can run, crouch, jump and climb as they make their way through each stage and collect items to gain points, strength and weapons.

Ninja Spirit (TurboGrafx16, 1-2 players, 600 Wii Points): Ninja Spirit is a side-scrolling action game that amazed the gaming world with its precision graphics and quality game play. Play as the ninja Moonlight and engage in a fierce battle to avenge his father's death and unlock the secrets of his birth. Select between the original ARCADE MODE and PC-ENGINE MODE, which
includes a life gauge. Use four types of weapons: katana, shuriken, bombs and chain and sickles to battle your way through the enemies. Pick up power-up items and switch between weapons to give you the advantage. You'll need to consider the enemy attacks and your weapon's abilities in order to deftly make it through all seven stages. Use your skills and attacks to get through the game's boundless enemies and traps. That's what ninja action is all about.

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