This week’s VC releases: Kirby 64 and a side-scrolling shooter

Nintendo continues its “we’re not releasing three games a week anymore” streak once again, and I’m beginning to become quite comfortable with it. It’s starting to make me feel kind of dirty …

The decent Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Nintendo 64, 1-4 players, 1,000 Wii Points) is available today, and I wish I had more to say about it. It’s a pretty decent title — not one of the best Kirby efforts — but it does contain a number of 4 player mini-games, so it should be right at home on the Wii. (Ouch.)

Next up, Nintendo surprise us with a side-scrolling shooter that was originally released on the TurboGrafx 16, Psyschosis (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points). I never thought a side-scrolling shooter like this would make its way to the Virtual Console. Ever. This game does have an interesting premise though — as the player, your mind is taken over by a demon, and you must battle through five stages in order to maintain your sanity. Or, you know, we could just not turn on the game, which seems like a safer bet.

Both games will be available on the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Is there anyone out there getting low on Wii Points?

WII-KLY UPDATE: TWO NEW CLASSIC GAMES ADDED TO WII SHOP CHANNEL

Feb. 25, 2008

This week’s additions take players on a psychedelic trip down memory lane. Kirby® is back and armed with a bunch of new talents, including the option to combine abilities. Curious to find out what mixing the Burn and Cutter powers gives Kirby? We won’t spoil that for you here. If the colorful landscapes in the pink sphere’s world are too much for you and you’re looking for straight firepower instead, then try plunging your soul into the mind of a twisted demon. We’ll just see how you fare against wave after wave of bizarre enemy creatures in that kind of environment.

Nintendo adds new games to the Wii™ Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time 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:

Kirby 64™: The Crystal Shards: (Nintendo 64®, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): Kirby’s first 3-D adventure is also his Nintendo 64 debut, and it finds the always-versatile hero battling a new enemy called Dark Matter. Dark Matter is after a distant land’s powerful crystal, but a young fairy named Ribbon attempts to save it by escaping with the gem to Dream Land. Now the crystal has been broken, and it’s scattered around the world. Take control of Kirby and help him journey across six worlds, battling a wide variety of enemies and challenging bosses, as he tries to collect all 100 pieces of the shattered crystal. Along the way, you’ll use Kirby’s trademark copying ability to use enemies’ strengths against them. Not only that, but try combining any two abilities to create a brand-new one that is usually stronger than the original. Throw in three exciting multiplayer minigames, and you’ve got a package of which even King Dedede would be proud. Fans of Kirby and action games with bright, colorful graphics should vacuum this one up.

Psychosis: (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, 600 Wii Points): This is a side-scrolling shooter played in a world created from the mind of a twisted demon. Your soul has suddenly wandered into that evil world that exists in every person’s heart. The only way out is to blast your way past the grotesque creatures that block your path in five “causes” (stages). You must face the dangers of this psychedelic world by making full use of three shot types and the satellite option. With power-ups, you can change your shots to a wide-coverage beam, a satellite-generated laser and more. Each shot type can be powered up to three levels. You can also block enemy fire by rotating the satellites to a desired position. How you use these features will be the key to successfully escaping this strange and surreal world.

Nick Chester