Today’s VC releases: Are you ready for some football?

Nintendo is kicking the football season into high-gear today, with the Wii Shop Channel release of NES Play Action Football (NES, 1-4 players, 500 Wii Points) for the Wii’s Virtual Console. With no NFL license, and one of the weirdest play perspectives in football games, this game might not be as enticing to football fans today as it was back in 1990. Even the once impressive in-game digital voices (“First down!”) may not be enough to warrant a purchase for fans.

But if football is not your thing, fear not. The fine folks at Nintendo has also let us know that Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, 800 Wii Points) and Neutopia II (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points) are also available today.

All titles should be available on the Wii Shop Channel by the time you read this. But if they’re not, your Wii may be broken, and we suggest you call Nintendo customer service and complain. Tell them Destructoid sent you.

Hit the jump for the full and fancy press release.

Football season is here, and whether you’re into high school teams, college or the pros, everyone can use a little gridiron refresher. This week Nintendo’s Wii Shop Channel helps you tackle the challenge with NES Play Action Football™, a classic sure to revive feelings of gaming greatness. If football isn’t your thing, you can always join forces with a speedy hedgehog or explore labyrinths as you try to defeat evil demons.

Three new classic games go live at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Nintendo adds new games to the Wii Shop 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:

NES Play Action Football (NES®, 1-4 players, rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): “Ready! Hut hut hut…” Nintendo takes to the gridiron with the classic football powerhouse NES Play Action Football. Featuring a distinct overhead viewpoint that creates an almost 3-D field, the action is more simulation-based than many of the more arcade-based games of the time. Play through four 15-minute quarters (in accelerated time) and even substitute players when your first-stringers get tired. Want more options? Each of the eight available teams has multiple running/passing plays to choose from while on offense, as well as a wide selection of defensive schemes that can be run when you’re on the other side of the ball. And in addition to viewing two full teams on the screen at once without any slowdown, you’ll hear voice snippets at key points of the game. Line up, and see if you have what it takes to win the Power Bowl.

Sonic the Hedgehog™ 3 (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone – Comic Mischief, 800 Wii Points): Sonic and Tails are back for another adventure as they again battle the evil Dr. Eggman (aka Dr. Robotnik), who is desperately trying to collect all the Chaos Emeralds to rebuild his Death Egg. Our heroes must again find the Chaos Emeralds before Dr. Eggman does, but winning the race won’t be easy this time – a new adversary, Knuckles the Echidna, has arrived on the scene and will do whatever he can to keep Sonic and Tails from reaching their goal. Grab all the golden rings, find various bonus zones and overcome Knuckles and Dr. Eggman as you rocket through the third chapter in Sonic’s adventures.

Neutopia II (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, 600 Wii Points): Experience improved graphics and controls in this exciting sequel to the action role-playing game Neutopia. Take on the role of the main hero’s son and watch as the story begins with the apparent revival of Dirth, the evil demon. Once again you’ll need to rely on your magic compass and the information you’ve gathered to find entrances to labyrinths and defeat the bosses in them. Make your way through the field, which can be tricky at times, to search for and find hidden information and items, or move blocks and destroy walls to uncover secret rooms. Like the original, this game has a save function, a finely tuned difficulty level and a fast-paced story, making it truly an RPG that everyone can enjoy.

Nick Chester