Shinobi (Virtual Console Arcade)
Classic action game from Sega and far superior to its Mega Drive Sequel: The Super Shinobi. The emulation is excellent bar one change no doubt made to avoid lawyers: the “Spider-Man” character seen in the first three stages has had a paint job and is now yellow and green; otherwise the game is the same. Typical for Sega VCA releases the screen is not preformatted for widescreen display, so you’ll need to adjust your TV settings for 4:3 display if you have a modern flat panel. Controls are fully customisable and there’s an extra button available which does a shuriken burst fire of 3 at once. Definitely one to pick up.
Volfied (Virtual Console PC Engine)
A Taito import that I wasn’t aware of until I saw it featured in an episode of Game Center CX on the Japanese Nintendo Channel. It’s basically a tarted-up version of Qix (or clean version of Gal’s Panic – if you’re familiar with that “H” arcade title), where the object is to draw squares on a playfield to fill in as much territory as possible whilst avoiding enemies which are bouncing all over the place. This port is substantially different from the arcade game and the Mega Drive port so it’s definitely worth a look even if you know those two games (and have a Japanese Wii, of course).
Rolling Thunder (Virtual Console Arcade)
Namco continues their seemingly endless release schedule for the VCA in Japan with a classic action platformer that was published in the USA and elsewhere by Atari Games. As with all Namco games on the VCA the screen is already formatted for widescreen display with bars on the sides and control customisation is limited to the main game buttons. I prefer the Classic Controller for Namco VCA titles because that way ZL and ZR are used for coin insertion and game start rather than the awkward +1 and +2 they’ve chosen for the Wii Remote on its own. The only game setting is adjusting the number of starting lives. I was surprised not to see some kind of settable difficulty in terms of the score required for an extra life as has usually been the case with Namco VCA titles, but the game is challenging enough anyway. People familiar with the MAME ROM will note that some of the enemies in the stairway part of Stage 2 are different so looks like this is a different build of the game from that commonly seen ROM.