Devil’s Crush (Virtual Console TG16)
Excellent follow-up to video pinball classic Alien Crush which offers more animated creatures to hit and more bonus screens than its predecessor. If you liked Alien Crush you’re sure to like Devil’s Crush even more.
Elevator Action (Virtual Console Famicom)
Famicom port of the Taito arcade original. It’s lacking a bit in audio and the animations aren’t as smooth as the arcade, but until Taito sees fit to put something beyond a colourised Space Invaders on the Virtual Console Arcade this isn’t bad. Also available in North America for the NES Virtual Console.
Genpei Tōmaden (Virtual Console Arcade)
This appeared in arcades outside of Japan as Samurai Ghost and had a port and sequel on the PC Engine. A decent side-scrolling action game, though the difficulty is quite high. Action splits between a side scrolling mode from a distance, then a zoomed-in one with large on screen characters and more control over your character’s swordplay and finally top-down sections with a sort of isometric pseudo 3D view. These help break up the monotony of slashing everything over and over again and dying over and over again. For the curious and nostalgia buffs only.
Golden Axe (Virtual Console Arcade)
The Megadrive port isn’t bad, but the Arcade version is the one to get. Annoyingly Sega has decided not to follow Namco and Tecmo’s lead and present their arcade games in 4:3 aspect without built-in pillarboxing meaning you need to adjust your widescreen TV display yourself, but that’s a minor complaint. This is a classic side-scrolling beat-em up with pseudo 3D depth and a fantasy setting. As with other Sega VCA offerings you can adjust the button layout on your controller of choice (wiimote, GC and Classic controllers are supported), number of lives, health metre and magic power metre. If you like games like Final Fight, this is for you.
Jumpman (Virtual Console C64)
Classic 8-bit platforming action which I find identical to the Atari 800 version that I used to own. If you liked the game back in the day then get it, but it probably won’t stand up to the standards of today’s platforming fans.
Liquid Kids (Virtual Console PC Engine)
This is another great Taito arcade port on the PC Engine. A fun side-scrolling platform game with a hippo that throws spheres of water at enemies. Good clean fun from days long gone. If you have a Japanese Wii check it out!
Nebulus (Virtual Console C64)
Some of the more impressive effects seen on the C64 with your little green character platforming around a 3D tower as he works his way to the top. The controls take a little getting used to and the game is punishingly hard, but if you can perservere you’ll find a novel platforming game that’s worth a look for only 500 points.
Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu – PC Bangai Hen (Virtual Console PC Engine)
Probably the best version of this arcade title to be seen on a home console. This is not only because the gameplay is so close to the arcade Super Dodgeball, but because there’s a story mode where you can have members of the teams you defeat join you as you try to track down a UFO that did a hit and run on your team captain(!)
Ninja Spirit (Virtual Console TG16)
A very good port of Irem’s arcade action side-scroller. The special effects aren’t as good, but the music and gameplay are all there as you’d expect. Until Irem titles start appearing on the Virtual Console Arcade it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan or want to try one of the more interesting 2D action games from the late 80s.