So you’ve finally come back to the Wii Virtual Console after a few months, wondering what new 16-bit wares have been made available to eat up your points. Well my friend, this installment features five must-buys, and even the weakest of the bunch is a wise investment. What can you say about a selection that includes one of each of the best shooters, RPGs, and platformers to be found on the Genesis? Whichever you choose, you simply can’t go wrong this time around.
Boogerman: A Pick & Flick Adventure
Interplay scored a big hit with this gross platformer, and it’s odd that we’ve never seen a sequel. Definitely unique when it comes to gameplay dynamics, Boogerman will either make you nauseous or bust out laughing. Fart and flick boogers on your way to victory, and remember, so long as you love yourself it doesn’t matter what other people think!
Pass or Purchase? How much fun can be derived from a character most people would go out of their way to avoid in real life is entirely subjective. I would try out some of the other games on this list first, especially Earthworm Jim if you’re in a platforming mood, but coming back to Boogerman might not be a bad thing.
David Perry’s classic platformer is still a blast to play after all these years, and it still looks great to boot. Funny how good-looking 2D games never seem to age, eh? The wilily annelid was at the top of his game on the Genesis, and anyone looking for some great action with a sense of humor need not look any further. Part two may be a better game overall, but few other platformers stand next to this franchise when it was running on all cylinders (read: in 2D).
Pass or Purchase? One of the few great Genesis games that hasn’t been tossed on a ton of compilations, Earthworm Jim is a great way to spend an afternoon. There’s nothing complex or involving about it, but the platforming action is a blast and controls very tightly. Not to be missed.
There’s been a long-running controversy as to whether or not the Genesis version of Forgotten Worlds is better than its TurboGrafix-16 Super CD-ROM2 counterpart. As we showed in our side by side comparison, both versions are worth owning, as each lacks features the other one has. The CD version, however, is not available on the Virtual Console as of this writing, so for those without other recourse, the Genesis port is the way to go. It doesn’t have all the levels or the awesome CD soundtrack, but there’s two-player co-op and easy gameplay with the Classic Controller.
Pass or Purchase? Great multi-scrolling shooter action that can be played with a friend? Sign me up! Forgotten Worlds is just right in length, plays like butter, and still looks pretty darn good. Until we get the Super CD version on the VC, this one will do just nicely.
Perhaps one of the best-known shmups on the Genesis, if not ones of the best overall. M.U.S.H.A (which stands for Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor) is the star member of the Aleste series, which spanned several consoles during the ’90s. Featuring some great weaponry, incredible bosses -some several stages long – and a smokin’ soundtrack, this one deserves a place of honor in your VC collection.
Pass or Purchase? Since actual complete copies sell for an arm and a leg, everyone can now get in on the shooter action and experience this classic anytime. A definite purchase for anyone who likes shooters.
Phantasy Star IV
Recognized by many as the best in the series, Phantasy Star IV brings the classic storyline to its conclusion, and marks the final traditional installment in the series before Sega took it online and in an entirely different direction. A simply massive RPG that ties most of the subplots up nicely, the fourth installment expands on many of the different gaming dynamics that were featured in each of the previous installments, such as the seeing your characters actually swing their weapons with a real background, etc. It also brings back some interesting things from the first and second chapters that will surprise fans who have yet to play part four (both of you).
Pass or Purchase? The bottom line is that if you like old school RPGs and everything Phantasy Star, you probably already own this game at least once. Spending 800 points on it here is a “your mileage may vary” scenario, due to Sega re-releasing the game on every single possible compilation possible. As of this writing you can find it in the Phantasy Star Collection on the GBA, the Sega Genesis Collection on the PlayStation 2, as well as the upcoming Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3. How many times do you need it? Those who don’t own any of the aforementioned collections would do well to purchase it though, as it’s a solid RPG that finally gave fans what they wanted and did so in splendid fashion.
Wow, so many great games this time! I have to give it up to the Virtual Console in that it’s presenting an incredible outlet for so many new gamers to experience the Genesis, and if it keeps providing quality releases like these, there will be no shortage of people burning through their Wii points. The Genesis seems to provide a wealth of great games with each installment, and we’d be surprised if things changed any time soon.