This year at E3, I asked all the gamers I met one question: Who won E3 2014? The overwhelming majority said Nintendo (kudos, Mario!). After a slow two years since the Wii U's release in 2012, Nintendo is finally getting fans hyped with some great games.
The only problem? Most of them aren't out until 2015. Sadface. :(
Good thing Jeremy Parish of USgamer is here to remind all of us that there are some awesome games available right now on the Wii U Virtual Console. Let's see if you agree...
OK, so maybe this version of Yoshi's Island isn't the "real" one; for whatever reason - possibly rights issues to the FX2 chip that powered the game - the Super NES version of Yoshi's Island remains missing in action. Truth be told, despite some moderate downgrades (slightly worse music, slightly less cool visual effects), this is still an absolutely classic platformer, a high point in the already stratospheric Mario franchise. And to make up for those downgrades, this version of Yoshi's Island gets some bonus material as well. Not only that, but it plays better than it did on GBA, because you can remap the control scheme to use the face buttons.
Mega Man X
Once Mega Man's NES adventures began to grow long in the tooth through repetition and annualization, Keiji Inafune and crew shifted their attention to the Super NES and totally reinvented the series - and the character, too, replacing the classic robot with a new model. The Mega Man X games would quickly become as stale as their forebears, but the spinoff series got an amazing start with this 1993 classic. With inventive level design, richer mechanics, better weapons, excellent graphics, and a whole new look and feel, Mega Man X reminded everyone why they'd been so obsessed with Mega Man 2 a few years earlier.
Timeless. Unrivaled. Perfect. These are words that have been used to describe Super Metroid - and not just by me. Super Metroid did for its series what A Link to the Past did for Zelda: It returned to the style and setting of the original game and greatly expanded on its premise while simultaneously refining and deepening its mechanics. The biggest problem with Super Metroid is that it's so good, so thoughtful, so brilliantly constructed that the series (and the genre!) has struggled to find ways to add onto it without destroying its perfect balance. Sucks for those other games, but it definitely makes Super Metroid an absolute must-play classic.
To read USgamer's complete guide to the 10 Essential Wii U Virtual Console Games, click here!