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EU/AU: VC Friday (March 28, 2008)

This week, European Wii owners are treated to the first pair of Commodore 64 titles to arrive on the Virtual Console - one a classic fighter, and the other a side-scrolling shooter. In addition, all PAL regions will receive a Nintendo 64 port of a popular arcade racer. Sadly, it’s absolute rubbish and should be avoided like the plague.

International Karate (Commodore 64, 1-2 Players, 500 Wii Points):

International Karate is a 1986 karate computer game for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and Atari 8-bit family of computers. It was first published by System 3 in Europe, and then in the United States of America by Epyx as World Karate Championship.

The core game is a two-dimensional, one-on-one, versus fighting game. Players take on the roles of martial artists competing in a kumite tournament. Rather than wearing down an opponent’s health, the goal is instead to score single solid hits. After each hit, combat stops and both combatants are returned to their starting positions. Depending on how well players hit their opponent, they score either a half-point or a full point. Matches can be quite brief, as only two full points are required to win, and a point can be quickly scored just seconds after a round begins.

In single player mode, successive opponents increase in difficulty from novice white belts to master black belts. Play continues as long as the player continues to win matches. Between fights, bonus mini-games focusing on rhythm and timing appear, including one in which the player must break a number of stacked boards using only his or her head.

Uridium (Commodore 64, 1 Player, 500 Wii Points):

Uridium is a sci-fi horizontal scrolling shoot-’em-up for the Commodore 64 (and other 8-bit machines). It consisted of fifteen levels, each named after a metal element. In practice, each level takes place at a fixed altitude just above the surface of the Dreadnoughts. The screen scrolls horizontally in both directions as the Manta flies over the Dreadnoughts. Each Dreadnought has a different configuration of walls and other high structures which must be negotiated in order to reach the landing zone.

The solar system is under attack! Enemy Super-Dreadnoughts have been placed in orbit around each of the fifteen planets in this galactic sector. They are draining mineral resources from the planetary cores for use in their interstellar power units. Each Super-Dreadnought seeks out a different metal for its metal converter.

Your Manta class Space Fighter will be transported to each planet in turn and it is your task to destroy each Dreadnought. First you must attack the defensive screen of enemy fighters, then you must neutralise the majority of surface defences before you land on the Super-Dreadnought’s master runway. Once on board you must pull as many fuel rods as possible from the metal converters before you take off for a final strafing run as the Dreadnought vaporises into the ether.

Cruis’n USA (Nintendo 64, 1-2 Players, 1000 Wii Points):

Along with Killer Instinct, Cruis’n was planned as a launch title for the Nintendo 64. Neither game made it out for Nintendo 64’s launch, however, primarily because the arcade versions of both games were done on hardware that was very different and somewhat more powerful than the console. Cruis’n USA, although impressive in arcades in 1994, got panned in 1996 when it was finally released on the Nintendo 64.

Slam the pedal to the metal and hang on for a wild race across the highways of America. Catch tall the roadside scenery and famous landmarks from three different driving perspectives - from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore to the rolling hills of Appalachia.

Experience the treacherous turns and famous landmarks as you drive across America! Select one of five difficulty levels and even remove street traffic or rivel racers from the course. Select one of ten short courses or go the distance on an textended 14-stage road race. A split screen perspective allows two players to share the action simultaneously.

Until next week… spend those Wii Points wisely!

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