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Wii Virtual Console News and Releases for 3/9/2009

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It's a double blast from the past this week on the Wii Shop Channel! Two classic arcade titles appear in different forms: one as a port, the other as a polished-up remake. Either way, if you are a fan of the old-school, this is certainly your week, though it'll help to be a platforming and/or shoot-em-up fan.

This week's releases are as follows:

On the Virtual Console, Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars joins the line-up of Sega Master System titles currently available. It's a whopping 500 Wii Points and is one of the earlier Alex Kidd games. It's a straight platformer, lacking that famous rock-paper-scissors mechanic its successors had. Unfortunately, that's a bit of a problem, since it pales in comparison to the arcade version. Like many games of its day, everything's really been dumbed down from the Sega arcade cabinet version. You can pass on this unless you are a huge Alex Kidd fan.

Over on WiiWare, we're getting a blast from the past in Gradius ReBirth from Konami. The 1,000 Wii Point-title is a remastered remake of the very first Gradius with better graphics (think Gradius III or IV level here) and a remixed soundtrack that has some tweaks on familiar tunes all over the same Gradius core game play. Heck, the game even slows down a bit when a lot of enemies flood the screen, just like it used to back in the day. Oh, and did I mention it has leaderboards so you can prove you are as good as you say you are? Man, I wish we had those in 1994 …

Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars was released on the Japanese Virtual Console in February. It, along with Gradius ReBirth, is all available for download off the Wii Shop Channel.

Check back next week for the latest round of releases for the Wii's digital download service. Until then, happy gaming!

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