Virtual Console Review Roundup (Part 1)

Virtual Console Review Roundup (Part 1)

Revisit five retro classics

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Review Roundups on

Nintendo's Virtual Console has been a treasure trove of great classic games ever since its debut back in November 2006. Now that it's ten years old, let's take a look at the first five Virtual Console games that I ever reviewed.

Yoshi screenshot
I think Mario would rather be plumbing

Yoshi [NES]

When you first see a puzzle game starring Mario and Yoshi, you know that it's going to be good... right? Well, Yoshi (AKA Mario & Yoshi) is certainly easy to pick up and play but it gets quite boring very quickly. All you do is match tiles with classic Mario enemies on them then match top and bottom halves of Yoshi eggs. You do so by controlling Mario to swap columns as the tiles slowly fall. Sounds exciting, right? On the plus side, the combination of bare-bones gameplay and super-easy difficulty make it an ideal game to play before going to bed.

[Yoshi Review]

Mr. Driller 2 screenshot
Susumu gets deep in his second adventure

Mr. Driller 2 [Game Boy Advance]

I've been a huge fan of Mr. Driller ever since I played it on the original PlayStation. It mixes fast-paced arcade action with strategy in a satisfying way and it's incredibly addictive as you keep playing "just one more time". One thing that makes this sequel even more entertaining are the downright hilarious story scenes that play throughout. With plenty of unlockables and replay value, anyone who loves quirky arcade games is bound to have hours of fun with this portable drilling adventure.

[Mr. Driller 2 Review]

Balloon Fight screenshot
Balloons don't seem like the best mode of transportation

Balloon Fight [NES]

Although Nintendo was clearly inspired by Joust when they made Balloon Fight, it still managed to form its own identity. While playing it today, it's surprising how well it holds up. There may not be that much content but spending a few minutes here and there to pop enemy balloons then give them the boot is a fun way to pass the time. It also makes an enjoyable addition to a session of local multiplayer gaming with a friend because of its mix of cooperative and competitive elements.

[Balloon Fight Review]

Castlevania: Dracula X screenshot
Richter shows Cerberus the power of his cross

Castlevania: Dracula X [Super Nintendo]

I know that a lot of gamers bash Dracula X (AKA Vampire's Kiss) for being an inferior port of Rondo of Blood but it's still an awesome Castlevania game. Many gameplay additions that were featured in Super Castlevania IV are absent which makes it feel like a 16-bit take on the classic NES games. The graphics and music are simply epic which makes traversing the extremely difficult stages and slaughtering the memorable bosses all the more enjoyable. In the end, I don't care what anyone says; I love Castlevania: Dracula X!

[Castlevania: Dracula X Review]

Super Mario Advance screenshot
Toad rides a Shy Guy to victory

Super Mario Advance [Game Boy Advance]

Even though Super Mario Bros. 2 is actually a remake of the Famicom game Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic made for western audiences, it's still a classic Mario title. Super Mario Advance improves on the original game by offering better graphics, extra collectibles, and a multiplayer mode featuring the original Mario Bros. However, the small screen can be quite frustrating to deal with at times. That being said, this incredible portable adventure is a masterpiece that any Nintendo fan should have in their collection.

[Super Mario Advance Review]

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