With the Virtual Console it’s almost a definitive way for Nintendo to compete with Xbox Live Arcade without actually making any new games. Genius! And to further their competitive catch-up with the XBLA, Nintendo has announced the release of three new (but old) games for the Wii’s Virtual Console.

You can check out the oldies but goodies for the WVC (Wii Virtual Console), which include: Gradius, Soldier Blade and Dungeon Explorer.

Gradius (NES, 1-2 players, 500 Wii Points): Across the galaxy, there exists a distant planet known as Gradius. Gradius' peaceful existence has been brought to an end by an intense space invasion by a race known as the Bacterion. To save the planet, the hyperspace fighter Vic Viper has been deployed to fight the Bacterion invasion. Players pilot the Vic Viper through seven stages, shooting and dodging through deadly obstacles, while using various power-ups, including missiles, lasers, options and shields. The Vic Viper's target is the enemy fortress, Xaerous. The only way to end the war is to plunge deep through the enemy forces and destroy its very core.

Soldier Blade (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points): A new shooter in the "Star Soldier" tradition. Players play as an SIA (Special Interception Airforce) pilot flying the heavy assault fighter "Soldier Blade." Players face the Zeograd invasion force with weapon attacks that change each time they grab a power-up item. Players can unleash three different kinds of attack depending on the color of the power-up item. New features, such as the "Gunbody" option for avoiding enemy attacks and the "Burst Out" system (which has a different effect depending on the power-up level), add a strategic element that requires players to make snap decisions about which items to grab and when to use special attacks. Awesome boss battles await players at the end of each operation. Playing in "CHALLENGE" mode requires players to try to get as many points as they can in a limited amount of time.

Dungeon Explorer (TurboGrafx16, 1-5 players, 600 Wii Points): Dungeon Explorer is a multiplayer action/role-playing game where up to five players can play at the same time. The story takes place in underground dungeons. Players can choose from eight different character types: Fighter, Thief, Warlock, Witch, Bishop, Elf, Bard or Knome. Depending on the character, the types of magic, attack strength and movement will all vary. To survive, players most know all about their enemies' weaknesses. Players also must know about the special attributes of each magic spell and use them to their greatest advantage. In team-play games, working together is the key to victory. Any combination of Wii Remotes and Nintendo GameCube controllers can be used in multiplayer games.

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