With all eyes turned to San Francisco's Moscone Center this week, we half expected the Wii's Virtual Console to take a breather. What we got, as it turns out, is two extremely competent releases playing to two of our greatest loves, namely ninjas and, well, genetically engineered chicks with claws, giving those of us manning the Joystiq bunker something to fawn over while the team prepares to burn the midnight oil.
- Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (NES, 1 player, 500 Wii Points): We'd be more inclined to watch daytime television if network soap operas took a page from Tecmo and filled their stories with ninjas, demons, and trans-dimensional clones. While Ryu Hayabusa's 8-bit escapades may be lacking the over-the-top gore found in the series' more contemporary offerings, we doubt even the upcoming Ninja Gaiden II will have a 'ship of doom.'
- Phantasy Star II (Sega Genesis, 1 player, 800 Wii Points): While Phantasy Star is better known now for its multiplayer shenanigans and a story thin enough to be named Top Model, the franchise's single player roots continue to be home to some of our most fondly-remembered role-playing from days when pixels were king. It's true that some could argue that Phantasy Star IV tops out its brothers as the series' best bet, but we'll always have a special place in our hearts for Phantasy Star II and Nei's cosmetically-challenged ears.