Sin & Punishment

This week the Wii Virtual Console shines with the warm light of promise, as an amazing title that had never seen the light of day on North American shores, and while it may cost a bit more than normal, who am I to put a price on Sin & Punishment? It's an on-rails shooter from shooter masters Treasure, which was released for the N64 in Japan back in 2000. Despite the odd mix of English voiceovers with Japanese subtitles, it never made it to the U.S., despite high critical praise from stateside media outlets. Well now it's here, and 1200 points is a pittance to pay for the privilege of playing it. This week also sees the release of Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, better known in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2. The true sequel to the original classic, this one doesn't involve yanking up vegetables. Discover the origin of the poison mushroom for a mere 600 points. Very well done this week Nintendo. More imports please!

WII-KLY UPDATE: TWO NEW CLASSIC GAMES ADDED TO WII SHOP CHANNEL

Oct. 1, 2007

This is a special week on the Wii Shop Channel. Frankly, it's a gamer's dream come true: Nintendo is launching the new Import genre with the release of two games that previously have never been available in the Western Hemisphere on their original platforms. The first will be hugely popular with Mario fans, who will love reliving the style of his classic games as they encounter new skills, new levels and new dangers. Nintendo 64 enthusiasts also get a masterpiece of the shooter genre and perhaps the best game never released outside of Japan. Welcome to Import Week for the Wii Shop Channel!

The two new classic games go live at 9 a.m. Pacific time. Nintendo adds new games to the Wii Shop Channel every Monday. Wii� owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points� to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. This week's new games are:

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels� (NES, 1 player, rated E for Everyone, 600 Wii Points): Originally released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2, this game has previously made only brief cameo appearances in the Western Hemisphere. Now available on the Virtual Console in all of its original splendor, Mario fans will appreciate the familiar look and feel of the game, while finding that its updated game play creates an entirely new challenge. No longer content just to wear different-colored overalls, Mario and Luigi also possess different skill sets: Mario can stop quicker, while Luigi can jump higher. In addition to the classic enemies already known to fans worldwide, there are also Poison Mushrooms, backward Warp Zones, and the occasional wind gust (which can help or hinder your progress) to take into account. And if that's somehow not enough, expert players can go looking for the game's secret worlds. So get ready to put your Mario skills to the ultimate test, and save the Princess again. Just don't be surprised if she's in another castle.

Sin & Punishment (Nintendo 64, 1-2 players, rated T for Teen Blood, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, 1,200 Wii Points): Created by the legendary development studio Treasure, this is a game that hard-core gamers and fans of Japanese imports recognise as one of the finest Nintendo 64 titles to have never previously reached North American shores. Its unique combination of English voice-overs with Japanese subtitles (preserved in this version) has only added to the enthusiasm for its eventual release here. Experience the frenetic pace of a classic shooter, while choosing from a variety of options and a number of different skill levels until you are ready to take on the full-blown challenge of Turbo Hard mode. Not to be outdone by the action, however, the intriguing story line gives the game its soul and draws you even further into the mix. Set in the near future, on an overpopulated Earth starved for resources, players uncover the intriguing mystery of two teenagers (Saki and Airan) and their battle against the Ruffians as they advance through level after level of nonstop action. Take a deep breath, gather your energy and prepare to see why this game is so highly praised.


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