Last week, Nintendo announced that its Nintendo 64 racer Mario Kart 64 would be powersliding onto the Wii's Virtual Console downloadable game service. The Toadstool Turismo would not arrive unaccompanied, as Nintendo also introduced the Super Nintendo shooter Contra III: The Alien Wars and two Genesis action games--Bonanza Bros. and Comix Zone--to its list of online offerings.
Mario Kart 64 is only the second Nintendo 64 game released on the Virtual Console, and much like the first (Super Mario 64), it stars Nintendo's iconic Italian plumber. The game brought the Super Nintendo original Super Mario Kart into 3D with four-player action that included a race mode to see who could finish first and a direct battle mode for when racers had suffered one too many turtle shells up the tailpipe. Like Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 commands a price tag of 1,000 Wii points ($10).
Originally released in 1992, Konami's Contra III: The Alien Wars threw players into the year 2636; armed them with assault rifles, flamethrowers, and spread-shot guns; and asked them to exterminate an extraterrestrial menace. Sporting six stages and two-player cooperative action, Contra III is available for 800 Wii points ($8).
As for the Genesis games, Comix Zone puts a twist on the action genre by structuring its levels as living comic book pages that the player must fight through, while Bonanza Bros. is an early stealth action game that lets two players work together to rob buildings packed with security guards. Both games are 800 Wii points ($8).
According to Sega's Web site, the Genesis shooter Gain Ground should also be released today, but it was not included in this morning's update to the Virtual Console offerings.