F-Zero X leads pack onto VC

Nintendo's hallmark 64-bit racer cruises to Wii's downloadable-game service with SNES fighter SFII Turbo: Hyper Fighting and TG-16 beat-'em-up China Warrior.

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With only four ports to date, the Nintendo 64 has by far been given the least amount of attention on the Wii's Virtual Console. However, this week's release list boosts that number to a solid handful, as F-Zero X makes its way to Nintendo's downloadable-game service. Finishing second and third behind the futuristic racer this week are Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and China Warrior for the TurboGrafx-16.

Arguably one of the best, and most difficult, racers of the 64-bit era, Nintendo's own F-Zero X on the N64 was notable for being one of the first home-console racing games to maintain 60 frames per second with multiple opponents onscreen. F-Zero X features several different modes, such as grand prix cup, time trial, and death race mode. Also included is a versus mode, where up to four players can speed through distant galaxies via split-screen play. F-Zero X is rated E for Everyone and costs 1,000 Wii points ($10).

Arguably one of the best seems to be a recurrent theme with this week's VC releases, as the Super Nintendo version of Capcom's Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting also wades into the fray. While eclipsed by the arcade original, the SNES version of Hyper Fighting features a faster play speed than pervious iterations in the acclaimed fighting series. Character balancing has also been updated in this version, and players can bring the fight with a repertoire of 12 world warriors in all. Hyper Fighting accommodates two players, is rated T for Teen, and runs for 800 Wii points ($8).

Released part and parcel with the TG-16 in Japan, Hudson's China Warrior transports players to ancient China, where they must assume the role of kung fu master Wang in their quest to topple the self-evidently evil Dark Emperor. With a style that more than coincidently resembles martial-arts legend Bruce Lee, players can punch, kick, and jump-kick their way through four levels and as many bosses. The China Warrior fights alone in this E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older side-scroller, and will set gamers back 600 Wii points ($6).

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