Nintendo offers Virtual Console imports

Mario's Lost Levels and Treasure's Sin & Punishment surface on downloadable game service.

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Today, Nintendo updated the Wii's Virtual Console with two games that North American gamers were originally denied.

First up is Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. Originally released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, the game was curiously passed over for a North American release. Instead, Nintendo slapped Mario characters into an unrelated game and released that game as the classic platformer's sequel domestically. However, the Lost Levels have appeared in the US before, once as a part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection on the Super Nintendo, and again as a bonus mode in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the GameCube.

The other new import this week is Sin & Punishment, a Nintendo 64 shooter from the twitch-friendly developers at Treasure (Bangai-O, Gunstar Heroes). Taking its cues from the likes of Space Harrier and the Panzer Dragoon series, Sin & Punishment has players running toward the horizon and moving crosshairs around to target enemies. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's import review.

The two games appear in a new "Import" genre classification on the Wii Shop Channel, and just like tangible imported copies of games, they command a price premium. The Lost Levels sells for 600 Wii points ($6) compared to the standard NES game's 500 Wii points ($5), and Sin & Punishment will carry the same 20 percent markup. Treasure's shooter is available for 1,200 Wii points ($12), whereas its fellow N64 offerings normally sell for 1,000 Wii points ($10).

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