Tecmo Bowl snaps on Wii VC

Old-school gridiron game leads Sonic Spinball and Double Dungeons onto Nintendo's downloadable game service.

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While the new wave of downloadable game services has already brought dozens of classic action and arcade titles back into the spotlight, the sports genre has been generally ignored in the trend. That might change as Nintendo today announced that a fondly remembered football game is headlining a slate of three new Virtual Console releases today.

Where you at, Bos?
Where you at, Bos?

Tecmo's humbly named Tecmo Bowl didn't carry an NFL license, but that didn't stop it from creating a game with thinly veiled stand-ins for the league's biggest teams. The NES game originally had an NFL Players Association license that let gamers storm the field with legends like Walter Payton, Bo Jackson, and Lawrence Taylor. However, all the players' names have been stripped from the Virtual Console edition and replaced with their jersey numbers.

Tecmo Bowl features a dozen teams, each with a lean offensive playbook of four plays and a defensive scheme that consists of choosing which play the offense planned to run. The game is playable alone or with a friend and sells for 500 Wii points ($5).

Joining Tecmo Bowl on the Virtual Console is Sega's mascot twist on another, less contact-intensive form of recreation, Sonic Spinball. Players take control of Sonic as he is launched into a series of pinball levels. But unlike an ordinary pinball game, Sonic Spinball features sprawling playfields laden with enemies, chaos emeralds to collect, and boss battles. Originally released on the Sega Genesis, Sonic Spinball is available for 800 Wii points ($8) and features support for up to four players.

The last Virtual Console release of the week is the TurboGrafx-16 first-person role-playing game Double Dungeons. Sporting two-player simultaneous play, Double Dungeons includes 22 scenarios for players to tackle and is available for 600 Wii points ($6).

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