Virtual Console Countdown: Ninja Gaiden III and Phantasy Star II

Ok, so it’s not much of a countdown if there’s no “1,” but at least there are two pretty decent games to choose from this week.

For the masochists, there’s the third spirit-shattering installment of the NES Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, The Ancient Ship of Doom, which is 1-player E-rated demon-slaying fun for a paltry 500 Wii Points. Help Ryu clear his name after being framed for the murder of his beloved Irene by destroying the enemy “BIO-NOIDS”– we presume they ruin BIO-PIZZAS. In Ryu’s last adventure before going into a 13-year ninja-hibernation, he busts out new moves like clinging to horizontal surfaces, huge sword strikes, and the ability to see what items are contained in orbs before slashing them.

For 300 Wii Points more, you can swing over to the Genesis side of town with Phantasy Star II, SEGA’s classic E-rated RPG. Navigate the Algol star system as either Rudo, Nei, Rolf (not from the Muppet Show, sorry), or one of several others, battling the evil Dark Force.