Sony has its PlayStation Plus program, which has a solid April lineup for PS4 and PS3, and Microsoft has its Games with Gold program, which still sits secretly for next month’s roster. And then there’s Nintendo, which has its Wii U Virtual Console games for April already in the hopper. And you know what? Nintendo could trounce them all.
The difference, of course, is that Nintendo’s Wii U Virtual Console Games for April all come with a price tag, whereas Sony’s and Microsoft’s are part of their buffet-like program. To be fair, that means the bar should be set a bit higher for the Wii U Virtual Console. With that said, none of the games in Nintendo’s April lineup is priced to break the bank.
From April 3 through 24, select Game Boy Advance titles will launch in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U each week. In addition to off-TV play, these games feature Restore Points that save progress during gameplay as well as Miiverse functionality. The original NES game Super Mario Bros. 3 also launches for both Wii U and 3DS on April 17. A game from the Metroid series is also on tap for the Wii U Virtual Console Games in April.
On April 3, the Wii U Virtual Console will get three games:
- Advance Wars ($7.99): Command air, ground and naval forces in strategic turn-based battles to drive back the vibrant armies of several scheming generals. Order troops carefully, then watch as tanks obliterate enemies and jets go head-to-head in midair dogfights. Can you fend off an army of elite strategists? It’s your move.
- Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga ($7.99): Leap and level up as Mario and Luigi simultaneously in their first role-playing adventure as a team of Bros. When an evil witch replaces Princess Peach’s voice with explosives, the Bros. must venture beyond the Mushroom Kingdom to save her. Control each bro separately or together, then team up to unleash Bros. Attacks on Fawful’s fan-favorite face.
- Metroid Fusion ($7.99): Your mission: Eradicate the X parasites and the mutants they infect. Power up with the Fusion Suit to annihilate your enemies in this action-packed side-scroller set on an isolated research station. Along the way, you’ll find game-changing items like the Space Jump as you lose yourself in the blissful solitude of this eerily engrossing adventure.
The April 10 Wii U Virtual Console games don’t have the same heft as Mario and Metroid, but they’re not exactly stinkers. There are just two of them to look forward to that week:
- Kirby & The Amazing Mirror ($6.99): When the going gets tough, Kirby gets cloning. Call in colorful clone reinforcements to aid Kirby in blasting, bashing and smashing his foes. With a new menace at his side, Dark Meta Knight is corrupting the sprawling, mazelike Mirror Kingdom. Join the famous pink puffball on an adventure to save the land in this classic platformer.
- WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! ($6.99): Get ready for video games done Wario-style. In the game that started the WarioWare, Inc. empire, Wario has a plan to get rich quick. Skate, jump, scare and shoot your way through more than 200 frantic, rapid-fire microgames of every type, from retro classics to sports games to sci-fi shooters that anyone can pick up and play.
The following week (April 17), Mario makes another return to the Wii U Virtual Console games April lineup, and this time it’s a doozy.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (also on Nintendo 3DS, both for $4.99): Jump, swim and fly through one of the greatest and most beloved Super Mario Bros. games of all time. In this timeless NES classic, you’ll battle through over 70 baddie-infested courses and face off against the infamous Koopalings. Bowser and the Koopalings are causing chaos yet again, but this time, they’re going beyond the Mushroom Kingdom and into seven neighboring worlds. Lucky for the brothers, they have more power-ups than ever before. Fly above the action with the Super Leaf, swim faster as Frog Mario or turn into stone and drop onto enemies as Tanooki Mario. You can even choose your path on the map to reach the end of the World. There, you’ll have to pass massive Airships filled with cannons and fire traps to reach a showdown with one of the Koopalings.
- F-Zero: Maximum Velocity ($6.99): Get your adrenaline pumping and race plasma-powered machines till your knuckles turn white. Boost down some of the most dangerous tracks in the universe and strive for victory at all costs, even if it means ramming your opponents off the road. Revel in your accomplishments and climb the Grand Prix standings to unlock tracks and vehicles.
- Golden Sun ($7.99): Marvel at your own awesome power while protecting the world as it crumbles around you. Wield mighty weapons and use your mind to bend reality with magical Psynergy in the premiere installment of this epic RPG series. To aid you on your quest, seek out the omnipotent creatures known as Djinn – but beware: You must defeat them to harness their power.
The last week of April sees a single Wii U Virtual Console game release. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 will be available for download for $7.99 on April 24. In the game, Yoshi is back and ready to romp through a crayon-colored world where enemies are everywhere. Prepare to flutter jump and toss eggs to protect young Mario from the evil Magikoopa, Kamek. To save the day, Yoshi and his pals will have to morph into vehicles and even EAT their enemies to turn them into eggs.