Little-seen Zelda sequel finds new life on Wii U Virtual Console

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Nintendo’s latest cross-platform digital lineup marks the return of a classic game in The Legend of Zelda series that, until this week, remained exclusive to legacy Nintendo DS consoles.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, originally released in 2007, is now available for a new generation of Nintendo fans via the Wii U’s Virtual Console service.

Phantom Hourglass follows up on 2003’s The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, casting toon-shaded protagonist Link on a new journey. Unlike previous games in the series, Phantom Hourglass features a touch-driven control scheme, requiring players to make ample use of the DS stylus and microphone throughout.

The new Wii U Virtual Console version of Phantom Hourglass renders the formerly dual-screen game via the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen, and the controller’s included microphone allows for a fully featured port that retains all gameplay mechanics featured in the original DS game.

Also on the Wii U eShop this week is a long-awaited port of Team Meat’s indie platformer Super Meat Boy. First released via Xbox Live Arcade in 2010, Super Meat Boy makes the jump to Wii U with all of its original content intact, save for a revised soundtrack courtesy of music group Ridiculon.

Minecraft: Wii U Edition players can also look forward to the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack, which introduces a lineup of new playable characters along with Mario-themed music and item textures.

Over on the 3DS eShop, Nintendo has rolled out a new Disney-themed version of its instructional app Art Academy. Disney Art Academy includes more than 80 tutorials designed to help players learn how to draw classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, along with newcomers from recent animated films like Frozen and Inside Out.

Other newly released eShop games include the retro arcade adventure 8-Bit Hero, puzzle-platformer sequel Color Symphony 2, twin-stick shooter Tachyon Project, match-three puzzle game Queens Garden, and word puzzler Wordsup Academy.

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