April 9th, 2007, 23:21 Posted By: wraggster
I have a love-hate relationship with Wii’s Virtual Console. First, the love: classic gaming goodness on my Wii, the Wiimote is awesome for NES games, the way each game has its own channel is cool, and the games (especially NES) look fantastic. There, that does it for the love. Now on to the hate…
You may have thought I’d immediately start whining over the service’s pricing, but I’m actually in the minority that doesn’t find the prices all that outrageous. Sure, the games are, in reality, far too expensive, but I don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for what I believe to be priceless classics from the past.
My main VC issue is this: If Nintendo’s big wigs are intent on selling VC games for mad profit, which they obviously are, they should make sure that customers get their money’s worth by ensuring titles are optimized on Wii, or, at the very least, live up to the standard set by the originals. The problem is that in the case of the most expensive downloads, N64 games, these things aren’t happening, and as far as I’m concerned, customers are basically getting the shaft. There are two major oversights responsible for this — omission of rumble and lack of Controller Pack support.
First up, rumble. I know, I know — I’m a self-proclaimed rumble freak who’s ranted on the topic around here before. Still, I simply have to go at it again. A whole slew of awesome Nintendo 64 games were enhanced via the Rumble Pack — already-released VC titles Zelda: OOT and StarFox 64 among them — and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Nintendo could easily allow support for this feature through the Gamecube controller. Why not?
Second, and perhaps more importantly, the company ridiculously claims that it’s not possible to include VC support for save data handled by N64’s Controller Pack. Heads up, Nintendo: Emulators created by fans have supported this feature for years. Thus far, Ghost Mode’s complete absence from Mario Kart 64 has been the worst casualty of this oversight, but if Nintendo fails to address the problem in the future, other classics could likewise take a serious hit.
While these two oversights are a bummer in and of themselves, what irks me even more, and what should really bother you, is the attitude Nintendo is showing here. The firm is basically saying, ‘Despite the fact that we’re charging premium prices and making nothing but mad profit from VC releases, we’re not going to spend an extra day or two programming in a couple features that would make the titles true to their original compositions. The fans will buy them anyway.’ Total bull, as far as I’m concerned, and such an attitude also shows a striking lack of esteem for the games themselves.
It’s not too late for Nintendo to do something about these issues, though. If enough fans make noise, Rumble/Controller Pack support could be enabled in future releases, and already-released titles could easily be patched. So if you feel like you’re getting the shaft, let Nintendo know how you feel. Tell them you want to be able to experience your favorite N64 classics in their complete, original forms, not downgraded by blatant corporate laziness. At ten bucks a pop, that certainly isn’t too much to ask.
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