I am pretty angry at Nintendo at the moment. The reason? Ocarina of Time is getting a Virtual Console release. Now why would I, a Zelda fan since the NES days, be angry about that? Well…
I own Ocarina of Time on the N64, the GameCube TWICE, the Wii and the 3DS. That means I own that game 5 times. I paid for that game 5 times (3 times if you count the GameCube versions as free games) and every single time I said to myself that this is the last time I’ll buy it. But now I actually mean it, because I am broke. But that’s not the point. The point is this: Nintendo just sucks lately.
I am a Nintendo fan. Not a fanboy but a fan. I like their products and their characters. But after that E3 presentation I can’t help but wonder if their company isn’t run by idiots. And I don’t mean to offend but whoever is responsible for their Virtual Console is weird. And if it is Iwata himself he is weird. Let me explain.
E3 was weird. Nintendo hat some great things in store but instead of showing us those in their direct they trickled out the information over the weeks before E3 and had a very lackluster presentation. This reminded me of their Virtual Console service that has some great games but the way they trickle them out is a horror.
Now I get that they don’t want to release everything at the same time. After all, this way they can get people to come back week after week. But why is the service so damn awful?
Not only do we STILL have fewer games on Wii U VC than we did on Wii, we have fewer systems as well. Instead of making the entire Wii VC available to Wii U on release and bolster it with new releases and systems like GBA, DS and Wii, we have to re-buy everything AGAIN. At the current rate it will take forever to get some games and in two years when the NX is released, do we have to rebuy everything again?
But Spike, I hear you say, you can still just play those games in Wii mode! Yes. I can also play them on my original NES but that is not the point. The point is that, if you offer a service, you better make it a good one. The Wii U’s Wii mode is a chore, doesn’t have gamepad support for some strange reason, is slow and annoying. Much like the Virtual Console itself.
Now, I don’t understand why we still have no GameCube Virtual Console yet either. The GameCube Controler adapter is completely useless outside of Smash Bros so why can’t we use it for other games, a GameCube Virtual Console or at least the Wii games that supported it in the first place?
I have no problem with the filter Nintendo puts on their NES games. I have no problem with games being darker due to the fact that they want to prevent seizures. But I have a problem with the fact that the SNES games are the wrong aspect ratio, that there is no way to correct that for me as a user, that I can’t switch to different brightness settings, that N64 games lag, that we europeans mostly get those god awful 50z versions that just suck, that there is no way for me as a user to chose if I want the 50hz version in german or the 60hz US version in english, that the entire service is way overpriced and that there is no cross buy with the 3DS VC.
Now, I hear you say, it is easy to complain, but porting games to VC is work, it is expensive, what would you change to make it worth the money for the company?
That is a dumb question. First, it is not my job to do those things, it is Nintendo’s job. Second, with a few small tweaks that cost almost nothing you can fix all those errors. There, I am going to do your job after all, Nintendo.
First the GBA and DS VC is pretty good. The games are darker but that is not a problem at all, seeing how you don’t even realize that if you set up your TV correctly. Maybe release a few more games every now and then and we have a winner. So there’s that. As for the rest…
The SNES VC has the wrong aspect ratio. Worst offender here is Super Metroid where Samus Morph Ball is not a sphere but an oval. Just set the correct aspect ratio in the emulator. Doesn’t cost anything. The rest of the SNES VC is pretty okay, except those bad 50hz ports. Super Metroid is barely playable due to that. Why not offer an alternative download on the eShop page. A chose your version page, offering the japanese, US and PAL versions. Maybe I would like to play the japanese version? Maybe I am japanese and just live in europe for the time being? Stupid region locking-.-
The NES VC needs even less work. Add a button in the VC menu that says filter ON/OFF. you know like the DS version, a simple button press. There, problem solved.
The N64 VC is the worst. The games have input lag for some reason, are darker than they should be and are those horrible 50hz versions. If you can’t program an emulator, hire somebody who can. Input lag is inexcusable. The darkness I understand, again, seizures and all but a brightness option would still be nice, as would be a widescreen option for the games that support it (like Donkey Kong 64) and we already fixed the 50hz thing with the select option in the shop.
The Wii VC is so-so, basically it is a shortcut launching the game in Wii mode but at least here you can use the Gamepad as classic controler. So again, why no GameCube Controler? And why not just uprez the games to 720p while we are at it? Surely if you manage to change the Wii mode to use the gamepad you can also change it to output the games in 720p resolution. Which begs the question if you can change Wii mode to use the gamepad, why only for those select VC games and not the entire Wii mode? Because that would make the entire VC problem totally obsolete!
Finally, here are a few games I want to see on 3DS or Wii U Virtual Console. Titles in bold are already available on the Wii. I even added original system and current rights owner, again doing all the work myself.
- 1080° Snowboarding (N64, Nintendo)
- ActRaiser (SNES, Square Enix (yeah, they have a horrible VC track record))
- Bomberman Hero (N64, Konami)
- Castlevania II – Belmont’s Revenge (GameBoy, Konami)
- Castlevania – Dawn of Sorrow (DS, Konami)
- Castlevania – Legacy of Darkness (N64, Konami (don’t bother with the first N64 Castlevania))
- Castlevania Legends (GameBoy, Konami)
- Castlevania – Order of Ecclesia (DS, Konami)
- Castlevania – Portrait of Ruin (DS, Konami)
- Chrono Trigger (SNES, Square Enix)
- Comix Zone (Genesis, Sega (Sega, if you read this I want this as 3D Classics since that service is actually great!))
- Crystalis (NES, Nintendo)
- eXtreme G (N64, Throwback Entertainment)
- F-Zero X (N64, Nintendo (seriously? What gives?))
- Faxanadu (NES, Konami)
- Golden Axe (Genesis/Arcade, Sega (another one of those games I’d like to see as a 3D Classics on 3DS))
- Jet Force Gemini (N64, Rare (and don’t give me that Microsoft rights talk, 3rd party is 3rd party))
- Lufia and the Fortress of Doom (SNES, Square Enix)
- Lufia II – Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES, Square Enix (the US version was published by Natsume who recently released Lufia III for 3DS)
- Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow (SNES, Disney Interactive (don’t bother with the Genesis or GameBoy versions))
- Mega Man 64 (N64, Capcom)
- Rygar (NES, TecmoKoei(only the arcade version was on Wii but the NES version is not bad either))
- Secret of Evermore (SNES, Square Enix)
- Secret of Mana (SNES, Square Enix)
- Sin and Punishment (N64, Treasure (you had this translated for Wii, the sequel is on Wii VC, what gives?))
- Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, Nintendo (because why is part 2 up but part 1 not?))
- Terranigma (Super Nintendo, Square Enix)
- Trojan (NES, Capcom)
- Wave Race 64 (N64, Nintendo)
- Yoshi’s Island (SNES, Nintendo (and don’t give me that GBA crap))
- Yoshi’s Story (N64, Nintendo (Why that one wasn’t released with Wooly World is beyond me))
This is just the top of my head, the list is probably longer. Oh and while I am at it, why not do a Sega Saturn VC? I am pretty sure nobody would object to have Symphony of the Night on Wii U…
This is the first in a five part series. Click here to read part 2!