Seriously, Nintendo? I didn’t even necessarily believe this when I first read it. Last week, Nintendo only released one virtual console game, Mario Kart DS. This makes no sense to me. They just offered Platinum Club Nintendo members Mario Kart 7 for free, and released the second batch of DLC for Mario Kart 8 THE SAME DAY. Who is going to spend $10 or whatever to play an inferior version of Mario Kart? Like, I get that some people are nostalgic for Mario Kart 64 because you played it at some boy/girl party the same night they got to first base, but there is a line to be drawn with these games.
Super Mario Kart and Super Mario Kart 64 illicit nostalgia, and are slightly more unique in their own rights, so I can see why maybe someone would want to play them. Super Circuit is not good. Double Dash and Wii are both fine games that are totally playable to this day. Mario Kart DS was one of the better games at the time, and it was relatively impressive what they did to get it on a handheld that truly wasn’t that powerful, but come on, who is going to choose this game over any of the games that came after it, or even Double Dash? Nostalgia isn’t even that high for Mario Kart right now, with both current Nintendo systems already having an entry.
Even worse, Nintendo of America’s official twitter account sent this tweet last Thursday.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 23, 2015
Really, bruh? I can’t tell if this is them actually attempting to justify what a bad move this was, or them going to their social media guy being like “Listen, we released Mario Kart DS this week– yeah I know. Listen, it’s already been done, can you just put a little spin on it so we don’t seem totally ridiculous?”
What a waste of a week. I think it’s finally time for me to get into how I feel about how Nintendo is treating this new generation of Virtual Console.
First, check out this photograph of the guy who’s in charge of the Virtual Console.
For those of you who don’t know what the Virtual Console is, first of all, bless your heart for clicking on the read more link to begin with. The Virtual Console is a system that Nintendo put into place, originally on the Wii, to release games for their classic systems. On the Wii, they had QUITE the library, and they started fresh with the WiiU, and started doing it on the 3DS as well. You can get NES, SNES, N64, GBA, and DS games on the WiiU, and NES, GB, and GBC games are available on the 3DS. Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, and Turbo Grafx , and whatever other systems were available on the Wii are nowhere to be seen, presumably because they just didn’t sell well enough to justify getting more contracts signed. All the games include fully remappable control schemes, save states, and in the case of the WiiU, full off-screen play support. Every week, Nintendo releases one or two more games, but even in over two years of the Virtual Console being on the WiiU, the library is NOTHING compared to what it was on Wii.
Which leaves me asking the question, “how fucking come?” The ROMs are all loaded up somewhere, ready to go, controls more or less mapped, save state system in place, so what’s up? How could it possibly take any more time than one coder’s work day to prepare a game for release on the WiiU? Especially if it was already on the Wii. Maybe DS games are a little bit harder because of splitting up the screens, but I sincerely doubt it. If it’s an issue with licensing rights, screw that. I’m so sick of licensing rights getting between me and cool shit. Does Square Enix hate money? Just tell Nintendo you want a $1 for every copy of Chrono Trigger sold on the VC, and you’re good to go, dude. At the very least, EVERY SINGLE first party Nintendo game should be on that thing.
To their credit, DS games on the WiiU is an incredible idea. Not only does it just make sense, having two screens, but there are some serious gems on the DS. I just hope the release the correct ones.
Console selection is still an area they struggle with, however. The N64 was on the Wii already, and only made it to the WiiU like two weeks ago? WHY? What possible reason could have kept them from doing this? Hardware limitations? The WiiU can run a virtual Wii that you can use to play N64 games on already! Additionally, did you guys know that if you bought an original 3DS before the big price drop, Nintendo took pity on you and enrolled you in what they call the “ambassador program” and gave you a bunch of free classic games? Well, did you also know that one of those games was Metroid Fusion, playable on the 3DS? That’s right, certain people have a copy of a GBA games on their 3DS, but for some reason, GBA games are only available for purchase on the WiiU. Oh, and you obviously have to buy separate licenses for any NES games that are on both systems, no “cross-play” what so ever.
Okay, so I know you have to stifle the releases a little bit, but you already completed your BS plan to put out all the games featured in NES Remix, and your SNES library is looking okay too, and you got some real GBA gems, but now you have N64 and DS, don’t hold back.
I’m obviously being a little bit harsh. The Virtual Console on the WiiU, in its present state, is great. Undoubtedly, it offers tons of great classic Nintendo games, some that are among the greatest games of all time. Games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, and Earthbound all available in the same place, for a decent price, playable on a semi-handheld system is nothing to scoff at, I just don’t think Nintendo is realizing the full potential of the Virtual Console.
And until they do, I’m boycotting it. I won’t buy a single new game until– wait what? They released Paper Mario this week? Oh shit, that game is tight. Forget this, I’m going to buy that right now.
Coming Soon: Bear vs. Man’s Definitive List of Classic Games That the Continued Lack of Their Presence on the Virtual Console Should Be Considered a War Crime That Nintendo Will Be Tried for in a Multi-National Court
E-mail the author: Nick Obleschuk.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Big4Vlad