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Wii Virtual Console: Nostalgia Driven?

posted on January 2nd, 2007 by matt

With many obscure and unknown titles being released for Nintendo’s Virtual Console, many pundits are saying the service is merely driven by nostalgia; older gamers trying to relive their pasts by purchasing any game they grew up with, even if those games are horrible in nature. Many also think games from back then are too basic when compared to current games, and are not worth the time.

Personally, if you look at most of the NES titles, then yes, most games are a little too basic and will only be bought for nostalgia’s sake. Games like Mario Bros. (Arcade) and Ice Hockey do prove most critics’ points. But that’s only one console out of the possible five. You can’t deem something worthless when you’re accounting for only 20% of the situation.

Titles like F-Zero for SNES, Gunstar Heroes for Genesis, Bonk’s Adventure for Turbografix-16, and Super Mario 64 for N64 all have amazing staying power when compared to games of today.

F-Zero, in particular, has some amazing gameplay, easily bringing a level of complexity that many gamers would want now. And I never played Gunstar Heroes before, and that game is pure gaming joy. Then think of Street Fighter II, ToeJam & Earl, and Super Castlevania IV. They may not be as complex as a GTA title, but they’re still a lot of fun to play.

So does any videolamer-ians have any nice words to say about VC, or did you get a bad taste in your mouth from Solomon’s Key? What games are filling up your Channels as we speak?

5 Comments

  1. GoldenJew said on January 3, 2007:

    I don’t have a Wii (waiting on my roommate to get off his ass and buy one, remember I’m a cheap jew), but I think that while yes, Nintendo is just milking the old libraries for extra cash, there are a number of titles that are well worth playing.  I think the sucky part is waiting for the good ones to come out, and most likely the ratio of Solomon’s Key: Bonk’s adventure quality games will continue to be 5-10:1.  And this is intentional– as nostalgic as we all may be, remember, there were lots of old sucky games (just as there are lots of new sucky games).  Nintendo isn’t going to blow their wad by frontloading the good stuff, they probably have a queue of at least a year already planned out, with the right ratio of diamond:rough.  In conclusion: regardless of whether it’s new or old games, you are never rewarded for being an early adopter with a new gaming system.  You are instead destined to be strung along like a band geek by the star quarterback (he hurt me so much!) 

  2. Christian said on January 3, 2007:

    I don’t know the exact release dates for any of the first party NES, but it seems they’re being released chronologically.  Baseball, Tennis, Pinball DK and Mario were all October ’85 releases on the NES.  F-Zero was a SNES launch title.  Same deal with Mario 64.  The only oddball from Nintendo themselves is Wario’s Woods, one of the last NES games ever.  Makes me wonder if there doing this in order rather than by quality, letting 3rd parties get whatever they want out the door at their own discretion.

  3. jay said on January 3, 2007:

    I am a little upset that I bought Solomon’s Key but mostly at myself. I think that while the VC may offer some excellent games, nostalgia is still the number one motivation driving us. An even more compelling question than why play these old games is why bother buying them at all? I tell myself that I prefer playing on the TV with a real controller and that PC emulators just aren’t as good. But I still can’t help but feel I’m going out of my way to be a fanboy and buying games I ordinarily would just pirate. It’s like I hope if I pay Nintendo enough they will give me more good Wii games.

  4. chris said on January 3, 2007:

    We got Gunstar Heroes and Mario 64 – GH because my roommates hadn’t played it, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  Mario 64 because my roommate had lost his copy of the original.  Plus it has somewhat higher resolution and looks nice.I could see getting the best games, but I think we’ll probably be really selective, sticking mostly to NES games (since NES systems are mostly dead now) and Genesis / Turbografx (since we don’t have the systems).  Maybe if they come out with some oddball rare SNES or N64 games (Ogre Battle) it’s possible we’ll get those too.

  5. Matt said on January 4, 2007:

    As for my collection, I have a few games, actually. I have Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 64, SimCity, F-Zero, Street Fighter II, Super Castlevania IV, Super Star Soldier, and Gunstar Heroes. The Star Soldier one is the worst one, actually, and that was really not that bad.

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