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alienjesus
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by alienjesus Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:26 am

ESauced wrote:I was already into retro gaming when the Wii came out but the Wii shop was my first exposure to turbografx games. I bought Bonk’s Adventure the day it came out and have since picked up the entire bonk series and a couple other TG-16 games. I played Gunstar Heroes and the original Torjam and Earl for the first time on Wii too.


I didn't know what a Turbografx was at all when the VC console list was first announced! I only bought a few TG16 games on the service (Bonk's Adventure, Bomberman 93, Air Zonk, Lords of Thunder) but they convinced me I needed to own the console. Now I have a PAL Turbografx and a Japanese PC Engine Duo R along with about 25 games - for a system I'd not even heard of until the Wii came out.

In fact, the Wii VC was a treasure trove for me in discovering games that I never even had a chance to play due to them never being released here too. I'll write about that shortly though...

Xeogred wrote:Kind of surprised the Wii shop got some of you into retro gaming, huh...

Overall, I think the Virtual Console was mostly a disappointment to me. The Wii menu is also atrocious.

My expectations were really overblown I guess. Initially I thought it all sounded amazing. I figured that we would virtually get 90% of the entire NES, SNES, N64, GC, libraries on there and then some. Along with thinking that Nintendo and other companies would bother to bring over some games we never got before, with new official translations.


I mean, when the Wii came out I'd only been actively following the current gaming trends for one console generation, so it was a big deal for me.

I actually really like the Wii menu because it's simple to find what you want due to it being clearly visible and almost totally customisable. The only issue was when you used to have to 'clear out the fridge' back in the early days of VC because the Wii's piddly internal memory didn't let you fit many games. Luckily they added the ability to load games from SD card later, so that's where I kept all of my VC stuff - which I should also back up, now I think about it! I cannot comprehend the menus of modern games which load icons for physical games - even when they're not in the system. Why do I have icons of 28 games on my Vita menu page that I can't actually play? Just add one bubble for 'cartridge' and leave it be.

I think everyone had the idea that more stuff might have come to the Virtual Console, but I also think that everyone overlooked a lot of stuff - licensing of some of these games is complex, especially with many of the companies long dead. Significant portions of the library wouldn't be worth porting due to the cost of getting them rated and probably low sales for the likes of 'Super Morph' or whatever. And also, the service at it's prime still had almost 400 games on it, which is a thoroughly solid selection. Compare that to Sony's handful of PS1 and PS2 releases on their service and the Virtual Console library is actually pretty impressive if you ask me.

And there are plenty of oddities and rarities in there - check out the likes of Sin & Punishment, Wild Guns, Rondo of Blood, Ufouria: The Saga, Pulseman, DoReMi Fantasy and the half the freaking Turbografx library that's on there!

Also, it's only a couple of games, but there were a few which had features added - including, notably the translation of Monster World 4, in English for the first time (fortunately still available on PSN and XB Live though), as well as online play added to Puyo Puyo Tsuu.
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by alienjesus Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:55 am

Double post time. I said I could talk about lots of topics here. Let me introduce those of you outside of Europe to the Hanabi Festival!

Hanabi Festival, named after a traditional Japanese festival came around every so often on the Virtual Console (at times utterly irrelevant to the real Hanabi festival) and was a celebration of import games - each festival came with the ability to play games never released before in Europe - most of which have never been released any other way in Europe even to this day.

Here's the line up of stuff we got, which bear in mind, only importers had ever had the chance to play previously!
:
Hanabi Festival 1:
- Gradius 3 (SNES)
- Mario's Super Picross (SNES)
- Ninja Gaiden (NES)
- Ninja JaJaMaru-Kun (NES)
- Sin & Punishment (N64)
- Super Mario Bros 2 (JP) (NES) - available temporarily
Note: We actually did get Ninja Gaiden in PAL regions, but it was called Shadow Warriors. This was the 60hz US release so they counted it as an import.

Hanabi Festival 2:
- Break In (TG16)
- Cho Aniki (TG16)
- Columns III: Revenge of Columns (MD)
- Digital Champ: Battle Boxing (TG16)
- Final Soldier (TG16)
- Gley Lancer (MD)
- Gradius II: Gofer No Yabou (TG16)
- Puyo Puyo Tsuu (MD)
- Star Parodier (TG16)

Hanabi Festival 3:
- Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (NES)
- Dig Dug (NES)
- DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure (SNES)
- Spelunker (NES)
- Super Mario Bros 2 (JP) - available permanently now
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)

Hanabi Festival 4:
- Bomberman 94 (TG16)
- Detana!! Twinbee (TG16)
- Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)
- M.U.S.H.A (MD)
- Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen (SNES)
- Pulseman (MD)
- Smash Table Tennis (NES)
- Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics 2 (NES)

Hanabi Festival 5 (the final one):
- Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (TG16)
- Ironclad (NeoGeo)
- Lode Runner (NES)
- Milon's Secret Castle (NES)
- Ogre Battle 64 (N64)

We also got all these import titles outside of Hanabi Festivals:
- Final Fantasy (NES)
- Final Fantasy II (SNES)
- Shadow of the Ninja (NES) (60hz version, originally Blue Shadow here)
- Super Bonk (SNES)
- S.C.A.T (NES) (60hz version, originally Action In New York here)
- Natsume Championship Wrestling (NES)
- Final Fantasy III (SNES)
- The Ignition Factor (SNES)
- Chrono Trigger (SNES)
- Monster World IV (MD)
- Also basically every TG16 title on the service, because the console never properly came out here

Sorry for the long list, but these import titles were super exciting for those of in Europe back in the day. This was the first time we got to play games like Super Mario RPG, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and MUSHA. Never mind all the Japanese goodness here - Pulseman, DoReMi Fantasy, Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa, Gley Lancer - it was good stuff! A lot of this stuff is still only playable on PAL systems by buying it from VC, and in a month or so, that ability to do so will be gone. So if there are any PAL lurkers reading this thread, take the chance and go and buy some of these now. I'm sure you won't regret it!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:44 am

alienjesus wrote:
ESauced wrote:I was already into retro gaming when the Wii came out but the Wii shop was my first exposure to turbografx games. I bought Bonk’s Adventure the day it came out and have since picked up the entire bonk series and a couple other TG-16 games. I played Gunstar Heroes and the original Torjam and Earl for the first time on Wii too.


I didn't know what a Turbografx was at all when the VC console list was first announced! I only bought a few TG16 games on the service (Bonk's Adventure, Bomberman 93, Air Zonk, Lords of Thunder) but they convinced me I needed to own the console. Now I have a PAL Turbografx and a Japanese PC Engine Duo R along with about 25 games - for a system I'd not even heard of until the Wii came out.


Ahhhh! I forgot that the VC gave me Bonk! I'd never heard of it before, and being a dumb baby, I bought all of them at once because I had points to burn. This was one of the times where I didn't regret that decision though! Bonk is one of my favorite retro series now :D

I really must trawl the Japanese-speaking internet for a list of the best wiiware games. I'm not so fussed about the US one, because I'm fairly sure I have most everything I could ever want on that thing. I'm not so sure about the Japanese one, which I've never taken the time to reallllly get into.

I've considered dropping a big chunk of change on to the thing for some VC titles like later Goemon games, but anything I can just buy physically or emulate so easily isn't something I'd be interesting in dropping cash on right now.
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alienjesus
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by alienjesus Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:56 am

PartridgeSenpai wrote:I really must trawl the Japanese-speaking internet for a list of the best wiiware games. I'm not so fussed about the US one, because I'm fairly sure I have most everything I could ever want on that thing. I'm not so sure about the Japanese one, which I've never taken the time to reallllly get into.

I've considered dropping a big chunk of change on to the thing for some VC titles like later Goemon games, but anything I can just buy physically or emulate so easily isn't something I'd be interesting in dropping cash on right now.



Here's a Japanese Wiiware exclusive that I've heard a lot about: http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/2009/12/poles_big_adventure
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by marurun Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:08 am

I think the Wii VC was most helpful at exposing folks to PC Engine/TurboGrafx titles. The emulation quality is pretty good on those, actually. I was impressed. I even picked up Rondo of Blood so I could play it again.
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by Anayo Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:06 pm

From reading everyone's posts I'm starting to see that overall the Wii shop was a good thing. For a few members of this forum it was the "gateway drug" to retro gaming. In that respect it's analogous to a friend of mine who never owned a real Sega Genesis as a kid, but had Sega Smash Pack Volume 1 for the PC and ended up with strong Sega Genesis nostalgia today as a result. The same could be said of me, a 90's kid, and Atari Anniversary Edition Redux on the Playstation.

However, the Wii Shop's closure makes me uncomfortable about the future of digitally distributed games. In 2005 I was gravely distrustful of Steam. Then in 2009 there was a Steam sale where Bioshock could be had for $5. I thought, "Hell, I'd rent it for that much." Several steam sales later I had a few dozen games. The point at which I realized Steam was here to stay was when I got a new computer and painlessly downloaded all my games. All I had to do was type my username and password. Then I felt reassured that my Steam library would be around for decades in the future, regardless of how many times I upgraded computers.

It's clear from the Wii shop's closure that Nintendo has no intention of this kind of permanence. They're not rolling into their next generation of hardware or honoring past purchases in any way. Also, it's clear big game studios want everyone to buy their games digitally - I mean AAA $60 games, not just small indie titles or Virtual Console throwbacks. In a recent kotaku article, Ubisoft reveals they only see 55% of the cover price from physical games sold in brick and mortar stores. But they keep 70% of that money if they sell the same game via digital distribution. (Reference: https://kotaku.com/why-ubisoft-is-obsessed-with-games-as-a-service-1822938255) For me this portends disturbing implications for the future of console gaming.
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by marurun Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:21 pm

I agree about concerns about impermanence, however, if your Wii still works you don't lose access to already-downloaded titles. The fact that Nintendo has kept the Wii Store going this long (almost 11 years) is quite impressive. Further, they do allow WiiU owners to roll forward their purchases to the WiiU. This is also a very important thing, because it helps users preserve their games. I really wish Nintendo had rolled out the VC on the Switch in time to support roll-forward from Wii and WiiU.

All this is my way of saying that I am also concerned, but I certainly didn't have any expectations that Nintendo would do even as well as they have. I purchased a few VC titles with the understanding that they might be temporary. That they persisted as long as they did is more than I could have hoped for, even from Nintendo. I realize that other Wii owners may have had a different calculus than I did and that might change things.
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by alienjesus Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:30 pm

Whilst I think this an important discussion to have, I do ask that you please move it to another thread. Discussion topics about digital games very frequently veer into this territory, and just this once I'm trying to make a positive thread about this particular form of digital store, warts and all. :D
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by marurun Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:51 pm

I will say I also appreciated the selection of N64 titles. I don't own an N64 and I kind of don't want to. Being able to play a small number on my Wii is a nice way to enjoy them without a whole new system. And emulation of them was actually pretty good.
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Re: A fond farewell to the Wii Shop Channel

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:53 pm

I really liked the selection of Commodore 64, Neo Geo, and arcade titles. That was the only way I have to play a lot of those games without emulation.
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