I’m sure everyone’s excited about the DSi and the new Punch-Out!! and the Chibi Robo Wii port and all, but the big news I took from Nintendo’s recent flurry of press releases was Iwata’s announcement that we will finally be able to play Virtual Console and WiiWare games from external storage!
This is the best thing that could have happened for my Wii.
See, I haven’t been playing much Wii these days. In fact, I haven’t been playing any Wii for the past few months. It’s not for lack of desire either. I’m extremely eager to pick up Mega Man 9 and Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People and play them all hours of the night, I really am. But my Wii’s 512MB of internal storage filled to capacity a long time ago, and I really didn’t care for Nintendo’s original “delete old stuff” recommendation. Now we’ll be able to use SD cards to offset internal storage woes! And with 2GB cards being so cheap nowadays, this is going to solve my problem quite readily.
So I guess I’ll be playing these newfangled VC games some time around Spring ’09. No spoilers please.
(courtesy of Wii Fanboy)
Anyone else hear about this Mega Man 9 news? Game news sites across the Web basically exploded a few weeks ago when it was learned that the new entry in the series would be presented in a style akin to the original games on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Anyone who knows me should be aware that this prospect excites me to no end (to those who don’t know me: this prospect excites me to no end). I figured I’d wait to talk about it until some kind of fancy official trailer was released to drool over, and IGN delivered!
Neat, huh? I realize they very well may not be treating NES-style graphics and sound as the legitimate art style I consider them to be, and that they likely are depending on old-school gamer chumps like myself to fork over hard-earned cash on something that may have taken them very little effort to complete, but a guy can certainly dream. There do seem to be some indications that they put some good time into this title. I’m no Mega Man aficionado, but I don’t recognize the music from past entries in the series (Die-hard fans, please correct me for likely being wrong). They lay claim to having created like a million new enemy sprites for the ninth entry in the series, and I suppose I can buy that.
But the most important thing is, they made a retro sequel to a classic game series! New Super Mario Bros. was fun and all, but this, for all intents and purposes this is a new NES game, and that’s something very special in an age of fancy Mode 7s, breathtaking full-motion video intros and advanced spline reticulations.
My recent acquisition of LostWinds brought up an issue I was hoping I’d never have to deal with. As I attempted to purchase the title, I found that my Wii did not have sufficient storage space for the download! With much hemming and hawing, I deleted Paper Mario and made the purchase, but I know I’m gonna go through the same process when Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People is eventually released (BOO DELAYS).
What is Nintendo’s solution to my predicament? Delete more old games to make room for the new.
Sorry Nintendo, but YOU’RE WRONG. This is an absolutely terrible solution. I know I can always go back and redownload the games I delete for no additional charge, but this silly tinkering goes completely against the spirit of your home console that’s easy for everyone to use. The entire Internet probably agrees with me that you need to start using those USB ports on the back for an external storage solution. I’m talkin’ USB hard drives here. If we could simply plug in a hard drive externally and run Virtual Console and WiiWare titles from it, all my problems would be solved.
The reason I bring this up on my fancy Interblog instead of just mumbling and grumbling about it offline like I have been for the past few weeks is because of something I read on Games Are Fun today. Apparently Nintendo is hiring hardware and software testers with a focus on those underutilized USB ports! This is potentially awesome news, because my powers of conjecture and random guessing lead me to assume that support for USB hard drives is 100% definitely in the works. I would even be happy buying a special Nintendo-branded hard drive if it helped me achieve my dream of storing all my digital Wii downloads in one place!
You listening Nintendo? Obviously you are, but I’ll reiterate: I will give you money for the ability to run games from a USB hard drive. Right now you are giving up money. That’s just bad business really.
(courtesy of Games Are Fun)
Two weeks ago, Nintendo finally unveiled their WiiWare download service, wherein developers can distribute small games through the Shop Channel for direct download. I must confess that most of the titles didn’t interest me at all (except Dr. Mario Online Rx, but that wasn’t available at launch), but after seeing a trailer for LostWinds via the new Nintendo Channel, I knew I’d have to give it a try. The novelty of tossing Toku around with the Wii Remote pointer function representing gusts of wind was too cool to pass up, and I’m glad to say I enjoyed every minute of the game.
That said, one aspect of this game bothered me: no one told me it was an episodic title.
Now I don’t have any inherent qualms against episodic games. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Sam & Max series, I bought Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One the day it came out and am loving it, and I eagerly await Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People‘s debut on WiiWare next month.
My issue lies with the fact that I bought LostWinds with no indication present that it wasn’t going to have an ending. I was getting into a serious groove, gaining new wind powers, becoming more skillful in my blowing-around prowess, and fighting a novel “put your newfound powers into practice” end boss, and suddenly the game goes into epilogue “To Be Continued” mode! Credits rolled just as I was really starting to enjoy the game! Witiff?
Please note that this would not have bothered me one smidgen if it had been clearly identified as part of a series on the box (er, the digital eBox). When a game starts with a cutscene talking about evils rising and a hero is revealed to stop said evils, you expect some serious evils-punching by game’s end, not another cutscene talking about how you really need to get around to that someday. Anyone that beat Golden Sun (and *sigh* Golden Sun 2) knows exactly what I’m talking about here. At least with Rain-Slicked Precipice, I know I’m in it for eighty-some-odd bucks by the time it finishes. How much will it cost me to see LostWinds through to its conclusion? And will I still be interested by the time I find out?
Oh yeah, for anyone that hasn’t yet finished LostWinds, Golden Sun, or Golden Sun 2… spoiler alert.