The Virtual Console was a huge selling point for the Wii. Not only could you play last generation’s Gamecube games but with the Virtual Console, you could legally play older games once more. Whenever asked what was cool about the Wii, the first thing out of my mouth was “Virtual Console!”
It all started out so well. Sure it was a bummer that we had to pay once more to play games that we purchased twenty years ago but the titles on the Virtual Console are priced to move. As one would expect, the more recent the console, the more expensive the game; NES titles are five dollars while SNES games are a bit more. All of the classics are there too! From Metroid to The Legend of Zelda, an old-school gamer can easily relive the golden age of gaming.
Like any budding service, the Virtual Console saw frequent updates bringing more classic games and even some games that were never seen in the states. I’m not just talking about Nintendo brand games either. The Virtual Console also features Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, even Turbo Grafx 16. Now these updates that brought said games came in a weekly format and some were hit and miss. Soon Mega Man titles were being uploaded and I was really looking forward to having the series on a new console (my NES hasn’t worked right in years).
The first Mega Man title appeared on the Virtual Console in 2008. It has been four years and all but one of the original NES Mega Man games and all but one of the SNES’s Mega Man X games has been released. I suppose, in retrospect, I should be glad we got the titles that we did and really it was only recently that Mega Man X2 was uploaded but I can’t help but wonder that maybe this concept has been all but abandoned. The updates started to get more and more widespread and when the Virtual Console was updated, it was with a game that no one has ever heard of and no one would possibly think about downloading. I know a company will only support a feature if it makes money, that makes sense, but how are you going to make money by uploading Vegas Stakes over titles Like Mega Man 6 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Arcade game?
The new 3DS has been given its own Virtual Console and since it features older Gameboy titles as well, Nintendo, once more, has an excellent idea that if nourished could be a phenomenal idea. The titles available now are a good start. I never had the pleasure of trying the Mega Man Gameboy titles but thanks to the 3DS, I can play the first installment (and hopefully more).
The Virtual Console has the potential to be the system that we all wanted, a platform that could play not only its exclusive titles but those of other consoles as well. I’ll admit that I’ve spent a lot of money on the Virtual Console. Mario, Zelda, Castlevania, even the original Splatterhouse, all grace my Wii with their presence. I want to spend more money on it though. Where’s Robo Warrior, Godzilla, Splatterhouse 3? There are plenty of titles I would throw my money at Nintendo to have and yet they ignore me and anyone who enjoys classic gaming. Why Nintendo? Is it because you’re wasting your time elsewhere?