Nintendo Download Wrap-Up for March 1st, 2010

Sometimes, being a Nintendo fan gives that person something to cheer about, especially if they’re dealing with fans of the other two consoles. From innocuous things like “We have Mario and Zelda!” to obscure musings like “Hey, nice of your entertainment divisions to finally be seeing a profit!” to low blows like “We didn’t just have to spend two days not playing our consoles because your engineers are too stupid to know that 2010 isn’t a leap year!”, people that actually engage in console fanboyism sometimes have reasons to cheer.

Seeing Mega Man 10 weeks before the other consoles is as good a reason as any.

But before we get to the big weight sitting on the rest of the update like a log, we have a Virtual Console game to look at first. Best of all, it doesn’t suck!

Fatal Fury Special
Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Original System: Neo Geo CD/Arcade
Original Release Date: September 16th, 1993
Price: 900 Wii Points/$9

Mark B: Fatal Fury Special is essentially Fatal Fury 2: Turbo, and I mean that in the most flattering way possible. A larger character roster than either of its predecessors, a mild speed increase and a general overall improvement to the flow of combat makes Fatal Fury Special the point in the franchise where it actually became, at the risk of pissing off some SNK fans, playable. Fatal Fury prior to this game was something of a stiff mess, and while there were some neat ideas in the series, it took Fatal Fury Special to really bring them together with a game that was enjoyable and well designed, especially when compared to something like Street Fighter II and the eight million version of that on the market.

As a 900 point/$9 download, so long as you don’t own the Fatal Fury compilation for PS2 or this game specifically for XBLA, this is a worthwhile buy if you like fighting games in general. You’ll want to have a Classic Controller or Gamecube controller do to anything with it, mind you, but if you like fighting games I imagine you’d have one already. Fatal Fury Special is one of the better games in the series, and fighting fans have every reason to buy this, both because it’s a classic and because it’s still pretty solid, all in all.

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Christopher Bowen: I usually don’t tell people to buy these types of games because they’re available elsewhere, and not for an outlandish fee. For PS2 owners, that’s exactly what I’m doing; as Mark stated, it’s on the Fatal Fury compilation. However, for those that don’t already own it, this is a solid purchase, even at $9. The game is well balanced and controls great, and due to the fact that this is a direct Neo Geo port, and not like the crummy console ports I grew up with, there’s no worries about it not being Arcade Perfect™

Fatal Fury Special is worth $9 for fighting fans, and especially worth it for Neo Geo fans.

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Now, let’s address the big issue this week. There are three games for the WiiWare, but due to the other two being extremely casual in nature, Mega Man 10 – at $10, plus another $8 for all of the DLC – is really the only one that matters. I don’t think I need to describe this for most people here – if I do, get one of the earlier Mega Man games on Virtual Console, imagine one of those made in 2010, and there you go – but I do have something to say on this subject. For those of you who don’t want to hear me rant for a few paragraphs, just go past the cut, but for everyone else, allow me a bit of soapbox time.

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Back in 2008, when Capcom made Mega Man 9, I loved it. For me, and a lot of other people, it was a return to roots for a series of games that had strayed from those roots to pander to the type of people that get their anime fix from 4Kids. I hated most of the new Mega Man games, which were being spit out by Capcom at a record pace while they spent the rest of their spare time closing down studios that were making games worth playing. To me, Mega Man 9 was worth it; even if you have to go back twenty years to make something worth playing, just make something worth playing.

In one of our first Ask the Kliq articles, Mark B. did something that was almost unheard of at the time: he criticized Mega Man 9. Let me state that at the time, this was almost heretical:

First off, while I imagine I’m going to be branded a heathen by the staff for this, it needs to be said: unless Mega Man 9 is coming to WiiWare, XBLA and PSN for five dollars (which, by all indications, it is not), I’m not at all excited about it. Bionic Commando Re-Armed and Mega Man Powered Up are perfectly fine examples of “retro” gaming, in that they mostly retain the old, 8-bit play mechanics of the games they’re based on, while also featuring updated visuals and audio, and as such, they’re pretty neat. Releasing a four megabyte NES game as a grand celebration of all things old-school and charging me ten dollars for it is highway robbery, and while I’m absolutely certain that most people don’t agree with me, I don’t care. If you think that paying ten dollars for an NES game when Nintendo is charging five for almost all of the other NES games is fine and dandy, be my guest, and when you’re sitting around complaining about how no one makes original games anymore I’ll be certain to stop off and spit in your eye.

In my staff commentaries that year, I had Mega Man 9 on my list of games at #3. I addressed this criticism thusly:

I remember our own Mark B. telling us that we were idiots for actually buying Mega Man 9, because once developers see that they can make easy money resurrecting 20 year old technology at 2008 prices, that’s all we’ll get. Though I can see his point, when it comes to things being done on occasion, it doesn’t get better than what Capcom gave us this year. So long as it doesn’t get back to NES-era levels of ridiculous, I’m happy. Besides, would we all rather have a game as awesome as Mega Man 9, or Mega Man Advent: ZX? I’ll have more of the former, thank you.

Looking back, I wonder if Mark was onto something, as we might be going back to just that: NES-era levels of ridiculousness.

It’s been a whole sixteen months since Mega Man 9 was initially released on WiiWare. There’s already talk about Mega Man 11. Yet, even now, the high-water marks for the series are either Mega Man 2 or 3, depending on who you ask. This isn’t because Mega Man 4-8 were bad games; they were very good. It’s because once Mega Man 4 hit, the market started to become saturated, and 5 + 6 didn’t do anything to help that. The market was becoming so inundated to the series that Capcom decided to spin it off with Mega Man X, in an effort to mature the series. It worked, so naturally, we’re up to Mega Man X8 now. Now, in 2010, Capcom’s seen that retro works… so we’re up to two “new” retro games in sixteen months.

Capcom is the Starbucks of videogame franchisers, more so than even Activision. If something works, they will drive it into the ground, and keep driving until there’s nothing left. I was so excited in 2008 because even if it was a case of “been there, done that”, it was better than all of the other stuff Capcom was driving into the ground at that time. Now that I see we’re returning to our roots in more ways than one, I am not as excited. I just wish I had Mark’s initial foresight on this matter.

Will I buy it? Just like I bought the first six Mega Man games and both the Mega Man Anniversary Collection and the Mega Man X Collection, I probably will, eventually. So maybe I’m part of the problem.

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Yeah… so we have other games, too! Happy Hammerin’ is a $5 game of Whack-a-Mole. You read that right; a $5 game of Whack-a-Mole, with admittedly some novel ideas regarding incorporating play mechanics from a carnival into a videogame. In all actuality, I think it’s interesting; not as interesting as a new Mega Man, but I can definitely see this being worth $5, especially for people with kids. Also, we have Rage Darts for $6. Didn’t I just chronicle another dart game on this system recently? Do we really need another one?

We have four games on the DSiWare, one of which I’m actually familiar with. Let’s Golf is a golf game very similar to other meter-based golf games like Hot Shots Golf and Pangya: Fantasy Golf, with four courses overall to play, and decent responsiveness for being on a touch screen. I own the iPhone version, which I bought at $2. The DSiWare game, on the other hand, it a mystifyingly high EIGHT DOLLARS. This is unbelievable, especially when considering that the text for the DSi version specifies three courses and forty-five holes. That’s one course and twenty-seven holes LESS than the iPhone’s version, with the same graphics and gameplay, for $6 MORE. Why? I’m tempted to call Gameloft and seriously ask them this. I’m sure I won’t get an answer – a company like Gameloft can’t afford to piss Nintendo or Apple off – but needless to say, you should buy this game ONLY for the iPhone. For DSi owners, ignore this, unless you like being fleeced. If I was a DSi owner, I’d be livid.

We also have VT Tennis, a $5 alternative to Virtua Tennis. I won’t hazard a guess as to how this one is; tennis games all look the same, and I’d have to play a bit of this first, but oh look at that, Nintendo doesn’t give out “Lite” or demo versions of their games. Gobulous Party is a $5 collection of minigames. And Flips: Terror in Cubicle Four is an “interactive book” from Electronic Arts. I remember they used to have toys that did things similar to what this does; meaning, you hit an image and see a closer look, or hit something and hear a sound. I forget what they were called, but the idea was great. This is a 397 page book with large font and pictures, so there’s a lot to look at, and this looks very interesting for young readers – I’m thinking ages nine through twelve – with a $5 price tag.

Overall, we have a pretty decent week. A good VC game, a good VC game regardless of my opinions on Capcom, and a couple of other worthy purchases. Until next time, this is Christopher Bowen, who just remembered they put an “Easy Mode” into the newest Mega Man. He is sighing at the state of modern gamers, and will now go back to telling kids to get off his doggone lawn.

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3 Comments
  1. Steven Kess
  2. Mark B.
  3. Steven Kess

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