As I happily await the impending arrival of my dutifully pre-ordered Wii from Gamestop, I have been contemplating why exactly I am excited. The copy of RE4 sitting desolately on my shelf is one, and the yet-to-be-purchased Mario Galaxy is another, but neither really has me as pumped as the iTunes Music Store of retro gaming: the Wii Virtual Console. I have even already picked out my first two downloads: Super Metroid and Starfox 64.
Stepping back from this for a moment, I realized that, not only were these hardly new games to me, but that these are some of the most extensively played games I own. Now, at first glance, that doesn't seem all that bizarre--clearly it means I enjoy them. But WHY am I so excited to repurchase them? Clearly, there is a serious nostalgia-factor at work here.
Having followed the VC releases pretty closely thanks to the RetroforceGO! team, it's not a stretch to conclude that the games generally fall into two categories: utter classics that the average Dtoider (of sufficient age, of course) probably already owns, or at least has played extensively and mediocre to outright terrible games that make Chad a sad dolphin. Presumably, the former games are lapped up in this community for that same reason: nostalgia.
This is in contrast to what I presume is one of Nintendo's primary goals (especially for it's casual audience): appealing to a sense of novelty. I don't mean this in the pejorative sense--by novelty, I refer to the intrinsic appeal that a VC title has as a game in and of itself. The kind of thing that might make someone say "Hm...Super Metroid...that sounds cool, lets try it out!"
I hope my point isn't getting too muddled here, but my reason for posting is to pose two questions to the Dtoiders out there who might be reading this sleep deprived first-time blogger's first post:
What use have you found for the VC, if any? Do you find yourself downloading games you have already experienced, or are you of the more adventurous type?
and, more generally,
Do you think the main "point" of the store is to appeal to doe-eyed, retrogoggled gamers like us, or to give these classics a second chance to win new hearts? read