GameCube Virtual Console possible struggles and triumphs
“Could the lack of analog triggers on the Wii U’s controller affect the possibility of GameCube games coming to the Virtual Console?” asks Facebook user, Kalman Molnar.
The Virtual Console, for those who are not aware, is a Wii Shop/eShop subcategory that features the gems of Nintendo’s past. On the Wii you can find NES, SNES, and N64 titles such as, Castlevania, the original The Legend of Zelda, Super Metroid, PunchOut!!, and Starfox 64. The Wii U isn’t quite there yet, currently featuring only NES, SNES, and soon to be DS games, and with the 3DS featuring NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, and Sega Game Gear titles; it’s easy to see why the Virtual Console is kind of a big deal.
I’m a huge Nintendo fan, but due to life events, extracurricular activities, and planning for college, I missed a ton of awesome things during the GameCube era. During that time, all I really ever played was my PlayStation 2. Ratchet and Clank (I owned 3 of 4), Pac-Man World 2, God of War 1 and 2, and the not-so-occasional Mario Kart 64 with friends was my routine. For lack of a better term, I was pretty dang casual. It wasn’t until around college graduation and beyond that I experienced games such as Mario Kart: Double Dash, Metroid Prime, and Super Smash Bros. Melee on my ex-boyfriend’s GameCube.
To those of you more familiar with the GameCube, there are a few titles such as, F-Zero GX, Mario Kart: Double Dash, and many other games that took advantage of the GameCube’s back triggers – a function that is not found on the Wii U Gamepad Controller nor the Wii U Pro Controller and the sole reason for this article
A question many fans want the answer to is, “will we be seeing any GameCube Virtual Console games on the Wii U”? According to this quote from a NintendoGal interview with Amber McCollum, Nintendo of America’s Director of Entertainment & Trend Marketing, the answer is: maybe.
“You know it’s interesting that you bring up backwards compatibility and Nintendo’s history usually goes back one system,” said McCollom. “The Wii was compatible with GameCube and Wii U will be compatible with Wii and that’s pretty traditional in launches from Nintendo. … the GameCube discs will not be compatible with Wii U, but a number of the games that were playable on GameCube can be downloaded from WiiWare.”
As the Wii U Controller lacks analog triggers, how will games like those mentioned above be featured on the Virtual Console, if at all, without being completely botched? There are certain titles that will be ok without the added button sensitivity, but in certain games, mainly racers, the level of trigger depression played a big part in drifting, acceleration changes within gear shifts, etc. If GameCube games that required this precision were put onto the Virtual Console, would Nintendo opt for different modes of play like touch screen controls, the gyroscope, or perhaps utilizing that second analog stick? Or would they simply create a separate controller that does feature analog triggers?
All in all, I don’t think that it’s that big of an issue to correct. We’ve seen Nintendo remap the controls from setups as odd as the Nintendo 64 to the original Wii Classic Controller. We’ve also seen Nintendo recreate the control scheme altogether with Wii Motion Plus and the aforementioned original Wii Classic Controller. As someone who missed out on a great portion of the GameCube’s library, I’d definitely leap for joy with such an inclusion on the eShop. Many critics of the Wii U say that it’s setting itself up to be the GameCube 2.0. My rebuttal to that would be “Yes!”, using my best Captain Falcon impression. If the Wii U were to make their current audience familiar again with games such as, Geist, Eternal Darkness, Baiten Kaitos, Timesplitters, Viewtiful Joe, the Metroid Prime series, Wave Race, Battalion Wars, etc., that could lead to Nintendo go back in that direction and give the core gamers what they truly want – core titles.