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Old 01-24-2008, 03:57 AM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 11,000

The Wii Shopping Channel is where you download Virtual Console games, additional channels, and in the future WiiWare games.

The interface is very clean and pretty organized. Upon loading, an initial splash screen is shown showing the top four recommended titles. I am unaware if these titles are the same for everyone who visits the shop, or are dynamically displayed based off what you have already bought and or played. Below these recommended titles is a little news section, with headings such as the latest release for the week. Anything on this splash screen can be clicked to be instantly taken to that part of the shop.

Stop teasing me with Sonic 3

Entering the main page of the shop you have several options. The top two buttons will let you browse the Virtual Console and WiiWare catalogs. Within the Virtual Console catalog you may sort games by Popularity, Newest Additions, System, Publisher, and Genre or enter a word to search. Once you select a game from your list, it brings up a details menu that shows all the information such as how many players and what controllers you can use. Pay special note to what controllers you can use and make sure you have them before you buy a game.

Notice how N64 games are Gamecube and Classic Controller only

If you would like to know a little more about a game, clicking the More Details button in the bottom right corner will give you a brief description of it and show some additional screenshots.

Another game that will be purchased eventually

Buying Wii Points is relatively painless. You can either buy by credit card or redeem a Wii Points Card. A Wii Points Card is the easiest, just scratch off the foil on the back of the card and enter the number in your Wii. When buying with a credit card, you just enter all your information as if you were making a purchase of anything else online. Be careful when your flying through these menus as there is one silly addition that can waste a lot of your time. Throughout the multiple pages of credit card information you have to enter, the confirmation button is always on the bottom right corner. The final confirmation page however the button is on the bottom left corner of the screen, and the cancel button is where it used to be. So if you’re not careful, you will click cancel and have to enter all of your information again.

One gripe about the credit card system is that you can’t buy a specific number of points, you must buy in intervals of 1000 ($10). So if all you wanted was a $5 game, then you have to spend double just to get it.

Stupid greedy marketing crap

The shop channel also has features such as Account Activity, Titles You’ve Downloaded, and options to clear your Wii Shop Account. I won’t go into any of these as they are self explanatory.

One of the newer features of this channel is the ability to gift games to other people you have registered as friends. You have to specify that it’s a gift before you buy, so there is no previewing. You also cannot gift old games currently on your Wii (like electronic borrowing). It is however a welcomed feature and offers a nice alternative for Christmas and birthdays.

Overall the Shopping channel is a clean and easy way to buy games.

Virtual Console

All games work exactly like in they did when originally released. The emulation of these old games is pretty close to flawless, so unless you are the type that looks for fine details, the games you buy will work exactly how they were originally intended.

New games are released every Monday in the US. There are on average 3 games released and are for the most part completely random. There are certain publishers that put out release schedules such as Sega but as a whole there is no telling what available games are going to be.

The pricing for these titles are based off the system they were originally for and are as follow:

NES - $5 - (500 points)
TG-16 - $6 - (600 points)
TG-CD - $8 - (800 points)
SNES - $8 - (800 points)
Genesis - $8 - (800 points)
NEOGEO - $9 - (900 points)
N64 - $10 - (1000 points)

Now there are some exceptions to this pricing scheme. If a game has big licensing issues due to copyrights changing hands, then it will be expensive. For instance whoever held the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise are not the same people who hold it now. So because of the extra licensing fees involved in re-releasing this old game, it costs $1 more.

A common complaint I see is that the pricing for VC games is too high. It’s a fair claim and some people won’t be convinced otherwise, but here is something to consider. If you are interested in one of the retro games on Virtual Console then you fall into one of two categories.

The first category would be if you have previously played that title. Whether you owned it at one time, or played it somewhere else, you know what you’re expecting. A lot of these old titles are the games we hail as timeless legends. Games so great, the sequels have never been able to match them. The games that constantly make our lists of “greatest games of all time” or “favorite games”. If you really want to play these games again, you’re essentially saying that your all time favorite games aren’t worth a mere $5-$10? You’re willing to spend $50-60 for a brand new retail game, which is a gamble whether you will enjoy it, but you won’t spend $5-$10 on a game you know you will enjoy?

The second category would be if you had never experienced the game. Obviously there are games that aren’t worth their listing price. Not many people would agree that Baseball or Ice Hockey for the NES are worth $1, let alone $5. But to those who have never experienced them, the good games are well worth the asking price. If you went into your local game store, you could not find a game on the shelf close to the value of titles such as Super Metroid or Star Fox 64 for under $10. I have bought a few games that I had never played before from the VC, and I will tell you they were worth every penny.

And it goes without saying, but if you’re discontent with VC prices is based off the availability of pirate ROMs on the internet, then its completely unjustified. Downloading copyrighted ROMs off the internet is stealing, plain and simple. Stealing games is essentially destroying the hobby you enjoy, such as services like VC that offer classic games that are otherwise legally unavailable.

Last edited by Seraph; 01-06-2009 at 09:17 PM.
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