vconsolelogoMy enthusiasm about Nintendo 64 and DS games finally arriving on Wii U’s Virtual Console came to a crashing halt when I saw the pricing.

Thirteen Australian dollars each? It’s way too much.

I don’t care that there’s Miiverse integration or customisable control options. Nintendo have done nothing in the way of enhancements or new content, so asking $13 for years old games is ludicrous. And promoting “buy three get one free” as a promotion is borderline insulting.

I understand Nintendo first party games are premium products, but a $4.95 price tag would have been much more generous and realistic.

Nintendo have spoken about how the Virtual Console service was becoming less popular due to the high quality (and quantity) indie games available on the eShop, but I reckon it’s more to do with the ridiculous pricing and severe lack of choice.

The line-up of games is uninspired to say the least, and while I’d love to revisit Donkey Kong 64 from the comfort of my Gamepad, there’s no way in hell I’m paying thirteen dollars for the privilege.

Nor am I paying for Mario Kart DS again when they haven’t even restored online functionality. I understand Nintendo Wi-Fi no longer functions, but this is still extremely lazy, and it rips out a massive chunk of what made Mario Kart DS so great in the first place.

We have been waiting for Nintendo to fully embrace the possibilities Virtual Console offers for so long now, it makes you wonder whether it will ever be anything other than a second thought.

It’s such a shame, because considering their back catalogue of incredible games, Virtual Console has the potential to be the jewel in a Nintendo console’s crown, and a reason to own their machines.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

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As a console gamer I’ve always believed that the true strength of a system can be measured by looking at the line up of exclusive games it has to offer.

I judge consoles past and present on this criteria above anything else. What can this machine offer that no others can?

I first wrote about the state of Wii U’s exclusive line up in April 2014, so I thought I’d better take another look at the situation, eight months on.

No one can legitimately argue that the system isn’t worth owning like they could have at this time last year, and that’s thanks to this killer line up of exclusives.

I have highlighted the games I have played in orange.

Ones I haven’t played remain black, and for those I have included the verdict from Miiverse*, and what aggregate score the game has on gamerankings.com

Also, at this stage I’m only looking at disc based retail games released in Australia.

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dami1Dami Im’s Mii came to my 3DS today, bringing with her a new, “secret” Dillon’s Rolling Western Puzzle Swap panel.

Unfortunately she only gave me one Kid Icarus Uprising panel piece.

She then ventured forth with me in StreetPass Quest II, but got scared and fled back to Sony Music headquarters to film another un-epic music video to accompany an epic song.

I really like Dami, she’s got a great voice and a cool new single, and I like her even more now she’s associated with Nintendo. I just hope her record label finds her a better director for her next film clip.

Dami is being used by Nintendo Australia to promote Tomodachi Life.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

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miiverseNot that it needed justifying, I’m just a little bit over people carrying on about how games aren’t using the gamepad in “unique” or “interesting” ways.

Normally I’d just ignore this kind of predictable rhetoric, but last night while I was going back over Super Mario 3D World, I came to the first of the horrible Toad levels that require the gamepad.

I avoided these on my first play through, not just because puzzles (in general) quickly frustrate me, but because I was using the pro controller to play and didn’t want to keep switching to the gamepad and back.

Groaning as I had to follow the rules I’d set myself for the the session (getting every green star in every level, in order), I reluctantly changed to the gamepad to control Captain Toad, or whatever he calls himself.

The gamepad is required to play these levels because you need to touch blocks and rotate the world using the right stick. Both these things could have been done with the pro controller or Wii remote.

I began to wonder why these levels had been included at all. Nothing else in the game requires the gamepad, so did Nintendo, or someone in the development team, feel the need to include at least something that used the gamepad, simply because it was a Wii U game?

Plus you can draw amazing stuff like this

And you can draw amazing stuff like this

Nintendo Land is the most obvious example, but games like Zombi U, Lego City Undercover, and the ill-conceived Game & Wario also use the gamepad in ways that really add to the core experience. By that I mean they didn’t feel “tacked on” or “gimmicky” (to use some fantastic last generation buzz words). Why are people complaining that not enough games utilise the gamepad when in fact it’s built in to every single Wii U title by default?

I’m talking about Wii U’s most interesting, unique, and downright ingenious feature: Miiverse. A press of the Home button and you’re transported to the world’s friendliest, most positive online community. A place where people actually talk about games, ask for help, help each other, and generally have a great time interacting with other people who are there for the same reason.

Sure, Miiverse is heavily moderated. Sometimes, it would seem, unfairly so. But such moderation is necessary and ultimately worth it, because we all know that a lot of people, and that includes a hell of a lot of gamers, can’t be trusted not to be assholes online.

So I’m not writing this to sing the praises of Miiverse, because everyone who uses it knows how awesome it is. I’m writing this because as “ground-up” features of Wii U, the gamepad and Miiverse are made for each other. Imagine navigating Miiverse (or the eShop, or the internet browser for that matter) using a regular controller. It wouldn’t be the same experience.

So I don’t care if not every Wii U game makes innovative use of the gamepad’s features. I can use it for Miiverse, and that’s good enough for me.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

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mh3ultNeither Big W or Target have come good with a $68 price tag for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for Wii U. The best price I have seen so far is $74 at JB. Considering this is a port of a AAA Wii title (yes, there was such a thing) with a few added extras, $74 is probably still a bit too steep. Some people I know said they may buy a Wii U just for this game. To which I responded by slapping them and throwing a copy of Nintendo Land and Zombi U at their heads. Seriously though, this could be a system seller for the nay-sayers that rejected the Wii version because of standard definition graphics. Personally I played the Wii U and 3DS demos and I wasn’t sold, but anything that can sell more Wii U systems is alright by me. I’ll post any new prices I see. You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU.

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cooljetsMiiverse is the friendly social network. It is heavily moderated by Nintendo and that’s a good thing. It really is. No one needs trolls or bullies in a social environment. But how do you stop them? You have rules, you enforce rules, and you moderate the hell out of posts and profiles. And Nintendo does.

It’s fair enough, it’s Nintendo’s service and if you want to be a part of it you play by the rules. I get all that. And I agreed with the heavy moderation even though I had heard from various people how unfair it was that their posts we being deleted for no reason. I’ve gotta say I didn’t believe users were having their posts deleted by administrators for no reason. Until it happened to me.

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There’s some incredible art coming out of the freehand post function in Miiverse. With just a couple of tools it’s amazing what some people have done. I’ll keep sharing the best I find.

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There’s some incredible art coming out of the freehand post function in Miiverse. With just a couple of tools it’s amazing what some people have done. I’ll keep sharing the best I find.

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With so much incredible art coming from the freehand post function on Miiverse, I wanted to share some of the best that I had seen so far. I’ll make this a regular thing. Here’s a few to start with.

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