Sunday, June 08, 2008

C64 Games On The Virtual Console

I have three questions.

One: Why did no one tell me that Europe has been getting Commodore 64 games on the Wii Virtual Console for the past couple of months, including but not limited to the excellent Paradroid?

Two: When does Australia get on this magical sparkle train to happiness?

Three: Does this mean we're about to be given the keys to such gems of gaming history as Ghostbusters, Lords of Midnight, M.U.L.E, and Dizzy?


Josh said...

If MULE were to hit my Wii, I might not ever leave the living room.

Greg Tannahill said...

Totally. Unfortunately, having done more research I think the biggest impediment to getting a lot of these titles is that chains of bankruptcies and buyouts have left a lot of the key C64 titles in IP limbo; it seems unlikely that something like Lords of Midnight is going to get released because there's no real company behind it to get it onto the VC. Which is sad, because I love that game as though it were made out of hugs.

Jon said...

Impossible Mission? Count me in! (I'd love to see Wizball in all its bouncy painty goodness, but it seems unlikely).

Greg Tannahill said...

I confess to never having understood what people saw in Impossible Mission. I had that thing for my Apple IIe back in the day and I just could not warm to it.

Apparently the Wii interfaces with the C64 keyboard requirement by bringing up that annoying on-screen point-and-click thing; I haven't seen any word whether you can bypass this using the Wii's purported support for USB keyboards.

Jon said...

The main appeal is probably strategic platforming: trying to plot a route through a room that would get you to the searchable items without being fried or otherwise stuck. You can observe a robot's behaviour, and most of the time they'll be fairly predictable, but occasionally one will zap or accelerate unexpectedly, giving the character (and player) something of a shock. A distant ancestor of Thief, perhaps? Yahtzee's Art of Theft has some similarities as well.

I dunno whether the Apple version was as good as the C64 one; all I know is that my sister and I competed endlessly to beat each other's times. I wouldn't expect it to appeal to anyone who didn't enjoy it at the time though.

Greg Tannahill said...

Yeah, the whole randomness of it was actually the bit that put me off; my feeling was that it should either be a reflexes game or a planning game, but not both.

My retro gaming record is a little spotty though. I still can't stand the early Mario Bros or Megaman titles, but I'll sit there for hours trying to convince people that Alien Storm and Gain Ground were the greatest games ever created.

Grant said...

You don't like the early Mario games? Your retrogaming cred surely just got shot down in flames!!

(I kid. A bit.)

Greg Tannahill said...

I can appreciate why they were successful; I just can't wring any enjoyment from actually playing them. Even Super Mario World has insufficiently frequent save points, a fairly retrograde limited number of lives, and an unnecessarily complex number of available actions.

I suspect the problem comes from having been a Sega man during their heyday. After all, I played Sonic and its first sequel to death in the early 90s but can't really stand to sit down with those games today. My entire enthusiasm for 2D platformers trickled out my ear the day I first spent some time with a Playstation.