I never was one for the whole “April Fool’s” aspect of today, so I’ll probably let the practical joking take an early vacation since the day is pretty much over. So at least you’ll know there aren’t any “tall tales” to be found in this entry (That’s the Texan in me with that particular phrasing).

In past years, one would start to get hyped for the grandeur that is E3 to take place, but with it’s demise last year, gamers are going to have to look for alternate sources for upcoming gaming news for the year. Still, for the Wii, the line-up thus far has looked promising, with updates for NiGHTS, Guitar Heroes, Katamari Damacy, and even hints of a LEGO Batman game coming out. Not to mention all the prospective first-party games that will be released by the end of the year. The initial software library for the Wii sounds impressive thus far. The handling of the Virtual Console, thus far, has been decidedly mixed.

There’s a few issues Nintendo needs to address:

1.) They need to give the user base a release schedule, treating upcoming releases like regular releases. Hudson and Sega have the courtesy to do this. Nintendo keeps choosing to keep it’s user base in the dark on anything they do, and it’s gotten frustrating.

2.) They need to keep the U.S. release content comparable to other regions around the world. This is the second time we’re “behind” all the other countries in terms of getting content. Australia, Japan and Europe tend to get a better initial line-up than the U.S. does, and then we’re handled as almost a seeming afterthought. Whoever is running the U.S. servers needs to better coordinate with the rest of the world.

3.) Last week saw on game release: Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV. While perhaps not a bad title, but it is a niche title, that appeals to a select user base of fans, and for that reason isn’t really a strong enough title to be a stand-alone release. If they have one game releases from time to time, they need to keep those times to big titles, like Earthbound, Super Mario RPG, Super Metroid, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Starfox 64, Final Fantasy, etc… weeks they can predict that if only one purchase choice is going to be made for the week, THAT’S going to be the one. I can pretty much guarantee that the fan base would cry “foul” those weeks. The Nintendo forums got a little ugly last week.

And finally, Nintendo needs to keep a tighter leash on its forum moderators. I don’t approve of company representatives calling the user base “whiners” because of their dissatisfaction with what was released. These moderators need to understand that when they speak, they do not speak for themselves, they speak for the company they represent. And telling people to shut up, or stop whining or accept what is given…. there’s a thing called “Good Idea/Bad Idea”. It’s kind of disappointing, because out of all the game companies, Nintendo has some ridiculously good customer service. When my DS got scratched, it was sent to them, replaced, and returned in the space of four days.

Some of these issues are old, and while I don’t enjoy rehashing previous material, they still haven’t been addressed by Nintendo, which is frustrating purely in the sense that these are such simple fixes. Nintendo is probably riding one of the best popularity waves that they have since the NES/SNES days. It would make sense that they would continue to capitalize on every aspect of it. While I do have a lot of these games on classic systems, some of my games didn’t survive “parent/family purges”, and it’s a pain in the butt to hook up all those old systems. When the day comes that I build a freakishly large game lair arrives, that will be different. But that day hasn’t arrived yet.

I need to get back in the habit of updating this thing. It’s been a little hectic of late, and I do want to talk about some more aspects of enjoyable gaming I’ve had lately, as well as a few observations and memories.

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Filed under: general gamingvirtual consolewii gaming