List of Virtual Console Games (PAL Region) - Criticism - Differences From Original Games

Differences From Original Games

Nintendo has stated that the Virtual Console releases will be faithful to the original games, eliminating the possibility of graphical enhancements, customizable controls, or added online multiplayer features. However, for various reasons, the gameplay experience is not always identical to the original.

For example, some Nintendo 64 games offered optional features that required peripheral hardware, such as the Rumble Pak for force feedback and the Controller Pak for additional data storage. Because these peripherals are not emulated or simulated in Virtual Console, the games play in Virtual Console as they would on the N64 without the peripherals attached. In particular, Mario Kart 64 cannot save "Ghost Data" since no Controller Pak is available, and Cruis'n USA and Wave Race 64 have had their save options disabled. Similarly, both games Mario Golf and Mario Tennis cannot use a Transfer Pak to copy data to or from a real Game Boy Color running the same game.

Some reviewers have reported that games play differently due to the different controllers. For example, Super Mario World is often cited as being more difficult to play due to the GameCube controller's button mapping. The Classic Controller has a button layout more like that of the Super Nintendo's controller, and an adapter has been released that enables a player to plug an actual SNES controller into one of the Wii's GameCube controller ports. Similarly, most N64 Virtual Console games have mapped the Z button to the L, ZL and ZR buttons and the C-buttons to the right analog stick on the Classic Controller, which some reviewers have described as awkward.

Three Famicom games – Excitebike, Mach Rider and Wrecking Crew – included the ability to save player-designed levels via the Famicom Data Recorder. Since this peripheral was never released outside of Japan, the NES versions of these games did not support this save feature. However, all three games have had the feature implemented in their Virtual Console incarnations, allowing players to save course data to the Wii's memory. Additionally, the N64 game Pokémon Snap allowed players to take their Game Paks to special in-store kiosks to print stickers of their in-game photos; the Virtual Console version emulates this by letting players send a photo to the Wii Message Board once per day. By contrast, the Virtual Console version of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Game Boy Color) on the Nintendo 3DS cannot print photos taken in the game, since this required the Game Boy Printer peripheral to be attached throughout the game.

While virtually all Virtual Console games play identically to their original versions, some games have been altered cosmetically to address licensing and copyright issues. For example, Tecmo Bowl (NES) originally included the names of real football players licensed from the NFL Players Association, but since the game's release, Electronic Arts obtained exclusive rights to the license. Consequently, the names were removed from the Virtual Console version, with only the players' numbers being shown. A similar case occurred with Wave Race 64, in which Nintendo's license with Kawasaki had expired and all of the ad banners in the game were replaced with Wii and Nintendo DS banners. The Mega Drive/Genesis game The Revenge of Shinobi originally featured Spider-Man as a boss character, but the game had been banned from later compilations and download services because the license to that character had expired. To address this issue, the 2009 release for Virtual Console removes the Marvel copyright notice and changes the character to pink, but retains all of Spider-Man's behaviors and patterns. And the Virtual Console release of StarTropics (NES) changes the name of one weapon from "Island Yo-Yo" to "Island Star", since Yo-Yo is a trademarked term in Canada.

Other games have experienced minor graphical differences from their original versions as well: F-Zero (SNES) eliminates the track dimming when the player runs over the edges of the track, and Nintendo 64 games render polygons at a higher resolution than in their original hardware (though sprites and text appear blocky and pixelated by comparison). The Virtual Console release of The Legend of Zelda (NES) uses the updated version featured in 2003's The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition compilation for the GameCube. While the gameplay is identical to the 1986 original, this release includes the save screen from the Famicom Disk System version, as well as an updated translation of the introduction screen.

One significant difference in gameplay occurred in Kid Icarus (NES), which had its password system altered to disable certain special passwords that gave the main character special powers or large amounts of money, while also enabling new passwords to be found. Many players did not like this change, and the later release of Metroid, which used a similar password system, retained its original behavior. Similarly, Mario Golf originally had a code to enable password input for special tournaments, but had this feature removed for Virtual Console.

Certain games that were originally released only in Japan have been translated and released in other regions on Virtual Console. For example, in Sin and Punishment (N64), all menu commands and certain in-game text (all originally written in Japanese) have been translated into English. The game retains its Japanese title screen, and dialogue subtitles remain in Japanese since the game featured English voice acting.

The NES version of StarTropics shipped with a piece of paper, resembling parchment, which was an integral part of advancing the game's storyline. At one point in the game, the player is instructed to dip the paper into water, revealing a code required to continue. Virtual Console releases of this game work around the absence of this physical item by simulating it in-game or allowing the player to simply click a button to reveal the code.

Re-releases of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games on the Nintendo 3DS give the player the option to play the games as they appeared on their original hardware. By holding a button combination while launching the game, the 3DS presents the game in its original resolution and aspect ratio rather than stretching it to fill the screen, making it appear smaller but less pixelated. Game Gear games can also be played in the original resolution by changing the screen settings on the touch screen menu. Monochrome Game Boy games can be displayed in both "black and white" and "black and dark green" color palettes, switchable during gameplay.

Read more about this topic:  List Of Virtual Console Games (PAL Region), Criticism

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