How’s the Mario & Luigi Series Gonna work on Wii U’s Virtual Console?
Recently at Nintendo’s Financial Briefing, Satoru Iwata mentioned that Nintendo had overcome the technical limitations stopping them releasing DS games on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, saying that such games would be available sometime soon. But while to a degree this sounds like a great idea, there’s one minor thing that’s now been bugging me about the concept.
Namely, how the hell is the Mario & Luigi series gonna work on such a service?
Because the more I consider it, the more I think the DS/3DS games of the series are the most awkward to emulate games in the history of Nintendo. They’ve got quite a few major elements which actually rely on the hardware working EXACTLY like in a DS or 3DS and that leave no room to transfer them to a new system. Such as…
1. Two screen battles/mini games.
Like the battles in Partners in Time in which certain obstacles and attacks (like the time bomb UFOs) appear on the top screen and the main battle appears on the bottom one. Or the Elasto Piranha enemies which are two screens tall and attack from the top screen to the bottom…
Or the final boss in Bowser’s Inside Story. Yeah, because switching between the Dark Bowser battle on the top screen and Dark Star Core battle on the bottom one is gonna be so convenient on a Game Pad and TV:
But it’s not just battles that’ll suck on a Wii U (although even attacks like Falling Star, Snack Basket and Magic Window will be nigh unusable in this set up). Oh no, the games are littered with mini games using the functionality too. like the UFO one from Partners in Time:
That was already annoying to play on a DS (with you having to pay attention to both Mario and Luigi’s movements on the bottom screen and the UFO gameplay on the top one). How the hell is meant to work with a Game Pad and a television? Can anyone seriously switch between the tablet controller and the main TV view on a per second basis?
And that’s only in Partners in Time. Bowser’s Inside Story? Is absolutely LITTERED with dual screen motion/touch control/microphone control mini games. As in, is utterly unplayable without the ability to see two screens at once and also use the microphone and touch screen at the same time.
How’s this supposed to work on a Wii U again?
But the big issue here isn’t mini games or normal battles. Oh no, it’s…
2. Giant Boss Battles
You know, the ones where Bowser and Luigi become giant and defeat huge screen filling monsters in battles that involving holding the system sideways, fighting across both screens and using the touch screen, microphone and (in Dream Team) gyro controls to win.
For instance, the Fawful Express fight in Bowser’s Inside Story:
How the bloody hell is this supposed to work? You supposed to rotate the TV 90 degrees, hold up the Game Pad and try and figure out when attacks will magically jump from one to the other? While blowing into the microphone to do damage? Yeah, sounds practical!
And the final giant boss in said game would be even worse. Namely:
Yeah, that’s not gonna be an easy fight to emulate on a Wii U. Still, it could be worse. Imagine trying to put Dream Team on the Wii U ‘Virtual Console’!
Somehow I don’t think those last two giant battles are gonna work when played on a TV. Unless you have one of those magic motion sensing televisions that you’d have to pick up and tilt 180 degrees every few minutes.
So how’s Nintendo going to handle these battles on the Virtual Console versions? They can’t really split them across two seperately held screens, the effect and gameplay would fall apart. They can’t put them both on the TV, since you need to use the touch screen to attack and defend.
All in all, it means that the Mario & Luigi series just won’t work well on the Wii U Virtual Console. And I don’t think Nintendo can come up with a decent solution to make it work.
What do you think? Is the Mario & Luigi series basically impossible to emulate on a home system?