It’s depressing how effective marketing is on me at the best of times, but when it still has influence after fifteen years, there has to be something wrong. That’s right, I only bought Kid Icarus from the Wii Shopping Channel because it appeared in Captain N: The Game Master, the probably rubbish Nintendo-based cartoon of the early nineties.
I never had a NES, so I’m generally intrigued to play some of the games my friends didn’t have. The Virtual Console makes it quite a pleasure, as the Wii remote on its side is a damned fine NES controller.
Ice Climber is the other NES game I’ve purchased so far, purely because the game’s characters appeared in Super Smash Bros Melee. A fool and his money are indeed easily parted.
That said, despite my initial reaction – which was something along the lines of, “This is pointlessly difficult please sod off now” – I’ve rather warmed to the pair of them. Even if Ice Climber isn’t as insanely tricky as Kid Icarus, both are unforgiving, as are most games from that time – which is more than twenty years ago, let’s not forget – and obviously they’re basic in appearance, though that isn’t to say that they lack visual charm. What’s more important is that they’re fair and follow simple rules; compulsion to play follows.
I’m not sure what the reasoning was behind the Wii menu appearing every time the console’s switched on, but it constantly shoves the Virtual Console games in your eyes, and I play them a lot more as a result. A ten minute session of Kid Icarus or Ice Climber is a wonderful thing – I can’t take much more – but if I wasn’t constantly reminded that they’re there, I’d forget about them. So well done, Nintendo.