Every Monday morning since the Wii craze began in November 2006, the Wii
Shop Channel has been updated with new downloadable titles to purchase.
The Virtual Console, one of the Wii's few enticing tidbits to core
gamers at launch, promised to make all our favorite classic games
through the N64 era available on one piece of hardware. Things started
out strong for the VC, which reached the 100-game milestone just over
six months after launch. It seems Nintendo just couldn't keep that pace,
however, as the first seven months of 2010 have seen less than twenty
new retro titles. With obvious Nintendo classics like Star
Fox, Yoshi's Island, Pilotwings 64, and Excitebike 64 still waiting to
be let loose -- in addition to the many unseen third party games worth
revisiting -- it seems far too early for the Virtual Console to receive
less than one title a week.
The future of the Virtual Console was looking bright in 2007, however, when Nintendo decided to make the N64 import classic Sin & Punishment available outside of Asia for the first time. It seems Treasure always planned a western release, as all the voice acting was performed in English (with Japanese subtitles), even in the original Japanese cartridge. The rumor is that a dried-up N64 market in 2000 made the niche developer think twice. In a rare showing of extra effort on Nintendo's part, Sin & Punishment was the first of a small collection of games formerly exclusive to Japan to make it to the Americas. It probably didn't take that much effort, though, since the only translation required was in the main menu and tutorials. The original Japanese subtitles persist even in the localized version.
I'd always planned on putting down the $12 to try Sin & Punishment at some point, but I figured the recent release of Sin & Punishment: Star Successor for the Wii makes this as good a time as any. Might as well snag the N64 game for some context, right? I downloaded the game with the intent of completing a first hour review for our readers, but it seems there isn't a whole lot to talk about beyond that first sixty minutes, so this has been upgraded to full review status. Lucky you!
Like scampering down the stairs on Christmas morning, the excited search for a steady video feed before E3 conferences is filled with anticipation. The annual summer happening is one of the few times on the gaming industry's calendar when we can look forward to some surprise delights from the many publishers playing the role of Santa Claus in business suits. Simply put, it's the industry's biggest event in the year.
As such, the editors of The First Hour tried to guess what unexpected pleasures would manifest at the event. Some were sure bets, like Microsoft showing off Halo: Reach. Others were more risky, like F-Zero hitting the 3DS at launch. And some were planted firmly outside the realm of possibility, with Shenmue 3 topping that list as always.
When all was said and done, The First Hour hit a few out of the park...but mostly struck out.