Friday, July 10, 2009

Game & Watch on DSiWare

I was talking about a possible "Virtual Handheld" a lot and even gave up hope after a while, so this is really exciting news. Game & Watch games are going to be released on the DSiWare system. They will cost 200 points and nine games were already announced (in brackets the Game & Watch series and the release date):

  • Ball (Silver, July 15th)
  • Flagman (Silver, July 15th)
  • Judge (Silver, July 15th)
  • Vermin (Silver, July 15th)
  • Chef (Wide Screen, July 29th)
  • Donkey Kong Jr. (New Wide Screen, August)
  • Helmet (Gold, July 29th)
  • Manhole (Gold, August)
  • Mario's Cement Factory (New Wide Screen, August)

How is this interesting for Zelda fans? Because there was Game & Watch Zelda game:

It was part of the multi-screen series and orientates itself at Zelda II - The Adventure of Link. You're fighting from a side perspective against Moblins and Stalfos in eight dungeons on the lower screen and a dragon boss monster on the upper screen, when you reach the final room of a dungeon. You can beat the boss using a tomahawk item (which never appeared in the main series) and free Princess Zelda as a soon as you collect all eight Triforce shards. Storywise it's assumed to take place between both NES games.

And probably Game&Watch games on the DSiWare service are not the end. Makes sense to start with Game&Watch, since the muti-screen Game&Watch games (like Zelda) were an inspiration for the DS and the best possible way to market those games is releasing them now without any competition from GameBoy games. Nintendo fans waited quite a while for downloadable classic games on the DSi, so the Game&Watch right now is quite an attraction. But I assume, GameBoy(Color) games for 500 points will follow. And at some point maybe even GameBoy Advance games for 800 points, since the DSi doesn't have a GBA slot anymore. And there's a lot of Zelda stuff on those systems, just check my previous article:

The Future of Zelda: Virtual Handheld

So far I've been skeptical about a Virtual Handheld on the DSi, because of all the costs from legal issues and ESRB rating, which the Virtual Console on the Wii is facing and which don't always justify the low profits from the games. But with the Game&Watch games on the DSi in the picture, everything changes. Those games can't be emulated, they have to be remade. Some of those already have been remade in the Game&Watch collection series, but still those games are made with the highest expense of all downloadable re-releases so far and they are sold at the lowest possible price of two dollars. If this is possible for Nintendo, GameBoy games shouldn't be a problem at all. And maybe even some nice additions like the emulation of the multiplayer.

Nintendo of Japan


Dizzy said...

did they say what else games will be featured on it?

TourianTourist said...


I fear not. The above list is the first batch. More games including the Zelda one will certainly follow.