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Real SNES vs Wii Virtual Console


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#1 Jifremok OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:01 PM

TLDR version:
Should I get actual SNES hardware or just get the SNES games that I want on Wii Virtual Console? The VC is obviously cheaper, but I'll miss out on a few unique games (especially ones I don't know anything about) and the good ol' cartridge ritual. Also, I don't know whether the SNES controller is different enough from the Wii Classic Controller to be worth a damn.

Wall o'Text version:
I was a Genesis kid during that 16-bit war, and the Genesis remains tied (with the 2600) for being my favorite console. I've largely ignored the SNES even while retro gaming. It's not that I hate Nintendo or anything: I loved the NES, liked the N64, and the Wii is my most-played console this generation. It was actually my liking for the Wii which sparked me to look back upon the SNES, considered by many to be the golden age of Nintendo.

But I've been hesitant. I just don't know all that much about the SNES aside from those really famous "survivors", those games like Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Gradius III that are available on other systems. Other games, like Contra III and Castlevania IV, are of series where I might prefer their predecessors and occasionally their successors or remakes, which is why they're on my maybe pile instead of my must have list. (I need further insight into those games.) And then there's games like Mario Kart and F-Zero. Is there any reason to have those when I already have them on N64 or GameCube and was never a fan of Mode 7?


After looking on the VC SNES list, this is my list of maybes and must haves:

ActRaiser (maybe) --- I'll need to take a closer look at this one. Were the sidescrolling and the sim parts done exceptionally well, or was this game only good because it had both? (Oh yeah, an ActRaiser thread moved me to make this thread to begin with!)
Axelay (maybe) --- I played this on emulator long ago and just wasn't interested. As a shooter fan, I probably missed something.
Contra III (maybe)--- For some reason I have this feeling that I won't like it nearly as much as Contra (NES) or Contra 4 (DS).
Cybernator (must)
Donkey Kong Country (must) --- Donkey Kong Country Returns was awesome. I can't even begin to imagine how much better this SNES classic might be. Yet when I played this on emulator a long time ago (pre-Wii) I just wasn't interested.
Secret of Mana (maybe) --- This one seemed pretty fast-paced but the "wait before you can attack" bar seemed to clash with said pace.
Super Castlevania IV (maybe) --- Similar to Contra, I have this odd feeling I won't like this one as much as the NES games , Chronicles or Drac X Chronicles.
Super Mario World (maybe) --- I just don't play through those Mario games like I used to. Is Super Mario World a worthy addition or should I just stick with the NES and Wii Mario games?
Super Metroid (must)
Super Turrican (must)
Super Turrican II (must)
Wild Guns (must)

And here is my list of games that interest me that aren't on the VC:

Demon's Crest
Hagane
Jim Power
Pocky & Rocky (a must have)

So, my main problem with the actual SNES hardware vs Wii VC is that most of the games are on the VC already! Add to this that quite a few of these (such as Super Turrican II) are quite expensive in SNES form, at least on eBay. So I need some advice on some lesser-known games that can be had for cheap. My other issue is the feel of the SNES controller. Having held the real SNES pad for maybe twice in my entire lifetime, I don't know whether the SNES pad is all that different from the Wii Classic Controller.

#2 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:23 PM

Eh, I say, don't wait for others to spark your interest for you.. Go watch some videos on YouTube, go download one or two from the VC, figure out if it's something you will want to collect for in the long haul.

On a side note.. The SNES is an excellent system, likewise with the Genesis.. There's no sense in not owning both if you enjoyed that generation of gaming, period.

#3 Algus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:40 PM

The original VC controller is very, very close to an SNES controller, but does throw in a couple of analog sticks. It is not as comfortable as an original SNES controller IMO but it is well-built and responsive. The revision with the handle grips that you can buy these days is pretty good but not as authentic.

SNES Hardware and controllers tend to be on the expensive side as they are very, very popular with retro gamers. Many of the best games (especially the RPGs) are also very expensive on the used market. On the other hand the VC is pretty limited in that there are tons of great titles (many that don't cost very much) that simply aren't (and probably will never be) available.

Pocky & Rocky doesn't get enough love. What a great game. I'd say it is a system seller but it is a bit on the tough side, which can be frustrating. If you're willing to invest the cash, I definitely recommend the original hardware (even though I don't have mine hooked up now, hah!) as there are some really fun games floating around out there, like B.O.B., that we'll probably never see on VC

#4 keilbaca OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:46 PM

Chrono Trigger got released on May 28th. Unless you hate RPG's, absolutely get this game. Its arguably the greatest RPG to have ever existed.

#5 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:49 PM

Depends... does Nintendo allow you to play VC games stored on SD cards yet, or are you still confined to the 256MB or whatever internal storage that the system offers? If you're stuck with that puny internal storage, just hack the damn thing & load a real emulator on there.

#6 keilbaca OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:52 PM

Depends... does Nintendo allow you to play VC games stored on SD cards yet, or are you still confined to the 256MB or whatever internal storage that the system offers? If you're stuck with that puny internal storage, just hack the damn thing & load a real emulator on there.


Yes, since 4.0 you can throw channels on the SD card.

#7 PeculiarSatyr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:00 PM

One thing to consider.

What will last longer with normal use. I'd bet money my two SNES systems will still be running fine long after most Wii systems are dead.

#8 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:22 PM

Here's a possible item to consider: VC games (prior to 64 bit era) hold your game progress in a snapshot memory kind of thing so if you quit out of a NES, TurboGraphix, SNES, or Genesis game and then come back to it a few days later the Wii puts you right back where you left off. I have been wishing for them to release Desert Strike for this exact reason as I hated losing a ton of progress and then spending lots of time getting back to where I was in that game.

Note: this snapshot does not work with N64 or Neo Geo titles (or at the very least my F Zero X and Metal Slug games do not save my progress if I quit)

#9 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:20 PM

And then there's games like Mario Kart and F-Zero. Is there any reason to have those when I already have them on N64 or GameCube and was never a fan of Mode 7?

These are the games that show Mode 7 at its best... decide for yourself if that's good or not. However, you can't judge Mode 7 until you've seen the best it has to offer.


Donkey Kong Country (must) --- Donkey Kong Country Returns was awesome. I can't even begin to imagine how much better this SNES classic might be.
Yet when I played this on emulator a long time ago (pre-Wii) I just wasn't interested.


DKC is very overrated, IMO. I've thought that since the day I first played it.

Super Mario World (maybe) --- I just don't play through those Mario games like I used to. Is Super Mario World a worthy addition or should I just stick with the NES and Wii Mario games?


This is not a majority view, but I consider SMW to be the ultimate Mario game.

Super Metroid (must)


New rule: If you don't like this game, I'm allowed to hit you. :-p

So, my main problem with the actual SNES hardware vs Wii VC is that most of the games are on the VC already! Add to this that quite a few of these (such as Super Turrican II) are quite expensive in SNES form, at least on eBay. So I need some advice on some lesser-known games that can be had for cheap. My other issue is the feel of the SNES controller. Having held the real SNES pad for maybe twice in my entire lifetime, I don't know whether the SNES pad is all that different from the Wii Classic Controller.


I feel for your dilemma, I really do. I found the Classic Controller to be quite adequate, but not *quite* as precise as the SNES pad. Just a teeny, tiny bit mushier. Not enough to throw you off if you practice with it for half an afternoon, and if you've never really used a SNES pad, it's a non-issue.

You present a strong argument in favor of going the Wii route, but I'll say get a SNES anyway, even if you do get most of your games on the WVC. Here's my logic: some of the games you want aren't on the Wii, so you'll need an SNES for them anyway. You might as well give yourself the benefit of the rest of the library too. I agree with another poster who said that the Genesis and SNES were both fantastic systems, and if you like that style of gaming, you really need to have both.

#10 TheGameCollector OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:27 PM


Super Metroid (must)


New rule: If you don't like this game, I'm allowed to hit you. :-p


Ok "go ahead... slap me up alongside my head" (just had to quote another Ted Narcotic song)

Really I find the non linear gameplay of the Metroid series frustrating and confusing without cheating by using a map or guide. Then the 3D ones are too much like an FPS for me to bother.

#11 Bloodreign OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:55 PM

As a man who owns both a Genesis and an SNES, having the systems is a great choice, lots of great games for both that aren't on VC, some of the games are a bit pricey sure, but the only Megadrive/Genesis game I have on my Wii that has any value is Super Fantasy Zone. If somethings on the VC that I like, and I see it's too expensive in physical form, I'll get it there, but if it is something I can afford, I get it on the console it originated on.

Just my two cents. :D

#12 HatefulGravey OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:43 PM

If you enjoy games for a certain console you should own said console if you can at all. Buying a digital copy of a game you can emulate on your PC seems odd to me, and the digital copy you got for your Wii will die with your Wii. My hard copy of Mario RPG is playable on any SNES, so if the one I have now dies I can always get another one.

If you are going to buy hardware for a game it should be the hardware the game was made for. Use your Wii for Wii games and your SNES for SNES games.

Just my two cents of coarse. The local classic gaming scene does say I'm a purist so take that into account here as well.

#13 PeculiarSatyr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:46 PM

If you enjoy games for a certain console you should own said console if you can at all. Buying a digital copy of a game you can emulate on your PC seems odd to me, and the digital copy you got for your Wii will die with your Wii. My hard copy of Mario RPG is playable on any SNES, so if the one I have now dies I can always get another one.

If you are going to buy hardware for a game it should be the hardware the game was made for. Use your Wii for Wii games and your SNES for SNES games.

Just my two cents of coarse. The local classic gaming scene does say I'm a purist so take that into account here as well.


There is definetely something to be said about playing the original game on the original hardware with the original controller. For me a lot of what I love about video games is the nostalgia I get from them. The nostalgia is greatly reduced playing roms on a computer, at least for me. I suspose if I had never beat games on the NES, SNES, genesis, TG16...I probably would be completely fine with playing VC games.

The only other reason I collect for systems like NES, SNES, genesis, etc is because they seem more reliable with regular use than newer gen systems like the Wii.

#14 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:22 PM

regardless of what games you ultimately settle on, for me it is all about the feel of the experience. I always prefer original hardware over emulation but if you do go the emu route, get yourself a real SNES controller. there are many ways to hook your actual snes controller to your wii or pc.

one popular way is found here: http://www.retrousb....&products_id=31

I found an adaptor on ebay from china that has NES, SNES, N64 and Genesis game pad inputs. it costs about $20. it works pretty well.

I use emulation to check out the games and when i find what I like I buy the actual games for the actual hardware.... good luck

Edited by Mark Wolfe, Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:23 PM.


#15 Emehr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:26 PM

I use emulation to check out the games and when i find what I like I buy the actual games for the actual hardware....

:thumbsup: This is my mode of operation also. Emulation is a great way to rent old games. Not to mention that playing on real hardware keeps consoles out of the closet or, worse, a landfill.

Edited by Emehr, Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:26 PM.


#16 goldenegg OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:28 PM

I'll chime in here ...

I'm a huge fan of emulation, but I'm extremely picky about which emulators I use. I can happily say that the Virtual Console is pretty much perfect for the bulk of consoles it emulates. I've purchased over 200 VC titles and haven't regretted a single purchase.

#17 Jifremok OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:11 AM

It'll still be a little while before I make my decision of purity vs price. I'm still leaning toward the Wii virtual copies, but I'm feeling a stronger desire toward the real thing now.


If you enjoy games for a certain console you should own said console if you can at all. Buying a digital copy of a game you can emulate on your PC seems odd to me, and the digital copy you got for your Wii will die with your Wii. My hard copy of Mario RPG is playable on any SNES, so if the one I have now dies I can always get another one.

If you are going to buy hardware for a game it should be the hardware the game was made for. Use your Wii for Wii games and your SNES for SNES games.

Just my two cents of coarse. The local classic gaming scene does say I'm a purist so take that into account here as well.


There is definetely something to be said about playing the original game on the original hardware with the original controller. For me a lot of what I love about video games is the nostalgia I get from them. The nostalgia is greatly reduced playing roms on a computer, at least for me. I suspose if I had never beat games on the NES, SNES, genesis, TG16...I probably would be completely fine with playing VC games.

The only other reason I collect for systems like NES, SNES, genesis, etc is because they seem more reliable with regular use than newer gen systems like the Wii.

I am also a purist, but I also like to save money, hence my dilemma. :P (Guess I'm not as hardcore a purist as I'd like to be.)

I also feel that nostalgia when I play through games enjoyed in childhood, except when some of the games just plain sucked beyond nostalgia-induced redemption. Except, I also tend to get that same feeling with older games that I didn't even know existed back then, including C64 games despite the fact that I play those on an emulator and never knew the C64 existed until a coupla years ago! How the hell does that happen? (Maybe I oughtta post a new thread about that next time I log in.) I should probably factor this in to my decision as well...

regardless of what games you ultimately settle on, for me it is all about the feel of the experience. I always prefer original hardware over emulation but if you do go the emu route, get yourself a real SNES controller. there are many ways to hook your actual snes controller to your wii or pc.

one popular way is found here: http://www.retrousb....&products_id=31

I found an adaptor on ebay from china that has NES, SNES, N64 and Genesis game pad inputs. it costs about $20. it works pretty well.

I use emulation to check out the games and when i find what I like I buy the actual games for the actual hardware.... good luck

That looks delicious! However, money to spend on that could be spent toward the actual console. I'll consider it if I still go the emu route of course. I noticed it goes into the GC port. Does this mean it'll be recognized as a Gamecube controller, and will this have any effect on SNES authenticity (like, a bit of incorrect button mapping)?

#18 HatefulGravey OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:47 AM

It is certainly cheaper to play with the VC instead of real hardware. It also demands less room and upkeep then a collection of games. There are good reasons to go that way. However, at that point you are only playing the games. You can't call that a collection because as soon as the Wii server stops supporting a game you are done playing it. You should think of the VC more like a rental program then a way to BUY things.

The major upside to collecting the real games is no DRM of any kind. There is a much better chance that I will be able to enjoy my copy of Star Fox long after DRM or poor quality hardware has ruined the VC download.

#19 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:52 AM

Another up side to real hardware is that it can be resold, and SNES stuff has already depreciated about as far as it will go. You can be fairly sure that if you spend $15 on a game, you can generally get about the same back for it when resold.

I don't ever actually sell games, but it's how I tend to rationalize my regular gaming costs.

Edited by Reaperman, Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:54 AM.


#20 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:06 AM

I'll chime in here ...

I'm a huge fan of emulation, but I'm extremely picky about which emulators I use. I can happily say that the Virtual Console is pretty much perfect for the bulk of consoles it emulates. I've purchased over 200 VC titles and haven't regretted a single purchase.


Awww, how cute, he thinks he's purchased them.

#21 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:21 AM

I have a whopping 6 SNES games but I do like the ones I do have like Tetris Attacks, Mr. Do (excellent port) and Arkanoid Doh it Again. I'm a purist so always prefer actual hardware but can understand the ease and simplicity of downloading games for, I'm assuming, a fraction of the cost for a game, especially a rare one.

#22 raskar42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:24 AM

+1 for mr do it's an amazing port and 2player mode is cray fun.

#23 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:47 AM

+1 for mr do it's an amazing port and 2player mode is cray fun.


Shameless self promotion :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv5Jvbl-0bg

#24 raskar42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:47 PM


+1 for mr do it's an amazing port and 2player mode is crazy fun.


Shameless self promotion :D


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBWJZ-X9JBQ

2 player mode (not my video)

#25 BrianC OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:54 PM

I prefer the real hardware over VC. I have bought uncommon ones like Musha and Dynastic Hero, a couple arcade titles, but I ended up buying a real Gunstar Heroes cart (Only SNES game I got for it was Wild Guns). If I knew that Uforia wasn't properly optimized for NTSC, I might I gotten the real EU cart to play on a model 2 NES. One thing I like about a real SNES is how easy it is to play JP imports. I got Panel de Pon (JP Tetris Attack) CIB recently and it is good stuff.

It is certainly cheaper to play with the VC instead of real hardware. It also demands less room and upkeep then a collection of games. There are good reasons to go that way. However, at that point you are only playing the games. You can't call that a collection because as soon as the Wii server stops supporting a game you are done playing it. You should think of the VC more like a rental program then a way to BUY things.

The major upside to collecting the real games is no DRM of any kind. There is a much better chance that I will be able to enjoy my copy of Star Fox long after DRM or poor quality hardware has ruined the VC download.


The games are offline and I don't recall an instance of a game being dropped from the VC. I also heard that Nintendo puts the games on a new system if the old one breaks down and they repair it (there seems to be confusion over this, but I read about this on multiple sites). I agree the DRM is lame, but I don't agree it's the same as a rental since it's a one time price for the game that's in most cases available for a long time (that may possibly become unavailable over time, but as far as I know, hasn't yet).

The worse DRM I have seen for a game service is Project EGG (MSX games on PC). Monthly fee, having to pay for the games on top of the fee, and the games get deleted when the service is ended.

Edited by BrianC, Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:41 PM.





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