It's February 2019 and as sad as I am to say it, it's past time to say "farewell" to the Wii Shop Channel. We cannot add any more Wii Points, we cannot download any of our content. It's all lost now. I want to give a eulogy to our fallen friend. Here's my American perspective on the loss of the Wii Shop Channel.
I was a Nintendo kid and then later a Sony kid; I wouldn't get into Steam or Xbox Live until a few years later. So, for me, and many of the other millions of Wii owners out there, we were plebs. The Wii Shop Channel was our first exposure to an Internet-based gaming service that was accessed through a home console. As much as I wanted a Wii for WarioWare, Metroid Prime 3, Mario Galaxy and Smash Bros, I was also excited for the Wii Shop... particularly the Virtual Console! Being able to download NES, SNES and N64 games!? The thought of playing games from all four of the previous Nintendo consoles on one device mind-blowing for my teenage self! I was salivating at the thought of playing Super Mario Bros, Link to the Past, Mega Man, Paper Mario and Metroid Prime 3 without having to get up to swap games!
Before I was able to try out TurboGrafx-16 games for myself, I had thought of NEC's 16-bit console as a joke. Now that time had passed and I had a console that could download TG-16 games, I could play them and evaluate them for real. And after experiencing Bonk, Zonk, Lords of Thunder, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Bomberman 93, Devil's Crush and others for myself, I realized how totally wrong and dismissive I was! Besides being an outlet to relive a lot of the Nintendo classic, Virtual Console was a way to create new Sega Genesis and TG-16 fans!
I got caught up on all kinds of classic games! Ones I knew, ones I had wanted to own in some capacity (like Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy) and new favorites like Darius Twin and Axelay. And really odd off-beat stuff I purchased blindly such as Break-In and Twinbee Da! Beyond games that were released in the US, Virtual Console was a cheap way to import games. It was a means to be able to play the Famicom Disk System version of Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure and Sin and Punishment without having to plan a trip to Japan. It was really cool to be able to expose my high school buddies to games they never knew existed!
Aside from Dr. Mario Online RX, Mega Man 9 and 10, I didn't have any expectations for WiiWare games. I was too caught up in the thoughts of being able to play Chrono Trigger and Super Metroid again! But... MAN! Do I wish I paid closer attention to them! There were so many good WiiWare games: Konami's Rebirth games, Space Invaders Get Even, Star Soldier R, Eco Shooter: Plant 530, World of Goo, Excitebike World Challenge...
With the closure of the Wii Shop Channel, all the WiiWare exclusive games are lost. This is a blow and disservice to gamers, but it's not in the (financial) interest of these companies to address the issue right away. If you own any WiiWare exclusive games, I implore you to share these babies with the world. Talk about them. Write up about them. Get out your capture equipment or your DVD recorder, capture that game footage, take screenshots and make videos about them.
Please share your Wii Shop Channel experiences. Did I miss any good WiiWare games?