Monday, April 20, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

So this week's new Wii Virtual Console release is Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.

Which is the same game as Monster Lair for the TurboGrafx-CD, also available on the Virtual Console, except the graphics are more colorful and the music is much, much better on the TG version. I don't know if the original arcade game had parallax background scrolling -- the TG version does not, so I am a little bit curious about whether the Genesis version does. But probably not curious enough to buy the game. There are so many variations of the various Wonder Boy/Adventure Island games available on the Virtual Console that it's very difficult to keep them straight, and I don't really want to encourage this sort of thing.

But then there's nostalgia. I actually owned a TurboGrafx-CD back in the day, and Monster Lair was the first game I ever played on it. High-quality audiovisuals aside, it's not a great game -- it's basically a shooter with the Wonder Boy characters and art style, and it becomes fairly repetitive fairly quickly. It's also one of those "keep using infinite continues to finish the game" titles, which shortened its play life. But it does support co-op play, which is a point in its favor when my wife and I are in the mood to goof around with a quick round of something video-y.

And so it is that I keep looking at it in the Wii Shop channel and NOT buying it. So I'm doing the math -- I bought the game for $50 new back in the day, sold it later on for around $30, and now have the opportunity to rebuy it on the VC for $8 in one form, or $16 if I want to be a completist about it. So comparatively, given inflation since 1990, it's a steal if I really want to re-add it to my collection (at least in a virtual sense).

The sticking point is, every time I think about Monster Lair I realize I really don't want to PLAY through this title again. It's just luring me in with memories of days past, when it represented the latest in consumer videogame technology. What I really want, I think, is to hear the music tracks from the game again. I'd be better off tracking down a used copy of the original game and ripping the disc to MP3 format for my listening pleasure.

So knowing that, maybe I'll just hold off and see if the original arcade version materializes on the Virtual Console Arcade.

And if it does, then I can make the decision not to buy it THREE times over.

(I do have to check out today's WiiWare release from Square-Enix, Crystal Defenders R1 set in the Final Fantasy universe. Might be in the mood for that if I ever finish Ogre Battle... I'm on stage 25, and the enemy is throwing what seems to be an infinite number of units at us. But we will persevere!)

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