Ports

A (slightly) Disgruntled WiiU Owner

I’ve been mulling over whether or not I want to write this post. With the recent announcement of more WiiU ports to the Switch, and me reinstalling my WiiU again to play games, I feel like I want to get this post out sooner rather than later.
I am well aware that this is a debate going on within the Nintendo community and it has split the community into various camps. I find myself to be in the digruntled WiiU owner camp mostly, but the reasons may differ from what I’ve seen online so far.

What is it all about?
Nintendo has announced their line up plans for the Switch multiple times. From the get go it was clear that they were going to reuse some of the things from the WiiU to target a broader audience now that the Switch was launched. I myself hopped on the bandwagon for Mario Kart 8 DX, mostly because it’s one of my favourite franchises, it had bonus tracks as default that you had to purchase as standalone packs on the WiiU and being able to take Mario Kart with you anywhere and be able to play with anyone was super appealing. Later on we got Pokken Tournament DX. I wasnt too phased by that since I’m not interested in that type of game but I could hear the community grumble a bit. Luckily with Arms and Splatoon 2 Nintendo showed us that they were more than capable of bringing us new IP’s and also sequels instead of direct ports. Even though by all means Splatoon 2 is half a port, I still picked it up because I’ve never gotten Splatoon on my WiiU. Notice that I’m not counting Breath of the Wild as a port seeing as it was a simultaneous release for the WiiU and Switch and I personally chose to get it on WiiU.
Fast forward a bit and more ports of WiiU games are announced. We are getting Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Bayonetta. Two great WiiU titles that should have gotten a bigger audience than they did. Nintendo realized this and chose to bring these games over to the Switch as ports.

Now this is where it starts to wring
As a WiiU owner myself I’m happy that Nintendo recognizes that games like DKC: TF and Bayonetta are deserving of more love and that they want to bring them over to the Switch. Hell if you don’t own a WiiU it’s great to be able to pick up these games and play what you’ve been missing out on! The ports themselves are probably just fine, you get more polished images and maybe a few extra modes. If you don’t own these games I strongly recommend to pick them up. However….
Nintendo is releasing these games at full prices. Me, being the WiiU owner that I am, already own these games. There is zero incentive for me to rebuy a game that I already own for a new system. And certainly not at full price. Just for comparison, DKC: TF is only €25 right now because it’s a Nintendo select so it’s easily picked up for WiiU owners. The Bayonetta special edition (which contained both Bayonetta 1 and 2) cost me €50. Seeing as these are marketed as new games for the Switch they will be expensive. I’m sure as hell not going to rebuy a game that I already own, that gets little to nothing special added, at full price. It may be nice to have the portability of the Switch for these games and they may look better but it’s simply something I refuse to do.
And I’m not the only one.
It also saddens me a bit because instead of focusing on new games in the series (with the exception being Bayonetta 3) they release ports and then hope people will be happy. I rather get an entirely new Donkey Kong game than a rehash of one I already know and have. The same can be said for Pokken DX and MK8 DX. I much rather would have had an entirely new Mario Kart game. I know that ports require less resources and I know Nintendo wants to keep people’s attention so they probably feel the pressure to bring as many games to the system as they can. Which is fine, but I feel like they’re going about it in a less than ideal way.

Ofcourse I’m not a big publisher and I know these games will sell well, even for people that already own their WiiU counterparts. But it still feels like they could have put this time of porting into focussing on bringing the Virtual player to the Switch, do something about the My Nintendo rewards for Switch (which they have finally announced!) or just give us more customizability. And maybe take a look at the Switch E-shop and get rid of all the shovelware games.

I guess I’m just a bit salty about not being able to look forward to a lot of actual new games. I know that Kirby Star Allies will come out and I will definitely pick that one up, aswell as most likely Project Octopath Traveler and Bayonetta 3. I’ve also not nearly finished Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or Super Mario Odyssey so I still have tons of hours of playtime to get out of my Switch without even having to look at the ported games. But where my 3DS library is full of amazing games I feel like my Switch is falling behind… And that’s not what I hoped it would do.
I just really hope Nintendo picks up on the mixed messages when it comes to porting games and devotes more time to develop sequels instead.