NintenDO #1: Donkey Kong Arcade
This is the first edition of a new Nintendo focused gaming column/article series here at TVE. It’s called NintenDO because these are things I (or whoever writes a particular installment) would like to see Nintendo do. I don’t know how often these features will be posted, but I’m going to shoot for one or two a month myself, and anyone else on staff is free to post their own whenever they feel like it.
It’s already come out that Nintendo is going to finally get with the program in regards to digital distribution with the 3DS and with Wii U. I’m not bashing the Wii, because I’m a big fan of the system, but its online offerings weren’t that great. The Virtual Console was fantastic, especially for the first few years, but WiiWare is severely lacking in quality. Of course the Wii has some a small amount of internal storage that developers didn’t have a lot of room to work with.
Now with the Wii U and Nintendo’s stated aggressive policy of finally embracing (at least somewhat) online with it, I’m hoping they’ll get with the program and develop a service to rival that of Xbox LIVE or the Playstation Network. Both PSN and XBLA are filled with great digital games at reasonable prices, a lot of which are vastly superior to games that some publishers expect people to pay $60 for. And while it’ll be great to have some of those quality third party downloadable titles hitting Wii U, the real exciting part is what Nintendo itself could offer.
Namco has had a fair amount of success and praise for its arcade revivals of Pacman and Galaga in the form of Pacman Championship Edition DX and Galaga Legions DX. That’s something like what I want to see from Nintendo, who has their own classic arcade brands to play with. You can probably already see where I’m going with this, but the thing I want Nintendo to do for this first edition of NintenDO is to come out with Donkey Kong Arcade as a downloadable title for whatever they call their online service for Wii U.
There’s a ton of possibilities here. Obviously, the game could feature updated versions of the four classic levels from the original arcade game, but the real fun would be seeing what new stages they could come up with. I play Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. all the time on the Wii Virtual Console, and I can tell you right now that I’d instantly throw down ten to twenty bucks for an updated and expanded Donkey Kong arcade game.
As an added bonus, they could even include the original arcade game (or in their case the NES port, which does leave out a stage) in with the purchase like Square Enix did with Elevator Action Deluxe. I think it’d sell extremely well, and since it couldn’t possibly cost too much to develop, I would imagine such a title would be an easy way for Nintendo to bring in more revenue. Add in online leaderboards (which would of course be a given), and some possible DLC stages/modes, and I think this is something that would have players coming back; heck the original Donkey Kong still has people coming back for more and more because it’s fun and trying to beat your high score is addictive.
The success of such a game could open the door for revivals of other classic arcade games to be revamped for the modern era; Donkey Kong Junior, Space Fever, Sky Skipper, Space Firebird, Punch Out (even though it’s updated Wii version was great), and of course classic Mario Bros. Arcade (complete with online multiplayer). There’s a ton of material for Nintendo to milk with quality downloadable titles that are reasonably priced, which I believe would be extremely profitable for Nintendo that would fill their online service with quality Nintendo exclusives. Besides, these are just the kind of games that would be perfect to play on TV or on their Wii U’s tablet controller.
A new Donkey Kong Arcade absolutely needs to happen though, and frankly I’m surprised it hasn’t already. There has to be one person at Nintendo who realizes that it’s money. They see how well New Super Mario Bros. has done, so surely they realize there’s a huge market out there for classic gaming with modern graphics and modern technology, so there’s no reason not to revive the Donkey Kong arcade series as a downloadable title when the Wii U comes out later this year.
Do it Nintendo, and I will open my wallet for you.