EarthBound Finally Launches for Wii U Virtual Console

EarthBound Finally Launches for Wii U Virtual Console

EarthBound, one of the most requested SNES games for the Virtual Console, can now be played on your Wii U Gamepad.

On the short list of SNES classics that gamers love, EarthBound is pretty close to the top. A critically-acclaimed, yet unconventional RPG about psychic children fighting off an alien invasion, EarthBound has long been one of the most requested games for Nintendo's Virtual Consoles. Long-time fans and curious newcomers can finally let their excitement show: After years of waiting, Nintendo has released the full game for the Wii U Virtual Console, complete with optimization for Wii U Gamepads.

Despite being a traditional JRPG in many ways, EarthBound broke new ground at the time for its unique characters, light-hearted humor, and small-town American setting. EarthBound was also the first appearance of Ness, the fan-favorite character who went on to be featured in the Smash Bros series. All told, it's done well for a sequel in the series that was lucky to reach North America in the first place.

As an extra bonus, the original manual and strategy guide have been uploaded to the official EarthBound website for your perusal. Of course if you'd rather just dive in and see what the fuss was about for yourself, the Wii U version will set you back a mere $10.

Source: Nintendo, via IGN

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Good, would be a reason to buy a WiiU, if I didn't own it on the SNES, has WiiU is still cheaper then buying the big boxed version with the strategy guide on EBay. =p

Why do I have the feeling that this means Nintendo is really getting desperate?

I just downloaded this, and about an hour in, I don't see what all the fuss is about. I hope it gets better later on

Zombie_Moogle:
Why do I have the feeling that this means Nintendo is really getting desperate?

As opposed to re-releasing a game that the fan base has been rabidly asking for for over a decade?

OT: I'm glad this is finally seeing the light day, alas I still have my SNES copy, but this means we might see a release of Mother 3 in NA some day.

KingH3nrry:
I just downloaded this, and about an hour in, I don't see what all the fuss is about. I hope it gets better later on

It does pick up later on.

OT: And now I want a Wii U so I can get this game. I've loved EarthBound for ages but I don't have the cartridge unfortunately. T^T

Zombie_Moogle:
Why do I have the feeling that this means Nintendo is really getting desperate?

Fans have been asking for this for years, and they announced a western release earlier in the year.

I mean, it's not as if localising a text-heavy JRPG full of quirky humour is something Nintendo can cobble together in five minutes during Panic Mode.

JamesBr:

As opposed to re-releasing a game that the fan base has been rabidly asking for for over a decade?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Fans have been asking for this for years, and they announced a western release earlier in the year.

Exactly my point. Why now? Fans have been asking for a re-release for years.

I'm glad they're finally doing it too, but it does smack of desperation in regard to Wii U sales (or lack there of)

Not an unwelcome move, I just find it a bit telling

IT'S ABOUT FREAKING TIME, NINTENDO.

Better late than never, I suppose. I just hope the sales are enough to warrant them actually making a release of Mother 3, now. I'm not gonna get my hopes up for a new Mother game, but shit, at least keeping alive the old games is a start.

This seals my purchase of a Wii U when I get the money.

Earthbound
Wind Waker HD
The new Smash Bros.
Super Mario 3D World
The new Donkey Kong
And several more games coming down the pipe as well.

And really, by the time I save enough to get an original Earthbound cartridge, I might as well just save a bit more and use the money to get a Wii U, considering the last Earthbound cartridge I saw go on E-bay went for over 200 dollars, and I believe that is a low end price.

My wish is to find a garage/yard sale and find a copy of Earthbound sold for mere dollars because somebody doesn't know what they have.

That my friends, would be my gaming holy grail.

All I have to do is find some companions to travel with me on such a quest.

Another reason to get a Wii U. Eventually. I'm still on the fence, but this pushes me further into Nintendo's camp.

Zombie_Moogle:

Exactly my point. Why now? Fans have been asking for a re-release for years.

I'm glad they're finally doing it too, but it does smack of desperation in regard to Wii U sales (or lack there of)

Not an unwelcome move, I just find it a bit telling

Telling of what exactly? They are releasing a game to a devoted fanbase on the retro-gaming software featured on their most current system. That sounds perfectly normal. You're intimating that if the Wii U was doing well, this would never have seen a re-release, an argument which lacks any foundation. Besides, Earthbound is niche enough that I doubt it will generate the kind of sales that are required for a "killer app" type release.

Also, just because a company releases a game that they know would sell well, doesn't mean they are doing because it would sell well. Earthbound is simply not well known enough for that.

The virtual console was the big selling point for me with the Wii. I waited and hoped to get this back when the wii was still something Nintendo cared about.

Sadly, this isn't enough to convince me to buy a WiiU.

iniudan:
Good, would be a reason to buy a WiiU, if I didn't own it on the SNES, has WiiU is still cheaper then buying the big boxed version with the strategy guide on EBay. =p

And that's the sad truth.

But I'm glad that there is now another (reasonable) way to play this game without just emulating it.

Weird. I was actually playing Earthbound on my phone via emulation when I saw this. I like it a lot so far and planned on giving it a buy on the virtual console. I didn't realize it wasn't even put on there yet

BehattedWanderer:
IT'S ABOUT FREAKING TIME, NINTENDO.

Better late than never, I suppose. I just hope the sales are enough to warrant them actually making a release of Mother 3, now. I'm not gonna get my hopes up for a new Mother game, but shit, at least keeping alive the old games is a start.

You don't have to wait for Nintendo. There's already a fan translation and a patch for the game. You just have to get the rom, patch it yourself (it comes with a program that does it automatically), and play it on an emulator of your choice. It's recommended you buy a copy of the game or some earthbound swag to support the creators

Zombie_Moogle:
Why do I have the feeling that this means Nintendo is really getting desperate?

Doesn't make much sense actually. Desperation means heavy hitters like Metroid or Star Fox would come out. Earthbound is a game that is mostly known by hard core fans only. So the game is more fan pandering than a game that will sell Wii-U consoles.

Zombie_Moogle:

Exactly my point. Why now? Fans have been asking for a re-release for years.

I'm glad they're finally doing it too, but it does smack of desperation in regard to Wii U sales (or lack there of)

Not an unwelcome move, I just find it a bit telling

Well, part of the reason it took so long is because there were a few licencing and legal issues involved. The game had a lot of copyrighted images and had music similar to a lot of known songs. That was the reason a lot of people were convinced the game was never going to come out on the virtual console at all.

PoolCleaningRobot:
Weird. I was actually playing Earthbound on my phone via emulation when I saw this. I like it a lot so far and planned on giving it a buy on the virtual console. I didn't realize it wasn't even put on there yet

BehattedWanderer:
IT'S ABOUT FREAKING TIME, NINTENDO.

Better late than never, I suppose. I just hope the sales are enough to warrant them actually making a release of Mother 3, now. I'm not gonna get my hopes up for a new Mother game, but shit, at least keeping alive the old games is a start.

You don't have to wait for Nintendo. There's already a fan translation and a patch for the game. You just have to get the rom, patch it yourself (it comes with a program that does it automatically), and play it on an emulator of your choice. It's recommended you buy a copy of the game or some earthbound swag to support the creators

Haha you say that like my avatar isn't from the elusive third game, or that I don't worship praise Fangamer for routinely restocking their amazing Earthbound swag. What I'm waiting for from Nintendo is a release I can purchase, in support of what is probably my favorite dead IP.

BehattedWanderer:

PoolCleaningRobot:
Weird. I was actually playing Earthbound on my phone via emulation when I saw this. I like it a lot so far and planned on giving it a buy on the virtual console. I didn't realize it wasn't even put on there yet

BehattedWanderer:
IT'S ABOUT FREAKING TIME, NINTENDO.

Better late than never, I suppose. I just hope the sales are enough to warrant them actually making a release of Mother 3, now. I'm not gonna get my hopes up for a new Mother game, but shit, at least keeping alive the old games is a start.

You don't have to wait for Nintendo. There's already a fan translation and a patch for the game. You just have to get the rom, patch it yourself (it comes with a program that does it automatically), and play it on an emulator of your choice. It's recommended you buy a copy of the game or some earthbound swag to support the creators

Haha you say that like my avatar isn't from the elusive third game, or that I don't worship praise Fangamer for routinely restocking their amazing Earthbound swag. What I'm waiting for from Nintendo is a release I can purchase, in support of what is probably my favorite dead IP.

Lol derp. I didn't even notice your even notice your avatar. I get what you mean. Some things are just nicer to own officially

Great. So now all I have to do is wait for my Christmas present WiiU or for it to be available on my 3DS to play. Le sigh.

This caught me completely off guard...when I heard about it being out I figured it would be a $7.99 buy but I was wrong (though pleased that the manual/strategy guide are included). I hate myself for buying Mighty Switch Force; sure it was on sale but you know how much it left me with? $8.09...I get paid again in a couple of weeks so I'll have my copy right in time for it to go on sale (knowing my luck anyway)

Negatempest:

Zombie_Moogle:
Why do I have the feeling that this means Nintendo is really getting desperate?

Doesn't make much sense actually. Desperation means heavy hitters like Metroid or Star Fox would come out. Earthbound is a game that is mostly known by hard core fans only. So the game is more fan pandering than a game that will sell Wii-U consoles.

True, but then that's Nintendo's entire business model: sequels to long-standing franchises

great as Earthbound is, seems like they're scraping the bottom of the US sales barrel

JamesBr:

Zombie_Moogle:

Exactly my point. Why now? Fans have been asking for a re-release for years.

I'm glad they're finally doing it too, but it does smack of desperation in regard to Wii U sales (or lack there of)

Not an unwelcome move, I just find it a bit telling

Telling of what exactly? They are releasing a game to a devoted fanbase on the retro-gaming software featured on their most current system. That sounds perfectly normal. You're intimating that if the Wii U was doing well, this would never have seen a re-release, an argument which lacks any foundation. Besides, Earthbound is niche enough that I doubt it will generate the kind of sales that are required for a "killer app" type release.

Also, just because a company releases a game that they know would sell well, doesn't mean they are doing because it would sell well. Earthbound is simply not well known enough for that.

Well, the Wii was doing incredibly well, & that whole time Nintendo made it clear they would not be porting Earthbound. I suppose that'd be my foundation for the statement

KingH3nrry:
I just downloaded this, and about an hour in, I don't see what all the fuss is about. I hope it gets better later on

You, sir, have no soul =P

Seriously now though - maybe the game just isn't a good match for you? My experience is this game is one of those things you "get" or you don't. Myself, certainly, I found that I started enjoying it very quickly, from the humour to the surreal setting to the art style. I can only advise that you give it a bit more time to come into itself, but honestly the first 2 towns were the best part for me.

Part of the charm was that it was different for the time. For example the oh-so-brilliant idea that if you're engaged by enemies that couldn't survive a single hit from you, it insta-wins the battle so you don't have to sit through pointless time-wasting. Actually, such enemies would often endeavour to avoid the player party which, while it seems bleeding obvious was, again, an original idea AFAIK.

TL;DR:
Not everyone likes every game. If you don't like this one, well, that sucks but it happens. It is, however, an interesting part of gaming history, however, which might be enough to keep your interest?

Unrelated, @Miss G.:
Actually yeah, it does seem like a DS release is a no-brainer, right?

This has pretty cemented the fact that im getting a Wii U, they already won me over with Super Smash Brothers and that mec game they showed during E3 (if anyone could help me out with the name of it), but now Earthbound, one of the best RPG's on the SNES. I am so happy. Please Nintendo, keep this influx of games coming, maybe a new Metroid game, you know without team nija, and no Samus Voice, make an excuse say Riddly attacked her ship and now her voice is completely paralyzed, just no more talking

SquidSponge:

KingH3nrry:
I just downloaded this, and about an hour in, I don't see what all the fuss is about. I hope it gets better later on

You, sir, have no soul =P

Seriously now though - maybe the game just isn't a good match for you? My experience is this game is one of those things you "get" or you don't. Myself, certainly, I found that I started enjoying it very quickly, from the humour to the surreal setting to the art style. I can only advise that you give it a bit more time to come into itself, but honestly the first 2 towns were the best part for me.

Part of the charm was that it was different for the time. For example the oh-so-brilliant idea that if you're engaged by enemies that couldn't survive a single hit from you, it insta-wins the battle so you don't have to sit through pointless time-wasting. Actually, such enemies would often endeavour to avoid the player party which, while it seems bleeding obvious was, again, an original idea AFAIK.

TL;DR:
Not everyone likes every game. If you don't like this one, well, that sucks but it happens. It is, however, an interesting part of gaming history, however, which might be enough to keep your interest?

I'm now 8 hours in, and I gotta be honest with ya. I am addicted! It is so much fun, I literally cannot stop playing. It saddens me when my gamepad battery dies because that means I have to wait a couple hours to play this again!

Glad to hear it, good man. My mate who owns a WiiU has a cable for his gamepad, I thought it was a standard charger cable, but he can use the pad normally while it's going - is such an item not standard with the console?

EDIT:
Did they keep the thing where Ness' father whines at you to take a break if you've been playing for a while?

This may be my favorite game of all time. If not than certainly in the top three.

Zombie_Moogle:

Well, the Wii was doing incredibly well, & that whole time Nintendo made it clear they would not be porting Earthbound. I suppose that'd be my foundation for the statement

That argument is a fallacious. Just because they didn't release the game while the Wii was selling well doesn't mean they didn't release it because the Wii was selling well. The two have nothing to do with each other since correlation /= causation, especially when you consider the legal trouble they've had with the game. A more reasonable assumption would be that they got over their legal trouble or simply stopped caring about them.
The success of the Wii U seems hardly relevant; they chose to release this game, but how else would they do it? They only have two system on the market, it would have to be Wii U or 3DS. They picked Wii U.

An EarthBound re-release? Cool. SNES cartridges run in the hundreds, so this is probably the only way many people will ever be able to play the game (barring emulation).

But uh... how about an English release of Mother 3? I mean, c'mon. The fan-made patch is being offered to you completely free. You could just put the patched ROM on the 3DS eShop and make a bajillion dollars with no effort at all.

Zombie_Moogle:

Negatempest:

Zombie_Moogle:
Why do I have the feeling that this means Nintendo is really getting desperate?

Doesn't make much sense actually. Desperation means heavy hitters like Metroid or Star Fox would come out. Earthbound is a game that is mostly known by hard core fans only. So the game is more fan pandering than a game that will sell Wii-U consoles.

True, but then that's Nintendo's entire business model: sequels to long-standing franchises

great as Earthbound is, seems like they're scraping the bottom of the US sales barrel

It's easy to see what you mean. But according to Nintendo in the past, there is no profit in localizing Earthbound for the west. So to do this now is nothing more than pandering to the fans. Earthbound is not a game to sell consoles, even the fans know that, but is for sure a good will to the fans.

 

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