News Article

Ice Climber Now Has Download Play Multiplayer in Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Double the fun

With a steady increase of retro titles on 3DS Virtual Console, including those from NES and Game Boy Advance for 3DS Ambassadors, notable omissions from most re-releases have been multiplayer modes. For those hoping to recreate nostalgic days of 8-bit goodness with a friend, 3DS iterations have been a disappointment.

It seems to be an area that Nintendo is addressing, albeit very slowly and in Japan. European gamer Daan Koopman happens to own a Japanese 3DS, and has spread the word that an eShop update on that system has introduced multiplayer — through the use of Download Play — to Ice Climber, one of the NES freebies given to Ambassadors. The official release of Super Mario Bros. on 3DS Virtual Console in Europe and North America also includes the multiplayer option of alternating players, it should be noted, as long as you know to use the correct button combination: L + R + Y.

It's a small step but we'd hope that this update, and others for VC multiplayer options, will eventually become more common.

[via twitter.com]

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User Comments (33)

SBOY

#1

SBOY said:

Even if they probably won't make on this generation they should add online multiplayer...

craigmoss19

#2

craigmoss19 said:

That's good to hear, hopefully they'll sort multiplayer out for all virtual console games including the Gameboy games :)

C-Olimar

#3

C-Olimar said:

It is easier to add multiplayer to NES games I think, so we will probably get multiplayer for NES games but not Gameboy. It is possible for Game Gear though (if that even has multiplayer) because SEGA are less lazy with their emulation than Nintendo...

WarioFan63

#4

WarioFan63 said:

It's more likely that any NES game with same screen multiplayer will get the Download Play but anything with alternating will stick with the button code.

So an updated Balloon Fight will have it but an updated Wrecking Crew will not.

DaveGX

#7

DaveGX said:

Ah man....this feature needs to spread throughout ALL classic titles, and not just NES, but GameBoy, anything retro. I'd kill to have this option for Radar Mission.... Heck i bet this'd make even fans (that ever doubted the possibility )of all the classic Pokémon games happy,

NintyMan

#8

NintyMan said:

Good thing, and now they should expand that to other NES games like Balloon Fighter. Of course, it'd be nice if all VC games had multiplayer.

Geonjaha

#9

Geonjaha said:

It's like no one even remembers Nintendo announcing this long before the Ambassador games were even released...Balloon Fight and Ice Climber will have multiplayer by download play when they get updated - because they actually have simultaneous multiplayer.

Tsuchinoko

#11

Tsuchinoko said:

@Geonjaha I mean, I have a Japanese 3DS of course, but I didn't mention this anywhere since I found out about the multiplayer support for these games from a NINTENDO LIFE article a while back. :(

idork99

#13

idork99 said:

This is awesome! Hopefully they can do the same for all current and future virtual console two player co op games!

chewytapeworm

#15

chewytapeworm said:

Genius. Double the fun on a decent little game. Bring out this update then do a new one for the Wii U!

C-Olimar

#19

C-Olimar said:

I think if Pokemon games were released on virtual console, Nintendo should make sure that there is a way to trade Pokemon, maybe battle, even if they break the price barrier for Game Boy titles.

WingedSnagret

#20

WingedSnagret said:

What would really be interesting is if we saw a new 3D Ice Climber. Not necessarily a new installment per se, but a remake would be nice.

Neram

#21

Neram said:

Is it just me or are NES games on 3DS, or any handheld for that matter, kind of a bad idea? I mean the fact that there's no multiplayer sort of helps prove that. I suppose it depends on whether or not multiplayer is a priority for some.

WaxxyOne

#22

WaxxyOne said:

Wireless multiplayer for the original Gameboy (and probably some of the later spinoffs) is unlikely, unfortunately. The Gameboy used a link cable that just streamed raw data from one console to the other(s). It was rudimentary compared to today's standards of packets and checksums, and relied entirely on both Gameboys being able to sync up and then never lose that sync. If either did, the game would simply stop working right, as none of the connected consoles had any way to know the other one wasn't getting the right data at the right time.

With wireless, you have to send data packets from one console to the other, which then returns a receipt code to let the first system know it got something. The checksum is verified at both ends, and if the data is good it is used, if not the sending system attempts it again. This all happens extremely quickly and is automatic, and ensures that the two systems stay in sync as long as possible. The only way to make an older game that was not designed for that work would be to reprogram the game directly, and Nintendo is not likely to spend that much effort on many old Gameboy titles.

This is the same reason it's hard to find a Gameboy emulator for PC with multiplayer that works over a network.

grumblegrumble

#23

grumblegrumble said:

Oh wow. And I LOVE Ice Climber! Me and my cousins used to play this on 2 player back in the "day".. I hope these functions come to North America soon!

photofool83

#24

photofool83 said:

Oh, I want to play multiplayer Balloon Fight!! It is still one of my favorite games ever.

Tsuchinoko

#25

Tsuchinoko said:

@Neram That all just depends on the game I guess. I was more than happy to have The Legend of Zelda on my 3DS. No multiplayer issue there.

Same with Super Mario I guess. I don't see the issue with just passing the 3DS between two people for that one. All the 2nd player does is wait for the first person to finish anyway.

DaveGX

#27

DaveGX said:

@WaxxyOne: You're telling me they couldn't release an update for already existing Virtual Console games with multiplayer, like Radar Mission, yet they somehow managed to add this feature to an NES game, despite it being for Virtual Console on the 3DS, when those games never had wireless to begin with? Why would that be such a problem for them now?

DaveGX

#28

DaveGX said:

@Neram: I kinda wondered about that myself. Tried with Super Mario bros, and it turns out when the 2nd player is ready, the controls do nothing. And somehow i doubt the option for Download Play, because for games using the cart they have to initiate a sort of invite thing for which the system in download play searches for the software. other than that, I'm not sure, but would guess it works the same for downloaded titles as well.

ToastyYogurt

#29

ToastyYogurt said:

@DaveGX: NES games have got to be easier to emulate multiplayer than Game Boy games. Making wireless multiplayer work on NES would be as easy as making the guest 3DS P2 and streaming the host's video to the system, or both systems running the ROM and keeping the game in sync. The Game Boy, however, is harder to emulate multiplayer with because as @WaxxyOne said, the GameBoy relied on a wired connection and the power of faith. The Game Boy link didn't check to ensure that the data being sent was received, but that was okay because thanks to the wired connection, it went through most of the time. Wireless connections are less reliable, sometimes messages don't get through. The DS and 3DS have managed to combat that by checking that the data was received, keeping the games in sync. But since Game Boy games don't do that, the games could go out of sync on a wireless connection without any modifications, thus breaking the game. Also, in order to do alternate play in 3DS NES games, you have to hold down L and R and then hit Y to switch to P2's controller. Otherwise you'll still be plugged into P1 and Luigi won't budge.

Tony3DS

#31

Tony3DS said:

Thomas, Waxxyone, and Destroyer64: Thank you all for the article and comments, they are so enlightening. I always wondered why there were not more multiplayer options for the VC games and now it makes sense. Also, I never got the whole changing controller thing on SMB. However unlikely here’s hoping they come out with multiplayer for Mario Kart Super Circuit and sell it in the eshop (since I have an ambassador system but my wife doesn’t). ::sigh:: Maybe I should just break down and by another GBA SP and a link cable though.

StarDust4Ever

#32

StarDust4Ever said:

Online is not possible because NES games were not designed to handle lag. Even so, it would be a lot of fun to play Balloon Fight with two players locally. My friend and I had a blast on my NES back in the day. Just like the arcade game Joust, you can kill each other off or cooperate to advance levels. You can also kill your opponent in Ice Climber by climbing the screen so fast that your opponent disappears at the bottom.

UnseatingKDawg

#33

UnseatingKDawg said:

Multiplayer on GB, NES, and GG titles would be great. My questions are these, though: 1. Why in the hell did Nintendo just release DK Jr. as the Ambassador release, and not update it? Kind of a get money quick scheme, y'know? 2. Will the GBA games ever be updated? I mean, a few of those titles we Ambassadors got have multiplayer. And it'd be nice to have restore points and all the other features of the 3DS while the games are being played. Just sayin'.

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