Update: We've been asked quite a few times if this issue is the same on the Wii version of the game. As a test I've just used the exact same Wiimote + Classic Controller on both the Wii U and Wii Virtual Console versions available. The Wii version does not appear to have the same issue and the analog stick is far more responsive and plays fine. It's just the Wii U version that's broken which suggests it is indeed a software issue. We've had no reply from Nintendo as yet.
Original Article: Those of you that have followed the site for a long enough time will know that we have a bit of a running joke on Nintendo Life about this writer and F-Zero X. That's basically because it's the best F-Zero... at least in my humble opinion.
It's my go-to feel-good game; in fact I like to keep multiple copies around me at all times just in case I have the urge to use boost power. So, you can imagine my delight upon hearing that the best F-Zero was coming to the Wii U Virtual Console, not because I yearn to own it yet again and on another platform, but that a certain audience that perhaps hasn't played it before will finally get to experience the remarkable 1998 classic (and in silky-smooth 60hz, no less).
I'm a bit of a purist though; case in point is that I prefer to play F-Zero X on my Japanese NTSC RGB-modded Nintendo 64 that I have permanently welded into my TV. You may ask why, and that is a good question. Permit me to answer.
The reason is in the controller. The Nintendo 64 controller was - for want of a better word - unique. The feel and shape have never been replicated and for me is a large part of the experience when playing N64 games.
So whilst downloading F-Zero X on my Wii U my immediate thoughts were around how well the controls would hold up using the system's controllers; would the 15-odd years of engineering on analogue sticks actually improve the experience?
No, they haven't. It's horrible. For some unknown reason the analogue stick has a huge deadzone (perhaps up to 25-30%) which makes it almost impossible to play F-Zero X the way I do on a traditional N64 controller. At first I figured this might just be because I'm using the Wii U GamePad, so I tried the Wii Classic Controller and then the Wii U Pro Controller. Nope, they're all the same.
The other thing F-Zero X does on Wii U is emulate the Rumble Pak, but I think someone gave it too much boost power because it's vibrating constantly, just like Wonderful 101. No thanks.
You might assume it's just me, or maybe it's just my style of playing the game? Perhaps I'm simply too much of a purist to accept F-Zero X on anything but my beloved N64? Nope.
So it's not just me. There are plenty of users on Twitter and the Miiverse community citing similar controller related issues, suggesting this is far from being an isolated case.
It's a real shame, and it's also confusing as to how and why this got through Nintendo's QA procedures without anyone noticing. Naturally it's quite possible that Nintendo could release an update that fixes the issue as it is almost certainly a software issue and not hardware related. We will reach out to Nintendo UK to see if we can get a comment.
Have you downloaded F-Zero X yourself? How are you getting on with the controls? As always, let us know in the comments.