Loading up the Wii U eShop doesn't tend to result in many new games or exciting updates these days, but thanks to a release arriving on the system's digital shelves today, owners of Nintendo's discontinued system can finally get stuck into something new.
Well, we say new, but the game in question is Commander Keen in Keen Dreams: Definitive Edition, a title that launched on Switch earlier this year and one that was already a remake of a DOS game from the '90s. Still, the Wii U will take what it can get.
And in all seriousness, it's great to see a publisher taking the time to launch a game on the Wii U at all. This Definitive Edition release reworks the original and adds new features, levels and more:
Commander Keen is back. In the modernised Definitive Edition of the lost episode "Keen Dream", Keen has to fend off a nasty nightmare about evil vegetables. The Definitive Edition features full widescreen support, twelve all-new levels - doubling the length over the 1990 original - and a full music score. The game structure has been reworked to make the game a more modern experience without sacrificing any of the original charm!
It'll be available today on the Wii U eShop for just £4.49, and the Switch version – usually £8.99 – has also been reduced to this lower price up until 31st December.
As it happens, this week we decided to boot up a load of Wii U games to see if people were still playing the system online. It proved to be more popular than we thought after all these years, so we're glad to see it get a new release. Do you still play your Wii U? Let us know in the comments.
Cool, maybe i'll buy it
It's my default Virtual Console machine, so why wouldn't I still play it every now and again? Decent little library of games too, and the backwards compatibility with Wii titles is a bonus.
Stick with the previous port. I don't even know how they managed to screw this one up so badly with its garish interface, awful physics, and other questionable choices (e.g. using flipped sprites rather than the unique left/right sprites from the original game). And don't get me started on the music (if the trailer is anything to go by).
I also haven't been able to find any walkthroughs of this version in order to get an idea of the quality of the new levels (I don't expect them to come even remotely close to the original level designs).
I'll still consider downloading this version at some point, but the asking price is ridiculous for a botched port of an unremarkable (and very brief) DOS game. Even the current "discounted" price is too expensive.
The PC version is shareware anyway, and despite its "shareware" status, it is the full version of the game. Paying for it merely served as a gesture of goodwill to the developers back in the day.
If I had a WiiU I would buy it simply because of the fact that I could. Awesome.
Still play my Wii U from time to time. While I haven't played this entry, it's pretty cool to see Commander Keen getting a Wii U release. Had a ton of fun with the classic DOS ones on Steam years ago.
I still play my Wii U, I have a ton of Virtual Console games on it and many of the Wii U ports to the Switch I only own on Wii U because I couldn't justify double dipping for many of the titles, and it still has a few great exclusives. It's also the default way I play Wii games now too, since I got an HDMI adapter for my Gamecube I've had no reason to have my Wii plugged in
For the sake of nostalgia i'm gonna download and play it Still remember playing this on PC back in the days.
Yeah me too. I have all of the Wiiware/VC games on it transferred from Wii and then all the VC games and stuff I downloaded off the Wii U shop so I may get this too
Commander Keen: the ugliest platformer games you've ever seen...
All kidding aside, though, this is hardly worth the trouble. For a moment there, going by the thumbnail, I actually thought it was going to be something like 40 Winks, or at least something a little bit more contemporary, not some kind of DOS Mario wannabee with wonky physics and graphics.
I still have my Wii U hooked up, and I still play it, but that's because I still have every system I own hooked up on general principle, and I've been going through a Wii backlog phase and got it into my head that it runs Wii games a bit better than my Wii does. If I got rid of it I'd lose access to about a dozen games, most of which I could buy elsewhere and just haven't yet. There's really little reason not to just retire the poor thing and be done with it.
@rdrunner1178 There are a few VC games in the GBA, N64, and Nintendo DS categories I still need to pick up. I've been gradually adding to my collection over time to prevent a buying frenzy when the Wii U eShop inevitably closes.
whats a wii u lol
@Silly_G The PC version was shareware?
As I understood it, this game, essentially Keen 3.5 in terms of release chronologically was some kind of contract-fulfillment game or something, so it's sorta not considered a canon game.
I thought 1 and 4 were the shareware games (as each of those was the beginning of a new game, and its sequels were more like just the continuation of the same game. They wanted players to pay for the other games to see the full ending. I think that model was a bit more clear in other games like Wolfenstein and Doom.)
Keeping the Wii U alive for another year I see.
@ThanosReXXX Do you mean all the Keen games? If all of them had "wonky physics and graphics" then I guess that means they were LESS WONKY than most PC games of that era. I understand that was part of the appeal of the originals, was their relative technical competence.
Though if this is about the specific game Keen Dreams, I don't know specifically the details of this. I just heard it was moreso a contractual obligation game, so I wouldn't be surprised if the devs just weren't as into it in spirit.
@Silly_G it's a port of a 39 year old game. Stop being so salty about it. Thousands will live to still play this on their console.
@Dirty0814 : but they’re charging actual real world money for that 40 year old game (which I played for free first time around)
I still use my Wii U, I copied and installed all my Wii U game discs directly on Wii U to my external SSD, and did the same with my Wii games, with custom icons, so handy and keeps the discs safe.
Simply no reason to buy a Switch as I don't do portable gaming anymore.
So the Wii U version is not better than the Switch one? And here I though it was a Wii U exclusive launch, which would have deserved a kudos to the people responsible for it.
@Silly_G Wow, that’s pretty bad. And I still consider the original to be the worst Commander Keen game.
@KingMike Well, all I know is the DOS games, which are basically equivalent to 8-bit games on consoles, and I've always found them to be far more simplistic and less comfortable to control. Of course, setting up joysticks and so on for the PC wasn't all that plug & play back then either, so most probably played it with their keyboards.
@Silly_G Better yet, don't buy any of the recent ports at all because the guy who has the rights to this specific Keen game is a racist piece of human garbage
@liveswired We're getting a blast of arctic air this week, so I appreciate the hot take. It will help keep me warm.
Long live the U King.
I know with the Just Dance 2020 it was debated that the Wii outlived the Wii U, does this release correct that notion?
what the Wii U is not dead?
Who still owns a Wii U these days? I do. Although I do wish they would add Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Paper Mario 64, and other classics to the Switch Online.
@KingMike : Episodes 1, 4, Keen Dreams, and the demo version of Episode 6 are shareware.
The original iD Software guys used to work for a company called SoftDisk, and even though they had already formed their own company by this point, they had a contractual obligation to produce a certain number of games for SoftDisk (which resulted in the Rescue Rover and Dangerous Dave games, the latter of which are currently available via GOG).
The entirety of Keen Dreams ended up being released as shareware. The commercial version had a revised title screen and a few minor changes/fixes (which are inconsequential to the game/story) but was otherwise identical (disappointingly). It was not uncommon for full version software to be released as "shareware" but they would typically contain a registration screen requesting that users send a payment to the developers as an act of goodwill if they had found the software to be useful. Developers would typically also send paying users updated (and/or physical) versions of the software or other goodies (such as cheat codes) to thank them for their support.
And whether the game is canon or not is immaterial, really, since the entire game takes place in a dream. The end game text in the full version makes mention of a potential sequel called Keen Meets the Meats, though I couldn't say if this was merely facetious.
I still play my WiiU regularly and its hooked up to my main TV alongside my switch. I am halfway through paper mario colour splash with my daughter and she loves it. I intend to keep playing it regularly for a long time.
@Tyranexx Same here, I even homebrewed mine!
No North American release? I'd buy it if it were available.
The Wii U will never die!
Wow! I'm surprised a new game was released for the Wii U.
no NA release , why even?
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