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.
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.
@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.