As the Wii U rides off into the sunset, there’s been a somewhat steady trickling of Virtual Console releases over the past year to help give it a decent sendoff. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of TurboGrafx titles from Konami, but quite a few Wii titles made the leap onto the service beginning late last year. And while there’s still quite a few titles curiously missing (New Super Mario Bros. Wii hasn’t made the jump overseas, for instance), for me the biggest omission from the entire Wii-to-Wii U backcatalog is Mistwalker’s The Last Story.
As I detail extensively in my sole “review” left over from my previous blogging adventure here (see? It’s anniversary-oriented!), The Last Story was easily the best JRPG on the Wii for me. It hit many of the right notes for me in terms of character development, gameplay mechanics and artistic direction. It’s a flawed game to be sure — it challenges the Wii hardware in intense battles in a showdown of slowdown and potential freezing, and the camera can absolutely suck at times, but I adored the overall experience and would like to be able to spread the love!…but alas, I can’t just point at the eShop as an option here.
I’m not fully aware of why that may be the case. It’s conceivable primary developer Mistwalker has been a possible holdout (TLS characters appear in their mobile title Terra Battle, so it’s clear they retain the rights to some degree. Both Zael and Calista pop up in Smash Wii U, so there’s some cooperation going on here), or perhaps ties to co-developer AQ Interactive, currently under the Marvelous banner, have made re-release more difficult due to licensing. Maybe Nintendo themselves just don’t care at this point, as the game hasn’t come out in any region. Regardless of the reasons, The Last Story is a tragic omission from the Wii VC, and I hope that before the Wii U truly fades away that the game will get its due on the service. It deserves a second opportunity to shine.