If you thought that seeing Just Dance 2020 for Nintendo Wii at your local Walmart wasn’t strange enough, VBlank Entertainment announced that they will be releasing Shakedown Hawaii on both Nintendo Wii and Wii U. The Wii version will release on July 9, while the Wii U version will come out in August. There will only be 3,000 copies of the Wii version for $29.99, so if there’s any of you clamoring for some new Wii games to get into, then this is your chance.
Although this sounds like some weird April Fool’s joke, these ports are being taken seriously and will be getting a lot of love and care done to optimize them and be enjoyable to play on either platform. VBlank Entertainment talks about sets this port apart from the rest:
“The Wii and Wii U versions include all of the currently released content and feature updates, including the Mogul Update, the Full Tank Update, and the many other little tweaks, improvements and optimizations that went into the game post-launch.
Both versions will also allow you to experience the game in the most retro way possible… in 4:3 on your old CRT televisions… and in my opinion, it looks glorious!
The Wii version supports both 50 hertz and 60 hertz, and both NTSC and PAL output. It supports the Wii Remote (with shake!), Wii Classic Controller, Wii Classic Controller Pro, and GameCube Controller. I took special care to ensure it parallels the experience of the more powerful platforms, and further optimized it to fit entirely into the Wii system memory. This means that you won’t experience any disc load times during gameplay. Once the game boots, you’re in!
The Wii U version supports both SD and HD, 4:3 and 16:9. You can play it with the Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Remote, Wii Classic Controller, or Wii Classic Controller Pro. It can be played entirely on the GamePad (with touch!), or on the TV from the comfort of your couch.”
And finally, for anyone who is still asking, “Ok, but why though?” here’s the story on why these games are getting ported to the Wii and Wii U in the first place:
Like most of my ports, Shakedown: Hawaii on Wii began one Friday night on a whim of curiosity. Perhaps a jolt of Wii nostalgia rushed through me that evening, but I suddenly wondered… how long would it actually take to port? How would it feel to play with a Wii Remote? How would it look in 4:3? Would it hit 60 frames per second right off the bat, or need optimization? I had many questions, but as soon as I held that Wii Remote and started playing, I knew I wanted to take it to the finish line.
Now, for some ports, that’s where it begins and ends. I’m no stranger to porting games to discontinued platforms, even when I know they won’t see the light of day. It’s just something I enjoy. The older the platform, the more fun it is! The cleverer I need to be! The more ways I’ll need to figure out how to optimize things! However, for fun or not, if there’s even a small chance that a port can be released, I’ll do all the legwork I can to try and make that happen.
While it still feels like yesterday, it’s been nearly 14 years since the Wii launched. Although we’ve still seen some Wii releases over the past few years, seeing one more wasn’t a given. Indeed, despite my best efforts, it just wasn’t in cards anymore, at least, not for North America. However, as luck would have it, the doors hadn’t quite closed yet with Nintendo of Europe, so it was still able see a release! Words truly can’t express how appreciative I am, and I can’t thank them enough for all the heavy lifting they did on their end to make it a reality. It’s meant the world to me, and these Wii discs specifically hold an immense place in my heart.
As incredibly as it all worked out, unfortunately, Wii discs aren’t region-free, and I didn’t want North American players to be left out. Although I continued talks with Nintendo of America, floating around a Plan B, Plan C… Plan Z, sadly, every idea hit a wall. The clock was ticking, and after exhausting all other options, I decided to pivot to the next best thing: the Wii U. After all, the Wii U still supported Wii Remotes, Wii Classic Controllers, and even 4:3! So, I rushed against time to port Shakedown: Hawaii to Wii U as well, and get it through certification before that door could close too!
I want to thank everyone at Nintendo for all the support, and everyone there who helped make these possible. To the lotcheck teams, thank you, thank you!
So, here we are and it’s almost July! You might’ve seen the Wii teases on Twitter and Instagram late last year, then scratched your head as to why the radio silence. In the past, I often announced things too early, resulting in years of waiting and “when it’s done” release dates. These days, I prefer to take a different approach and have all the ducks in a row before making announcements. Ideally, to wait until a release date (or month) is locked in. Of course, in this case it looked like it was! Both the Wii and Wii U games had gone gold and everything was on track. I excitedly began posting teasers… the Wii Remote pixel art, the 4:3 footage… all to lead up to this big announcement. But, then COVID-19 happened, and the world went to a standstill. I decided to wait until everything began to reopen and new release dates could be set in stone before posting any more teasers. Of course, I never would’ve imagined that would’ve taken this long, but better late than never!
So there you have it. It was actually a pretty cool story to read. Knowing everything that the developer went through to make this happen, I almost want to go a buy a Wii copy of Shakedown Hawaii. I still have my old Wii plugged into my TV, so why not? My only worry is that there will only be 3,000 copies, so I assume that they will go out of stock in around 2 seconds. In any case, my interest for this game has actually increased in finding out about these odd, but endearing ports.