Having just spent a good hour trying to get MAME running, and having finally done so, I am not surprised at all that the Wii Shop does as well as it does. For anybody who wants the opportunity to play the old classic NES games, or other older games, but wants to smash their computer after 15 minutes of this, 5 bucks a game doesn’t sound so bad (if you’ve got the money).
My main problem was that once I got the ROMs (which I downloaded from either romnation.net or romworld.com) and had them in my MAME folder, I would click on the game it would tell me that I was missing some required files to play the game. So I went to their FAQ section, which was no help at all. Then I finally found a web forum that was supposed to help out with problems like this. It took me a long time to navigate through other questions to get to mine. Pretty much the problem turned out to be that the ROMs I was downloading were not complete, and that there were missing files. This sent me back to the sites I previously mentioned, where I then had to just do trial and error until I found some ROMs that were complete. This was frustrating too because I didn’t get to play the games that I really wanted to.
Once I got some games running though it was really fun. I have always been a fan of emulators and ROMs, ever since my friends first started downloading them in middle school. It was great not to have to bang on my old NES or blow on the cartridges just so I could play Double Dragon 2. In this way I think that the online technology is great…however it is very frustrating. After this experience I will probably still play games on the MAME system, but once they are up for download from on the Wii I will probably just get them there. Which is unfortunate, because it means I will be paying money, but if the money is going to Nintendo I don’t mind quite as much.