Gamers of all shapes and sizes have always been quick to hate on the Wii. Even I, an NES owner, will admit when the Wii first came out, I didn’t think it had much to offer. Casuals have been quick to note the excess of shovelware, and hardcore gamers have been calling the system “kiddie” and “casual only” since 2006. Recent developments have changed my entire perception on the Wii, and I believe they will start to show their effects on the hardcore community. Don’t love the Wii yet? Read on, you will.
Nintendo, to the disdain of many, has always been associated with “family gaming”. For the Wii, 2008 was full of shovel-ware such as Carnival Games, and Ninja Reflex. The hardcore community has been very tough on the Wii last year, calling for gamers to “keep their dusty Wii in the corner”. While it was enjoying tremendous sucess and setting records with the casual audience, the library and market choices of the Wii didn’t sit well with some gamers. This is all about to change, and I will tell you why.
The Wii Video Service
- This isn’t just a video service; it’s a wave of the future for what was once an “empty shell” of a full entertainment package. If this succeeds, the Wii will no doubt have to expand it’s hardware to accommodate some sort of storage. This will qualm many gamers’ frustrations of running out of space, and will lead to many more expansions for existing Wii games. All naysayers of the Wii’s technical limits will have little to squabble about but it’s lack of graphical output; but games like Twilight Princess have shown us, they do not have to look bad by any means on current Wii hardware. I really see no limits to what doors the video service will unlock.
- Hardcore gamers observed that the Wii was doomed to service only casuals, and fans under the age of 18. If you’ve never heard of Mad World, it’s a game where the main character is “competing on a game show where you have to murder as many people as you can in an urban environment to win”. Many people are “mad” at Mad World, and what it stands for: violence on a family oriented system.
- A British media watchdog group, MediaWatch-uk, has been outspoken against the game, calling it a travesty on the Wii’s name. Hardcore gamers however, love it. They relish the fact that Nintendo publicly sanctioned one of the most violent games to come out for some time, on any system. What Sega and Platinum Games is doing is phenominal, and will be emulated in the future. Making games for all age groups on the Wii is for everyone now, not just brave developers; thanks Platinum Games.
Quirky Puzzle Games and Good Wiiware
- Note I did not say “gimmicky” games and “lack” of Wiiware. While Wiiware was originally just a site for games everyone already owned via emulation or cartridge, it has turned into a haven for up and coming developers. Need I say more than World of Goo? One of the latest gems in the PC community is no where to be found on the Xbox Live Arcade or the PSN.
- A once Xbox exlusive Geometry Wars has found it’s way onto the Wii. Cave Story, an indie classic, is also coming out with updated graphics and download content this year. Boomblox, and de Blob were treasured by many in 2008 and heralded with critical sucess. The Wii is where all developers will go to in 2009 for great, cheap games that everyone will love. Look at Muramasa: The Demon Blade if you haven’t already!
Previously exclusive titles are flocking to the Wii
- Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero, Klonoa, Resident Evil 4, House of the Dead, Tenchu, Fatal Frame, Sonic, Okami. Sound familiar? That’s because they were previously on other consoles. Okami’s paintbrush mechanic was pratically made for the Wii. Games on other systems are slowly making it’s way over and Wii owners are loving it. Don’t have a PS2/Xbox? No problem.
Nintendo is resurrecting franchises other than the Big Four
- You have no doubt heard of the big four; Mario based games, Zelda, Starfox, and Metroid. Sure you can disagree with me all you want, but this formula has brought Nintendo great sucess. Now, Nintendo is reaching further into their bag of magic tricks, and using the Wii as a launching pad for some of their most treasured franchises. Punchout is being revived. Kid Icarus is still in development. Pikmin is making a comeback. Expect to see more time devoted to quality brands in 2009.
The Wii’s hardware is untapped territory
- The Conduit will push the Wii to it’s limits. High Voltage is working on the engine, which is reported to emulate next-gen graphics. The Wii has more to it than meets the eye. If Dead Rising: Chop til you Drop is an example of how not to port for the Wii, the Conduit is the antithesis of bad graphics on the wii.
We get less waggle, and more control
- The Wii had tons of waggling in 2006 (read: too much waving and nun-chucking); so much that many gamers grew tired of it fast. Then the classic controller was employed in many games, quelling waggle-opposers. Once it was reported that the Gamecube controller could be used on Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Mario Kart Wii, the gaming community let out a celestial cry of victory.
- Classic gaming on the Wii is still alive and well. 2009 looks to be a great year for classic gaming, with a hint of Wii-mote controls. There’s nothing wrong with waggle controls, but there’s also nothing wrong with allowing users to utilize a control scheme they are comfortable with.
Wii all love great videogames
I leave you with this. A video of great Wii games to come, and those that have been. The Wii will have it all come 2009, and will leave little room to argue against ownership. The fallacy of blaming the Wii for ruining gaming is simple; just because many developers have shoveled out bad games to make a quick buck, doesn’t mean that the system won’t still have quality games.
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