Last Sunday I was at my Nonno and Nonna’s house with my cousins and we were doing what we normally do, talk video games. I ask my one cousin how he’s doing is Dark Souls, another asks me if I’ve played Dishonored, we all talk about Pokemon X and Y coming out, it’s always something I look forward to. About halfway through the conversation I asked my cousins if they have any plans on purchasing the Wii U any time soon. They said no because they all purchased 3DS’s instead. After that I just had this strange compulsion to go out and buy my own Wii U. I looked at the prices, checked to see if I could capture off of it and checked to see if it had backwards compatibility– about three hours later I went out and bought my own Wii U. I’m not one to buy consoles in their first few months after release. I’m not really one who needs to own a shiny new system during its first initial run, and I actually enjoy diving into a system well into its run and going through all of the gems in its back catalogue. I did this with the 360, the PS3 and the… well, not the Wii U apparently.
So I guess this post is kind of a pseudo unboxing as I’m going to talk about how my Wii U is doing so far.
Join me for this journey, I insist, but if this isn’t your cup of tea I’ll be back to reviews next week with New Super Mario Brothers Wii U. And if you don’t like the Nintendo Wii U then I don’t really understand your beef with gaming, it’s a lot less gimmicky than the Wii and the little touch screen controller is one of the coolest things to happen to gaming in a long time. I haven’t had an honest sincere moment of ‘holy cow this is awesome’ in the gaming universe in a long time. That’s why the Wii U is so exciting, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Unfortunately they didn’t have the deluxe Wii U when I bought it, but the extra 24 GB of space aren’t as much of a selling point as the black colour scheme is. I like having the black consoles over white ones, but I wasn’t going to let that sway my opinion from purchasing it. I plopped the money down, saving 50 bucks in the process, and took my Wii U home. I’m under the thought process that no matter what I’ll be getting an external HD for more storage space and it’s not like I’m going to be downloading whole retail games on the Wii U anyway. 8 GB is a good size for a starter system, something that’ll last me until at least next year as I’ll probably only be playing first party titles and Rayman Legends in the meantime until really juicy releases start coming out.
That was probably the biggest issue with the Wii U when I picked it up, the amount of titles released at this point. There are probably only two games I want to own, NSMBWiiU and Scribblenauts. ZombieU screams ‘rent me’ and any multiplatform games I would own on my Xbox before any other system. It’s also disheartening because there are really no big games being released on the horizon, which is definitely one of the big contributing factors to the Wii U’s low sales right now. There are some damn good looking games coming out in the future but hype can only get a console so far, not many people are going to buy a Wii U right now because Smash Bros is coming out in the next year. Still, I know the Virtual Console is coming up soon and I can play some of the games being released there and maybe I’ll just have to bite the bullet and buy Dance Channel Hype Dance Moves Extreme 6 to kill the time between now and all the interesting releases.
Now I’ve spoken about the biggest fault of the Wii U, now I’m going to get to the really parts of the system that I really like. High definition Nintendo looks sexy, but that’s quite vain of a thought process to award an entire system on. The interface is easy to navigate and it’s a very clean look, it’s better and feels than both Xbox’s ad filled ad nauseum dashboard and Playstation’s finicky main hub. Of course this comes with the benefit of being next gen, but the point still stands. The Miiverse thing is pretty cool and is a very ‘Nintendo’ way of connecting their user base and it’s fun to leave messages for people after an achievement in Mario. I’ll even admit it’s fun to lay down abstract poetry or a drawing of a gecko with the subtitle ‘Yoshi’ and have people ‘like’ it. There are some people who have made really impressive drawings with the little scratch pad feature of their note system, that is really cool to see and it’s great to see a community actually come together like that.
The absolute coolest feature of the Wii U is the touch screen. Not even from a gimmick stand point but what it has done to my gaming habits, it’s made it so I can game when I want, pretty much where I want. It allows me to game actively and complete things quicker and more comfortably at any opportunity. It’s taken a home console and turned it into an optional portable platform whenever I want it to.
There’s a fantastic feature where some games, like Mario, you can play on either your TV screen or on the little game pad. This makes it so you can turn off your TV and play in your bed or at your computer when you’re listening to a podcast. It even goes as far as if someone else in the room wants to change the channel you can throw the game down onto your game pad and whoever else in the room can watch Law and Order or The Biggest Loser or whatever the hell else people watch these days. This works great for balancing children (note: I do not have children yet, mom and dad, don’t worry). Say one kid wants to play Mario and another kid desperately wants to see if Dora is able to keep exploring… BOOM– both kids are happy, you get the father of the year award and your wife doesn’t leave you for her personal trainer.
Essentially, what I’m trying to say here is that the Wii U saves marriages.
Although the games at this point aren’t anything exciting and a console is always as good as its games, I am very very excited for the potential of the Wii U. The game pad is one of the coolest things to come to gaming in the longest time and I hope more games have the play on game pad ability. Those who complained about the gimmicky nature of the Wii can now shut up and put their own face in their mouths because those days of riding the gimmick are done. Sure, they’ll argue that the touch screen is a gimmick but that is just the inevitable future of gaming and I’d rather live with the ease of use that exists in the touch screen than the shitty nature of motion controls. The game pad itself is an actual controller and the games play smoothly and there is some wicked stuff coming out for it.
I want to say that this next generation of console gaming is going to be one of the strongest generations yet. The Wii U is, so far, a system I am absolutely in love with and I’m not even a diehard Nitendo fan– I’m just a gamer loving a system with a lot of potential. I just have to hope the games start coming out soon, otherwise the poor Wii U will be just collecting dust, and that would be rather unfortunate and hopefully avoidable.
Next week, February 13th I’ll be reviewing New Super Mario Brothers Wii U, so get ready for that!