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The Way Wii Were
By Julie

Did you know that Chris and I own a Wii?  If not, that’s understandable.  You may have forgotten, because we essentially have.

As a die-hard Nintendo fan, it’s hard for me to admit that the honeymoon between the Wii and myself is long over.  We had some pretty hilarious times during our winter holidays playing Wii Music, but since then it’s just been gathering dust. I still love the little guy, but if I have a choice, when buying a multi-platform game, I find myself debating the merits of PS3 over 360, and the Wii never even enters into the equation.

When the Gamecube was around, it was always my first choice.  It was my go-to console, and I only bought something for PS2 or Xbox if it was an exclusive that I couldn’t play on my cube. I wasn’t an NES kid (TG-16 ftw!), so the N64 was the first Nintendo console I ever had, and it was so great that I was instantly drawn to it over the Playstation, which I actually owned first.  By the time the Gamecube came out, I was Nintendo 4 Life and despite a slow start in the software department, the cube maintained the top spot in my console arsenal.  When Wii was announced, I just assumed that it would step up and take the Gamecube’s place as my favourite current system.  Somehow Nintendo screwed that up for me, despite my fanatic brand loyalty.

I know that Nintendo didn’t try to compete head to head with Sony or Microsoft, and instead took their platform in an entirely different direction.  I also know that it really worked for them.  It’s been over a year, and they’re still selling like hot cakes.  They single-handedly brought back casual gaming.  That’s quite an accomplishment, and I don’t fault them for it, but it did sort of leave h-core gamers in the lurch.  Wii Fit is cool and all, but can I get some normal games up in here please?

When we bought our Wii on launch day, I thought it was pretty much the awesomest thing I’d ever seen.  Wii bowling blew my mind.  Twilight Princess was amazing, and Mario Galaxy was the best Mario title in a long time.  I don’t think I even have to mention how much I loved Boom Blox.  Yet somehow, despite all of those successes, when I look at my current-gen consoles, Wii is still a distant third for me.  Once you finish a few boxing matches, and make a bunch of Miis, the lustre wears off, and it’s just not that exciting anymore.  It’s a novelty, sure, but novelties aren’t known for their staying power.  There aren’t enough good exclusive games, and because Nintendo is no competition for the other two as far as power is concerned, if it’s not an exclusive, I’m not playing it on the Wii.  With solid first party titles few and far between, what does that leave me with?

Then there’s the Wiimote.  I love the Wiimote, but it’s also my number one complaint, because I hate that every single game uses it.  There are some games (Boom Blox) that are infinitely improved by the motion sensing technology, but some others (Monkey Ball) are just awkward.  Not every game should be controlled that way, it’s like trying to shove a square peg through a round hole.  Can’t there be a normal controller too?  Newsflash: I’m lazy.  I don’t want to always have to wave my arm around to play a game, especially when it really makes no sense to do so.

I still believe that the Wii has its place, and I’ll scoop up almost any first party Nintendo title without thinking twice, but overall, even though they’re technically at the top of their game as far as the market is concerned, I can’t help looking back longingly at the Gamecube days.  Sure, I’m still really excited about the new Boom Blox game, and I know there will be other great Wii titles in my future, but I wish Nintendo had kept me in mind a little more for their fifth console.  It’s great that my aunt likes to screw around with Wii Play for ten minutes when she comes over, but by gaining the older relative demographic, they took a step towards losing mine.

I don’t think Julie’s alone on this one.  The complaints about Nintendo leaving the hardcore behind has basically been around since they changed the devlopment name of the console, ‘Revolution’, to the Wii.  That definitely served as a sign of things to come.

One thing I would add to the Wii complaint list is the cost of the games.  I’m going to get into this topic a little more in-depth in my upcoming article (whenever it is that I finish writing it) but pricing a Wii game at $69.99 is ridiculous unless it’s one of a very few elite games, like a Mario title or a Zelda.  Even then, I’m not happy about the price.  More on that some other time…

4 Comments • Comments RSSTrackBack URI
  1. NawtSoMuch
    2009-06-01 6:24

    “but pricing a Wii game at $69.99 is ridiculous unless it’s one of a very few elite games, like a Mario title or a Zelda.”
    Even though Zelda and Mario titles are great games, they seldom last longer than 30-40 hours in story and that is being generous. I think $70 would warrant more content and NOT content i have to pay extra $$$ to download.

  2. NawtSoMuch
    2009-06-01 6:25

    Also, I love the banner and title for this article.

  3. 2009-06-01 14:09

    Game pricing for me isn’t as much about quantity as it is quality. I will pay $70 for a 30 hour game if it’s excellent. More hours does not always equal more fun.

  4. 2009-06-03 8:40

    And besides, Zelda games do tend to be quite long, especially if you are trying to get all the extras.

    I think 30-40 hours is long enough for a game. I would rather 30-40 hours of solid story and gameplay than 60 hours of repetitiveness

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