Two Smart Critics Really Like The Wii U's Allegedly Inferior Black Ops II

Once could be an aberration. Twice? We're approaching a trend, people. Two sharp critics have both spent some time this week saying that Call of Duty: Black Ops II is good. Better than that, one of these chaps suggests that Black Ops II might be, PC notwithstanding, best on Wii U.

What in the world??

Black Ops II is a faithful port of the Xbox 360/PS3/PC version of the game, but the knocks on it are that a) it's technologically a wee bit inferior to those other versions and b) not many people are playing it online.

Yet here is the Penny Arcade Report's Ben Kuchera in an article entitled: Black Ops 2 on the Wii U: The good! (GamePad) The bad! (Framerate) The weird! (Where is everyone?)

Fans of the series have likely already purchased Black Ops 2 before the Wii U was released, however, and the amount of players online is shockingly low. As of this writing (which is admittedly 2 p.m. on a Tuesday) there are under 350 players on the servers.

The really good news is that most of them have been pretty easy to kill so far.

And, better, he's loving the fact that the game lets two co-op players use the TV and the Wii U GamePad controller's screens as their respective displays...

This isn't split-screen, it's something much better. Once both players get their own screen the game becomes much more enjoyable, and since both of you don't have to stare at the television you can stretch out and relax. It's an easy-going, very social way to play multiplayer games of Black Ops 2, and teaming up with a buddy in the same room allows you to mop up other players in multiplayer pretty efficiently.

This is sounding good, right? Kuchera dives deeper into some performance issues and some other perks. He's seeing pros and cons. But then we've got Jim Sterling over at Destructoid. His piece is called: Black Ops II Wii U: the preferred console experience?

WHAT? It has worse framerates. It's not up to snuff graphically. How could this be, Jim Sterling? Or is that question mark at the headline the giveaway that he doesn't really prefer it? Here's an excerpt:

I may now consider the Wii U my go-to console for future FPS games ... that I'm not playing on PC.

My god. You should read that piece. Here's a little bit more:

the GamePad is shockingly enjoyable to use for first-person shooting. The control scheme is at first a little confusing, since the face buttons have all been mapped to commands different from the Xbox 360 controller. Once that hump's been gotten over, however, I have to say I don't think I've enjoyed a console FPS this much in a long time. The large surface area of the Pad makes long-running online sessions comfortable, while the analogue stick and trigger placement is almost perfect for the genre. After my initial fears of the GamePad's viability, I am more than pleased.

Were you thinking that Black Ops II's Wii U servers were half-empty? Nay. These guys might argue that they are half-full. They're making a good case. If there are fewer players online, there are fewer jerks. There are fewer people who are playing so obsessively that you can't compete with them. The mortal gamer has a shot on a low-population Black Ops II Wii U server. They have a chance to actually get good at this game. Maybe this should be the version for me too.

Black Ops 2 on the Wii U: The good! (GamePad) The bad! (Framerate) The weird! (Where is everyone?) [PA Report] Black Ops II Wii U: the preferred console experience? [Destructoid]


    Eh, Jim has a tendancy to take contrary positions for the sake of arguments and discussion.

      Jim Sterling is the "shock jock" equivalent of the gaming world. Either he's stating the bleeding obvious or saying something for the sake of being "controversial". For some reason, some people think he's insightful and/or funny, but I just don't understand how.

      I won't be getting a Wii U or CODBLOPS2 any time soon.

        Perhaps its possible that people have different senses of humor?

    there are so many things in the game that scream ps360 port. No mini map on their gamepad the wrist mounted computer the character uses in the game doesnt use the touch screen either when it could have 'easily' used it. I've enjoyed the game so far and realise how badly i do with dual analog controls. great i can use wiimotes and nunchuks its more mouse and keyboard like.

    You can tell it wasnt designed primarily for the Wii U it atleast a decent showing from a launch title so far i havent notice any real slow down although there have been a few graphical glitches that Treyarch forgot to iron out. Cant wait for a COD designed to fully use the Wii U.

      That would be interesting to see - but how likely is it?

      I guess that's the question now.

      Third party support is not just games, it is dedicated multiplat support. If they can get away with straight ports, and it is cost effective, that'll be a shame - and bad for the WiiU.

      Or: if it becomes financially beneficial to spend time and money adding in pad support, they'll do that.

      I just don't get a good feeling that they'll bother, and no pad support means no compelling reason to get the WiiU versions.

        of course you dont think Nintendo will ever do well thats not a surprise. However its all about growing that install base. There is a good selection of games, yes alot are ports but there is a decent range of games people with Wii Us only can play.

        the Wii U so far is selling faster then the 360 & ps 3 at launch so as long as it maintains strong and consistent sales developers have incentive to make games, not just straight ports but games that take full advantage of the Wii U, so far its been ok efforts but in the future it will no doubt be better

        The combination of Activision and the CoD franchise doesn't lend itself to spending money on doing things right. It's about making as much money as possible while spending as little money as possible. Now while that's essentially good business, it's not good for the consumer when Activision don't give two shits about the product the consumer gets.

    Maybe i should get it if not many people are online, I might be able to get a good score on it

    I have enjoyed it. Don't play many fps games since golden eye maybe some modern warfare 2 or bulletstorm occasionally. When u have bad eyesight the game pad is awesome. Took my glasses off and played in bed last night. Servers are filling up. Miiverse community doubled over night. Good times

    Finally! I thought I was the only one who think both the analogue sticks on top is better than alternate or both at bottom for FPS

    And that's two, Totilo. And I'm just SO glad that I got may OWN Wii U now to be able to judge.

    I've seen bad journalism from you as the editor-in-chief of Kotaku, bashing on the Wii U as if the console deserved all the hate in the world, but this has gone WAY TOO FAR. You can say every nasty thing you want on Nintendo's new console, but as a journalist, bashing on other journalists for liking what you hate is the worst thing to expect from someone in your field.

    But it's cool, though. In a few years, just like with the Wii, journalists such as you will once again wonder how come the console is selling so fast -- which it is already doing now -- and will just realize how, once again, Nintendo has outsmarted this whole industry. All bets open that their console is going to be a success, ESPECIALLY once the new PlayStation and XBox will announce their features and price points.

      I been playing a few hours of this game and yes there are some graphical glitches (a statue had an off square panel, the zoom on rare occasion doesnt show the crosshairs) but as of this slowdown i have yet to see it. I've played the single player for 4 or 5 levels and tried some local coop deathmatch with bots and still not slow down. Im not saying it cant be there but i havent seen it. I bought this game because it had wiimote support and offered local coop with bots, something many games have been missing, its great it allows me to polish up my skills with the Wiimote and learn dual analog so when i feel confident i can play online (with the Mouse and keyboard im fine for online play).

    Ive got this game on both PC and Wii U, and I have to say once I got it on Wii i actually started playing it. I enjoy the multiplayer on Wii and the graphics to me look identical to my desktop (since my desktop runs an old 4890 gfx card). As for the frame rates, i havent noticed any low frames (actually im suprised how smooth it is...for a Wii!) and I also seem to find games on multi, might take slightly longer then PC.

    If in the near future more titles are released for the Wii with graphics as good as BOPS2 (or better), then ill start purchasing games on the Wii instead of PC.

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