You Know What Console I Am Playing A Lot Of? The Wii U...

I know, crazy right? And I suspect this trend may continue.

I realised this fact just two days ago. I began making a list of the games I'd spent the most time playing over the last two or three months. There was GTA V -- obviously -- but I got tired of that relatively quickly. I'd played a couple of indie games on PC, like Gone Home and Papers Please. But asides from that? All Wii U games.

I say Wii U games, but I'd actually been playing...

Super Metroid: after playing 30 cents for it.

Metroid Prime: after feeling a strange urge to return to one of my favourite games ever made.

Wind Waker HD: because it's a glorious, nigh-on definitive example of a HD remake executed perfectly.

The strange thing about this list is, of course, the fact that precisely none of these games began life as Wii U games. But, perhaps stranger, I don't think this matters in the slightest. Could it be that Nintendo is actually getting to grips with what their outrageous deep back catalogue of era-defining video games could do for the Wii U? Who knows. One can hope.

But then there are the new games. They are coming. In some respects they are already here. Pikmin 3, which I have not yet played (to my shame) is a game I've been looking forward to starting, The Wonderful 101, I've heard great things about. Not to mention some of the great new titles available on the e-shop.

And then there's Super Mario 3D World which is beginning to look just as inventive and beguiling as the Mario Galaxy series was on the Wii.

It seems completely implausible but I think the tail end of 2013, over the Christmas period, my gaming time will most likely be completely dominated by the Wii U.

Think about it: the year is quickly drawing to a close, Grand Theft Auto V has come and gone. The remaining big hitters are franchise sequels to video games many of us are a little exhausted by. Assassin's Creed 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4. The last great hope for a new, proper next gen IP -- Watch Dogs -- has been delayed until 2014. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, despite the glittering allure of new tech, are hardly stacked with must play launch titles.

There's a very real gap in the gaming schedule and, for me, the Wii U will plug it.

I don't expect the Wii U to suddenly start shifting large amounts of units, and I don't expect third-parties to suddenly pull an about face and start supporting the Wii U either. What I do expect, however, is a tipping point -- the kind of tipping point the 3DS hit last year. That moment when the Wii U has accumulated enough must play exclusive titles to be attractive to a great number of folks, be they lapsed Nintendo fans or curious gamers looking for something a little outside the box.

Almost from launch the Wii U has lurched from one disaster to the next, but towards the tail end the console has found its sea legs. Unlike the original Wii, the Wii U will never be a generation defining console but, when all is said and done, it has a very real chance at being the Dreamcast of the new generation: a cult favourite, a console outside the mainstream with enough memorable exclusives to be memorable to those who appreciate a certain type of video game.

Perhaps a more helpful comparison is the Nintendo GameCube. After my stints with Metroid Prime and Wind Waker, I've found myself reminiscing on that console: an underappreciated machine released at a low point in Nintendo's history, but a console that brought the best out of many of its developers. Maybe in 10 years I'll find myself in a similar spot, remember the Wii U and the brilliant video games that went under appreciated in its time.


Comments

    3DS... 3DS and... more 3DS

    I'll probably get a Wii U when they decide to cut the price here or there's a decent bundle. Right now, spending money on the new zelda 3ds xl and new phone in that of a nexus 5. Thank god there isn't a steam sale going on atm as well...

    Last edited 18/10/13 3:04 pm

      I thought about getting a Wii U so I could be one of the 7 people in Australia that owns owns one. The I realised I must be having a mini stroke and came back to my senses. Close call.

    I probably won't be playing my Wii-U much between GTA V and the Xbox One, but I am VERY excited for the new Mario and the HD remakes of Wii Sports (mainly for online play).

    Yeah, I agree. I'm also a huge fan of the controller when it's used properly. (Not a fan of the short battery life though.) When just messing around with Link's boat in Wind Waker I often just play off the screen, I did the same thing with Rayman too. I know this was multiplatform, but I truly feel like the touch controls made Wii U the best version. Pikmin 3 stands with The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls and The Night of the Rabbit for me as a serious game of the year contender.

      I've found that if you turn the brightness all the way down and turn on power saving mode the controller will last a good 4 - 5 hours.

      More than enough for a good long sail.

    I've dropped enough hints to my wife that I want Wind Waker for our one year anniversary next week, will be interested to see if I get that or Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge.

    Im genuinly suprised there isnt a negative wiiu article :0

      Mark loves Nintendo, so this is no surprise.

      By the way, Mark is totally right to love Nintendo. They're the best!

        I know there the best :) its just some of hus articles seemed negative. I wasnt refering just to him.

    May have you pipped - mine are WiiU and Vita (mainly for Indies and PSone games though)...

    I'm enjoying GTAV and will buy a PS4, but the lineup for that is looking suddenly very thin without Watchdogs, so Mario it is!

    I'm considering a Wii U purchase at some point in the new year, but atm a lot of the buzz around it seems to be solely focused around Wind Waker. I'll probably hold out until there's more actual Wii U games available for it before taking the plunge, but I'm definitely more open to the idea of buying one than I was a year or 6 months ago

    Last edited 18/10/13 3:36 pm

      Wind Waker is great, but it ain't no Pikmin 3 in my opinion. If you were around TAY when that was released you'd see I didn't shut up about it for weeks. Haha! The only problem with Pikmin is that it feels best with the WiiMote and nunchuck instead of the new controller. Missed opportunity there, but feels pretty damn intuitive otherwise.

      Last edited 18/10/13 3:18 pm

        Pikmin 3 is great, but it ain't no Wonderful 101 in my opinion. If you were around TAY when that was released you'd see I didn't shut up about it for weeks. Haha! The only problem with W101 is that it takes a while for it to really click, but is pretty damn once it does.

          I'll second the Wonderful 101... I loved Pikmin and gave it a good 70 hours before I started to lose interest, but the Wonderful 101 I have logged over 100 hours into it and I"m still having a blast playing it... Its easily the Wii U's best game right now.... I'm pretty sure the new Mario will take that crown, but for now Woooooonder PUNCH!

      I've only got NSMB Wii U, and Pikmin 3, but I have Wonderful 101, Zelda WW, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Smash Bros and a few others all on the buy list.

    Me too! I bought mine 3 weeks ago and I haven't played my PC since! It's been nothing but Wii U and 3DS lately.

    Rayman Legends is one of the most entertaining co-op games I've ever played. It's the perfect partner game, the gamepad interaction isn't as taxing as the controller but is vital to the gameplay, not just collecting stars or coins. Each level uses the gamepad in unique ways and later on some require pinpoint timing and co-operation. If you have a non-gamer you want to play something with this is the perfect gateway, anybody who owns a Wii U and doesn't have Rayman is doing themselves a disservice, it's the best game on the machine by a mile.

      Yes, my wife can play this with me, it's great!

    I managed to get one of those half price Wii Us from Dick Smith a couple weeks back, and I love that machine. I've already got Wind Waker, Pikmin, Wonderful 101, Luigi U, and a back catalogue of Wii games from my cousin that I missed out on playing (I never had a Wii). Other than Pokemon on 3DS and GTA online, All my time is spent on the Wii U.

    Finally got some quality time with WW HD this week, and holy hell it's just so pretty! Best part is, I missed out on the original WW and now I get a chance to play it in full and take my time due to the off-screen play.

      I'm playing for the first time too. Love when this music kicks in. :D

      How great is it to be able to just hit the TV remote button, turn the TV off or to another channel, then just keep playing. Go from TV to handheld without taking your hands off the controller, unless you want to plug some headphones in.
      Also try giving it a shot with the Pro controller and that little plastic stand. It doesn't sound impressive, and considering I've got a 42" TV to play on it shouldn't be, but it works really well.

    I've been saying it a lot but man, this thing is just so much better than I thought it would be. If it had next gen specs and a decent online service it would make the PS4's ground breaking controller look like a half arsed knock-off.

    After playing a Wii U for about ten minutes I suddenly got why Deus Ex's Wii U edition is being made. Three months ago I though "what the hell are they thinking? Did they lose a bet? Why are they shoehorning new controls into a port of a game that was never super popular in the mainstream and then putting it on a console that nobody is really paying attention to". Today it's just "Duh, of course they're doing Deus Ex, why aren't they doing BioShock too? How about a new Battalion Wars? Starcraft could actually be playable on this. Pretty much any Point and Click Adventure remastered in HD. WHY AREN'T THESE GAMES BEING MADE?!".

      Actually, now I'm thinking about it Wind Waker is the most fitting choice for the Wii U. Like the console itself Wind Waker was dismissed at face value. A confusing follow up to an insanely popular product. Yet when you sit down with Wind Waker or a Wii U it just clicks. Hmm. Mega Man Legends HD 1-3 would be right at home in there. Hint hint Capcom.

    I love my Wii U so much, and I'm glad to see more people are starting to come around it. The exclusives are just fantastic, whether playing by myself or single player, I don't find the eShop overly expensive (Tekken Tag 2 was cheaper on it than in local shops--until after I purchased it for $49. But I also don't really look at the retail releases, mostly eShop exclusives and virtual consoles). the interface could be a little better and the lack of a proper account bugs sometimes, but I am enjoying a lot of the ports too (finally played the Harley DLC on Arkham City for example), and even the social things like MiiVerse are greatly integrated into the console and game.

    Including my digital games I probably have close to thirty, and that will only increase. Sure some of them are ports, they're not all flawless games, but no one claims the console is perfect. I just wish more people would give it a chance.

    Yeah the Wii U is going to a be a really good machine when it has some more games.

    That was the biggest mistake nintendo made, releasing the machine almost a year before any system selling games are released.

    But I can clearly see that in 2/3 years time, it'll be a really good machine.

      I just hope it ages better than the Wii. A year after launch the XBOX 360 to Wii gap felt like going from Crysis to Doom. The PS4/XBOX One aren't going to go 4K HD so I'm hopeful that will be enough for the Wii U to hold up. The lack of power shouldn't be too noticeable because it's a machine built for exclusives from developers who release highly polished games.
      I'm actually really excited at the idea that the Wii U is going to have a place under my TV for the rest of this generation.

        I think Doom still looks pretty incredible. And was way more enjoyable than what I've played of Crysis :P

          You crazy. Crysis is still one of the best FPS's I've played. Don't waste your time on 2 or 3 though.

            And Doom is still one of the best FPS games I've played :P

            Didn't feel like wasting my time on 3 though.

              I played Doom 3. It was fun, but when I first got it, I was severely dissapointed after experiencing Half Life, Deus Ex and System Shock 2.

              Doom 3 is very similar to Doom 1 with better gfx.

                I got it just after having played through the first two. I thought it felt like it was just a game that had Doom in the name, rather than an actual Doom game.

                And didn't look anywhere near as good as the first two :P

                  Lol. Well I guess if you're a gfx whore you're always going to go for D1 & D2.

        Well, seeing how it runs mario at 1080p, if it can keep that level of detail up, which I'm more than happy with, then I'm totally cool with it.

        I've got my PC for FPS graphical grunt. I have the wii u for mario, zelda and donkey kong. Fingers crossed!

          I think its natively renderd in 720p and upscaled to 1080p @ 60fps.... but for me, resolution isn't nearly as important as frame rate.

          Which Nintendo usually targets 60fps... Most of the Wii's top first party games were in glorious 60fps. Judging by the lack of 60fps games going to xBone/PS4, I can conclude I'm not missing much (Sorry, 1 or 2 games at 60fps isn't going to cut it)

            It depends on what kind of games you like too. If you're a 'gears of war' guy, then you'll need one of the big 2.

            But you're right. I was always disappointed that most games on my ps3 were only 720p. If most games on wii U are 1080p (if it's upscaled, I can't tell the diff) and at 60fps then I'm gonna be damn happy with the machine.

            I still think they completely stuffed up the launch though. So many problems would have been averted if they had a zelda title and mariokart ready to go at launch.

    Wii U is slowly catching up but third party support is terrible since the big boys are choosing PS4 and X1 as their investment now

    I’m the same and for similar reasons. I’ve been making great use of the backwards compatibility and playing all the Wii games I missed. Legocity has grabbed me, Nintendoland whenever friends are over and haven’t quite finished NSMBU. GTAV is the only time I’ve dusted off my xbox 360 in the last 3 – 4 months and as soon as I’m done with that I’ll be putting that away and grabbing WindWaker HD.
    It’s a great system and has a lot of appeal to me. Sure, the third party support is awful but I have my pc for that anyway.

    I really want a WiiU (to mainly play MH3U online on) but I have a PS3 (PS4 paid off) a Vita, a 3DS XL and a gaming rig and find myself without time to play all of those already.

    I'm still not seeing anything that is actually out yet, so what after an entire year there still isn't a system seller game for the vast majority. (No matter how good an old game was its still a remake on an outdated system that is for all intensive purposes circling the drain)

    There may be 20 different re releases and remakes of old stuff I don't care to or have already played, even to everyone else they hardly entice a console purchase. The single title with universal appeal would be pikmin, and possibly wonderful 101, neither of which has any replay value to most people (doubly so since everyone try's to claim every game has replay value because there are minor or irrelevant differences on the next play through or for "extra hard mode").

    So I still couldn't recommend the console to anyone but fan boys (Within my circle I'm pretty much the defacto guy for everything electronic related so my opinion has weight). Especially when you consider EVERY next gen game will (highly likely be) be a watered down waste of time with some gamepad nonsense tacked on when compared to XB1 or PS4 versions. Just look at that watchdogs video they showed for current gen by accident awhile back, it was scaled back from next gen (instead of build ground up) so it looked 5 years old and worse already.

    So unless the console pulls at least 4+ top tier exclusive games (like pikimin, and no,mario games don't count at this stage because nobody but die hard fans cares anymore) in the next 6-8 months there is no way you can expect this to "trend" as mark put it. I'd wager if he wasn't a game journo he likely wouldn't have even bought a wii U in the first place and windwaker now wouldn't have persuaded him to either :P

    The 3DS on the other hand I would recommend to everyone, that machine is pumping out game after game. Despite my hate for the actual device and its woeful technology I'm playing it more than anything else right now.
    (If only some exclusive AAA rpgs (good, Lol Dcrown was rubbish) would hit the damned VITA already, 9 months later i still have remorse for that purchase despite how sexy it is as a device.)

    Last edited 18/10/13 5:05 pm

      Noone cares about Mario games anymore? Errrr did you see how well 3D Land did? NSMB Wii? No? Boy am I glad I'm not one of those poor people listening to your supposedly informed opinion.

      Also it's not 'intensive purposes', it's 'intents and purposes'.

      Last edited 18/10/13 5:59 pm

        Yes no one cares about 99% of mario games anymore (there has been OVER 200 of them for Pete's sake), there has been an insane amount of the platformers released in the last few years.
        You have like 4 different DS ones you have the the 3DS ones you have the numerous wii ones along with the Galaxy series on top of the exact same wii U version only slightly prettier and then the Luigi version and they ALL have sequels.

        I can honestly say If you believe an entire console is worth buying for what is likely the 10-20th version of the same game in a few years then you have issues, also 3D land was on 3ds not Wii U so not entirely relevant to the worthiness of a Wii U console.

        I would also point out that there has been almost 9 or 10 is it mario partys? and how many mario karts? 7 proper version and the wii U makes 8.

        To buy a wii U for mario is nonsense, outside of perhaps smash bro's the only one not milked to obscene amounts. You can easily go buy a snes, N64, wii, gamecube, DS, gameboy or a 3DS to play the exact same catalogue, people EXPECT mario games on a Nintendo console, i doubt many go out of there way to buy the console for them. Except of course die hard fans/fanboys, which is what i stated already.

        If you want to disagree at least use some examples, or give an opinion about what actual games features or otherwise that would get people to buy the system, hell even talk about a price cut or the pad gimmick. Any of which are better selling points than mario, its about the most milked franchise in the world and far exceeds anything even the likes of COD or BF do because at least they change somewhat.

        Side note:
        None of the people I associate with like platformers so I can easily give that opinion. I would also tell anyone looking explicitly for mario games to do what i already said, buy a previous system for your plumber hit, the wii U is dead unless it get s a 50% price cut (here in aus and comparatively worldwide) or gets the games outside mario. I also wasn't referring to ALL mario games, some of them are actually still decent, games like Dream team is rather good.

        Last edited 18/10/13 8:44 pm

          Cool, you and your friends don't like them. Therefore everyone doesn't. Except me and my whole group of friends love them, so I think something's a little off with your maths there.

          And quit with the whole "200 Mario games" thing. Games with Mario in them are not the same thing as "Mario games". Mario Party is as far removed from Super Mario Brothers and Mario Kart as Gears of War is from Hello Kitty Island Adventure and Grim Fandango. There's been a horrifying EIGHT Mario Karts released? You do realise that's spread across the course of over TWENTY years, right? Nearly one every three years, in a time when most franchises have an annual release. I know which of the two I'd class as over-releasing. Even New Super Mario Bros only has one release per system for the four it's been around for. The latest of which is very good, I might add.

          Side note: I don't buy Nintendo systems explicitly for Mario games, I buy them because they're quality machines that attract quality games. And a whole bunch of them tend to be made by Nintendo, so that makes things even more worth it in the long run.

          You know there is a reason why Nintendo keeps making Mario games, it's because they sell millions upon millions of copies world wide, they also keep making them to make you look like a fool when you say "no one cares about Mario games"

            Yes and millions of people watch shows made for imbeciles like the kardashians or anything related to jersey shore, all your telling me is that your one of these people.....

            I would also add that yes 8 of the same identical game is alot, mario Kart has had no changes what so ever and that if Nintendo didn't milk the mario games they literally wouldn't have any.

            Last edited 19/10/13 12:19 pm

              Haha, if you think that Mario Kart hasn't had any changes then obviously you haven't played any of them for any kind of significant amount of time at all, and have no valid opinions on the matter whatsoever. The only way they could possibly be thought of as being the same is if you just describe them as "a game where you are a Mario character and you race around tracks". And when you get to that general a description you can basically describe every game in a genre as being identical. Like how Halo, Bioshock and Goldeneye are "games where you are in a first person view and you shoot people". Clearly identical.

    I don't get all the hate about no games, really. Nintendo Land is more fun and richer than it appears. New Super Mario Bros U was the best of that spinoff series. ZombiU is a solid take on survival horror, with interesting Game Pad use. Rayman Legends was far superior on the Wii U. And Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101are both great.

    And then with Mario 3D World, DKC Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8 and the new Smash Bros all coming, it has a way, WAY more attractive lineup than PS4 or Xbox One are offering.

    And if more games actually used the GamePad, and Nintendo released more of their incredible back catalogue as cheap Virtual Console downloads, the Wii U could be a much more appealing device to the public.

    Last edited 18/10/13 5:45 pm

    I'm just glad that not all writers on this site have taken the approach of Image/Gif/Video + 1 line of text = article

    This is strange, I had this exact conversation with a friend at work today. I realised a couple of days ago that things were really beginning to look up for the console, and that, yes, the new launch machines (especially in light of the recently announced delays) don't look anywhere near as interesting.

    "There was GTA V — obviously — but I got tired of that relatively quickly"

    Does GTA V really have that terrible of replay value? Wow, glad I decided to skip the console versions.

      The article is one last effort to try and con people into believing that things are looking promising for Nintendo.
      Regarding GTA5, If you space out the main narrative missions and the side missions, theres so much to do before you even consider it's 'replay' value.
      Don't believe that a HD re-release of Wind Waker, Pikmin and Mario Bros offer more fun than GTA5. This article has to be an early april fools joke.

        Sure. This whole article is one huge marketing conspiracy and not just an anecdote of one person's experience and tastes.

        People ARE allowed to be disinterested by GTA, you know. And it does happen - I'm one of them too, love the top-down ones but just can't get into the 3D GTAs at all. A bit of fun to mess around with them for a while at a friend's place, but nothing that holds my interest for particularly long.

      GTA V is amazing and I love it. So many hours of play that 'replay' sounds funny. Quite possibly the best send off for a generation. On the other hand, launch for Xbone and PS4 looks fairly weak and Wii U has it's big releases to come plus a bunch of strong titles already in the system, Zelda Wii U, Wind Waker, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Mario Kart 8, Nintendo Land, NSMB U. That's quite a few quality games...

    N/A

    Last edited 19/10/13 12:27 pm

      Thanks for your constructive opinion!

      Last edited 20/10/13 1:32 pm

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