Community Review: Wii U

Since games have been a bit thin on the ground over the past two months, we've been talking about the state of the three major consoles. This week? Let's talk about the Wii U.

I have an interesting relationship with the Wii U.

Part of me believes the Wii U has the best exclusive games line-up of any current-gen console. Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Wind Waker HD, Mario Kart 8. In terms of high quality, exclusive games, the Wii U is top notch.

But.

It's not enough. Terrible third party support means that, in my opinion, it's difficult to justify buying a Wii U as your main console. Unless you're heavily into PC gaming and your happy to do the third party thing on PC instead of PS4 or Xbox One.

Nintendo published games are fantastic. There's just not enough of them. Not even close. And if you want to be part of that broader conversation about games, the Wii U just isn't quite there.

Second but.

I actually love the Wii U. I love the Gamepad and the way it allows me to play when others are using the main TV. I love that I paid 10 cents for Super Metroid and I can play it in my bed before going to sleep.

I really love Splatoon.

But as a main portal to broad, consistent gaming experiences? I feel like you have to have something else going on in addition to owning a Wii U.


Comments

    I didn't buy one but I really want The Zelda Scrolls!

      Which Zelda Scrolls, Hyrim or Morrudowind? Also, I have lost hope that we will see it on the WiiU :'(

    I've barely used mine. But it does get used almost every day by my kids. Being able to play just using the controller as the screen means they can hang out in the loungeroom with us, but not necessarily drive us to insanity by playing the same game over and over and over on the main TV. It's also great for Netflix for them, as well.

    I love my WiiU. I don't even care about ps4 and xbone as majority of 3rd party games are available on the old consoles (ps3 and 360) or PC. I also really like the gamepad and I wish splatoon didn't use the two screens (but at the same time I get it). I guess it stops me from playing it constantly.

    To me it's a real party console, games like Smash, Mario Kart, and Splatoon (to a certain degree, the local Multiplayer isn't as good as online which was a little disappointing) are great to play locally and we have the best matches when we are all sitting on the couch trying to one up eacfh other or OP Amiibo's.
    Otherwise outside of that setting it's gathering dust, with my PC and PS4 being my main game machines, and I agree with Serrels the complete lack of third party support has hurt it a lot.

    That being said this is a completely different story with my kids, they absolutely love playing it, especially Mario Kart and Disney Infinity, every time they have their "Games Night" the WiiU is the first thing requested, so much so I have to buy a second one for the kids! (This resolves the little splatoon issue I mentioned earlier, especially with the latest patch). At this stage the lack of games is not too much of a bad thing since they are only slowly getting through what games we have now so yea. Fantastic secondary console, not so much for a primary.

    +1 for the WiiU Game Pad

    I love my Wii U. With three young kids in the house, it's the perfect console.

    Between it and the 3DS, I do have enough games to play. I'm not yet tempted to buy a PS4. There's a really solid line up of indie games and Virtual Console titles to play (Hello Xenoblade!).

    My only real concern for the console is what 2016 will look like. If it's just Zelda (or if it isn't even Zelda) till the NX, that will be very disappointing.

    Donkey Kong/Smash/Mario Kart machine. Nothing more.

    I liked it better when it first came out and there was 3rd party support and some optimism it wasn't going to be just another Nintendo console that almost exclusively does first party titles. Still a nice piece of kit, with some great design ideas - I loved the WiiU controller when used right, but I'm not interested in something that only really does Mario, Zelda, etc. I ended up selling mine a while back. Shame, because the controller had some real potential for innovation too - ZombiU was a great example of what could be done with it. But then the 3rd parties all but abandoned it.

    I'm going to be getting rid of mine. It's hardly used and I am getting bored of it.

      About to do the same with mine unfortunately :(

      If you're selling it. Let me know what model it is & how much you want for it. I have a friend who was interested in getting one a while back.

      Last edited 10/08/15 1:39 pm

    Having a PC and a Wii U means I still don't have any legitimate reason to get a PS4 or XBox. The vast majority of third party stuff comes out on PC and the Wii U exclusives are too good to miss. Splatoon, MK8, Smash Bros, Monster Hunter 3U, Captain Toad, to name a few.

      I think this is the thing I like about it - it's the one console that offers a genuinely unique and interesting lineup. Apart from a small collection of exclusives (Bloodborne <3) the other two and PC are easily interchangeable.

      That said, though, I probably do spend more time on PS4.

      Exactly this. I might miss on some platform exclusives, but I'm willing to wait until the next generation when the current machines drop in price to get them. WiiU exclusives on the other hand, are mostly games that you'll keep playing for years so, you'd do yourself a disservice by buying them late.

        Even then you're only really missing out on PS4 games. Most Xbox stuff is actually "Microsoft Exclusive" so they're still out on PC, ooor they come out on PC after 6 months.

      This. If you game on the PC, then the PS4 and XB1 are really not all that attractive, but the Wii-U games are like no others, and are so much damn fun.
      Plus it is the best Netflix device. Period.

      Agree with this completely. Simply cannot see a need for any console other than the WiiU for anyone with a decent PC. Xbone and PS4 exclusives simply aren't worth it yet (particularly for those of us that don't have quasi religious ties to Dark Souls and need Bloodborne), whereas the WiiU ones are. It's also cheap, generally, with most release games going for $58.

      Also a PC gamer, and find the Wii U is all I need. Still getting through Hyrule Warriors (and having a huge blast with my GF) and not interested in whats exclusive to the PS4/Xbone

    Haven't really used mine after the first couple of weeks of owning it. It'll get more use when the new Zelda game comes out.

    The controller works super well with Netflix though!

    The Wii U is easily the console with the best game lineup right now, especially exclusives. It's still my primary gaming system despite my PS4 and PC...Smash Bros probably has a large say in that, haha.

    But look at this lineup:

    Mario Kart 8
    Smash Bros
    New Super Mario Bros U
    Yoshi's Woolly World
    Bayonetta 1 and 2
    Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
    Super Mario 3D World
    ZombiU
    Splatoon
    Pikmin 3
    Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
    Mario Party 10
    Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
    Hyrule Warriors
    Wonderful 101
    Wind Waker HD
    Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

    You've also got Starfox Zero, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Super Mario Maker, the new Fire Emblem, new Fatal Frame and Zelda still to come.

    And almost all of those are exclusives too.

    You can't beat that game lineup on any other system. Hell, combine the options for the PS4 and Xbone, and you still don't get close to that. @markserrels, you mentioned that the current game lineup is top notch but not enough. I'd like to ask you what you'd expect "enough" to be, especially when looking at the lack of titles available on the PS4 and Xbone in comparison.

    I think the Wii U is really hitting it's stride now and is really kicking goals. Added to that is Nintendo's DLC policy which is introducing top quality DLC for games like Mario Kart, Smash and Splatoon into the mix, showing they are committed to the platform.

      Nearly all games for children. Boring

      The DLC has been awesome so far, first time I have really bought DLC as didn't see the value in the past.

    Most of my gaming is on the PC these days so consoles are for the exclusives. Of the three consoles the Wii U is the one I've put the most time into and I don't see that changing too much in the future. Great system if you have options to play third party elsewhere.

    I'm thinking of picking one up as a Christmas present for the kids. Hopefully there are some deals. I feel like I've been waiting forever for the price to come down, only for it not to do so. There've been a few sales where it has gone to about $250 but I missed them :-(

      I think the Splatoon bundle that is still on at EB is good value, its $350 roughly and Splatoon is a great game so if you counter in the price of Splatoon itself it works out pretty decent. I think $350 is a reasonable price for a WiiU alone.

    Love my WiiU, the PS4 is caked in dust at my place. Splatoon has become a way of life for me, almost clocked up 200 hrs in 5-6 weeks. Won all 3 Splatfests; South pole was a win for us Aussies!!

    I'm torn on my wii u. On the one hand I've enjoyed most of the games I've played on it, on the other hand I've barely played any games on it.

    Absolutely love it. Always have always will I was far more excoted by the WiiU than ps4 or xboxone just fot being unpredictable I knew what I would be getting with the psxbox before it was even shown to me.
    Really dig the gamepad especially for nes/snes games as they look brilliant on it.
    Also love splatoons gyro controls as they make way for greater aiming but aren't too imposing.
    ZombiU is great and definitely benefits from gamepad features.
    I think it's an underrated system that will be appreciated most after the end of production.

    I feel like you have to have something else going on in addition to owning a Wii U.Yeah, the 3DS :P

    I love the Wii U, the gamepad is great and off-screen play is the best thing you never knew you needed. Fantastic lineup of games, the third party thing is annoying sometimes but generally most of the titles that make it to the other platforms don't really interest me anyway. Oh, and its web browser is actually pretty great too. Haven't used it in a while but I was using it a fair bit back when I first got it. Best console browser ever.

      And even the in-game miiverse meme generator is great fun.

    I have all three. The Xbox One, the PS4 and the Wii U, as well as a PC. The Wii U is easily the best. The PS4 has a pissy controller but better first-party titles. The Xbone has a better controller and better indie titles, but worse first party support. Given that I have a PC, indie titles and third party games aren't a big deal to me.

    Basically, the Wii U is the console which I have a reason to play. In terms of exclusives, I have Sunset Overdrive, Halo MCC and Rare Replay on the Xbox One and inFamous: Second Son on the PS4, as well as Super Smash Bros. 4, MarioKart 8, Super Mario 3D World and The Wind Waker HD. I will be getting Bloodbourne, Tearaway Unfolded and few other exclusives on the PS4, Halo 5 and Sea of Thieves on the Xbox One and Splatoon, Zelda Wii U and maybe Bayonetta 2 for Wii U. In terms of exclusives, there will always be more on the Wii U and will always use that more. Unless Rare, Insomniac or Naughty Dog bring out something incredible (like Jak 4 or Banjo-Threeie) my stance will not change.

    Solid platform, needs more 3rd party support, slight monsterism.

    Just a question as a person who hasn't touched a Wii or Wii-U do they have anything similar to what PS4 and Xbox have like with Gamertags/PSN id's and Achievements/Trophies and all that jazz?

      Wii U has Nintendo Network ID's for your account.
      There's no achievements on any Nintendo devices.

        There's no achievements/trophies as standard, but some games still implement their own.

      Also be aware NNID is far from a unified account ala Xbox Live or PSN. Any digital purchases you make are bound to the hardware, not the account. Just be careful. NNID accounts are also region locked, which can inhibit what consoles they're used on too.

    I don't know if the Wii U is specifically that amazing - it's the software that Nintendo puts out on that thing that is. They have a massive line up of amazing games that will still be great for years to come. The next 6 months have more (probably) strong titles in the mix, making it even better.

    I do feel like the tablet could be an optional peripheral sometimes though. The games look so amazing that I really want to play the games full screen to enjoy them the most, so I don't use second screen play that much. There are some good use cases though - ZombiU made good use of it, and so does Splatoon in some ways. Still prefer the pro controller though.

    It hit 10 million consoles sold the other day yeah? Still nowhere close to the others and definitely not Wii numbers, but it's proving that cutting out its own niche all the same.

    You don't buy the Wii U as your primary system. I feel like you buy a PC/XBone/PS4, then Wii U is the second purchase.

    It is still just a console for kids and nostalgia.

    When I play a game, I want to get lost in a story and a world. I want an epic game. Whether cinematic and linear like Gears of War, Alan Wake or Uncharted, or branching and open like Skyrim, Mass Effect and Heavy Rain I want characters, world building, stunning locations, emotional plots.

    None of that can be conveyed by smashing the A button to get through a wall of text while the same animation repeats over and over.

    If my friends are over and we want a fun multiplayer game we will probably give the Wii U a blast, but as a single player medium it is a failure for me.

      Bayonetta and w101 are pretty epic... although they do have you smashing A...

      keep an eye on fatal frame, might turn out to be a good single player experience.
      Also ZombiU was good, sparse character development but I really enjoyed the plot for being minimal as it made you think more instead of being served upon a plate. Also the suggestiveness adds to the atmosphere and ambiance well.
      Also there's no shame in being a big kid, unless your uncomfortable with your own maturity you should be able to enjoy childlike games (even books and cartoons) at a mature age.

      Last edited 11/08/15 12:50 pm

    I have periods of mass Wii U hysteria, then nothing for a month or 3. The time between titles I want to play is the killer for me. The console is solid (for what it is), and the titles are great, but there are too few and the releases are far too infrequent for my liking.

    That said, I just purchased Yoshi's Woolly World for my 4 year old daughter and I to play through, and she is having a blast. This is the first technical game (no point-click-repeat) she has taken to, and I am amazed at how fast she is picking up the controls. This is easily worth the entry price alone for me.

      Same, I'm playing it with my 5 year old girl at the moment. She picked up the controls easily enough but the game is actually pretty challenging, especially for a 5 year old (despite it's cute looks, and even on mellow mode). She gets upset whenever she dies (even though she comes right back and there's no lives system) and of course we need to find all of the yoshi pieces to rescue all the yoshis, so if we miss one it's panic stations and we need to go back to find it. So level progress is pretty slow, haha.

      Still, we are having fun :)

      Last edited 10/08/15 2:07 pm

        I have difficulty convincing my daughter to eat the Shyguys. She tells me "they are only having fun dad!", especially on the levels where they are bouncing up and down on something. It's just too cute for its own good.

    It's an absolutely brilliant console, but as a platform it falls flat. It's got some of Nintendo's best games on it - Mario 3D World, Bayonetta 2, Splatoon, Smash Bros, Mario Kart 8, The Wonderful 101 - but third party support, beyond two of the aforementioned, is very bare. It was exciting seeing Assassain's Creed, Mass Effect, Call of Duty and Need for Speed all being released on a Nintendo home console, but people were already experiencing these games on different consoles, ones with better ways to communicate with your friends, as well as achievements (subjective). Third party support almost dried up completely, but with [email protected] making its debu, and games like The Walking Dead possibly making their way to the console soon, the console isn't exactly dead.

    I love mine and can't even keep up with the games. Joys of having little ones. Now I've got Netflix I have even less gaming time but I do love the time I spend with it. In my eye, it's been well worth the money I spent on it.

    And Pikmin 3. Waited 10 years for another one!

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