It arrived last year to a resounding meh across a large proportion of the gaming community. Console for kids, DSXXXXXL and Nintendon’tBother are a couple of names and words that could be seen from people who looked down upon the console. I’ll admit right out of the gates here a couple of months before release I was one of those people. Working in a games retail store shunning the console before release simply because I hadn’t taken time to investigate it further.
However on the 30th of November 2012 I received my console. I’d preordered it the week before after realising that it was something I needed in my life. The reasoning behind it can’t really be quantified it just happens. As gamers we’ve all had this urge. That tingle in your brain that makes you veer away from your opinion of months past and go with it. Admittedly its a rarity when it comes to console purchases and usually is an effect reserved for the first two weeks of November when hundreds of thousands slate the latest COD release only to then buy it at release or just after and still call it bad. No human being can understand why this happens officially it just sort of…does. The same practice as denouncing Big Brother or Talent Shows for years only to watch them huddled away from the world, in shame. We have all done it in our lives in some way and in relation to some thing, whether it be something tiny or massive.
Pulling myself back to the point here a little before I veer wildly again and end up in a deep human psychology debate with myself, my WiiU after 2 months of heavy use and a 28 day love affair with Monster Hunter lay dormant. Gathering dust and being used as nothing more than a way to watch Netflix on a small screen while playing God of War or Halo 4. Shortly after I put the little guy up for adoption and some of my family took him under their wing until such a time when I wished for my WiiU to return. Instead yesterday I was startled to see the fa
mily who adopted him come to see me with a large box in their hands. They loved it so much they removed the debt by purchasing me the Wind Waker Premium WiiU. Since it was unboxed and plugged in I’ve been back in a love affair with the machine.
Now I’m going to try and explain why, for some people, the WiiU is a pretty damn good console and may even improve upon the Next Generation bigboys looming on the horizon. For some people that is.
There’s the Nintendo fans for one. Inside an estimate 37.2% of people is a little Mario looking for Peach in yet another castle. They are a Nintendo fan and they have probably more reasons than any other demographic in the world to pick up a WiiU. Not only for the NintendoLand game..app…thing which has attractions based upon nearly every great franchise but because its simply a Nintendo console. Now I’m not advocating blind purchasing just because of a name stuck on the side of a box, we all know that guy with the iPhone, iPod, iPad and iWhatever who buys anything with a half eaten fruit on it just because it has half eaten fruit on it. Frankly he’d probably buy my bins, I’m very picky about the apples I eat. Also I was one of the poor fools who picked up a gameboy printer because I was a young Nintendo fanboy. Anyway, Nintendo have always been better than most other console manufacturers at providing what their fan base wants in terms of first party releases. Within a year the WiiU has had several Mario titles, Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, even Luigi managed to hang his green hat on the stand!
Often yes it can’t be denied that Nintendo consoles come to rely upon these titles instead of embracing third party developers but there is good reason for that. These titles are actually good and not a complete waste of time with quality and polish oozing from them even if you don’t like the game itself. Normally to a higher standard than multi-platform released third party games that don’t come to WiiU.
Secondly, its a damn accessible console. My parents are hard of hearing and my closest friend is medically classed as being blind. Now on both sides there are advantages. For the side of the hearing impaired being able to play the games you’re playing on the smaller tablet screen rather than a larger TV screen helps reduce the eye strain. Having to read subtitles nearly constantly at a longer distance can be a severe pain in the lower extremities but having the option to play on the smaller screen helps to. Same kind of goes for those with poor sight. Not all games can be played exclusively on the gamepad this much is true, but those that can when you have something closer to you especially on a high quality screen when visually impaired the benefits are instantly noticeable. Not having to lean in silly directions to see whats on screen and sit 1ft away from the TV. Instead you can rest back and move a small, well smaller than a TV, screen closer to you to help you play and enjoy the game.
Tacking it on a little here the screen also gives the benefit of not stealing the TV for everyone else in the room. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the space or the money to buy an extra screen to place somewhere in their house. Also having passed the controller to a few people who are really not gamers, they find it much easier to manipulate simply because its larger than the others and your hands aren’t uncomfortably close together. Of course, if you’re not a gamer. If you are then you’ll be used to having your wrists less than 6 inches apart for extended periods of time. No that’s not a self gratification joke.
The final point that I’m bringing out of the rack swinging on a pole is VIRTUAL CONSOLE. Ok ok most of us owned a Wii at some stage and gave the virtual console a go but it was still pretty clunky on the Wii and to get the feeling right you had to go and buy a giant flat coffee bean with a wire jammed into it to control games comfortably. Both halves of a gaming community can revel in delight here. The longterm Nintendo fans who wish to relive their childhoods playing SNES games and the other ones. Those of us who never owned a SNES or a NES. The ones who owned MasterSystems and Megadrives. I can stand up right now with no shame and say I have never played the original Metroid, or the original Super Mario World. Like millions around the world I’ve played subsequent iterations and titles in each series but looking at the Virtual Console right now as typing this I can see both of them.
Oh yeah, and Earthbound!
So what do you think? Do you agree that a WiiU is a good purchase for some people. Do you already have one and regret/love the purchase. Do you think I’m a raving lunatic who should be removed from the human genepool and forced to play on an Atari Jaguar for the rest of my days for my sins. Leave you thoughts, comments or random raving messages in the little comments box below. Or fling them at us through the bars on twitter @n3rdabl3. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Princess to save.