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Nintendo Wii – hated by some, loved by others (and me)

Hey you, stop hating on Wii! (if you do, otherwise carry on)
I know to most of the die hard elitist gamers the Wii is technologically speaking “garbage” – the graphics cannot compete with the 360 or PS3 (Obviously, it runs at 480p with the component cables sold seperately) – yet it is the number one selling console in this generation of gaming and also has the best selling software.  Lets probe into the mind of a Wii owner.

There are, in my opinion 3 types of Wii owners.
The casual gamer (Meaning someone who just wants to pick up something simple, play and move on)
The nostalgic gamer (The kid who grew up with Nintendo and Mario and will never leave their side)
— The well rounded gamer (The person who realizes there are several good Wii games out there despite what elitists will say)

So before I am accused of saying the Wii is perfect let me admit that yes, the graphics aren’t great, and yes the lack of an online community is a bit depressing for a console at this point in time; however – the Wii has several redeeming factors!

Price.
Not everyone has the kind of cash laying around to buy up 360s and PS3s whenever they feel like.  In a tight economy like the one we’re in now, value is everything.  Wii is the cheapest console.  (By cheapest I mean, cost not quality)

Innovation.
Whether you want to admit it or not the Wii really did innovate game play.  Why else would Sony and Microsoft be trying to knock off its technology now with motion controls and sensors?  Sure in some games developers over-do the motion controls but that isn’t Nintendo’s fault, and besides most games have multiple control schemas.

Franchise.
My grandma would know Mario if she saw him; if she saw Master Chief from Halo she’d probably be like WTF is that supposed to be?  And rightfully so, Halo sucks the big one and Mario is way more fun.  Don’t believe me?  Go play Super Mario Galaxy and then come back and cry when you realize what you’ve been missing.  Nintendo has a huge franchise and they are not going to let that escape them, any opportunity they can get to put their characters into a game they’ll do it.  Mario Party / Mario Tennis / Soccer / Mario takes a whiz… (well I made that one up but seriously, I’d still play it) – but yeah, they also have a reputation to maintain, they’re not going to put Mario, Luigi and Yoshi into a game that sucks, period.
Everyone has their own agendas and opinions for liking the Wii of course. I also am a bit of a nostalgia gamer.  Does it suck it costs me 5 dollars to buy a digital copy of an NES game I owned 20 years ago?  Sure, but do I care?  Hell no.  You can bet that my Wii is full of all sorts of classics and I don’t regret spending a penny.  Its nice to go back every once in a while and revisit your youth.  Its amazing how you will realize you didn’t forget any of it, you’ll even find the warp whistles in Super Mario Bros 3 still without even thinking about it.

And in the end…
The 360 is a great console no doubt, and the PS3 is making strides to be better – but the Wii is definitely a great system too and its a shame people are so down on it sometimes.  Just because some old people enjoy playing Wii Sports doesn’t make it not cool anymore.  In fact, go play Wii Sports with them – you’ll probably kick their ass anyway so you can feel better about yourself.

If you own a Wii and you do not own these titles you are comitting a crime and you should turn yourself in!

5.) Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
The Wii controls totally enhance this game and make it more fun and more scary, and best yet its cheap!  Definitely a must own.

4.) Super Paper Mario:
At first it may look a little cartoony and childish but once you start to play you’ll realize its an awful lot like Super Mario RPG on the SNES and the hours will eventually fly by as you lose track trying to make you way to the end of the game.

3.) Mario Kart Wii:
Nintendo returned to a beloved franchise and did it total justice.  The Wii version is a lot of fun to play and is still challenging and rewarding with the various hidden items you can unlock.

2.) Super Mario Galaxy:
This game is beautiful, for the Wii not being a powerful system you’ll be amazed what this looks like.  The game is just fun all around, its a lot like Mario 64 and equally as innovative.

1.) Punchout!:
A faithful rendition of the original complete with Challenger Mode where you’ll have to defend your title against souped versions of your past opponents.

Until next time everyone, enjoy your Wii!
~ Ryan

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  1. Professor Beej

    I’m somewhere in the middle of Well-Rounded and Nostalgic. I understand there are good and bad games for the system, but I also have such a fondness for first-party Nintendo releases that I think they make up for the lackluster third-party attempts.

    In my eyes, the Nintendo-made games are so good that they make up for the plethora of crap that companies chuck out as a gimmick.

    Sigh. Now you’ve made me want to go fire up Twilight Princess and actually get out of the first dungeon…Maybe my wife won’t mind doing that today between unpacking sessions.

  2. Chris

    Part of me really wants to get a Wii. It’s definitely more of a casual system but sometimes it’s nice to have a break from the more “intense” games of the 360 and PS3. If only I had the money for it :-/

    I’ve also always wanted to try Super Mario Galaxy. I loved Super Mario 64. The first time I saw it, I remember being shocked at how much the graphics had jumped from the SNES. And the gameplay was just plain fun. Curious, how is it innovative?

    Good article man.

  3. RyanK

    @Professor Beej – Twilight Princess is no doubt a great game! The only reason it didn’t make my top 5 for Wii is I enjoyed it better on the Game Cube 🙂

    @Chris – The entire feel of Galaxy is unlike any game before it. The levels are essentially small planets that have their own gravity. Oh and this one actually has a good story behind it not just, “Dear Mario, I have baked a cake for you please come to the castle. Peach” – lol. I’ve been meaning to write more but as you can imagine the kid takes a lot out of me hehe.

    1. Chris "Syeric" Coke

      Definitely man, take care of the family. You’re always welcome to post when you get the urge 🙂

      Maybe I’ll look into a SM Galaxy ROM in the meantime. DolphinEMU is working fairly good for a lot of games now.

  4. Andrew

    Like Beej, I’m between the nostalgic gamer and the well-rounded…. but I think you missed a huge type of Wii owner: the social gamer (which I am also partly). The Wii is the best console if you enjoy playing games with your friends, because it has the largest number of titles that appeal to the largest number of people.

    As for your list of five “must haves”, I only own Mario Galaxy. The only other game on that list I’ve even considered buying is Mario Kart.

  5. Riknas

    Hm. I do agree that the Wii does have a bit of a bad rap, but I do find an epic slant to the way you portray some of it, which seems to be counter-productive to sticking it to the elitists of, “Yea, Halo is crap, you can’t possibly compare to the fun I’m having” that the only problem is it’s technically on the lower end and doesn’t push online play.

    Nevermind the fact that, innovative as it may be, there’s also a distinct style difference between the consoles, and ultimately the players. Okay, so, I sort of doubt the person who enjoys counter-strike is guaranteed to have the same blast as they had with Mario Kart. It’s not a matter of “Dick” VS “Wii Gamer” because all the Wii owners are just swell folks.

    Frankly, I didn’t buy a Wii because I wanted to feel more superior, but because I suck the big one and like Halo, Gears of War and that sort of game.

    I certainly don’t think the Wii is bad either of course, but I -do- feel that some people are right to be angry because of the seeming shift of demographics with the Wii that appeals to game types that we grew up with. Games like Resident Evil 4 are few and far between, there is maybe a handful of them at most, many of them now seeming mediocre such as the original Red Steel. The sales figures of Dead Space: Extraction being low as they are seem to best cry that the people who would buy that game, just don’t have a Wii.

  6. RyanK

    @Andrew – good point I forgot about that, the social gamers also get their monies worth with a Wii.

    @Riknas – I also own a 360, and I played it compulsively for a year (all the while my Wii became more and more dust covered) – eventually I realized something about the 360, while the games seem fun there isn’t much substance in them. The games are so cliche its almost sickening, its like many of them were designed by acne covered teens who live in their parents basement, are afraid of sunlight and have no aspirations of getting laid or knowing what life actually is. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good games but even they have very little replay appeal to me. At the end of the day, graphics, and online play aren’t going to make a game. Its the actual game play and story that do that. This is a reason why Zelda games almost never disappoint (Spirit Tracks I’m looking at you, you’ve been warned) ~ and why Mario games are always fun too. I am positive that even the hard core Halo or CoD players (I used to be a big CoD player) will find games like Mario Kart very fun if they can swallow their ego.

  7. Chris

    I think the Wii and the 360/PS3 just cater to two very different types of gamers. The 360 seems to go for the more hardcore, competitive crowd in their games. There’s more movie-like elements to a lot of games, or, they’re straight up competitive online. The Wii, on the other hand, caters a lot more to in and out style play. Sometimes, I want something I can play for 15 minutes, have fun with, and then put down before I go do something else. There are games on both sides of the fence that break out of that mold but, on the whole, the big titles on the Xbox are a lot more “sit down, lock in.”

    I’m curious how we think Natal will change the scope for innovative game play. Motion was and is a big deal for the Wii but Natal looks to jump ahead by leaps and bounds. I remain skeptical about it. One, it’ll probably cost at least $200 (I’d rather buy a Wii, at this point) and, two, in a recent copy of Game Informer, a Nintendo executive said that they looked at that very technology and rejected it because it didn’t equate to fun the way the motion controller did. If it works, however, there’s a good chance we’ll see more social and party games coming out to combat that aspect of Wii’s success.

  8. We Fly Spitfires

    I lent my Wii to my brother so he could play it with his daughter. I just don’t think there are that many decent games for it. I’m kinda tempted to get it back off my bro just to play the new sports resort game though 🙂

  9. Professor Beej

    @Andrew: My wife and I bought Mario Kart Wii on our honeymoon and LOVE it. I even came home tonight to her playing Double Dash on the GameCube just to break it up a bit.

  10. Freddie Cook

    I like the Mario Kart game because it is more challenging as you get to the next level.:”,

  11. Brian Johnson

    I agree with what you said in this post RyanK. Current gen consoles may have incredible stunning jaw-dropping graphics, as well as PC. However, there is always something that makes simple games so special and more interesting to play for vast majority gamers out there, especially the average ones.

    I mean, nowadays, gaming industry has evolved and separated in many sectors. If you are a die-hard hardcore serious gamer, then console is definitely for you. But for some other gamers, which has huge share in gaming market, if you are a non-die-hard gamer and only want to play game just for fun or waste time, then casual game consoles like Wii or smartphone/tablet is definitely for you. I believe the trend of casual games will still be popular in the next years to come, especially since smartphone and tablet sales keep increasing every year.

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  1. Nintendo Wii - hated by some, loved by others (and me) | Console Gaming

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