I was going to write a long article about how much I think Nintendo missed a number of tricks when it comes to the Wii. I think the lack of on-board storage is a crime. The graphics are pathetic in this day and age. The HUGE amount of shovel ware released for it is similarly criminal. The lack of HD is inexcusable. And they are only just getting around to allowing you to buy extra songs for games like Just Dance 2 after 4 years on the market.
There are a lot of things to dislike especially when, like me, you own another next gen console like the PS3 or 360.
We all know the Wii has been a huge commercial success. Demographics previously untouched by the gaming bug (like your parents!) were soon found far and wide trying to tame the tennis or playing bowling after a session on the wine.
But for hardcore gamers like us there is a certain appeal.
One of Nintendo’s few commendable actions was to add loads and loads of retro games via virtual console. Games like Sonic and Super Mario may lack the graphical polish of today’s games but it doesn’t mean they’re bad to play. Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Fatal Fury, King of the Fighters the list goes on. Gems like Castlevania Rondo of Blood is considered by some to be the pick of Castlevania games. And considering they have games from the NES, SNES, N64, Mega Drive (Genesis), Torbografx (PC Engine), Master System, NEO GEO and even the Commodore 64 there is sure to be something that reminds all of us of the golden age of our first years gaming.
But there are also more modern games worth playing as a hardcore gamer, not just the likes of Mario or Zelda.
Madworld is a much over looked great game. You can pick it up for next to nothing these days. Its is kind of ironic that the company that seems to be pushing the Wii the most either graphically (The Conduit 2 anyone?) or visually (Madworld) is Nintendo’s previous arch enemy Sega…
But the Wiimote is great for a genre which doesn’t get a lot of support – First Person Shooters. A quick look reveals there are around 50 FPS games for the 360. A similar check (for the older Wii…) reveals around 20 – some of which have never even been reviewed. So I say hats off to Treyarch and Activision (a company I and most of the rest of gaming world loathe for the most part) for their devotion to this over-looked genre. They have released COD3 which was quite good as a first effort. COD – World at War which I still play at the moment. The recently released Goldeneye 007, COD Modern Warfare Reflex and most recently COD Black Ops. Now you might argue Activision is a money rather than games driven company (how many Tony Hawks and Guitar Hero releases are there each year??) but can you blame them trying to appeal to an installed consumer base of roughly 74 million Wiis? The one video I have seen of Black Ops playing on the Wii looks pretty darn good. Same for Modern Warfare despite the fact it arrived 12 months late because Infinity Ward couldn’t be bothered coding a Wii version.
Like I said I still play World at War. It might only allow 8 players (which feels rather empty after you’re used to 32 nutters rumbling away on Radec Academy on Killzone 2) but its still fun. And its fun because of the Wiimote. Its so much easier using a Wiimote than any mouse or joypad – I have played FPS on every console (even the DS!) and for my fairly experienced money the Wii has them beat hands down at least in terms of controls. Even Medal of Honor Heroes 2 had it moments such as pumping the nunchuck to reload the shotgun. It may sound gimmicky but this is what the Wiimote was invented for surely?
I had to laugh to myself the other day reading a preview of a PlayStation Move FPS – it was either SOCOM or Killzone 3. Anyway, I chuckled when they said aiming was hard. Well I’m sorry but we’ve all been pointing since we could walk so how hard can it be? Once you get used to the deadspot on the Wii and set the game up to respond as quickly or as slowly as you prefer then you don’t have to think about it. Using the Wiimote still feels very modern when everyone else (up until very recently at least) was stuck using control pads which have been around since the NES (circa 1983). The default control set up on World at War is dead easy to get used to and after that its gaming skill that will get you to the top. Learning where your opponents start each match to get the first kill – or kills plural if you’re proficient with the ever irritating rifle grenade (the game’s only real downer). I would urge every gamer to give one of the COD games a whirl on the Wii. They feel like different games using the Wiimote it really does make that much of a difference.
And that’s why I secretly like and still play my Wii. The graphics may be 5 years behind the cream of the crop and the number of players in each match fairly limited (though I would like to point out that the 2007 Medal of Honor Heroes 2 did manage 32 players per match…) but it feels sufficiently different and plays so well that you don’t notice.