Gaming Thoughts... 8/16/11 - Console Wars - Wii

And the winner is... not the Wii. Now, I know there's a lot of console love and hate out there. Considering my past consoles and anyone who's read this blog or other posts of mine in other places - I don't think anyone can honestly call me a fanboy to a particular company. I've owned Every. Single. Nintendo. System. Ever - with 2 exceptions - virtual boy and 3DS. Stil, the Wii comes up short in my mind when weighed in again the Playstation 3 or the Xbox 360.

The full motion gaming controls and marketing were brilliant. The initial price point and slightly cheaper games made it more accessible to a larger audience than ever before. However, mistakes were made, and corners were cut in order to make all of this happen.

While the controls were immersive and in some games, very organic - in others they felt forced into place. Many third party companies struggled to make proper use of the controller options. Additionally, it wasn't until around midway through the console's life that the motion plus - something that granted true 1:1 motion control - was introduced. Now it feels like you need it for many of the best new games, but it seems like something that should have been there in the first place. The controllers add up to be expensive - especially if you want a full set for all four players.

The online store made for some great purchases, but most games simply did not make good use of online play. No voice chat, no achievements/trophies, most games with limited to no online play - it feels like the Wii really missed the move to online while their competitors capitalized on this.

The use of Miis in many of the games was a cute, clever way to add some personalization to some of the games, but the lack of true accounts made it easy for people to delete one another's data accidently - something that's happened quite a few times in our family.

The audio and video not being up to par with the 360 and PS3 was easier to overlook early in the life of the three consoles, but as developers have learned to make better use of the 360 and PS3 hardware, the Wii looks and sounds more last-generation than ever.

The library of games has been a mixed bag. The first-party Nintendo stuff has been amazing, ranging from Kirby's Epic Yarn to Mario's many adventures to the oddity of Link ushering in and out the Wii in some ways. Twilight Princess was a great introduction to the Wii, and it feels more and more like Skyward Sword is going to be something of a farewell as Nintendo has been showing very lukewarm support for the Wii in favor of their current projects - the Wii U and 3DS.

While the first-party games have been generally excellent, many third party titles have not been so successful. There are plenty of very good games out there from third party developers, but there are also truckloads of crap - something I'm not able to sugarcoat.

Favorite games so far on this system:

- Metroid: Other M
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- Mario Kart Wii

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Pros:

- Unique Control Scheme
- Great first-party titles
- Best full-console price points

Cons:

- Audio & Video feel last generation
- Lots of poor third party titles
- Weak online presence
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8 comments :

  1. Yeah, that online thing is a killer for me and the Wii. It feels like such an old console to play, because linking up with friends is a pain, WiiWare is terrible and there's no achievements or trophies or anything like that.

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  2. And the winner is... not the Wii

    LOL, that was great. Did you post this before in early July then remove it? (labeled 8/9)

    Can't argue much with any of those points as I have the same frustrations. I think the whole graphics/sound argument wouldn't be half as bad if the Wii wasn't firmly in 3rd place on basically everything else. But each issue layered on the previous gets to be too much.

    With that said there's some serious fun gameplay to be had with the Wii in a number of forms. I'm also a huge VC fan and love to hit some nostalgic titles from time to time.

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  3. @Gamers - Yup, I think the move toward gaming as a social activity makes the Wii feel almost last generation now, unfortunately.

    @Robert - yeah, I was going to do some of these posts at a different time and snuck in a few other reviews first, lol. Glad you liked that comment though. :)

    I would probably get more mileage out of the VC, if I didn't have all of the old Nintendo gaming systems with a large library of games already laying about - but I can definitely agree that there is some good value to be had with the VC for most people, and the Wii has been a lot of fun for me and my family, but not as much so as the 360 and PS3 - at least for us personally.

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  4. Pretty insightful. Thanks!

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  5. Interesting seeing Metroid: Other M on your favorites list, though I still haven't played it, I am interested in it...
    Anyway, the reason I find it interesting is because I would include Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on my "favorites list" for the Wii.

    As for the online, I'm really baffled that Nintendo didn't release some sort of Wii system upgraded model, like both Sony and Microsoft have done with their systems...no, now we have news that Nintendo is releasing a "slim" Wii, that takes out GameCube compatibility...it just seems they're continuing to move backwards in some ways.

    Anywho, our Wii has provided us with thousands of hours of fun so far, and I'm glad we purchased...and dreading the day when/if it stops working, because of all our save data that can't be backed up.

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  6. Loving all these copy/paste comments lately to link you to another site...

    @Chalgyr:

    That's a good point. You've had access to the games for years and can play at any time. It's probably only helpful for games you never had a chance to try before.

    As I may have mentioned I can't locate my NES, TG16 or any of the games at this point. (and haven't for many years now) Playing each VC game is filled with fond memories which is a great bonus along side of a truly classic game. So anyway, yeah, VC is freakin awesome for me.

    Though I do get an itch for a more modern "gaming experience" at times and go look to see how much PS3's are.

    @Coffee:

    The slim thing has me baffled at this point. I was also really hoping they would provide updates to enhance, well, most anything about the online experience, but sadly there hasn't been much.

    007 GoldenEye FTW!

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  7. @Coffee - I haven't yet played Prime 3. I kept planning to pick up the updated Metroid Prime Collection, but can't find it cheaply now. I played Prime 1, but never played 2, so I held off on getting 3.

    Speaking of some Nintendo disappointment, where was the Metroid 25th anniversary love? Zelda and Mario got some, but Metroid? Nadda. Very sad. :(

    @Robert and the saving is such a huge perk for VC's. Some of the games, like Metroid, have painful password systems that make them a bit... unpleasant at times to continue.

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  8. @Chalgyr: Yeah, where is the fanfare for Metroid 25? I know the line has to be drawn somewhere, but Metroid was a huge classic game that deserves some recognition.

    Sadly the last and only metroid I've played was the original. I've heard mixed reviews on Super Metroid, but may check it out at some point along with the rest of the "modern" series once I figure out what they are. I'm still a bit confused on the prime, Other M, trilogy, etc..

    Yeah, we've talked about the VC state saving at times and I agree that it continues to be a huge perk.

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