If you read my infrequently updated blog (oops) then you will know I recently purchased Nintendo’s new and not-so-well received console, the Wii U.
I want to start by saying I think many gamers of the new generation, and by that I mean around 16 to 20 years old are stuck in this odd state of mind that comes to games where better graphics = better games. Either that, or somehow Microsoft has Xbox users addicted by charging them to use their online service… Wait, that’s not a positive is it? Anyway, my point still stands; some gamers seem too scared to go out there and try new games. Ditch the Xbox, ditch the PS3, and try a Wii U – change isn’t a bad thing.
So yeah! Back to my opinions on the Wii U.
About a week before I bought my Wii U, I seriously considered buying one, and then told myself not to, and I kept repeating this sequence over and over. Obviously, I bought one in the end, but it definitely took me a while to make a final decision. Not only was the price tag huge, but understandable for a next generation console, but it was a big risk. However, it was a risk I’m glad I took.
When I first got my Wii U in my local GAME store, I wasn’t too excited about getting home and un-boxing it and all that good stuff, I was sort of mellow about it all. I hadn’t seen any un-boxing videos of it either, but when I got home, my excitement was through my ceiling and way out of the roof. Nintendo always package their consoles with care, in convenient, smart boxes that you just know something valuable is inside that has been made with the best quality materials. When I first held the gamepad in my hands I just knew from then I was going to enjoy the Wii U, way more than I could’ve imagined. In the box came the gamepad obviously, and the console itself, all the necessary cables, HDMI cable, Nintendo Land, and some other documents that I haven’t actually looked at yet, they’re probably important… But ah well. Excitement takes over sometimes doesn’t it?
I absolutely love the design of the console, it’s slick, modern, and it’s not big. It is however fairly weighty, which I was quite surprised about. Mine is the black Wii U, as I bought the premium Wii U for the extra memory and the other bonuses. The Wii U gamepad is the most important part of hardware that people are interested in here though. Personally, I love it. I think the weight is just right, for something you are holding in your hands for hours on end you don’t want it to be heavy, so that is all fine to me. It does feel strange having your hands as far apart as they are when holding the Wii U gamepad, as I’m used to the much smaller Xbox controller, but I think I can understand this when there is a fat off screen in the middle of your hands. The screen itself is a great size, not too big so the controller is even bigger and not so small that the screen makes you squint like an old biddy on the bus reading the local newspaper. All of the buttons feel sturdy on the controller, they all feel as though they are securely in place which is great. It’s no fun playing a game and worrying about the buttons flopping out all over the floor if you push too hard. The controller has a few ports on it, 2 I believe are for charging (one of them definitely is), and there is also a headphone port too, which is handy. A good thing about the Wii U gamepad is that you can change while you play, so you don’t have to break if you don’t want to.
Nintendo has introduced a decent account system on the Wii U too. Before, the Gamecube, Wii and DS all had no options to have multiple personal accounts on their consoles, as many consoles were way back in the day. But since online gaming has become so prominant, and the online demand has increased, Nintendo have finally realised what they needed to do. I’m glad they have done this, after all, making your Mii and talking on Miiverse, making friends and just drawing stupid pictures with each other is fun, and it wouldn’t of been as fun if it was all on one account.
If you don’t know what Miiverse is, let me fill you in. It’s basically the Wii U’s own social network. It has different communities on there for each game, and you can choose to join whichever and as many as you want. In these communities you can post screenshots about the game, ask for tips about a certain part if you’re stuck, or just chat to people about the games you love! It really is a nice feature that the Wii U brought to the gaming world, and I think this is what is going to set the Wii U apart from the other consoles of this generation when they are released.
The layout of the Wii U menu is great. It’s very similar to the Wii, but it’s redesigned and has an enhanced feeling to it. It has around 5 separate screens that you can scroll onto where you can find all of your downloaded games (if you have that many), and other apps. Along the bottom of the screen is the Miiverse feature, which can be accessed at any point, even in the middle of a game. The internet browser is there too, along with the TVii feature, the Nintendo Wii U eShop, and a notifications feature in which Nintendo can notify you of any upcoming news and games if they feel they need to.
One thing I’m a little bit iffy about though is the start-up times for games and applications. It takes around 10 seconds to launch a game sometimes, and this is the same for applications. However, Nintendo have said they are releasing updates to fix this issue, so I’m not worried about that right now anyway.
A major disappointment for me was not with the console itself, I actually love the console. My disappointment came along because of the launch titles for the console. If we look back at some previous consoles, some of the launch titles were incredible.
Nintendo 64 – Super Mario 64
Sega Dreamcast – Sonic Adventure
Gamecube – Luigi’s Mansion, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Microsoft Xbox – Halo: Combat Evolved
Nintendo Wii – The Legend of Zelda: Twlight Princess
Come on, these are all great titles that have created legacies for themselves. Most of the Wii U titles will go down as bad games with bad reviews. I feel that Nintendo just wanted to get the console out there, with not much thought into the games it would be released with. I understand that it had several setbacks with some of its launch titles, including Pikmin 3 and Rayman Legends, but even then I still don’t think that would’ve been the icing on the cake if they had come out on time. We needed more Nintendo games on launch, not third party filler games.
Despite all of that, I am loving my Wii U. I still get to play my Wii games on it, and I can play the few good games that came out on launch on it. To be honest, I am just enjoying the Miiverse experience, it’s a great community filled with great personalities and it’s a nice place to get started if you’re new to gaming, and if you consider yourself an expert at gaming too. I don’t regret buying my Wii U one bit, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me in the next few years.
You’ll definitely see me on Monster Hunter when it’s released!
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