I’ve played Nintendo consoles for ages. The beginning to my gaming craze was the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Gameboy “brick”.
Both are amazing consoles with great games that people still rave about and play today. That, however, is a topic for a different post. The nagging thought in my head is that I am starting to think that Nintendo may be a little arrogant. Take for instance their new catch phrase, “How U Will Play Next”. I get it though… sort of. They know they have a winning formula to sell systems. That formula being to build a new system and put it on the market. It seems to work for them, however, is that enough in the long run?
Let’s start with the Wii and DS/3DS. The Wii was an underpowered system when compared to the competition. The ports of the multi-system games looked pretty bad if you compared them. That’s not to say that it couldn’t handle better looking games, it just depended on who was developing the games. While they weren’t 720/1080p, Nintendo and Capcom made some of the best looking games on the Wii. The power wasn’t technically there so it probably did take a bit more effort to make things look good. I get it, but at the same time it did fall a little bit on the developers too. When 3rd party dev’s like Capcom could come out with games like Monster Hunter Tri and Resident Evil: Dark Side Chronicles, it seems like some just didn’t want to put in the effort. Granted RE was a rail shooter… but it still looked better than most games. Most Nintendo games looked pretty awesome as well when you consider Metroid Prime 3, and Skyward Sword. Some people would point out more, but it’s personally hard to make an argument about graphics when you use cel shaded games and the non-photo realistic games that people normally equate with graphics.
The 3DS is a little different. It is a very graphically good looking system, it just seems like the same dev’s that had the Wii written off just wrote off the 3DS as well. This leads us into the next problem I have. It’s the general lack of shovel-ware blocking. While the number of games on the Wii that you wanted to play may have been small, the Wii’s library of games was huge… but it was full of junk! Every other week you’d see another Crayola Adventure this or Ice Cream Dealer that. The Wii had a bad rep for being a kiddie console and this crap didn’t help at all. I know the library would have suffered, but they should have just told the 3rd parties to go away at some point. Those garbage games weren’t helping anyone. I wonder what the actual sales on that stuff was though. The 3DS just hasn’t had many games made for it. It’s getting a lot this upcoming year, but it’s needs more than Nintendo games to keep it afloat.
As far as the Wii U goes, I only have one issue with it so far since it hasn’t come out and I haven’t had much of a chance to play it outside of Pax2012 and the WiiU Experience. This however takes us into the next section!
The WiiU has the biggest launch line-up in Nintendo history. I believe it’s up to 23 or so games. That’s pretty phenomenal! It really is! I also know that I’m mostly alone in the fact that I’m not wildly excited about most of the launch titles. I am actually only looking forward to one and a half of the games, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (actual title?) and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. What’s that? Those weren’t the games you were expecting me to say? I know, and that’s my problem. I wanted a big flagship title from Nintendo and I just don’t feel that the New Super Mario Bros. franchise does it for me. I would have preferred a sequel to say Mario 64 or Sunshine.
The Wii was seen as a gimmick and developers treated it as such. Developers seem to be taking the Wii U more seriously. However, to gain the #1 spot and hold it, the WiiU needs the best version of the games that comes out cross console. Nintendo just can’t give free things away with the game and expect it to sell over the competition. It sounds good in theory, but Sony can probably tell you that it doesn’t completely work.
Also, the tablet controller is going to be the game changer in the next few years of console wars. If this gets utilized in such a fashion that if you’re not playing game X or Y on the Wii U, then you’re not getting what the developer wants out of it. This and exclusive games are what’s going to help Nintendo the most. They’ve got Bayonetta 2 and the Monster Hunter series right now, but the latter will probably go to the Vita soon as well.
Nintendo and 3rd parties needs to step up their games. Nintendo took chances with the newest Zelda adding new elements like breaking shields (which was frustrating) and well… Metroid: Other M. It’s good that they are taking chances. On that note, Capcom’s newest Monster Hunter 3HD and the 3DS version will have four player lan co-op and save transfers! Way to try and sell both systems!
The long and short of it is that Nintendo is going in the right direction. The WiiU needs exclusives and better versions of cross console games with great use of the new controller that aren’t gimmicky. They also need companies like Capcom (minus the DLC stuff) making games that push the boundaries of the system. They seem like they are getting their ducks in a row with the online bit so for now let’s just cross our fingers and hope for the best, because it’s that or learning Japanese and importing everything to get a better Nintendo product.