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Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Wii-U. Is it for me or U?

Let me just say this going in: I like Nintendo. I want them to succeed.

The Good

There's a lot of things that I think the Wii-U does right. The controller/screen is a pretty awesome idea, and I much prefer its modern take on a traditional interface as opposed to the scary place everyone was taking it with motion controls.
You can even go as far as, with certain games, using the controller exclusively and never having to look at your television. This makes the controller more of its own separate entity rather than simply a peripheral one.

I like the updated graphics and media features even though it still feels like Nintendo is just playing catch-up at this point as the original Wii really missed out with its lack of internet features.

The Bad

Even though I like the premise of the controller, because the Wii-U is still in its infancy stage, no one really knows how best to use the controller yet. And so far, unfortunately, it's being used badly more times than it's being used well. As stated earlier, for some games the controller mirrors the game as it's being played on the television. This is cool, but not really as inventive as it could be, or nearly as intuitive as it could be. Some games use this in a more annoying way where, almost at random, your television will prompt you to do a segment on the controller and then your controller will prompt you to look back at your television. It's more of a hassle than it is an enjoyable experience.

Now to address the elephant in the room, the problem that's been plaguing Nintendo's platform releases for a while now; lack of launch titles. It seems to have become the norm for Nintendo to launch without its trademark 3D Mario platformer, but to launch with almost none of its franchise characters is a saddening thing. Before we go on, yes I know of the existence of New Super Mario Bros. U, and if you'll allow me to go off on a tangent I'll explain that as well.
There's nothing wrong with the game itself. I loved the "New" reboot when it saw its debut on the Nintendo DS; it was everything fun about the original 2D Mario games with new mechanics, items, and inventive level designs. The problem comes in that Nintendo has released a "New" Mario almost twice a year ever since. The "New" starts to lose its pull on me towards those games. The items are still nice. The level design is still incredible. The co-op, in small doses, is even loads of fun. But it's hardly something exciting enough to buy a new system over. 

So in conclusion, I like the console. It could be something really great. I'm sure Nintendo will get help from a lot of great people in order to make the media features something special. Even though it's early and the controller isn't being used to its full potential, there's infinite room to improve. It all comes down to the games and right now Nintendo doesn't have anything most hardcore Nintendo fans are looking for. 




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