I’m seeing many emails asking about what I think of the Wii U since it is releasing in days. I simply don’t think of the Wii U. All I know is that this is a system that is not for me. If it wasn’t for NSMB U, the system would be off my radar completely.
“Why is the system not for me?” I ask myself. I’ve been struggling to find an answer to it. It’s harder to describe why I don’t like a product than why I do like it.
Let me tell you what I liked about the Wii.
I loved the Virtual Console. I LOVED IT. Does the Wii U have a Virtual Console? No word. And if it does, it won’t allow us to OWN our digital copies. Owning would mean being able to download those games on FUTURE Nintendo game consoles. Seriously, I refuse to purchase Super Mario Brothers again after purchasing it half a dozen times already. After buying the same game six times, I think I’ve earned the right to be able to OWN IT and not just rent it on the current hardware.
I really liked the Wii controller. It was as simple as the NES controller. The Wii U controller, which I have recently held, is atrocious. It feels like holding a big plastic toy. It is too big. I feel embarassed to hold it. And the controller scares me like the N64 and Gamecube controller did. I don’t like a LCD screen there, and I get dizzy moving my eyes to it and back to the TV. The buttons are small as if they are made for Japanese hands. They look ridiculous on such a MASSIVE controller. (If Nintendo is going to region lock their systems, why not design the hardware for the people who live in those regions like the NES and SNES?) The Wii U controller is the BIGGEST built in game controller I’ve ever seen in the history of game controllers. The bigness of it makes the system look obsolete and ancient. The simple Wiimote worked so well because its small size made it seem futuristic. Bigness makes it look technologically backward. I don’t understand why the Wii U controller is necessary at all. A Nintendo handheld would do the same job as it interacted with the home console. Since most games can’t be played on the GamePad alone, the value of the GamePad is zero.
The most important thing about the Wii was that it had no formula behind it. The Atari and NES also had no formula behind it. Nintendo consoles became lame instantly once Nintendo made game consoles for formulas instead of game consoles for customers.
What was the SNES? It was a game console for a formula. The same with N64 and Gamecube. The formula was to add in better graphics, more power, and ‘beat’ the other consoles. The Wii was a break from all that. The Wii had no formula whatsoever. It was designed based on the jobs the customers wanted a game console to do (not unlike the NES or Atari 2600).
The success of the Wii has been the worst thing for Nintendo. Now Nintendo has invented a ‘new formula’ which is ‘integrated hardware and software’. The Wii U wasn’t designed around customers, it was designed around a formula of stupid dogmas bouncing around inside Nintendo. I’d much prefer a Wii U without the crazy ivan controller. It’d be cheaper too. So what if is just a Wii HD? A Wii HD would sell better than the Wii U anyway.
NSMB U is a great example of formula. What we are getting from Nintendo lately is not 2d Mario but a formula. The definition of 2d Mario is breaking formulas. Super Mario Brothers was ground breaking, earth shattering. We never saw games the same way again. It revolutionized everything. It saved console gaming. And none of these lines are hyperbole. It was the biggest video game ever made and still hasn’t been beaten yet in its social impact. Doki Doki Panic was a ground breaking game. Super Mario Brothers 3 REVOLUTIONIZED the platforming genre. Super Mario World was a ground breaking game.
I would say NSMB Wii was a ground breaking game in its 4 way multiplayer with everyone bouncing off each other.
When the gamer thinks ’2d Mario’, they think GAMING REVOLUTION. That is what 2d Mario represents. Instead, we’re getting formula made games with a standard 2d Mario but ‘with a twist’ such as collecting coins all day or using the touchscreen to make platforms. How small. With this attitude, Nintendo might as well license Super Mario Brothers out to third parties to make since they have no ambition. Even the Super Mario Land games were more revolutionary than the 2d Mario that Nintendo is factory making out now.
The Wii U is a console that is not for me. Everything I loved about the Wii is missing on the Wii U.
As before with the N64, I didn’t leave console gaming. It is that Nintendo left me. I wanted to buy the successor to the DS. But Nintendo threw in all this 3d crap that no one wanted and caused it to be very expensive. With handhelds, I didn’t leave the market. It was Nintendo who left the market.
If Nintendo wishes to grow their marketshare, they need to stop abandoning their core. Who is Nintendo’s core market. It isn’t the fans of 3d Mario, Fruity Puzzle Zelda, or Soap Opera Metroid. It is the fans of 2d Mario, Masculine ARPG Zelda, and Silent Samus Metroid. This ‘new’ Nintendo, like the new Coke, has some fans, but it is not enough to base a console on.
What I don’t understand is why Nintendo keeps fighting the market. When Mario 64 didn’t sell the N64, did Nintendo stop making 3d Mario? No. Did Nintendo make some more 2d Mario? No. Instead, Nintendo kept making 3d Mario after 3d Mario and refused to make any 2d Mario until NSMB DS mysteriously appeared and blew up the market. When Zelda turned into Fruity Puzzles, did Nintendo stop making Fruity Puzzles? No. Did Nintendo try to make an ARPG Zelda like how Zelda used to be? No. Instead, we get MORE Fruity Puzzle Zeldas. And when everyone complained about Soap Opera Samus in Metroid Fusion, what do we get? MORE Soap Opera Samus.
I can say with absolute certainty that Nintendo DESERVES the marketshare Wii U is going to get. They absolutely deserve it. No one is going to feel sorry for Nintendo anymore like they did with the N64 or Gamecube. No one is going to feel sorry when Nintendo Land goes down in flames. We’re at the point where people are turning their backs on 2d Mario.
With the Wii, people wanted Nintendo to succeed. Today is very different. Today, people want Nintendo to fail. Therefore, the Wii U will fail.