Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 19, 2014

Most of Wii U’s problems are due to its terrible games

It amazes me how far people are going to say how amazing Wii U’s games are when the sales say the opposite. I’ve always argued that Nintendo needs to create new content, not just recycle the old content with ‘new gameplay’. Nintendo doesn’t even define content how you and I do. They see content as ‘games’ where we see content as ‘the job those games do’. Every Wii U game is a sequel, port, or remix. Why on earth would anyone want to buy this console? If I want the Pikmin experience, I can just go play the Gamecube. If I want a NSMB U experience, I can just play the Wii. If I want the Super Mario in 3d World experience, I can just play the 3DS.

With Wii Sports or Wii Fit, could you get that experience on any other console? In the present or in the past? Of course not. And people did buy the Wii to get to Wii sports and Wii Fit.

Nintendo’s output is certainly not at its best, it is at the worst I’ve ever seen. It is as bad as the Gamecube if not worse. At least Wind Waker was a NEW game and not port. At least Super Mario Sunshine offered a new environment to play in instead of recycling what came before. At least Pikmin was a new franchise instead of Yet Another Sequel. Retro’s Tropical Freeze bombing indicates that consumers think another iteration of the Donkey Kong experience isn’t needed. Remember, Retro’s Metroid Prime sequels didn’t do so well. Why should we be surprised that the Donkey Kong sequel doesn’t do well? Maybe Nintendo should stop making Retro make only sequels and have them give us new experiences.

Miyamoto told investors that the software quality was there because of ‘metacritic scores’. The truth is that Nintendo games are given high reviews so game websites don’t piss off the cult-like Nintendo audience. Analysts and other console makers give Nintendo software high praise as well because if they didn’t, they’d sound absurd asking Nintendo to go third party.

What I’m going to do is shatter Miyamoto’s line of good game reviews as indication that the game is ‘good’.

What were the game reviews for Wii Sports? Game reviewers hated Wii Sports. At least, they were very confused about the game.

Wii fit? Some only gave it a high score because they were so wrong about Wii Sports (which became a runaway blockbuster). But you and I know they didn’t like Wii Fit.

What about NSMB Wii? I remember Matt Cassamassina of IGN ripping the game on the site’s podcast. Despite the hatred, the game did well.

But let’s go back in time. What was the game media’s reaction to Tetris? They hated Tetris! Or, at least, they were confused by Tetris. It was just a game of blocks. It wasn’t using ‘high tech’.

What was the game media’s reaction to Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior? They never considered them serious games.

What was the game media’s reaction to Super Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda? They thought they were silly.

The point is that with Nintendo, the higher are the game reviews to software that doesn’t move the hardware. The software that does move the software gets harshly criticized by the game media.

One can observe that the game media must be very stupid in missing Nintendo’s blockbusters. Another observation, a much more cynical one, is that certain game media aren’t stupid at all. They can tell which Nintendo software will sell the hardware and which ones won’t. This is why they heavily criticize the software that moves hardware (“Whatever Nintendo does, it better not make more games like Wii Sports! Ever!”) and heavily praise software that doesn’t move hardware (“Nintendo should make more games like 3d Mario and Aonuma Zelda! And that Metroid: Other M? That game is so amazing! Let’s hope it is the start of more ‘narrative’ games in Nintendo’s franchises.”)

What I’ve never understood is how like a dumb bass Nintendo as they open and close on the bait, hook, line, and sinker. Nintendo literally allowed the game media to manipulate them to waste a fortune making Pikmin 3… a game that did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in moving hardware or software.

The problem with Nintendo is the manager of software. The software is not being managed properly. The software coming out is so terrible that no one wants to buy it. Yet, the general manager of software at Nintendo keeps getting a pass. I wonder why that is. Whoever this guy is, he is like Teflon. Nothing sticks to him even when all the problems point to him.


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