Let me start with some thoughts on the “next generation” of gaming consoles aka the Nintendo WiiU, the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One.
At the moment my gaming takes place with three sources – arcades, PC and the WiiU. I am not sure why the WiiU is bashed so often, since they were first to the market for this gen, they have the most games compared to the PS4 and X1. Like it or not that is a fact for the time being. Sure the PS4 and X1 will have plenty of games but at the moment there is nothing they have as an exclusive that compels me to spend $400 or so on getting one. Maybe by next year they will but I am not going to run out and buy a PS4 because it has Rezogun or an Xbox One because it has Killer Instinct. I need more than that as otherwise it will just be another Netflix box and NF is on everything so I don’t need that. “What about Titanfall?” you might ask in terms of the X1? Well I have a PC for that so I chuckle when I hear that the game is supposed to be a big X1 system seller for some reason. For me any multi-plat is going to be PC as my nVidia 550Ti can handle these games just fine for now – I will consider U multi-plat if the developer bothered to make good use of the pad. I have the newer Deus Ex on PC already but I have heard that it was one of those that really use the pad well on U so I will probably pick that up when it is cheap or used.
I have a friend by the online name of ECM who has all three and that has been his sentiment. There are a couple of games he has played when they came out but otherwise his “PS4 is colelcting dust” and the X1 may not be far behind but he just got it as a gift recently. I asked him if it was worth getting either of those yet and he said “no.” Allrighty then. I can wait. They will still be around in a year or so.
I’m not a huge Nintendo fanboy but I really do like the WiiU. It is what I would have liked the Wii to have been in the first place, from a hardware perspective. I didn’t think I would ever use the off-screen feature on the gamepad but as it turns out I have used it fairly often so the kids or the wife can use the TV for something else. It has some great games although I was surprised by how quickly I got through Super Mario Bros. 3D World. I don’t have a lot of multi-plat stuff as like I said PC is usually the way to go in that regard however on occasion it can make more sense for a WiiU build thanks to the gamepad. I know it is bashed in some gaming circles – the other day I say a NeoGAF thread where the discussion was about why Nintendo should drop the gamepad like Microsoft just dropped Kinect. I don’t get this. The pad is the WiiU. I get what Nintendo was trying to do here, pushing developers to be creative in their ideas, much like motion controls were supposed to do for the Wii. Of course this has not worked out like they had hoped I imagine, which is a little strange when you consider how it should have meant DS and 3DS concepts would show up more often. Still, I think that is a creative issue with developers in general. It’s why you are hard pressed to find that “killer app” for the Kinect although funny enough I think that is more limiting in gaming possibilities than the U game pad is (Kinect is great for hackers or even some arcade games though).
Anyways, another thing I love about the U is the backwards compatibility. I am one of those 5% jerks or whatever that Microsoft exec wanted to call people that cling to BC. I had quite a few Wii games and some my kids really love. My son never gets enough ExciteBots so it is nice that I don’t have to have the Wii still setup to the side. I also have been giving Metroid Other M a spin after borrowing from my brother. I can see some of the criticisms for it – a lot of it feels like QTE-based and it does annoy me that there are no energy pick-ups but I’ve been having fun playing it despite the differences it has from all of the other Metroid games. It doesn’t hurt to do something different every now and then, especially with a franchise that keeps coming back.
On U I will pick up Mario Kart 8 as that looks like it will be fun and better than Mario Kart Wii. It has something that I could complain about on U – online multiplayer. This is the most disappointing thing about U, how inconsistent OMP is. SMB3DW should have had DLC to add OMP already, same with Nintendoland. I’m fortunate that I can play these games in local MP due to my kids although I have friends that cannot come over whenever we feel like it that online play would benefit. If Nintendo wanted to improve their standing with gamers then improving this aspect of the U would be most welcome.
Otherwise I will wait and see what E3 has in store. I really want to see if Microsoft and Sony will give me some game reasons to buy their consoles and seeing Nintendo beef that up and maybe utilize the strengths of the U would be most welcome. I’m sure it will be a good conference for all involved (at least it is hard for MS to do worse than they did last time). Although at the end of the day I don’t really care who “wins” E3, that’s all a bit ridiculous. I just want to see some cool ideas coming to gaming that aren’t Call of Duty #5634:This Time Its So Real or whatever the next boring installment of that will be.