November 6, 2013

To My Readers: The wii u

This post, I'm going to talk about, and recommend my newest gaming console - the wii u.

I've always been (mostly) a Nintendo fan when it came to gaming. I've been gaming on Nintendo's consoles since about 1990, when I got an NES for Christmas. I had the 3 Mario Bros. games, and a few others. Burt I always replayed those ones. Then, I got interested in the Super NES (SNES), the next level up. I sold my NES so I could buy the next system. It came with Mario All Stars + Mario World (on one cartridge). The SNES was also my introduction to the Zelda series.

Afterwards I got the Nintendo 64 (N64), and more 'Nintendo' titles on that. The only Nintendo console I didn't get was the Gamecube, as I opted for a Playstation 2 (PS2) that time around. I got the wii, and, as of Stept, the wii u. 

While most 'gamers' are talking about the new XBOX and Ps4, (saying that theirs is better than the other guys', or that the other guys' isn;t as good as theirs) I'm going to talk about the wii u.

No, I won't spit out facts or technical data (please see wikipedia for that); but this is Nintendo's first HD system. Finally. 

But more importantly, how is it different than the 'original' wii?

Well, most noticably, is the controller. Nintendo has done away with the wii mote and nunchuk (more on that later, promise) in favor of what is best described as 'a controller mixed with an ipad'. Think of it as DS, where the 'main' screen is your TV, and the second supplemenatary screen is on your controller. 

What prompted me to get the wii u (aside from new 'Nintendo' games) is that Nintendo 'remade' a Gamecube classic (and one that I'm kicking myself in the teeth over for missing) Legend of Zelda (Wind Waker). It has enhanced and remastered HD graphics, which on a HDTV via HDMI cable, look amazing graphically. The way the 'gamepad' is used is quite clever - the screen on the controller allows you to look at and navigate maps and your inventory, without having to stop the game or go to a menu on screen. This works great in a Zelda game, and also allows for great creativity on game designers' parts for future and other games. 

This gamepad does not feel as heavy or bulk as it may appear. It looks huge (seriously, try holding one at Futureshop or Best Buy after giving it a good look) and you'll see what I mean. It fits in both your hands well, and all buttons are easily accessible. 

Alternatively, for certain games, you can use the 'pro controller' (not to be confused with the pro controller that came for the regular wii for virtual console games. I am talking about the wii u version, pictured below). 

As you an see, this resembles other gaming controllers. It's the XBOX 360 controller, but the right analog stick and the X Y A B buttons are swapped. 
You van use this game controller for more of a 'traditional' gaming experience. it doesn't 'replace' the gamepad, but is more of a supplement. Ideally, it can be used for multiplayer games. 

My next point here, will cover what I didn't like about the wii, and how the wii u is a better gaming system than it.

One of things I disliked about Nintendo from the Gamecube and original wii days, is that it was too family friendly. Want Grand Theft Auto, Mass Effect, Bioshock or an Elder Scrolls game? Good luck. Nintendo just didn't have the popular third party games. It appears that the wii u is beginning to get some of those. On it, there's Mass Effect 3, a 'new' edition of Batman (Arkham City), as well as versions of Assassins' Creed, and Batman (Arkham Origins); as well as others. There are still kids games, though, as well as Nintendo favorites (Mario, etc..)

Also, the wii is backwards compatible with the wii. All the accessories hardware wise will work on the wii u. So if you have a wii and want to get a wii u, the only thing you can 'get rid of' is the wii system itself (I'm holding onto mine because of game save data, etc.)

Also worthy of note, is that a good chunk of 'party' or kids' games make use of the wii mote and nunchuk on the wii u. For more 'mature' gamers, it may be possible to use only the gamepad and the pro controller for your gaming needs; single player and multiplayer. And, of course, if you want to play your old wii games. But if you never owned a wii - you no longer need to wave your arms all over the place to play a video game. 

I do have some games to recommend (which is how I'll close the post), but first I'll recommend what to buy, hardware-wise.

The system (32GB deluxe edition): This version features a much larger hard drive, as well as nice black console, and gamepad. It seems that most of the new bundles feature the deluxe edition as well download versions of whatever game it's bundled with). far superior and nicer than the white 8GB version, which could be phase dout. I'm not sure, but don't be surprised if it is.

black pro controller [seen earlier in this post]: you know, to match your black system and for multiplayer purposes. Get as many as you need! (one should be enough for me, for 2 players.)

The wii u can also support up to 2 external USB hard drives should you need more data storage.

Now, for those games....

Mario Bros. U
This is similar to the versions on the wii, DS, and 3DS, where it's old-school sidescrolling but with really nice graphics. Up to 4 (5?!) players at once, and is the console's strongest seller to date.


Luigi U
No Mario! More levels with Luigi, and his special jumping ability.

Legend of Zelda (Wind Waker)
I was praising how the wii u uses the gamepad so well with this game, and how it is such a great 'remake' and showcasing ability for the wii u. Zelda fans won't want to miss this one, even if you may be a little sore after the space world demo affair.

Mario World 3D

THIS is how I imagined Mario 64 would look back in the day when it was announced. Enlarge the picture to see how it's 3D and 2D together. You move sideways across the stage, but you can go into the background and foreground as you do so. Each of the 4 characters (mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach) have their abilities from Mario Bros 2. This one seems to very popular come Christmas time. 

Those are the 'Nintendo' games I recommend and are interested in myself (I only have Wind Waker myself so far). they will be great for groups and families (just be cautious if you have young children. The wii u is not as sturdy as the wii, and with touch screen may be an issue.) 

There are also some third party games, such as Batman (Arkham Origins) worth having a look at depending on your taste. There is also a few Call of Duty games, an Assassin's Nintendo is slowly wising up to the older crowd.

Finally, what would I like to see come to the wii u?

A new Zelda game. No, not Wind Waker, as awesome as that is, but I mean a brand new game designed to take full capability of the wii u.

F-Zero. There hasn't been one of these games in a while, and I think we're due.

Star Fox. A Star Fox game like Star Fox 64 is needed.

Mario Kart (this one is coming next year). This title seems promising. You can't really go wrong with Mario Kart.

Smash Bros (this is coming next year). I greatly enjoyed Smash Bros. Brawl (as well as what I played of Melee); so this title looks pretty sweet so far.

Paper Mario. I would love to see Nintendo do a 'remastering' of The Thousand Year Door, or do a whole new Paper Mario game. 

And finally, hopefully some of the better / best games from the Gamecube can get resurrected on the wii u. 

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