Hopeful for Wii U’s Future

I only seriously got into gaming about five years ago, and it was because of Nintendo. The game that started it all was Super Smash Bros. Brawl. While being a huge love letter to long-time Nintendo fans, it was also a great way of introducing someone to the wide world of Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox and so many other great series’. So I am eagerly awaiting being able to purchase a Wii U when the funds come my way. While I adore my Wii, I don’t think it was all it could have been. For that reason, here are my three things for what I hope the Wii U will improve upon. 

1) It will support triple-A hardcore titles

While the Wii revolutionised the gaming landscape with its innovative motion controls, unlike the PS3 or Xbox 360 it was not in HD . Because of this, a lot of the big hardcore franchises over the past few years skipped it out, with games like Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Portal and The Elder Scrolls only appearing on other formats. Because these titles already sold phenomenally well, there was no need for the developers to downgrade the graphics and adapt the controls for the Wii, meaning many Nintendo fans were left out. I think this is a problem that Nintendo are now addressing though. The Wii U is already home to ports of Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed 3 and Batman: Arkham City, as well as Ubisoft’s Nintendo-exclusive, ZombiU. I just hope that this hardcore third-party support continues when Sony and Microsoft release their eighth-generation consoles. Luckily, it seems that the quality of graphics will stay as it is for the forseeable future, meaning there is a good chance that the Wii U will be getting the latest Gears of War or Left 4 Dead along with the other consoles.

2) Forgotten gems will get the recognition they deserve
The simplicity of the Wii Remote’s design meant that anyone could easily play something like Wii Sports, even if they’d never touched a game controller in their life. Unfortunately, the offshoot of this was that third-party developers started making rushed, poor-quality mini-game collections for the Wii in an attempt to cash in on the motion control craze. Soon the shelves were full of things like Carnival Games and Sports Party. These games were critically panned (Carnival Games was given 4.5 out of 10 by GameSpot), but casual gamers don’t always read reviews. So they bought them in rather large quantities (3.91 million copies of Carnival Games has been sold worldwide). The worst part is that obscure but brilliant titles were pushed under the rug by this tidal wave of shovelware and never got the success they deserved. No More Heroes is a brilliant hack-n-slash from Suda51. Violent, sweary, crass and with one of the best uses of motion controls I’ve ever seen, it was critically acclaimed but only sold 0.52 million copies worldwide during its five-year lifespan. Just Dance 4 was released just three months ago and has already sold over 2 million copies.

Hopefully on Wii U the obscure and quirky games will get the right amount of recognition. I turn now to Platinum Games’ current Wii U offerings. First off, The Wonderful 101, a game I had a chance to play at MCM Expo in October. The short demo I played was simply amazing. But it’s the sort of thing I can see being outsold by the inevitable shovelware titles. And it’s only the games that sell well that get sequels. Secondly, a game you’ll probably be familiar with is Bayonetta 2. While the first Bayonetta on the PS3 and Xbox 360 gained a significant following, it didn’t actually do that well commercially. Luckily, Nintendo has adopted the franchise to make a Wii U-exclusive sequel. With a little clever marketing that reaches out to gamers with tastes for Japanese curios like these, then The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 don’t have to be the last in their respective franchises. Hopefully the Wii U will become a breeding ground for games such as these, where they can flourish and thrive.

3) Nintendo wil reboot old, beloved franchises

As I mentioned, it was the Wii’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl that introduced me to Nintendo’s many franchises and I have been catching up ever since. And, while Mario, Link and Samus have all continued to thrive on the most recent generation of consoles, there are many others that I would not have even heard of if not for the aforementioned Smash Bros. Team Star Fox haven’t seen a proper home console release in years and F-Zero’s Captain Falcon hasn’t had a good race since the GameCube days. I would love to see either of these series’ make an appearance on the Wii U and I know that thousands of other Nintendo fans are with me. Pit, another classic character, arrived on 3DS with a bang in last year’s Kid Icarus: Uprising. While brilliant, the sheer quantity of stuff going on made me hunger for a home console release. Luckily, with Nintendo Land, Nintendo seem to have the perfect platform for introducing a new generation of gamers to these franchises. Is the inclusion of the F-Zero mini-game, Captain Falcon’s Twister Race, a hint at a future outing for the Falcon-punching adonis? We can only hope. And, while the new installment in the Smash Bros. series is a while off, it will be another opportunity to introduce old favourites to the eighth generation of consoles.

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