Today marks the two year anniversary of the ground breaking console from Nintendo: the Wii. It was two years ago on November 19, 2006 when gamers first got their hands on the revolutionary little box, put in the Wii Sports disc (and soon after Twilight Princess) and experienced the marvel that is the Wii. Simply put, it did a lot of new things for the industry particularly with its motion controls and IR pointer. Todays article will be looking back on the highs and lows of the Wiis two years of awesomeness!
Primarily a game system is supposed to have a good catalog of games. And a Nintendo system is supposed to have a great catalog of first party franchises. Nintendo didn't fail this description for sure. Don't believe me, lets see... The Legend of Zelda? Check. Super Mario? Check. Paper Mario? Check. Super Smash Bros? Check. Metroid Prime? Check. Mario Kart? Check. Wario Land/WarioWare? Check and check. Animal Crossing? Check. In the first two years people! That's pretty damn good. And that's not even mentioning some of the new IPs like Endless Ocean or the Wii Sports/Play/Fit/Music series.
As for the third parties on Wii, there's some quality here too. In the two years of Wii, we've had several different strategies for third parties: ports, minigame collections, and games that make use of the system made by developers who get what the Wiis about. The ones your looking for (if you haven't already guessed) usually fall in the latter category (though there's been several good ports, Okami and Bully, and several good minigame collections, such as Rayman Raving Rabbids). The Wii is home to some of the uniquest titles this generations, particularly No More Heroes and Boom Blox.
To round up software, here's a list of the top 10 games I feel every owner of the Wii should have:
Super Mario Galaxy
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
Super Paper Mario
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
No More Heroes
Mario Kart Wii
The Wii's online is definitely lacking. Whether it's lag (Super Smash Bros. Brawl) or annoying restrictions such as friend codes and limited chatting Nintendo has a lot of work to do in this area. Out of Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's clearly behind. Though Mario Kart Wii's online should be mentioned as it's the best Wii online game to date (at least in my opinion). The unique ranking system and the fact that it gets around friend codes (somewhat) are some solid concepts that Nintendo definitely needs to build on in later online games. Not to mention pretty much every race loads and run quickly and lag free.
Nintendo's Virtual Console is a prime reason to buy the Wii. Whether the reason is that you missed out on some of the greatest games or want some nostalgic playtime, the VC is sure to satisfy. Though lately Nintendo's been releasing some games with questionable quality, you'll be sure to find some greats in there.
The WiiWare service was launched on May 12th, 2008 in North America. It's seen a equal amount of shovelware and gems. Instead of having to sift through the forty or so titles already released, here's a top 5 list of WiiWare games that are must haves:
World of Goo
Mega Man 9
Dr. Mario Online Rx
The Wii's a tough little system and we've seen no major hardware failures (and definitely nothing like Microsoft's Red Ring of Death scenario) thank god. Though there have been quite a few controller improvements, mostly to make it safer and less likely for moronic fools to break their TV. In the last two years we've seen different remote straps and a Wii "condom" that protects the controller if it drops.
The main controllers you need are the Wii Remote and Nunchuk which have seen virtually no changes in the previous two years. There's been a lot of peripherals that generally are a waste of money. Thankfully Nintendo is leading the pack in quality. Plus they're doing it the smart way by packaging them with games. Though I think Nintendo's pretty much done as many fans and Nintendo representatives feels there's been enough peripherals... as do I. The notable peripherals are the Wii Wheel (a shell for the remote that works pretty damn well) and the Wii Fit board (an ingenious device that calculates weight and position that can be used in games like Shaun White Snowboarding).
One thing Nintendo definitely needs improvement in is storage solutions. They announced a crappy alternative recently that doesn't really help. And with lots of quality on both WiiWare and the Virtual Console, we need all the space we can get!
Selling the console is something that Nintendo needs no help in. 24 months after the system's launch, the console is still hard to find! If recent NPD numbers are to be believed the Wii out sold the PS3, 360, and PSP combined this October!
Nintendo's Blue Ocean Strategy
Though it's angered many a Nintendo fan, Nintendo's casual approach nowadays is definitely working. Even if they're a radical change from the norm, a number of the innovative, casual titles this generation do possess the charm and fun that gaming's all about. Wii owners may feel abandoned this holiday season with only Wii Music and Animal Crossing: City Folk, but I don't believe the "OMG Nintendo's abandoning the hardcore!!1!" rants. Especially with their 2009 plans, detailed below.
The Future of Wii
The Future of the Wii is looking pretty nice. In 2009, we'll see a lot of AAA third- and first-party titles. At Nintendo's Fall Media Summit, they announced some big games such as Punch-Out!! for the Wii and a Sin & Punishment sequal. Plus we have Play on the Wii titles and a slew of hardcore titles, such as the Conduit, MadWorld, and House of the Dead: Overkill. And those are only the ones we know about! Yep, the future of the Wii is definitely shaping up, even after the shaky, first two years.
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