Nagare's Wii Hardware Review
+ Great first party games
There are plenty of good games out there which are easy to find if you ask around on forums or read reviews but they are often shadowed by the shovelware. Keep reading for what I think are great games.
+ Innovative Controller
Motion control was a great move and definitely attracted more customers. Now it's being mimicked by Sony and Microsoft with the wand and Project Natal, respectively.
+ Backwards Compatibility
The Wii can play all GameCube games and long forgotten titles from old consoles such as the NES and Commodore 64 via the Virtual Console
Great idea supported by various small developers looking for a way to dispense titles without finding a publisher or worrying about all the unnecessary costs
+ Wii Channels
Provide additional content for no charge or quick access to purchased WiiWare titles or Virtual Console games
$250 price point is working for them and not likely to change unless Sony or Microsoft enter the same range
+ Firmware Updates
Bad for hackers good for the casual user and often add better functionality and fix small bugs or glitches.
- Loaded with Shovelware
Selling 50 million units worldwide and being the world's fastest selling console sure makes for a developer's haven but they don't put much time into a lot of titles which still get published for the quick buck or two.
- Disappoints with relative current gen graphics
When you compare a system such as the Wii with the those of the other "big companies" called Sony and Microsoft, the graphics aren't comparable at all, nor are the file capacities of the game discs. Anything put on the 360 or PS3 first is usually a half-assed Wii port in the end unless effort is put in, something developers find hard. However, things are getting brighter with developers such as High Voltage Software making games like The Conduit which are supposed to be pushing the Wii near its limits.
- Limited memory
Can't really complain here because it works for most people as tons are young kids or families who don't want kids online and therefor don't care about lack of space to directly play games from the Virtual Console or WiiWare (which I think can now be played from the SD card regardless), but using a standard expansion format such as the SD card was a good move and saved a lot of pissy comments for them.
Now, when I first got my Wii I have to say that I was more of a Nintendo fanatic and probably would have gone into depression if I didn't get it. I spent the year saving up $330 so I could pick up the Wii on release night (in the middle of Winter at a Walmart) and a copy of Twilight Princess. Then I got home and got pissed at hell because my mom took it away from me until Christmas, even though I bought it with my own money!!!
When I was finally able to play my Wii, I was really happy. It offered great controls and WiiSports was the perfect way to show them off. It was also a fun game which kept me entertained for awhile and probably would have continued to if I didn't already have Twilight Princess.
Regardless, I loved the controlls. The WiiMote offered something new and exciting to console gameplay. Motion control. With this I was able to aim the gun myself and swing the sword by swinging my own arm! My favorite thing about this controller are the variable input methods such as tilting (balance type of games), twisting (driving?), swinging (swords and baseball bats), aiming (shooting), throwing (baseballs and bowling). Also, they somehow incorporated motion control within the nunchuk but it isn't as obvious and sort of feels like flailing when coupled with the Wiimote in games like boxing.
The Wii Channels were interesting at first and a great and easy idea to use. When you first boot up the Wii, make sure you hook it up to the internet because otherwise you only get half the experience. You don't get access to the weather channel which I actually like and find informative with a world weather preview. The news channel is a bit confusing at first but the layout and use is clean.
Also, in an attempt to get a more user friendly type of interface and involvement, the Everybody Votes channel was introduced after a few months. It allows owners to vote with their various Miis and predict how the nation(s) will vote as well. Pretty interesting at first but you can quickly lose interest.
The Picture channel is a way of viewing pictures stored on the system's limited memory and possibly your own SD card but I haven't really done anything with that.
A ton of the younger kids probably love the Internet channel because they can go online without being obviously online and the experience is pretty full considering they added YouTube support a short while after the browser was fully available.
Probably a reason adding to the quick and widespread adoption of the Wii was the ability to play old games from the GameCube and the Virtual Console system which allows gamers to download classic games for old systems such as the SNES, NES, N64, NEOGEO, Sega Genesis, Commodore 64, Sega Master System and TurboGrafx 16. I don't really like old games but the system works pretty well, albeit not terribly announced with new games unless you visit various online sources, such as GameGrep. The channel is also wonderful because of the Classic Controller which makes it easier to play the games.
Not to mention vast libraries of GameCube games. I liked my old games and didn't want to give them up with the purchase of a new system so I was happen to find that the Wii took the games and played them just fine! No GC game I put in hasn't worked but I'm sure it is possible they wouldn't if you screw them up.
WiiWare has to be a try at the online downloadable game market spawned by the XBox Live Arcade and later the Playstation Network but the games are wonderful. They are often fresh ideas and, surprisingly, of high quality. I have downloaded a select few but they are like full retail games. Lost Winds was my first WiiWare title and I loved it. The gameplay was simple and the atmosphere relaxing but definitely not just a pushover title. Next was Gyrostarr which functioned only with the Wiimote and offered up to 4 players gameplay at once. You just held the controller horizontally and to turn left or right you tilted the controller and pressed (2) to shoot.
Then there was World of Goo, the most amazing WiiWare title EVER (to me and plenty of others at least). It was amazing and offered point and click precision with a great premise. You control various types of goo balls in order to get a specific number through the plumbing system and 'capture' as many as you can. Plenty of goo balls are split in this amazing game!
Due to the immense popularity of the Wii, it gained the attention of all the small time developers looking to make a quick buck and as such has gathered quite a dust thirsty library of shovelware titles that may make finding the real gems quite difficult. Amidst these mountains of so-so and crap games are amazing titles that should be bought if you own a Wii. To me that list includes quite a few games, but I'll only list a few.
- Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- No More Heroes
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - Soon (from posting this) available in Metroid Prime Trilogy
- Super Mario Galaxy
- Redsteel - Heavily critiqued despite being a good game
- Super Smash Bros Brawl
- Mario Kart Wii
- Excite Truck - Great truck racing game from near release
- Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
- The Conduit
- Yeah, that's the only one I am truely psyched for
I love my Wii, but it is a dust collector. During this school year, I hardly touched one of my favorite systems in favor of my growing PC use. However, when I do sit down and play the Wii, which I plan to do a lot this summer, I thoroughly enjoy myself. The games are unique and unlike tons of people, I don't really give a shit about games being "casual" or "hardcore". A game if fun if it is fun. If it isn't I sit down and complain about wasting my money and a stupid game and get over it. If you care about a fun time with good gameplay but "last-gen" graphics, the Wii is the perfect system for you. The games are fun and inviting but they can also present a challenge if you pick the right ones. If you are a fan of shooters, I recommend this game and the Metroid Prime Trilogy which comes out in Auguest. If you like fun racing games, check out Mario Kart Wii. For strategy, try Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. For RPGs try the multitude of Final Fantasy or Harvest Moon/Rune Factory games. It doesn't matter what type of games you like, because most likely, the Wii has at least five of "that type" to satisfy.
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