If ever any proof was needed of my lack of enthusiasm for modern gaming, it would be this post. Remember the 'New Arrival' post here at Red Parsley regarding my purchase of a Nintendo Wii? Well, that was well over a year ago now and it's taken me this long to get around to playing all the games and writing this feature! In fairness though, as I said in the previous post, I was a purchase I kind of regretted soon afterwards anyway - it was more of an impulse buy really, if it's even possible when ordering stuff online, and indeed, I have used it little.
Xbox a huge amount more, for example - but as I've said before there is an awful lot of crap on this unusual system and it can be quite off-putting. Finding something that can even be called a video game is a challenge at times when looking through the Wii section of a game store. There are a few diamonds in the rough though, of course, and it is these that I intend to seek out and play. I've actually already sought out a decent number of them - they are sitting quietly on my sizeable game shelf, their majestic white covers gleaming like pearls, just waiting for me to get around to finishing this feature so I can play them! Just playing the titles below reminded me of something else I've often found a bit off-putting about the Wii though.
Namely, its biggest selling point to most - its main control method. I'm something of a lazy oaf you see. Most of my interests reflect that, gaming among them, so the prospect of having to actually stand up and move around to use its motion-sensitive 'Wiimote' to play a game... it wasn't thrilling quite honestly, technological innovations aside. I know some games give you alternative choices, such as the analogue Classic Controller pad or even a GameCube pad, but most games were made with the motion controls in mind and some couldn't even be played without them.
That said, I do still look forward to trying at least a select few titles on Nintendo's unique system, and a big part of that is that many of them are not available on any other systems, or at least only on the DS. For the moment though, I've taken a look at only five titles, and here's how I got on with them:
Wii Sports (2006)
Red Steel (2006)
Cooking Mama (2007)
Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City (2008)
Goldeneye 007 (2010)
Are Nintendo still a big player in the video game business? I suppose with the Wii U's relative failure, it's a question we've been asking again lately, but it was first being asked a couple of generations ago too. Up until the Wii was released it was starting to look like the big N were heading the same way as poor old Sega. Neither the N64 nor the GameCube were much more than moderate successes, and with their pursuit of innovative tech proving costly, it was only their handhelds keeping them afloat.
That certainly changed during the years following the Wii's release though; it was a phenomenal success with over 100 million units sold. That was down to several factors but chief among was the system's appeal to casual gamers. For someone like me, it's a difficult console to evaluate, and there are several things about it that don't appeal to me, mainly to do with the controls. Laziness aside, the Wiimote does work well for things like Wii Sports but I found it overly sensitive for use as as on-screen pointer. I don't like that use of it is mandatory in many games either (surely it would be easy to add a control pad option for most of them?), and I don't like that it takes normal AA batteries which it eats through alarmingly quickly (why the hell are they not rechargable like the PS3?). It's not the best looking machine either - it just looks like an old PC external CD-ROM to me.
I also don't like the graphical style used in many games (those Mii things are not at all appealing), and one common complaint was also that it was underpowered compared to its... well, I was going to say rivals but I don't think the PS3 and Xbox 360 were ever really rivals with the Wii, they just happened to be on the market during similar times. I suppose Nintendo's decision to go in a completely different direction was just as brave as taking on Sony and Microsoft directly though, and it worked too - the Wii was a massive success. It must've surely refilled their bank accounts and then some, and despite its faults, few could deny the impact it had on the gaming industry. Even the mighty Sony and Microsoft had soon followed suit.
Much of that success was down to its controls of course and, as much as I might dislike the idea, it's great that they exist. I'm sure many lapped them up, it's most likely just my old-fashioned mind that prefers an equally antiquated method of playing games. It's those games that I got a Wii for though - not the shovelware bullcrap that so dominates its back-catalog - but the actual proper games, many of which look very good and, in more cases than not, can't be played anywhere else either. It's a strange console in some ways but it's one that needs to be sampled, and I'm glad I finally have. I just hope it grows on me...