Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Some Thoughts about the Wii U

Let's buy a brandnew 300€ home console to play a ten year old game. That's the Zelda crazyness. Well, if it wasn't for the limited Zelda bundle, I wouldn't have gotten the console now. Otherwise I probably would have waited for Zelda U or a number of more interesting games.

This is also the earliest, I've ever adopted an home console. The Nintendo 64 I did get at Christmas 99. That's three years and three months after the initial release. The GameCube I bought myself in August 2005. That's about three and a half years later. The Wii I bought in April 2008. That's only one year and five months, so the Wii came already quite early for me. But the Wii U I bought after 10 months. And unless Nintendo keeps releasing Zelda bundles like this, I'll probably never adopt a system so early again.

I also adopted the Nintendo 3DS early, even before the Zelda bundle. But mainly because I wanted to play the Four Swords Anniversary Edition badly. But there was also Ocarina of Time 3D and other good games like Mario Kart 7 were coming up, so the 3DS felt right. I even use it on a daily basis to farm Play Coins and play the Streetpass games. I currently try to get 300 coins, just in case A Link Between Worlds uses them, so I can pump them into the new Zelda right away. And of course when A Link Between Worlds arrives next month, my 3DS will be used all day long.

The Wii U doesn't have the same input. The Wind Waker HD was mostly the same as the original, it didn't feel as different and exciting as Ocarina of Time 3D did. And there wasn't really anything new like with the Four Swords Anniversary Edition. Don't worry, my Wii U won't collect dust now that I'm done with The Wind Waker HD... but only because I put it back in the closet, where it's safe from the dust. I'm not too interested in the system at the moment. It's good to have it in case anything interesting gets released though.

Mario Kart 8 and the new Smash are the most interesting upcoming titles for me at the moment. I definitely want to get those. But I'm also interested in New Super Mario Bros. U, Super Mario 3D World and NintendoLand. NintendoLand has some Zelda stuff in it - Battle Quest, so that's probably the thing I'm going to get next. And I already got New Super Luigi U, because I wanted the limited retail version, but I want to play the main game first.

The Wii U itself doesn't have too much to offer. The 3DS had quite some interesting preinstalled or free to download software. For example there's the stupid augmented reality cards stuff, which can be fun to try, or the Streetpass Plaza games, which I use on a daily basis. I also like the Activity Log, where you get many stats for every software. The Wii U on the other hand only has the Miiverse to go for it, but I can also do this on the PC, which is more comfortable. There's TViiiii channel, but it doesn't work for Europe... why is it even there? Also, there's a LoveFilm channel, which required me to download some big ass update only to tell me that the channel is not available in Germany. I'm pretty sure that we have LoveFilm here... and again, why is it even installed on the system, if I can't use it? The Youtube channel is reported to freeze your Wii U, so I'm not trying that one. And then again it's easier to use Youtube on my PC. And the Activity Log is missing the awesome software library stats, there's only the per day/month log... So, yeah, nothing to do here...

Then there's this thing:

I love the Zelda deco, but overall the Wii U controller is definitely one of Nintendo's weirdest toys yet. It's like playing with an oversized handheld. Generally I hope that they go for a "multiple controller" approach with the Wii U. We have the Wii U GamePad, the Pro Controller, the Wiimote + Nunchuk, the Balance Board and others. They should design their games to support as many controllers as possible, so that everyone can play the way he enjoys playing the most. Like they did in Pikmin 3. With the new Zelda this means that it should support the same controls as in The Wind Waker HD, but also the Wiimote setup from Skyward Sword. Having 1to1 Motion controls, doesn't mean that there have to be "do the right movement" puzzle fights all over the game. I think we can have realistic sword controls, but also classic button controls in the same Zelda game.

It's sad that the Pro Controller doesn't have a Gyro Sensor. It would make it really great for The Wind Waker HD. Gyro aiming is really great, you want that for your Bow and Boomerang.

Let's see what the future holds for Wii U. Whatever it is, I'm ready for it. Because I have the console. Waiting in my closet.


I forgot to mention that I really like the Nintendo Network ID. It's so much better than using stupid Friend Codes. Nintendo stated that they will bring the Network ID to the 3DS as well, which is awesome. Also, they really should turn this into a real account for software purchases. If I have bought Zelda II on my 3DS, I should get it on the Wii U as well. I should have one digital software library under my Nintendo Network ID and it should carry over to all my systems.

And yeah, the ability to upload screenshots directly from your game onto the internet is pretty cool and advanced for Nintendo. I'm going to make good use of that.

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