Wii U Has Become a Damn Fine Console
Posted on Wednesday, May 28 @ 17:00:00 Eastern by Joey_Davidson
Don't you worry, nerds. This isn't my attempt to convince you that the Wii U is saved.
I'm here to argue that Wii U has officially moved from a niche console with limited value to, arguably, the best current hardware choice in terms of library, cost, and the near future.
Let's not mince words here: the Wii U console has, whether deservedly or not, become Nintendo's biggest failure since the Virtual Boy. Its GamePad, marketing, design philosophy, and graphical prowess have all fallen under harsh scrutiny. That scrutiny, though not completely warranted, has pushed Wii U into an awkward corner.
I'd argue that the Wii U console gets shit on a little more than it should. It's missing third party publishers, but it boasts the best first party content of the new generation of consoles so far. Don't get me wrong, I dug inFamous: Second Son, but that game pales in comparison to even the first run of Wii U exclusives.
Our own Daniel Bischoff reviewed Mario Kart 8 for GameRevolution. I did the same for another site. We even played together for a brief afternoon and Mario Kart 8 is a damn fine game, one that stands tall amidst a library that's finally found its footing.
If you bought an Xbox One today, you'd drop $500 (though that will soon change to $400) for a console that boasts a fairly promising future and a current library of really only a few exclusive titles. Those exclusives, while solid, aren't the types of games that will stand the test of time. Really, do you see yourself dusting off Ryse: Son of Rome for another go in 2019?
Quite frankly, the same can be said for PlayStation 4. It's $100 less, absolutely making it a "smarter purchase," in the most limited possible scope for that term. I'd argue that it's brief sampling of exclusives is a touch better than Xbox One's (especially since most great Xbox One exclusive titles are also available on PC, like Titanfall).
Wii U? It had a full year head start, a year filled with slim pickings but a year nonetheless.
In that year and the extra eight months that followed, Wii U's library has moved from anemic to stellar. Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, The Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, ZombiU, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, LEGO City Undercover (it's a good game, folks) and New Super Mario Bros. U join solid group games like Nintendo Land and Wii Party U. That doesn't even count the eShop exclusives and virtual console wonders like EarthBound and Advanced Wars.
Thanks to that extra year, the Wii U has amassed a good lineup of games that would keep any gamer busy.
The extra boost? Look to the nearby horizon. Mario Kart 8 releases in days. Then there's Super Smash Bros., a title that looks to make up for the effort on the Wii in almost every single way. And that's without mentioning the Wii U exclusive Zelda title that Eiji Aonuma promised to show the world at E3 this year and the likes of X and Bayonetta 2.
Now, there's no arguing that if you don't like Nintendo games you should get a Wii U. That would be a bad premise. Wii U, thanks to Nintendo's typical lack of third party support, is a first party gaming machine. If you can't deal with Nintendo's quirky sense of design and their roster of aging IPs, you likely won't like this console.
However, if you fancy a few Mario, Donkey Kong and Link-starring games, you need to come at the Wii U from the stance of value.
With the Mario Kart 8 bundle, you'll get a Deluxe Wii U, Mario Kart 8, a steering wheel, a Mario themed remote and a choice between a digital download of New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, or Wii Party U for $329. Choose Pikmin 3 or Zelda and you'll be nabbing a system and two of the highest rated games of 2013 and one from 2014 for $70 less than a PS4 console and no games. Make that $170 for the Xbox One console currently available.
Look, I do believe that Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. and whatever the next Zelda becomes will do a lot to boost Wii U sales. I think the console is beyond "saving," whatever that means, but it could still live out a few more great years at retail.
For a release marred with poor marketing, less than timely delays and a price point that was way too aggressive, Wii U has finally turned into a damn fine console. It won't please every gamer the world over, but it will win the hearts of those who enjoy Nintendo efforts and give it a fair shot.
And, hey, you should. I've been loving my Wii U lately for good reason.