I Haven’t Played My Wii U Often Until Now

I purchased a Wii U last summer but haven’t played too much of it until now. It’s not that it’s a bad system. In fact I love the way the entire thing works(well besides some of it’s quirks). So what held me back from playing more often?

Our First Xbox

It was fall of 2013 and Xbox 360 was on sale at Best Buy. I had only ever owned Nintendo consoles previously(grew up on them) and Allyson and I wanted to explore the story line of Halo, as well as gain access to Tomb Raider and many other games that either were not on Nintendo consoles or had limited runs (Burnout/Tomb Raider/Soul Calibur). We purchased a 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect, Halo Reach and Halo CE Anniversary Edition. We were enthralled.

We played these games and started quickly expanding our new consoles library to over a dozen games and enjoyed playing through all of them. The 360 became the go to console as we had played through most of the titles on our ageing Wii. The new worlds available to explore on the 360 were just to much fun. We played Xbox almost exclusively from October 2013 to summer 2014.

Challenger Approaching: Wii U

It was summer of 2014 and there was a great special on the Wii U. It had free games with purchase and even more games available with my Club Nintendo status. I had always planned on purchasing a Wii U anyway, so I bit the bullet and purchased it. I ordered it online and received my new console at the end of July. It was quickly hooked up and I spent the next week or so playing it more often than the Xbox. That’s when the Wii U’s power and game focused design really shined. It even made me question the number of ads Microsoft shows you with the 360 dashboard.

Getting the console initially set up was a breeze. There was a very friendly installation sequence and an even easier(yet nerve wracking) transfer of Wii to Wii U data. T he Wii U even has a built in TV remote in the game pad allowing me to turn not only the console on, but the TV as well; even changing inputs and volume! The user interface is slick and clean, and it’s clearly designed to showcase your games and apps so you can dive right in. No extra ads or videos playing like on the Xbox dashboard. Booting up games is fast enough, and at the time, I was purchasing disc based games so the 32GB of onboard storage felt large enough.

Short Lived Interest

Then after playing some Mario Kart for about a month as well as some virtual console games, I stopped playing. Not because the hardware was bad. Not because there were too few games (if I had the money, I would have purchased many more than the few I had). It just lost some of it’s allure as the Xbox still had some compelling experiences left.

I was given Minecraft for Christmas for the Xbox 360 in 2013 and started playing it at a get together with our friends the following January. It was amazing. They purchased a copy and we played online. We alternated between Halo Reach and Minecraft. The summer proved to be the summer of Minecraft as we obsessively played through numerous worlds. Many times online together. The Wii U, sat idle as we played through these games as well as others such as Monaco, Castle Crashers, Burnout Paradise, Tomb Raider Legends, Soul Calibur, and the entire Halo franchise to date(minus Halo Wars).

Games Unplayed

Meanwhile I had a number of games available on the Wii U, but they weren’t getting played. Most are first party titles, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers Wii U, Pikmin 3, Dr. Luigi, Super Mario World 3D, New Super Mario Brothers Wii U, Lego: The Hobbit, numerous Virtual Console games. Why? I wasn’t entirely sure until writing this, but mainly a lack of interest and a desire for immersion I suppose. All of these games lack an involved/compelling world to explore. I think more importantly, as none of our friends owned Wii U’s, we were unable to play online with the few titles that were capable of internet play with those who we wanted to. This made us more likely to fire up the Xbox to see who’s online  than to run through some levels in any of the games listed above.

Missing Something… (Immersive Experiences)

I do enjoy the games I have, and I am happy to finally feel the interest to play through them. However I do feel wanting. My favorite console of all time is the GameCube as I felt it had the strongest line-up of games in my interest. Deep exploration and story with games such as Metroid Prime and Beyond Good and Evil. Party games such as Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart. High action, immersive shooters with TimeSplitters 2 and 007: Agent Under Fire, and classics such as Wind Waker and it’s preorder bonus of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Even a few cult classics such as Metal Arms: Glitch in the System. What all these games have in common is a solid immersive experience that I could get myself engrossed in. There was just something about how you could interact and learn about the world that is different from the modern games I own.

This kind of gameplay experience is something I feel the Wii U is lacking. It is why I believe the Xbox 360 was so appealing for so long. I could easily fire up any of the Halo games, Tomb Raider, or Minecraft and find myself incredibly driven to keep playing for their ability to explore their worlds, experience their story or create one myself. This isn’t to say there aren’t games available on the Wii U that would do that for others, but currently all the ones available that I am interested in are all re-releases that I have on the original system (Metroid Prime Trilogy, Wind Waker HD). If there are others out there that may fit what I am looking for, I certainly haven’t seen it browsing the eShop or gaming sites.

All Classic-Style Experiences, Well… Mostly

For me the most interesting games I have seen are all classic like, meaning gaming styles that were commonly seen in the 90’s redone(side scrolling platformer, hack and slash, puzzle). This isn’t a bad thing, but I really want something with more depth that . I can’t wait to play Yoshi’s Wooly World or Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. I also want to pick up Wonderful 101, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Hyrule Warriors and Super Mario Maker. To me, these are all must haves for the console, but none of them have that deeper experience I feel I am looking for. They are more arcade, or classic platformer. The only games in line that I know of are the new Legend of Zelda game, and possibly StarFox Zero, however the later will certainly fall more in the arcade realm as the series has always been close to.

Back To The Classics

Perhaps it’s the over abundance of games with grand story lines and hours of more interactive game play that can be more than surface deep that has really changed the way I view games. However, the need to explore and be immersed is something I feel games need to push. Perhaps it’s just wanting this, which is what I consider to be the best gaming experience. Either way, the worlds that fascinated me on the Xbox have become well known and mundane. So now I am ready to enjoy what these Wii U games have to offer, even if they are less immersive by nature. Classic games, classic Nintendo. It’s not bad, just not as deep of an experience I prefer to have sometimes.


What do you think? Does the Wii U have all the games to fit your taste? Or do you find certain areas lacking? let us know in the comments below!

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Author: Trevor E

Technologist. Programmer. Artist. Gamer.

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