Five whole reasons to stand by the Wii U (yep, five!)
The Wii U is not dead, damn it! I don’t care what any of ya say! Okay, maybe Nintendo’s follow-up to the Wii hasn’t been the most successful console in history, but there are still plenty of reasons to remain loyal to the machine. This especially holds true if, like me, you already shelled out the cash for the system and want to desperately believe that there’s still hope for it. In all seriousness, though, the Wii U really is a worthy platform — it just needs a few more games and better support from Nintendo.
Aside from those things, here are five whole reasons to stand by the Wii U. Hey, I’m not saying, “Screw that next-gen garbage! I heart Nintendo hard!” I’m just suggesting that some of you give the Wii U a chance, and maybe think of it as something else to own alongside Microsoft and Sony’s upcoming hardware.
The Virtual Console lets you play many of your treasured favorites (legally)
The Wii U allows you to play some of the best games from past eras without you resorting to, well, hideously illegal practices. The Legend of Zelda, Kirby’s Adventure, Super Mario World, and Super Metroid are just four of the truly memorably classics available on the Virtual Console. Then there’s EarthBound, which is considered by many (including me!) to be one of the greatest RPGs of all time. If you have any interest in remembering the classics or just experiencing some solid retro gaming, the Virtual Console is a huge asset to the Wii U.
Nintendo has access to some great IPs
Aside from new Mario and Donkey Kong games, there are plenty of other exclusives in Nintendo’s treasure chest of IPs. Already we can look forward to Yarn Yoshi, which is sure to look brain-explodingly gorgeous if Kirby’s Epic Yarn is any indication. Speaking of Kirby, Nintendo’s resident pink puffball has been the star of several shining platformers. Of course, we can’t forget about the Metroid series, which was solidified as a true top tier franchise for the company when the first Metroid Prime hit the GameCube.
One of the bigger players under the Nintendo banner is easily Monolith Soft. After being acquired by the company, Monolith Soft went on to create one of the most awe-inspiring RPGs in recent memory with Xenoblade Chronicles, as well as that entertaining, addictive crossover-fest Project X Zone. Now Wii U owners can look forward to the tentatively titled X, which will continue the Xenoblade saga. And this hopefully means more RPG awesomeness for Nintendo down the road.
Extra features are surprisingly impressive
Miiverse is full of gems like this post.
It makes sense to buy a video game console for the video games, but some enjoyable extras are always nice. Case in point: The Wii U has a few features that really make it a lovely little machine. For starters, if you like watching movies and TV shows, you’ve got access to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Yes, these features are available on other devices, but hey, it deserves to be mentioned that Nintendo is paying attention to the importance of watching crap on your consoles.
Aside from that, Miiverse is one of the greatest add-ons that Nintendo could’ve implemented. Being able to access forums and see what other folks are playing and what they have to say is plenty fun. In addition to sharing your thoughts and screen grabs, though, you can totally draw stuff. It’s actually kind of ridiculous just how impressive some folks’ drawings of Zelda and Donkey Kong come out.
Then there’s that Internet browser, which kind of trumps all current game console browsers on the market. We still don’t know how things will turn out with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4’s browsers, but the Wii U has certainly raised the bar for what browsing the web via your video game system should be, with a clean interface, ease of use, and fast loading speeds. Oh, and switching between games and the Internet on the GamePad is just practical.
The GamePad is actually really damn cool
Speaking of the GamePad and Internet browser duo, the two really go hand in hand. Sure, you can browse the web and watch your favorite YouTube videos on your big screen TV, navigating via the GamePad’s useful touchscreen, but the interconnectivity between the two components goes beyond that. For example, if you’re constantly referencing an online guide, switching over to it is as easy as hitting the Home button and tapping the browser option. You’ll automatically be taken to the last page you visited, creating a fluid experience when you go from game to guide and back.
The GamePad also comes in handy for off-TV play, which is a ridiculously useful tool if you’re constantly surrounded by people who like to watch a lot of TV. You can also watch YouTube videos directly on the touchscreen and access other Wii U features. Obviously, you can’t have off-TV play for every game due to some titles relying more heavily on touchscreen functionality than others (ZombiU is a perfect example), but the fact that most games do — from retail releases to indie games — is certainly handy.
Another thing that makes the GamePad great is that some titles really use it effectively. I already mentioned ZombiU, but another game that features great use of the touchscreen is Disney Infinity. Aside from offering off-TV play, you can quickly access items during the Play Set campaigns or choose from different tools easily in Toy Box mode. It’s efficient, intuitive, and just practical. Rayman Legends is another shining example, utilizing the touchscreen for the special Murfy stages. It certainly beats using the shoulder buttons like on the other console versions.
Three words: Super Smash Bros.
Luigi's body is ready. Clearly.
I don’t like being one of those guys who claim that a certain game is a killer IP or system seller, but I actually know people who’ve purchased Nintendo consoles solely for Smash Bros. There’s just something about that series that draws so many people to it, and it’s very likely that the upcoming entry for the Wii U will be no different. The Nintendo 64 original, Melee on the GameCube, and Brawl on the Wii all proved to be among the best offerings on their respective platforms due to the awesome novelty of seeing Nintendo’s finest duking it out.
The game is also coming to the 3DS, but there’s no denying that Smash Bros. is the type of fighter you play with a group of buddies in front of a TV. I can’t count the number of competitive Smash Bros. nights I’ve had with friends over the years. Stacked up pizza boxes, countless soda bottles, and Smash Bros. make for one hell of a party game experience, and the next iteration of said experience is coming to the Wii U.
Or maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know
Should people give the Wii U a chance? Are you standing by Nintendo’s shiny console? What are your reasons for sticking with the Wii U? Or, hey, what are your reasons for saying, “Screw the Wii U”? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.