Continued from my last blog entry.
I was actually a bit hesitant about continuing this blog series, for a few different reasons. Firstly, there may be other things I should do this morning. Second, I don't have the money for the Wii-U right now, so I don't want to get too excited for it.
I'm also not entirely sure what my main point is here, but at the very least these blogs should help me to figure out where I stand with the Wii-U and which games are more important to own earlier than others.
I'd like to see this through, though.
The Wonderful 101
I can still remember the E3 before the Wii-U's release. The Nintendo conference was over, but some folks from Platinum Games stuck around afterwards to show off the Wii-U game they had in the works, Project P-100. Despite my disinterest in the Wii-U, Project P-100 looked like the most innovative and refreshing upcoming game on the system.
Fast-forward to the present, and The Wonderful 101, as the game was finally named, still looks like one of the most interesting new games on the Wii-U. Nintendo even came out in support of the game and published it, and the series seems right at home alongside Big-N's first-party offerings.
Alongside Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 was a game that piqued my interest for the system. Controlling a group of 101 people who can transform into super sentai superheroes, and combine to form various objects, just sounds original. I still have yet to see how much use the tablet controller receives in this game, though I suspect it will be more than in some of the other games I'm mentioning.
Why?: Old IPs are great, but a new IP can be just the thing to give you a new experience - especially on a new game system. The Wonderful 101 looks charming and sounds like a great concept, and I'd say there is a pretty high probability of me wanting to try this game.
Why Not?: Of course on the other side of the coin, a new game experience is the unknown. I don't know if I will actually like W101, I just assume I will. I could be bored by the game, or irritated by the implementation of the tablet controller. I have no clue. So there's no sense of familiarity there like there is with other games on this list. Another thing to consider is that there wasn't a whole lot of buzz surrounding this game, so perhaps it is mediocre.
Super Mario 3D World
The end of 2013 saw the release of Super Mario 3D World. For some time, I actually was not aware that this was a brand new video game, and instead got it mixed up with Super Mario 3D Land. Suffice it to say, this is the Wii-U sequel to that series of Mario Bros. games.
Super Mario 3D World scored very well with critics, putting Nintendo in a position to make a comeback with the Wii-U during the Holiday season. While that didn't exactly happen, Nintendo still released a highly-regarded Mario game, giving the Wii-U another must-have in its steadily growing library.
Since I didn't play 3D Land, I'm not entirely sure what the gameplay is like in these new Mario games. It seems like Nintendo has taken their experience with recent Mario games and smooshed different ideas together to create a very platform-centric Mario Bros. experience.
While New Super Mario & Luigi U both feature the flying squirrel costume, SM3DW features the cat costume. Admittedly, it took me a few weeks to get used to Mario in a cat suit. It was just...odd at first, for some reason. But I think I see how it could be useful for climbing the sides of platforms, and running around quickly.
The game also features multiplayer, for up to four players - making it great for playing with the gf as well.
Why?: It sounds like it's a pretty good Mario game. I mean listen, I really wasn't a fan of Mario Galaxy... I just didn't care for it. A lot of people did, good for them. I'm glad Nintendo has moved on to something different for Mario, for the rest of us. All signs seem to point to this being a fun, new Mario experience - with some varied levels in the mix. And Peach and Toad are back!
Why Not?: To be frank, I am still more excited about playing New Super Mario Bros. U. Side-scrolling Mario games have always been great, and NSMB did an excellent job of bringing that 2D gameplay into the modern age. 3D Mario games aren't always a surefire hit with me. And I'm just not as moved by this game's existence as most reviewers were.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
The newest major release on the Wii-U, DKCTF is the sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii and 3DS. The main theme is that Kongo Jungle has been frozen over, and it features icy and snowy stages. Your enemies this time around are penguins and walruses known as the 'Snowmads'.
The game also features the return of Dixie Kong and, for the first time, Cranky Kong as playable characters.
Tropical Freeze looks appealing because it is a 2D side-scrolling Donkey Kong game, in the same vein as the fantastic SNES game Donkey Kong Country. That game had great gameplay, great music and interesting stage variety - and that's what I'd expect of this one.
That said, I'm not as big of a DKC fan as a lot of Nintendo fans. I liked DKC, sure. I didn't spend much time on DKC2 or 3, I didn't think DKC64 looked interesting at all, and I never tried Returns. So this isn't as high on my list as a lot of other games, but I am somewhat interested.
The game does feature multiplayer, but my understanding is that player 1 always has to be DK, or at least somebody has to.
Why?: I've only owned a few DKC games over the years, but the experience was always pleasant. The new baddies and frosty levels could be refreshing. And maybe the levels and music will be pretty good, idk.
Why Not?: I'm not a huge DK fan, so this game isn't as important to me as the Mario games I want to get. The game had mixed reviews, with GS giving it a 6.0 while other places gave it 9's. There are less stages in this game than in the last one, and while the levels are reportedly longer, it still seems like a shorter game.
This one I'm really not sure about, but part of me is interested in Disney Infinity. Part of the reason I'd like to get a Wii-U is because there would be lots of multiplayer games I could play with my girlfriend, and Disney Infinity could be one of them.
For the uninitiated, you buy these figurines of various Disney movie characters, and put them on this pedestal thing you plug into your game system, and the characters come into the game for you to control. You can use coins to visit different characters' worlds, like the college from Monsters University, or the city from The Incredibles. You can also visit a sandbox world and bring together elements from all of the different worlds.
My girlfriend is a pretty big Disney fan, and enjoys most Disney and Pixar movies. Recently, she really liked Frozen, and I thought she might like to play as Elsa and Anna in a sandbox game.
I'm partial to the sorcerer's apprentice Mickey Mouse myself. And I think Infinity has the potential to be a pretty fun vidja game if its developers continue to support it.
Why?: I think it could be fun to play with the girlfriend, working together and collecting figurines and building the sandbox world. The figures are cool, too.
Why Not?: There are numerous reasons not to get this game. Firstly, the long-term cost of such a game. You pay $10 here and there for a new figure, and that adds up. Not to mention various sets and accessories. I'm not even sure if I would like the game, or if it would be enjoyable for an adult to play. If the game doesn't sell well enough, it could just lose support and then I'm left with 'pieces' of a game. And based off of the GS review of the game, it seems glitchy. I was also thinking of getting the game for Wii-U since it's a newer system and it might look decent on it, though I'd heard the game has less content on the Wii version, and I'm not sure if it extends to the Wii-U version.
My girlfriend has always been a bit interested in work-out gimmicks combined with video games. When the original Wii Fit came out, I thought it was a lame idea - and hardly a replacement for exercise. Now, I'm not so sure - I think if a person has the right mindset and the right environment to do so, they can get good exercise through many different regimens.
Wii Fit-U expands upon the first game by using the tablet controller, as well as a 'fit meter' device. It also uses the balance board once again. Apparently the fit meter can be taken along with the player as they go for walks and go about their daily routines, to help keep track of their progress - presumably things like calorie burn, number of steps taken, and distance walked.
I'm not sure how I would personally feel about Wii Fit-U, if it would be just another gimmick to me or actually kind of fun and/or beneficial. But my girlfriend has expressed interest in it since the Wii version, so perhaps it is something she would use regularly. It also seems to be part of her conditions of getting a Wii-U. If we got one, she would want to get Wii Fit-U. And since we're talking about using the TV in my computer room for the Wii-U, that might work out nicely - I have lots of room to work with in here.
Why?: If Wii Fit-U works and we use it a lot, then it would successfully give our Wii-U a useful purpose outside of entertainment. It could be a very interesting game, at the very least, and may have some practicality to it. Whenever I think about it, Nintendo has always tried to do interesting things with games that could see a broader application outside of just entertainment. Brain Age comes to mind, as does Wii Fit. If my girlfriend would use the game, and enjoy it, then it would probably be a very cool workout regimen.
Why Not?: A big hurdle is the price. To get the full experience it costs $90. That's actually not a bad price since it includes a game, a fit meter and a balance board, but it drives up the cost of our early Wii-U collection by another $100. And of course there's the possibility that we won't like it, or feel like we get anything out of the product. Or my girlfriend just might continue to not use it. In that case, it wouldn't be money well-spent. So there's a lot of unknown with Wii Fit-U, there's a bit of a risk there.
I felt like I should include a few digital games on the eShop that might be worth buying. The first of which is NES Remix and its sequel, NES Remix 2.
NES Remix is essentially Warioware Inc., or a modern twist on the NES Tournament Challenge gamecards. You play bits and pieces of different first/second-party Nintendo games. And sometimes, the game will mix things up by having you control a different character in a game, or alter things in some way.
The sequel will feature a different set of NES games in bite-sized format. It will also feature the full Super Mario Bros. game, with backwards stages, starring Luigi and his high-jump ability.
Why?: Something about this game is tempting. Maybe it's all just nostalgia? I really don't know. The second game sounds appealing for the remixed version of Super Mario Bros. alone. If there is a leaderboard, or at least a high-score board of some sort, it could be fun to go for the gold.
Why Not?: The first game is expensive, the second one also might be. I would be paying for tidbits of games and not full games, and that's not especially fun. I'll keep my eye on it.
Mario Kart 8
I was never much for racing games. But Mario Kart is a huge exception to that rule. (As are some of the F-Zero games I've played.) Rather than being true-to-life and featuring cars I will never own, Mario Kart is fun and frantic. You can zoom around wild tracks complete with traps and alternate paths, and collect power-ups to help turn the tide of matches. It's quite simply fun.
Mario Kart 8 (hard to believe there have been 8 games already!) will be the next major Wii-U release this Summer. The game will feature anti-gravity racing as its big draw. Bowser's original children from Super Mario Bros. 3 will be playable racers in the game.
Why?: As far as racers go, this will probably be the best one on the Wii-U. It's guaranteed to have a strong player-base for some time, and will support 12-player online multiplayer. It may feature the ability to enable 'Double-Dash'-style play, an hopes to boast 60FPS for 4-player offline multiplayer.
Why Not?: Mario Kart goes through changes with each new release, and while it usually gains more than it loses, each new outing won't have every memorable track. Multiplayer is likely split-screen, so my girlfriend may not want to play it. We are also talking about getting Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS, and one can only have so many Mario Karts at a time. So, we will have to see.
So there you have it, nearly a dozen Wii-U games that I'm interested in as of this Summer.
But I wonder, will I make the same mistakes with games that I always have? Or is the Wii-U really the best console for someone like me?
I think as the year goes on, and I come closer to making a decision about the Wii-U, I'll have to weigh these choices again. Maybe months from now, some great new games will overshadow some of these other ones.
In the meantime... I have my eye on you, Wii-U!