The Wii U’s Launch Line-Up is Actually Pretty Damn Good
People were down on Nintendo’s E3 press conference largely because they didn’t tease us with a bunch of stuff that may (or may not) ever arrive like they usually do. It made for a show that felt very light in content, but here’s the thing — the Wii U’s launch line-up is actually one of Nintendo’s best in ages. They’re delivering a new Mario platformer, a fairly robust new minigame collection for the casuals, an exercise game for mom and a long-promised new Pikmin game for the hardcores. Sure, we have no idea what’s coming after that, but frankly I’d rather have a solid, confirmed line-up of launch titles, than a bunch of empty promises like we got with the 3DS and Wii.
A Nintendo platform hasn’t launched with an original Mario platformer since 1996.
Nintendo Land is a Genius Idea if it Works
Wii Sports did a great job of grabbing the casuals, but a terrible job of converting them to Nintendo’s bread and butter franchises. Nintendo Land looks to do both — if the game is good enough, it’ll get people on board with the party-friendly fun and introduce new gamers to the likes of Mario, Link, Samus and more. If Nintendo Land does its job, this could be a generation where we get big budget F-Zero and Metroid games that actually sell. Imagine that.
The Wii U GamePad Isn’t As Useless as Nintendo Was Making it Look
For some reason almost all the Wii U games being shown at E3 were action games. I don’t think the GamePad is particularly well suited to action games. The controller’s big, kind of clunky and looking down at a second screen just won’t work with fast-paced games.
The game that appears to best use the Wii U GamePad is Pikmin 3. With the 2nd screen you can keep track of all your Pikmin soldiers or make use of an overhead tactical view. This is the kind of thing the GamePad is going to do well — making complex strategic games more manageable. I think Starcraft II or the upcoming SimCity would work great on the Wii U. Also, for the first time MMOs will actually be playable on a console — the GamePad could be used for all the communication and inventory stuff that’s difficult to handle with a regular console controller.
Gimme a little of this action on the Wii U.
Microsoft and Sony are Underestimating Nintendo Yet Again
Microsoft and Sony didn’t even tease their new consoles at this year’s E3. The message was pretty clear — “We’re not taking Nintendo seriously.”
That’s a dangerous thing to do. It leads to things like dropping from a distant number one to number three in the console race. But then I guess memory is fleeting thing.
There have been some rumors that Microsoft and Sony are working on their own tablet-like controllers, but after Nintendo’s poor showing at E3 this year, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Nintendo’s competitors shelve their tablets. That might be smart…or we might be gearing up for the Wii all over again.
Nintendo Fans Are Easy to Please
Nintendo nerds may be raging now, but all Nintendo has to do is unveil a 5-second clip of an HD Metroid and they’ll be running to GameStop with 250 dollars grasped in their sweaty palms. No Nintendo platform can ever be a true failure (Virtual Boy excepted) because Nintendo fans’ money is only ever a Zelda trailer away.
What do you folks think? Doomed or not doomed? That is the question…