Hardcore gamers and Wii, can they ever coexist?
Nintendo fans know what I’m talking about. The people that brought us gaming hallmarks like Mario, Zelda and Metroid have been constantly accused of being the ‘casual’ and ‘kiddy’ company by rival gamers. This has been going since the Sega Genesis vs. Super NES days, with the Genesis versions of games like Mortal Kombat getting all the bloody gory goodness and the SNES being left with the sweaty remains. The N64 faced the same criticisms, despite excellent ‘mature’ games, like Perfect Dark and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The Gamecube didn’t help itself very much by only being available in one color at launch, that color happened to be purple, sorry, indigo blue.
Now we find ourselves in the days of Wii, Nintendo’s innovative console, with motion controllers, designed to revolutionize (yes this pun was intended) console gaming like DS did for handhelds. And yet, the console is still mocked for it’s casual appeal, people say it’s because of the lack of mature titles, others the vast sea of shovelware titles (I’m looking at you Petz series) and others just grew up putting Nintendo and ‘Kiddy’ in the same category and just don’t see the Wii as for them.
First point, lack of mature titles, now I have a problem with this. Is the Wii missing hardcore games in general? No, it’s missing the BIG hardcore games, Final Fantasy XIII, Metal Gear Solid 4, Resident Evil 5, etc. The Wii has its core games, The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Battalion Wars 2, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. You want third party games? Fine. No More Heroes, Castlevania: Judgment, Deadly Creatures, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Okami, Mad World and upcoming games like The Conduit, Dead Space: Extraction, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle to name a few. The problem for these 3rd partie games is that their either remakes, spin-offs or side stories or existing franchises and not the next main installment, or an entirely new and unproven title. Don’t get me wrong, the Wii needs these games, but it also needs the games that core gamers buy their consoles for.
Second point, all the shovelware. Why is this a Wii only problem? Ever since the 2nd generation of home game consoles the machine with the largest market share has had the most shovelware. Think I’m making this up? Atari 2600, it had so much crap games it killed gaming. NES? just as much. Super NES? Two words… Shaq Fu, Playstation and Playstation 2 also had a large percentage of their game libraries made up of games your grandma finds simple. So why is Wii attacked for something that hasen’t changed since 1980? Yes their are bad games on the Wii (still looking at you Petzseries), but if people would just dig past the few first layers of these games, they would find the Wii is right up there with it’s competitors for core game quality.
Like it or not the Wii is here to stay, its selling like no other console before it, (47.72 million according to video game sales tracking website VGChartz), and still selling to the tune of of roughly 400 000 a week, all this since its launch in November 2006. Nintendo’s Revolution (a much nicer name but I wont bring that debate back) is complete, they’ve changed gaming forever, motion based controls are the new frontier and soon game developers will have to accept this and bring their main franchises and games to the Wii. Activision, Sega, Electronic Arts and others are already on board with titles like Call Of Duty, Guitar Hero, Sonic and the EA Sports series already finding their way to Nintendo’s little white bundle of joy.