Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wii Deficiency Editorial

There was a reason why my most recent WEEKLY SAMPLER included those particular three Wii stories. The Wii is unfortunately plagued with bad design choices from Nintendo executives with flawed ideas on what makes a good videogame console. Let's go over what those flawed ideas have wrought:

The Friend Codes Blight
    You know you've messed up when outside parties need to step in to solve your console's inadequacies. The site, WiiWasHere.com, makes a valiant effort to remedy the hassle of the friend code system Nintendo has put in place, and even elaborates on the idea.

    Basically the premise of the site is that you can create an account that will house your friend codes and allow you to search for other people, as well as issue game challenges to people, and if they put up a good fight, give them an "Achievement Coin." So pretty much everything the actual friend code system should've been.

    It just seems like whomever at Nintendo thought the friend code system was a good idea had gotten all their knowledge of the Internet and online gaming from Dateline NBC's To Catch A Predator show. It's absolutely ridiculous to base your friend system around keeping kids safe from child molesters.

    For God's sake, when your console is outclassed by AOL Instant Messenger in terms of ease of use and functionality, you (should) know that somewhere along the line, you really fucked up.

Out of Control
    You can argue that the Wii's control scheme is innovative and clever until you turn blue, but it won't change the fact that developers are having trouble getting "traditional" games to work on it. It's gotten so bad that many games, like Metal Slug Anthology, have to offer multiple control schemes, some variations with the Wii Remote, and others just abandoning it for the Classic or GameCube controller.

    Well, add Super Smash Bros. Brawl to that list. It's going to offer four control schemes for players to stumble through. It's completely unprecedented that a console rely on the previous controller for a backup so that games can just work properly.

    More troublesome, though, is that it begs the question, "What's the point of the Wii then?" It's a valid question. If you're playing a game on Wii that has GameCube graphics and uses the GameCube controller, then what the fuck is the point?

You Ain't Got No Alibi
    Check out the video comparison between the GameCube and Wii versions of Resident Evil 4. If it weren't for the Wii/GameCube logos in their respective corners, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    I mean, really. This is just the GameCube's Resident Evil 4 + the PlayStation 2's Resident Evil 4's extras + motion controls. But it gets better. You can use the GameCube controller with the Wii edition, whose chief feature is the new controls. Irony huh? What a way to undermine the Wii motion controls.

    But most games on the Wii are like that. You know? UGLY. Sure, they would've looked great last generation, but instead of PS2s and XBOXs to stack up against, they've got the PS3 and 360, and as a result they just look horrendous by comparison. And the Wii is only eight months old. Imagine two years from now, when developers will have learned how to make Gears of War look ugly with the PS3 and 360.

    Imagine four.

Late To The Party
    So what am I trying to say with all of this? What conclusions can be drawn? Well, the one I hastily jumped to was that the Wii was too early, that the innovation of motion control simply couldn't be fully realized just yet. That's certainly a conclusion you can come to, and maybe it's even valid. But that's not the real conclusion to all of this:

    The Wii wasn't too early; it was too late. If it had come out in 2001 instead of the GameCube, the graphics would be above the XBOX, it would have had an innovative new control scheme, and it would have at least had some sort of online.

    The Wii is what the GameCube should have been.

digg this add to del.icio.us stumble!


  1. Huh. Interesting points that I can't argue, however, you're obviously missing the boat here--Wii isn't specifically designed for folks like you.

    It's for casual folks. And frankly, it's doing many things right in that regard.

    So enjoy your more expensive, higher processors and HD graphics. Most people don't care about such things. =P

    I don't think Wii games are ugly at all and I'm a gamer, for crying out loud. I don't think they can hold a candle to PS3 or 360, but I also don't think the ones I've played are ugly, either. Maybe it's because I'm paying so much attention to the GAME that I stop caring what it looks like.

    Kind of like when I played the original Legend of Zelda this past winter for the first time and got totally sucked into it.

  2. Well, the Wii is still designed for the hardcore audience, but it's designed to ALSO appeal to the non-gamer crowd. They weren't just abandoning the hardcore audience that made them successful in the first place.

    But even then, that doesn't give them a free pass for that stuff.