As a child I desperately wanted a Nintendo Entertainment System. It was all I asked for year after year for birthdays and Christmas. When I finally got one it was a flood of gaming for the next twenty+ years. Now nearly 30 my appetite for gaming has changed and Nintendo is barely a part of my diet but with Wii U that's all about to change... or is it.
Nintendo's press conference on the second day of E3 was educational and heart breaking. Yes I want hardcore games and Wii U promises to bring some of the upcoming titles I want to my attention in new and interesting ways. I'll be able to play Aliens: Colonial Marines and here's hoping that the screen built into their newly revamped Wii U Game Pad has the ever present tracking device that I love from the James Cameron classic film.
I also love the integration with many of the mini-game suits like Nintendo Land and the ideas of new and interesting co-op that are present present in Rayman Legends, and New Super Mario U, but these are all new titles. Will the Wii U's new features be strong enough for me to go back and double dip?
The one game we've seen that we've all spent quite a lot of time with is Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition. I've purchased this game twice already, once for the Xbox 360 when it launched and again when I got a new rig for PC gaming and wanted to experience it's Direct X 11 capabilities on a beastly rig. Now Nintendo and Warner Bros are asking most gamer to buy the game again for a few key new features that make use of the Wii U Game Pad. With the recent DLC of Harley's Revenge my total investment for just one copy of this game has already shot through the roof and I've already beat the game, collected all the trophies I care to collect and experienced multiple character types and the story after the story.
Frankly I can't see spending another fifty or sixty dollars on a game that I've already played twice and paid for even with those amazing control additions and new skins, that may or may not add real gameplay value, at least none that could see making my game more fun. Will this be Nintendo's legacy again? Pumping out re-releases of games from other systems with a new control scheme in order to maximize profits with the minimal amount of effort?
To be clear I don't think the Wii U is a bad system. It offers all the kinds of things I'm looking for in a system and there are some hardcore games coming out for it that I can see wanting to spend time with. I can also see wanting to play the new casual games with room mates and friends over beers and the like. My basic concern is that Nintendo is still catching up in the content department and re-releasing games isn't going to be the way to get back on top. The gimmicks of motion controlled gaming have worn off for the most part and how many of you are really pumped that Nintendo still uses Wii Remotes? Yes it means less investment cost in the new system (with the exception of all your pro controllers... chuck those out), but is the Wii U really going to be the centerpiece of your new hardware line up?
I'm still psyched for Aliens (you better put that damn motion tracker on the controller... I SWEAR TO GOD!)
One of the comments brought up Mass Effect 3 which I try to pay as little attention to as possible. I still feel burned by the finale and I don't really want to get into a debate about it... not the point of this edit.
The real point of this edit is that Mass Effect 3 for the Wii U has to have a nearly 30 minute way to update your game by making all the choices you've made in the previous two Mass Effect games in order to get a finale that is worth playing for. The first time I played Mass Effect 3 it was without an imported save. I'd never beaten the game on PC as a Paragon player, but had on 360. I purchased the game for PC so I had to start basically from scratch. What I found was that many of the characters that I had let live, the characters that I had liked and spent dozens of hours with were no where to be found. It was a completely random gaming experience where my emotional attachment was minimal at best. I didn't care about these versions of the characters. They weren't mine.
So how will first time players feel about Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U? Putting the final chapter of a game on your system without previous titles is a risky move. People who have wanted to play the series to that point either have already or are jumping to a universe that will be hard to understand.
So much of the backstory of Mass Effect 3 is lived out in the gameplay and without that comic to catch you up to date and fill you in, let you make choices, you're really not in charge of your own game. So why would this be a title anyone would want to double dip into or even play for the first time?