This is my first post on my Dtoid blog so "please understand" if it's still some boring block of text. Let me know what you think in the comments section!
Today marks the first month since I brought home my Wii U. How is it? Good. Great
. The Wii U is overall a solid HD console. I only have three games for it right now, but two of them (Mario Kart 8, and Wind Waker HD) I enjoy so much that I feel like I already got my money's worth. I got the NSMBU bundle a few days after E3 ended. It wasn't exactly Nintendo's presentation at this year's E3 that convinced me to bite because I've been quite sold on it since last year. If there was anything that really pushed me, it was the depression I felt after my second major failure this year, which happened the next month after the first major one. My life is in the process of stagnation, which isn't exactly a bad thing (hey, don't fix it if it ain't broken), but just when I took risks to break from the routine, life shouts, "denied!" right into my face
. The Wii U was supposedly a reward for myself if I succeeded in that second attempt, but, heck, I needed something to make me feel better. So, retail therapy!
Like I said, the Wii U in general is a great games console, and it delivers very well in the games department. Mario Kart 8 is one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen in my life; it's such an eye candy. Wind Waker HD, despite being a remake of an old game from Game Cube generation, also looks very pleasing. These games aren't just beauty with no substance, though; they're a total blast to play. With Mario Kart 8's HD visuals that gives perfect justice to its art style comes the beloved karting mechanics that, if I understand correctly, defined the genre. The game controls tightly, and driving around the race courses is (as soon as I got the hang of it) all around satisfying, not just visually. The game works wonderfully online as well. I guess I don't have to say more about Wind Waker HD as it seems to have always been a well received game from the start. I've never played the original version so I can't tell how different the remake is in comparison, but regardless, the HD version is a fantastic game on its own. Aside from these games, I also downloaded the demo of The Wonderful 101 a few days after I got the Wii U. I've read a few negative comments online about the demo, but my personal experience was mostly positive. When the demo ended, I was already completely sold on the game. The Wii U may currently have a generally bad reputation with its third party support, but with what few exclusives it has, I found out myself, the Wii U packs some heavy punch.
Miiverse is also a pleasant surprise; I enjoy it more than I thought I would. This game-centric social network provides a nice break for me during long hours of gameplay, especially when I find something I think is interesting to share with others. On people-centric social networks like Facebook, Instagram, etc. it's quite frustrating when I keep seeing faces of people, and the mind numbing mundanity of their lives. In Miiverse, I and other people could share our own experiences from the games that we're playing, instead of the boring lives we live. It's like when one of your friends posts a shot of their feet while lying on the sand at the beach, except it's not the beach, it's a video game, and it's not your friend's feet but something so much more within your interests. Does that even make sense? In any case, Miiverse provides a nice hub for people to connect with other people who play the same games, and to share interesting bits about how differently they take in the same experiences. I also like how Miiverse is integrated very well in the games I've been playing such that it doesn't make it self too noticeable, but I know it's there when I feel like posting something. In addition, the option to hand write posts provides a great creative outlet for its users. Considering how limited the medium is, I've seen some great art in there.
I would have loved it more if there were a Destructoid community in there because I find myself wanting to post stuff Dtoid goers would understand (and appreciate) so much better. Nintendo would be wise to allow creation of such forums eventually even if they're marked unofficial. Of course there should be some form of regulation for that, to keep the entire network in check. Alternatively, it would be a great opportunity for Nintendo to make an Application Programming Interface (API) publicly available for the Miiverse, just like people-centric social networks such as Facebook, and Twitter do. If they couldn't add unofficial communities themselves, then let third parties (which includes independent hobbyists) do something about it. It's a social network API, so it shouldn't pose high security risks especially if done right. I feel like they're onto something with the Miiverse, and having other people create their own applications based on the data in there would help them discover more of its potential.
The Wii U may end up third in this generation's console race but if the first month I spent with it indicates how things will shape up for the console, where it ends up doesn't mean much to me. I like what I've seen so far, and I only hope there's more where it came from.
I'd like to talk more about this but I'd like to keep this post short. I'll write more when I get the time.