Well Destructoid, it certainly has been a while hasn't it? It's been far over a year since my last real
blog post and 2 years since the one before that. However, I felt the need to come back and write about something near and dear to my heart. One of the things that brought me to Destructoid all those years ago. The Nintendo Wii.
We are on the eve of the WiiU's launch and it is finally time for us all to collectively wave goodbye to what has become my favorite home console of this generation. Maybe it's the types of games I love, maybe it's the fact that I could never really afford or justify Xbox Live, maybe I'm just a Nintendo fan, but it's the Wii that I've played the most over the last few years while my Xbox 360 is the one that sits and collects dust.
When the Wii began building hype back in 2006, I was still in high school. My friends and I were sold on the idea that the Wii would be the champion of the new generation of consoles once everyone saw how revolutionary its motion controls were. We had all been more than a little burned by the Gamecube at this point and awaited the day when Nintendo would rise from the ashes. I still remember sneaking onto my teacher's computer when she walked out of the room so that we could all watch the new Super Smash Bros. Brawl trailer. It was a really fun time and is still the most hyped I have ever been for a console. We all just kind of fed off of each other's excitement.
The 4 of us camped out together for the console's launch for 3 days and 2 nights. Not because we were afraid we wouldn't get one, we just thought it would be fun. I still have my ticket that says "line position 001" in the glove compartment of my car. My girlfriend, who had flown in to town from Houston a few days early and surprised me, was really mad when I decided to skip church on Sunday morning to play The Legend Zelda: Twilight Princess.
I ended up selling Red Steel, but really enjoyed Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2. It was amazing to see my friends and family actually playing Wii Sports, it was super fun throwing Kamehameha blasts using the Wiimote and nun-chuck, and of course Zelda was great as well. I think my favorite memory of these early days was when we got snowed in for several days and I spent one of them playing through the snowy ice areas of Twilight Princess with my brothers.
When software releases slowed down, I bought tons of over-priced Virtual Console games just because I could. Still, that first year was a rough one and was only a sign of things to come. While I would personally claim that every other console this generation has had just as many, if not more, problems as Nintendo's Wii has had, the Wii's lifespan has ultimately become recognized for it's under-powered hardware, gimmicky motion controls, flooding the market with "shovelware", game droughts, limited online play, vapid "casual" games, one of the worst online marketplaces the industry has seen, and perhaps most importantly, the undeniable decline of Japanese game development.
And yet, even in the midst of these issues the Wii still comes out on top as my favorite home console of this generation. It has had a plethora of great, strange, and creative games that we may never have seen if it wasn't for the unique properties of this amazing console. Yes, it had under-powered hardware when compared to the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, but it still produced some of the most beautiful games of the last decade including Xenoblade, Muramasa, Super Mario Galaxy and dozens of others who defined their visuals by timeless style as opposed to fleeting realism. Yes, the Wii had very limited online play, but it still gave me my favorite multiplayer experiences this generation in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Monster Hunter Tri, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Kirby's Return to Dreamland. Yes, it had a very inconvenient online marketplace, but it still brought us a chunk of great Wiiware games and huge selection of classic titles in its Virtual Console.
The Wii, like the Dreamcast before it and so many other great consoles, was a flawed yet beautiful piece of hardware that brought me wonderful memories, creative experiences, awe-inspiring moments, and most importantly great games.
I will never forget camping with my best friends to buy this new console we were all so excited for. I will never forget the night in my dorm room when we surpassed 400 hours played in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I will never forget playing Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn with my brother. I will never forget running through the mountains and Ice Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on a snow day. I will never forget the crowd of people passing the controller around in our dorm lobby when we played Super Mario Galaxy for the first time. I will never forget the 3 of us laughing out loud a Travis Touchdown's triumphant entrance in No More Heroes. I will never forget Swanson rage-quiting Zack & Wiki. I will never forget the night I met Addison and playing Metal Slug Anthology to break the awkwardness. I will never forget racing to beat Cave Story at the same time as my roommate Tyler played it on his laptop. I will never forget the moment when Xenoblade opened up and my jaw literally dropped at the scope of the game's world.
I will never forget these or hundreds of other cherished memories this fantastic piece of hardware has brought me over the last 6 years. If your Wii has been collecting dust all this time, I'm really sorry that you missed out.
And now for my personal
top 10 Nintendo Wii games:
10. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
9. Donkey Kong Country Returns
8. No More Heroes 2
7. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
6.Monster Hunter Tri
5. Kirby's Return to Dreamland
4. Super Mario Galaxy 2
3. The Last Story
2. Xenoblade Chronicles
1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
There are dozens of other Wii games I could mention, but I'll leave it at that. Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to the Nintendo Wii. We had our good times and our bad, but Nintendo's console undeniably revolutionized this industry. When all is said and done, I believe that one day we will look back on the Wii and say that it was for the better after all. So, farewell Wii.
I can't wait for the next revolution.