Once again, we'd like to bring the rest of the world into our nice little robot corner and give them a peek into our unedited internal conversations. Why would you want to read such things? Because we happen to be hilarious, and we also have some very interesting points of views when it comes to video game current events.
In this week's edition, we start off by discussing Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg's statement that the people who buy Wiis are buying them as "novelty" items. As expected, every Wii hating editor jumps on this bandwagon while the "Defenders of the Wii" editors buckle down for some hardcore Wii defense.
It literally ends with Nick Chester and Johnathan Holmes arguing over which is the better game: Rock Band, or Wii Play.
Ready. Set. Discuss!
I already posted this in my scraps last Friday. I think this could be a nice Dtoid discussion. I kind of agree with Greenberg here, although I don't think many Wii owners will "graduate" to an MS or Sony console. It's more likely they'll purchase Nintendo's next console and/or drop gaming altogether. I agree that the Wii has a number of things that can appear to core gamers; that's not the issue. But the truth is that the bulk of Wii owners are not gamers in the typical sense, and many did pick it up because of the "novelty" of something like Wii Sports. I'm baffled when my Wii-owning friends (non-gamers) complain to me that there are "no good games" for the Wii, when I very clearly spelled out to them what they should expect.
Yes, I'm a Wii hater. Also, I spent an hour playing the WiiWare version of Dr. Mario with Debbey last night.
I agree, too, Nick. However, I do believe that some Wii owners will "graduate" to a high def console. In fact, I've already seen it happen with some of my Wii-owning friends. In their case, they still defended the Wii but wanted more of a challenge and a better library of games, along with the streaming media features of other consoles.
I've seen many friends try to throw Wii parties, but they usually had trouble even finding someone who wanted to play. Keep in mind that most of the people at the party were non-gamers. However, if I have a party and bust out Rock Band, I can't get people off of it. That Wii market is now concious of video games and they are starting to show some interest in what else is out there. A curious Wii owner with an open mind and a thirst for a challenge will probably find the 360 or PS3 pretty appealing, whether it's for the online functionality, media streaming, custom soundtracks, better graphics, DVD or Blu-Ray player built in, etc.
I have to go with Jonathon with this one. I've always enjoyed my experience with the Wii. Of course, no one made me review Boogie, but I think it's a damn fine console with generally good games. It's not like the PS3 and 360 won't see their fair share of shovel ware.
And I firmly believe that some people will graduate. Not 100%, obviously, but maybe 15%? Every generation is like that. It's not like all of our friends that owned an NES stuck with gaming, and it's not like everyone who bought a 360 as their first console will stick with it, either.
My problem is that I haven't found a single game on the Wii that I like. It seems like the best games on the Wii peaked at launch then have been slowly going downhill. I was hoping to see Wii games get more complicated and compelling, but it seems the opposite has happened. Madden 07, for example, had three speeds when throwing the ball, but Madden 08 only had two. Developers don't deny that they are trying to water down controls, either. This pattern of dumbing down game play is what turns me off so much.
However, I think that I look for a different experience when I play games. I view the Wii as sort of a "toy" myself, so I understand why some people feel that way. I understand that some gamers love it, I'm just not quite sure I understand why. I wish I understood why. :-(
My problem with the Wii is that I never played mine. That is not a criticism of the Wii or Nintendo -- they upheld their end of the bargain. Nobody else did. Apart from Capcom once or twice.
Joe, you are one respectful son-of-a-bitch. Good form, sir.
The Wii library is extremely lacking in the three most "hardcore" genres, M rated action games, Epic RPGs, and online competitive games. I fully recognize that as more than enough reason for some to ignore the system. Still, it can't be denied the Wii crushes the competition in surgery sims, point an click puzzle games, 2D SHMUPs, and rated T adventure games.
The one game I'm still surprised more people didn't get into in Metroid Prime 3. playing that again yesterday was a real eye opener. It looks so much better than every other Wii game, including Brawl and Galaxy, and the game play is incredible.
Not putting that game online is the single stupidest thing Nintendo has done with their Wii strategy. My only guess is that NoJ didn't think an online FPS would be good for their strategy to keep the Wii a living room friendly device. Mom and Dad missing even one episode of Two and a Half Men because of Little Johnny's wants to use the TV for "just one more deathmatch" may be something Nintendo doesn't want associated with their console.
My question is, you guys perfectly satisfied with the 360 and the PS3, would you even play a "hardcore" game on the Wii? Like if they made a new GTA for the Wii with better than PS2 but worse than PS3 graphics, and a whole new GTA story to love, would you want to play it? Or would would it be a case of sour grapes?
If it was a really good game, then of course I'd want to play it. Part of the reason I got rid of my Wii was for geographic purposes, not just because I wasn't playing it. When my immigration to the States is over, I will be getting it again. I don't hate the Wii, I hate the culture that's grown up around it. The Wii has some great games, some beautiful games -- all from Nintendo. And maybe two from Capcom.
I don't know. As I wrote today, I really feel bad and bitter about the whole thing, and freely admit it. I worry that the games industry will go the way of MTV, of pop music, of all that stuff. I don't dislike the Wii as an entity, or a gaming platform. Just what it's beginning to stand for.
You asked the root question that has been at the center of my Wii dilemma since launch! If there was a really good "hardcore" game on the Wii, would I play it? Is that what I really want at all, or do I just want better mini-games?
I would definitely play such a game on the Wii. I've played nearly all of the best-rated Wii games so far (including Metroid Prime 3, which you speak so fondly of). I just haven't found one I liked yet. I've done a lot of soul searching about this and I think what I'd rather see out of the Wii is better mini-games.
When I think of the Wii, I think of friends sitting around playing games together. A more "hardcore" game, like an epic RPG, doesn't really seem to fit there. Additionally, I'd much rather play a great epic RPG on my 360 or PS3, for too many reasons to list here. No, what I want are better mini-games.... GOOD mini-games... the kind of games that are fun for more than 10 minutes. That's what I want out of the Wii.
I want games like Tiger Woods with controls that truly simulate a golf swing. I want games that take true skill to master. I want games where the controls can't be taught just by looking at one picture. What I truly want out of the Wii are games that require more skill. I don't want to be the one to say how exactly that skill should be layed out because there are people out there who are so much smarter and more creative than I am.
That's interesting stuff, Joe. I would have never, ever thought someone would want more mini-games on the Wii.
My follow up question is this, when the PS3 and 360 officially dump their old controllers in favor of Wii-remote and Nunchuck knock-offs, will you then want more mini-games on those consoles as well?
I think my main issue is that I'm not completely sold (still) on the Wii's motion controls. Some of my favorite games on the Wii probably would have also been great experiences without motion controls, which I felt added very little to the experience. Super Mario Galaxy has it's handful of inspired and memorable motion-controlled gameplay portions, but I probably would have also enjoyed it with a GameCube controller.
But forget what I think of the game library for a second; back to your point about how you don't think that people are buying the console as a novelty. Your friend is the exception, not the rule. Go into any GameStop, spend a few hours in there, and just wait. Here's what you'll see: a lot of people (mostly parents) trying to buy a Wii (but they can't); a lot of people (mostly parents) who already own a Wii trying to buy Wii Fit (but they can't); a lot of people who already own a Wii buying mini-games for their children or by default because they're tired of playing Wii Sports; people who own a Wii looking buying more controllers so they can play Wii Sports with them (Wii Play sales are still through the fucking roof); and variations of everything that I just said.
Here's the fact: most Wii owners are NOT you, Jonathan. They're not playing Zack and Wiki or Okami or Metroid Prime 3 or Blast Works or Trauma Center. They're playing Wii Fit, they're playing Wii Sports, Wii Play (why?), and (for some reason) Carnival Games. Nintendo has first-party hits with their known franchises, but sales figures spell out who exactly is playing and purchasing games for their Wii.
There's no problem with this -- it's all fine. I don't care, really. But to deny that the bulk of Wii users didn't purchase it based on a twitch "novelty" decision after seeing Wii Play or getting wind of Wii Fit is pretty ignorant. Nintendo knows this, and who they're marketing to shows that. Also, considering the number of Wii consoles Nintendo pushes monthly (despite "shortages"), their software sales don't mirror that. If so many people own Wii consoles (and no doubt, they do), how come we're not seeing more game sales?
As for whether or not I'll want more mini-games for the PS3/360 when motion controls may or may not be officially revealed, the answer to that is "no." I don't want more mini-games. I want more titles that make use of the technology in ways that make sense, delivering fun, varied experience that can't be delivered with a traditional control scheme. Boom Blox is a good start; Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is not. I don't want to wave my weapon in Heavenly Sword 2 by waggling a controller, because pressing buttons seems to be working just fine. As far as I'm concerned, Nintendo has barely delivered on the promise of "groundbreaking" game play experiences with their Wii remotes.
Additionally, my Wii sensor bar keeps falling behind my television and that's pissing me off. Also, it's near-impossible to buy a standard definition television these days, and this 480p shit is unacceptable in 2008.
Amen to that, Nick. I bought Wii component cables for a friend, but they can't make 480p look all that good when it's blown up to fit a 40" LCD.
I'd like to jump back a few comments and say that I think that a very large majority of Wii owners will 'graduate' to another console. I can easily use the NES and all of you as my examples.
The NES is the systems millions of people played, including all of us. Then we moved all the way up through the generations and have gotten where we are today. Not everyone who was an NES player made that move, though. A lot of people stopped playing games when they got too complicated. Believe it or not, there are millions of gamers out there that just want to have plain old fun.
The two major systems out there don't provide that level of entry. You have to know far more than you'd realize to just walk up and play a 360 or PS3 game with no previous gaming knowledge. People like us don't remember that because we've been doing this for years, but the people that could have, or would have picked up an NES controller and had a blast, still exist. The only difference is the market moved away from them and more to us.
Nintendo has created their system to, at least to me, do the same thing that the NES did: get a bunch of people to crowd a living room and play games. And since those "NES people" still exist, we've seen the market grow with sales. They may not be sales to people like us, but they're selling to people that we used to be like when we were kids and picked up the NES, (or Atari if you're old :).
Will all of those people that are getting the Wii, now, become like us in the following generations? No. If that were true the gaming industry would be more enormous than it already is, since the industry would have never lost all those people it did by becoming complicated.
But I assure you that a good portion of those people that are buying the Wii as a first console, or as a return to consoles, may just buy something more complicated down the line. They may find that they will start looking for more complex challenges, or more complex themes and move upward in technology to a system that can provide that.
I know that this is true because this is how you, me, and almost everyone else got to where we are today.
Using GameStop customers as a gauge for what Wii owners are thinking probably isn't the most scientific of measures.
Personally, I've witnessed just as many people buy a XBox 360 because "it's got dem Halos on it" or a PS3 because "It shoots out blue rays!" as I have anyone buy a Wii just for the mini games. But I don't go and take that info and start assuming that all 360 and PS3 owners are like that (just the ones that shop at GameStop).
The most interesting point you make is that most Wii owners aren't like me, that they aren't playing the good Wii games. Sales don't totally support that argument, but it is safe to say that Carnival Games would have probably done worse on the 360 than it did on the Wii, so the point does have some validity.
What's interesting about that is how it connects to what Joe said. There are kick ass games on the Wii, but people like Joe actually don't want kick ass games on that console. They want their kick ass games to only be on the heavy duty systems. That's the kind of thinking that keeping Wii game's sales from being what they could be. Good games are being left unplayed because hardcore gamers don't use their Wii to play hardcore games.
That being said, hardcore Wii game sales aren't that bad. Both Resident Evils sold a million each world wide, better than most RE re-releases and crappy on rails gaiden games. The Nintendo first party games (with the exception of Metroid Prime) all sold in the millions. No More Heroes, despite looking like crap even by Wii standards, is still the best selling Suda51 game ever made, etc, etc. The real test will be when a 3rd party actually puts AAA money and talent on a Wii exclusive game for the "hardcore" audience. I don't think that's even happened yet (thanks to developers who think like Joe).
And BTW, I love Wii Play. The pool game is fantastic, as is Tanks. Still haven't beaten every level, actually.
Huh. This is a tough one because I can actually see both sides.
On the one hand, I understand how people fear the Wii as a scary sign of overly casual things to come. I love every type of video game, but would not want to live in a world with nothing but Wii Play and Carnival Games.
On the other hand, though, I am scared by some of the generic stuff I see on the Xbox 360 more than anything. Even with something like Wii Play there is some kind of creativity involved. Even things as simple as color usage and art direction are used to make the game stand out from its very simple premise. The game itself may be ridiculously shallow, but you can tell the designers at least tried to imbue some kind of originality into it -- that unto itself is refreshing.
The myriad amounts of ugly first-person shooters and "hardcore"-just-to-be- controversial games on the 360 make me sad as a gamer almost to the point of insulting me. I grew up on things like Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Final Fantasy VI -- these are games that embrace being videogames. They don't strive for realism or violence or shiny new graphics -- they utilize the incredible medium to offer something full of eye-popping wonder and fantastical, endless creativity. These are the traits that I want in a videogame, a medium like no other.
Even if Chad got caught up in a hippie diatribe I'm still in total agreement with him here. The whole reason I have a DS, PS3, 360, PSP, Wii, and gaming PC is because I like playing everything. Sure, I prefer some genres more than others, but I'm still a total generalist when it comes to gaming. And, rather than complaining about an area where one platform may be lacking, will look to other systems to fill that particular need, whatever it might be.
Okay, I clearly forgot the meaning of diatribe when I wrote that. >.>
Wii vs 360!!!Wii vs 360!!!Wii vs 360!!!Wii vs 360!!!
Sorry, I just had to.
Wii vs 360, though? Not even a contest. Those consoles sell to different people, and not just the soccer moms. I think that the point that everyone missed about the Wii is not that soccer moms are buying Wiis, but that they're buying any game console at all.
I think a lot of the confusion that all these so-called analysts are reeling from extends from the fact that they may have been blindsided. Everyone is trying to justify the bold claims that they made in the past by creating even more bold, not to mention stupid, claims.
The market changed. Nintendo changed the market. Wah. Get over it. Take some of Chad's hippie juice and relax and enjoy some Rabid Rabbids.
Also, Rock Band is just an advancement Guitar Hero, which was just a rip-off of Guitar Freaks. Fun fact: Wii Guitar Hero 3 sold more on the Wii than any other system.
Since I'm at it, I'd like to make note of Jim's PS2 statement. The PS2 has always reminded me of the SNES in the fact that it became the end-all system for the its generation.
Oh yeah, to respond to Nick's response:
I won't try to argue that what you say is true, I just wanted to see what games he was playing for both systems (him, not you Mr. Rock Band). There's no doubt that every system ever has garbage on it, and the Wii has more than its fair share, but the way you originally phrased your comment made it sound like your kid played the most Wii in the house, and only because he was a kid. As if kids are stupid or something and that's the only reason the system should be played.
I would disown him for the Carnival Games, though.
If there is one thing we can all agree on, it's that Carnival Games is the devil.
The art and animation alone in Rock Band requires more creative thought, attention and effort than anything in Wii Play. This is a ridiculous argument.
And that Tank game (at least multi-player) was a joke. I haven't played the single player game, but I played enough Atari 2600 games as child to get the idea. If you like the games in Wii Play, that's fine. By all means, enjoy yourself. I can appreciate simplicity in a game, but I also enjoy fun. For me, Wii Play is not fun.
You can stick your fun fact regarding the sales of Guitar Hero III on the Wii. Here's a fun fact: the Wii version of Guitar Hero III is an inferior product in nearly every way when compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the title. But I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, really.
Of course Rock Band is an advancement of Guitar Hero; I'm not sure what that has to do with the amount of effort and creativity that it takes to bring the final product to life. Trying to diminish a title based on the fact that it took cues from or is a simple advancement of an earlier title is ludicrous. This is coming from the guy that is likely re-decorating his house for the release of Mega Man 9.
C'mon Nick, I don't want to be mean to the guys at Harmonix, but are you really trying to tell me you think the generic "rocker" character designs and their "rocking" animations of Rock Band took any real creativity to come up with?
My point is that Rock Band is a kick ass game, but it's not about creativity. It's about letting the player feel like they are doing things in real life that they can't actually do. It expresses no ideas, no creative though other than "It's time to rock!" A great thought to be sure, but not one that has a whole lot of originality or creativity to come up with it.
And comparing WiiPlay's Tanks to an Atari 2600 game comes off more like a compliment than I think you meant it to.
2600 > 360.
Nick "I've just about had enough" Chester
The art design of Rock Band goes beyond the character design. Forget that for a second: the menu design in that game probably took more thought and effort than the entirety of Wii Play. And to step on the "originality or creativity" of Rock Band and then turn around and try to defend Wii Play in that light is crazy. How difficult do you think it was come up with "point at things and shoot" or "running by waggling two controllers" or "move a block to shoot at another block"?
This "debate" is turning ridiculous. I'm not going to convince you that one thing is better than the other, because this is a matter of opinion. But whether James Howe's Bunnicula is a better work of fiction than Tolstoy's War and Peace is not; they're both fine books, but in terms of craft and design, one clearly outshines the other. Apply that similar thinking to Wii Play and Rock Band.
I fucking love Bunnicula.
To be clear, I never said Rock Band didn't take a lot of thought or effort to make. It just didn't take that much creativity. You know when you're writing something, and an idea comes to your head to say it in a way that will really make sense to people? That sir, is creativity.
As you know probably better than most, there are a lot of writers out there who put a lot of time and effort into their writing, but that doesn't mean they are creative. I mean, porn takes a lot of effort to make, especially pirate porn with good special effects. Doesn't mean it's all that creative though.
And for the record, I never said Wii Play took a lot of creativity to make. I think it took just a hair more creativity to make that Rock Band.
A hair, which by the way, seems to be placed firmly across the ass of one esteemed and beloved editor-in-chief at Destructoid.
(please don't fire me).
C'mon, Nick. You know that shit is Bunnicula all the way!
More serious, though. I've alway thought that it was impossible to have "which game is better than" conversations. Everyone's always right, but no one ever wins. Unless you're comparing the same game on two platforms, then your always going to come to a stalemate or fisticuffs.
I mean, it's hard enough to state which game in a series is the better one. Take Mega Man, since you mentioned it. We all know that MM2 was the best, right? Right?
See? It will always end in tears.
I got in a "Mega Man 2 vs Mega Man 3" battle with someone that lasted for days. Days of my life that I'll never get back.
But I'd do it all again. Mega Man 2 deserves it.
When it comes to opinion, no one is right or wrong.
BTW, it's not just mini-games I want, but compelling new ways to use the Wiimote (like Chester said). So far, those haven't come in the form of epic RPGs or the like. The closest thing to what I'm looking for out of the Wii so far are the mini-games and maybe one of the Tiger Woods games.
I can only assume that someone mentioned Zack and Wiki already? And I agree Joe, I want more of that too.
like how this conversation started about whether or not we agreed with Greenberg regarding Wii owners "upgrading" or whatever, and derailed into some argument about Wii Play versus Rock Band. I hope all of these discussion pieces go like this.
Oh yeah! The original point!
Yeah, I have a feeling that the Wii will never truly deliver on all of the innovation they promised, and people who get thirsty for a real challenge may very well check out a 360 or PS3 (especially since the 360 will be less than the price of the Wii in less than two weeks).
Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't expect Nintendo to surprise us anytime soon. No bunny surprise for us. :-(
I hope by the end of the next Destructoid discusses, Nick and I end up debating about what's a better game, Halo 3 or No One Can Stop Mr Domino. I bet you can guess which game I'll be backing.
As for your point Joe, I personally don't remember Nintendo ever promising innovation exactly. I do remember them saying it would give us something that you couldn't get anywhere else, and that it has certainly done.
So... you are saying I got bunny surprise and didn't even realize it?
Yes, Joe. Maybe you're too used to the surprise by now ;)
Dyson, it might be a good idea to do a quick little recap at the end to remind people how we ended up here -- I certainly lost track of the conversation.
Thy will be done, Orcist.
So to cap it all up; Wii haters and Wii lovers all came together and drank Chad's hippie juice. Everyone then went on a "colorful voyage," and Nick learned to appreciate the Wii for all of its good-timey fun.
The juice eventually wore off, and Nick returned to his normal self, constantly denying the entire experience. Fortunately, Jonathan Holmes used the "pics or it didn't happen" rule of the Internet, and is now blackmaling Nick by forcing him to make Miis for the neighborhood children.
Fun, wasn't it? Now, of course, it's your turn. Novelty, or not? Wii Play, or Rock Band? Macaroni and Cheese, or Shells and Cheese?