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Wii

Episode 62: What Have Wii Done for Me Lately?

by Andy Goergen, Zachary Miller, Mike Sklens, and Scott Thompson - July 23, 2011, 8:34 am PDT
Total comments: 39

The bad puns never stop as the Newscast strolls down memor-Wii lane.

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This week, the Newscast boys strap on their recollection caps and fondly look back at the Wii over its nearly-five year life span. From E3 giddiness to post-launch disappointment, the crew discusses a wide array of success and failure, surprise and dismay. Join them as they traverse the peaks and valleys of the Wii's existence with hopes of arriving at some sort of zen-like understanding of the little white box's purpose. Spoiler warning: Wii Music doesn't even get mentioned!

The gang also throw on their prediction monocles and answer a reader's question about whether or not the Wii U and 3DS can ever live up to their progenitors' commercial successes. 

Have a memory or thought about the Wii and its legacy you'd like to share with us? Email us at newscast@nintendoworldreport.com and we'll read it next week!

This podcast was edited by Scott Thompson.

Music for this episode of NWR Newscast is used with permission from A Boy Named Earth.

Talkback

Scatt-ManJuly 23, 2011

Sounds like an awesome topic. Looking forward to the listen, chaps. :3

ZNemeraldJuly 23, 2011

Isn't it too early for this. The wii-U is coming out late 2012 not late 2011. Well, maybe not because there is no announcements of anything besides that Zelda game.

TJ SpykeJuly 23, 2011

Sometime in 2012, not late 2012. All we know is that it will be sometime after April 1, but that is as specific as we know. I do think is might be a little too soon, though I am sure the discussion will be entertaining.

CericJuly 23, 2011

I think this is a timing thing.  People like these types of episodes so the best time to strike is when RFN is on vacation to branch out.  I haven't listen yet but, how do you get away without talking about Wii Music.

That wasn't the plan (putting out a feature topic when RFN has an off week) at all, but if it helps get a few extra listeners, cool.


Also we didn't talk about Wii Music because it's such a forgettable title that none of us even thought to bring it up.

ThomasOJuly 23, 2011

Quote from: ZNemerald

Well, maybe not because there is no announcements of anything besides that Zelda game.

Kirby Wii and Mario Party 9 don't count?

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

Also we didn't talk about Wii Music because it's such a forgettable title that none of us even thought to bring it up.

Thought it was because you had beaten it to death several times already.

Quote from: ThomasO

Thought it was because you had beaten it to death several times already.

I can't remember the last time the game came up on the podcast.  Truthfully, the game completely escapes my memory when I talk about the lifespan of the Wii. 


When, exactly, did we last "beat it to death"?

I'm super excited for Kirby Wii and mildly interested in Mario Party 9. I would consider neither game a huge, monumental release, though. Like, I'll be there day one for Kirby, but I feel like I already played that game and know too much of what to expect. I hope to be surprised, but there's a big feeling of deja vu with that game. Same with MP9.

I've never played any Kirby games except Kirby's Adventure for NES and Kirby's Canvas Curse for Nintendo DS.  So, no, I'm not really looking forward to that Kirby game because it's just not a series I'm emotionally invested in.


Also, I live far far away from most people I would play Mario Party with, so that doesn't really do much for me either.

If Mario Party 9 is online, my interest in it might be higher. MP8 was cool for me because I was in college. MP9 might not carry the same interest for me. It depends what my friends are up to when it comes out, honestly.

Mario Party Online kind of misses the point though, doesn't it?

oksodaScott Thompson, Associate EditorJuly 23, 2011

As to whether or not this topic is a bit premature, our rationale was that after a rather quiet E3 this year and then the straight up "no thanks" to Operation Rainfall, it seems that Nintendo has moved on from the Wii, so why shouldn't we prepare to do the same? Yeah, Kirby, Zelda, and Mario Party may be in the pipeline still, but not one of those games will redefine the console or change our impressions of it 5 years into its life. We are at the precipice of the Wii's final stand; this is the perfect time for a little reflection.

Also, it was a good excuse to talk about Excite Truck.

Kytim89July 23, 2011

Unless Operation Rainfall is a success then the only good post-Skyward Sword Wii game will be Dragon Quest 10. From here until the launch of the Wii U the line up for the Wii is going to get even darker. Hell, it already is in darkness.

AVJuly 24, 2011

I'm glad you enjoyed my question. I'm not part of doom / gloom cynical nintendo group yet, but I will be critical and expect more from the company as I grow up.


BTW the golden era I mean sales domination, not quality games. 

AVJuly 24, 2011

I have a huge catalog of Mii's for 3DS:


3DS Mii QR Codes HUGE inventory (65 Total)

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I'm super excited for Kirby Wii and mildly interested in Mario Party 9. I would consider neither game a huge, monumental release, though. Like, I'll be there day one for Kirby, but I feel like I already played that game and know too much of what to expect. I hope to be surprised, but there's a big feeling of deja vu with that game. Same with MP9.

Im not interested in Kirby at all at the moment, looks so bland and uninspired to me. Im just finishing up Epic Yarn, so that might have something to do with it. Mario Party 8 was a let down for me and my friends when it was released. Seriously the best later Mario Party games were 6 and 7 on the Cube!

I think the fact that we haven't had a Mario Party in four years makes me a lot more likely to pick up Mario Party 9. I never bought 8, but played it at a friend's house; I remember feeling disappointed by how little it did with the Wii-specific inputs, so I hope this one goes all-out. Kirby looks good, but I just picked up Kirby Super Star Ultra for DS, and it's the type of game I'd much rather play on a handheld.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)July 25, 2011

Hm. So it doesn't sound like any of you are really happy with the Wii. That's a shame. For me, Nintendo is still delivering the goods on their first party software - you remarked that they were conservative with their new games, and I would only say that applies to the base structure of these games, as I feel like there was a lot of imagination and creativity in most other elements of their game design. I also disagree with Mike's characterisation of Metroid Prime 3, but whatever floats your boat. As for third party support, it might not be as strong as the other systems, but I think there are still some diamond titles out there. More than ever, though, you have to be very much tuned in and looking closely to find those diamonds.

To bring up a few that I don't recall being mentioned on the episode, both Zack & Wiki and the Boom Blox duo definitely delivered on what you were discussing, the promise of new experiences brought about by the Wii controller. Original, clever and great fun. If we extend this to the download arena, I'd put LostWinds and Fluidity/Hydroventure under the same category; these are the kind of games that you couldn't get elsewhere, the kind that are made more enjoyable by motion controls. Of course, that philosophy isn't required for everything; two examples are Little King's Story and A Boy & His Blob. Despite not utilising any special control scheme, this pair is the kind that probably wouldn't be created without the Wii either, simply because of industry trends.

As for disappointments, the conspicuous absence of certain games on Virtual Console is a big one. Supposedly, the lack of representation for Nintendo 64 is related to difficulties emulating Expansion Pak features, yet it must be possible given that there are ROM websites that have managed it.

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

Hm. So it doesn't sound like any of you are really happy with the Wii. That's a shame. For me, Nintendo is still delivering the goods on their first party software - you remarked that they were conservative with their new games, and I would only say that applies to the base structure of these games, as I feel like there was a lot of imagination and creativity in most other elements of their game design. I also disagree with Mike's characterisation of Metroid Prime 3, but whatever floats your boat. As for third party support, it might not be as strong as the other systems, but I think there are still some diamond titles out there. More than ever, though, you have to be very much tuned in and looking closely to find those diamonds.

To bring up a few that I don't recall being mentioned on the episode, both Zack & Wiki and the Boom Blox duo definitely delivered on what you were discussing, the promise of new experiences brought about by the Wii controller. Original, clever and great fun. If we extend this to the download arena, I'd put LostWinds and Fluidity/Hydroventure under the same category; these are the kind of games that you couldn't get elsewhere, the kind that are made more enjoyable by motion controls. Of course, that philosophy isn't required for everything; two examples are Little King's Story and A Boy & His Blob. Despite not utilising any special control scheme, this pair is the kind that probably wouldn't be created without the Wii either, simply because of industry trends.

As for disappointments, the conspicuous absence of certain games on Virtual Console is a big one. Supposedly, the lack of representation for Nintendo 64 is related to difficulties emulating Expansion Pak features, yet it must be possible given that there are ROM websites that have managed it.


I think their disappointment comes from a perceived notion that GameCube was so much better than the Wii in regards to quality titles. Nintendo's output alone was far better on Wii, then you have a bunch of fantastic third party games not only at retail, but also for Wiiware. There's a bunch of games I havnt even picked up yet that I know I would enjoy.

Also I think if Nintendo pushed a title like The Last Story, it could generate some big numbers. Its from the creator of Final Fantasy, and by the looks of it, seems to be a very polished experience. I dont buy that it is too hard to sell such a game. 

TJ SpykeJuly 25, 2011

Quote from: Traveller

Also I think if Nintendo pushed a title like The Last Story, it could generate some big numbers. Its from the creator of Final Fantasy, and by the looks of it, seems to be a very polished experience. I dont buy that it is too hard to sell such a game. 

Lost Odyssey was marketed this way and got pretty good reviews, and it pretty much bombed. Considering it was on Xbox 360, it got decent numbers in Japan I suppose.

I'm very sad I missed this episode, because I was very much in Scott's territory as someone who went through college with Wii. It launched my freshman year of college. I played the crap out of Wii Sports, Excite Truck, WarioWare, Mario Party, Brawl, Mario Kart, etc. with people at school. The only games that rivaled my social playtime with Wii was Rock Band and Halo 3.

It was downright joyous when I had all of my family playing video games through Wii Sports. I've never had that experience before, and it led to things like my mom playing Mario Kart and singing Rock Band, and my dad playing Tiger Woods with me. That all happened because of what I was going through at the time (late teens/early 20s), but it was very special nonetheless.

And WarioWare might be the worst WarioWare game (worse than Touched? Really, Sklens?), but the multiplayer made is a staple of drinking get-togethers for years. Single player is weak, I'll admit, but who cares when that multiplayer is so rock solid (and inexplicably locked when you first boot the game up...).

CericJuly 25, 2011

I thought this was a pretty good episode of Newscast.

I was happy with the Wii in the sense that it had a lot of games that I loved. The Galaxy games are both top 10 all time for me, if not top 5, and even though RE4 and Metroid Prime were originally GameCube games, I didn't play them until Wii and they will forever be tied to the Wii in my mind because of their enhanced controls. Donkey Kong Country Returns is also amazing, at least when you play it with a Classic Controller like I did. And I got a ton of use out of both Wii Sports games, playing with friends and family.

Still, though, I'm disappointed in the system because of how much wasted potential it had, and how Nintendo made some boneheaded mistakes that ended up hampering the system in the long run. Judging it for what it is, I'm happy, but it could have been so much more if a few things had gone differently.

LithiumJuly 26, 2011

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Still, though, I'm disappointed in the system because of how much wasted potential it had, and how Nintendo made some boneheaded mistakes that ended up hampering the system in the long run. Judging it for what it is, I'm happy, but it could have been so much more if a few things had gone differently.

My thoughts exactly. it could have been so much more, and it's because of being burned by nintendo so many times over the years the Wii might be my last nintendo console, I dont even like the stuff that's on the other two systems either so i'm probably going to be just a handheld gamer. Im waiting for the 2nd version of the 3ds to buy it though, not that it matters because the DS had so many good games i could play it for another 2 or 3 years no problem

oksodaScott Thompson, Associate EditorJuly 26, 2011

Quote from: Lithium

My thoughts exactly. it could have been so much more, and it's because of being burned by nintendo so many times over the years the Wii might be my last nintendo console...

Wow, that's a pretty bold statement Lithium. The first party content for the Wii U wouldn't be enough to warrant a purchase? With the Wii, I feel like the first party games coupled with the Virtual Console justify the purchase for me, and I'm sure the Wii U will get better third party support. In the very least it should be getting the same cross-platform games that are hitting the PS3 and 360. I'd be interested in hearing if your opinion either changes or is emboldened as we approach the Wii U launch and have a better idea of what games are coming.

I said when I bought my Wii that it would be worth owning even if all it got were Nintendo's own software, and Nintendo's lineup on the system proved that right, at least for me. Though really, I would have paid $250 for the system just to be able to play the Galaxy games.

LithiumJuly 26, 2011

to be fair, i pretty much stated that the wii would also be my last home console since im not particularly impressed with the others either, mostly because I don't like the direction AAA console games are taking outside of Nintendo either but i stand by my statement

Quote from: oksoda

Quote from: Lithium

My thoughts exactly. it could have been so much more, and it's because of being burned by nintendo so many times over the years the Wii might be my last nintendo console...

Wow, that's a pretty bold statement Lithium. The first party content for the Wii U wouldn't be enough to warrant a purchase? With the Wii, I feel like the first party games coupled with the Virtual Console justify the purchase for me, and I'm sure the Wii U will get better third party support. In the very least it should be getting the same cross-platform games that are hitting the PS3 and 360. I'd be interested in hearing if your opinion either changes or is emboldened as we approach the Wii U launch and have a better idea of what games are coming.

I'd love nothing more than to be proven wrong about this but im pretty disillusioned with the state of gaming, personally the handhelds are kind of the last holdout of worthwhile experiences for me. That and indie games.

NinSageJuly 27, 2011

See.... this is the problem with so much reflection on Nintendo in general...  the conversations go a lot like this ....

"yea, the Wii had as all so hyped and then it was just disappointing"
"yea, 'cept Game X was awesome."
"true, so was Game Y."
"omg, Game Y was so good!"
"and let's not forget Game Z. that thing dominated my life for a month."
"too bad there were also so many casual games."
"yea, I mean they were fun. I had a lot of fun with them."
"me too, we had a ton of fun with those games"
"yea, me too"

"so, yea, like we said, ultimately a disappointment."

whaaa!??!?

I know that if initial expectations involve being transported to Hyrule and given a Master Sword then yes, the Wii was a disappointment.  But as far as a console that delivered diverse and quality gaming experiences? It's my pick for best platform ever... and I've been gaming since the Atari 2600 (mostly on non-Nintendo consoles!!)

~~~

Also, yes, 2011 is weak so far... but 2010 on the Wii was one of the best software line-ups I can ever remember in a calendar year.  The title of this episode sums it up perfectly... in gaming, the past doesn't count - the events of the day are used as an all-encompassing history.

oksodaScott Thompson, Associate EditorJuly 27, 2011

Great points NinSage, and I think your rationalizations are the exact motivation for making this episode. In fact, you've summed up perfectly why I will always look back on the Wii fondly. I didn't need a third system to play Call of Duty on, and thankfully the Wii instead offered unique experiences, both solitary and communal. I love the Galaxy games, but I also have a soft spot for Wii Sports and NSMBW, games that allowed me to play with both non-and-core gamers. I don't know that it is my favorite system of all time, but I certainly have an appreciation for the thing that I don't believe will diminish with time.

And yes, I didn't really get to touch on it in the recording, but 2010 was a surprisingly great year for the Wii. If you found January 2010 Scott and told him that the Blackhawks were going to win the Stanley Cup and that he was going to be playing his Wii non-stop from September to January, he probably would have experienced some sort of disbelief-infused euphoria that would have likely caused all time to collapse in upon itself. So, you know, don't go back in time and do that.

Sure, if you decide to selectively take 8 or 9 lines from an hour+ conversation, we can be made to look like hypocrites.  Wii did have a strong first party line-up in 2010, but I can't recall a lot of strong third party titles in 2010. 


I'm glad you're happy with the system.  I wasn't UNHAPPY with the system, but in the grand scheme of things, if I were to rank Nintendo consoles by the amount of enjoyment I got out of them, the Wii probably falls somewhere in the bottom half of that list. 


That doesn't mean I didn't really love "A Boy and His Blob", "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories", "Super Mario Galaxy", "Donkey Kong Country Returns", "Zelda: Twilight Princess" or anything like that, it just means that taken as a sum, I didn't find the line-up as memorable as several other previous Nintendo systems. 


And as was brought up in the podcast, a *lot* of that has to do with personal life experiences that happened during the duration of the console's lifespan.  It's certainly not a coincidence that my favorite console experience happened to line up perfectly with my college years.  I had more time to play games, more people to play them with, and less responsibility to take me away from the fun.


If you decide criticism is not something you want to engage in, then great, but constructive criticism has always been a cornerstone of NWR as long as I can remember.


EDIT:


Because I am full of bad ideas, I decided to rank Nintendo consoles by "how much I enjoyed them" and here's what I came up with:


1. NES,
2. GameCube,
3. Wii,
4. SNES,
5. N64


And before you call me crazy for having the SNES and N64 at 4 and 5, I must stress again that I was a Genesis kid growing up and in high school - I didn't buy an SNES until I had already had a Genesis for 3-4 years, and clearly had drawn my line in the sand.  While I was certainly blown away by Super Mario 64, I didn't actually get an N64 until right around 2000, and most of the games I loved on that system have been updated and vastly improved on GameCube and Wii.


Now you can proceed to call me crazy.

CericJuly 27, 2011

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

1. NES,
2. GameCube,
3. Wii,
4. SNES,
5. N64

I can agree with this order for the consoles because I didn't own an SNES its mostly the legacy for me and the N64 which I enjoyed what I had.  I had very little.  The  GCN was the first system I bought myself in college.  Got a ticket getting it home.  I had a LOT of fun with it.  I know I've logged more hours playing Gamecube then Wii and I've probably logged more hours playing GCN ON Wii catching the games I missed.  That being said I still haven't played Pikmin beyond the Demo...

You crazy.

Also, I went back in time and told 2010 Scott about the Blackhawks. He pooped himself a little.

Fuckin' Blackhawks...my Flyers were so close!


And if I were to rank Nintendo systems by my enjoyment, it would probably be:

Wii
GameCube
N64
NES
SNES

The top two are extremely close, but the Galaxy games put the Wii over the top. The NES and SNES are also pretty close.

NinSageJuly 27, 2011


===All Time===
Wii
NES
Gamecube
N64
SNES

===in "their heyday"===
Wii
NES
N64
SNES
Gamecube



1) SNES
2) Wii
3) N64
4) Gamecube
5) NES

Aah, the joys of being 6 when you got the NES and 8 when the SNES arrived.

I sense a Newscast special feature discussion. I refuse to reveal mine until I'm on the air.

(Wii is not #1)

Mop it upJuly 28, 2011

As someone who owns over 100 Wii games, I must be some kind of rarity in that I'm actually satisfied with the Wii. Sure, there are certainly some things I don't like about it and decisions I'd have rather were made differently, but as several people have pointed out, there are plenty of games which never would have existed without the Wii. I just have to take the bad with the good, which is true of just about everything in life.

As far as this year, I'm looking forward to Fortune Street, Kirby Wii, Mario Party 9, Rune Factory Oceans, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Rhythm Haven Wii, Rayman Origins, and a few I know I'm forgetting. On the already released side, I have Mario Sports Mix, de Blob 2, Lost in Shadow, TrackMania, Mystery Case Files, Wii Play Motion, and again, I know a couple slip my mind. Sure, it is a little lighter than last year, but that year was incredible. I actually expected less than what I've got to look forward to this year, so I'm still plenty satisfied with the Wii; just as I've been since mid 2008, and just as I imagine I'll be for many years to come.

In point of fact, the only game on Wii that really disappointed me is Super Smash Brothers Brawl. But I'm not trying to start something by saying that, so I'll leave it there.

Since I'm here, I guess I might as well rate my preference with the systems:

1. Nintendo 64 - It's hard for me to not place the system that got me interested in games as number 1, but even if I'm going by enjoyment over nostalgia, this system has offered me countless hours of enjoyment that no other has matched.
2. Wii - It has its problems but Nintendo have made some of their best games on this system. Not only that, but I've really enjoyed some of the obscure third-party offerings that never would have been made for an HD system.
3. SNES - I never had one of these until after a Nintendo 64, but I have still played some games over at friends. This is when I feel gaming really got good, and many of its platformers and RPGs still hold up today.
4. GameCube - There isn't much on this system which I feel is better than its Nintendo 64 equivalent. SSBMelee and Metroid Prime carried this system for me.
5. NES - I'll always remember it for having the first games I ever played, but few of them stand the test of time and I just don't enjoy playing most of its games anymore.

KDR_11kJuly 31, 2011

I agree that Prime 3 was pretty lame, not just the linearity but even when you did explore it wasn't worth doing. The items you collected were mostly useless, nothing cool like the combo beams from MP1. Linearity is a gamebreaker for a Metroid game for me though, destroys the core of Metroid. You can strip out Samus, the Metroids and pretty much everything else but if it's no longer about exploration it's broken.

Smash Bros was never a game for me, my school friends didn't like it (mind you, these were people with extensive experience with Quake 3 and Counterstrike so not gaming nublets) and so I mostly saw Melee as a singleplayer game. Same with Brawl except that's utterly unbearable as a singleplayer game, the subspace emissary mode is so godawful it hurts.

Somehow I have no faith in Skyward Sword. Probably because of Spirit Tracks which was unbearable with its stupid train segments. I doubt that Aonuma really knows what the hell he is doing with Zelda's overworld and that's an important part of Zelda.

Never had Wario Ware Wii, but considering how crappy Touched was I don't want it if it's worse...

I have zero faith in the 3DS and Wii U at the moment, it doesn't look like Nintendo knows what to do with either software-wise. The Wii U is just a dumb idea right now, they should have waited another year or so to have enough dev resources for a good 3DS library, that thing's going to die if Nintendo cannot deliver a killer lineup quickly and same for the Wii U. How are they going to make two such lineups that quickly?

LithiumJuly 31, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

I agree that Prime 3 was pretty lame, not just the linearity but even when you did explore it wasn't worth doing. The items you collected were mostly useless, nothing cool like the combo beams from MP1. Linearity is a gamebreaker for a Metroid game for me though, destroys the core of Metroid. You can strip out Samus, the Metroids and pretty much everything else but if it's no longer about exploration it's broken.

Yeah as a big metroid fan I have to agree even though i still thought the game was enjoyable (the grapple beam whip is probably my favourite example of motion controll use outside of zach and wiki) it felt like they were trying to turn it into a first person shooter instead of an adveture/exploration game they kind of fell into the trap of trying to appeal to the Halo crowd when that target audience probably don't even own or care about the Wii.

Quote from: KDR_11k

I have zero faith in the 3DS and Wii U at the moment, it doesn't look like Nintendo knows what to do with either software-wise. The Wii U is just a dumb idea right now, they should have waited another year or so to have enough dev resources for a good 3DS library, that thing's going to die if Nintendo cannot deliver a killer lineup quickly and same for the Wii U. How are they going to make two such lineups that quickly?

I still have faith in the 3ds because I remember the DS went thorugh this exact same thing and didn't really become a worthwhile platform until the time the DS lite launched. Which is why I'm waiting for the 2nd version this generation because im certain the same thing will happen again. As for the WiiU i dont think it's a dumb idea but Nintendo consoles kind of go through the same thing as the Sonic cycle. (since the SNES anyways) That's what i meant about being burned by Nintendo in an eariler post. I'm expecting the exact same thing to happen again but as I said before, I'd love to be wrong.

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