Author Topic: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.  (Read 298 times)

mrkonasoni

It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« on: November 20, 2022, 03:07:13 pm »
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The Wii U is 10 years old, but I still can remember looking forward to it, just like a bunch of people I was fascinated by the concept of Nintendo's newest console.

Did it pay off? Well, if there is something a lot of us have always been aware of is the Wii U's lukewarm success in the market, being Nintendo sometimes subtle enough to admit it.

So let's talk a bit about the console and games and if they did "well" for users.
I don't tend to write long threads but since this is one of the few consoles I lived from start to finish, let's make an exception this time.

• Functionality, services, and options.

The Wii U had quite some interesting options, some of which stuff that is not included anymore in modern hardware by Nintendo.

Some of them were useful like knowing how many hours you played a game or actual folders, and other stuff that Nintendo offered was at the very least interesting.

For example, the Wii U allowed you to video chat with other people using the Gamepad as a screen, I tried to use it but I can confirm it never worked.

Another option was using the gamepad for Google traveling and while interesting, I don't believe people loved it.

The Gamepad itself had options like a touchscreen, motion controller, and other stuff that sincerely I fail to remember games that used these functions at all.

The console had interesting features and I respect Nintendo for trying but unfortunately, I think is mostly secure to say that besides Nintendo itself and another indie company used it at all.

Regarding performance, the Wii U was quite a slow machine, taking many seconds to navigate between some menus or just turn it on, I can remember for example that even PS3 and Xbox 360 were faster machines considering both were older and unfortunately this is something Nintendo never ended fixing.

Regarding services, the brand-new Nintendo eShop was easier to navigate than the Nintendo Wii Channel but also had less charisma, of course, this last thing shouldn't care but I do.

But it was a nice store then unfortunately most of the time was mostly empty and lacking new releases.

On the bright side, Nintendo offered a better deal with the Virtual console.
A lot of stuff from the Wii one never appeared but this time we had more Nintendo 64 games, including copyright-hell ones like Donkey Kong 64 and better than ever also Nintendo DS and GBA games.
It wasn't great but it was better than Nintendo offers nowadays with their NSO subscription.

Of course, after all these services I wouldn't forget the most important one.

"Miiverse", Nintendo's social media.

Was Miiverse as bad as people make it sound?
As someone that used it a lot, I can confirm that... I don't think it was that bad, there were a lot of questionable posts but they were easy to ignore, and a bunch of people used to draw pretty well-made sketches.

The problem was... That Nintendo had problems making people respect their rules and sincerely it was quite often seeing people being made fun of just for commenting silly but inoffensive comments or just pushing the boundaries too much.

It's understandable why Nintendo preferred to save themselves the problem and besides some stuff inside some of their games, Nintendo Switch almost completely lacks any sort of social network for users.

A big shame but I still remember it with a smile as something I had the opportunity to live.

• Games

But what is a console without games?
- A Wii U (Nowadays a PS5 or Xbox Series)

Wii U had quite a limited library of third-party games and almost no one company tried to put their games on the console after it showed signs of limited success.

It had important games but most of them were almost always just worse versions of a game that was available in other cheaper or stronger hardware.
I think this is "ok", and the selection was interesting but it certainly required the user to be tolerant of the limited options and jump to test something different.

Nintendo was quite easier to work with indies at the time and supposedly an indie studio could get a Wii U development kit as cheaper as "400$" or "250$" or is prompted just "free"

Was this beneficial? Yes and No.
Yes, because quite a bunch of indies published really good games for the console, and it helped little studios to enter the video game market, but...
It also helped fill the eShop with quite a bunch of questionable products that also helped the perception of the console to be even messier.

About Nintendo itself, I can not complain.
They did a good job and I respect they tried their best to keep the console afloat while trying with everything and more to have the "NX" ready for release in 2017.

If you are curious.
"NX" was the codename for Nintendo Switch.

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In the end, while not completely I think the Wii U was mostly underrated, it felt like a clear Nintendo first attempt at an HD console but the first-party games and good service/options for the user base were there and are a shame most of that stuff is something that Nintendo failed to include on the Nintendo Switch and for me that enough for remembering the console with a smile.

My favorite games were Pikmin 3 and Sonic Lost World.

But that's just my opinion, did you have a Nintendo Wii U? Do You think it was underrated, or is it an overrated bad console?

You are welcome to disagree with me.
I always had difficulties learning English but I still love to talk with people all the time, I like to have strong goodwill and be kind to everyone.


Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2022, 03:31:00 pm »
The one feature I regret this system didn't have was a way to upscale original Wii games - It can play them but still in 480p quality... That alone would have made his console very valuable but sadly as it offered no enhancements to play the previous gen and has now had most of its big titlse put forward to the Switch it does come across as very redundant to me.

I bought one when Windwaker HD came out but much like my experience with the Switch I just never played it - But then I have always had a very distant relation with Nintendo, most of their big IPs never appeal to me for one reason or another.

Xenoblade Chronicles X was what could have won me over but they took all the charm and zapped it right out of the experience, as much as i loved the 1st game I haven't touch the series since - Well a brief encounter with XC2 but once again I couldn't get into it on Switch and sold the console soon after.

aliensstudios

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2022, 03:34:37 pm »
Always loved the Wii U and never thought it got a fair shake. Honestly, most of what makes the Switch great is just Wii U and PS3/ XBox 360 ports.
"I collect vidya games and vidya game accessories, I tell you what."

burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2022, 04:25:47 pm »
I loved mine, when it was current. It has great 1st-party titles and the gamepad was a cool feature. And it was Nintendo's 1st HD console. (3rd-party support sucked though.)

But in 2022 I hardly ever use it. Most of it's best games have been ported to The Switch, which is the definitive way to play most of those games, especially since The Switch fixed Wii U's most glaring problem: Making the gamepad portable.

I still have mine for a select few exclusives like Star Fox Zero, NES Remix, and the HD Zelda ports. But it really does mostly collect dust since getting my Switch.

I think down the line it will be a valuable console, though, since it's a Nintendo console, it will be rarer than a lot of other Nintendo consoles due to poor sales, and it physically stands out because of the gamepad.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2022, 04:28:11 pm by burningdoom »

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2022, 04:55:17 pm »
Always loved the Wii U and never thought it got a fair shake.

Same.  Like, sure, it is a niche machine, but it is very good at that niche.

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2022, 08:16:01 pm »
It's better than the Switch.

aliensstudios

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2022, 09:12:08 pm »
The one feature I regret this system didn't have was a way to upscale original Wii games - It can play them but still in 480p quality... That alone would have made his console very valuable but sadly as it offered no enhancements to play the previous gen and has now had most of its big titlse put forward to the Switch it does come across as very redundant to me.
It does technically scale Wii games to 720p / 1080p from their original 480p resolution, much like the way a PS3 does with PS1 / PS2 discs, but the end result isn't much different than plugging a 480p Wii into a 1080p monitor so the scaling isn't great. The Wii U doesn't render Wii games at higher resolutions like the PS5 can do with certain PS4 titles or what the Dolphin emulator can do for GameCube / Wii. Personally, I use the Wii in 480p mode into my OSSC which perfectly doubles each pixel to a resolution of 960 pixels which is shy of full HD (1080p) but north of HD (720p). The end result is slightly blockier but much less blurry than the Wii U's Wii software scaling which I prefer.
"I collect vidya games and vidya game accessories, I tell you what."

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2022, 05:20:12 am »
I have a soft spot for the Wii U (My favorite console is the N64, I don't know why I do this to myself), but I wouldn't say it's underrated.  It had a bad name, they struggled to justify it's gimmicks, the poor sales led to a pretty lackluster library, it wasn't a well powered system, but I still generally liked it.  The Gamepad was a decent enough idea, though I think other than a second screen, the only game I played that I liked the gimmick of using it for was Zombi U, where you open your backpack and have to look away from the TV to do so, but it doesn't pause the game so you have to make sure you are in a safe area or you can get attacked.  That's a good idea along with I think it had something to do with scanning things.  Embracing the gimmick in a very reasonable way. 

I did think the console not having a Pokemon Snap game on it was maybe their greatest missed opportunity.  We finally got one with Switch, but the Gamepad was tailored for them to utilize it as a camera within the world.  I wonder if they even attempted to try and make one or if they just didn't care at all.

burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2022, 11:28:41 am »
I have a soft spot for the Wii U (My favorite console is the N64, I don't know why I do this to myself), but I wouldn't say it's underrated.  It had a bad name, they struggled to justify it's gimmicks, the poor sales led to a pretty lackluster library, it wasn't a well powered system, but I still generally liked it.  The Gamepad was a decent enough idea, though I think other than a second screen, the only game I played that I liked the gimmick of using it for was Zombi U, where you open your backpack and have to look away from the TV to do so, but it doesn't pause the game so you have to make sure you are in a safe area or you can get attacked.  That's a good idea along with I think it had something to do with scanning things.  Embracing the gimmick in a very reasonable way. 

I did think the console not having a Pokemon Snap game on it was maybe their greatest missed opportunity.  We finally got one with Switch, but the Gamepad was tailored for them to utilize it as a camera within the world.  I wonder if they even attempted to try and make one or if they just didn't care at all.

While I agree about it's 3rd-party library being lackluster, it's first-party library of games were stellar. And the fact that Nintendo pulled from it to add to the Switch shows they felt the same.

New Super Mario Bros U, Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario Maker, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Splatoon, Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Twilight Princess HD, Wind Waker HD, Captain Toad, NES Remix, Star Fox Zero, Pikmin 3, and I have no idea what Pokemon games because that's just not my thing, and plenty I'm sure I missed.

That's a helluva first-party line-up, especially since it's a "failed console".

telly

PRO Supporter

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2022, 12:51:24 pm »
I have a love-hate relationship with my Wii-U. I originally bought it before the Switch came out as I thought it was going to be a difficult system to collect for later. Not to mention that the ability to play Wii games was a nice bonus.

I think the Gamepad was just never implemented well for most games. From my experience the only games that really used the Gamepad and TV together in a non-tacked on way that actually benefited gameplay were Super Mario Maker, Zombi U, and Pikmin 3. Other games I would have the Gamepad on but serving as an additional menu screen that could have been just as easily accomplished with a button press. Everything else I would either play only on the Gamepad or only on the TV. So in a sense it's nice that it mimics the Switch in that respect.

What really hurt the Wii U's longevity was that most of it's library was ported to the Switch. You can still play the Wii U originals and have a good time, but some (like Mario Kart 8 ) are far and away the definitive versions. At the same time, I feel like Nintendo really phoned it in once it was discovered that it wasn't worth putting a lot of development money into games for the system, which I feel like was following the release of Smash 4 in late 2014. In my opinion, Super Mario Bros. U was a pitifully anemic attempt at a launch title (even though it is fun). NES Remix was very lackluster. Paper Mario Color Splash had a lot of issues. Star Fox Zero was quite bad. Same with Mario Tennis Ultra Smash and Mario Party 10. Amiibo Festival was awful.

However, there are some fantastic games on the system as many have mentioned. Pikmin 3 is my favorite game on the Wii U hands down, and is my favorite in the series. I love Captain Toad Treasure Tracker as well. Xenoblade Chronicles X was also phenomenal, and I liked it a lot more than the first game. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is an adorably cute romp with some beautiful visuals. The Zelda remasters are both great. Can't forget Smash and Mario Kart as well! There is a lot to enjoy here.

Something that most people don't mention is that the Wii U has a really bad shovelware/good game ratio. Somehow the system attracted all of the terrible party games, sports games, and movie tie-ins that the Wii was infamous for without the accompanying depth of other 3rd party offerings. So once you get past the maybe 20 worthwhile games that Nintendo put out for the system and a handful of indie titles, the quality of offerings drops off like a cliff.

There are two exceptions though. That small period of time between the Wii U and the Xbox One/PS4's release found the Wii U actually being able to compete with multiplatform releases on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Some examples include Batman Arkham Origins and Mass Effect 3. The other example is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. It's a phenomenal game and I'm surprised it's not talked about more whenever the Wii U is mentioned. That game is the shining gem of a 3rd party exclusive for the Wii U in my opinion.
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Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2022, 12:48:49 am »
The Wii U reminded me of the Dreamcast in the sense that it was a short lived, beloved console that unfortunately was a commercial failure. I bought mine about a year into its life with Mario Kart 8 being the game that inspired me to buy one. Mario Kart 8 was certainly the game I played the most on it, but I played many other games on it that I absolutely loved, same with my wife. Despite it just turning 10 I've had a lot of nostalgia for it practically since it was discontinued. And while I would have said it's underrated a few years back before 90% of its best games were ported to the Switch, I feel like outside a few of its remaining fun exclusives and its ability to play Wii games I don't really feel that way anymore. I certainly wouldn't way it's overrated either. I definitely wish the Wii U had caught on with more people and stuck around longer, but with how amazing the Switch has been I can't say we were given an inferior product to replace it. I still have my Black Windwaker HD Wii U and if for nothing else than a piece of nostalgic hardware, I certainly never plan on selling it.

telekill

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2022, 11:06:21 pm »
I wrote the Wii-U off the second they said it would use the Wii controllers as the primary controller outside of the ridiculous tablet controller idea. The Wii was such a horrendous turnoff with the forced motion controls that it took Nintendo advertising the Switch with a Pro controller day one as "Play How You Want".

To this day, if a game advertises itself as a motion focused game, I'll leave it to rot. I hate motion controls that much. It literally turned me off Nintendo systems for over a decade.

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2022, 07:50:13 am »
I don't think I used the Wii-motes for a single Wii U exclusive game.

dhaabi

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2022, 10:32:16 am »
I wrote the Wii-U off the second they said it would use the Wii controllers as the primary controller outside of the ridiculous tablet controller idea. The Wii was such a horrendous turnoff with the forced motion controls that it took Nintendo advertising the Switch with a Pro controller day one as "Play How You Want".

The Wii U Pro Controller was available alongside the console on its release day. Wii accessories were also compatible but were certainly not the "primary" alternative controller to the gamepad.

telekill

Re: It's the Wii U, underrated? - Wii U turns 10 years old.
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2022, 10:53:16 am »
I wrote the Wii-U off the second they said it would use the Wii controllers as the primary controller outside of the ridiculous tablet controller idea. The Wii was such a horrendous turnoff with the forced motion controls that it took Nintendo advertising the Switch with a Pro controller day one as "Play How You Want".

The Wii U Pro Controller was available alongside the console on its release day. Wii accessories were also compatible but were certainly not the "primary" alternative controller to the gamepad.

That's how I saw it as advertised. I didn't even know of the Wii-U's pro controller until the system was basically already canned in favor of the Switch. That's how poorly Nintendo advertised it. Then forced motion controls during the Wii's lifespan implied the same for Wii-U. Nintendo taught me to despise motion controls and they did it so well that they had to have a mulligan on the entire generation with Switch.