A retrospective look at the Nintendo Wii – Part Two

6 mins read
With Nintendo’s brand new home console, the Wii U, now sitting on store shelves and taking up many a headline here at Digitally Downloaded, we figured we’d start off this brand new year by paying respects to its motion controlled filled predecessor: Wii. The risks that Nintendo took with the gimmicky console were great, but its was immensely rewarded – Wii sold 475,000 units just this past December and has now shifted 40.8 million units worldwide – captivating the hearts and minds of gamers both young and old alike.

A few of our writers here have jumped on the chance to share some of our best Wii memories, whether it be the games we loved or the times we shared with friends, these are the things that we thought made the Wii great. But, the air is also open for discussion for the things that we think the Wii could’ve done a bit better too.

Matt S.

I came to own a Wii quite late into the console’s life. Other priorities in life and all that, but eventually I gave in and picked one up about half way into its life.

I had already played one of course, so by the time I owned a Wii of my own I had little interest in Wii Sports – the gimmicky fun had already worn off with me. That would become a bit of a running theme with my relationship with my Wii – with no exceptions whatsoever did I find the motion controls of the console adding anything to my experience with its games.

And yes, I include Skyward Sword in that. It might have been the best use of motion controls on the console, but it was still a control system I struggled with. Just as many traditional gamers seem to struggle with the touch-only virtual buttons and the like of the iPad and iPhone, I struggled to feel comfortable with motion contols.

So why on earth did I buy a Wii? Well, because 1) it was a cheap supplimentary console to my PlayStation 3 (and later, Xbox 360), and 2) it had plenty of traditional games that used the Classic Controller add on, and many of the games that insisted on motion controls were worth sticking with anyway.

And of course there was the brilliant Virtual Console with offered me plenty of the kind of nostalgia that only Nintendo games and consoles can manage.

The first Wii game that really captured my attention was Chocobo Mystery Dungeon. Here was a game that would later prove the model for just about every Wii game I enjoyed – simple but attractive visuals, simple but enjoyable gameplay. The very best Wii games were all about fun, and the developers that produced the best games for the console didn’t aim for watered-down versions of PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 games. They focused on the console’s strengths – its extreme simplicity – and turned it into a differentiator.

The other greatest moments I had with the Wii was the multiplayer. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have always been – to me – solo-player consoles or at best online multiplayer experiences. At most I have ever played either console with one other person.

Thanks to the likes of Smash Brothers Brawl, Fortune Street, and both Wii Sports, the Wii has been a regular console for four-player local multiplayer experiences. Again, it’s an example of the Wii finding a niche separate to its rivals, and therefore justifying its existence under my TV.

So in the end the Wii was a console that I feel was treated unfairly by the games community. It offered an entirely different range of games to play, and no, those games were not exclusively shovelware. I will never suggest that the Wii is one of the greatest consoles, but I am more than happy with my purchase of it, and look forward to the Wii U offering something similar in the years to come.

And the games I ended up playing the most on the Wii (not including the Virtual Console and WiiWare)?

Pandora’s Tower
Fortune Street/ Boom Street
Chocobo Mystery Dungeon
Project Zero 2/ Fatal Frame 2
Smash Bros. Brawl
Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility
Fragile Dreams
Little King’s Story
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

– Matt S
Follow me on Twitter: @DigitallyDownld
And on MiiVerse, Wii U Owners: WaltzIT

Do you have fond me memories of the Nintendo Wii? We would love to hear them in the comments section below.  

This is the bio under which all legacy DigitallyDownloaded.net articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

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