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