Nintendo has gotten a pretty bad rap lately when it comes to their consoles and honestly, I get it. I really do. The original Wii wasn’t everything we quite thought it would be, but I do think that gamers as a whole have sold the current Wii U console a bit short in their original assessments. Now however, time has passed since its original release, and I honestly believe it could be the system most worth the money you will spend on it. Given that it’s tax refund season, now is the perfect time to spend some of it on a Wii U.
1.) The games are way more fun than anyone ever thought they would be
It seemed as if games were a bit limited in quantity when the Wii U first launched and that has not been an issue that has been remedied, but what we can tell you is that the console is the ideal example in gaming of quality is better than quantity. There is only one time I have ever heard someone speak ill of any game on the Wii U and even that game has still proven to be the top shooter of 2015 (Splatoon). The selection of games, while much smaller in quantity, excels in quality and you quite possibly can’t go wrong with any game you purchase for the system. When you have access to games such as Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, Super Mario 3D World or Super Mario Maker it’s hard to go wrong. The games are all incredibly fun and even though they are quite childish at first glance, you will find that all of the games deliver an appropriate challenge to gamers of any level and age by the time you start getting further into them. (The end of Super Mario 3D World is terrifying, BTW.)
2.) The control pad screen is actually genius
The control pad for the system originally was viewed as kind of a weird shtick in the current gaming industry and yeah, it was weird at first, but in retrospect this thing is awesome and INCREDIBLY useful in every game I play. I am a married man and we only have 1 television so sometimes my wife and I want to do different things with the TV and typically it’s a case of one of us wants to watch a movie while the other wants to play a game OR we each have different games on different consoles we want to play (Usually she is working on her Mario Kart skills so she can have effective Mario Kart rage). Now normally this would be a frustrating situation, BUT Nintendo has brilliantly given us a touchpad in our control which we can also use as main screen, similar to a Gameboy or a DS. This allows us to both do whatever the heck we want or not even need a TV at all to play most of the games on the system. Again YOU DON’T EVEN NEED THE TV! IT’S JUST A LUXURY. In some games the touch pad is a tool that ends up proving to be essential to giving you an even more impressive gameplay experience by adding in various features that would typically not be plausible to do on any other console without having to take a bunch of extra time to pause and go through a different set of menu’s to get to whatever it is that the gamepad gives you instant access to while you are playing. (Xenoblade Chronicles X and Super Mario 3D World are excellent examples of this.) I will admit it took a little getting used to at first but once I did, I really found myself liking having the touch screen more than I ever had enjoyed any other control scheme for games I had played before
3.) Free Online Play
In a world where its costing more and more money to be able to play with your friends, Nintendo say’s “We are here to make good games and innovate, not rip you off!” Thus we have free online play for anyone in the world! Yes! All you have to do is connect to your already paid for internet via whatever service provider you already pay and Nintendo charges you a whopping $0.00 to connect to their online services and compete or play with your friends online or play with new friends/strangers all over the world! I’m not kidding, its completely free and fantastic plus, it’s not even laggy or any other weird stuff like that
4.) Backwards compatability
This is a selling point that no other system can compete with Nintendo on in the current gen console market. While yes, the Xbox One now can play SOME of the Xbox 360 games, it can not play ALL of the Xbox 360 games. The Wii U laughs in the face of Xbox One’s faux backwards compatibility and says “We want you to be able to still play ALL of your old Nintendo Wii favorites, so we will have complete backwards compatibility functionality! OH? You want to play even older games on our system? Well we have you covered there too!” (Editor’s note: though the virtual console library is vast, it’s not exhaustive. You can’t play every game from past consoles, for instance there are no games from the GameCube, and only nine games are available from the N64. For a complete listing before purchase, click here )
5.) Nintendo E shop
Nostalgia of the best kind is the name of this game. Sony and Microsoft both have their online markets for a variety of Indie an classic Xbox and Playstation games but neither has the history and legacy that Nintendo has thus the Nintendo E Shop continually works to provide all of the classic titles that fans are asking for and adds more and more with each passing month. The selection of older titles is fantastic here and also very modestly priced for each game. Heck some of them are literally only a couple bucks. It’s so nice that Nintendo isn’t trying to gouge our wallets, let’s just take a moment to appreciate it. Even new gamers could honestly buy the Wii U without ever buying any of the actual Wii U games and still just use it for the games on the E Shop and be completely content with the library it gives you access too. Oh and it also allows you to purchase and download all of the new games that come out for the Wii U, although I don’t recommend that route unless you are using some sort of extra hard drive for memory purposes for the console. Not to mention most of the DLC content featured on the E Shop is actually pretty fantastically priced for what it is and how much it impacts your game, (Mario Kart 8 bundle being the perfect example as it is only $10 for 16 tracks 8 cars and 6 new characters…..10 dollars guys…that is a steal!) Also, the shop has Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars……so yeah
6.) Ideal system for anyone who likes hanging out with friends
NO other current gen system can say it is made for both you and your friends to play together … none of them except the Wii U that is. Online play is genuinely a big deal in the current gaming environment but both Microsoft and Sony have opted for a multiplayer model that, in many instances as of late, excludes what we at Nerd Union refer to as couch co-op (Co-op that is playable by 2 or more people in the same room on the same console using 2 or more controllers on the same TV) and in house multiplayer, (multiplayer modes playable by 2 or more people in the same room using 2 or more controllers on the same TV). It is beyond me as to why this is not something game developers have not included in many of the newer games on the Xbox One and the PS4, but I am so very grateful that Nintendo has not strayed away from couch co-op and in house multiplayer because now I can still have get togethers with friends where we can sit down and have fun times playing video games with one another as we hang out. Because, you know, social interaction matters and is actually very important to human development and stuff … plus it’s more fun to play with friends.
7.) It’s cheap
This system is the best bang for your buck money wise. You can even buy a starting bundle with games either included as discs or pre-installed for just $299.99 which is at least $50 less than cheapest bundle for the Xbox One and PS4 (editor’s note BUT with the other consoles you get a larger and faster growing library of games and better graphical power). You won’t have to worry about immediately having to spend more money on added memory for the system since games are not automatically required to pre-install onto your system to play them. When I said that the console would only cost you part of your tax refund, I meant it and even if it does cost you all of it, not only did you get a great quality system, but you also now have access to a quality selection of games in which you know most any purchase you make will be a winner and worth the money you spend on it.
So please. Give it the Wii U a second glance. Go look up some other thoughts online if you like. 20/20 has shown that this is an extremely underrated piece of gaming hardware and there are a number of initial criticizers who now have gone back and talked on how much fun they have had playing the console. I sincerely believe you will too. Enjoy your new system and see you on the Mario Kart Race Track.
Disclaimer: Should I find out that you took this advice and then sent a blue shell after me in Mario Kart, Rage will ensue.