The Wii U Is The Perfect Second Console

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The Wii U Operates Like No Other

Due to its technical limitations, Nintendo developers have been creating games for the Wii U to best utilize what the system brings to the table. Because of this, not only do we see usage of the tablet-like GamePad for a myriad of purposes, but we also get to see a great deal of titles that perform better than its competition, gameplay-wise.

Outside of first-person shooters for the Xbox One and PS4, 60 FPS play has taken the backseat in favor of a higher resolution. Some developers (admittedly, not all who make this sacrifice) says it’s to enhance the “cinematic feel.” While Halo: The Master Chief Collection has proven that you can make 60 FPS in stories while maintaining the story immersion, the Wii U has ditched this notion whenever possible and seems to strive towards 60 FPS.

…Being different is what Nintendo is all about, for better or for worse.

If you’re not accustomed to 60 FPS play, you may be a bit negative in reacting to it at first. The smoothness of the camera movement, character actions and reactions towards your inputs are vastly improved at 60 FPS over 30 FPS. Better yet, most of the Wii U’s very best games run at this higher framerate. Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2, The Wonderful 101, Tropical Freeze, Rayman Legends, Mario Kart 8 and others perform at this advanced level of gameplay.

Furthermore, something that I actually enjoy is the individuality of the Wii U personified in the GamePad. Whether it serves as an additional information screen, controller or otherwise, the GamePad improves the quality and reflexivity of the console. You don’t even need to have a television present; just hook up the console to a power source, hook up your headphones to the controller and play strictly using the tablet controller. It’s a perfect way to play without making a noise, and works perfectly when you’re in a WiFi hotspot when travelling. That multi-hour wait for your plane at the airport, which is the absolute bane of air travel, just got a lot more fun.

Finally, the way games incorporate the GamePad just makes certain types of games a lot more intriguing. Platform games benefit from GamePad-required inputs, including blowing into the microphone to interact with on-screen objects and to tap certain objects to interact with them within the game. Having played a bit of Mario Party 10 at a post-E3 event, I also saw how playing the “everyone vs Bowser” mode takes advantage of the tablet in a party-game scenario. The gameplay possibilities are endless, and only become more exciting when remembering Shigeru Miyamoto’s Star Fox tease with a Wii U GamePad.

Because of its intentions to run at a high framerate, combined with its multiple tablet-interactive experiences that the PS4 and Xbox One tend not to focus on, the Wii U stands out among other 8th-generation consoles as something proudly different. And being different is what Nintendo is all about, for better or for worse.

You Need A PC/Another Console To Thrive

The Wii U has very apparent flaws.

As great as the Wii U is, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that hardcore gaming fans absolutely cannot pick up a Wii U without owning another major gaming device shortly after. Whether it be another console or a gloriously-strong PC, the third-party support for Nintendo’s newest console is decidedly weak. Take-Two has exactly one Wii U title in their lineup; NBA 2K13. EA has produced only 4 games to appear on the Wii U, with 3 of them being launch titles (Madden NFL 13, Mass Effect 3, FIFA 13) and the most recent being a late port of Need for Speed: Most Wanted. There are over 160 different games that have been released on the PS3 and the Xbox 360, but not the Wii U.

People who own Nintendo consoles typically buy Nintendo games, but do not show strong support for other publishers. A great deal why the Wii U is especially feeling the burn so far this generation is because it is decidedly underpowered in comparison to the PS4 and Xbox One. Because of this, creating games that adhere to its technical limitations can cause developmental delays and problems. That’s partially why open-world title Watch Dogs was released 6 months after releasing on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. Plus, it doesn’t make sense to buy the worst-looking versions of games if they don’t operate wholly different, something Rayman Legends actually benefits from.

Furthermore, the online/media functions that the Wii U serves are not up to snuff. The platform is all about the games through and through, and will not support in-game content streaming like the PS4 and Xbox One do. It doesn’t charge an annual/monthly fee to use online, that much is a given. Still, without linking downloaded games to Nintendo accounts, it is a hassle to recover lost or deleted downloaded games data. It cannot be done without contacting Nintendo customer service, and for a games platform to still be pulling that off weeks away from 2015 is pretty silly.

Ultimately, the Wii U is the cheapest of the next-generation consoles to pick up. Many fans this past summer opted to pick up a refurbished Deluxe model with Nintendo Land for $200, including yours truly. Opening up the box, the device actually looked, and operated, like brand new. The downside to this widely-known “secret” is that it had to run out sometime, and it is currently unavailable. You can always wait for Nintendo to refill their stock, or you can pick up a 32 GB Wii U including Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Nintendo Land for less than $360 on Friday.

Is A Wii U Right For You?

More from Opinion

If you like Nintendo games, get a Wii U as soon as you can. Super Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2, Super Mario 3D World, The Wonderful 101 and Mario Kart 8 are too exceptional to pass up. Plus, with hundreds of classic titles available on virtual console and gameplay-capable with the Nintendo Wii backwards compatibility, making the jump to the next generation with Nintendo is a breeze. With excellent single and multiplayer Nintendo titles seeking a 2015 release, the future is bright for the console to play with friends or by yourself. For what it is, the Wii U is perfect. Unfortunately for Nintendo, an overwhelming number of excellent game titles passing up the platform represent what the Wii U is not.

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