Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thoughts on the Wii

Alright, so, there's this large elephant in the video game room. It has sold like crazy, so, as a result, all of the publishers need to address it. We're talking about the Nintendo Wii, of course, and with it, all of the baggage associated with it.

In the spirit of that large elephant, I have the sneaking suspicion that the gaming press are hoping that the system will be something that it isn't: a mainstream gaming machine that appeals to the broader hardcore market.

We're all aware at how grossly underpowered the Wii is when compared to her current generation siblings. We're also well aware that there have been some games that have come out on the Wii (Resident Evil 4, the Metroid and Zelda games, and the latest, MadWorld) that purport to cater to the hardcore gamer. While RE4 and the latest Zelda were clearly developed on or for the previous platform (Gamecube/PS2), and Metroid was created by an internal development team, we only have MadWorld as the one, true, independent, hardcore targeted title for the Wii until The Conduit drops.

Which leaves me wondering: what part of the Wii audience are really hardcore gamers? I ask this as a serious question, because when I look at the vast majority of games out there, it reads like an inverse bell curve: you've got casual, older gamers on one side, and you've got kids on the other, with the hardcore, early-adopters stuck squarely in a blackhole of suck in the middle.

So, why make hardcore games for the Wii? They are already going to be at a pretty severe disadvantage in terms of graphical and even technical (memory) capabilities. The base control scheme, reliant upon a somewhat foggy, and typically requires a great deal of flailing about like an idiot. While that might fly in party games where laughing at your friends is required, trying to get into a game like...dunno...Mass Effect if I have to waggle that Wii-mote to perform combat...

...ugh...what makes the Wii so special? Can someone explain it? Please?

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