Nice, thought out article. Good one pal
With the release of Mario Strikers Charged just around the corner and a USA summer schedule that reads more like a who’s who of tedious party games, isn't it high time Nintendo realised that a balance needs to be found?
But how and more importantly, why?
This week Nintendo announced their full line-up for the summer months in the USA. What it shows, and what Nintendo are keen to highlight, is a balance between the casual and the hardcore, but a rather slanted one. Indeed, were you to shove the ‘casual’ on one side of a scale and ‘hardcore’ on the other the former side would slam down to the ground, overflowing with half-arsed gaming content.
Wii Software Releases (Q3 - USA)
July 30 - Mario Strikers Charged - Nintendo
Aug. 20 - Metroid Prime 3 Corruption - Nintendo
September - Battalion Wars 2 - Nintendo
Aug. 14 - High School Musical: Sing It! - Disney Interactive Studios
Aug. 14 - Madden NFL '08 - EA
August - Tiger Woods PGA Tour '08 - EA
August - Space Station Tycoon - Namco Bandai
August - Brunswick Pro Bowling - Crave
August - Dave Mirra BMX Challenge - Crave
August - Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection - Crave
September - Brothers in Arms - Ubisoft
September - Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal - Warner Bros.
September - George of the Jungle - Crave
Fall Boogie - EA
For hardcore fans this summer on Wii, there will be...Metroid Prime 3 Corruption. The rest of the games comprise of a cartoon war game, a load of sports titles, cartoon based titles and singing/dancing ‘fun’. Whilst some will argue that Metroid Prime 3 Corruption is more than enough to keep hardcore and mature gamers entertained, there is a worrying amount of tat and party gaming to be found on the schedule. Someone asked me a very simple question the other day, but one that had never occurred to me. The conversation went something like this...
“How often do you play on your Wii then?”
“Erm...well, I played Wii Sports a few weeks ago, but I haven’t touched it much since I reviewed Medal of Honor: Vanguard and before that since I completed Zelda”
“I’m just never really in a ‘Wii’ mood, I’d rather play ‘normal games”
“Fair enough, wanna play some Smash Bros?”
And so we did. Afterwards, with my customary post-Smash Bros. headache blaring, I pondered a while on his question, why do I tend to ignore my Wii in favour of more traditional gaming experiences? I think the main problem is, that outside Zelda, there really isn’t very much to keep me coming back for me. The Wii is primarily a multiplayer experience, but having played Wario Ware to death and decided that Rayman was a bit boring after a while, we turned back to the GameCube and to the XBOX 360. There was comfort to be found in Mario Kart, in Pro Evolution and in Splinter Cell.
The Wii is that it is woefully lacking in substance, which is both its blessing and its curse. Some love it for it, some, like me, are feeling increasingly indifferent towards it. A new balance needs to be struck. I certainly believe Nintendo are coming around to this fact and recognising that their release schedule is a little bit ‘gimmicky’ and I strongly believe that what they have to offer in Q4 will be of far more interest to the traditional/hardcore/seasoned/whatever gamer.
Some might say that the problem is perhaps a tad irrelevant. In a year or so the Wii will have plenty of more ‘in-depth’ titles that offer the conventional thrills of console gaming rather than requiring you to wave your arms about like a twit. EA have shown the way to an extent with title like SSX Blur and hopefully more third party developers will come up with less gimmick-ridden offerings. Fun as the Wii is, it does tend to require you to have a harem of fun-loving friends who want to wave themselves around your living room/bedroom/wherever for an hour or two. Whilst I have friends, they would (and admittedly I would) much rather not do that all the damn time. The appeal of the Wii, for now at least, is rather one-dimensional.
So it is with much relief that Nintendo have gone ahead and launched (in Europe, anyway)...
...Mario Strikers Charged. Online play, a bit of substance, something you and your mates can enjoy without looking like twits and not a party game. Just good, clean, stupid, fast-paced, well put-together, Nintendo style fun. Admittedly it is still a silly little sports title, but it breaks the mould of average tripe that has been plaguing the Wii since launch. Nintendo realise this balance between the casual and the hardcore that MSC represents and they are keen to exploit it. The game is seeing a massive promotional drive on the TV and in print media here in the UK. The advert above is being shown during the Champions League Final on Wednesday, it was shown on Sky TV during the FA Cup Final and it will also be shown during key family programmes like Coronation Street, Big Brother and that horrible singing thing about Grease with David Gest terrifying small children as part of the panel. Lovely.
My prediction: this game will sell stupidly fast and in stupidly large quantities. It is just enough of a ‘proper game’ to get snobs like me to part with their cash and it is just enough of a silly ‘wave your arms around game’ to get the assembled masses Wii-ing with joy. This is the ‘balance’ that Nintendo need to find, not that half-arsed collection of crap titles and a couple of good ones. They need to be able to appeal to both markets in one game, a game of quality, a game of skill and substance but also a good fun game that you can play with your mates.
I really hope that titles like Mario Strikers Charged are a sign of things to come. True enough, with Battalion Wars 2 on the Wii due for release later this year all around the world, the fun/serious hardcore/casual issue is set to be tackled again. Whether or not it will be tacked successfully remains to be seen. Regardless, Nintendo need to sit up and pay attention. The Wii might sell well with an endless supply of party games right now, but eventually people will simply get bored of cheap thrills. Stop the rot now and the good times will continue to roll.
One of the rare articles i read all the way through...
I think nintendo made a big mistake all ready by not planning on releasing wii health or wii music by the end of september. I would have had atleast one of them out.
Thanks Star Striker for the sig.
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All of the consoles have to put up with the half-assed games alongside the decent ones because - and here's the big clincher - developers need to make money by selling something between their big released.
Or, in EA's case, they just need to sell something.
wow mario strikers online that'll be dope
Wii,RE4,Dewy's Adventures,Wii Sports,Link's Crossbow Training w/ Zapper,Cruis'n,No More Heroes,Metal Slug Anthology,Super Paper Mario,Mario Galaxy,Bomberman Land, WarioWare:Smooth Moves,Spider-man Friend or Foe,Battlion Wars 2, SSBB(Japan Version).
Xbox 360 Gamertag:CyclingAndre,360Pro,DMC4,The Club,Turok,SVR'08.
While I agree with you, I'm sure you understand why the plethora of party games exists. The wii is selling well more or less because it is new, some might call it a gimmick, others might call it revolutionary. Whatever you call it by and large, the first wave of games simply had to demonstrate the possibilities. They had to show off what you could do to sell their new idea. As nintendo stated they were shooting for expanding the video game world's following and target audience. As another article stated this is going to leave some behind who want what they had in the past.
As you stated they need to find balance between using the wiimote simply because you can and using it because it is a perfect tool for performing a task in a game. It will happen as games that sell well lead the way with templates for future games to follow. While I'm a little bummed this issue is still being resolved you have to take into account that most developers other than nintendo were caught off guard by the wii's success, rather than anticipating it and starting development on projects earlier. This is definitely going to slow down the rate at which consumers receive quality products.
I'm with you, I haven't played many games on my wii lately. I've been catching up with gamecube titles that I missed out on. I haven't really purchased many games for the wii either. There aren't too many that are must haves. I don't think its an issue of whether this will change, just an issue of when.
What does bother me is that games I'm most interested in playing are coming out on PS3 or 360 or both. I've been mostly playing on my computer lately. No wii health this summer was a huge huge disappointment, especially when it is being released in Japan.Originally Posted by Reggie at this weeks Nintendo Conference
Last edited by Skorp; 05-23-2007 at 06:34 PM.
Yeah, the Japs get everything, they already got freaking online games and all. Us Aussies though....We gotta wait till June 21st just for Pokemon Pearl and Diamond.
In bed by eight...home by eleven
thanks for that post James.
I havn't been playing my wii for quite some time becuase of the lack of good games but now that strickers is coming out it should be a fun time waster untill mp3, ssbb or my mates come around
Strikers FC: 043052 232782
As previously stated about going back to the 'normal' games when the Wii just doesn't 'compel' any longer; just highlights the need for developers to get good titles out there and keep the momentum going - mini-games have been berated as just a quick fix for the Wii and I have had conversations on this forum regarding the 'lastability' of games such as Rayman and even Wii sports.
The Wii demographic is across the board and as such caters for casual to hardcore gamers. Most average gamers, in the middle, want something in between Sports and Zelda, this is clearly apparent in the charted sales of all format titles out there and as such devs will take the easier option and make 'massware' for profit but with the Wii they have a blessing and a curse with the consumers whom have purchased the system. New controls when implemented well (a la, Wii Sports or Godfather) will make the system attractive or just plain terrible controls (a la, NFSC, Rampage) will erode the replayability factor for the system itself!!
It looks like at the minute that the casual market is new, fresh & enthusiastic to this system and as such has money to spend on the dance dance games or go for the recognisable titles such as Sonic etc, either way it sells.
Seasoned gamers will choose more carefully and only grab the deeper / technical titles which will give them bang for their buck - herein lies the attention deficiency with Wii...Sure the controls are great and you can forgive the look as long as the feel is there but these titles don't seem to be picking up pace towards the end of the year and that could mean a shift for some to other systems - I doubt many but some. If there are no 'must have' titles which push the system [controls and graphics] then Xbox / PS3 will surely gain ground significantly enough for people to just forget to keep and eye on Wii stuff and center around other consoles. Although to be fair seasoned gamers don't tend to stop buying games just because one was terrible - I imagine that most casual gamers would be put off by shelling out 40 - 50 clams for something to sit in a box on the shelf!!!
Although an anomaly to this imho is Godfather, take a game for all formats and map some superb control gestures to it and hey presto you have a game that stands out from the rest...! It can be done.
Let's not forget that, as previously mentioned, there are titles on, say the XBox that people just plain want to play - Gears of War is mine - and without titles of such acclaim then Wii has to make up ground with games which compete and with the lineup that James has mentioned, you can't see where it is coming from, add to this the fact that key titles are delayed (Mario Galaxy and Fitness) then it's only natural that Wii will gather dust in the corner..isn't it?
Without a standup lineup of releases then other console gamers will take their eye off the Wii as well and this also, I imagine, can effect sales to some point.
Nintendo knows it has a winner out there and I'm sure that they'll come through but how long that takes will depend on their speed of development...let's hope they had a sip of red bull this morning and continue to strike whilst the iron is red-hot!!
"This IS the difference over the other systems....graphics can make you believe you're there to some extent but motion gesture can make you believe you're doing it!"
I think all that needs to be said is that we can all look forward to going Outside to find entertainment this summer... or at least for shure we know our wii's will remain dust collectors for the next few months.
will trade wii for 360 elite yep its happend 360 owns wii ALREADY
OH... and take that plastic guitar controller if you have one n shove it up yer