A few weeks back good timing meant me and 8 friends had the chance for a good old-fashioned gaming session! 9 of in total and all male 18-30 and not one of them exactly Nintendo fans. Sure they liked Mario Kart, and we took time out to play the Wii version, but Nintendo was generally off their radar and the Wii U had failed to catch their attention so badly they all still thought it was an add-on for the Wii, many needed it explaining multiple times! By the way, the Wii U is not an add-on for the Wii, it is a totally new console!
My friends had turned up with a PS3, with the intention of a Fifa Tournament and later some zombies on COD, that didn’t exactly happen. Once they played on the Wii U the PS3 didn’t get turned on again, and 1 night turned into 3 days. Nintendoland was the main focus with Mario Chase, Luigis Ghost Mansion & Pikmin Adventure being everyones agreed favorites. But Zelda, DK, Mario and Animal Crossing we’re all highly enjoyed too.
We also played on Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101 which weren’t enjoyed by all but were praised strongly by those that did enjoy them. We also played Mario Bros U & Zombi U but neither stayed on for longer than 15 minutes. We of course had to find time for some Mario Kart Wii too!
Come the end of their time playing on the Wii U they were left with a great impression and have been talking the console up ever since.
The Wii U has made a very good impression on us all, and those of us closer to 30 than 18 felt we hadn’t had as good a time with local multiplayer since the days of the N64. It feels very much like a rebirth, The Wii U is the next level in local multiplayer, it’s just so much fun. Asymmetric multiplayer really is the shiz. That 5th player, the one with an alternate task on the gamepad, is what makes the difference, one you cannot appreciate until you have tried it out.
Every guy in that room saw the future potential, at least one wants a Wii U in time for the next COD game, in fact all but 1 one of them now has a Wii U on their ‘must buy at some point’ list, and we are certainly arranging more games nights!
I found it interesting that while playing Fifa the room was pretty dead, conversation was dry. When Nintendoland got turned on there was initially some awkwardness, it was if these people had forgot how to play and chat, but the need to communicate became obvious. Soon the room came alive with teamwork and banter soon followed. It ended up becoming the most memorable nights/few days we had spent together in a long time, and we’re pretty sociable! We hadn’t laughed that much in a long time!
Lets go back to Nintendoland because it had been written of as a failure by Nintendo. They thought it failed to help gamers ‘get’ the Wii U. However, generally speaking, here is the hardest demographic for Nintendo to reach falling in love with the Wii U and Nintendoland being that introduction. It does work, it really does, the problem isn’t the games or gameplay, the faults must be in the presentation and promotion. It may also be the case that with the Wii U, the proof in the pudding is in the eating. Non of Nintendolands games look impressive from the outside looking in.
Even with the best ad campaigns perhaps you can’t really understand the point in the Wii U’s gamepad until you spend time with one. Even me, because that was my first multiplayer experience on the Wii U and I had no idea it was going to be THAT fun. I’ve had the console since late January I’m a fan boy and obviously I wasn’t in a rush to try the multiplayer either. I had also previously slated Nintendoland, the magic is not easy to see.
There are a number of road blocks stopping people from giving the Wii U a chance and there’s an old argument worth mentioning: When my 8 male friends first looked at Nintendoland they were not impressed. They thought I was making them play a child’s game. It was too cute and colourful, it was only because I made them give it a try that they were able to look past that, it was too fun to care about such things. But the point remains, Nintendo has a childish image that alienates a lot of gamers, and Nintendoland on face value affirmed that, as a friend joked, ‘Looks like something off Nick Jr’
My friends may really like the Wii U now but as I said, it’s on their ‘must buy at some point’ list rather than the ‘as soon as’ list, and that has everything to do with Nintendos rather kiddie & girly feel. Nintendo need to move away from the Disney mentality and find a new home in realm of ‘The Simpsons’ where things are still family friendly but not an affront to a slightly paranoid mans sense of masculinity or anyones sense of maturity. There is a better middle ground to be found, Kid Icarus I’d say is rather close to that ideal.
Back to the positive, and to wrap up, the Wii U absolutely works, Nintendos over-bearing sweetness is so worth looking past. It won over 8 males whose view of Nintendo was not great. It was the best nights gaming all of us had in years, most of them want to now own a Wii U and they are singing its praises. Shocking of all they all think Nintendoland is a quality title that far outshines Wii Sports. I personally can’t think of better proof that the Wii U works. Nintendo should feel vindicated, but it’s time to man up a bit.
If you like gaming you’d be stupid to pass on the Wii U.