I had initially planned on going over a variety of news topics from this past week in gaming, and got as far as watching the latest Nintendo Direct video before ceasing my search of material.
I had already reached event horizon.
As an aside, I do realize that while this news is only a week old, in internet time, that would qualify my post as a living fossil.
So just marvel at the history laid before you.
Nintendo Direct has represented a mediator in the great dialogue of pacing for Nintendo affairs. I think it’s important we talk about video games in an exciting way more than once a year, and enjoy these great experiences with more regularity and timing than a harvest moon.
While I understand the cause and effect of why this paradigm has existed, that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to change it. Nintendo Direct (ND) seems to be just one of many ways to accomplish this, allowing us a glimpse at just what’s happening with our favorite games, with a well appreciated press conference of rhetorical standing.
One of the first major topics of discussion involved the Miiverse, and how even Nintendo was surprised at how much steam it’s picked up. This reinforces my idea that the Miiverse was a greater force than anyone had initially thought, and perhaps, an even greater force than anyone had even intended. Nintendo was kind enough to reassure everyone, that two major updates were coming in the Spring and Summer, to help with a number of important enhancements, including specialized communities, and increased load times.
Both act as wonderful catalysts in the great expansion of the Miiverse. The social aspects of this Twitter like service on the Wii U really helps tie everyone together in a sense of community, unfamiliar to Nintendo’s usually solitary online environment . Further, the Miiverse works best as a seamless operation, so the faster the transitions, the better. Nintendo wanted to alert everyone that these substantial changes were in part helped by fan feedback. This news helps to underline what a static platform the Miiverse represents, and how both the players and makers wish to have a hand in keeping it an ever evolving entity.
Another topic discussed was the virtual console for the Wii U, which came with some news involving the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good involved a mention of more Virtual Console titles to have Wii U gamepad support, not only allowing for the Wii U controller to substitute the Wii-mote, but allowing for the games to be played on the gamepad’s screen entirely. The bad comes with the finite nature of the titles supported, this patch not including the entire library. I suppose while “The Best Of” will definitely see the implementation (Mario, Zelda, Metroid), we may be left waiting endlessly to get everything we want.
The ugly I briefly mentioned involves the lack of complete Universal Accounts between consoles. Many of us have bought Nintendo’s old games, happily, many many times. This doesn’t look to change anytime soon, as they announced no new plans to have Virtual Console games usable, between the Wii, the Wii U, and the 3DS. This policy would make sense overall, and give admirable nods to the people who have supported Nintendo with their wallets the most. The only positive amendment to all of this, is that Nintendo will offer one time fees ($1 for NES titles, $1.50 for SNES) to allow forward compatibility of VC games on the Wii to work on the Wii U.
While I understand Nintendo’s approach to profits, I do not understand their approach to consumer loyalty. Online account compatibility is one detail Sony has recently impressed with, and I’m confused as to why Nintendo doesn’t provide the same sense of unity. The lack of foresightedness has already resulted in Nintendo being the butt of one joke, so I’m surprised they aren’t make strives to recreate their technological image in the gaming community, rather than help to condemn it.
With hardware and infrastructure info took up a bulk of the coverage in lieu of games, I found it refreshing. Many in the past have complained dearly about the lack of innovation in Nintendo’s hardware, and the first half of this video discusses just that. The Wii U continues to change, mostly for the better, in a dynamic way. This excites me as someone who will be using this console for the next 5+ years, and all of the services it is to offer.
That doesn’t stop me of course, from becoming excited about the real bread and butter: handful of games mentioned in the second half of the video, including:
–Game & Wario: Likely to top all efforts of Wario Ware titles gone by in creating hilarious mass chaos.
-Wii Fit U: Admittedly, a casual entry, but the routine and relaxing nature of the first title ended up grabbing quite a bit of my time.
–Pikmin 3: One of the reasons I picked up a Wii U at launch, based on an early demo before the system was even out.
-Lego City: Undercover, Lego games always make an easy time of having some quick fun, though the open world nature may change that.
-The Wonderful 101: A Pikmin like super hero game, which looks to carry all of the charm and awesome action adrenaline of Viewtiful Joe.
The last one is sure to be the biggest sleeper hit of the lot, which is a shame, as the studio developing it, Platinum Games is headed by Hideki Kamiya. While you may not know the man by name, some of his previous studios, have made some rambunctiously sexy adventures in the past. Not only is 101 already geared to be a quiet success, but it doesn’t help that the very same studio is working on Bayonetta 2, which will be a Wii U exclusive. Bayonetta 2 will be a sequel to one of my personal favorites in the action genre since the original Devil May Cry.
(Not Devil May Cry 2).
A couple of the other quick blurbs of upcoming (but maybe not so quickly upcoming) games involve:
(Include pictures with the titles)
While I’m expecting the last few titles as laters than sooners, I’m legitimately taken back by the variety on tap from all of the titles on display, and these are just from Nintendo alone. Other developers, like the best friend Nintendo has found in Ubisoft, and the inevitability of others like EA and Sega seeing the raw potential of the hardware, we may see the most eventful Nintendo console cycle any gamer has in well over a decade.
After all, good things come to those who wait…
…as any Zelda fan will tell you.
Rounding off the rather robust ND, Eiji Anomua (also known as EA, of Zelda fame) announces The Wind Wake HD remake, which has me at full attention.
EA teases us with the heavy prospect his team is undertaking, with a ” rethink of the conventions of Zelda”.While, as we’ve seen in the past, this doesn’t bode well for a timely future Zelda release, WWHD looks to help pass the time, with a gingerly mentioned release of this fall. Not only did EA elaborate on the impressively overhauled visuals for the Wii U, but on expanding and remixing the game play. This could (speculatively) add new content (see Link’s Awakening DX), help temper the Triforce fetch quest (which has since been admitted as padding for a crunched development time), and remix the controls or balance of the fighting system and travelling at large.
Not to mention the avowed additions of extra Wii U gamepad functionality, and Miiverse integration.
I simply can not get enough…
Well, that about sums it up for the most recent Nintendo Direct, and a hell of an exposition it was. Everything from the expanding networks, to the various slew of games, and the mention of Wind Waker HD has me positively ecstatic for where Nintendo is going this year. With Microsoft and Sony looming with a possible announcement at this years E3 for new hardware, this Nintendo Direct possess a subtle message of realization, and it’s if Nintendo doesn’t fight to impress and win you over…
…someone else will.