By obscurefan 7 Comments
So I was watching some E3 coverage over on Gametrailers and Geoff Keighley was interviewing the President of Nintendo, Reggie Fils-Aime. And during the interview he flat out asked him "So where are the third party games," and I remember feeling a sigh of relief that "Whew, someone finally addressed the elephant in the room." And Reggie gave him an answer which wasn't bad, pointing out that several third party games were coming to the Wii U such as Batman Arkham Origins, Watch Dogs, Assassins Creed, and several others which I was interested in. And then Geoff asked him about "Why aren't more games actually using the gamepad?" which was another question I was glad someone asked him. To which Reggie brought up The Wonderful 101 which relies heavily on it, and honestly looks pretty cool to me. But then things got weird as Geoff just kept asking the same questions over and over again about where were Madden and Call of Duty and other "Dude Bro" games as many have labeled them. He continued going back to these games specifically, to which Reggie kept telling him what he already brought up, that indeed there were third party games coming. But things kept going back and forth and at some point Geoff mentions that Nintendo isn't selling well and Reggie brought up the Wii Fit and how much of a success that was, to which Geoff basically said that that didn't count because it wasn't a real game. And I don't know why but that was the last straw with me, because for some reason it made me think of all of those people out there who come down harshly on "Girl Gamers" as they've been labeled, or anyone who says "Oh you're playing on the 3DS? You're not a real gamer." Sorry folks, but if it goes into a game console and you have goals to achieve, its a game, and Reggie was right, this was indeed a big success for them. And even ignoring the Wii Fit, it blew my mind to think that someone was saying "Yeah Nintendo doesn't have a big success," when just two days ago Animal Crossing had lines around the corner at every game shop in town.
I bring this up because I was coming down harshly on Nintendo as much as anybody else before watching this, but after seeing this interview it made me realize something. And that is that Nintendo doesn't have to put a ton of military games or sports games on their console to still be a great game system. I watched the games Nintendo was showing off this year and it made me think, "Wow, these games look... what's that word, I used to describe games like this a long time ago, what was it... oh that's right, Fun. They look Fun." And that is just fine, you can have a game that is just upbeat and fun, and meant for families or wide audiences who don't really enjoy Madden or FPS. Why wasn't Geoff Keighley going over to the XBox booth and asking them "Hey where are all your Family Games? Where are all the Puzzle Games? You know Madden isn't a real game right? I can go outside and play football at any time, so where are your real games?"
So I had to tip my hat to Nintendo after realizing that they were going for these audiences, it's just fine to have a wider friendly audience and load your console with exclusive games. However, that being said, Nintendo still needs help. There are ways to approach these goals, there are ways for Nintendo to dig out this niche for themselves on a small budget (because I'm just going to assume that's what they're working with). There are better ways to reach this audience, ways to blow their minds, and sneak back into success through the back door before anyone even realizes it.
So I am here to present to you my list of the Top Ten Ways the Wii U Can Make a Comeback (in descending order, trust me they get better as you go).
10. Give Us Achievements/Trophies
Like I said, these start out small and get better so just hang in there. But yes, for starters, just go ahead and give us Achievements. Nobody buys a game just because they want to get more achievements on their profile, however there are "Achievement Hunters" out there, people who love to see that little blip pop up, people who get addicted to hunting down as many of them as they can. And as I said, nobody out there buys a game just for these achievements, however this year I will indeed be buying Batman Arkham Origins. And if I had a Wii U and a PS3, and I had to choose between which system to go with, heck I enjoy getting trophies so of course I'll go with the one that gives me those as long as there are no other defining factors between the two.
9. Fun Licensed Properties
Okay, hear me out. I know that 9/10 licensed property games are either terrible or just okay, and that other 1/10 are Batman games. However a lot of times that's because the developer doesn't have much to work with and they try to make something big. But during E3 this year I was listening to Jason Murphy of Rage Select say that the Wii U is dead and he doesn't want anything to do with it. However Mr. Murphy is a huge fan of DC comics, and a few hours after he said this he tweeted that he was at the Nintendo booth playing Scribblenauts DC Universe, a game that features hundreds upon hundreds of DC characters, and he said he loved it so much he could do it all day.
My point is that extreme action games take a lot of work, but just going for "Fun" is a lot easier and simpler to achieve. So take some franchises out there and get some super geeks who have a major passion for the properties to get in there and create a simple fun game for it that pops up countless references and characters from the franchise so fans can fall in love with it, and it will be a step in the right direction for Licensed Properties and Nintendo in general.
8. Puzzles Puzzles Puzzles
Nintendo has a long history of trying to put out fun puzzle games, and right now when you look at the big consoles out there, who else is really focusing on that? Puzzle games have a huge following but nobody really takes it beyond the handheld games. At the Next E3 let's see Zack and Wiki 2, let's see a Wii U Professor Layton Game, and most of all, go to Valve and say to them "Hey guys we love Portal... but imagine what you could do with two screens."
7. Survival Horror
I'm a huge fan of Survival Horror games, and speaking for the community, we're a tad worried at the moment. Most Survival Horror franchises out there have gone more of the action route over the years, and hey you can't blame them. One of the things that make survival horror games so scary is that you have a lack of options, that they are simpler, that you don't go into a huge menu to customize weapons and them punch monsters in the face with them. Not that there's anything wrong with those kind of games, they're just not very scary. The truth is that when it comes to survival horror, sure you can get complex with them but sometimes the simplest execution is the best. Nobody was going on and on about how great Slender was because of the great details in the gameplay.
But with all the options that new consoles provide to game developers, how can they not make them full of action and packed with gameplay options. But as I said, the Wii U is a lot simpler with its gameplay, sure it might not seem that way at first because touch screens are still an odd thing to us old school gamers, but in the end it is simpler gameplay. Making this the perfect system for Survival Horror fans to call home. Don't believe me? Imagine Fatal Frame with the Wii U Pad as your camera.
6. Old School With a Dash of New Paint
Remember how excited you were when you saw DuckTales was coming back and it was fully remastered with a crisp and clear look to it? That's because nostalgia is a huge selling point with games right now, and it cost far less for a company to remake and remaster an old game than it takes to make a brand new game from the ground up. Now think of all those games you used to love to play that nobody has snagged up yet and rereleased? Now imagine them on a system that allows you to play on your TV, or take it around the rest of the house with you. If only there was a game console like that. Hmmm....
5. Indy Gamers
When I was going through all the footage of new games from E3, I stumbled across Ray the Dead, a game where you play as a zombie wondering around with his little army of zombies, planting them in places to surprise humans. And when I saw this game I thought, "That looks perfect for the Wii U, it looks like it doesn't cost much at all, and you could easily control your army with the stylus." Guess what system its not coming to.
I fully applaud Sony this year for putting a big emphasis on independent games, and Nintendo should take a lesson from this. Indy game designers don't work with as much so the consoles they're put on don't demand as much power, they aren't very expensive, and Indy game designers love thinking outside the box and coming up with something new, which is exactly what the Wii U is designed for. There is no reason the Castle Crasher guys shouldn't have a Nintendo contract in their hands right now.
4. From the DS to the Big Screen
Even if the Wii U isn't doing too well, Nintendo still has a firm hold on the handheld market. And do you know why? Because the games on there understand how to use both screens, they get how to use all the power of the system its given, and they get how to be nichy enough to dig out a fanbase. Now take those games, give them sequels, and slap them on the Wii U and call it a day.
I'm sure a lot of people out there are still eagerly awaiting any word on The World Ends With You 2, well imagine that two screen action on the game pad and on your TV. Imagine you managing the pins and special moves on the Wii U while two of your buddies with wiimotes playing as the characters on screen. The dance games aren't selling like Nintendo had hoped, but you know what dance game for a Nintendo console people loved? Elite Beat Agents for the DS. Slap the next one on the Wii U, and while your tapping along on the screen to get along with the rhythm, your friends are watching a big cartoony scene play out on your TV. Honestly the set up of the DS and the Wii U are so similar its shocking that none of these games are graduating to the big screen.
3. Change Up the Old Favorites
Listen, I love Mario, Link, and Metroid as much as everyone else, but we're kind of getting tired of the same old thing. There's a reason games like Kirby's Epic Yarn was a hit, because it was brand new gameplay. Nintendo needs to realize that they have a loyal fanbase who have played all these games before and are ready for something not totally new (because we still love the old) but new enough to make us realize its not the same game again. In the new Super Mario Brothers, why are you playing with Toad and Toad's friend who looks exactly like him? Why not come up with a brand new character for the Mario universe that we'll want to see more of in the future? Or for Legend of Zelda, hey those are good games but honestly I don't want to go through a level to find the grappling hook again. Instead open the game up with Link in town, get your tutorial on how to jump and run, then within ten minutes of the start of the game an outside force (NOT GANON) attacks your town, Link runs back home, opens a chest, and the screen says "You got all your gear. Your Uniform, Shield, Sword, Bow, Boomerang, Slingshot, and Grappling Hook." That's right, pull an Arkham City on Link.
2. Three New Franchises
As I said, I love Mario, Link, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Star Fox, but I've been loving them for so many years now. It's time for Nintendo to give us a new franchise. And while I have high hopes for the Wonderful 101, it could tank. That's why Nintendo can't just go "okay, here's a new game." No at the next E3, they need to give us three brand new franchises with brand new characters, realizing that one of them will probably fail, one will do alright, and the other one will be a smash success. But even if they all sink, at least the sight of three new Nintendo franchises will let us know that Nintendo is not out of ideas.
1. Buy The Rights to The Last Guardian
Nah who am I kidding, that's not happening. Okay, the real Number One Way for the Wii U to make a comeback...
1. Go With the Cult Favorites
Nintendo, as I said, has carved out a niche for themselves and as a result, sales have not been all that great. But that's been the history of niche games. A great game will come out that few people play, but everyone who does play it loves it and will do anything to see it come back. Time for Nintendo to make a comeback by giving these cult classic games the sequels they deserved. Nobody else is trying to make these games, nobody wants them, the game developers are holding a yard sell and giving them away for next to nothing. Nintendo this year announced that the new Sonic game would be exclusive to the Wii U, showing that Nintendo and Sega's partnership has now grown closer than ever, and its time for Nintendo to take the next step and open up Sega's closet and pull out those dusty old gems fans have been clamoring for.
Imagine if next year at E3, Reggie walked out onto the Nintendo booth and said, "This year Nintendo is proud to announce the next chapter in the Shenmue story will come to life. And that's not all, Skies of Arcadia 2 is also coming out, and thanks to the Wii U game pad, finding treasure will be its own exciting mini game. And we're not done, Jet Set Radio 3 is joining them! You get to spray graffiti with the swipe of your finger of the game pad."
And that's just Sega, picture where else they could go with these cult games. Everyone has that game that they would buy any system it was on if they just released a sequel. Beyond Good and Evil 2 still needs someone to pick it back up (did I mention how well the Wii U game pad can work as a camera yet?). Megaman has all but been forgotten by Capcom so let the new Smash Bros be a sign of things to come (the game pad could allow you to switch between Robot Master powers with just a quick tap). Heck I know that I would trade in my XBox 360 right now for a Wii U if Nintendo just went over to Shin Megami Tensai and said "Hey, who was it that was putting all your games on the DS when nobody else would? Us, that's who. You owe us, so guess what, Persona 5 is now Wii U exclusive."