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access_time April 23, 2013 at 11:53 PM in Features by Maggie Wiland

In Defense Of The Wii & Kinect

Let it be known right from the start that I:

  • Never expected in my life to be using my Wii or a Kinect for games
  • Never been that big a Nintendo fan to begin with

Back in the day, the biggest Nintendo purchases I owned were an N64 (and that was GIVEN to me and I barely used it) and every game boy and to be honest, the game boys were solely for Pokemon. However, after playing my 360 for so long, last July I decided to finally pick up a Nintendo DS Lite. I wanted to play the new Pokemon for it and a few other games, like Scribblenauts for example. But the main reason I did this was because I didn’t want to play my Xbox that much anymore. I get very very stressed when playing video games on the xbox and honestly, gaming is supposed to be a FUN hobby, not a stressful job. And I like the Nintendo philosophy of “it ain’t broken, we ain’t fixin it”. So I picked up the DS and the first thing I noticed was how much calmer everything was with it, and how much more fun I was having overall?

But why is this?

I think it’s because the games for both the Wii and the DS harken back to the games of my youth. Old side scrollers, light hearted adventure titles and some puzzles games. So when I got my Wii, I bought the red one because it came with the new Mario game. I’ve never been much of a fan of Mario (I was a Sonic kid growing up), but I LOVED it. It’s a phenomenal game. After playing it, and now looking back at what the Wii is, it dawned on me that it’s much more than a gaming console. Now armed with Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming and a Youtube app (all of which work WAY better than on the 360), and their little online store with wiiware original games and some of the old titles-including old genesis titles like Vectorman-the Wii accomplished what both the 360 and the ps3 tried to do. Being an entertainment system. My Wii gets far more playtime and use than my 360 and DS COMBINED. Why is this? Because I use Netflix streaming every single day. It’s my television now, and I soon found myself purchasing new games for it too. I bought Animal Crossing City Folk because the 1st on the Gamecube is one of my all time favorite titles, and more recently Epic Mickey and Kirbys Epic Yarn and Super Paper Mario. These have all been far superior than the majority of the triple AAA titles I’ve purchased on the xbox in it’s entire run, give or take a few like all the Bioshocks, or more recently Tomb Raider. I think it’s because it’s playing games for playing games sake. The one thing the Wii didn’t buy into that the 360 started and the ps3 tacked on was the Trophy/Achievement system. Meaning, I can actually sit down with my Wii and have FUN. I don’t have to worry about scores or anything else. It’s all about just enjoying the game for what the game is. A work of art.

Not to mention the Wii is the most economically feasible console because their games are pretty cheap compared to the alternatives, especially if you shop on Amazon. I wanted Epic Mickey, but Gamestop had it used for 20 dollars, and it’s been out a few years. I bought it on Amazon for 8 bucks. Take what you want from that. And now owning a Kinect for a few days, I have come to a singular conclusion…

These things, motion gaming (or really, in the Wii’s sake, a console nobody took seriously) are great if you can find the gems among the trash. The Wii isn’t without its flaws for sure. First off, there’s WAY too many peripheries. The wiimote, the nunchuck, the classic controller, an N64 controller for the N64 games you buy and a Gamecube controller if you want to play those, and then throw in things like the Mario Kart wheel (which you don’t HAVE to have), the Tony Hawk Board, the Rock Band instruments, the Wii Fit Balance Board and for one of the Zelda games, you HAVE to have Wii Motion Plus to play it which to me is a deterrent to buying the game entirely. But overall, it’s fantastic and I wish more people could see these things with a more open mind instead of just dismissing them right out the gate. “Oh motion gaming is stupid” or “Oh the Wii has too much garbage on it” or “Oh Kinect is for little kids and single moms who want to get in shape!” but no, if you find the right titles like some of the Wii ones I mentioned or for the Kinect-the Gunstringer, Haunt, Fruit Ninja-they’re absolutely worth your time.

So I guess that’s all I have to say about that.


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