As the title of this piece might suggest, I'm not a Wii U owner. Although I've wanted to buy one for the past few years, I've just not had the available cash to shell out for Nintendo's neat little system - it's just a little on the pricey side. But I still really want one, and am hoping that perhaps this Christmas the price might be right for me to take the plunge.
The big question is, however, why bother to purchase a system this late in its lifecycle? With the NX poised to likely launch next year, wouldn't I be better off waiting to buy the new upcoming Nintendo system? I don't think so – and indeed, that's the point of this piece. I have a simple rationale as to why I'd like a Wii U for Christmas: So I can finally experience the games I've not been able to play as of yet this generation. So without further ado, let me tell you about the twelve reasons why I think the Wii U is still worth buying.
Super Mario Maker
This is my number one reason for owning a Wii U. To get the chance to design my own Mario levels would be a dream come true. I just love the concept of this title, and think it’s one of the most impressive releases of the year. I played around with it at E3 and was just blown away by what you can do with the game – it really is a very comprehensive design tool that enables you to unleash your creativity and imagination. That there's also a myriad of levels designed by other people to sample is the sugar frosting on the cherry on the top of a particularly large and tasty cake.
I've played this a couple of times at different events, and both times I've absolutely loved the experience. While it looks like typical cute 'n' cuddly Nintendo fare, this is a tactical shooter that's just as mean and vicious as any other competitive FPS out there. Sure, it's not a "proper" FPS because the action is viewed from a third-person perspective, but to all intents and purposes it plays like one. I was particularly impressed with the Ranked Play options, and that holds a very strong appeal for me.
Here's another game I've had a tantalizing glimpse of, but haven't yet had the chance to properly experience. I loved the original Bayonetta, and this sequel basically takes its premise and dials the action up to "utterly bonkers." The end result is a technical tour-de-force that to me is one of the Wii U's showcase games. I really don't want to reach the end of this Nintendo generation without playing through this title!
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
While it might be a little on the short side, weighing in at some six or so hours in length, I'm nevertheless really intrigued by this title. I've liked some of Kirby's adventures in the past, and this sounds like one of his best ones yet. What particularly appeals is that it showcases the Wii U controller in an interesting way, making use of the stylus to tackle levels and defeat bosses. And then there's those claymation-style graphics, which look really sweet. Yep. This one looks like a lot of fun to me, and the fact that it offers a unique experience is yet another compelling reason to own a Wii U.
Super Mario 3D World
I had a blast playing this at E3 a couple of years ago, and ever since then I've really wanted to play it in-depth. I think Jeremy nailed its appeal when he reviewed the game: "The fact that 3D World remains lively and interesting despite calling back to so many well-loved classics serves as a succinct reminder as to why Mario remains successful after so many years and so many games: At its heart, the series is ultimately just about having simple, unpretentious fun." Having missed Mario so far this generation, getting the chance to play this and Super Mario Maker would be a real boon.
Ah Pushmo! I originally fell in love with this series playing it on 3DS. It's just such a simple, but clever little game that defines the old cliché, "easy to play, difficult to master." Some of its later puzzles are really fiendish in their design, striking that perfect balance of being tricky to solve, but making you slap your forehead when you do, because it seems so obvious when you get it right. That's the sort of puzzle game that really gets me going, so the chance to play an all-new one in the form of Pushmo World helps add additional appeal to purchasing a Wii U.
NES Remix 2
I have to admit that I've yet to play any NES Remix games, so finally being able to play this one would be a treat. I just love the idea of working through bits and pieces of old games that have been remixed to deliver a specific challenge, and NES Remix 2 sounds packed with them. Apparently it has no less than 169 different exercises on tap in games such as Dr Mario, Super Mario Bros 2 and 3, Punch Out!!, Metroid and NES Open Tournament Golf. Many of those games I haven't played in decades, and the idea of giving them a whirl sounds like a lot of fun to me.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Another fun puzzle game, this is a title I don't know that much about because I haven't played the parts of Super Mario 3D World upon which it's based – but it just sounds highly appealing to me. With 100 stages that, according to our review are, "a test of observation, reflex, planning, and deduction," Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker sounds like a solid title that should tie me up for a good few days as I work through it. And since it packs plenty of little secrets, that should bode well for some extended replay value.
This was one of the first Wii U titles I played, and at the time I had a great deal of fun with it. Sure, it's not the greatest of Wii U games, but there's something about its style and the way it plays that really appeals to me – which is not surprising considering it's from the makers of Bayonetta 2. As I described it when I provided a second opinion for our review, "Wonderful 101 is an insane, barely-controlled explosion whose relentless, kinetic action never gives you time to draw breath. Even between levels, its crazy momentum never lets up thanks to over-the-top characters yelling ridiculous dialog, before you’re launched into its next action-packed level. Subtle it’s not. Fun, though, it most certainly is." It's not the biggest game out there, and I'm sure I'd blitz through it again fairly quickly, but I know I'd have a blast doing so.
Mario Kart 8
Here's where I feel like sitting back in a rocking chair, pulling out a pipe from my cardigan and regaling the young 'uns with tales of playing Mario Kart for the first time on a SNES back in the early 90's. Ever since then, I've had a huge soft spot for this game, and while its fortunes have waxed and waned over the years, I still really enjoy playing the finer examples of this franchise when they come along. And Mario Kart 8 sounds like it stands tall as one of those. By all accounts, the multiplayer mode is highly entertaining, and I particularly like the idea of being able to download player ghosts to challenge – something that I do in Forza Motorsport 6 all the time.
Another game that sounds a little on the light side, but perhaps is a case of quality, not quantity, Pikmin 3's excellent-looking graphics have always been an attraction for me. I love the sound of its premise too – even though I'm not a fan of real-time strategy games, this one appeals to me because it's so simple in terms of its conception, and the way it plays out makes it very accessible.
Virtual Console and Wii Titles
Finally, one of the big appeals of getting a Wii U is being able to play a bunch of virtual console games that I haven't played in years. Yes, I can play them under emulation if I really wanted, but there's nothing quite like playing on a big screen using a proper Nintendo controller for a truly authentic experience. And I really like the sound of that. I've also got a few original Wii titles in the back of a cupboard that I haven't played in ages that I know I'd enjoy revisiting – especially Okami, which I didn’t play that much first time around, and the two Mario Galaxies.
Of course, it might seem absurd that I'm talking about playing old games on a new system as a good reason to buy it, but I do think that's part of the Wii U's attraction. To be able to dip into Nintendo's history and enjoy some of its evergreen classics like Super Mario World and Super Metroid is quite compelling to me. Even if some might scoff at the concept, I think it's a neat feature of the machine.