Two years ago, I got my Wii U. One whole day before it's official European release date. I then did something I have never done before in my professional life: I took the next day, a Friday off work with the single purpose of playing video games the whole day. And you can bet your behind I did! An epic December followed.
Sounds silly, right? A full grown man taking a vacation day to play video games. Well, I only had a Wii during the last generation. As such, I missed out on a ton of amazing video games, video games that I was now able to play alongside with first party Nintendo games in beautiful HD for the very first time. I came home that day two years ago with Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, ZombiU and Assassin's Creed III, the games that where available to buy on that day. But what I spend the most time doing was not playing...
Time for a reality check. I had heard of this from friends with PS3 and Xbox 360. I spent literally hours that day with both Wii U firmware updates and game patches. I guess Nintendo caught up in 2012 with both good and bad aspects of the current video game industry. But in the end, there I was playing Nintendo Land and New super Mario Bros. U like the happiest kid on Earth. It was worth it!
Nowadays you wouldn't really know but back in 2012, third party support was the reason to own a Wii U! Honest! I lived it and I still can't believe it. It was truly a very blessed experience. By the end of December I had twelve retail game, the most I have ever own on any new console release in my life. Of these 12, only the previous 2 I mentioned where from Nintendo.
Among those, Call of Duty Black Ops ][ became a sort of life style for a while. Congratulations for Treyarch, I didn't feel like I was playing a third rate quick conversion. In fact I still play it nowadays (yes, even with Ghosts there are a few thousand people still on the servers every day). Wish we get all DLC for it...
Assassin's Creed III was the very first game in the series I played to completion, made me a fan of the whole thing even if it was not the best in the series (that's Black Flag IMO).
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition remains to this day the very best fighting game in the system (Ops! Sorry, Smahs Bros! Well, they are both by Namco anyway...).
Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition finally gave me the chance to be Batman. I still can't believe how much we have come from the very first Batman game I played on ZX Spectrum back in 1989. A future classic for sure.
Darksiders II was another huge surprise for me. Truly Zelda for grown ups, the beautiful music by Jesper Kyd still haunts my dreams. A shame this was to be the one and only title on Wii U by THQ before their bankruptcy came to be. I fear for the future of the series.
And then there was Mass Effect 3 Special Edition. I was very disappointed with EA (still am) for not putting the whole trilogy on Wii U, but the fact is this game made me a fan of the whole series. To think I might have never played any of them in my life if it did not land on Wii U is a scary thought. The expression "life changing" gets thrown around a bit more often that it should nowadays, but I can't deny the evidence. For the first time in my life, I wasn't watching one of my favourite space opera/sci-fi shows on TV, I was one of the main actors in it.
That was 2012 and this is 2014. Third party support has been an abomination as of late with franchises I was used to be able to enjoy every year missing in action from the system. Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Assassin's Creed Rogue, Shadows of Mordor, Mortal Kombat IX, Sniper Elite III, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Ace Combat, Soulblade... hey and why not GTA V, Red Dead Redemption... the list goes on for quite a bit,the more I think about it. Games that are technically possible on Wii U but money dictates that as a costumer I am "financially dubious" investment. Not all Wii U owner are alike, not all of us are in it to buy Just Dance every year. A recurring mistake by third parties that is keeping my money in my pocket instead of theirs.
Fair enough. It was up to Nintendo to start slowly but surely releasing first party content that made the Wii U the console to own under your TV set. I was very sick last Christmas, spend most of the holidays sick at home. But despite that, my memories are happy ones because I was able to play Super Mario 3D World to completion.
This year alone we had Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros onWii U, showing off how amazing Nintendo IP's can shine at 1080p 60 fps.
And them there is also a certain exclusive lady that is currently under my sights... I'm saving her for a special occasion. What's that on the horizon? Xenoblade Chronicles X, Star Fox and... Zelda all ready to market in 2015?
No home console is perfect but the Wii U is without a doubt exactly that: a home video game console, no more and no less. That is its main strength: It will entertain you, it will entertain your friends and it will even entertain your family regardless of them being gamers or not. I was my choice two years ago and even in those times when there are games droughts for it, I have never regret owning one. It is my home console of choice and I am very happy with it. It is currently in the same cross roads the 3DS was also in when it reached two years old in the market. Time will tell if the Wii U will one day reach the same fame and fortune as the Wii, but for this Christmas, I truly hope you have one under your tree waiting for you. It's probably one of my favourite treats in my entire adult life.
Thank you if you're still reading this far down! If you're still unsure, here are (at the time of writing this) 190 Wii U gameplay videos from me. Who knows, maybe one of these games will tickle your fancy just enough to give a Wii U a try. If you already own one, maybe even a lunch day console like me, feel free to share all your favourite memories in the comments below!
Lovely ladies and gentlemen, it was a honour to be a part of this community as an author. I will remain with you posting news and Shiryu Music releases up to January 2nd, 2015. That means I have been with you for a whole year! Very hard work, but oh so very rewarding one thus far.
Maybe the prophecy one day will come true, maybe there will be a new F-Zero on Wii U someday. Play Hard, Play LOUD! ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ