Wii U In 2016: Catching Up To A Console On Its Deathbed

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After Nintendo’s most recent financial announcements basically confirmed 2016 to be a lame duck final year for the lame duck of a console the Wii U has become, I went over how the 3DS is Nintendo’s only chance to salvage the year. I’m also however mulling over my decision to buy a Wii U back around February (?) and how I’m going to spend probably my only significant year with the console.

I’ve bought consoles after their prime before (though never for $300). I bought a SEGA Genesis in 1995, and bought a PlayStation 2 in 2005. With each one I was able to go back and enjoy a rich back catalog. Technically I’m still investigating the back catalogs of each of those consoles. Those were both successful consoles in their time though, which is what got each one a thick library of games. In the end I’ll probably ultimately end up buying fewer than 10 retail games for the Wii U. I currently only own one — Super Mario 3D World. Before even buying the Wii U I’d justified the $300 in my mind by laying out the games I wanted for it, and even that list has started to shorten.

First of all, let’s go ahead and confirm that basically nothing big is coming out for the Wii U this year aside from Paper Mario. I’ve never been big on the Mario RPGs other than the original (which I still plan to finish on Virtual Console, more on that below), so that pretty much equals no Wii U lineup to look forward to. I can focus entirely on the backlog.

Come to think of it the next game that makes the most sense for me to grab is probably Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. I’m on Super Mario 3D World now (or, as soon as I’m over Dark Souls III), which already get’s you familiarized with the gameplay in Toad. I think Nintendo actually did pretty good with these sort of tier-2 franchise games on the Wii U. It’s just that I already rented Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Yoshi’s Wooly World and decided I didn’t need to buy either. Same for Star Fox Zero.

After that it’s probably The Wonderful 101. I liked the demo (and plan to try it again) and am pretty much down for anything Platinum Games has put out so far (barring Star Fox for other reasons). That includes Bayonetta 2, which I keep hearing is the greatest character action game since Ninja Gaiden Black. My issue is I want to get the retail double pack that includes the first Bayonetta, and I evidently waited too long on it. I feel I might get lucky and find a pair of used discs at GameStop or something to avoid the inflated eBay prices.

Way way down the Wii U list for me is Xenoblade Chronicles X, and it’s that far down the list for one reason — I’m nowhere in the first game. I started it and then ended up spending like 20 hours in the first town (which is huge by RPG town standards). Maybe sometime this year I’ll get back on it and continue towards the sequel. From what I’ve seen Xenoblade X does things people have wanted to see Japanese RPGs do for a while, particularly in regards to the breadth and scale of the world.

You might be ready to complain about some omissions from this list, and what I can tell you is that I’ve found myself less interested in competitive games these days, including the major ones on the Wii U. I rented Mario Kart 8 and decided I didn’t need it. I’ve never been huge on Mario Kart anyway. I’m honestly not all that down for Splatoon either. For Smash, I’m waiting for more details on the game’s likely port for codename NX, plus I already have it on 3DS.

Last but not least is Virtual Console, but I already did a whole other post about the value I still see in the service and the classics on it which I still haven’t played. I guess you could consider that symbolic of the experiences I tend to have with platforms like the Wii U.

BULLETS:

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