There’s been controversy for quite some time over whether the Wii is being catered too much to new gamers or not. Critics have argued that the flood of pick-up and play games for Nintendo’s new console are in fact dragging it down and leaving core gamers angry. The opposite side argues that games for core gamers are out there, just not as easily visible.
I’ve been on the fence, as I can see both some great games that are getting overshadowed, as well as the flood of games for casual and new gamers that have hit the Wii. But it only took one bit of news to get me off the fence and seriously debating how much core gamers, like myself, have to look forward to on the Wii.
In their newest issue, Famitsu will announce that Project H.A.M.M.E.R., a game I was really looking forward to that had been put on hold, is dead. Permanently dead. Shot out of a cannon into the sun dead. Rumors originally stated the game was delayed for *gasp* a game more slanted toward casual gamers! What a surprise!
Wii Play, Rayman Raving Rabbids and Wii Sports are not the end of the world, and in fact, they’re all fun games in their own right. But their success is causing so many similar games to appear that the Wii is quickly being turned into what it wasn’t intended to be: a console for newbies only. Yes, we’ve got Metroid Prime 3 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl among other games that still appeal to the core, but third parties are increasingly treating the Wii’s user base as if they were toddlers and old ladies. I went out and bought an Xbox 360 because I wanted the kinds of games we haven’t gotten on the Wii yet. Sim racers like Forza 2, RTS titles like Mass Effect and games like Ace Combat 6 and Crackdown that not only have some appeal to newer gamers, but have enough depth and challenge to satisfy core gamers, too.
On one hand, it’s easy to blame Nintendo since it’s their console, but take a look at the list of games they’ve put out or are developing. It’s a pretty fair balance of games that appeal to both core gamers and both casual and new gamers. Sure, they could do more to tell third parties what kind of games to be made, but third parties might react badly to that and just decide to give a “bossy and pushy” Nintendo the shaft when it comes to developing games.
Unfortunately, as gamers, there’s little we can do. Not buying those pick-up-and-play games either splits the Wii user base in two or makes third parties think that the Wii isn’t so hot anymore, and they just might cut development to focus on the Xbox 360 or PS3. On the other hand, buying every single one that comes out will only lead to more lame cash-in games that the Wii really doesn’t need.
It’s up to Nintendo to take the initiative. Super Mario Galaxy looks like a great start, and other Nintendo-produced titles like Battalion Wars II should only help in the effort. And remember, both the DS and Xbox 360 had shoddy selections of titles for their first year, but they now both have very strong libraries.
So maybe it’s not time to hit that panic button yet, fellow Wii core gamers. Yes, I’m still going to be very bitter about H.A.M.M.E.R.‘s cancellation for quite some time, but don’t let it ruin your expectations for the future. The games core gamers want will come in time.Powered by Sidelines