A year in Wii U

I am, by best estimates, one of about 30 people in the world who decided to buy a Wii U and having owned it for a year I thought I’d share my thoughts on the console.

1) It’s cheap.

I bought the console last Christmas with Super Smash Brothers and an Amiibo. It cost £180. I’m not exactly a big earner but this is a pretty tidy price to pay for an impulse buy. I’ve probably spent a further £100 over the last year buying a number of utterly brilliant titles which have both fuelled nostalgia and the desire for a fresh experience.

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2) The games are brilliant.

Ignore the negativity. Some have complained that there are not that many games to play but I find this is actually a benefit for me when gaming time is at a premium. It also has the Nintendo shop meaning a glitch free Ocarina of Time is yours for £9. I got to play old GBA games like Metroid Fusion (brilliant) and Link to the Past (too dated to enjoy for me). Thanks to a number of free updates some of Nintendo’s best sellers have continued to have an excellent drip feed of free content.

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3) Online is about gaming, not hate.

My friend at Storm Bird Design played some Mario Kart 8 on-line with me the other day. It was his first on-line Nintendo experience and he utterly loved it. The two of us, on one console, could team up against 10 other competitors from around the world and fight for victory; thankfully without the horrible chorus of ‘your mum’ jokes or sheer verbal obscenity. Also, being Mario Kart, there really isn’t such a thing like ‘Spawn Camping’, ‘Base Rape’ or, as far as I’ve seen, cheating.

The same goes for Smash Brothers which is punishing in its difficulty but absolutely brilliant fun nonetheless. Also you can play Sonic versus Cloud from FF7 – nuff said really.

Overall the on-line experiences are well crafted, glitch free and consistently satisfying.

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4) Amiibo are addictive to collect even if they don’t do much.

Amiibo don’t add much to my gaming experience but they are bloody lovely figurines. I suppose thanks to my Plastic Crack addiction it only made sense that I should have some Nintendo clutter lying round as well. But they looks so freaking good. Gotta catch em all eh?

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5) Having that second screen really does help.

Another reason I bought the Wii U was so I could play all of the games on the game-pad whilst Lucy watched TV at the same time. The battery life is shockingly bad but keep a plug nearby and basically there’s no problem. Ultimately this simple addition ensures less of those nights where we’re hanging out in opposite ends of the house or fighting over TV time.

Overall?

It’s a great console to play on. It’s fun, easy to use and unobtrusive. I can use it to watch Netflix and Youtube on my game pad while Lucy watches the TV (so a free tablet really). Online is free and completely lacking in hate and the games are a refreshing mix of new (Splatoon, Shovel Knight) or nostalgic gems. 

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