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Are Third-Party Wii Games Finally Coming Into Their Own?

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the insert-generic-wii-pun-here dept.

Wii 73

Gravy Monkey writes "It's not too difficult to criticize the quality of many third-party Wii games — whether they're unique titles, bad licenses or lazy ports to the new system. However, will this change as more quality third-party games appear on the Wii? Recently, Wiiware title 'Lost Winds' picked up some great reviews, as did the Blastworks game. The recent review of a new game called Order Up on IGN caught my attention because they praised it as the way all casual games should be made. Is this the beginning of a new era for Wii games where quality casual games from third parties manage to grab the attention of both mainstream and hardcore gamers alike, instead of being a console where only first-party titles sell?"

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maybe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24626789)

I'm coming into your mom's mouth.

Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say... (2, Informative)

MrMage (1240674) | more than 6 years ago | (#24626801)

Yes! I didn't even Steven Spielberg could make games, though the combination of him and EA was remarkable.

Creative gameplay, excellent controls, and terrific physics, it alone has given me hope for third party titles.

But it doesn't seem to be selling all that well.. (2, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 6 years ago | (#24626813)

.. maybe there should have been some Spielberg themed levels.. chucking balls at sharks or flattening Nazis with blocks would have helped boost sales.

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (1)

cephah (1244770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24626979)

Excellent controls, eh? The game had horrible problems when using the IR sensor, half the time when doing the 'remove a block' game types, it isn't able to determine where you're pointing, so the cursor will flicker erratically across the screen. That's my experience with the game, anyway.

Other than that though, the game was quite innovative and entertaining, and I think it's an excellent game for kids as they'll learn to analyze situations and see physics in action.

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627115)

half the time when doing the 'remove a block' game types, it isn't able to determine where you're pointing, so the cursor will flicker erratically across the screen.

It sounds like you have a problem with your sensor bar. There are two common issues/fixes:

1. The sensor bar is too far back on the television. When you move the remote in certain directions, it can no longer "see" the IR LEDs. Try moving the sensor bar such that the black "glass" (for lack of a better term) is protruding over the edge of your TV.

2. There are other IR sources in your room. Some lightbulbs cause this problem, as do decorative lights like Christmas lights. (Dude, what are those still doing up in August?!?! :-P) Try turning off the lights in the room (especially decorative lights) and see if that helps. If it does, use the "Sensitivity" setting in the Wii settings menu to adjust how well the remotes "see" IR.

Hope that helps! :-)

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (1)

cephah (1244770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627743)

At first I thought it was a problem with the distance, because that can in fact cause a similar type of behaviour. But when sitting at the same distance from the Wii (2 meters), I have no problems with any other game that uses the IR sensor except for Boom Blox, so I'm assuming that they made a mistake in their sensor code somewhere. A way to fix the problem is to point the wii mote away from the sensor bar for a short moment and then slowly aiming it at the sensor bar again. It's a problem that's easily reproduced so I'm almost certain it's a Boom Blox specific problem.

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658335)

I've had a similar problem before and found that there were surfaces which were reflecting the signal. CD jewel cases and glass facing for various things like pictures or clocks can do this. Not being an IR technology expert this may in fact be ridiculous but this sure seemed to be the culprit in our case. And not to say there isn't necessarily a problem with your specific wiimote or the game itself, but I can tell you we didn't have those problems playing BB. I've found that not all Wiimote pointing environments are created equal.

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24627627)

What? If the game can't tell where you're pointing, it's not the game's fault, it's the Wii's. Do you think every game designer rewrites the code to tell where the pointer is?

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627931)

Ummm... then why is it that every decent game out there (and the Wii menu!) can tell you where your Wii remote is pointed and it is only the cheaply made third-party games that cannot?

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627263)

Good games for the Wii have been around for a while. They just don't get a lot of attention. Certainly, there are the first party games, but -- while they are high quality -- I actually find them to be less interesting than some of the third party titles.

Let me pull a few examples from my shelf/drive:

  • Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection
  • Zack and Wiki
  • Toki Tori
  • Wild West Guns
  • Geometry Wars Galaxies
  • Ghost Squad
  • Metal Slug Anthology
  • Guitar Hero III
  • Defend Your Castle
  • Star Soldier R
  • Lost Winds
  • Red Steel (Yeah, I liked this, hated Raving Rabbids. Go figure.)

That's just what I can remember off the top of my head. If you include second part titles, you can also throw in some great games like Excite Truck, Super Paper Mario, and several other strong contenders. A few other third party titles I'm excited about that I haven't gotten yet include:

  • Elebits
  • Blast Works
  • Boom Blox (of course)

Though one interesting problem I've noticed is that third parties tend to price their games WAY too high. Games that cost $20 or less on the PS2 (e.g. The Star Trek game) cost $30 on the Wii. Almost no one values such budget titles that highly. I honestly think that's what happened to Boom Blox as well. Great game, but overpriced for the market. Everyone wants it, no one shells out the dough.

That's probably why Majesco (smartly) slashed prices on Blast Works [wiimedia.com] and Taito decided to make Space Invaders: Get Even only 500 points [wiimedia.com] . Of course, the latter is actually a ripoff in disguise, so I imagine the market will get cautious and not buy even the good titles once they're affordable. (Thanks a lump, Taito.)

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633655)

They just don't get a lot of attention.

Which might be explained with them getting very low ratings, half the games you mention score in the lower 60-70/100 region and that region happens to be one that most people avoid because the games in there are junk. Not that there aren't exceptions, every now and then there are games that are great and that the press just doesn't get, but a bunch of 60-70 rated games being the better parts of games for a console isn't exactly a good sign.

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658233)

Resident Evil 4 is quite good too. Having played a few ports of older games that I enjoyed on other systems, like the Prince of Persia title that was ported, I've found the wii-interpreted control scheme fun, if buggy at times, but not necessarily a huge improvement on the core gameplay. With RE4 however, that game really comes into its own with the wiimote. It's just a better game for it. In fact it kind of bums me out that I can't play the new RE5, which looks fun and quite pretty, with the wiimote. It's going to feel alien back on a regular controller.

No More Heroes is also really good. It's fun and damn quirky and one of the first truly ironic and deconstructionist games out there. For a console that is promoted for its less hardcore, more casual gaming environment, No More Heroes sets up most of its humor for the true veteran gamer. Which is all the more ironic I guess.

Boom Blox was also pretty great. Definitely pick that one up. It really surprised me. I mean it is basically Jenga on the Wii, which sounds simple and uninspiring enough, but man that game is fun with friends and alcohol.

The software catalog on the Wii is still pretty lacking, but there are some real gems out there, first and third party. I have to disagree on the Wiiware mentions though. That stuff has been pretty disappointing so far, especially considering what I've seen on PSN/XBLA. I'd kill for Pixel Junk on the Wii.

Re:Anyone who's played Boom Blox would have to say (2, Insightful)

omnicron13 (993744) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627351)

If you look at metacritic [metacritic.com] 5 of the top 10 games are third party, as are 13 of the top 20. While Nintendo has the plurality of the top games, they don't have a majority.

Give them some time (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24626821)

I would say that any company who tries to put in an honest effort has the ability to release a good game. The problem is, is that a lot of companies would rather just do a quick and dirty job and cash in on the vast numbers of people who bought the Wii. However, there's one reason I have only ever owned a Nintendo console. The games that are good, are really good. Nintendo, and other third party publishers most of the time can throw together a good number of really great games. For any of their consoles, there have probably been about 15 really great games. Which is more games than I've ever owned for any one console. I don't care if there's 938 games for my console, if 930 of them are complete crap, or even just mediocre.

Re:Give them some time (3, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627647)

It's fairly true, actually. If we look at the sales of games like Boom Blox and Zack & Wiki, both of which have been said to be good games that make use of the Wii's capabilities, they really aren't all that great.

VGChartz lists .41 million in sales for Boom Blox [vgchartz.com] and almost the exact same number for Zack & Wiki [vgchartz.com] .

Of course if you can make a quick mini-game compilation and get nearly 2 million in sales [vgchartz.com] or port a game from the last generation of consoles and get around 1.5 million sales [vgchartz.com] why bother actually creating anything new and original?

It's not that companies wouldn't like to make great groundbreaking games, but if you can turn twice as many sales at half the cost on a collection of mini-games or porting your hot IP from last generation, why bother with anything else?

Re:Give them some time (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627967)

Because a really great game can get you recognized forever. Think about Square, most of the games they made flopped. It only took one good game (Final Fantasy) to become a hit for Square to be the legendary game publisher it is known as today. If Square just did some more really crappy games that sold decently but no one really liked, I doubt they would have the fanbase that they do today.

Re:Give them some time (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628653)

That still doesn't necessarily make them a commercial success. If you look at Okami, which is generally regarded as a wonderful piece of art, let alone a damn good game. Unfortunately the game wasn't a big seller and Clover Studios has since ceased to exist. Of course in an alternate reality they could've been big sellers and we'd have sequels thrown at us and eventually people would stop caring. I've honestly stopped being excited about Final Fantasy years ago. Recognition is fine, but it doesn't mean that you'll still make good games. I found FF XII to have a novel new approach to combat that needed some refining and fine tuning, but the story left me so apathetic that I've never bothered to finish the game.

Even if you make good games such as Viewtiful Joe and Okami that stand out from the rest and are engaging and fun to play, it doesn't mean that they're going to do well in terms of sales. As much as people like to bitch and moan about gaming being full of sequels, it seems as though that's what consumers are completely happy to buy. Unless you had read about Okami or Viewtiful Joe the odds are you wouldn't pick either of them up on an impulse buy, but you can be pretty sure what the new Mario game is going to be like and the last few were good enough so why not pick it up.

Until the vast majority, rather than a vocal minority, of the gaming market starts demanding new and innovative games and actually follows through by voting with dollars, we're going to keep seeing sequel after sequel. It's just like the movie business where tons of great independent films are being made every year on shoestring budgets, but the biggest return on investment is always going to be "Return of the generic summer action blockbuster 4." It's not going to be great cinema, but it'll put people in seats. Occasionally you'll get something that comes out of left field and is wildly successful, but then it just goes on to become the next franchise receiving the sequel treatment.

The mass consumer generally isn't very well informed and usually wants to go with something safe. I can't count the number of times I've heard friends or other people talking about a game that was massively hyped in the months leading up to its launch, but ended up a dud, talk about the game as though it was every bit as good as the developer was marking it to be. Add to that the number of people who will look at you as though they have no idea what you're talking about when you mention a great game that didn't receive a lot of hype or early press coverage. Until the gaming community as a whole pays more attention to reviews and other information, we're not going to see much of a change.

Re:Give them some time (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633109)

Unless you had read about Okami or Viewtiful Joe the odds are you wouldn't pick either of them up on an impulse buy, but you can be pretty sure what the new Mario game is going to be like and the last few were good enough so why not pick it up.

Mario didn't magically get into that position, the name is recognized due to a long line of high quality games (and frequent innovation). Of course there's also marketing needed, a game doesn't sell just by being out there, something must convince people to buy it and reviews don't reach many people. Once people buy it the quality of the game acts as marketing for any sequels. Okami and Viewtiful Joe got no meaningful marketing push and therefore got ignored (also artsy games generally tend not to do well).

People ARE buying innovative games when they are done right. Recent megasellers are Nintendogs, Wii Fit, Brain Training and GTA 3, all of which are pretty innovative. Some might argue that these were obvious or not all that new but innovation doesn't mean creating something with no precedents, it's about creating something that hasn't existed in this form before. Nintendogs is a virtual pet, sure, Tamagochis did that before but they had nowhere close to the interactivity of Nintendogs. GTA 3 had freeform gameplay in a 3d city, although the previous GTA games had roughly similar gameplay the addition of 3d was a massive change and in the end no game was really like GTA3 before GTA3 came out (and I think the sales of the previous GTA games weren't anything to write home about anyway).

Re:Give them some time (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658567)

That seems to be more a problem with the industry in general, or its consumer base really. People just buy games with familiar IP. That's why almost every game at recent E3s has been a sequel.

I've been thinking about this lately, about how most companies don't really make games. They make characters and IP. Then they sit on that and develop it for years. As someone who has thought about being in that industry it just sounds depressing that you'd be working on the same material for your whole career. That you'd have to actually relocate to a new company to get anything fresh. It's just another reason to stay developing smaller games.

But if you're developing IP for the higher spec systems, it usually involves gameplay and or assets that take advantage of those higher spec capabilities. And unless you want to contribute to the shovelware pile of ugly ports, it isn't going to be a trivial matter to tailor that IP to a lesser and more uniquely-designed, at least from an input standpoint, system like the Wii.

I think it's a real shame that the entertainment industry in general has gone so franchise-based. But really we have no one to blame but the idiot masses around us. Seek out new forms of entertainment. Take a fucking chance and reward companies for doing likewise!

Of course not (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24626881)

Why spend the time to make them better if people will buy the crap anyway? There will always be the occasional good 3rd party game from a real company like capcom and stuff. The rest will be for the idiots.

Lost Winds... (4, Informative)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 6 years ago | (#24626891)

Lost Winds was fantastic, I can't wait for the sequels.

If you haven't seen it, it makes great use of the Wii "wand," it's one of those games that'll only work on the Wii until the other companies start copying that functionality. I highly recommend it.

It's was very short, but then that makes it a manageable download, and it was only $10.

Re:Lost Winds... (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628687)

If you like Lost Winds on the Wii, check out "Soul Bubbles" for the DS. It's very close in design, simplicity and has a wind based control scheme that you control with the stylus. It's very relaxing.

Re:Lost Winds... (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 6 years ago | (#24631207)

Thanks for the recommendation--that totally slipped under my radar and it looks like a lot of fun. The video alone has secured it a top 3 spot on my DS must-have list.

Re:Lost Winds... (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658707)

Not to just be contrary, but I didn't much like that one. It was just too slow. I realize this was a concious part of the design, but I really thing it would have benefitted from a quicker more responsive character. A more Mario approach. That said, it was the best original Wiiware title I've come across. Which isn't saying too much unfortunately.

If you have to make a post... (4, Interesting)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 6 years ago | (#24626899)

If you have to make a post asking about whether or not third-party games are finally coming into their own... that's a pretty good pointer that you have a problem with third-party games. I don't recall anyone ever asking, "Are the Atari Jaguar third-party games finally coming into their own?!"

Re:If you have to make a post... (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24632777)

People still play the Jaguar? Was there as many Jaguars in use as the Wii is now?

I say you're comparing apples to mangosteens*. The market and positioning of Atari and Nintendo then and now is very different. Atari's scenario is a quickly-fading pioneer of the video game industry struggling against the dominant SNES and Genesis, so if there was a problem with 3rd-party titles for the Jag, I doubt anyone other than Jag fans would even bat an eye.

Contrast with the current generation. The Nintendo Wii is at least dominant in terms of units sold and distributed, which means that the 3rd-party developers barely had a chance to glance at the system's dev kit before they realized the huge market potential. The rest is just generally bad timing and PHB-ishness of the development/publishing houses, flooding the market with cheap knockoffs and poor gimmicks instead of taking the time to think of small ideas like Nintendo did with Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Warioware.

Now it's hip to trash the Wii and brag about selling it online. Go figure.

* Forgive a bit of creativity. I was getting tired of oranges. Silly Dutch.

Re:If you have to make a post... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633113)

It only shows that there is a percieved problem, not necessarily a real one.

Re:If you have to make a post... (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658731)

I do recall people complaining that the Dreamcast had pretty dismal third-party support. In fact Midway was the only other company from whom I remember owning a great deal of DC titles. Maybe a few Capcom titles as well. Which was fitting really, as between those two and SEGA, the Dreamcast was basically an arcade in your home.

Still maybe it wouldn't have died so soon if it had had a more expansive and diversified software library. Will we be saying the same about the Wii in a year?

Re:If you have to make a post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24696619)

There was next to no 3rd party support for the Jaguar.

Time Warner Interactive sucked. Telegames sucked. A few Acclaim ports was nothing to brag about.

Alien Vs. Predator, Tempest/Defender 2000, Iron Soldier -- all first party.

Nintendo's 1st/2nd party vs. 3rd party was an issue with the N64, Gamecube, and now Wii. And yes, third parties matter, because the first party (nintendo) won't go into some areas. Some are covered by outside developers (Resident Evil, Ghost Squad, Red Steel), some are not (sandbox games). I am *still* waiting for a "Grand Theft Mario/Wario" with a realized Mushroom Kingdom to do good and bad deeds in. Super Wario World?

I just got a Wii and am trying to decide if i should keep it, sell on craigslist, or return to the store. My Xbox 360 has had a *lot* of love lately -- GeoWars2, Braid, Bionic Commando Rearmed, with Fallout 3 coming in October. But I never had a GC, and Wii Fit, SMG, BoomBlox, and Pinball Hall of Fame are almost too much to pass up.

Why the Wii? Too much overhead, and no market. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24626961)

Why would any sane third party developer want to develop quality casual games on the Wii?

You get lots of overhead costs, rules to comply to, and Nintendo doesn't even give you any promotion. Developing for the PC is much more lucrative as you can get more quality for the same development budget.

Besides, I don't believe there is a market for thrid party casual games on the Wii.

As a Wii owner, I'd not planning to buy casual games for it. The games have DRM, are too expensive (especially here in Europe), and with no way to try those games out before buying, I have no plans to buy anything third party.

Most of my casual friends that have a Wii, on the other hand, don't classify any of the games mentioned as "casual". They won't buy this kind of games.

Re:Why the Wii? Too much overhead, and no market. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627729)

As a Wii owner, I'd not planning to buy casual games for it. [..] Most of my casual friends that have a Wii, on the other hand, don't classify any of the games mentioned as "casual". They won't buy this kind of games.

Strange, I always thought that the Wii *was* focussed more on the casual gamer.

Look at the numbers (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627037)

The headline for this ars article [arstechnica.com] focuses on the ps3 gaining ground, but what is amazing is how dominant nintendo has become. It just doesn't make sense for any developer to ignore what is going on and I think we are going to see some phenomenal developments for the wii in every aspect.

Re:Look at the numbers (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627189)

The PS3 will overtake the Wii in total sales, but not until after Nintendo puts their next console out. MS will continue to place 3rd.

Re:Look at the numbers (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628401)

The problem with the PS3 is twofold, first off it is aimed at the HD market when a lot of people simply A) don't have an HD TV and don't care or B) don't care that the game looks better than on the 360. Secondly, there aren't many exclusive titles for it, Final Fantasy XIII looked like it could be a killer title... But it is coming to the 360 too. The Wii has Mario, Zelda, Super Smash Bros, etc. The 360 has Halo, the PS3 has...?

Re:Look at the numbers (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24630867)

The Wii is innovative, the PS3 is definately not.

But most importantly one is 270$ and all your friends have it, the other is 400$ for a console that can't even play last generation's games, or 700$+ for one that can (80GB PS3 is worthless).

And it can work just fine with component. And it does 480p just fine, too. Only one of my TVs does 720p/1080i. The other is still 480i (at least I haven't noticed any component connectors in the back).

Re:Look at the numbers (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633167)

I dont think so, the PS3 was too ambitious to gain a "1st place". Before anyone accuses me of being a Microsoft of Nintendo fanboy, full disclosure: I have no allies, own all 3 consoles and I was a Sega fanboy back in the day.

First of all, more powerful console doesn't automatically mean the games will always look better. Most multiplatform titles actually look better on the 360 than the PS3. This is due to the 360 is cheaper to develop on, developers usually make the game on the 360 and port it over, not to mention not all titles on the PS3 (infact very few 3rd party titles) display in 1080p in the first place. Despite what most people think the 360 and PS3 do have limits and a lower res (usually 768i) will enable the game to run smoothly without hits on performance. When it comes down to that, what you have left is upscalers, which the 360 does a very nice job of.

Secondly is price. Sony cant compete on price, the machine is still to expensive. If they want a shot at winning this generation they need to cut price and the need to cut it NOW! There are many hardcore gamers that still cant justify the price and you have to be crazy to think if a casual will spend that much on something they wont use all that much.

. As I live in Australia let me show you the prices here for consoles:
Wii = $388
360 Arcade $350
360 Pro = $500
PS3 = $700
Yes, in Australia the PS3 is double the price of the 360 arcade (and yes, here alot of people will settle for an Arcade and a 2nd hand 20Gb HDD, very popular practice. And yes a 360 is cheaper than the Wii here too.

In the end, to be the market leader you have to have the casual audience, and Nintendo owns the casual audience. For Sony to do well here, they need to compete with Nintendo's price AND deal with the fact that the Wii is a pop culture phenomenon. Its just not going to happen. It's going to be a close battle for 2nd place but like I said, a price cut needs to come fast!

Problems... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627123)

Third party games can be great on the Wii, but most (read as 95%) seem to think that in order to make a good game on the Wii they have to make everything motion controlled. Look at one of Nintendo's best games for the Wii, Super Smash Bros Brawl, it didn't use the motion sensor hardly at all, yet I think it is much more enjoyable than mindlessly waving the Wii remote around like most third party games make you do.

Re:Problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24627331)

The problem with that is that if you don't use motion controls, the Wii doesn't offer you ANYTHING. The online experience is crap, the processor and the GPU are crap, and Nintendo's developper support and tools are crap. So, the only reason to develop a game without motion controls for the Wii is a market-based one. And even then it's sketchy. While there are a lot of Wii in homes, the owners tend to buy much less games...

Re:Problems... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627645)

The problem with that is that if you don't use motion controls, the Wii doesn't offer you ANYTHING. The online experience is crap, the processor and the GPU are crap, and Nintendo's developper support and tools are crap.

Remember, the Wii is substantially more powerful than any last generation console (PS2, Gamecube, X-Box), so I don't think it's fair to say it's crap; it's certainly less powerful than the PS3 and 360, but the difference is mainly in HD graphic detail, and I think the market is indicating that most people don't really care. Think of it this way: The Wii is theoretically powerful enough to do a better game than anything ever made for the PS2. If 3rd party games, suck, it's solely because the game designers suck.

Also, the Wii does offer something else besides the motion controls... a market substantially larger than either of the other two consoles.

Re:Problems... (1, Flamebait)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628021)

Remember, the Wii is substantially more powerful than any last generation console (PS2, Gamecube, X-Box),

Completely wrong, I guess that myth will never die. Its pretty much equally powerful then the stuff from the last generation, its hardware can't even run some effects that the Xbox1 could do, due to the lack of shader, so you won't see a game like Riddick on the Wii ever.
Keep in mind that the normal generation jump in computing power is around 10 times or more, the Wii is stuck somewhere between 1.5x-2.0x times more powerful then the Gamecube and quite a bit of that additional power is already eaten up by 16:9/480p output vs 4:3/480i output that the Gamecube did.

it's certainly less powerful than the PS3 and 360, but the difference is mainly in HD graphic detail

The difference is *FAR* bigger then just HD. For one very important thing there is anti-aliasing, which the Wii doesn't do and causes all Wii games look pretty sucky on a big screen. But more importantly there is texture and object count. One of the fundamental difference between this gen and last gen is that in a PS3 or a Xbox360 game you have the screen full of stuff, crisp textures and a ton of objects, while on a PS2/Wii/Xbox1 game you always have plenty of empty space that is only filled with a blurry texture. Stuff like that gets *very* clear when you compare a MarioGalaxy vs a Ratched&Clank side by side in 480p, those games are really a generation apart.

Now one could of course argue that most of that is just fluff, unimportant to gameplay, and I even agree with that, I certainly had much more fun with Galaxy then Ratched, but claiming that there isn't a *huge* technological leap between Wii and a Xbox360/PS3 is ridiculous. There certainly is one, but well, I have to admin, that the brain is pretty damn good at filling those empty spots with stuff from imagination, so a last-gen game never feels as empty as it really is.

Think of it this way: The Wii is theoretically powerful enough to do a better game than anything ever made for the PS2.

Seriously, that is *eight* years after the Playstation2 was released, really not exactly much. But even still I have some doubt of even that, while the Wii is powerful in some areas, I am not sure if it could do a Shadow of the Colossus type of game. The PS2 isn't the most powerful console around, but at the end of its lifecycle some extremely impressive stuff has been done of it, thanks to its vector processor I guess, that I haven't seen anywhere else.

Also, the Wii does offer something else besides the motion controls... a market substantially larger than either of the other two consoles.

Yeah, but also a market smaller then both of those consoles combined, i.e. a cross platform game for Xbox360 and PS3 still has a larger market then a Wii-only title.

Re:Problems... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629261)

Completely wrong, I guess that myth will never die. Its pretty much equally powerful then the stuff from the last generation, its hardware can't even run some effects that the Xbox1 could do, due to the lack of shader, so you won't see a game like Riddick on the Wii ever. Keep in mind that the normal generation jump in computing power is around 10 times or more, the Wii is stuck somewhere between 1.5x-2.0x times more powerful then the Gamecube and quite a bit of that additional power is already eaten up by 16:9/480p output vs 4:3/480i output that the Gamecube did.

The Gamecube was in between the PS2 and X-Box in power, probably closer to the X-Box; the PS2 was pretty clearly the least powerful. I think the Wii is clearly more powerful than the X-Box. However, I agree that it is much closer to last generation in power than to the PS3 and 360. Comparing on a specific feature is a bit misleading; I could point out specific features of the Dreamcast that were far better than the PS2.

The difference is *FAR* bigger then just HD. For one very important thing there is anti-aliasing, which the Wii doesn't do and causes all Wii games look pretty sucky on a big screen. But more importantly there is texture and object count. One of the fundamental difference between this gen and last gen is that in a PS3 or a Xbox360 game you have the screen full of stuff, crisp textures and a ton of objects, while on a PS2/Wii/Xbox1 game you always have plenty of empty space that is only filled with a blurry texture. Stuff like that gets *very* clear when you compare a MarioGalaxy vs a Ratched&Clank side by side in 480p, those games are really a generation apart. Now one could of course argue that most of that is just fluff, unimportant to gameplay, and I even agree with that, I certainly had much more fun with Galaxy then Ratched, but claiming that there isn't a *huge* technological leap between Wii and a Xbox360/PS3 is ridiculous. There certainly is one, but well, I have to admin, that the brain is pretty damn good at filling those empty spots with stuff from imagination, so a last-gen game never feels as empty as it really is.

I don't think we disagree; just to clarify, when I say 'HD Graphic Detail' I didn't mean just a 1080p display, but all the accompanying graphical processing ability... antialiasing, more texture space, etc. The Wii is severly lacking compared to the new consoles. My point is that lack is not that relevant. Most people don't care. I don't.

Seriously, that is *eight* years after the Playstation2 was released, really not exactly much. But even still I have some doubt of even that, while the Wii is powerful in some areas, I am not sure if it could do a Shadow of the Colossus type of game. The PS2 isn't the most powerful console around, but at the end of its lifecycle some extremely impressive stuff has been done of it, thanks to its vector processor I guess, that I haven't seen anywhere else.

I'll disagree with you there; I think the Gamecube could match anything the PS2 could do, let alone the Wii.

Yeah, but also a market smaller then both of those consoles combined, i.e. a cross platform game for Xbox360 and PS3 still has a larger market then a Wii-only title.

I have a hunch that a lot of the 360's and PS3 are owned by the same people, who will probably not be buying a copy for both. But that's just my impression. Another way of looking at it is they can write the game specifically for the Wii, for probably half the cost of developing if for the other consoles, not have to worry about porting it, and still have a market that is nearly the same size.

I totally grant you that the wii can't compete with the other two consoles in terms of raw power. But that doesn't mean it is a last gen console; it just means it evolved in a different direction. And perhaps more successfully. A tyrannosaurus rex can whip the snot out of any given mammal; but the mammals evolved in different directions, with less raw power... but we're still around. Progress can be along more than one axis.

Re:Problems... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24630027)

My point is that lack is not that relevant. Most people don't care. I don't.

I do. $250 for a console that doesn't really do much more then those that I already have is a lot. Might I look over that when the games at least are great, maybe, but then most Wii games still are either PS2 ports, mini-games, crap or games that would have worked on the Gamecube just as well (SmashBros, Galaxy, Zelda, ...). The number of Wii games that really make good use of the controls is still very very tiny.

I'll disagree with you there; I think the Gamecube could match anything the PS2 could do, let alone the Wii.

I am not so sure an that point myself. What Shadow of the Colossus did with fur, pseudo-HDR, particles, view distance and worldsize was highly impressive and I haven't really seen anything quite a like on any of the last gen consoles or even current gen consoles. Maybe its just all down to art style and could be replicated on a technical level on another console if people would just try, but lets just say, I believe it when I see it and that hasn't happened yet on the Wii.

I have a hunch that a lot of the 360's and PS3 are owned by the same people, who will probably not be buying a copy for both.

And a bunch of Wiis are either collecting dust or only used for Wii Sports and nothing else, so I don't think that changes much. The lower development cost is certainly a valid point, but I think some publishers really want to spend big money on one game, instead of trying to split the money across more lower cost games. Trying to do the next big AAA title seems to be a thing they try to do and they don't seem to see the Wii as a valid target for such a title. It might be stupid and foolish, but then thats kind of the way things seems to be at the moment.

My problem with the Wii isn't so much that it has developed in a different direction, but that it hasn't developed enough. Motion control is still more a theoretical cool sounding concept then something that is implemented well in games. And with that lack of hardware power, a little bit of motion control just isn't enough. We have to wait and see, maybe Motion Plus will fix in the new games many of the responsiveness and detection issue that plague many todays Wii games. But on the other side as long as most Wii games are still mini-games collection instead of something with a bit more substance, even if technically possible, I have some doubt that it will actually happen.

Re:Problems... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24631373)

Good post however I see the following time and time again.

Another way of looking at it is they can write the game specifically for the Wii, for probably half the cost of developing if for the other consoles, not have to worry about porting it, and still have a market that is nearly the same size.

The problem is most people perceive that a game for a standard definition TV is cheaper to program for than a game that targets high definition TV. If that was the case PC games with their very high resolution graphics (eg Crysis) would cost an small fortune and yet games for Windows (err PC's) are nearly always cheaper than console games.

When a new console hits the market and has different hardware it is going to be harder to program for if you are in the business of designing a fundamental game engine and gaming libraries. If you design a good game engine say for a FPS game it is not that difficult designing other FPS games around that same set of libraries and this is why we see lots of FPS games for the Xbox360 and now these same types of games are appearing on the PS3. So it now appears that some good?? gaming software has been developed for the PS3 and is every bit as good as what we see on the Xbx360's. The problem software designers have with the Wii is they originally dismissed it and now they would have to spend a small fortune dumbing down their libraries to work on the Wii, so we see ports from previous consoles.

I hope people don't think that graphics games designers are programmers, although some may the majority are not, graphics designers actually use games development software which is not what a real programmer would consider programming, to the real programmer it just using an application. By far the biggest cost with any game is not actually the software it is the type of people who are needed to actually design and develop the game and a really good innovative game can cost more than a Hollywood movie. A cheaply developed or ported game appears much more preferable to many third party developers than to try and do something that remotely resembles innovation. To be fair the PS3 and Xbox 360 also suffer from this although not as bad (IMHO) as the games for the Wii.

A cheaply made game is just that a "cheaply made game" however if you are marketing that game at uninformed people then you may sell quite a few copies and that is what the gaming houses want. More people play simple games that may last all of 15 minutes than play a RPG or FPS game however these same people will not pay anywhere near what an avid (or rabid if you like) gamer would pay for their more sophisticated games. If the gaming houses thought they could get away with selling shovelware rather than spend the money on developing an innovative game then they would and what we are seeing on the Wii is a lot of shovelware. This is not to say there can't be good games made for the Wii they can, however you normally see PS2, Gamecube and Xbox ports.

Towards the end of the Gamecubes short life we started to see some interesting and innovative games and the graphics were quite good even for standard definition. I am sure people are aware and may have games like "Resident Evil 4", "Twilight Princess" and "Smash Brothers" to name a few but those games originally came out on the Gamecube (RE4 was a good IMHO port to the PS2) so what we see are good games but ported to Wii with only small tweaks to cater for motion sensitive controller. Even games like "Okami" which first came out on the PS2 are a port.

Re:Problems... (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24630357)

the Wii is stuck somewhere between 1.5x-2.0x times more powerful then the Gamecube and quite a bit of that additional power is already eaten up by 16:9/480p output vs 4:3/480i output that the Gamecube did.

If you're going to beat Nintendo up on it's lack of effort on high definition gaming, at least use some facts. The GameCube supports 480p as long as you buy the digital out port. Getting the cable for the digital port required ordering it directly from Nintendo by mail. Many games did not support progressive scan because support was not mandatory for GameCube games and getting the cable was difficult. To load a Gamecube game in progressive scan mode you hold down the b button while it turns on if I remember. Later in the GameCube's life cycle, Nintendo removed the digital out port to cut costs.

The difference is *FAR* bigger then just HD. For one very important thing there is anti-aliasing, which the Wii doesn't do and causes all Wii games look pretty sucky on a big screen.

Antialiasing is usually used for textures in the game, not for upscaling the resolution. The Wii is oblivious to HD (it has no hdmi port), so it can't upscale anything itself. It's all left to the TV. (I hope your TV has good upscaling algorithms! If they used Antialiasing, then it will be nice and blurry....)

Completely wrong, I guess that myth will never die. Its pretty much equally powerful then the stuff from the last generation, its hardware can't even run some effects that the Xbox1 could do, due to the lack of shader, so you won't see a game like Riddick on the Wii ever.

The Wii does not natively support some of the shaders the orginal XBox had. The PS2 did not natively support antialiasing in the hardware like the GameCube and the Xbox did. But many games emulated antialiasing in software, sometimes getting better results than the hardware algorithms. If some enterprising developers tried to use that extra %50 horse power, it _may_ be possible. ( http://wii.ign.com/articles/867/867498p1.html [ign.com] ) The Conduit may be that kind of game.

Re:Problems... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24630685)

Just to add to that list of games for the PS2 that I'd be surprised if a Wii could pull off: Black, Grandia III, Jak II and III, and the first two God of War titles.

Re:Problems... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24631519)

Just to add to that list of games for the PS2 that I'd be surprised if a Wii could pull off: Black, Grandia III, Jak II and III, and the first two God of War titles.

I think the Wii could pull off the above games however if you were familiar with the button layout on the PS2 or Xbox then you would be be in for some relearning. The problem from a Wii perspective with RPG's and action adventure games is you need to have your fingers near the buttons and that is why you would need a Gamecube style controller. The motion sensing is fine but it may be next to useless for the above games. Just because you have motion sensing in a controller should not mean you have to slavishly demand it for every game and that appears what all parties are doing for the Wii.

For the PS3 most of the games that use motion sensing only use it sparingly or appropriately which IMHO is a good thing. The only game I am aware of on the PS3 that really made use of the motion sensing controller was Lair although if you care to look, Grand Theft Auto 1V allows motion sensing for bike riding and flying but you don't have to if you prefer the analogue sticks. Like Lair you can get very good and surprisingly excellent intuitive control using motion sensing if you don't violently move the controller.

Re:Problems... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633145)

RPGs would probably work fine or even better with point and click controls (of course if properly designed for it), many only use 2-3 buttons (OK, cancel, menu) anyway.

Re:Problems... (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24630881)

The Wii is theoretically powerful enough to do a better game than anything ever made for the PS2.

The dreamcast was physically able to make a game twice as good as the PS2. In every way. The PS2 shipped with joke hardware and a DVD player. But release first and somehow you win.

Re:Problems... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627911)

So the 2600/NES/SNES/Mega Drive/Dremcast/Saturn/PS1/PS2/Xbox/N64/Game Boy/GameCube all sucked? Sure, the Wii doesn't give you great graphics compared to the PS3, but guess what graphics aren't everything and more and more people are coming to that conclusion. Make a fun game and it will sell, tech-demos and games made to only show good graphics (sports games anyone?) will rot on store shelves, but good, fun and enjoyable games will be played.

Re:Problems... (1)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628633)

Yes. Yes they are crap, by today's standard. I'm tired of that logic. Go play your favorite SNES game (on a SNES, emulators are excluded), wait for the notalgia to wear off and try to honestly tell me it's more fun than your average PS3/X360 game. Be honest. No graphics aren't everything, but it's not just graphics, it's raw CPU power, which means less budget for what makes the game fun, like AI and game logic.

Re:Problems... (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629023)

If you honestly believe good games stop being good when a new console comes out, you really need to see a shrink. Your post makes me want to fire up my Genesis and play Landstalker, Wonderboy in Monster World, Gunstar Heroes, Jungle Strike, Sonic, Starflight, and Mean Bean Machine. Where is the comparable experience on X360? You can keep your Halo 3, Gear of War, Call of Duty 4, and every other 1M+ seller on X360 [wikipedia.org] ; I'm not interested.

Emulators are excluded? WTF is that supposed to mean.

Re:Problems... (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24630935)

What's funny in a sad sort of way is that all the best sellers for the Xbox/360 and PS3 are intended for teenage boys who want to hack and slash. Except of course for PS3Home and Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Because you know ripping someone else's concepts and using it yourself is great isn't it?

I can totally feel the graphics man!!! I can feel the graphics!!! Graphics aren't anything but why doesn't nintendo make their console xbawks hueg and add in extra video for only 50$ more! Just stick in a 8400GS or something they're like 50$ and way better than the crap nintendo does! And FPS are great shut up!!! They're the best selling games man! So what if they haven't ever changed! Bang bang!

And man online play soo increases the life of your console! Because we all want to play against /v/irgins from 4chan who do nothing but vegitate and swear! And we so need voice chat because you need to coordinate on SSBB and like set the rules! Host is fucking useless I want to set the rules!

Credited to a typical 13 year old trying to convince me the Wii is crap. No thanks kid. The wii is good. I don't care about high definition games. I'd much rather have ray tracing on my PC.

I'd buy a console so it just works. So that I can play innovative games. Stuff that won't go obsolete so quick. Stuff I can just sit back and play with a friend, sister, by myself, whatever. SNES was like that. Gamecube was like that too. Wii is like that even more.

Nintendo tried going all-or-nothing for power. They did the gamecube. Yet everyone hated it and said it was lame... And now MSony does it, "everybody" says it's great.

Nice doublethink. Graphics are not the only thing but it's shit without good graphics. Gamecube was shit who cares about power, oh man PS3 is great let's game on my 1080p TV!

Re:Problems... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24631649)

Wow a blast from the past. Landstalker and "Wonderboy in Monster World" where some of favourite games. As far as emulators go my Sega Megadrive (I live in Australia) died many years ago so I do rely on emulators. I still have my SNES but it is too much trouble connecting it to my HDTV and it is so much easier firing up an emulator on my PC which produces a very acceptable picture.

I have played Halo on PC and my experience was an adrenalin rush for about an hour and "meh" after that. I don't have an Xbox360 and since I don't like Microsoft I don't think I will ever get one. Even so most games I have seen for the so called next generation consoles are so "milked" that there are few that make me want to go out an buy them.

I do have a PS3 with backwards capability that I got a good deal on however I end up playing PS2 games on it more than PS3 games. There are some good PS3 games available but I am not going to pay $AU99 (US$89) for them (Wii and Xbox360 new games are about the same price) so I don't mind waiting till they drop in price, because I have so many good PS2 games I have not finished yet. I even have a few Gamecube games that I still play.

Re:Problems... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629327)

How does that explain my kids, and how they play the SNES and Gameboy Advance emulators on their computers as much or more than their modern consoles? Nostalgia is not an element there. (I know, you said 'emulators excluded', but I'm not excluding them, because I shouldn't have to.) I'll challenge you to play a 360 or PS3 game, wait for the graphics rush to wear off, and tell me the game is better than anything for the SNES.

I'll grant you that the new consoles have vastly greater computational power, but really doubt that we're getting significantly better AI out of it. I think every megaflop that can be squeezed out is devoted to graphics, with AI and game logic getting only what is absolutely required.

Re:Problems... (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24631395)

tell me the game is better than anything for the SNES.

Yes, GTA IV is exactly the same as any SNES game, only worse! There is absolutely nothing new there, nothing that's more fun. Its worse than EVERY OTHER game ever made for the SNES. That's just how it is, you've proven it!

Get off yourself. SNES is great, but I would have hung it up a long time ago if we didn't get better games. Play CoD 4 and tell me that doesn't be the shit out of Ikari Warriors.

Re:Problems... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633183)

That comes mostly from improved game design rather than added CPU power. Many modern games would have been possible on older systems but back in those days people had some bad preconceptions about how to approach game design (e.g. switch puzzles *shudder*). You could have had, say, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow on the SNES (Dawn might have been difficult) but you simply didn't. Generally try comparing modern 2d games with old ones, they often play better without actually using more system power.

Yes not just casuals (or: It Still Prints Money) (4, Informative)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627305)

What happened was that most companies saw the Wii as an "also ran" once again. The XBox barely beat out the Gamecube lastgen (both getting their asses handed to them by the PS2). So, when Nintendo said "less power more immersive", the developers scratched their heads then "ooh"ed and "aah"ed over PS3 and 360 graphics. As with most of the market, they were thinking only of the core market (14-25 males) and what they would bring.

(It should be noted that the DS was only coming into its own right leading up to the Wii's launch, so the whole "it prints money" thing hadn't connected yet.)

Fast forward a year after release. 360's numbers are still looking alright, but Sony can't give away PS3 consoles (which were free with any HDTV purchase above a grand at many stores for a while). Wii, in the mean time, either has already surpassed the 360 in sales or is set to do so in a month or two's time, despite having a year's handicap. Suddenly, developers are going "oh shit" and want to jump on the money train. They see the success of games like Wii Sports (duh, as it's packaged with the Wii), Wii Play, and Rayman Raving Rabbids (which is quite fun) and think "We an pump out a bunch of minigame games". So we get isles of shovelware for Wii Year 2. In this time we get a bunch of good games as well, but it's starting to suffer the same way the PS2 did.

But we're coming up on Year 3 and it seems that a lot of companies are announcing original properties or new titles for the console. We have MadWorld [sega.com] , Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World [wikipedia.org] , The Conduit [ign.com] , and Fatal Frame (4): Mask of the Lunar Eclipse [ign.com] . For the casuals, there are plenty of other enticing options, such as Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party [gamespot.com] , Wii Music [nintendo.com] (along with other Nintendo Wii titles), and Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 2 [gamespot.com] . At the same time, the Wii is becoming more than an afterthought. For instance, Rock Band 2 will not be crippled [wired.com] like the original Rock Band Wii was.

I think, though, that Year 3 will not be the year of casuals, as that's more of an over-arching thing, partly because casual gamers are far more likely to buy older titles they haven't played or only rented/borrowed before, whereas "core" gamers are much more likely to stick with new releases. Instead, a trend that I see developing for late Year 3/early Year 4 is ports, either straight or enhanced. We've had Resident Evil 4 and Okami, as well as other titles like House of the Dead (2 & 3). Capcom has announced Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop [gamespot.com] and Sega has Samba de Amigo [gamespot.com] . Only two titles, sure, but as Wii sales continue on their steady pace (and stores continue to sell out), more and more developers are going to reach into their catalog of PS2, XBox, and Dreamcast games and grab some of the more popular titles to bring to the Wii. Because the expectations lower, they won't need to spend much time ramping up graphics, and by this point many studios have gotten good with applying the Wii controls. Throw in a bit of extra content here and there, price it at $30 or $40, and you have an easy seller.

Nintendo did have a bad E3 (I mean, wow), but this allows 3rd parties to step up not just for casual gaming, but for the core market as well. Over time some of those casuals will come over to the dark side, spurring "core" game development. In addition, Nintendo has no big games set for release over the next year or so (they've blown their load in the last year for pretty much all their franchises), so they won't overshadow the 3rd party games.

Re:Yes not just casuals (or: It Still Prints Money (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627475)

Of course E3 was bad. It's no secret that since last year E3 is just aimed at the press and investors. Worthwhile announcements have been moved to other events like Tokyo Game Show.

Re:Yes not just casuals (or: It Still Prints Money (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627545)

I know it's been changed around to focus on press/investors (and subsequently a bunch of developers/producers no longer care), but that doesn't mean you have to have a bad show. Both Sony and Microsoft had decent shows--nothing to get excited over, but they were alright and dropped some nice tidbits (though Microsoft's new Live interface made me laugh a lot, it looks horrible).

Nintendo's was downright bad, though. They could have shown 15 seconds of any one franchise and it would have been tremendous, but the whole thing was just embarrassing and didn't bring to light any new games, just stated ones that were already announced (everyone knew that Animal Crossing Wii was coming at some point).

Re:Yes not just casuals (or: It Still Prints Money (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628423)

You dont have to forget that Nintendo has churned out a load of games the first 1 1/2 years of Wii alsmost every big franchies got a new game. Now only a handful of franchises are left and the development houses need a lot of time to produce even one game for a big franchise. Nintendo never was strong to introduce a new franchise most of theirs are still from the NES days. So yes there is a gap, but it is way worse on the DS due to the developer resources being bound by the WII, and yet under a ton of shovelware there are still 2-3 gems every year really worth looking at even at the DS. Now we face a gap on the Wii from the Nintendo side, but I am sure there are third party games happily to step in once you find them within the ton of Disney, Animal whatever and quick cash in junk. Nintendo will step in again, but I think it wont happen before 2009.

Re:Yes not just casuals (or: It Still Prints Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24640595)

Your post was complete biased BS

I think they'll get better eventually (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24627505)

I think developers are still learning how to work with the Wii. Let's not forget that almost all of them were caught with their pants down (hell, even Nintendo didn't expect the success that they've enjoyed) when it came to having content ready for the Wii. At the system launch the only third party that had anything that could be considered a worth-while showing was Ubisoft, and most of those games weren't all that great in my opinion.

Once Wii sales took off for the stratosphere, everyone wanted to get in on the action. The only problem is that a lot of teams had no experience working with the new control system, so this presented a learning curve. It would also take over a year in order to put out something fresh, so old games were ported over to the platform to cash in on its new found success.

Now that developers have had time to see how much of a success the Wii has turned out to be along with becoming accustomed to working with the new controller, I think we'll start to see better games trickle out. Square Enix is still working on the new Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicals [wikipedia.org] game, which has been in the pipes for a while. I've also been interested in seeing what will come of MadWorld [wikipedia.org] , a game by Sega of all developers that has an interesting art style [google.com] to say the least. Note that the linked video contains graphic violence and is probably NSFW, which if nothing else probably ensures that the game will do good among the eighteen-and-under and ultra-violence-lover crowds.

A few other posters have already pointed out how Wii-ware games can be quite excellent as well and I think that it Nintendo more aggressively pursued developers as both Microsoft and Sony have, they could acquire more top-notch indie games on their platform as well. Some of the $10 games that you can find on Xbox Live and Sony's PSN (PlayStation Network) provide more fun and enjoyment than some of the $60 boxed games for the systems. The virtual console is also another potential marketplace where we can relive and enjoy older games, but I wish they'd release more of the games that I wanted to play.

Re:I think they'll get better eventually (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628275)

I think developers are still learning how to work with the Wii.

I have some doubt about that, because there really is not that much to be learned. The Wiimote is pretty limited and not really that complicated and much of the reason why you don't really see anything exciting being done with it, is because it just can't do it.

If you need further proof look no further then Nintendo itself, who will release MotionPlus, another little sensor to stick into your Wiimote that will bring it a little closer to what people expected from it in its original form already.

There certainly is still a lot to be learned about motion sensing, but a lot of that has to be learned on the controller design and sensory side before the third parties can even start to think about going really serious about motion sensing and elevating it to something truely good instead of just variations of stick waggling.

Re:I think they'll get better eventually (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628923)

I suppose I could have phrased things slightly better. I don't really believe it's the technical hurdle that's causing problems for developers, but really learning to design a game around the controller that's causing problems. Developers were too busy trying to figure out how to make the new controller work with their old games rather than asking what type of game would really go well with the new controller.

Take, for example, a series such as Grand Theft Auto. It works well enough on the more traditional controller designs from the last generation of consoles, but there's not guarantee that it would translate at all to the Wii's controls. The game would have to be designed with both the potential and limitations of the new controller in mind. Until developers manage to wrap their heads around that, we're not going to see anything that's really groundbreaking. Hopefully the MotionPlus, which you mentioned, will allow for better games in the sense that it makes controls tighter, but the old way of thinking about things is gone.

I'm still waiting for a great point and click adventure game for the Wii. What's the stop someone from making a game like Déjà Vu [wikipedia.org] for the Wii? The Phoenix Wright series has done quite well on the DS, but I can't understand why someone hasn't bothered to put that kind of experience on the Wii. There's also been what seems to me as a complete lack of rail shooters. I used to love these games in the arcade, but aside from the Resident Evil [wikipedia.org] one that came out a while back, I haven't seen much. Hell, someone could port the old classic arcade rail shooters to WiiWare and they'd probably get a few sales.

Re:I think they'll get better eventually (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#24629783)

In terms of point&click there is Zack&Wiki, Strong Bad and Sam'n Max is supposed to be coming soon too, there are also games like Nancy Drew. In terms of lightgun shooter there is Ghost Squad, House of Dead and quite a few other ones [wikipedia.org] . So there really isn't a total lack of the later kind.

However overall I have to agree, while the Wiimote does have its weaks points, it also does some things quite well and while porting old mouse/lightgun driven stuff over is a nice thing, the Wiimote could be used for more. There is still quite a lack of non-minigames that are build from ground of for the Wii and especially the genre of first-person-adventures could benefit from that a lot, especially since that is a genre which hasn't really been used much often. A modernized Snachters remake for the Wii could certainly be very cool.

Re:I think they'll get better eventually (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24630173)

There's also been what seems to me as a complete lack of rail shooters.

Screw rails. Play Corruption. There's a reason that the Wii comes with a Nunchuk accessory.

Re:I think they'll get better eventually (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633439)

The Phoenix Wright series has done quite well on the DS, but I can't understand why someone hasn't bothered to put that kind of experience on the Wii.

Actually, Capcom has released Harvey Birdman for the Wii which is basically Phoenix Wright with the Adult Swim Characters instead. However, it is much easier, more comedy-centric, and only about 2-3 Hours of play. But if you can get it for cheap (or rent) I highly recommend it.

IGN Review http://wii.ign.com/articles/817/817567p1.html [ign.com]

Re:I think they'll get better eventually (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#24644723)

I think developers are still learning how to work with the Wii. Let's not forget that almost all of them were caught with their pants down (hell, even Nintendo didn't expect the success that they've enjoyed) when it came to having content ready for the Wii. At the system launch the only third party that had anything that could be considered a worth-while showing was Ubisoft, and most of those games weren't all that great in my opinion. Once Wii sales took off for the stratosphere, everyone wanted to get in on the action. The only problem is that a lot of teams had no experience working with the new control system, so this presented a learning curve. It would also take over a year in order to put out something fresh, so old games were ported over to the platform to cash in on its new found success. Now that developers have had time to see how much of a success the Wii has turned out to be along with becoming accustomed to working with the new controller, I think we'll start to see better games trickle out.

Except everyone was saying the same thing right when it came out...give it a year. And then the year after, and still now. It seems the Wii is repeating its Gamecube performance with an important change. Despite selling an overwhelming number of consoles this round, it still suffers from poor third party sales and poor third party quality. It'll be interesting to see if they can keep up their amazing sales. All of my friends with Wii's don't play them anymore (anecdotal evidence, I know). But I expect to see a lot more used Wiis up for grabs soon.

"Lost Winds" was made by Frontier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24628097)

Yes, thats right - the same people who brought you Elite (kinda) and Frontier made Lost Winds. Would you expect anything less? They don't exactly have a track record of producing shite and unimaginative games.

Give us quality, improve online, and more. (2, Interesting)

stastuffis (632932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24628163)

Focus on quality
It's simple. The developers need to stop hacking together horseshit and make quality games, but there's also a few things Nintendo needs to do.

If you go casual, just add quality.
I'd be down for some good "casual" games as well. For example, it's been a while since I've seen a Jeopardy game. The Wii is perfect for it and with DLC becoming all the craze, we can now ensure that the content stays fresh. The market is out there! Casual can be fun, but it still requires effort from developers. There is a pattern developing here (hint: quality).

To Nintendo: Improve the online
There's a reason the 360 has the highest attachment rate right now: an average of higher quality releases and Live. Make the online experience reliable (a few games have exhibited the potential) and possibly make it more expansive but reliability is required. I won't go into the irritation that are friend codes because most people already know. You come standard with Wi-Fi, take advantage of it. The fact that people are willing to fork over the ridiculous amount of $100 for wireless on the 360 shows that the online arena is a moneymaker. Good online will definitely help increase attachment rates.

To Nintendo: Stop fucking around and give us a solution to the storage issue
I don't care if it's being "worked on". Fix it. Fix it fast. Unfortunately, you stand to make more money. I don't get the hangup.

Re:Give us quality, improve online, and more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24631077)

I don't get it either. I haven't bought anything in weeks specifically because there is no solution to the storage issue. I don't want to shift things back and forth between the SD card, or re-download something. We could probably take a couple small things off, but not enough to make a difference. Pretty much everything else gets played often enough I don't want to move it.

I'm also surprised their third party developers aren't breathing down their necks. I can't even buy additional downloadable content. I've got damn near 0 blocks free.

Like you say, fixing this problem will be like printing money. I don't get the hangup either.

Lost Winds is overhyped (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24632557)

Lost Winds is a nice game but not that great, it has easy puzzles requiring minimal thought* and is way too short (they really should've put an "Episode One" label on it). Its major advantage is that it has some of the prettiest graphics on the WiiWare system. IMO the best game currently on WiiWare is Toki Tori, it's a puzzle game too but it actually has puzzles that require thinking rather than just using the obvious objects with each other and it has a decent length. It merely lacks the hype and graphics to get as much attention as LW gets.

*=In fact it's usually harder to figure out where you're supposed to go from the vague descriptions and lack of a map than how to solve a puzzle in front of you.

You should look for unbiased reviews (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24633727)

A few years ago, a /. user posted a link to a site with a hardcore, unbiased user that independently reviews games and slashes them if they deserve so.
I noticed I agreed on most of his opinions so I use him as a reference anytime I'm looking for new games

Here's the link:
http://www.videogamecritic.net/ [videogamecritic.net]

Wii Reviews sorted by grades:

http://www.videogamecritic.net/wii_g.htm [videogamecritic.net]

From that list, I personally recommend RE4, No More Heroes, Bloom Box, and Bully:SE (if you enjoyed GTA).

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