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Cheap Indie Games Make Wii U a Better Value

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the get-your-game-on dept.

Nintendo 109

Jon Brodkin writes "The Wii U has been out for two weeks, with most of the attention naturally focusing on the console’s tablet-y GamePad and blockbuster titles such as New Super Mario Bros. U and Assassin’s Creed 3. But $60 games aren’t the only draw on Nintendo’s new system. There are exactly five games on the Nintendo eShop for $20 or less: Nano Assault Neo, Little Inferno, Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition, Chasing Aurora, and Trine 2: Director’s Cut. You could call most or all of these indie games, depending on your definition of an independent developer." Read below for the rest of Jon's review.Nintendo isn’t exactly the first platform you think of for indie titles, and five games (some of which aren’t exclusive to the Wii U) won’t change that. But it’s a good start—let’s take a look at each one.

Nano Assault Neo
Price: $9.99
Developer: Shin’en Multimedia

A follow-up to last year’s Nano Assault for Nintendo 3DS, Nano Assault Neo is a Wii U exclusive that features classic dual-stick shoot-em-up gameplay. You fly a microscopic spaceship around planet-like cells infected with viruses, which of course you must destroy. The music is futuristic and mesmerizing, the landscapes colorful and the action fast-paced. Most of all, it’s fun, and well worth the $9.99 price tag.

There are 16 levels, and difficulty ramps up pretty quickly in the second and third ones. Each level comes to a satisfying conclusion: once you’ve defeated enough viruses, an exit opens, which you must reach within 30 seconds or the whole cell will explode. With both large and small enemies swarming around you, the game is hard but never really feels cheap. Agility is a must, as are the upgraded weapons and defenses you can buy between levels. The local multiplayer mode supports two players working together, and is perfect for taking on the game’s bigger challenges.

Unlike many early Wii U games, Nano Assault Neo makes good use of the touch-screen GamePad. A map on the touch-screen can be rotated to show all the enemies and coins in the level. With regard to multi-player action, the GamePad’s screen allows each player to get his or her own full-screen view. Nano Assault Neo is equally fun in single- and multi-player mode, and a steal at $10.

Little Inferno
Price: $14.99
Developer: Tomorrow Corporation

Little Inferno becomes addictive and fun before you even realize why. There is seemingly almost no point to the game. You put stuff in a fireplace, arrange it a bit, and then set the whole thing on fire.

“Little inferno is not like other games,” a narrator tells you early on. “There are no points. There is no score. You are not being timed. Just make a nice fire.”

You make fire by touching the GamePad screen with the stylus, or by pointing the Wii remote at your television screen. The experience is more fun and intuitive when you’re using a stylus on the smaller screen to control the fireplace. I can’t imagine playing Little Inferno with a PS3 or Xbox 360-style controller. (Little Inferno is also available from Steam for those who prefer mouse-and-keyboard.)

There’s no point in setting fires without stuff to burn, and Little Inferno offers up a variety: credit cards, clocks, spiders, even mini nuclear bombs. Burning stuff nets you coins to buy more stuff, but progressing through the game is only possible by burning items in the right combinations. For example, the “fireworks” combo is found by burning two types of dynamite.

Correctly identifying combos is the game’s only challenge, but the act of making fire can keep you busy. That mini-nuke provides a nice big explosion, and you can burn a school bus full of children and hear their terrifying screams (all in good fun, of course). There’s some semblance of a story, courtesy of letters you receive from a creepy girl with her own fireplace, which eventually force the protagonist to make a life-changing discovery of sorts—but War and Peace this is not.

The game seems aimed more at kids than adults, but it sucked me in for the few short hours it lasted. While you can stretch out the experience by attempting to find all 99 combos, the game’s short length and lack of anything really challenging to do makes it a little hard to recommend even at the low price tag of $14.99.

Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition
Price: $9.99
Developer: WayForward

An upgraded port of Mighty Switch Force! for the 3DS, this 2D platformer puts you in the shoes of cyborg police officer Patricia Wagon, a cheerleader-esque protagonist with an annoying voice that you’ll just have to do your best to ignore. Each level requires “Patty Wagon” to catch five escaped criminals and then find an exit. You come equipped with a gun to blast enemies, but the challenge lies in using Wagon’s physics-defying ability to turn solid objects into thin air and vice versa.

Changing the physical nature of objects allows passage through blocked off areas, as well as access to booster mechanisms that fling Wagon from one part of the level to another. If one booster is solid while another is transparent, timing the matter-manipulation correctly allows you to shoot yourself from one booster to another (and then another) until you reach the goal. Combined with the matter-manipulation technique, the boosters can be used to send bomb-carrying enemies to new parts of the level in order to blast away blockages.

The puzzles aren’t difficult to figure out. What’s hard is executing them with the proper timing. The GamePad screen doesn’t offer much in addition to the TV, but the ability to play either screen may come in handy if another member of your household is using the television to watch something soul-sucking. All in all, Mighty Switch Force! is fun, but not a must-have game.

Chasing Aurora
Price: $14.99
Developer: Broken Rules

From the maker of popular indie title And Yet It Moves, Chasing Aurora is an odd game that can’t be properly judged until you’ve played its multi-player mode. Even then, it’s hard to figure out the appeal.

Whether playing by yourself or with friends, you control an origami bird that flies through a paper-like world to the tune of a jazzy guitar riff. In single-player mode, you fly through a racecourse and try to hit a bunch of targets, but that proves too repetitive to keep one’s interest for more than a few minutes. Things get more stimulating in the local multiplayer mode, in which one player controls the GamePad and up to four friends play with Wii remotes (holding them sideways like a traditional Nintendo controller, which isn’t the most comfortable way to play a video game).

The object of the game changes from level of level. In one typical scenario, the players with Wii remotes chase the player with the GamePad. The remote-using players view the TV screen while the GamePad player gets a private view of the racecourse on the handheld. You can flap your wings and perform dive-bombs, but judging the wind’s direction in each course ultimately plays a bigger role in properly controlling your bird.

I couldn’t find anything appealing about the game in single-player mode. I invited friends over to play the multiplayer mode, which has gotten some good reviews, but even that novelty wore thin quickly. The music and graphics are undeniably stylish, but fighting through the wind to chase some birds around just isn’t fun enough to compete with any of the other games on this list. After playing a few rounds of Chasing Aurora, we switched to Nano Assault Neo for a deeper and more exciting time.

Trine 2: Director’s Cut
Price: $19.99
Developer: Frozenbyte

There’s a good chance you’ve already played the year-old Trine 2 on Windows, Mac, Linux, PS3, or Xbox 360, so there isn’t much to say except that it plays perfectly well on the Wii U. The biggest opportunity for FrozenByte to add something specific to the Wii U’s capabilities was the GamePad’s touch screen, of course, but it offers little except an additional method to switch weapons and characters.

The “Director’s Cut” designation denotes exclusive Wii U content in the form of extra levels and a new multiplayer mode called “Magic Mayhem,” which, once the latter’s actually released, will supposedly take advantage of the GamePad’s touch interface. While Trine 2’s pre-existing multiplayer mode made it onto the Wii U, Magic Mayhem wasn’t ready when the game launched and no release date has been announced.

Trine 2 is a fantastic fantasy-themed puzzle platformer and well worth $20 if you’ve never played it. Visuals on the Wii U are lush, and wouldn’t have been possible on the standard-definition Wii. That means waiting was the right decision—but since the game already exists on every major platform, it’s not that much of a differentiator for Nintendo’s new console.

How much indie is enough indie?

Indie games on the Wii U are definitely something that goes into the “pros” column when evaluating whether the console is worth the price tag. But with only a few indie games so far, it’s hard to say how much they tip the scales in favor of buying the system. Over time, we can only hope the catalog will become significantly more robust.

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109 comments

Advertisement (-1, Offtopic)

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IS IT 99 CENTS CHEAP ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171087)

Or is it more !! ONLY FREE is acceptable !!

Re:IS IT 99 CENTS CHEAP ?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171195)

I hope this is just poorly-executed sarcasm.

Who cares about indie? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171095)

I want first and third party games. Professional stuff.

Does anyone else remember the indie game "Tetris" which was produced by Tengen? Utter garbage. I would rather snort powdered feces and lick the silver diamond than play another indie game.

Re:Who cares about indie? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171279)

u suck at trolling. do you even lift?

Uhm... (5, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | about a year ago | (#42171119)

The XBox marketplace has had stuff like this for some time. I don't see how it's a big boon to Wii U when it's been done before.

Re:Uhm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171229)

That's like saying you don't understand how the NES was a big boon when the video game console has "been done before." You are so ignorant it is a wonder you manage to figure out how to breathe every day.

Yo mama so ignorant she thinks men like her because of her personality. ICEBURN, MOTHERFUCKER!!!

Re:Uhm... (5, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42172153)

He's just pointing out an obvious slashvertisement. A misleading one at that.

Point 1: At what point does an indie developer cease being an indie developer and being part of the system? I would put that at have one mass-recognition success, or a full release on a conventional system. With three of the titles in TFS are clearly in the not-indie category, having full release titles on 3DS or other platforms, only one I would really position as a true independently developed game, Little Inferno.

Point 2: This is not the first time indie games hit semi-pro on a major platform, let alone a Nintendo platform. Cave Story is a particularly noteworthy example.

Point 3: XBox indie games have the "indie games" section for truly indie and small-developer, available cheaply for no more than $3. Then there's the Live Arcade that has semi-pro games for around $10 to $20. There is some gap-jumping allowed, say with Bastion and Fez, particularly if it's developed with Microsoft's free XNA framework ($99 to join the club to get it onto actual 360 hardware, though, through the distribution or debugging through your home network). This has been going on for, what, about 4 years now?

Point 3.5: Cheap indie games these are not, sorry submitter. I smell a Nintendo shill in the face of laughable Wii U launch numbers, especially compared to the original Wii phenomenon with folks buying in to the motion control gimmick.

Point 4: Where's the devkit, Nintendo? Where's the SDK? If the point of this advertisement is about how cool Nintendo now is and how friendly to the independent developer they now are, where are they? The answer: the same rules apply as ever. You're just not going to get ahold of one if you don't have one shipped title and a physical office. The true independent spirit, or what's left of it in Nintendoland, is homebrew on the Wii and folks actually developing new stuff on the NES, all without Nintendo's help. And you know if they could squash it, they would, for all they've tried before.

Re:Uhm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42172235)

Oh fuck off you Nintendo hating troll. Get a goddamn life.

Re:Uhm... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#42174105)

I'm a Nintendo fan, at least for Zelda and Metroid, but the parent is right. Until Nintendo has lesser requirements about who gets to write games for their systems, you won't be seeing real indie games on any Nintendo console.

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42176237)

nintendo is only for little kids

Re:Uhm... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#42175505)

I smell a Nintendo shill in the face of laughable Wii U launch numbers, especially compared to the original Wii phenomenon with folks buying in to the motion control gimmick.

A shill story submitter it may have been but with complete sell out in the UK, sellouts of the top model in the rest of the world, and exceeding sales expectations in every way the only people who are laughing right now are Nintendo themselves. With a loss leading strategy that breaks even with the sale of just one game they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Re:Uhm... (1, Troll)

gr3yh47 (2023310) | about a year ago | (#42171231)

Because Wii U does it RIGHT by allowing devs to set their own prices and by actually promoting the content and not require some BS yearly subscription to be able to buy/play indie titles... and not forcing you to be connected to the internet to play them... and, well, a bunch of things they are doing right

Re:Uhm... (-1)

sqlrob (173498) | about a year ago | (#42171263)

You don't need to buy a subscription to buy or play squat. Silver is just fine for XBLA

Re:Uhm... (0)

gr3yh47 (2023310) | about a year ago | (#42171907)

incorrect, and thank you for proving my point that Xbox has failed to properly promote INDIE games, as in XBLIG, which require you to be SIGNED IN to a gold account to play

Re:Uhm... (3, Informative)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42172067)

incorrect, and thank you for proving my point that Xbox has failed to properly promote INDIE games, as in XBLIG, which require you to be SIGNED IN to a gold account to play

You're just plain 100% wrong. I've never had a Gold account and routinely download and play Live Indie Games. You have to be signed in, yes, to an online account, but it doesn't need to be a paid account.

Re:Uhm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171753)

Because Wii U does it RIGHT by allowing devs to set their own prices and by actually promoting the content and not require some BS yearly subscription to be able to buy/play indie titles... and not forcing you to be connected to the internet to play them... and, well, a bunch of things they are doing right

Wrong, misinformed and just plain short sighted.

Steam has the largest selection of indie games anywhere and its free to use and has frequent sales on games. Sure you need to be online, but thats just to access your account information for security purposes.

Android phones and tablets have thousands of indie games for free, youre not required to be online unless it is a online game, amazon gives away full free indie games everyday on the amazon android marketplace. Using the google play store only requires you to be online to download the game and they do not charge you a fee except what it costs to buy the actual games.

Ps3 and vita have free accounts that require NO subscription fees, they have tons of indie games that are tied to your psn account and can be played on your vita or ps3, youre not required to be online. If you chose to subscribe to playstation+ for 50 bucks a year they give you multiple free full and indie games a month plus discounts on dozens of other games a month so if you pay 50 upfront you get 4x's that much back over the course of a year if you actually take advantage of it.

Xbox online doesnt require any fees either since you can have the free silver membership and still download and play indie games and it doesnt require you to be online to play them.

Go crawl back in your cave troll. You do nothing but spew out closed minded and uninformed comments that is almost purely false. You have no idea what youre talking about and just saying garbage that is false.

Re:Uhm... (1)

gr3yh47 (2023310) | about a year ago | (#42172295)

hey ANONYMOUS COWARD.... XBLIG USED to require gold. sorry i didnt notice the change, whenever it happened. The rest of the stuff you spewed had nothing to do with what i said and didnt address the rest of my points but way to be an incredible dick about it

Experience required of new PS3/Vita licensees (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42173979)

Ps3 and vita [...] have tons of indie games

According to the Developer License Request Form at scedev.net, developers applying for a license to develop for these platforms must provide proof of income and expenditures, number of employees, location of offices, prior commercial games that have been reviewed by the mainstream gaming press ("Prior development experience [...] game titles, platforms, review scores"), product plans over the next 24 months, and the resume of each key staff member. This is a lot more information and a lot more implied experience than, say, Apple requires of iOS application developers. I don't see how an indie developer can start on any platform other than Windows or iOS, and the kinds of games that work well on those platforms differ greatly from the kinds of games that work well on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

Re:Uhm... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42172033)

Doing it right?

Xbox has the indie zone which lets anyone with a PC develop games for the Xbox and publish them easily. You can do it for free.

Wii-U requires an unknown dev kit and Nintendo's permission to publish your game.

Xbox Indie Zone lets you post free or pay games. You can price your games however you please.

Wii-U requires an unknown/private agreement with Nintendo to publish your title in their store.

Xbox lets you download to your console, play offline and buy games with a free silver account. Sooo... you're full of shit.

Re:Uhm... (1)

gr3yh47 (2023310) | about a year ago | (#42172309)

"Xbox lets you download to your console, play offline and buy games with a free silver account. Sooo... you're full of shit." you can't play indie games offline "Xbox Indie Zone lets you post free or pay games. You can price your games however you please" I've never seen an XBLIG that wasnt $1, $5, or $3

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42173849)

I've played indie games offline. Of course, I've only played them on the XBOX they are downloaded (and thus signed) to AND they were free.

And, if not being able to price a game at $2 or $4 is driving off customers... ...wow, that's fickle.

Not defending it, just saying...

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175031)

I've played both downloaded Xbox Live Arcade and On Demand games offline. No multiplayer, but that's because it's offline.

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175617)

FYI Xbox Indie games isn't available for most of the world.

Re:Uhm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171349)

Because NintenDO what MicrosofDON'T.

If you need more of an explanation that that, you might as well check yourself into a mental institution.

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171741)

If that explanation was all you needed, you might as well check yourself into a mental institution.

FTFY.

Re:Uhm... (3, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year ago | (#42172065)

The XBox marketplace has had stuff like this for some time. I don't see how it's a big boon to Wii U when it's been done before.

And hopefully, the XBox marketplace is cheaper to participate in.

With the Wii, the last time I checked, it was $20,000 just to participate (assuming they'd accept you as a developer). I don't remember if this was a one-time fee, or a yearly subscription. Either way, seeing the price tag immediately put me off.

Most likely, these developers probably also had an extra $5,000 to pay a PR person, so they could spin the story enough -- so that they could be featured on Slashdot and other publications.

With these kinds of prices, no wonder even the non-console iOS and Android games are encroaching on their turf more and more.

Re:Uhm... (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42174033)

no wonder even the non-console iOS and Android games are encroaching on their turf more and more.

How would, say, a platformer or fighting game work on iOS or Android? No iPhone or iPad model has a built-in gamepad, and only one Android phone that I'm aware of has ever come with a slide-out gamepad. I tried playing a buttons-style game on my Nexus 7 (Android tablet made by ASUS) using a virtual gamepad, but I kept missing the on-screen buttons because a flat sheet of Fit Glass provides no feedback about where my thumbs are relative to the touchable areas. What's the best platform for buttons-style games from developers who can't quite afford Sony/Nintendo's pound of flesh just yet?

Re:Uhm... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42174091)

What's the best platform for buttons-style games from developers who can't quite afford Sony/Nintendo's pound of flesh just yet?

A d-pad and buttons on a touch screen? Daft. Two gesture areas? Now we're thinking. Either way you need multitouch.

Re:Uhm... (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42174825)

Two gesture areas? Now we're thinking.

I have a Nexus 7. Would you recommend some free or free-trial games on Google Play Store that show the right way to control a character in a platformer?

Re:Uhm... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42174939)

I have a Nexus 7. Would you recommend some free or free-trial games on Google Play Store that show the right way to control a character in a platformer?

Nope. I don't even have a color tablet. But just because it hasn't been done doesn't mean it can't be done

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174949)

I bought Sonic 4 Episode II on the first day I owned my Nexus7 and I've played through the whole thing. The on-screen d-pad is entirely usable. I mean, it's not as good as the ones on a Nintendo controller, but what is? It was more responsive and caused less hand strain than the craptastic D-pad you see on the Xbox controller.

I'm pretty sure the age of the dedicated handheld game platform is dead and buried. They had a good run, but nobody wants to carry around a device that ostensibly does something their smartphone could do. Hell, even wristwatches have vanished, except for use as jewelry items, and the last time I saw a calculator that was purchased after 2006, it was a hulking TI graphing unit that was required for some course.

Re:Uhm... (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42175115)

I bought Sonic 4 Episode II on the first day I owned my Nexus7

I've never played Sonic 4, but the Sonic games for the Genesis are special cases because those games only use the C button. Have you tried games that use more than one trigger button under the right thumb? I'd try it myself, but the Google Play Store product page for Sonic 4 Episode II LITE by Sega of America seems to have a lot of one star ratings for force closing immediately on start. Cracked Reader Lite has the same problem since I upgraded to 4.2; might that be part of it? And there's another advantage of consoles: operating system upgrades are less likely to make licensed games fail.

The on-screen d-pad is entirely usable.

How can you tell whether you're pressing Right or Down+Right or Up+Right?

I mean, it's not as good as the ones on a Nintendo controller, but what is?

True, Logitech and Gravis products are at least as bad as the Xbox 360 Controller's directional pad, but I've had good luck with controllers for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 through the EMS USB2 Dual Shooter adapter [pineight.com].

Hell, even wristwatches have vanished

I still wear a wristwatch because using a cell phone as a pocket watch would require reaching into a pocket to check the time. There's a reason that companies sold wristbands for the iPod nano 6.

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175179)

I'd try it myself, but the Google Play Store product page for Sonic 4 Episode II LITE by Sega of America seems to have a lot of one star ratings

I never tried the demo; I just bought the full version ("THD edition"; I just wanted some eye candy for my new tablet) and have never had any problems personally. Still, the demo is free, right? I can understand not wanting to risk it for a paid app but for a freebie why not try and run it rather than listen to reviews?

How can you tell whether you're pressing Right or Down+Right or Up+Right?

The d-pad sort of works as a slider; it's more the way your thumb would work on an analog thumbstick. You put your finger in the circle and then slide it a little to the right, or down-right, or up-right, or whatever. It's very intuitive, it's more complicated to explain than it is to actually do. I've heard that Episode One used the naive approach that you're thinking of so I'm a little leery of trying to buy it, especially since that one doesn't have a demo.

The game has two buttons, by the way; you have the Genesis-style "jump" button and an "assist" button where Tails does something. Not a big deal. Yes, on-screen buttons won't scale up for a port of Steel Battalion; that's hardly an indictment of the entire platform.

And there's another advantage of consoles: operating system upgrades are less likely to make licensed games fail.

Shrug. Android has been infinitely better than, e.g., Windows on my desktop in this regard, so whatever.

Remember the NES's blinking power light? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42175281)

I can understand not wanting to risk it for a paid app but for a freebie why not try and run it rather than listen to reviews?

To some people, 185 MB is a fairly large download. It's one full day of a 5 GB/mo cap, for instance. But I decided to try it because my cap is 250 GB/mo. Once the download and installation finished, all I got was "Looking for resources to download... Download failed." I pressed Cancel, the only button. Then I tried starting the application again from the home screen, and it crashed immediately. I tried again, and it crashed immediately again. I force stopped it and ran it again, and it crashed immediately again. On my NES, the blinking power light was always fixable with 70% isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab to clean the dirt off the connector.

The d-pad sort of works as a slider; it's more the way your thumb would work on an analog thumbstick. You put your finger in the circle and then slide it a little to the right, or down-right, or up-right, or whatever. It's very intuitive, it's more complicated to explain than it is to actually do.

Do you mean the place where you put down your left thumb is treated as the center of the range of motion until you lift your left thumb? That could work.

Yes, on-screen buttons won't scale up for a port of Steel Battalion

On Nesoid, it was hard to hit even the jump and shoot buttons consistently.

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174987)

What's a platformer?

Re:Uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175079)

A genre of video game that Tepples here is particularly fond of; he must be, because this is his "counter-argument" every time someone points out that smartphones have already murdered the portable video game system market. Without a physical D-pad, this genre of game is sub-optimal, and because smartphones rarely have a D-pad, clearly the rise of smartphones isn't the reason why the PSVita and 3DS have had absolutely dismal sales compared to, e.g., the Game Boy Advance, which shipped before smartphones really existed.

You know, kind of like how the spinner paddle is the ideal controller for Pong, and therefore the NES sold incredibly poorly because it didn't come with a spinner paddle, only some more general controller that worked well with a wider array of games. Oh, wait, that's not how that actually turned out.

Even aside from the fact that game genres always follow hardware availability and not the other way around, the sales of "platformer" games outside of the Mario franchise has been in the shitter since the PS2 launched over a decade ago. But, hey, whatever, no D-pad means it cannot possibly displace portable gaming systems!

I would personally bet a thousand dollars that Sony doesn't launch a dedicated portable after the Vita's lifespan craps out. (I'll make no bets regarding Nintendo; they're as crazy as Sega was, just with more luck.)

Mega Man or VVVVVV (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42175185)

You know, kind of like how the spinner paddle is the ideal controller for Pong, and therefore the NES sold incredibly poorly because it didn't come with a spinner paddle,

For one thing, it turns out that one of the controllers that did come with the NES (the Zapper) . You see, the Zapper can read light and dark, but it can also read up and down. There's a tech demo for NES homebrew that uses two Zappers to play a Pong clone, and the people I've shown it to have called it as smooth as a Wii game.

only some more general controller that worked well with a wider array of games.

Let me guess the point you're trying to make. You appear to claim that a flat sheet of glass is suboptimal for (say) Mega Man or VVVVVV or Contra or Street Fighter or other games where the player makes a character move and jump, but it's optimal for far more distinct genres than a digital or analog gamepad is. If you can show more evidence of this, I'm ready to pay attention.

the sales of "platformer" games outside of the Mario franchise has been in the shitter since the PS2 launched

Was VVVVVV's sales in the toilet? Was Mega Man 9's? What about Street Fighter IV? (Fighting games are like platformers because the input consists of directions relative to the player and discrete attack actions, not absolute screen positions.)

Why not just use steam for indie (-1, Offtopic)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about a year ago | (#42171207)

Why not just use steam for indie games if that is what you are into, it isn't like you have to go out and buy a new computer to play most of them.

Re:Why not just use steam for indie (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#42171781)

Indie games on the Wii U can use the motion controllers and the tablet thing. The Wii U is also better setup for 4 player local(coach) multiplayer. Think of it in terms of smartphones. Some games are better on a Iphone than they are on a PC.

Re:Why not just use steam for indie (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42174131)

Indie games on the Wii U

There's indie, and then there's indie. Some people misuse "indie" [slashdot.org] to mean a company started by experienced alumni of the established video game industry. The mainstream console makers require developers to already be experienced and in a stable business; their qualifications are really designed to poach developers from other platforms.

games on the Wii U can use the motion controllers and the tablet thing.

PC games can use a display app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android tablet that connects to the PC through the WLAN. All these have motion sensors and capacitive multitouch screens.

The Wii U is also better setup for 4 player local(coach) multiplayer.

How so? A PC works just fine with four Xbox 360 wired controllers plugged into USB ports, or with four Xbox 360 wireless controllers paired to an Xbox 360 controller receiver plugged into a USB port. Essentially all PCs can output VGA, and all but the cheapest new PCs can output DVI-D or HDMI video. All TVs made in the past five years or so have HDMI in (which is compatible with DVI-D), and the vast majority have VGA in. Hairyfeet tells me plenty of games on Steam support multiple gamepads. So how exactly is it hard to connect a TV and two to four controllers to a small form factor PC, buy some games on Steam, and game on?

APK - Make Wii U a better value (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171227)

with custom hosts file! I kiss you!

APK

Re:APK - Make Wii U a better value (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42172247)

Bullshit. MyCleanPC over a custom hosts file any day, fag.

ppplease... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42171247)

How about a new sequel to Rez?

I know there is an HD version on one of the other consoles, but it's not enought of a reason to buy one of the sony or MS monstrosities.

Re:ppplease... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171575)

If there is a sequel to Rez, this is the time, since people have 3D TVs. Put Rez 2 to work with that. This and people now generally have a DTS enabled stereo connected, a great opportunity to bring the synthanesia to the next level.

Rez 3 could exploit things like Oculus VR.

Re:ppplease... (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#42173969)

These new TVs are actually the problem. Many of them have more latency than CRT televisions. Many old music games don't work very well on LCDs.

WHAT THE SLIMEY DRY FUCK?!?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171311)

why hasn't anyone updated Custer's Revenge. God damn it.

Homebrew (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42171377)

Is there a homebrew channel on the Wii U yet?

Re:Homebrew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171517)

Yes, but I believe it's still being worked on:
http://n4g.com/news/1130672/wiiu-hacked-by-fail0verflow

Re: Homebrew (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#42171553)

Did the homebrew channel on the Wii result in any exclusive content that provided enjoyment for more than an hour or two? What were the stand out original games on the Wii homebrew channel? Not trying to troll. List out the achievements of Homebrew on the Wii below.

Re: Homebrew (1)

Nushio (951488) | about a year ago | (#42171609)

WiiMC is the one reason I keep the homebrew channel installed in my Wii. Well, that and the NES/SNES/GBA Emulators. :P

Re: Homebrew (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#42171651)

I also use WiiMC to play media from a samba server as well as gives it the ability to play DVD discs.

I wonder if the Wii U can play media from a samba server.

Re: Homebrew (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#42171619)

I will start with one. A homebrew channel provides hours of enjoyments for those who love to create things. It is a enjoyable in itself. Like a Paint on Windows or Garage Band on a Mac. The output is not always important. The journey can provide joy.

Re: Homebrew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171819)

I will start with one. A homebrew channel provides hours of enjoyments for those who love to create things. It is a enjoyable in itself. Like a Paint on Windows or Garage Band on a Mac. The output is not always important. The journey can provide joy.

Yes, but you can more easily do that sort of creation and more on a PC, Mac, or smartphone, each without the hassle of having to hack the system to install a means to do so and without having watch your every step to ensure that you don't accidentally wind up with a system update that shuts down your means of creation, and you could actually make money off of each to boot.

(Apple iOS App Store issues notwithstanding)

SDTV out (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42174203)

Yes, but you can more easily do that sort of creation and more on a PC, Mac, or [Android] smartphone, each without the hassle of having to hack the system to install a means to do so

One advantage of a Wii over a PC, Mac, or Android device is that a Wii comes with SDTV out, which is useful if you haven't already replaced all the SDTVs in your house with HDTVs. Another advantage is that every Wii is the same, and there won't be the typical driver issues typical of PCs. But if you do have all HDTVs, I agree that a PC's advantages probably outweigh this.

Re: Homebrew (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42171941)

Why does it matter? Nothing was ever accomplished by climbing Mt. Everest, yet few people questioned the worthiness of Hillary's expedition. Why hack the Wii U? Because it's there.

Re: Homebrew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42172211)

Well, if it counts, ripping games to a harddrive and playing from the backups makes it impossible to go back to disc swapping.

Re: Homebrew (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42173009)

Seconded right here.

I've done the game-jukebox-on-hard-drive trick on the Wii and the PS2, and in both cases I just plain have more fun when I don't have to worry about juggling discs, dropping them, scratching them, or any other disaster. 360 and PS3 kinda do it, but you still have to stick original discs in them to get it work. At least the point is there (I assume on the PS3, I only know first hand from the 360): a menu of what you have so you can browse without pulling jewelcases out or playing hide-and-seek with some obscure Atlus game that will now cost $80 to replace because they only printed 500 copies.

I kinda hope huge storage becomes the standard in the future, and maybe a Steam-like online game license check to close the piracy loophole, because it's really the only way to play.

Re: Homebrew (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#42172311)

There was quite a fun Tower Defence game on it which I burned quite a few hours on.

The pity is its difficult to spend an awful lot of time working on a good game for homebrew when a tiny percentage of consoles can ever play it.

Streemerz (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42174221)

What were the stand out original games on the Wii homebrew channel?

Streemerz [fauxgame.com] by Faux Game Company and Mr. Podunkian, for one. True, it's a port of a Flash game to NES that runs in FCE Ultra GX, but it's still one of the most fun games that can be run in the homebrew environment.

Re:Homebrew (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42171655)

Is there a homebrew channel on the Wii U yet?

Yes and no.

You can get the homebrew channel installed, but it's in Wii mode, not Wii U mode.

So yes, you can play the emulators and programs made for the Wii, in Wii mode. Not sure what that allows in usage of Wii U stuff, as I don't own a Wii U. (yet, hopefully by next xmas).

http://wiiuhacks.com/wii-u-running-homebrew-channel/ [wiiuhacks.com]

Well and good for them. (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#42171465)

That's nice for those developers, but as a programmer myself, I want to be able to write code for the machine. Where does one get the tools for that without paying a fortune for a developer's kit?

Re:Well and good for them. (3, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | about a year ago | (#42171671)

This. Until it's as easy as downloading XNA, I don't want to hear about how "Indie Friendly" the Wii-U is.

Sorry, Unity doesn't count. That's like saying I can program in Linux because I know Flash and Flash runs Everywhere, right?

Re:Well and good for them. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#42172579)

I already code in XNA for fun. It's not a bad framework, but I thought given the subject and summary that something similar might be available for the Wii U, but it sounds like it's nonsense.

Re:Well and good for them. (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | about a year ago | (#42173125)

Same here. [youtube.com]

I saw XNA as a great opportunity to teach myself C# and have some fun in the process, and I'm still working on a pet project that's probably too ambitious for it's own good.

I would certainly love to take a hobbyist's journey through coding some Pong or Breakout clones with the Wii U hardware, and possibly go even further, but not if the barrier to entry is too high.

Re:Well and good for them. (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#42171739)

That's nice for those developers, but as a programmer myself, I want to be able to write code for the machine. Where does one get the tools for that without paying a fortune for a developer's kit?

Well, currently anything you make for the Wii will run on the Wii U in Wii mode. Since the Wii and the Wii U use the same cpu instruction set, upgrading your code for Wii U mode when it becomes hacked will probably be relatively easy, much like some of the homebrew (emulators mostly) have gamecube & wii versions.

So you can start programming for the Wii to get your practice in, and hopefully in a few months the Wii U mode will be hacked.

You can google the software you need for it. But wiibrew.org is a good site for homebrew stuff and info.

Re:Well and good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171943)

Where does one get the tools for that without paying a fortune for a developer's kit?

Paying for the dev kit is the easy part. To get access to it you need an office and at least one published game. Nintendo is anything but indie-friendly.

Re:Well and good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42173343)

So to make a game, you need to have made a game.

It was Nately's whore!

You're supposed to start on another platform (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42174263)

I think the idea is that you make three successful commercial games for Windows or iOS, get your office, then get your devkit.

More gems among shovelware-SOP 4 Wii Shop Channel? (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#42171503)

There've always been some pretty cool games on the Wii Shop Channel (along w/ shovelware like SPOGS Racing).

I'm still not seeing anything which I can use to justify _my_ purchase of a Wii U --- nothing yet like my favourite games:

  - Red Steel 2
  - Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  - Xenoblade Chronicles
  - The Last Story

I want a full-fledged RPG w/ an expansive world which allows for exploration (I'd be willing to pay for expansions as DLC) and which uses motion controls as well as Skyward Sword or Red Steel 2 (if the former, I want an option for swapping handedness w/ the bow and sword).

Re:More gems among shovelware-SOP 4 Wii Shop Chann (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42171699)

  - Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

that is, if you already own a wii, but i don't and since the wii u can play wii games i might buy one because i didn't play skyward sword and mario kart wii yet.

Re:More gems among shovelware-SOP 4 Wii Shop Chann (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42172219)

Sometimes it can be a pain in the ass to play Mario Kart Wii online now because since the Wii was hacked, that means people have hacked Mario Kart Wii game "clients" online now and they outright cheat constantly. The people with a hacked disc literally have a star the entire time, can make any part of the map start exploding at will, and it slows the entire game down.

But, you can play only for a while online before connecting with a cheating player, and single player is still totally worth it.

Friend codes (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42174241)

But, you can play only for a while online before connecting with a cheating player,

Unless you start a friend match. Friend codes let you choose to play only with people who have the same cheats turned on.

Re:More gems among shovelware-SOP 4 Wii Shop Chann (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#42172393)

Yeah, if I didn't already have a Wii, I'd definitely be buying a Wii U and a copy of Skyward Sword.

Still baffled that Nintendo didn't do a Hi-def remake of Twilight Princess, bolting on the motion controls and enemy AI from Skyward Sword --- I'd've bought a Wii U for that.

Still trying to find the time / inclination to buy and play Mario Kart --- may wait for the Wii U version at this point in time.

William

Tired of the word cheap. (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#42171803)

I don't want cheap. I want good value. I don't but cheap at any price! A quick look through the games I would argue that they are not what I would call cheap or particularly good value. They are great games...but the prices need to drop before this thinly veiled advertising has some credence.

But I don't like Nintendo anymore. (3, Interesting)

Requiem18th (742389) | about a year ago | (#42171813)

It's not the games, it's the company. What good is it that I can play indie games if I have to play them on a console that is the very definition of proprietary? That's why I'm getting an Ouya.

Re:But I don't like Nintendo anymore. (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#42172401)

It's not the games, it's the company. What good is it that I can play indie games if I have to play them on a console that is the very definition of proprietary? That's why I'm getting an Ouya.

Its yet to e determined if Ouya will be around long enough and make money. What good is "Open" if there's not enough people to build a market share with it so they company can be profitable and after all it all about profit. I'm pretty sure the average joe/jane don't care as long as the system has content they can consume.

Re:But I don't like Nintendo anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42173503)

I was with you until you said Ouya. LOL.

Re:But I don't like Nintendo anymore. (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year ago | (#42175801)

Do you even need an Ouya. Just get an old Tegra 3 tablet and plug it in the TV.

WOW! (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42172005)

5 whole games! This will really set the Wii-U apart from the Xbox Indie Marketplace, Sony Store, App Store and Google Play!

Re:WOW! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42173341)

5 whole games! This will really set the Wii-U apart from the Xbox Indie Marketplace, Sony Store, App Store and Google Play!

at pricing 9.99$ to 19.99$.

REAL FUCKING CHEAP. and anyways - all of these companies apparently have some kind of relationship with Nintendo(more than here's a hundred bucks so publish our stuff on your store) so strictly speaking none of them are even independent in the usual console/phone sense and more aptly speaking none of the titles can even be truly indie since part of the money goes to Nintendo and Nintendo chooses what gets through so what the fuck.

seriously why the fuck are these articles getting posted through to slashdot? editors wake the fuck up. trine 2 is like 12.99 on steam. nothing cheap about these prices!

But all downloadable content is locked to console! (3, Interesting)

Myrv (305480) | about a year ago | (#42172815)

Just like the Wii, the Wii U locks all downloadable content to the console, not the account. So if your console breaks, is lost, or stolen have fun re-buying all that content. You also can't use your network ID on another console. Want to play that game you bought on your friends machine? Tough, not possible.

This is the main reason I refuse to buy any more Nintendo consoles. It's also the number one reason I regret buying my Wii as well. In my mind, until they fix this, online content actually reduces the value of a Nintendo console.

Re:But all downloadable content is locked to conso (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#42176359)

You didn't "buy" the game in the same way that one buys a banana. You licensed it with a specific set of terms and conditions that you agreed to at the time of license. If you don't like those conditions, then don't press (or you shouldnt have pressed) the "buy now" button. You're more than welcome to com plan about it and tell others that you feel that the value proposition offered to you by Wii U is in your opinion lacking, but what is not right is to poison the conversation by throwing in words that basically amount to lies such as "bought."

I think the "single device" license that they offer to be quite fair and reasonable. I'd accept the risk of my console being broken, lost, or stolen in this case as I understand that it gives me incentive to keep my console in good knick and I understand that in a world where piracy is the norm, not the exception, if sony did otherwise this would have a significant impact on their ability to attract developers to their platform.

 

I loathe how "Indie" is bandied around these days. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year ago | (#42172963)

A lot of these so called "indie" developers aren't all that indie. They've often been doing GBC/GBA/DS development or BREW/J2ME dev for pre iOS/Android phones for years. These are established successful businesses, using "indie" as a marketing gimmick for "street cred"

Re:I loathe how "Indie" is bandied around these da (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174543)

Indie means independent, not unestablished unsuccessful businesses.

"..depending on your definition.." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42173497)

These are indie games, depending on your definition of an independent developer. Can anyone figure out what definition is being used, in this instance? Is it a definition that has ever been used before? ;-)

Cats are dogs, depending on your definition of dog.

Old Wii games : resolution? (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year ago | (#42174373)

Did anybody check if old Wii games (eg.Zelda twilight princess), have better resolution on Wii U?

It's just vector graphics so theoretically it should be able to display the same stuff on 1080p instead of 576i resolution.

Are those really indie games? (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year ago | (#42175857)

Just because they are cheap, that doesn't mean they are indie. All the games in this article are made by self-publishing registered companies. Saying they're indie it's like saying Nintendo is indie just because it also a company that self-publishes. An indie developer is literally independent of everything. Just a few enthusiasts that make games on their free time and release on services like Steam, Xbox Indies, Playstation Mobile or even iOS Appstore and Google Play, or do like Zun(creator of the Touhou series) and release your own CDs. In order to publish for any Nintendo platform you must be an registered corporation with experience in game development. That is not indie.
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