Wii U Appreciation and Collecting Thread

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khaz-10/26/2017
I’d argue that retro stops when things can’t be plugged to a CRT. The 360 has analogue video out, the wiiu doesnt
SpiceOrange-10/26/2017
wii u has analog bro

There you have it, the Wii U, definitively a retro console. Hook it up to your CRT and… wait actually don’t do that.

OK so it’s not retro, but the system was super behind the times and even today that Nintendo feel is certainly more in line with classic games than the AAA hogwash on other platforms. And right now is a pretty good time to get Wii U stuff, as prices have dropped significantly in the last few months and it won’t be too long before new physical copies of Wii U games are hard to find.

Now, it is almost impossible to really talk about the Wii U without getting into the horserace it competed in, or the market that it launched into, the branding issues, a terrible first year that wasted a head start, or the million failed attempts to save the system. But let’s try to keep the negativity to a minimum, shall we? This is an appreciation thread.

For me, the Wii U will always be about games, games, games! For a failed system, there is a great library full of instant classics to dive into. While the Switch is, in many ways, the Wii U done right, with some of the best games already making their way over, there are ample reasons to buy and play Wii U games now and into the future.

But let’s start with some console revisions, shall we?



Early releases of the white Wii U were only 8GB internal memory, but later you could get the white one with a full fat 32GB of storage.



Every black Wii U comes with 32GB of internal storage. Many also came with a few extremely useful extras such as the charging cradle for the Wii U Gamepad.

ゼルダ


While Nintendo made approximately 1.5 million different 3DS Special Editions, the Wii U got just one, the not very limited Zelda bundle complete with a uniquely styled gamepad. Gamepad aside, this variant is the same as other black Wii Us with 32GB storage, all the usual digital deluxe items, and came with Wind Waker HD + a digital version of the Hyrule Historia book.


bundle_gray_portable
… Oh wait this isn’t a Wii U? Yeah Nintendo never made a Wii U with a revised gamepad, which is a shame since the original is somewhat larger than it needed to be. The Switch, in many ways, takes the Wii U’s best ideas and executes them better and more successfully. I’ll try not to get to salty about all the best Wii U games getting ported to the Switch, since it’s best for everyone to have the ability to play these games.

Jiggabytes
As mentioned above all Wii U’s came with 8GB or 32GB of internal memory, which just wasn’t all that. Some games via download can use a huge % of that space since retail Wii U games were on Blu Ray. Thankfully, Nintendo was surprisingly forward thinking in that you can just hook up any USB hard drive and get as much data as you need. Unfortunately, the Wii U USB ports only supply 500mA so you may need a Y cable or an externally powered hard drive enclosure. They don’t officially recommend it for performance and reliability reasons, but as long as you don’t go too cheap or stuff them too full USB flash drives also work well.

Miiverse


One of the best and most bizarre features of the Wii U actually shut down on Nov 7, 2017. This quasi-social network of Miis is best known for amazing drawings and awful, just awful posts. Some of the more notable games on Wii U had Miiverse integration to share level comments, drawings, and Yeah!s

Dual Screen Action
That’s right, Nintendo’s gimmick circa 2004 became one of the defining aspects of the Wii U. With a 480p H.264 encoded video stream beamed directly to the gamepad, games could make use of of the second screen for whatever crazy thing they wanted.

While compelling implementations of dual screen gameplay are thin on the ground, and while the Wii U implementation was never as good as the DS’s due to the nature of how you hold the gamepad, there are a number of games that will forever remain compelling plays on Wii U due to this feature. It may seem dumb, but just having a map always available + an easy access inventory can be really nice, and this is something that will be lacking even on ports to other platforms including Switch. These include:

  • Zombi U: despite souped up ports on other platforms, the map + inventory being available make this survival horror game still best on Wii U
  • Nintendo Land: another launch title, this time a set of minigames features the best ideas Nintendo ever had to make use of the gamepad.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions: this bizarre exclusive uses the gamepad as the character’s cell phone, featuring a fake LINE (complete with stickers) that’s used to talk to other characters and receive quests.
  • Zelda: Wind Waker & Twilight Princess HD: The GameCube originals will always be #1 in my heart, but again the inclusion of map & inventory on the gamepad makes the Wii U versions better playing.
  • Pikmin 3: Once again a map, but in this case, being a strategy game where you need to frequently switch between three party members, having that map always on hand to issue commands is really handy

Exclusivez


Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the best exclusives on the platform.

  • New Super Mario Bros U: Don’t let the samey visual design and music put you off, this game is easily the best 2D Mario has ever been. Or at least it would be if it wasn’t for…
  • New Super Luigi U: Luigi finally gets his own platformer. Here, all new levels of similar theme to NSMBU are used, with each tightened down to 100 seconds. This combined with Luigi’s unique physics makes for one of the hardest and best 2D Mario games to date.
  • Super Mario 3D World: With this game and 3D Land before it, Nintendo took 2D-style Mario and brought it into three dimensions. Clear levels, hit halfway points, mount flagpoles, and go through mostly linear stages. If you’ve been holding out on this game because it isn’t the 3D Mario you wanted, stop waiting! 3D World is packed full of inventive, novel stages + ideas, increasingly tricky platforming, and is overloaded with charm. For my money, the best Mario game and one of the best games I’ve ever played.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions: This game is kinda crazy; a mix of a traditional turn-based SMT-style JPRG with Fire Emblem character ghosts possessing the main characters all wrapped up in Persona-style style & modern day setting with a whole whack of idol crap thrown in. Somehow it all works really well and it’s one of the best games on Wii U.
  • Super Mario Maker: OK this one’s kinda cheating; it’s on 3DS and there’s nothing really stopping a straight port to Switch. But being able to make levels with a stylus allows a level of control that I just don’t think is workable with finger-touch.
  • Bayonetta 2: Hideki Kamiya’s been very clear that this Nintendo published game will only ever be on Wii U. Or at least only Nintendo platforms
  • Xenoblade X: The original sequel to Xenoblade, apparently now a side-title or something, this open world extravaganza pushed the limits of what anyone thought was possible on the system.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Retro Studios’ second Donkey Kong game is full of great platforming and interesting areas from beginning to end.
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: This spinoff of the Mario 3D World puzzle stages is so, so cute. The puzzle areas themselves get really clever too. Honestly one of the most delightful budget titles from Nintendo in a long time.
  • Hyrule Warriors: Again, cheating because the (surprisingly legit) 3DS demake exists. This Musou game featuring Zelda characters, settings, and an original story somehow came together really well.
  • Dr. Luigi: Rounding out the Year of Luigi (confusingly mid 2013 to mid-2014), this game is pretty much your requisite Dr. Mario featuring Luigi for some reason. I really like the title so I included the game in this list.

Running list of games ported to Nintendo Switch
Look, I’m glad that people without a Wii U can enjoy these games but it is nice for a system to have its own character with a set of exclusives. Anyway, here’s a list of cool games stolen by Nintendo Switch (WIP):

  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Fast Racing Neo
  • Pokken
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • New Super Mario Bros U & New Super Luigi U

What’s your favorite aspect of the Wii U?

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I can’t believe how badly Nintendo fucked up the marketing on this. And I hate how the battery drains like crazy even when not in use. And how it has hardly any storage space.

But at least a bunch of the games are good.

Breath of the Wild was worth the wait. I’m glad they changed course from all the handholding and rehashing in Skyward Sword. Pikmin 3 is excellent. Bayonetta 2 is a little heavy on boss fights but it’s a solid sequel. It was nice to have a new AAA IP with Splatoon (although the single player is disappointingly easy until near the end). Sonic: Lost World is better than its reputation although not as good as Tropical Freeze or 3D World. Tokyo Mirage Sessions is better than I expected but it still suffers from modern JRPG syndrome, i.e. dragging on way too long.

This isn’t accurate. The Wii U Basic (8GB) and Deluxe (32GB + extras) bundles were both available at launch.

The Wii U isn’t retro, and its library in the end really wasn’t that deep, but I think it’s nice to include it here because the good games on the system were indeed really good and the game design philosophy was very different from its competitors. It feels more even appropriate for this site than the prior gen’s HD consoles (PS3, X360).

I was going by memory but even searching everything I can find says that in all regions the white Wii U was only 8GB for the first little while. The first reference I can find for white 32GB Wii U is in Japan for July 2013.

Check out the Wii U launch thread on GAF from back in the day:

I myself remember the very poor reception to these two bundles at launch: the “gimped” version for $300+ and the Deluxe with a paltry 32GB at many retailers going for about $400.

Yeah so this confirms what I wrote.

The WiiU is one of my favorite systems. The hardware, itself, was moronic and a waste of everybody’s time. But the games? Dear God, it reminded me why I liked gaming at a time when I didn’t really care that much about anything modern.

Terrible start, though – I had one preordered, picked it up, and ended up returning it because there was nothing to play on it. Bought one for real a year later, in 2013, and spent all of December playing the hell out of it. Ran through Mario 3D World (including Champion’s Road), Wind Waker HD, and NSMBU (which was actually an incredible game, surprisingly enough). Spent something like 70 hours on it that month, and loved every minute of it. And then, 2014, despite being a shitty year for Sony and MS’ shiny new consoles, was pretty great with stuff like Tropical Freeze (my favorite platformer ever), Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8, Smash 4, etc.

So, I really like the system, and I’ve got most of the games I want on it – there’s still a few left I need to pick up. Having said that, though, the more of these games get ported to Switch, the better. It’s such a better home for some of the best games Nintendo’s ever published.

Ah you’re specifically referring to the white model only. Never mind then!

Still looking to buy one cheap in a few month , the price really dropped with the switch launch , it should be ok after Xmas , what i don"t understand is that Nintendo never cut the price …

I mentioned it in the OP but yeah NSMBU really is fantastic.

I really do love the WiiU and wish it didn’t flop so hard. Also Star Fox Zero is legitimately one of my favorite games on the system along with it being one of the few games that absolutely needs to be played using the WiiU. Makes me mads that I held off on playing it because of all the negativity around it, and I really enjoyed the controls, not even ironically.

And yes, NSMBU was great. It’s funny that one of my favorite things about it isn’t even the gameplay, but how they finally went back to an actual world style of map instead of just a straight line path. I love me my world maps.

Its library is very underrated in general. But everything else about the system was a miss.

I’m glad I have one and will always cherish it. But I don’t blame the rest of the market for rejecting it en mass. I still play mine and have a crap ton of games for it.

And Pikmin 3 is legitimately brilliant.

this library is gonna be worse than the gamecube’s in the future

bummed i missed game & wario on the cheap, still hoping to find tokyo mirage sessions for $20 something someday

I really wanted to/still want to pick up a new boxed WiiU now for a backup system for years from now. Just so I don’t have to deal with finding a good condition one or deal with resellers if the price goes crazy if mine ever breaks.

Yeah I really want to get one just for a backup gamepad.

Nintendo had a good deal recently on their online store but it’s gone back up in price.
Maybe it’ll happen again before they’re completely gone?

What was the price before? I remember being mad when all the WiiU stock disappeared from stores since I was waiting for the price drop.

Not sure, it went down to $225 CAD from $260 CAD which I didn’t think was enough. So maybe $170ish USD?

I still thinking about buying some games I missed but I’m hopeful that they come to the Switch. Anyway, I loved the library. It’s just too bad that they didn’t figure out how to make that tablet portable. Also, it’s kinda of a bummer the dock doesn’t so remote play with the switch so we could get some great ports of Mario maker and wind waker.

The rounded edge discs are the best secret feature.

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Me and the girl had so much fun with this system over the last couple of years. It’s my favourite Nintendo console after SNES and NES, mostly due to it’s great library of multiplayer platformers. Oh, and MK8 of course. As of right now, i have no interest in the Nintendo Switch.