Wii U – Wasted potential

Wii U Games

Just a few decent Wii U Games.

What do you mean the Wii U was a failure? A failure to whom? Business MONEY-MEN SCUM?

The general public appeared to have missed the best Mario Kart, the best Pikmin, and the best Smash Bros. The fools!

I loved what the Wii U attempted. I’m sure a lot of people did. Although…. there is one thing that tickles my annoyance gland.

Not one developer used the Wii U to its full potential. Not even Nintendo.

The following collection of words is essentially a peek into what I really wanted from this strange little box. Or more accurately, a bizarre shotgun rant aimed at no-one in particular.


Super Mario 3D World: 4 player Mario excellence.

Imagine the scene! The irradiated wasteland of Fallout 4 spans out in front of you. You see a foe in the distance! Your trusty pistol’s running low on bullets and it’s time to swap it out.

Normally you’ll awkwardly bring up your in-game Pip Boy, suspending the in-game action. You slowly flick to the weapons category, before tracking down your trusty rifle on a long list. You hum to yourself, find the rifle, pick it, smile, and close the menu. You watch your in-game arm lower the Pip Boy. “Right you bastards! Ready to rock and roll, I’m glad you patiently waited!”

But no! We can rebuild this. We have the technology, we can make Fallout 4 better, stronger, and faster. This time you raise your actual real life arm with the Wii U Gamepad taped to it. You slam your finger down on the generous sized rifle icon and swap weapons conveniently from the gamepad. You gun down your foes and laugh heartily, for a up to a full minute, before lowering your eyes back to your Pip-Boy Wii U pad. After a quick scan of the map you adventure to your next destination, possibly whistling as you do so. All seamlessly, all from your arm-pad. Now with 35% more immersive gameplay.

Pip Boy Wii

Violently stapled to arm.

Ok, the gamepad’s a tad too bulky and awkward. You probably wouldn’t need to gaffer-tape it to your arm. But you get the point. You could tape it to your arm if desired. Fine, you can enjoy your PipBoy-pad, in your lap. This idea could work excellently with bullet time.

Hold on… None of the Fallout’s made it to the Wii U. Pesky developers.

Ok, pick your favourite shooting-people-in-the-face game.

Ser Meryn Trant

“Too old.”

Maybe its your ‘Call of all your Dutys’ or that ‘Star Wars Battlefront’. Too old? Ok, Battleborn. Look, that doesn’t matter. A shooty-shooty game with co-op.

One player enjoys the relative luxury of the TV screen whilst the other player pushes the gamepad as close to their face as possible, to give the illusion of widescreen. Sure, it won’t be as shiny, but welcome to 2 player Lan gaming, with all the benefits that come with it. The biggest benefit being you can run this off a single console. You each have your own bloody screen! The Playstation one had a Lan cable, no really.. see? The Wii U is the device of my dreams, and here it is with a feature that was relativity unused.

ps1 link cable

“TOO old!”

handful of titles benefited from such inclusive play. Hyrule Warriors made a valiant effort and was much improved for it; even if it was strangely buried in the menu system. I would loved to have seen one of those Lego platform games attempt each screen co-op. I’d take a drop in resolution and anti-aliasing for such a treat.

I haven’t even touched upon the Wii U gimmicks. Nintendo Land wasn’t just inventive, it was fun and no-one followed it up. Not even the people that created the bloody machine! Nintendo could sold us small downloadable prototypes. Instead we got Wii Sports Club with a bizarre rental/pricing plan. Not all gimmicks are bad… Well, as long as you don’t force gyroscopic controls down your throat. Hands up if you wanted a Nintendo Land 2?


“Do you have what I want, or not?”

Small experiments could have brought us different experiences. For years I’ve wanted local two player game, in which player one is the exciting getaway driver. He has his own screen, using the gamepad to drive the getaway car. Player 2 sits in the drivers seat, wielding a map and the Wii remote like a gun. He blasts away foes on the television, as both players woop at each other. The Wii U could have benefited from downloadable experiments concentrating on the uniqueness of the hardware.

When not relying on gimmicks, some of the very best use of the gamepad, was when it’s was kept simple. Take all those games with boring maps hidden away on the select screen. How wonderful is an independent Wii U pad-map? How great is it to tag areas with a press your greasy finger. Sometimes it’s the simple things.

chase hq II

Chase HQ II. Complete with shooting.

Sigh… I know, I know. All these wonderful ideas couldn’t have happened could it? The Wii U just didn’t have enough processing power, right? I suspect Wii U Minecraft tried their damnedest to give each player an independent screen. I shudder to think how much work must go into displaying two different viewpoints, with two different control schemes, for a two player mode that might go unused.

Still… you don’t necessarily require sexy graphics and raw power to benefit from good ideas. I’ve been playing Downwell and Enter the Gungeon this week and I suspect the graphical equivalent could easily have been achieved on the Wii U. Not only achieved but bettered, as the image below shows.

Gungeon 2 player

Enter the Gungeon 2 player style. With epic tag team boss fights, in my mind anyway.


Graphically intense


You could hugely improve Downwell with a multiplayer aspect. Player 1 falls down the level, as normal, with player 2 on the gamepad falling upwards?

Maybe a competitive two player mode, in which the player 1 falls as normal on the telly, whilst player 2 sets traps and controls enemies on the gamepad. Or…

How about a modern day Spy vs Spy, each with a screen.


Spy Vs Spy: With the added benefit of not knowing what the other guy was doing.

I know you’ve already leapt on all fours, howling your own brilliant thoughts at the screen. This could have been the ultimate local co-op gaming machine.


Make your own entertainment, lazy audience.

I guess the business money-men scum had the last laugh, as the Wii U wasn’t ‘economically viable’ to test out such grand theories. I’ll never know what perverted things Nintendo did to alienate itself so swiftly.

Filth publisher EA immediately decided that the Wii U didn’t sell enough units to their liking. You need to publish more games, to sell more console units, which won’t happen if you didn’t publish many games in the first place. I suspect EA pulled out early because Nintendo didn’t sweeten the deal. Who knows. EA rarely subscribes to the concept of new ideas, but people do enjoy a Fifa. Let’s face it, ‘orrible or not, when one of the biggest publishers in the world pulls out, it doesn’t inspire confidence.

Lack of confidence = less risky ideas, strutting around the device in cuban heels.


Released last year, 9 player action!

Note – Runbow would have made an excellent launch title. Too little, too late.

Lastly, why the hell did Nintendo call it Wii U? How many mums and dads looked at each other and said to little Jimmy, “Sorry son, we’ve already got one of those Wii jigga-ma-boxes, we don’t need another”, as they ruffle little Jimmy’s hair, laughing as they walk away from their protesting child. Poor Little Jimmy.

The Wii U is a unique device with too few unique ideas.

I wish that wasn’t true.