With over 100, 000, 000 units sold, it might seem like a silly question to ask but: Is the Nintendo Wii underappreciated? Despite those impressive sales, there are people out there that dismiss the Wii as a shovelware machine or a console just for casuals. The graphics were criticised, the Wiimote and the Nunchuk were criticised and it was considered to be inferior to the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. At one point, I was one of those critics, but over the years, my mind changed. Sit back and allow me to tell you how!
Despite being a lifelong fan of video games, I’m actually one of those people who bought the Wii for exercise. I didn’t initially buy into the hype and I ended up buying a Playstation 3, instead. But a few years ago, I felt like I needed to lose some weight and so I snapped up a Wii. If this article was reviewing it for its efficiency in helping you lose weight, then I would highly recommend it (to be specific, EA Sports Active 2 is the game I recommend).
But as a lifelong fan of video games, I also picked up some actual… well… games. And 90% of the time, I was disappointed. The first few games I bought, such as Mad World, Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story, I ended up not enjoying them. It sounds crazy because there are some amazing games right there—but it was true. And really it came down to the fact that I hated the Wiimote and Nunchuk. I found them to be inconsistent and uncomfortable. Why waggle these things around until my arms ache when I could play a PS3 game instead? So I kind of forgot about the Wii for a while. It became, as people like to say, a “dust collector”.
Then one day I remember looking at my Wii thinking: “Why do I still have own this thing? I never use it. I don’t have any games for it. In fact, what games even came out for this thing?” And then I suddenly became curious about what games I missed out on. What hidden gems awaited me on this quirky system? So I decided I would take to YouTube to find out. But the first thing I did —and also the smartest thing I did—was buy a Classic Controller. Now I didn’t have to deal with the frustrations of the Wiimote and Nunchuk… well, most of the time.
After my little excursion on YouTube, I bought a few games: Trauma Center, Muramasa: The Demon Blade and Red Steel 2. In a way, these games kind of sum up the Wii, for me. Trauma Center was frustrating yet quirky; Muramasa was excellent and Red Steel 2 was both frustrating and fun.
But there was one game that I’d bought on its release that I barely played: The Last Story. Now that I had a Classic Controller, I decided to give it another shot. And it became my favourite Wii game to date. I loved the battle system, the characters—everything.
And from then on and to this day, I continued my search for hidden gems. I discovered good games, bad games, average games. Some games I returned to so I could give them another shot, such as Xenoblade Chronicles (an amazing game, by the way). In fact, I credit the Wii for inspiring me to start collecting video games.
So is the Wii underappreciated? A little bit. I love it despite its flaws. I consider it to be the system to own if you’re on the lookout for hidden gems. There are so many odd and quirky games out there—not to mention genuinely great ones. The thing is, there are also a lot of bad games, too. When people say there are tons of shovelware on the system, they aren’t kidding. The thing is, I still enjoy the bad games. For example, I played a game called All Star Karate, which was undoubtedly a bad game. However, I still had a lot of fun with it because I was swinging my arms around like a moron trying to punch people in the face. There’s another game called The Calling—a game where ghosts (yes, ghosts) will give you a call on the Wiimote like it’s a phone. There are so many silly games like this and I love them all.
Speaking of the Wiimote and Nunchuk: though I much prefer the Classic Controller, I do tolerate the former these days. As mentioned, they can be uncomfortable and they’re not very accurate, but performing a slash with a sword or a punch with your first is still satisfying to this day.
If you dismissed the Wii all those years ago, give it another shot. There’s bound to be a great hidden gem for you buried underneath all of that crap (and the crap is fun, too).
© 2022 James Author