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How About You? Playing Your Wii At All?

I am constantly hearing more and more reports on gaming podcasts from journalists and general enthusiasts alike saying that their Wii is doing nothing more than collecting dust. Meri and I both have moments of guilt, ourselves, where we verbally note that the Wii is basically just sitting there for the sake of sitting there and looking pretty.

Why aren’t we using it more? Is it the particular games we own that simply bore us? Is it Nintendo, themselves, driving us away with things like Wii Music? Why aren’t I going back to all those Virtual Console games I purchased?

Let me toss a couple ideas out there.

Something I’ve heard pop up a few times (and more recently Rym & Scott did a GeekNights episode about it) is that instead of playing new games, we just keep going back and playing the same old games from the past over and over again.

I am totally guilty of this (but is “guilty” the right word to use if I don’t feel bad about it…?). Despite owning tons of games (some even unopened) that I’ve never played, I will go back and play through the original Legend of Zelda on NES at least once every two years. There’s also never a bad time to decide to sit down and beat Super Mario Bros. 3 or even the original Kirby’s Dream Land, which for me is almost like a brainless activity at this point. Then there are all the times I’ll hook up the Saturn and play a few races in Sega Rally Championship or Daytona USA. Meri has played through Ocarina of Time at least once in recent memory, and while she’s just now finishing up the first Phoenix Wright, you’ll see Super Mario World sticking out of Slot 2 down there. Then there are “new old games” like (the obligatory mention of) Rock Band. It’s basically an expansion upon Guitar Hero (which is itself an expansion on previous rhythm games), which means we’re really playing the same game that we’ve been playing for years and years and years, only with new content every week. That brings in the whole idea of a single game being its own platform, but I won’t bother getting into that, again.

So I suppose the real question is: am I not playing the Wii, or am I just playing old games and thus inadvertently not playing the Wii?

For people my age and older (anyone post-college, I suppose), another big factor is disposable income and the sheer amount of games. Unlike when I was younger and onwards into college and could only afford one or two games at a time, now I can pretty much own anything I want whenever I want it (for example, buying Dragon Quest IV because it was $20 this week, despite the fact that I have a row of other RPGs to get through first). There’s no need to justify a purchase for myself by forcing an entire play-through and trying to convince myself that a game is pure art when it’s really nothing more than just another game. If I get bored with it or see something shiny elsewhere, I move on.

Pulling the Wii back in, let’s look at Super Smash Bros. Brawl versus the previous Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Gamecube. In the previous game, I not only unlocked every character, but made it a point to beat the game with every character in both single-player modes to get each version of their trophy. I would spend those coins to try and get more trophies, spin them around to look at them, read up on their history, etc. I’m not sure how much time I put into that game, but it was certainly a lot…! However, with Brawl, I only went so far as to unlock all of the characters and stages. I never actually finished Subspace Emissary (I think I got about 75% of the way through), and I didn’t put any time into creating any of my own stages (or collecting all of the parts to be able to do so). That’s not to say I never play the game ever again, though. There are instances where I’m craving some Nintendo fanboy catering, or have to laugh at how incomprehensibly bad the online-play integration was, and I pop it in for a few minutes. A get-together of friends is another great time, since I do have four Wavebirds… The point, though, is that despite dropping the $50 on the game, I simply don’t feel the burning desire or any real compelling reason to attach myself to that game solely as I would were I twenty years younger.

How about straight-up dropping games? Personally, I’ve dropped just as many games on the Wii (sorry, Super Mario Galaxy) as I have on other systems, so there’s nothing inherently there to jump on and pick apart.

So am I really just playing the same games over and over? Let’s take a look at what I’m playing just in the last week and see if there are any trends:

– Rock Band 2 (360): Mentioned above; basically just Guitar Hero evolved, so yes, the same game over and over.

– DragonBall Z: Infinite World (PS2): A mash-up of Budokai 3 (which I played through twice; US PS2 & JP PS2), Shin Budokai (which I own and dropped) and Burst Limit (which I own and dropped), so yes, the same game over and over.

DragonBall: Origins (DS): Whoa, a totally new game! Fancy that. I’m quasi playing it “for work“, though.

Final Fantasy VI (GBA): New to me! Classification is up in the air on this one, though, since it’s an evolution of games I’ve played before (III & IV) and a predecessor to ones I’ve also played (VII, VIII, X).

How about a game I only recently kicked the bad habit of? That’s right, Pokemon. Well, FireRed was an enhanced remake of a game I had played when it first came out (in my case, Yellow) and Pearl is really just another evolution of the same game (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it).

So what does that say about me? Am I just playing it safe? I will admit to starting to unfortunately feel that apprehension and insecurity when I start playing an entirely new game, something I never expected myself to feel with regards to any technology.

How does that relate to the Wii? Shouldn’t I be right at home since it’s basically a Gamecube and all my old games are there on Virtual Console? I’m totally ready to go with Shining Force II (again, another old game I’ve played through multiple times) but I really need to finish some of these other games I’m playing, first! Our Wii actually gets used like clockwork every time Andrew and Jeff are over, if only to mess around on the Everybody Votes Channel. I know, I know… it sounds ridiculous… but it’s an event in our household. We even have our own lingo to go along with it, talking about who’s the biggest “conformist” when their choices are closest to the general population, and so on and so forth.

I also wonder if it seems like I use the 360 more than I actually do because I use it as a media center for displaying programming up on the television. Combine that with the Rock Band constant state-of-being, and I suppose it would look like I’m attached to it.

What about you all? Does your Wii collect dust, or is it at the center of your gaming experience? Does any of that other nonsense I’ve spouted relate to you, or is it just the gibberish of yet another ranting lunatic on the intarwebz?

12 Comments

  1. My Wii isn’t used that often either, and I haven’t bought a new game for it since Brawl. I do play through what I buy for it though, and depending on how much I liked the game I might try to unlock everything. (For instance, in Brawl I’m only missing a couple stickers, one trophy, and one challenge (The challenge is unlocked by getting every sticker, and I’ll get the trophy for doing it, so they’re all tied together)). Only Wii game I’ve started but haven’t finished is Zack and Wiki and Mario Kart Wii. I plan on finishing Zack and Wiki eventually, but I don’t think I’ll be playing Mario Kart again any time soon. I also have Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, but I haven’t even started it yet, despite getting it for Christmas last year. I’m wating until I’m not playing anything for that one.

  2. Being 15, I can not afford to buy games for any of my systems on the fly (Christmas and my Birthday are when I mostly buy games, with some exceptions). The only games I have for the Wii are “SSBB”, “Wii Play”, and “DBZ BT 3”. Oh, and “Wii Sports”. Therefore, I actually play my Wii almost every day, mostly for DBZ and BT 3. I am very close to unlocking everything in Brawl and in BT 3, so I definitly play 2-3 hours minimum on it.

  3. I’ve been digging Dragonball DS (Japanese). I have just got the Nyobo slam attack. It is so useful! Though fighting Yamcha was a challenge for me. His Roga Fuu Fuu Ken is hard to avoid since it continues for a long period of time.

  4. I use my Wii often simply because I do not have a computer and the Internet channel is my savior. If the Internet channel upgrade comes with Flash 9/10, I won’t need a computer anymore!

    I think about playing Brawl occasionally, as well as some VC games, but there’s no overwhelming drive like there used to. I don’t exactly know why that is.

  5. I never bought a wii because it just doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll probably get one second hand if the price is right. There are a couple of games that I’d like to play, but it just seems gimmicky to me.

  6. To continue a bit with my comment (I was “typing” on my Wii), it isn’t really that I dont like the Wii, far from it in fact. Rather, there are many other games that just out-prioritize a lot of my Wii games, or Ive just dropped them. I have Super Mario 64 to complete, Super Mario RPG, Metroid, and a completely unopened brand new copy of Zack and Wiki. Again, there isn’t any overwhelming drive to get back to these games, but I can say the same about so many other games I have yet to complete.

    I am looking forward to buying many Wii games next year, and the sheer potential of the Wii will not make me get rid of it. Then again, I haven’t “gotten rid of” any console yet.

  7. Actually I play my Wii daily thanks to the discovery of Super Paper Mario. It is just a charming awesome game that I overlooked, plus I have okami looming for the wii and resident evil 4. Of course Brawl always gets a look too. I also want to beat Super Luigi Galaxy and get that 121 star.

    Since I got a new gaming PC I am ready for a lot of left 4 dead and I have been addicted to Fallout 3. I admit I am becoming the FPS fan I never thought I would be. I def. intend to go back and get bioshock and half life 2 games because I totally missed them first time around.

    But I do see what you mean. I am taking the time to play through the real FF tactics again on the PSP, Kirby Superstar on the DS, and of course Chrono Trigger when it comes out. I will say Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kongquest is my comfort game I will always take the time to beat again every year or so.

    So needless to say I def. agree, it hard for me to beat every game i currently own, but that is okay with me cause I know there will be one day I am so tired of new stuff I turn to my shelf and see a game I never played sitting there and I will pop it in and be happy I own it.

  8. My Wii’s collecting dust, but then again I only have two games for it. I made it a point to buy a Wii when Brawl came out, and so I did. Then I was addicted to it until Mario Kart Wii came out. Then I played Mario Kart Wii for months to come. But then I stopped playing. I kinda want to get back into it, but I kinda don’t. I haven’t really been playing games at all lately (except for FFXII, for some weird reason), so maybe that’s it. But yes, I do feel like my Wii is just collecting dust.

    The review on Animal Crossing: City Folk I read this morning over at WiiFanboy almost motivated me to go out to the local GameStop and buy the game, though. But seeing as how I got laid off last Friday, I thought it best not to do so. ­čśŤ

    -Jaime D.

  9. When Wii came out, my brother and I were using it religiously: goofing around with Miis, participating in polls, trying to out-do each other at Wii Sports. Now, not so much. He bought and played through Twilight Princess, but I’ve never had much interest in Nintendo’s first party games.

    I was totally behind PlayStation when it came out, likewise for PS2. Then Halo single-handedly brought me on board with Xbox. And I’m already “invested” in XBL, so when games that interest me come out, I generally buy the 360 version.

    Couldn’t care less about Wii. As I predicted early on, Wii games tend to be gimmick-driven and involve flailing around randomly. Just not my cup o’ tea.

  10. My Wii isn’t geting played quite as often as I’d like it to be, but that’s because I’ve finished all the games I have. I go back to some like Brawl or Umbrella Chronicles to get more of the little unlockable things (trophies, files, etc) that I’m missing, but other than that I don’t play.

    I’m sure it would get used more if A) I had another controller and could play multiplayer (could do online but…meh), B) Had more people to play it with (don’t really have any gamer friends, at least not anymore). and of course C) If there were more games I wanted to play. There’s still a few out there that I havn’t picked up yet but aside from a couple of Wiiware games (Mega Man 9, WOO!) I’ve only purchased two games all year. I don’t download VC games though, but that’s just because I prefer to own the actual cartridges and stuff and play the games on their original systems.

    Let’s put it this way. I still love my Wii, will not get rid of it and look forward to what will come out in the future, but I’m definitly going to be picking a 360 soon ;).

  11. I have to warn you. This is going to be one crazy rant…

    I have no Wii games. I did but, I sold them and I really don’t miss them. I do (oddly enough) have no blocks left on my Wii because it is full of old games I’ve downloaded.

    I don’t think this is a Wii thing. I think what is happening is, we are getting old. I don’t mean we are going to be 80 years old and still play NES games (which… maybe we will). What I mean is we really have no time to do anything anymore. I come home from work, I’am tired, I don’t want to start searching for star bits across the galaxy. Even though I play every Mario game that comes out, I really have no energy for it. I think since old school games are simple and we pretty much know the paths to take, we know it won’t take much time to either beat it or get to a save point.

    Look at Willie (VenomSymbiote). He is 15 and he said he plays the Wii almost everyday. I think the games we buy or play before graduating High School will pretty much lay out the way we play and what we play for the rest of our lives. Every game I buy now is either an already an established series I’am familiar with or some kind of re-made old school game. I usually will never buy a game I have no former knowledge of. Maybe it’s because (subconsciously) I don’t want to deal with learning about a whole new series, and maybe I know I don’t want to so I won’t even waste my money.

    I also did the same exact thing with brawlmelee. I unlocked almost everything like an animal in the previous Smash Bros game. This time? Barley even touched it. I think that means with every Video Game system that comes out, this “not playing games” situation is going to get worse until one day we give up and just play the old school systems.

    Sorry if this don’t make sence to anyone, that’s just how I see it.

  12. @Tanooki Kuribo:

    I think you nailed it…

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