A reader explains why the Wii U has outlived all the other consoles in his living room and lists some of his favourite couch co-op games.
The much-maligned Wii U; it was the face of the flops of the decade Reader’s Feature over Christmas, but it is incredibly popular in our house. I imagine that is not written too often!
It has one of the prized positions under the main TV and is in almost daily use. Over the last few years it has seen off two Xboxes and a Nintendo Switch, although there is a PlayStation 4 upstairs and that is because it is connected to a wheel and racing chair.
The Wii U’s popularity is due to the fact that it has a huge range of local multiplayer games, in fact is there a better legal console for this aspect of gaming?
When I first played video games over 40 years ago, local multiplayer was king. My friends and I had a variety of machines and I have some wonderful memories of us playing golf and football games in particular, crowded around a small TV.
This carried on to college where one of the lads had an Amiga and the legendary Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe – fabulous multiplayer game.
So for the Wii U and local multiplayer, I thought the best way to show this is just to list some of the games played around our house. This could be family or friends ranging from 8 to 80.
One of the reasons for the Wii U’s popularity is that it plays Wii games and many of these are easy and quick to learn. Essential for those large family events. Motion controls done well really help too.
It’s just finding the gems amongst the tat. The games are also cheap. Most of the games I have got over the last couple of years have been under £3 and the most expensive was £14.
There are also lots of different controllers available: Wii Remote , Wii Classic Controller and Pro, GamePad and Wii U Pro, along with the balance board. These offer a range of inputs and most are quite cheap to find.
Going to start with a bang on the game front:
My girlfriend back in the ‘90s (she then became my wife) played video games and when we first got jobs I purchased the Mega Drive and she got the SNES. One of the games she got was Super Mario World. What a fantastic game.
In fact, this is probably the most played game of my life. Every couple of years we go back and play it again, currently we are about halfway through it but time is not kind to us. Our reactions are not what they were and our ability to just jump off a platform into the abyss is amazing. Due to the absolute class of the game this is often very funny and never the game’s fault. Played via Virtual Console (VC).
Also: Super Mario 3D (Wii U), Rayman Legends (Wii U), and New Super Mario Brothers (Wii U).
Those early SNES years had an all-time great on it: the first Mario Kart. I still love the music on the opening screen, a bit like the SEEEGGGAAAA from the original Sonic game. When I stayed over at my girlfriend’s (wife) I used to get up a couple of hours before everyone else and would come down and play this game. I clocked it but then the time trials became an obsession, happy days indeed.
That brings us to the Wii U version for four-player madness.
Also, four-player F-Zero (N64 on the Nintendo 64) is smooth, fast and pure. This is an excellent game and an all-time favourite. Single-player is still a very good experience, particularly the time trial mode where you can have several of your ghosts on track at once.
We also have fun with four-player Tron and the light cycles (Wii), it can be very competitive.
Just many, many games. Top three would be:
NHL Slapshot (Wii) – as far as I am aware EA’s only hockey game on the Wii. This game is smooth to play, the graphics are good and controls easy to pick up. The motion control is very well done and the 2v2 can be superb. A great game.
Wii Sports Resort (Wii) – Archery and bowling in particular are top entertainment, but frisbee with the dog is also a cracker.
Tiger Woods Masters Edition – Best golf game I have ever played in multiplayer. Sublime motion controls and many, many different modes. It can be a very tense game as you are trying to make a difficult shot at the 18th whilst your team-mate looks on. The opposition, sat on the chair opposite, just willing you to slice. Pressure and bragging rights down the pub at risk. Brilliant.
Also: NFL (09) All Play, Grand Slam Tennis, Punchout, The BIGs 2, PDC Darts Pro Tour, Mario Strikers Charged, and Family Ski and Snowboard all on Wii. The last one is really funny with the balance board and all are as cheap as chips. In fact, postage often costs more than the game.
I wish I could experience the sheer excitement of owning the SNES version of Street Fighter 2 again. The anticipation, seeing the new console box with game inside. Looking at the TV in the shop and holding the box for the first time. Street Fighter 2 on the SNES, what a game, what an impact on gaming. Just brilliant.
But my favourite is a game called Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom on the Wii. Controls are easy to learn but mastery takes a long time. Graphics are good, brilliant game. Superb local multiplayer.
Also: Final Fight 3 (SNES on Virtual Console) is a blast from the past and very enjoyable.
The are a variety of Mario Party Games and Wii Party games to be had but they are not the best. That goes to a classic called Boom Street (Wii) or Paradise Street (in US). I don’t know how many games of Monopoly my family and I have started but I know how many we have finished: two! First day fun, then when hotels start going up arguments begin.
Well, Boom Street is very similar to Monopoly but with a key few differences. The main ones are that there is a target amount of money to win the game and also you can start doing up your shops without having to own the set of three. This is a really good game and we have finished everyone we have started in good spirits.
The House Of The Dead, Dead Space Extraction, and Reload (all Wii) are all very good examples of the lightgun genre.
GoldenEye (Wii) and Black Ops (Wii U) are really good in local multiplayer. Black Ops in two-player has a mode where one player uses the TV screen and the other uses the GamePad screen. Motion controls are also good on these.
To be honest I could go on but it’s getting a tad long now, but my remaining favourites would be:
Advance Wars 2 (Virtual Console), bit fiddly in two-player but class; Zack & Wiki (Wii); Trauma Team: Second Opinion (Wii); Tetris Party (Wii); and Tumblestone (Wii U).
All of the above are either two, or more often four, player games. A few are terrible in single-player but come alive in multiplayer.
Now what about single-player?
Zelda x lots, Metroid x many, Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Sin And Punishment, Super Mario 64, Bayonetta 1 and 2, The Wonderful 101, Pikimin, Xenoblade Chronicles, and my favourite of all on single-player: Resident Evil 4 with motion controls.
So if you have just flashed past the runt of the Nintendo litter, it may be worth a second look at the Wii U.
By reader Scramble’81
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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