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Is WiiWare A Disappointment?

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So the AP did a review of Nintendo's new WiiWare service, and although the writer apparently believes the Virtual Console is one of the biggest draws for the Wii, he was apparently underwhelmed by the initial WiiWare offerings. Now, I was really pulling for Dr. Mario to be one of the launch titles, and was a little annoyed to find it still isn't out, but I know it's coming, so I'll just wait a bit longer. But honestly, I kind of thought that Nintendo did a good job of releasing a wide variety of games in the various genres. You've got a sim game, a platformer, a casual quiz game and a puzzler. So what's his problem?

Well, he thought that once you took the window dressing away from the overtitled Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My LIfe As A King, it's just a boring management sim. Lost Winds got points for being pretty, but lost some for being pretty short and having sketchy controls. TV Show King was determined to be a thoroughly average quiz game, and Defend Your Castle was praised for its clever graphic style. However, he really railed on Pop, which I thought was pretty fun, although in the long run, I will admit that it really isn't as addictive as some of the better puzzlers, like Tetris or Puzzle Quest. And I never really investigated VIP Casino: Blackjack, but hearing that there's no online competition, I can't really disagree that it's probably not worth the seven bucks.

Asterick seemed to like FFCC:MLAAK, and I enjoyed Pop until Wii Fit took over my Wii, so I'm wondering if this AP writer was just feeling cranky. Or maybe he didn't even really play the games before assigning star ratings to them. What do you guys think? Have you splurged on any of the downloadable titles? Are you disappointed too?

Nintendo's WiiWare Games Are Disappointing [Boston Herald]

6 Comments

Neo said:

Unfortunately, I love FF games, but MLAAK is exactly that, a boring management game, it's thoroughly uninteresting but luckily it suffers with FF syndrome, thereby making everything with the name instant gold in the rose tinted glasses of square-enix justice.

As long as we keep saying it, it must be true right?.. after all FFX-2 wasn't a complete abortion, right?, right?.. it's FF right?

Daniel said:

FFCC:MLAAK rules!

CC:MLAAK is a very passive gaming experience. You don't really have a whole lot of control of anything and there's not much to do. It looks pretty, though, and it is addictive only because of the fact that the save facility is so wonky. By the time that you feel like it's the next day and your game has been saved, you've already made some decisions and feel like it would be a waste to stop. How hard would it have been to add in a standard "Press start button to save progress and quit at anytime?"

Don't get me wrong. I'm playing this. And I'm doing all the things you're supposed to, like having different races and recruiting for all the different occupations. But it feels for all the world like a demo experiment they created that would run itself so that they could test and debug some of the game processes. The fact that we are allowed to make a few minimal decisions about which characters will be warriors and where their houses will be doesn't make it into a real game.

I'm starting to worry that developers are using WiiWare as nothing but an advertising channel. And the cool part about it for them is that they're getting us to pay for the advertising.

The new star soldier game is really nothing more than a demo. a tiny bonus mode that will probably be included as an afterthought when they actually release the real, full game on disc or on the wii channel at an even higher price. $8 to play what should be a free demo for their next full shooter game?

$36 (after extras) for CC:MLAAK seems excessively pricey just to be able to play a simulation experiment of limited gameplay value that feels like an amputated part of some forthcoming, real FF game (and is partially constructed out of old recycled assets from a previous game.)

I'm glad lost winds has done well, but I'm really hoping that the developpers won't start thinking that they can add more levels and then sell it as a disc based, full-price game due to the WiiWare response. Which would make the WiiWare game into just an advertisement/market study/final debug for the game engine.

I thought WiiWare was supposed to be about small development companies being able to make real games? Instead it's becoming about all companies making small games/demos.

When Nintendo recently said there would be no Wii demos on the Nintendo Channel, I almost wished that someone had been there to say, "Of course not - because they are already on the WiiWare Channel."

DJFluke76 said:

i think for launch, i think that Nintendo did well in having a variety of games available, and considering the market they're going after (casual), i'd say they did a really good job.

sure, none of them really have me as jazzed as any of the upcoming games on the other services (Castle Crashers (XBL) or Wipeout HD (PSN) ), but it's a start.

the fact that there's no real solid storage medium is going to hurt them in the long run if they don't figure out something soon (i.e. external HDD), but that's a hardware issue which is totally separate from the software offered.

we'll see where it's at in a year or so. maybe by then, someone will have listened to 10,000 Maniacs and thought, "hey; give 'em what they want" and have released an official HDD.

Detritus said:

I've been pleased with the launch so far, though I am keenly anticipating Dr. Mario.

Defend Your Castle has been responsible for a lot of fun and laughs in my household.

MLAAK is the first sim game that has been able to hold my attention for more than 30 minutes. I feel $36 was a bit steep, but not so much that I would complain.

game-boi said:

I agree with Fluke on most of his points, especially the hard drive. Comparing the state of WiiWare now with the state of PSN/Live now, it's very disappointing, but comparing launches is a little different. The only game worth talking about from Live's launch was Geometry Wars, and PSN's games a year later were Geo Wars clones Blast Factor and Cash Guns Chaos with a mix of PS1 games (CoolBoarders and Crash). I think that WiiWare is already showing more of a variety in genre and scale than either competing service did out of the gate, but it's still too early to call it a success or failure.

It's going to be really interesting to see where WiiWare goes with an audience that has a different set of expectations.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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game-boi on Is WiiWare A Disappointment?: I agree with Fluke on most of his points, especially the hard drive. Comparing the state of WiiWare now with...

Detritus on Is WiiWare A Disappointment?: I've been pleased with the launch so far, though I am keenly anticipating Dr. Mario. Defend Your Castle has been...

DJFluke76 on Is WiiWare A Disappointment?: i think for launch, i think that Nintendo did well in having a variety of games available, and considering the...

Tom Terranova on Is WiiWare A Disappointment?: CC:MLAAK is a very passive gaming experience. You don't really have a whole lot of control of anything and there's...

Daniel on Is WiiWare A Disappointment?: FFCC:MLAAK rules!...

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