I admit that I got caught up in the hype of the Wii last year. They were so hard to get and they were great fun when I stumbled into a household that owned one. (Feel free to look back on my gleeful post from last August when I first got my Wii.)
During my last visit to Costco, I noticed that they had about 20 units available for sale. I’ve been noticing that the supply problem isn’t really a problem any more. That got me thinking – what is my experience and impression of the Wii now that I’ve owned it for a year? I hope my thoughts and impressions are helpful to you…
In looking back on the past year, it prompted me to think of the obvious question – how reguarly am I using the Wiitoday? The answer is not very often. I spent a few weeks in July/August playing a lot of Madden Football ’08 in preparation of the upcoming football season, but that was really the heaviest I have used it in a long while! I didn’t really have the obsession with running out and getting Madden ’09, despite or maybe because of all of the Bret Favre retirement nonsense that was going on at the time.
When I first got the Wii, I loaded up on sports titles, some Mario games, and a random FPS to try out the new motion experience. Tiger Woods ’08 golf was bar far the great hit! That game is just fun and extremely realistic. Football and baseball were also fun and exciting due to your interaction with the unit. FPS game fell short because you have to keep your arms way too steady to keep from getting dizzy and targeting something to shoot is difficult because of this.
I was totally obsessed when Guitar Hero 3 came out. I thought that we would play it all the time and have parties built around it! I preordered it, patiently waited, suffered through Circuit City’s ridiculously stupid and inefficient “SmartPost” shipping abomination, and when it finally arrived, I spent hours and hours enjoying myself. My wife liked it at first and we took turns passing the guitar back and forth and having a good ‘ole time. Then it hit me that two guitars would be better than 1 and we could play together. Long story short and a conversation that deserves space of its own, you couldn’t get an extra guitar for almost 6 months after the game came out! This was a game that is built upon multiplayer interaction. True, you could play online against another player, but frequent drop outs and lack of other people killed that fast. But I forged on alone and got through the first two levels. The next two levels are so insanely hard that I only play the game now for musical fun, and not for achievement rankings. The online GH3 site is a very cool tracking and social forum. Your stats get send up to a website that allows you a lot of cool features and tracking of goals.
All of these games were pretty good for me, but my wife was clearly not into the sports games like I am. And after a few seasons in each sport, my attention waned quickly. I must add that this is my typical experience with gaming. I’m not a gamer at all and pretty much stick with sports games and the occasional FPS shoot-em-up.
Wii Sports remains a top title that occasionally gets some play time. Bowling and tennis are great. Golf is great for those new to the game, but Tiger Woods ’08 is our golf game of choice. My wife and I are equally into that game and it has provided hours of quality time for us.
I would say that the single most played game in our house is Super Mario Brothers 3. Yep, a $5 download to the Wii is the best game we’ve purchased to date. 🙂
We’ve had several parties yet Wii sports tournaments have never broken out during any one of them. We’ve specifically invited people over to play, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. I think once that initial shine wears off, the people demand more entertainment.
It could just be that titles need to mature. I’ve noticed a MAJOR increase in what is coming out. However, new titles of Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and even Wii fit have not done much than spark a little interest. I’m still on the fence about Wii fit, and I’m being cautious. The promise of a game needs to be backed up by sustained playability, so we’ll see.
At the end of the day, I’m still glad that I entered the Wii arena. I like innovation and not being a real gamer, graphics are not that important to me. I like the Wii and for the price, it can’t be beat. I have always been one to dive into a console, buy a bunch of games, then fall off it and not buy many more games. That’s my personal pattern as I look back, so it could just be me.
Please share your thoughts as you look back and review your ownership of the Wii…