The Wii U is my favorite Nintendo console. That statement might sound strange to some but I stand by it. As many of us know, the Wii U has been Nintendo’s worst performing console and it’s a shame. There was always potential for the Wii U to hit its stride, but unfortunately it just never did.
I’ll be the first to admit that it took a long time for the Wii U to reach the point of having a great library of games. Launch was filled with ports of preexisting games, and New Super Mario Bros. U & Nintendo Land can only hold my interest for so long. There were some major droughts, but once July 2013 hit we were starting to see more and more releases.
While there still were some months with no new games, the drought situation was getting better. Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, Rayman Legends, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and Super Mario 3D World helped round out 2013. It was a solid foundation but not quite enough to keep people fully invested. With the new year beginning, it was time to really start pumping out new content.
With 3rd Party support mostly jumping ship after the first year, it was up to Nintendo to continue delivering great games on their own, and personally, I think they delivered. 2014 gave us amazing titles including Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, both Bayonetta & Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and, of course, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Not to mention the continued support for games like Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors via downloadable content. Needless to say, it was an extremely strong software lineup and the following year was looking bright.
Comparatively, 2015’s lineup of games was strong, however, there were fewer releases and we were seeing a bigger emphasis on downloadable content. Nintendo’s software plan this time included Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Yoshi’s Woolly World, and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Previous releases like Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U were also receiving additional content to help round out the release schedule. Splatoon and Super Mario Maker would later follow suit by adding more content throughout the year as well.
When you think about it, there wasn’t a whole lot of games being released for the Wii U in 2015, but the staying power of its games is what ultimately helped it glide through the year. Keeping these communities alive via DLC was important because it kept Wii U owners turning on their consoles every month. If these games weren’t seeing content updates every couple months, 2015 would’ve ended up being a very barren year.
Speaking of barren, 2016 has unfortunately taken a hit with Wii U releases. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, Star Fox Zero, Star Fox Guard, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and Paper Mario: Color Splash are this year’s lineup of Wii U games. The problem lies in the fact that these games are so spread out from one another with nothing else in between. Production on DLC has come to a close, and because of this, many Wii U owners are left with very little new to play.
We’re in the Wii U’s final year so this all makes sense, but I can’t say I’m pleased with how this year went. 2014 & 2015 were both amazing; it just would’ve been nice to have at least one last hurrah. The NX is on the horizon and I’m very excited for it, but unfortunately, with Nintendo focusing fully on the NX’s production, the Wii U had to take a hit.
Even so, I think the Wii U is a system worth owning. It has a fantastic library of games at this point but I definitely understand people’s skepticism. Recommending a system with the reputation of the Wii U, especially one on its last legs, is a hard thing to do. However, if anyone is at all interested in this system, don’t be afraid to get one. I believe you’ll end up being pleasantly surprised with your purchase.
It may not be perfect, but despite it all, I love the Wii U.