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Touch Ruminations: Serious business


In the latest edition of Touch Ruminations, former DS and Wii Fanboy Lead David Hinkle talks about how lousy Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop looks and why the Wii needs to be taken more seriously. Basically, he just rants about stuff. The opinions expressed here belong to the author and don't necessarily reflect those of Joystiq, Weblogs Inc. or its affiliates.

You've seen it, right? Horrible, I know. How does something like this even happen? I don't have all of the answers, but being an individual that has worked in the Wii trenches for years now, I can tell you one thing: this isn't helping the Wii to get the respect it deserves.

When you decide to port something to the Wii, even before the first screen is shown, or the first preview rolls out, most folks are going to write it off. Either it'll be "Waggle City" or the game will look so horrible that you might as well be playing the game on the N64. At least, that's how most people feel.

And Capcom isn't doing anything to help itself or the state of the Wii with its Dead Rising port. The game looks atrocious and probably won't sell well, and it shouldn't, because for all of the development hours that Capcom has put into the game, it hasn't done anything to improve it. You can't take pictures anymore, you can't jump, there's practically no zombies in the place, and the only thing you have to show us is Frank dressed up in a bikini, or dressed as the hero of a game we'll never get? Thanks, Capcom.

There are plenty of reasons why folks look down on the Wii. It could be the graphics, it could be the lack of an online community, it could be the "kiddie" label ignorant people like to affix to the system, or even the fact that Nintendo is really only pushing the console on non-gamers and still looking to expand the market more, but the important thing is that the system has the potential to be a lot more than it already is. The Wii can do a lot more than this port of a 3-year-old Xbox 360 game shows us.

It's not all Dead Rising's fault, though. The perception of the Wii has been on the decline in the greater gaming community for a long time now, but it picked up a lot of steam after Nintendo's horrible E308 showing. If Nintendo isn't even going to take their console seriously, then why should anyone else? Thankfully, third parties stepped up to show us what the Wii really can do.

The Wii's large install base has been shifting developer and publisher attention for awhile now, but a surprising trend is starting to emerge in the last 6 months. These third parties aren't just pumping out shovelware on the system like they may have done in 2008. This year, we're getting quality products like MadWorld, The Conduit, House of the Dead: Overkill, and (hopefully) Sin & Punishment 2. With Nintendo contributing their own Punch-Out!! revival, this is shaping up to be one awesome year for the Wii.

And it doesn't stop there. Even without all of the bells and whistles of Xbox Live or PSN, the Wii still has quality products for download. World of Goo, LostWinds, Defend Your Castle, and the Art Style games are just some of the best on offer via WiiWare in 2008, and more is coming this year with Bit.Trip: Beat and Cave Story (just to name a few). The Virtual Console has been lacking recently, but there's a bounty of treasure there with titles available nowhere else, such as Secret of Mana, StarTropics, and Super Mario RPG. Then, there's always the hope that Earthbound will release some day.

But, even with all of these games, does the console get respect by most gamers? No, it simply does not. What's stopping the console from getting the props it rightfully deserves? Is it the fact that it's made by Nintendo? Is it games such as Zack & Wiki and Boom Blox, which are quality titles presented in a more universal and animated tone? If a console is defined by its games, then the Wii is a powerhouse in 2009. It's about time the gaming community at large start recognizing that.

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