One of my readers (Bildo) said it just about perfectly in one of my last posts. I’ve mulled over the Nintendo conference all day in my head today, trying to think about how to word what’s on my mind.

“Disgustingly underwhelmed” is about as good as I can come up with.

I think about my first year with the Wii. Their “great” games weren’t all that frequent last year either, but I was so content with my downloadings from the Virtual Console, by the time I looked up, Metroid came out, then Mario. Then NiGHTS. And of course, more of a Guitar Hero fix. The latter being safe, but still enjoyable. Smash Bros. was delayed, but now I see why Nintendo did it. So what if the Wii didn’t have a succession of “must-play” titles every month. I was too busy reliving my old-school glory days to even look up and take notice.

Then a funny thing happened. The mass drops of quality “A” VC releases dwindled, then all but stopped. And I started noticing the utter void in the main Wii library. Smash Bros. came out. Endless Ocean, another delayed game, was relaxing. Boom Blox and Blast Works were fun titles. And the DS still continues to crank out great games, even now. I was annoyed and confused by the loss of VC titles, but WiiWare was coming out, right? E3 was ever impending. Mario Kart should be fun, right?

WiiWare’s initial line-up has been mixed. Mario Kart was an unbalanced cheat fest. Still nothing was resolved for the drop in quality of the Virtual Console’s new releases, and the pitiful joke of storage space caused me to dump half my content on a SD card. But there was still E3. Reggie Fils-Amie promised there would be something for the loyalists who didn’t want the casual game shovelware, and I waited to hear what they had to say:

Animal Crossing for Wii and Grand Theft Auto for the DS.

The extra motion sensor won’t be utilized for the obvious lightsaber games Lucasarts has coming. It’s “killer app” is Wii Sports Resort. Let’s not forget the hokey, MIDI-driven Wii Music.

Nintendo easily has 10 huge IPs they could capitalize on, and while Animal Crossing is a fun and easy-going life simulator, but it’s no Mario, or Kid Icarus, or Metroid, or Zelda. Hell, it’s not even a Kirby, Wario or Pokemon. Or a PilotWings. Or Punch-Out!! Oh yes, what about Starfox or Pikmin or Earthbound or F-Zero? What about the DS? Where are your titles, Nintendo? Where’s a new 2D Metroid or New Super Mario Bros. 2? I’d be happy with a sequel to Elite Beat Agents.

And Fils-Amie has the gall to ask us: “How do you feel left out with those types of announcements?”

Real easy, Reg. While everything was internet speculation, it would have been nice to give the gamers something. You know, like the company usually has every year up until this one.

Oh, but wait, gamers get voice chat, finally! But seeing how Nintendo’s done things the last two years, I expect WiiSpeak to be limited with more Friend Codes, extreme “anti-pedophile” voice censorship, and lag and buffering issues (Just like those tiny videos on the “Nintendo Channel”). If Nintendo doesn’t dumb this down as much as they possibly can for Grandma and the pre-school crowd, I’ll be stunned. We don’t get new titles. We just get more accessory crap.

It’s an odd feeling to realize that the weight of the Wii and DS library is going to depend near exclusively on what the third-party publishers release for the next few months, which is an alien concept for any Nintendo fan post-Super Nintendo. The DS will be alright. There’s a handful of good titles yet to be released, so I’m not worried. For the Wii, titles like Mushroom Men or Deadly Creatures or perhaps something else will be attention.

I’ve been pessimistic about how weak the content has gotten on the Wii lately, I admit it. But I wanted to give the system the benefit of the doubt for E3. Nintendo has evolved into such a strange creature that, after 20 years, I don’t recognize it anymore. I did up until the beginning of this year, but I hope their newfound faith and full embracing of soccer moms and grandparents will sustain them for years to come as much as they’d like to believe, because today’s conference was a door slam to the customers of the last 20 years, and at this point, my support of the Wii seems pointless. I’ll really have to re-evaluate the prospect of buying any new systems from them in the future.

Perhaps the concept of “gaming” is going to their portables from now on. At least they still do those well.

At least Sony’s keynote went better. God of War 3 was a given, and looks good. Then again, Sony could have staggered out naked and drunk on the conference floor, and still have done a better presentation than Nintendo’s waste of time.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under: e3wii gaming