178 of 196 people found the following review helpful
I finally decided to buy a Wii U after sitting on the fence since it's release, with the latest launch of Mario Kart 8 I thought the special edition would make a perfect addition to my collection of Nintendo consoles. This price drop makes it £110 cheaper than the PS4 and a whopping £160 lower than the XB1. Almost 2 years on from it's initial release I think it's time to share my opinions
The console is small in stature and only slightly larger than the Wii, the premium version has a glossy black finish while the basic version is a glossy white. It is considerably smaller than the other next gen systems at about 20% volume of the XB1 + Kinect. Both the Wii U tablet and pro pad are also very well designed, both are built to a very high glossy quality.
You have to take into consideration that both the PS4 and XB1 are not backward compatible, and the input/output lag of the XB1 obliterates any possibility of using the 'HDMI IN' function for anything other that viewing video. The Wii U however is fully compatible with every Wii game and console accessory which opens it's software library up to well over a thousand games, many of which are considered the best of all time such as Mario Galaxy 1+2, Twilight Princess, Smash Bros Brawl and Metroid Prime Trilogy.
I paid £475 for my XB1 at launch with a bundled Fifa 14 and a separate copy of Forza 5, in the months since I've never felt so mugged off in all my life... While the PS4 and XB1 are more powerful their game libraries are very poor, even almost 1 year after their releases neither have a game worth buying the console for.
The criticisms of the Wii U always centre on two things:
The lower processing power in relation to XB1/PS4, and it's library (or lack of) games. Both of these points I've since discovered are actually false...
The Wii U has less processing power yes, but not a single game has even came close to pushing the hardware. Assassin's Creed 4 is the classic example. The Wii U has a completely different architecture to other systems, this isn't showcasing lower power but rather a lazy conversion which is evident in all the cross format games. Next is the library of games, the Wii U currently has 9 exclusive full release games scoring more than 80% on Metacritic compared to the PS4's 2 (inFamous + The Last of Us) and the XB1's 1 (Titanfall, which is hugely overated).
Next is the online play, Sony and Microsoft has been infested with American, racist, rage kids for the past 10 years and it sours the online experience, you can't go into a pre-game lobby without having some obnoxious child shout abuse at you down the mic. There's entire Youtube channels devoted to abusing gamers and provoking a reaction, such is gaming on MS and Sony machines.
If your not being abused verbally then there's the cheaters using lag switches and aim bots and making it pointless even trying to play online as you have no chance. The absolute worse thing about this is Sony and Microsoft's complete inaction against this even though you're PAYING for online access, chances are if you've played COD online for these systems then you've came across cheaters. This really annoys me as a 12 month XB Live subscription is £40 but MS don't even police their own servers, I stopped my XB Live last year shortly after the XB1 release.
Online access for the Wii U is free, and there is no difference in the speed or availability of servers. In fact when I've been online with Mario Kart 8 I'm almost always instantly put into a pre game lobby.
I bought COD: Ghosts when it was £15 on the Wii U and it was a revelation, first of all you're playing against Nintendo gamers and not rage kids. Pre game lobbies were always filled with mature, like minded gamers who you could chat to and have a joke with, not the typical MS or Sony rage kid.
Second is the cheats, I've put about 20 hours into this and I haven't came across a single cheater, no lag switches or aim bots. The Wii U has restored my faith in online gaming.
At this moment in time the Wii U is the best choice for next gen gaming, it has the better exclusive games currently out and coming in the future, is cheaper and has far better online community which is free.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2015
The most fun you'll have on a console.
Games like Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 on their own make a Wii U one of the most fun things you can purchase for your living room. Forget tablet games on iOS and Android, they are dull by comparison, and will be forgotten once you have your Wii U. Forget all the talk of processing power on XB1 and PS4, the decisive issue should be how much enjoyment you get from the games and how good the games look. Wii U wins on enjoyment, hands down. In terms of how games look, well the Wii U is 1080p HD and the games exploit this. Until 4K gaming arrives this is a good as it gets.
One thing you get with Nintendo is great exclusives, such as the recent and already hugely popular Splatoon, but also Nintendo titles like Mario Kart 8, Pikmin 3, Super Smash Bros, Super Mario 3D World and Zelda Wind Waker HD, each of which would justify the purchase of the console alone (go read the reviews of each), there are also some unique non-Nintendo titles that make great use of the console's genius idiosyncrasies. I'm thinking primarily of games like Scribblenaughts Unlimited and Affordable Space Adventures. The former continues to surprise me in how much it attracts kids who you might think would want something more 'grown-up', violent and action-packed and yet it keeps them occupied and engaged and coming back to play it time and again. The latter, Affordable Space Adventures, is a great indie title that makes excellent use of the Game Pad's screen and allows you to join with friends in piloting a space ship. You then, of course, also have game genres and titles more familiar to those who have played on non-Nintendo consoles, and the Wii U excels here too: take a look at Bayonetta 2, Zombie U and the Wii U versions of Assassins Creed III & IV, Rayman Legends and Just Dance, for example.
Your kids, their friends, and you, might have imbibed the hype and marketing that much bigger companies like Sony and Microsoft can afford to buy and therefore think you want a PS4 or an Xbox, but I guarantee you that if your kids are aged between 5 and 16 they'll almost certainly get more use out of, and have more fun with, a Wii U. I think you might too.
Then there are the following considerations:
1. You can use the Game Pad (which has a 6 inch touch screen) to play games off-TV and watch Amazon Prime, Youtube, BBC iPlayer and Netflix. In short, you have something which has all the functionality of a tablet (so long as you are in the same room as the console itself) included in the package. You want to watch TV but your kid is still playing Mario Kart 8? Then with one press of the screen they can switch to Game Pad mode and the TV is yours, even mid-race.
2. Unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo made their next gen console compatible with their own last gen console, the Wii. So your Wii U can play Wii games, and also some GameCube and N64 games, these older games being released via the eshop for download. This is not only beneficial to those who previously owned a Wii and have a bunch of games kicking around on disk, it also means you can go stock up on a huge number of second hand Wii titles for as little as £5 each (we have the whole back catalogue of Just Dance, including the Abba and Michael Jackson specials, which were all purchased for between £5 & £10 each). You upgrade from an XB360 to an XB1 and your 360 games are useless to you and if you want to continue to play them then you have to buy them again in XB1 format. Same goes for PS3-PS4. Not so with Nintendo.
3. The Wii U is also compatible with Wii hardware peripherals, such as Wii remotes, nunchuks, Mario Kart wheels etc. Want a second controller and headset for your XB1? Sure, you can make use of your old 360 controller and headset, right? Wrong. They're not compatible. Not so with Nintendo. Those two Wii remotes from your old Wii, or that you can buy used on ebay, can be used as a second and third controller for your Wii U, so you and two friends can race together on Mario Kart 8, or fight it out in Super Smash Brothers U, without any need for expensive extra hardware purchases.
4. The console works out over £100 cheaper than either the PS4 or the XB1, and new games are generally at least £10 cheaper than equivalents on XB1 and PS4. For example, Splatoon is the biggest release of the year so far, was highly anticipated, and has received very good reviews, yet in its first week after release it is retailing for £29 on Amazon, as I write this review. A similarly highly rated and prominent release on XB1 or PS4 would have likely retailed for £49.99, perhaps more (I saw one of this year's releases for the XB1 in my local Sainsbury's yesterday retailing for £59.99. I mean who the hell has that kind of cash for a game?). Do yourself a favour, when the nagging begins let it be for something for £29.99 rather than £59.99...
Finally, if you're still hesitant because you think, having read on-line commentators talking about processing power, RAM and the like, that perhaps you should not bother with the Wii U, then look at it in the following way. The flagship Android phones beat the iPhone on paper by all measures employed by reviewers: processing power, RAM size, screen resolution, camera megapixels. Measured by these criteria alone you would never choose to buy an iPhone 6, rather than say an HTC One (M9), LG G4 or Galaxy S6. But use them, side by side, and you find that for all the on-paper statistical superiority the Android flagship phones enjoy, the iPhone just works more smoothly, more quickly and produces better photos. Unlike on the Android phone, there will be no infuriating lag after a few months of use, no odd hues or painfully poor low-light performance on the camera, and no waiting 4 months for the latest OS updates to be available for your device. The Apple operating system and hardware are designed from the outset to work together and they do. In addition, there are just better quality apps on iOs than on Android, partly because Apple have better quality control, partly because the iOS apps need to work on a much smaller range of devices, but also because Apple's own apps are so good.
Well Nintendo's Wii U is like the Apple device of the games console world: it is designed from the ground up to work as a games console by a company who has been a gaming pioneer for decades and has designed both the hardware and the operating system together, with a view to making the most of the games that they also produce. (For example, like an iPhone, the Wii U doesn't need more RAM than it has because it was designed so that it would not require more RAM in its operation, and given the software that would be running on it. Therefore judging the Wii U or the iPhone negatively because both have less RAM than an Xbox (Wii U) or than Android devices (iPhone), is just confused and silly. More RAM would just go unused (though look good on the stats sheets beloved by reviewers)). Just like iPhones and iPads, the Wii U might not beat its competitors on paper, it might also look a little idiosyncratic, but in the hand, where it counts, it is the best. Moreover, where in the Android Vs iOS case the Apple devices are considerably more expensive, in the Microsoft & Sony Vs Nintendo case, the Wii U is considerably cheaper.
So the Wii U console is cheaper, it includes a tablet (of sorts) and allows off-TV play in Game Pad mode, it is backwards compatible in both games and hardware; Wii U games are in 1080p, they always run smoothly and are exceptionally fun to play. Finally, you also get access to Nintendo exclusives that are games like no others and which are available nowhere else.
What else is there to want?
56 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2014
After getting MK8 myself I decided to get the console for my little nephew.
Value for money is great as if you register MK8 on the club nintendo you get a free game of choice between -->
Nintendoland, Game & Wario, Zelda WindWaker, Pikmin 3, Super Mario Bros U, Sonic Lost World, Wii Party U, Wonderful 101,
Monster Hunter 3, Mario & Sonic Winter Olympics.
We plugged the console, set-up was was easy although lenghty and a system update had to be performed as soon as it connected to the internet. After all that, I have only seen my nephew smile.