Monday, December 31, 2007

The Year in Wii-View

After much delay, here we go...

2007 was a huge year for the Wii. It was the console's first full year on the market, and thusly it had to make a big impression. Looking back, I don't think anyone could have foresaw the gargantuan success Nintendo's seen so far with the Wii. It's become the best-selling console of this generation, and is being bought by people ranging from the hardcore to those who've never gamed before. Overall, it's been a phenomenal first year, with plenty of ups and a few scant downs. And now, as we move into the new year of 2008, I'll go over just what made 2007 such a big year for the Wii.

The insane popularity

The Wii is quickly turning into the biggest thing since the Game Boy debuted back in 1989. It seems everyone is doing their best to buy it! It's estimated to have sold over 18 million units worldwide, easily overtaking the XBox 360 (Despite the latter's one year head-start).

And with demand as high as this, it's inevitable that supply constraints are going to surface. Nintendo manages to produce about 1.8 million consoles a month, but that just isn't enough for the consumers. The Wii continues to sell out despite increased production, and things don't look to be slowing down any time soon.

The unexpected NiGHTS sequel

Not too long ago, "As soon as there's a NiGHTS sequel" used to be the gaming equivalent of "When pigs fly". However, with the release of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, the sarcastic gamers are scrambling for a new "never gonna happen" phrase. Who would have thought that this game would ever get a sequel? Usually when eleven years go by without anything of the sort, the series can pretty much be considered dead. Yet, here comes SEGA out of nowhere with the sequel we'd all hoped for but never truly expected. Looking at the past year as a whole, I don't think there's been a bigger surprise than this.

The Smash Bros. delay

Not every year goes by perfectly, and this was proven with the announcement that Super Smash Bros. Brawl would not be making it's 2007 release. I always thought that having this launch in the same year as Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy was too good to be true, but I dared not admit it.

But there is a beautiful silver lining to this dark cloud. Pushing Super Smash Bros. Brawl back to February will result in an overall better package in the end. And besides, we're finally gonna get to see Mario duke it out with Sonic the Hedgehog. We've waited fifteen years. I don't think two months will kill us.

The headache that was the Manhunt 2 fiasco

Honestly, this went on for far too long. People jumped all over this extremely violent game, screaming about how it never should have been conceived. The ESRB gives it the Adults Only rating it deserves, leading both Nintendo and Sony to refuse having it released for their respective consoles.

So Rockstar takes the game back to the drawing board, and in the process of pleasing the ESRB, they manage to destroy all that was good about the game. Instead of getting to witness the blood and gore of your brilliantly executed murder, the screen is instead darkened almost to the point of complete blackness, leaving only the sound effects and minor visual cues to tell you what the heck is happening. What Rockstar did to this game was like cutting to black right before the big kiss in a romance movie, and having a narrator merely describe it to you.

And why? Because a few bigwigs thought it would have negatively effected impressionable youths. That's why it was rated Adults Only in the first place, genius.

The little Zapper that could

The Wii Zapper is undoubtedly my favourite Wii add-on yet. Who knew a shaped chunk of plastic could add so much to the gaming experience? And it's partner in crime, Link's Crossbow Training, had some amazing bang for your buck.

To make things even better, some third-party developers even added Zapper support to their games. Ghost Squad, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 all have special options and modes made especially for Nintendo's gun shell. What many people have dismissed as a useless piece of plastic has turned into one of my favourite things about the Wii.

And of course...

Mario rocks our Galaxy

No Nintendo console is complete without a brand-new Super Mario Game, and in November 2007, the Wii got it's piece of the action. Super Mario Galaxy was one of the year's most anticipated titles, and it sure didn't disappoint once it got here. With 42 separate galaxies to explore and tonnes of stars, coins and star bits to collect, Galaxy is undoubtedly the biggest Mario game to date.

Add to that the brand-new Co-Star mode, a surprisingly interesting story and the humongous nostalgia factor, Galaxy is certainly not going to be forgotten any time soon. Now all Nintendo has to do is find a way to make an even better Mario!

So then, that's the year in Wii-view. All of the console's major ups and downs compressed into one bite-sized article. Just don't go chewing your computer monitors. Those things ain't cheap.

So, as I say goodbye to 2007, I look forward to the great wonders sure to be coming in 2008. Here's to another great year!

The Duck Has Spoken.

1 comment:

Lyude_77 said...

I bet the new/old phrase will be "When Duke Nukem: Forever comes out" or possibly "When the Phantom makes it big." I've always liked both of those.