Misc Missed potential of the Wii U

Zense

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Not exactly sure what you're saying, but generally you look to the past to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Nintendo obviously learned a lot of lessons from the Wii U and partially thanks to this the Switch has been a success.

Anyways, disregarding the thread title, this thread is more about looking to the future and what homebrew could eventually try to do rather than dwelling in the past.
 

MikaDubbz

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Now that you mention it: Perhaps you weren´t originally meant to be able to pause the game in fights and heal every few seconds (kind of like in Zombie U). Would have made combat more challenging and exciting.


This feature actually exists for the 2 Call of Duty games.

So what if the framerate takes a hit? Just reduce graphics quality. Way better than getting minor changes to the same game over and over again. They really didn´t take enough risks on Wii and Wii U. How about a Smash Bros game where a 5th player can manipulate item drops or stage hazards etc...

In general, we should have seen more Coop with asymmetric gameplay... instead they even cut out the Tingle feature in The Wind Waker HD... a crime against humanity.
Love that Smash idea. Seems so obvious in retrospect.
 

MikaDubbz

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That's like talking about the "potential of my first failed marriage".

Nintendo's "second" marriage was successful however, and as they say, that means the first (WiiU) didn't really fail.

If there isn't really a effect on the present n future, dwelling in the past is a waste...
Again, I'm not talking about missed potential in terms of the system being a commercial success or not (in fact the success of the system actually holds no weight in regard to what we've actually been talking about), I'm talking about all the missed potential game experiences that the 2 screen (potentially 3 screen if they ever implemented that ability to connect a second gamepad) home console experience could have seen, but didn't. As it is, we got a lot of great experiences, but they left so many lying on the table unexplored, and likely to remain unexplored unless maybe we see another 2 screen console at some point down the line, but I'm not holding my breath on that. Hell, even successful systems have plenty of this kind of missed potential, like why didn't they ever port or remake Virtual Boy Wario Land to the 3DS?

Beyond that, I kinda want this thread to exist as a bit of a place for potential ideas for homebrew devs to maybe explore for the system down the line. Sure, not every example listed will be feasible for the homebrew scene, but I do believe some of them are.
 
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FAST6191

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I still don't see a path for the success from a hardware perspective (it was way too long in the tooth on the hardware front at this point) but I can handwave that I guess and assume they got a nice PS4/xbone a like power system in there at a price people were willing to pay (but also somehow maybe stuck with the third parties say meh thing).

Still potential of gameplay with hidden screens* or it acting as a faux camera/massively limited augmented reality. Dual screens is but a minor tweak on that from where I sit.
Inventory management, maps and touchscreen menus is certainly nice to have but is mostly a solved issue elsewhere, and it is unlikely to grant PC MMORPG style 900 spells/abilities/potions type play either.

Minigames to cast spells is also usually of dubious merit (see seals in Castlevania DS) unless it is the main conceit (see one of my favourite DS games in doodle hex).

*in game theory terms this is asymmetric gameplay (different goals sought and means by which to achieve them) and imperfect information (you don't know all the moves up to this point). No screen looking and ability to have useful fog of war without making your players get up and walk out the room/put on a blindfold for turn based things being the general practical applications here.
Such things are explored somewhat in handhelds, and naturally PC games too. Whether I want to do RTS on a touchscreen and controller I don't know.

I would also note most companies at E3 that year announced similar abilities to speak to phones, the vita and tablets, and technically speaking would have been nothing too major there at the time. That nobody really did much other than a few throwaway chat applications, maps and minigames says most of what I want to know really, though I can still see a path to something.

To that end I would say most of the list at the start is pretty boring. I had Crystal Chronicles with 3 players on the gamecube. Was OK but nothing was really added by the GBA stuff other than having to talk to read a map and "hold on I am fighting, which way are we going" usually happens in co-op dungeon crawlers. I don't see a particular way to make that oh so much more.

Advance Wars fog of war on handhelds is pretty nice.

FPS games seem to manage on consoles well enough. Screenlooking is a thing that is less fun about them but dealbreaker is harder there.

Some of the pac man cedx stuff was from a game theory perspective the more interesting thing. Imperfect information, split attention, different gameplay styles... wonderful.

Battlemaster stuff with the tablet(s) having more potency than the controllers and either there to help or hinder things. Plenty of PC games that do this very well, and limited aspects in other things (see commanders in battlefield). Less enthused by the platformer stuff we did see where it occasionally got to draw a platform or drop an extra life. Could see some more things there, though I imagine that is going to be more fun in the restrictions and enforcing communications.

To that end even in fantasy land with devs that like the innovation buzzword (that was popular back then, even if I am not convinced it is in any way a synonym for good or thing that fairly readily ensures it) I am not seeing a path to the land of milk and honey.
 

MikaDubbz

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To that end I would say most of the list at the start is pretty boring.
To each their own. I would have loved most of that stuff, and still would. Not for you? That's OK, I didn't make this thread to appeal to every gamer ever. But I know I don't stand alone in wanting more from what the Wii U could have offered.
 
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FAST6191

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To each their own. I would love most of that stuff, and still would. Not for you? That's OK, I didn't make this thread to appeal to every gamer ever. But I know I don't stand alone in wanting more from what the Wii U could have offered.
Not saying it would not be enjoyable at some level, however if you are going to try to sell people on it being a massive missed trick then that is doing a bit less than would be ideal.

For my money there is nothing that the Wii U could not have done, save maybe with a bit more grunt, that the PC and handhelds did not do prior to that, maybe modern phones* if you want the pokemon snap thing.

5 player Mario Kart? The GC had 8 with local LAN play (that could also be dumped over a VPN). Nobody seems in a tearing hurry to replay that today like they do for say Saturn bomberman with all the multitaps. Similarly good 4 player local co-op back then was a bit like good online multiplayer team is... any time since we have had online -- wonderful when it happens and something to treasure but hardly can be assumed to be the default mode of play. We were also witnessing the true death of local play and local co-op by now as well (not like the Wii was the last bastion of it, indeed I am more likely to point at a 360 than it and the 360's efforts were pretty paltry compared to the original xbox, n64 and whatnot) but much like the asterisk below we could possibly handwave that assuming devs would have got it together and not wanted to sell everybody a copy of a game.

*granted "like the GBA and DS but on a phone" I would have thought the braindead simple option for game makers on phones to do, indeed many of the GBA and DS' finest third party devs ended up there, but no we have the return of coin-ops, except maybe those coin ops like that golf game that saves your score and allows you to log in in new places.

To sell it as a missed trick then from where I sit you would have to lean so much more into the asymmetric play and incomplete/imperfect information angle. Not knowing where someone is, what they are doing, having someone essentially playing a different game with radically different goals to you... that way the best stuff lies rather than minor UI conveniences (map overlays, radial menus, macros... imperfect solutions for UI but at least 80% of the way there) and perks of emulation few enjoy to this day despite its ease -- ignore the "I want to trade pokemon" set and how many really go in for the absolutely amazing multiplayer libraries of the GBA, GB/GBC and maybe DS (though that is harder to pull off) in these circles? Repeat process also taking out Advance Wars.
 

MikaDubbz

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Not saying it would not be enjoyable at some level, however if you are going to try to sell people on it being a massive missed trick then that is doing a bit less than would be ideal.

For my money there is nothing that the Wii U could not have done, save maybe with a bit more grunt, that the PC and handhelds did not do prior to that, maybe modern phones* if you want the pokemon snap thing.

5 player Mario Kart? The GC had 8 with local LAN play (that could also be dumped over a VPN). Nobody seems in a tearing hurry to replay that today like they do for say Saturn bomberman with all the multitaps. Similarly good 4 player local co-op back then was a bit like good online multiplayer team is... any time since we have had online -- wonderful when it happens and something to treasure but hardly can be assumed to be the default mode of play. We were also witnessing the true death of local play and local co-op by now as well (not like the Wii was the last bastion of it, indeed I am more likely to point at a 360 than it and the 360's efforts were pretty paltry compared to the original xbox, n64 and whatnot) but much like the asterisk below we could possibly handwave that assuming devs would have got it together and not wanted to sell everybody a copy of a game.

*granted "like the GBA and DS but on a phone" I would have thought the braindead simple option for game makers on phones to do, indeed many of the GBA and DS' finest third party devs ended up there, but no we have the return of coin-ops, except maybe those coin ops like that golf game that saves your score and allows you to log in in new places.

To sell it as a missed trick then from where I sit you would have to lean so much more into the asymmetric play and incomplete/imperfect information angle. Not knowing where someone is, what they are doing, having someone essentially playing a different game with radically different goals to you... that way the best stuff lies rather than minor UI conveniences (map overlays, radial menus, macros... imperfect solutions for UI but at least 80% of the way there) and perks of emulation few enjoy to this day despite its ease -- ignore the "I want to trade pokemon" set and how many really go in for the absolutely amazing multiplayer libraries of the GBA, GB/GBC and maybe DS (though that is harder to pull off) in these circles? Repeat process also taking out Advance Wars.
Again though, this isn't about how the Wii U could have been a bigger success, it's just about experiences I'd love to see it having via its unique setup that we're likely to never see at this point barring another 2 or 3 screen system releasing in the future

Heck, I'd say it's a small shame that Nintendo hasn't made a bigger deal of 2 Switchs being able to accomplish a similar Wii U setup. They've stated they want multiple Switchs in the same households and have seen a rise of this as much as well. So why not offer optional Wii U control schemes for games that could benefit from it? It could help entice Switch owners into buying say a Lite model on top of the one they own if they were considering getting one for another sibling and just need a little push to make that second purchase, if they miss the little things like the always on map in Splatoon to much more quickly jump to teammates, or reimplement the scrapped BOTW functionality. Of course these would all need to be optional control schemes so they can still be played as designed for a single Switch. And it might require a similar download play kind of ability that the DS and 3DS saw for single cart multiplayer experiences, which might be a bit larger of a file size, but probably wouldn't need to be the full game for stuff like always displaying a map or your inventory.

I digress. Clearly I'm a fan of what the Wii U could offer and just bummed that we're not really gonna see much more of what could have been.
 
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Again though, this isn't about how the Wii U could have been a bigger success, it's just about experiences I'd love to see in having via its unique set up that we're likely to never see at this point barring another 2 or 3 screen system releasing in the future

Heck, I'd say it's a small shame that Nintendo hasn't made a bigger deal of 2 Switchs being able to accomplish a similar Wii U setup. They've stated they want multiple Switchs in the same households and have seen a rise of this as much as well. So why not offer optional Wii U control schemes for games that could benefit from it? It could help entice Switch owners into buying say a Lite model on top of the one they own if they were considering getting one for another sibling and just need a little push to make that second purchase, if they miss the little things like the always on map in Splatoon to much more quickly jump to teammates, or reimplement the scrapped BOTW functionality. Of course these would all need to be optional control schemes so they can still be played as designed for a single Switch. And it might require a similar download play kind of ability that the DS and 3DS saw for single cart multiplayer experiences, which might be a bit larger of a file size, but probably wouldn't need to be the full game for stuff like always displaying a map or your inventory.

I digress. Clearly I'm a fan of what the Wii U could offer and just bummed that we're not really gonna see much more of what could have been.
I was not really going for it being a bigger success. I am quite happy to be one of a few hundred that got in on something good - I regularly go for new and interesting gameplay experiences even if others don't care, and is one of the things I seek.
I don't see crowbarring a fifth player into racing, some truly minor UI conveniences, lame augmented reality version of camera that is basically lightgun take 2, limited takes on official emulators or worse versions of gameboy player being that.
Hidden actions, inventories, forcing communications, quite radically different modes of gameplay for the different players* that would not be possible otherwise (griefing as it were, though griefing is arguably not an aspect of desired gameplay, or aiding... all good)... that is how you do it for me.

*call of duty did a fun one with one player in a plane and another on the ground when in splitscreen. Something like that wound up to 11 without the need to split the screen would be amazing. Battle commanders in various games I have played (Battlefield would be the most familiar to people today, the name of an older fantasy game where you did similar and could ask the command for upgrades if your faction had the resources, which you also mined, escapes me but is also fun). Perfect Dark back on the N64 had counter operative and no screen looking there would be wonderful.
 

MikaDubbz

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I was not really going for it being a bigger success. I am quite happy to be one of a few hundred that got in on something good - I regularly go for new and interesting gameplay experiences even if others don't care, and is one of the things I seek.
I don't see crowbarring a fifth player into racing, some truly minor UI conveniences, lame augmented reality version of camera that is basically lightgun take 2, limited takes on official emulators or worse versions of gameboy player being that.
Hidden actions, inventories, forcing communications, quite radically different modes of gameplay for the different players* that would not be possible otherwise (griefing as it were, though griefing is arguably not an aspect of desired gameplay, or aiding... all good)... that is how you do it for me.
You downplay all of that, yet again, I think it would all have been great. I'm not saying this shit would have lit the world on fire, but I've found myself with 5 friends having to trade controllers in MK8. I recognize that the GBA had a lot of great multiplayer experiences that go almost entirely unappreciated today. I love Spy vs Spy and no system was better equipped for a reboot of the series than the Wii U. New Pokemon Snap is a lot of fun, but I do believe it would have been more fun on the Wii U. There is no good reason that DS VC games couldn't communicate with actual DSs for multiplayer. These little things add up, and if none of that speaks to you, that's cool, but that doesn't change how much I would have loved to see these things all the same.

Also, Pokken and Hyrule Warriors did the same thing with 2 player multiplayer as the CoD games, and it was fantastic there too.
 
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Zense

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From what I understand you both do agree on the core of the topic, which is that the Wii U did offer some experiences that aren't present or as easily accessible/doable on other consoles right now. Of course not everything is gonna be according to everyone's tastes. I believe if you don't find game modes like Runbow's Wii U specific mode called Colormaster (?) nor Nintendo Land's Mario hide n seek etc, then there isn't that much for you to gain from this thread.

Personally I wouldn't have cared for games to come to the Wii U if they were just gonna be the same experience as elsewhere with no use of the gamepad. If the Wii U had been made without the gamepad and gone for simple brute force and topped the specs of the PS4 and Xbone, I would have cared very little for the system since it would just have been a weak to average PC. The only redeeming point over PC would be getting quicker into the games.

So yes, the main benefit I personally see with consoles over PC is the ease of getting into a game. Yes, you can always setup a PC to stay constantly connected to your TV but to me it still isn't as quick and accessible as a console. Sure boot times might be slower etc. but if I could choose between playing a game on a mediatower PC or on a console and they would have the same quality and performance then I would pick the console.

Going back then, any experience you can have on the Wii U is replicable on PC. You can always program lr setup to make a game use a secondary screen either on a tablet, phone, VR or whatever. That's the nature of the versatility of a PC compared to a console. But you can almost always bet that setting stuff like that up on a PC will be take more effort from the user than if it were tailor-made for a console. I'm personally quite done with spending more time setting up games than actually playing them. Not saying people who are fine with that should stop - more power to them. It's just not for me anymore.
 

86houdini

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I wish we got some RPGs to take advantage of the second screen. Managing inventory in Twilight Princess on the Gamepad was so comfy.
 
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