Saturday, May 11, 2013

Part 7: Jump In

This is it!  The final entry in the series!  It has been a long journey typing all this up, but it's time to wrap it up and move on to different types of entries.  If you're ready, go on and continue reading Part 7:  Jump In.

Looking back, and I can't believe it's true, but I was super pumped about the Wii.  I was never one of those people that disparaged Nintendo by saying that their games were too kiddie, so I was able to enjoy the GameCube even though I also spent a lot of time with the PlayStation 2.  My reason for ultimately not being fond of the Nintendo 64 wasn't because of "kiddie titles," but rather because it just didn't have enough games that really grabbed me.  So yes, initially, I was quite excited about the Wii when I heard about it.  At least I was until I saw the controller.

Might be my favorite Wii game.
"That's it.  They're done."  I remember saying that out loud when I saw the controller.  Of course time would prove me to be quite wrong, but I was certain that the Wii remote was a horrible idea and that it would be the final nail in the coffin.  "They're straying too far from the norm with it, and games will be too hard to play with it.  It won't get as many ports from the next PlayStation and Xbox and it will meet the same fate as the GameCube."  While not entirely inaccurate predictions, the real reason it wouldn't get as many ports from the other two consoles was because it simply wasn't powerful enough.

The controller aside, I still knew I had to have a Wii.  I had never not bought Nintendo's game consoles (I even have a Virtual Boy) and I wasn't prepared to stop yet.  When the opportunity came up at work to reserve one, I did.  Many people did, actually.  It was surprising to see so many people on board with Nintendo again after so long.  The last time Nintendo was ever really on top of the world was with the Super Nintendo.  PlayStation seemed more popular than Nintendo 64, and PlayStation 2 seemed more popular than GameCube.  We took as many pre-orders as we were allowed, and on November 19th 2006 I picked up my shiny new Wii console along with The Legend of Zelda:  Twilight Princess, Super Monkey Ball:  Banana Blitz, and Trauma Center:  Second Opinion.

I loved the Nintendo Wii.  I really did.  It's weird to think that now, but it's true.  Twilight Princess was fantastic, and it was easily my favorite game for the system for quite a while.  Another game that I really enjoyed was Kororinpa:  Marble Mania, a simple game where you tilt the remote to roll a ball through a maze collecting gems.

If you look at the games I bought over the course of 2007, you notice a trend that I was buying games I normally wouldn't just because there was nothing else available.  I still loved the Wii at this time, or at least I thought I did.  I was padding out my game collection with things like Alien Syndrome, Tamagotchi:  Party On, and Ghost Squad.  The last game I devoted any time to was Resident Evil 4:  Wii Edition.  Odd, considering Resident Evil 4 was the last GameCube game I played a lot.

Apparently I like games where you roll things.
By the end of 2007, I was starting to feel like I didn't own a next generation console.  Actually, maybe I felt like I didn't even own a current generation console.  The Wii didn't seem all that different than the GameCube except for the controller.  Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were out by this point, and I had initially passed on both of them for due to their cost.  The Xbox 360 was too expensive at $400, and the PlayStation 3 was ridiculously expensive at $600.  By Christmas of that year, however, I decided to go ahead and get an Xbox 360 along with Kameo:  Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero.

In the beginning, I still preferred my Wii to my 360.  I wasn't thrilled with the two games I bought with the system, and the games I got shortly afterwards were all clearance games of varying quality.  My library was clogged up with games I got cheap like Condemned:  Criminal Origins and Rumble Roses XX, so I wasn't paying as much attention to it as I should have been.  The first game I played and really enjoyed a lot for the 360 was Beautiful Katamari, which is a series that I have loved since the original on PlayStation 2.  The second game that really grabbed me was Portal on Orange Box, which I bought in early 2008.  Shortly after that, I began buying more and more games for the 360 and less for the Wii.

The end for the Wii came at the end of the year when I got an HDTV for Christmas.  Up until then, I had been doing all my gaming on a 30-something inch standard definition television.  The Wii looked fine in standard definition, but when I saw it on my new HDTV, I couldn't get past how awful it looked.  The 360, in contrast, was beautiful.  It was amazing to me to finally see games in HD, and the Wii just wasn't going to cut it anymore.  I bought component cables for it in an attempt to make it look better, but it was still only 480p.  The last game I played for the Wii before getting an HDTV was Animal Crossing:  City Folk.  My HDTV killed the Wii for me.  From that point on, I was all about the Xbox 360.

BioShockSoul Calibur 4Rock Band 2Prince of PersiaStreet Fighter 4.  The hits just kept coming.  Today I have well over 200 games for the Xbox 360.  Meanwhile, I have less than 100 on the Wii.  The winds shifted for me, and currently my Wii is in a box in the closet along with all my games.  My interest in it died so fast, and the main reasons for it were that it was so grossly underpowered and I hated the motion control nonsense.

I didn't lose interest in the 360, but at some point I decided that I might as well get a PlayStation 3.  The price had come down, and it had a few exclusives that I wanted to play.  I kept hearing about Uncharted:  Drake's Fortune, and 3D Dot Game Heroes looked incredible.  It was also home to the God of War series which I enjoyed on PlayStation 2, and the system was getting a lot of support from Atlus and NIS America.  In December of 2010, I picked up my first four games for PlayStation 3:  Folklore, Heavenly Sword, inFamous, and Metal Gear Solid 4:  Guns of the Patriots.  To justify spending that much money on a system, my plan was to only buy games for it that I couldn't get on the 360 I already had.  I also intended to buy the system when there were 20 games I wanted to play for it.

I bought a PlayStation 3 before it had 20 games I wanted to play for it due to a price error at work one day.  One day we received a price change for the slim 250GB model PlayStation 3 that had a heavy price cut to it.  I don't recall what it was, but I know that it was so much that I felt like it had to be a mistake and that it would be corrected very soon.  I immediately bought it for the reduced price, and the very next day it went back up to full price again.

I don't really dislike the PlayStation 3, but I definitely don't like it as much as I do the 360.  None of the exclusive games for it have been that interesting to me, and since that's all I buy for it, my PlayStation 3 sees very little play.  At the end of the day, as someone that owns both, I can say that unless there is some exclusive game you must play, there isn't much of a reason to own both consoles.  I can't say the last time I even turned it on.

So what's next?  Currently, I am undecided on which upcoming console to buy.  Between Sony and Microsoft, whose console will get my attention first?  I didn't care for the original Xbox much, but the Xbox 360 ended up being my console of choice.  Last generation, I loved the PlayStation 2 more than either the Xbox or GameCube, yet the PlayStation 3 just doesn't appeal to me.  My loyalty last generation was Sony over Microsoft, but current generation is the opposite.  Nintendo, however, is currently not on my radar at all.  I was burned too badly with the Wii to even consider buying a Wii U.  Next generation is going to come down to the exclusive games and what each console offers.  History does not dictate that I'll choose Microsoft again, but one thing is for certain:  I won't choose Nintendo.

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