With post E3 trailers trickling in from Nintendo for both Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros, my excitement for these games is starting to escalate. Over the last console generation I've been subject to bland color palettes, militaristic overtones, first person saturation, and AAA sequel fatigue. I've been ruminating on my time with Nintendo recently and am fairly certain that this holiday season, once those brack friday bunduru's start rolling out, I will definitely have a WiiU bundle on my radar. I'll get into why in a moment, but the trailers that have been coming out have been giving me an excitement that I haven't really felt in awhile. And in terms of video games that's something I haven't felt in awhile, excitement.
The last game I honestly felt excited about being released was South Park the Stick of Truth, and that's because I'm both a huge fan of Bioware and South Park. After that was released I quickly noticed there was nothing on the gaming horizon that was truly getting me excited, and with E3 approaching, a sense of ennui kicked in as it usually does. The circus was coming into town to sell smoke and mirrors and the snake oil salesmen would be at their booths in full effect. Tuning out for the month was inevitable, especially after deciding to not purchase a next-generation console after my disaster of an experience with the PS3 at launch.
The "new" console I've added to my collection for this year has been the Nintendo 3DS and I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying it. I haven't had a proper handheld console since the PSP, and the best games for that console were PS1 remakes in my opinion. But my 3DS has been getting some serious mileage, but given my change in schedule and the handheld's games being designed for short bursts of play, it seems to be a perfect fit for me. Not to mention the library of games for both the DS and 3DS, which I've never experienced, suddenly giving me the opportunity to try out many new games I've only peripherally been aware of.
But the games aside (not something I will say often) there was something else I noticed about my time with the 3DS, and that's how warm it felt. Not literally of course, but emotionally. Something about the rounded edges and smiley faces on everything, how buttons on the interface moved and bounced as if they were breathing, how the gentle music playing in the background during menus was fun and catchy. It all made me feel welcome and more cheerful, the sensation it gave me from just navigating menus was notable! It made me think to my PS3 and the cold, futuristic sterility of it. The barrage of options and multi-faceted approach made it feel less like a gaming platform and more like the "multi media device" they wanted it to be. My launch day purchase of a PS3 left me with hardly any games to play and the ones I did buy tended to be far worse than their PS2 counterparts somehow, and after two years of barely using my letdown of a console, the disc drive broke and I sunk another fortune into replacing it because I didn't know better. Then I groan to think of my abysmal experience with the Xbox 360 several years later, and how little of the screen is used for practical things. Things like which game I put in the console because 80% of my screen is cluttered with advertisements. No, Xbox 360, I don't care about the new album by pop-artist-of-the-month. Not to mention the restricting of players to see the cover art to the games they paid for on their own console unless they are connected to the internet. Their underhanded business practices are enough to make me swear off getting an Xbox One, no matter how cool Sunset Overdrive looks.
Then I think back to Nintendo, with their absurd pricing of virtual console games, sequel farm stable of iconic mascots, and mishandled multiplayer connectivity, and it doesn't seem to bother me as much as the heavy handed business ethics of the other big 2. Seeing the sense of humor Nintendo has, their willingness to be more direct about what you are getting (even if that works against them [Tomadich Life]), and their willingness to at least try and innovate, makes them feel like one of the last gaming consoles on the market.
With Smash Bros including characters from Fire Emblem: Awakening, which has quickly become one of my favourite games, as well as the legendary Pac-Man, my excitement for this title could not be underestimated. And with all the time I've spent on the Dynasty Warriors franchise, as well as other non Koei beat 'em ups, that genre mixing with the Legend of Zelda in Hyrule Warriors is immensely enticing to me. Something about that style of gameplay puts me in such a good cathartic place that I rarely play other games in lieu of spending more time mashing that attack button. My friends and I have often discussed what other games we thought could mesh well with that style of gameplay, and to know that both Koei and Team Ninja is working on this kind of mashup makes me damn near giddy.
But those are not my true reasons for wanting to get a WiiU, for that honour must go to Bayonetta 2, which will be bundled with a special "Nintendo Edition" of the first Bayonetta. After seeing the trailer for this game I knew my mind was made, and once this game is released it will have to stand the test of seeing if whether my expectations of Platinum Games and Nintendo were correct. This trio of titles is what will get me to purchase a new console. And since my Sony Trinity of Uncharted, God of War, and Ratchet and Clank isn't out on the PS4, nor will be for quite some time, I won't be concerned about it until the next few years. Until then, make mine Nintendo.