Mondays, they tend to be very slow for video game news. In light of ‘light’ news for the Nintendo Wii, I figured I would do some editorializing (if that’s a word). I’ve been perusing around forums lately, and there’s been a lot of chatter about how the Nintendo Wii isn’t for the hardcore gamer. There have been comments along the lines of:
“When will the Nintendo Wii have games for hardcore players like me”
“Why is the Nintendo Wii only being marketed to my pap pap”
“Where’s all the blood/gore, and cursing…..I want some mature content”
To all of these people, I just want to say “Maybe you’re not really all that hardcore”. I’ve just about reached the boiling point behind this hardcore vs. casual dynamic that video game sites and fanboys have started this past couple of years. I’m not sure when this made up trend started, but I’m pretty sure I was either asleep or enjoying too many video games to tell. The Nintendo Wii just like any other system has a wide variety of games that reach all kinds of different gamers, maybe even more variety than the other two consoles. But this variety isn’t just limited to two distinct markets (there’s more than just hardcore & casual).
When I consider someone a hardcore fan of something it’s all about how much time and resources one puts into something. I have a relative who’s a hardcore Disney movie fan. She has spent an un-godly amount of time watching animated Disney movies, and has spent enough money to finance a small country with Disney memorabilia. She pretty much epitomizes what it means to be a hardcore fan.
Personally, I’ve been an avid gamer since around the late 1980′s. I received a NES for my 5th Christmas, and haven’t looked back since. I’ve put more hours into gaming then probably any other electronic media, or hobby. I’ve either owned, or played on every console that’s been released. Now that I have enough of my own money to spend, I have all three of the current gen consoles.
Ok, now that I have explained what I believe it means to be “hardcore” at something let’s look at the Nintendo Wii shall we. To me you have to be pretty blind to not atleast acknowledge that the Nintendo Wii has released some fantastic games. I don’t have a calculated tally of hours spent on each console, but if I did it would probably show that I’ve played my Nintendo Wii more than any of my consoles. Guess what? Of the time I’ve spent on the Nintendo Wii, it’s been a high variety of games that have been in my disc tray (or downloaded).
Here is a list of games that I’ve played and liked on the Nintendo Wii:
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
Zack & Wiki
Sonic & The Secret Rings
MLB Power Pros
No More Heroes
Star Soldier: R
Super Paper Mario
Death Jr.: Root of Evil
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
TV Show King
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A King
Mario Kart: Wii
For a system that’s just going on its’ second year, that’s a pretty long list of played games. Not only are those games that I’ve played, I enjoyed playing them all. My Nintendo Wii list is probably longer than the other two consoles I have, and that’s saying alot. I will say that the Nintendo Wii has more crap (shovelware) out there than the other two current gen consoles, but that’s pretty much a result of its popularity (just look at how much crap was released for the PS2 when it was on top). So if I like like the Wii so much, does that make me a casual gamer? If I’ve spent more time playing Wii Sports than any other current gen game, am I not hardcore anymore?
Most people that have been venting about Nintendo’s lack of “hardcore releases” has stemmed from Nintendo’s lack of presence at E3. To these people I say that I was disappointed myself when I saw no Punch Out, Kid Icarus or any other first party announcement besides Wii Music, and Animal Crossing. But I blame E3 for this, not Nintendo. E3 is but a shadow of what it used to be, and Nintendo knows that most hardcore gamers will be keeping an eye on the other gaming conferences. Perhaps Nintendo decided it was best to save some of their bigger news for a later time. I mean just look at what Nintendo has released in the past 8-9 months, what else could they be working on that would be near ready for a conference display? For gamers out there disgruntled by E3, I say be patient and wait for a more valid conference to surface.
I went on a rant today, but I just wanted to put my two cents out there on this whole “hardcore vs. casual” dichotomy that has sprouted its ugly head of late. I hate to get nostalgic, but I miss the good ol’ days when the separation was between ‘fun and not fun’. It’s like the gaming world has gotten so in love with itself that someone won’t give a game a chance because it doesn’t give into their “hardcore” image, which is pretty sad.