Thank God It’s Friday! The week is over, the weekend is near and it’s almost Super Bowl Sunday. One of the most heralded and glorious sporting events known to man is just over 48 hours away. The day will be celebrated with Madden Tournaments around the globe. Sports are going to fill the day on Sunday, even the puppy bowl is going to get a bit of airtime in my household. Sports is a part of every culture, and videogaming is no different. So, let’s talk about how Nintendo can Do Work to improve the line of sports titles for the Wii.
When it comes to sports titles one franchise reigns supreme, Madden NFL. The yearly release of the latest Madden title is an event within itself: midnight releases, tournaments, giveaways. If you can think of it, EA stamps it on the hype machine for Madden. I didn’t get a chance to try out Madden ’08 for the Wii but, I did try out this years version on the Wii and PS3. I will put it out there right now, the PS3 version is far superior and in almost every way. The most obvious thing is going to be the graphics. Now, I know that graphics don’t make the game but, they certainly help. The Wii version of the game just looked horrible. So bad in fact it almost made it unbearable to play. The Wii is capable of beautiful games, just look at Mario Galaxy. Then there was the fact that you had that weak little flick to throw the ball. There were some other Wii specific controls, and they didn’t really work. All in all the game just wasn’t fun to play. Which is odd seeing how EA and Nintendo want us All to Play…
Most of this blame falls on EA’s new “All-Play” sports gaming lineup. EA is dumbing down the sports genre in order to appeal to the casual gamer. Why? Does my mother in-law want to play Madden with me? No. What about my Lola? No. That is what WiiSports is for. Ok, I’m off on a rant about EA but, they hold the monopoly on most sports titles so, whatever. Now, do not think it is all bad. Because it’s not at all. In fact, there are some titles that more than excel on the Wii. Pro Evo Soccer ’08 is one of my all time favorite sports games. Tiger Woods ’09 on the Wii is absolutely incredible. This means that Nintendo needs to do work, because the potential for greatness is there.
I’m gonna say it, Nintendo needs to release a standard controller. Not the classic controller, but one that you can play a sports game on the Wii with. A dual shock Wii if you will. I know, a bit controversial and kinda kills the purpose of having a Wii. But, does it? I don’t think so. You’re not going to stop purchasing games that are Wii specific. I don’t even think every game would benefit from this controller. But, some would; specifically one of the biggest titles to release every year *cough* Madden *cough*. Even if it’s a modified and wireless game cube controller, making sports games more bearable to play would go miles in fixing the problems that plague them now. Tiger and Pro Evo (and now FIFA though I’ve yet to play that) would of course be able to keep the Wiimote. If Madden or NBA Live or NBA 2K9 could prove that they could make it work, then keep it. But, as it stands now, other than a few very select titles and WiiSports, the sports genre is an epic fail on the Wii. Which is a sad, sad fact because sports mean so much to so many of us.
Of course, all we can do is hope that Ninty wakes up and releases the right peripherals, or at least puts pressure on the companies making the games. With slightly better graphics, solid controls, and the basic features that the other consoles get, there is no reason sports games can’t be as big on the Wii as they are for Sony and Microsoft. So please, Nintendo, Do Work and make us proud!
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