From shovelware to how a console is marketed, I've seen many gamers talk about how certain things ruin a console for them. I'm sure many of you out there are smart enough to realize that I'm mostly referring to the Nintendo Wii here, and I'm sure many of you might be thinking to yourself, "It’s for the casuals and not for me!”
I do agree that a number of titles on the Wii aren't directed towards the core gamer, and I have my own opinions on that issue. But this is more about not being able to enjoy the console and many of its games because of a preconceived notion.
How can someone not enjoy some amazing experiences like Super Mario Galaxy, No More Heroes, or Little King's Story because of games like Wii Fit or Wii Music? How can the Wii suddenly be unplayable because companies are releasing casual titles for the system? Why can't we get past the idea that someone else out there might be playing the same console but enjoying a completely different selection of games?
I have never been in a situation where I was having an absolute blast only to suddenly find my fun ruined because a grandmother might be enjoying the Wii with her grandchildren. Maybe I've got some sort of super power that makes me immune to this sort of thing, but one would think that these great games would stand on their own and be completely unaffected by other unrelated offerings.
It's also funny to see that this seems to only apply to the Wii — and sometimes the Nintendo DS as well. People should look at the amount of shovelware on the PlayStation 2, which included one of the first fitness games as well as some all-around terrible titles. Players never let that distract them from the great games that were on the platform.
The PlayStation Portable is surprisingly left out of the same boat as the Wii and DS, yet you can find a special-edition Hannah Montana PSP that even got some stage time during E3.
Even Microsoft plays host to casual games. From being host to a number of PopCap Games on Xbox Live to even going the route of ripping off the Mii system with the Avatar system, Microsoft hasn't shunned the casual market. Kinect has mostly appealed to casual gaming, and it still lacks a software library that the core consumer would enjoy.
Microsoft and Sony both opened their doors for casual gaming when they released Kinect and PlayStation Move respectively. Sony has done a great job implementing Move controls into their mainstream franchises, but we've also seen a number of casual-focused experiences compatible with the control system since release.
If you see something on a system that you don't like, just don't buy it or play it. No game is so bad that it will ruin another game that has nothing to do with it. Wii Fit doesn't affect how fun Mario Kart Wii is.
My point here is simple. We shouldn't let other games or people affect what we enjoy and don't enjoy.
I'm not saying Nintendo is without fault here, and I don't fully agree with the route they've taken this generation. At the same time, I don't see a point in downplaying a system that has some truly great offerings on it simply because you find many of its releases to be different from what you'd normally play.
Enjoy games for what they are. Don't worry about what other people are playing or who is using which system. And don't worry if a title has enough blood, guns, or graphics for you.
Games are meant to be played. So let's start enjoying them for what they are.
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