Casual games are Wii’s anathema. Nintendo’s long-time fans worldwide have derided the movement, but what are we really mad at? After all, we loved the Mario Party series– casual gaming personified, but it allowed us to get non-gamer friends to sit down with us for a riotous time. And there’s no doubt that we’ve all had moments of joy and wonder with Wii Sports or Boom Blox. Yes, there’s a flood of bad casual games on Wii, but there’s also plenty of fantastic hardcore games, too. So what are we rebelling at? That PS3 and 360 fanboys can sneer at us as having a “kids'” or “grandma’s” console? That Nintendo dares put development resources towards something like Wii Music when it’s also giving us Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, and Metroid games?
Such complaints are a little silly. First and third parties have put out both hardcore and casual games on Wii. Both kinds of games have succeeded and flopped. But that doesn’t mean my personal Wii library is dominated by casual games because I have nothing else to choose from. I have a nice balance, because I hang out with enough non-gamer friends to appreciate the chance to introduce them to something uncomplicated but still fun. And I have dramatic, hardcore games I can play with my experienced gamer buds, too.
I think what we’ve been angry with is the derision that GameCube received with its cutesy design and failure to dominate the marketplace, and that stench still lingers years later as defeated Sony and MS fanboys lob the same type of taunts over non-gamers’ embrace of Wii. We’re also mad that hardcore games we love aren’t selling well on Wii, which, in our logic, must be casual gamers’ faults since they’re only buying mini-game compilations. Then there’s the horsepower disparity that some believe has further pulled the hardcore gamer marketplace more towards 360 and PS3– hard to disbelieve when you have folks like Epic’s Mark Rein constantly criticizing Nintendo’s hardware and then embracing iPad.
Fanboys aren’t easy to please. Perhaps we’re impossible to please. We just want the best of everything for our favorite thing, whether that’s a video game company, sports team or political party. We look at what’s going wrong, even when everything else may be great, and harshly attack it. Since the casual game stigma is so strong for Wii, we at Nintendojo thought it might be a nice challenge to look at casual gaming from several angles this week– what we dislike, what we admire and what makes us laugh.
Issue 19: Casual Sects
Pile It On by Andy Hoover
Nintendo is facing an epidemic of pandemic proportions, and shovelware is its name.
Tidman’s Take: Zack & Wiki: Casual in Conception? by Matthew Tidman
This is the game that should have blown up with both casual and hardcore gamers, but fizzled. Perhaps casual gamers were pushed away for some reason in the game’s design.
Cawiir Day by Adam Sorice
Not sure what to do with your life? Try out our gaming professions.
Nester64x: Everybody Unlike Me is Evil by Nester64x
Only Nester can summarize why casual gamers are like the plague.
Hot Air: Sected by Aaron Roberts
These are the factions of Wii’s casual gaming community.
Rabbids Like It Casual by Andrew Hsieh
Rayman Raving Rabbids has alien bunnies in it. That appeals to everyone, right?
Wii Would Like to Retire by Aaron Roberts and M. Noah Ward
Those happy Wii pitchmen have retired, and we’ve got the postcards of their journeys.
Popcap: Casual Success by Carter Fagan
There might be lessons Nintendo could take from this casual gaming success story.
5 Casual Games That Don’t Need to Be Hardcore by Francisco Naranjo
Some casual games rock just the way they are.
Additional features in this issue…
- Nightly News Roundup by Francisco Naranjo
- Nightly News Roundup by James Labalokie
- Dojo-Show-Go! Episode 112 by M. Noah Ward
- Nightly News Roundup by Matthew Tidman
- Nightly News Roundup by James Stank
- Nightly News Roundup by Aaron Roberts
Coming Up Next Week…
Issue 20: Powered by Kirby
Kirby’s newest adventure hits consoles this week, so we’re helping him roll out properly.