Monday, 19 November 2012

So, the Wii U is Out, How Are Things on the RPG Front?

An image of the Wii U version of the game
While Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate looks nice, I'd much rather get the 3DS
version of it.
The day has finally come and gone, and the Wii U is now out in the wild. Nintendo super fans lined up for midnight releases, eBay profiteers are doing their thing, and the next week or so will be flooded with discussion of the new console. I don't really care about all that stuff though.  My only concern is how the system will fair in terms of role-playing games, and already I'm not impressed.

Shephard laying down the law
Mass Effect 3 is all over the place
About all we know of at the moment in terms of RPGs is that it will have Dragon Quest X, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and Mass Effect 3. Really, none of these games interest me in a way that I feel it's worth plunking down the cash on a Wii U. Monster Hunter I've been planning to get on the 3DS from the start, as it's something I really want to play on the go, Mass Effect 3 can be played on my PC with far more powerful components, and with regard to Dragon Quest X I just don't have any interest in subscription-based MMOs anymore, so I don't see myself investing time in the game. After that it's really up in the air what we may see in terms of RPGs on the system.

Granted, role-playing games take a lot longer to show up on new consoles than other genres. Their development process is usually longer and more involved than, say, a shooter or a platformer, so it's usually only a year or two after a new system is released that we see RPGs start to appear on it in a major way.

Fighting some monsters
Dragon Quest X will head to the Wii U eventually, but
I'm not sure I want to go with something subscription-based.
I think my fear is that the Wii U could go the same way as its predecessor, and only have a sparse library of RPGs compared to other platforms. Granted what games the Wii did get were at times quite good, like Xenoblade, but after that the selection thins really fast. There's probably about 30 RPGs that came out for the system, and a lot of them were alright, but hardly something we'll be talking about ten years from now. This has been a pattern with Nintendo consoles since the N64. That system had a terrible library of RPGs. Then the Gamecube came along, and it was more like the Wii with a small, but decent collection of them. I'm not expecting a monolithic selection of role-playing games akin to what the PS2 or the DS saw, but it would be nice to see the choices for good RPGs on the Wii U be a little more robust than previous Nintendo consoles.

There's really no reason to be too negative about the system just yet. It only came out a day ago, and it'll take time for the library to grow, but since RPGs are the games I care about most, it's a major determining factor on whether I'll get a Wii U or not. For now I can wait. Hopefully in a couple of years we'll see some interesting role-playing games come to it.

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