Third Party Games are Better on Nintendo Wii U

Quality over quantity

One of the most prevailing criticisms of Nintendo’s Wii U is that the console lacks decent third party support.

Though what these same critics are quick to forget is Wii U’s existing third party, multiplatform, games are better than their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts.

Assuming you’ve read past these first paragraphs, I’ll underline here that I’m not implying Wii U has the best third party support, only its third party offers are better.

Assassin’s Creed III, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Darksiders II have all been said to be superior to their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 brothers, with Most Wanted on Wii U considered the best console version by far.

And this isn’t me just shooting off nonsense, this is fact reflected by each game’s respective Metacritic scores based on platform.

Need for Speed Wii U

From using the GamePad in intuitive ways, to directly interacting with other players instantly over Miiverse, and its technical edge over current-gen systems, the Wii U versions of the above games – and others – provides an enjoyable experience you can’t find anywhere else – again, a fact reflected in review scores.

There’s also that whole Off-TV play feature that’s not only convenient, but immerses you in full-console gaming experiences just not possible on something like a 50″ plasma TV.

Looking to the future, history is sure to repeat itself with upcoming third party titles. Games such as Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Batman: Arkham Origins, Watch Dogs and even one-time exclusive Rayman Legends are poised to potentially offer a far more robust, immersive experience than what’s possible on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and yes, even Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Now, clearly Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are technically superior than Wii U if you simply go by what’s under the hood. After all, both platforms are designed to essentially be a PC that sits underneath your TV set. However, coming off the back of E3 it’s clear companies such as Capcom and Ubisoft are investing in employing second screen dynamics into their games.

This is made abundantly clear with Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs and Capcom’s Xbox One exclusive, Dead Rising 3. The former was demoed alongside a smartphone companion app where a second player was able to provide basic support to the console player, whereas the latter used SmartGlass to call in an artillery strike.

Watch Dogs

My point is, publishers are looking to push a second screen experience through “band-aid” methods, all of which ultimately rely on the player owning the latest smartphone with the most up to date OS, or a tablet costing $500 and more that supports SmartGlass. Wii U already has a second screen built into the whole package, and that will give the console an advantage in the coming years.

That’s why with games such as Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Batman: Arkham Origins, games which are expected to heavily implement the second screen nature of the GamePad, will be better than their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 brothers.

Warner Bros. Montreal are already familiar with what the Wii U and GamePad can do, and will use their knowledge to deliver an experience in Arkham OriginsMM that will make you feel more like Batman than ever before. Whereas Blacklist will use the GamePad as an in-game second screen to scout ahead of your current location with a remote drone.

And that’s just what will be possible with “current generation” games. As time passes and developers have more time to discover what’s possible with two screens, new gameplay possibilities and experiences will open up that just won’t be possible with a smartphone phone, SmartGlass or Remote Play.

Splinter Cell Wii U

Wii U is off to a sluggish start in respect to third party games, yes, but that is an area that will grow over time. Nintendo are quite good at predicting trends and introducing new concepts before the rest of the industry are indeed ready for them.

In respect to all the console’s third party content that is available now, and in the future, they are certainly worthy of your purchase.

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  • Tynan Muddle

    Having played both versions of games like Need for Speed and Sonic Racing on PlayStation 3 and Wii U, I can say that I enjoyed the Wii U versions more.

    Something about them just feels more solid, and they’re less glitchy. They just feel better to play.

  • Brad Long

    I haven’t played Darksiders II on PS3 or 360, but the Wii U allowed me to seamlessly alter my moves, armour and weapons without pausing it all the time. That was nice.

  • Elbee23

    I know I have said this on other posts, but something that frustrates me is that previously for the Wii U 3rd party games are often late in coming out, usually around 6 months, and the developers excluding Ubisoft have been a bit sheepish in saying those versions are actually in development. It should be good to see quality games that gamers want launching at the same time on the Wii U as other platforms. This will allow us to get a real appreciation of different sales figures, rather than comparing games that people have already played through on other systems and are reluctant to repurchase again.

    Another thing that was briefly mentioned in the article that I just want to highlight, which is something that initial early reviewers fail to miss in their reviews, is the power of the Miiverse, the easy access Twitter like application on all Wii U’s.

    Take a game like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. It’s a complex game that has a whole lot of deep and difficult to fully grasp concepts that can turn people off from playing that game, which arguably has been a huge barrier to this series becoming a success in the West.

    The games become a whole lot more enjoyable and engaging if you can interact with other people, not just to complete quests but also to share gameplay knowledge and ideas. You often find experienced players are able to teach the less experienced players in the ins and outs of gameplay, and then the new ones can share insights into the game that experienced players might have missed.

    With the Miiverse, the ability to engage with others is made so much easier. Stuck on a particular boss? Ask the Miiverse. Wondering what a particular item does or where to find it? Ask the Miiverse. Found an interesting strategy? Share it on the Miiverse.

    For me, Miiverse support really opened up the game and helped me to engage with other people, both from a learning and teaching perspective, as well as the social elements that it presents. I have actually written a bunch of ongoing guides to various obscure mechanics that exist in that game, and have gotten good feedback in return for my efforts. The 100 character limit is annoying at first, but over time you get use to working around it.

    I fear that early reviewers before the game officially launched would have missed this whole aspect in their reviews, and for this game in particular it really does dramatically change the overall gameplay experience in a good light.
    Yes, you can join game forums for other games on other systems. But the ability to interact with other players near instantaneously really does improve that game, and I’m quite sure it’s not the only game that benefits from this. To top it all off, despite the X1 and PS4 having their various “sharing” capabilities, in reality the Miiverse is only found on Nintendo systems, and I think the system really benefits from this little highlighted feature.

    • Donalyn Dovale-Brown

      Great comment! I agree with all your points, would just like to point out that the Miiverse character limit has been raised to 200..

    • Tynan Muddle

      Miiverse is fantastic. I do wish that there was a little less emphasis on drawing, though, since I suck at the task. However, now that there’s a 200 word limit, as a writer (opposed to a drawer/artist) I feel there’s more freedom to make better posts so it’s balanced nicely.

      When it launches on 3DS, I’ll be in heaven.

      But yes, Miiverse is great because it doesn’t feel “generic”, like “share your screenshot to Facebook” does. It’s a nice little system. You load up Wii U and you’re in this gaming world where everyone is celebrating video games, not their babies or those stupid meme images that pop up everywhere. It’s nice to have our own little corner to enjoy our games.

      Xbox Live tries to accomplish this, and PSN, but they do it in a competitive light. “Look how many achievements I got!!!!”. It’s borderline negative, because you feel bad when everyone has more unlocks than you do. And you’re unable to communicate and ask how they got those trophies/achievements, too.

      It’s a pity that some gamers feel too “proud” to allow themselves to have fun with Miiverse, purely because of the “cute” Mii characters. Perhaps Nintendo should add a bunch of hats (like in StreetPass Plaza on Nintendo 3DS) to add another level of customisation. That would probably make the “hardcore” gamers feel more at home.

      • Jayden Williams

        Free hat!

  • Elbee23

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that Watchdogs was supposed
    to be getting either free, fast or exclusive downloadable content on the PS3
    version of that game. Is this true? Do you know what I am talking about and can
    you clarify if there are any differences in the games post launch in terms of

    I know with CoD:BO2 that Activision have been slow / non-existent with DLC content. I know none of those games are published by that company, and
    I have complained about their attitude and statistic abuse in other threads and

    But are there any plans for differences in terms of pre-orders for specific systems or post launch DLC for this batch of upcoming games?

    • Jayden Williams

      Watch Dogs is getting exclusive DLC content on PlayStation platforms, you’re correct.

      In terms of day one content, most of the upcoming third party games to release for all platforms is spread across the board, with all preorder/special editions bonuses spread available on Wii U.

      However, we haven’t heard anything regarding post-launch support. We’ll do some asking around and see what turns up!

      • Elbee23

        I was able to pre-order a special edition of Watchdogs on Wii U, but EB Games Australia are not supporting any additional preorder or special edition versions for the new Splinter Cell game on the Wii U. I asked in store and checked the website, but they have either overlooked this, are unable to bundle things together or the publisher is preventing them from doing so. =S

        I still pre-ordered on the Wii U, but it’s just a basic edition. I suspect the Wii U will be the best version of the game, but it’s frustrating that it still looks like not everything seems to have opened up. =S

  • Frdjck

    WiiU is no doubt the best current gen console right now. The only reason I won’t buy one is because it came to the market maybe one year too late. All I can think of right now is buying a PS4. When the next gen will be release, PS4 and Xbox One will be where the third party game will be at it best.

  • Martin Brentnall

    “And this isn’t me just shooting off nonsense, this is fact reflected by each game’s respective Metacritic scores based on platform.”

    It goes without saying that decent games score higher on a platform where great games are rare as opposed to a platform that’s abundant with great games. Nice attempt at spin though.

    • Jayden Williams

      It wasn’t a spin, I was hoping to back up my claim with something tangible.

      While I’ll submit one of the games (I think… Ac3?) has the same score as the PlayStation 3 version, based on positive/neutral number of reviews, I’m willing to consider the Wii U version better thanks to the GamePad/Miiverse.

      • Martin Brentnall

        Sorry, but it comes off that way when you fail to acknowledge known factors that play against the Wii U; e.g. performance that’s is known to be worse in some Wii U games (AC3 and especially Batman: Arkham City), as well as lack of any Achievements/Trophies.

        I’m not saying these factors make the Wii U versions worse overall, but it’s not helping your cause to convince me otherwise when I know they exist and yet they’re not even mentioned. It just doesn’t come off as a balanced article to me.

        And for what it’s worth, I genuinely want to be convinced, because I’ve owned a Wii U since day one, and yet aside from Rayman Legends, I still end up buying all my multi-platform games on my PS3.

        • Jayden Williams

          I’ll give you the performance argument, but really that’s just a fact of life with games these days. A game like The Last of Us that scores so highly was in fact so heavily buggy right out the gate.

          Issues pertaining to performance, in my opinion, don’t matter when it comes to overall quality when discussing which version is better. It is, however, an issue if you were to create a discourse concerning the technical quality of a game, then you’d probably weigh its performance on platform X, Y and Z – though not against one each other.

          Hopefully my stance on that matter was clear :p

          But anyway, thanks for taking the time to read, comment and throw some feedback, and not just the same “Wiiui9ri9zi9r suckzuzu” crap these types of articles usually generates.

        • bradtastic2

          AC3 was buggy on all platforms apparently though and I didn’t really notice anything in Batman and I’ve played it through so many times. The BAT mode is a bit ridiculous and a poorly though out reason to make it revisioned.

          Also, Deus Ex Jayden will be the ultimate version by far when it comes out :)

          • Martin Brentnall

            Deus Ex is going to be a tough sell for those of us who already got it for free on PlayStation Plus.

            Even if it’s better, I don’t think I’ll be able to justify paying full price for a game I’ve already got access to for nothing.

          • bradtastic2

            If you consider how the gamepad could be used, it’s pretty exciting. I had it on 360 and I’d probably buy it again for the gamepad uses, better boss fights and better level design (ie mist) to add mood to it.

          • Jayden Williams

            I tote’s forgot about Deus Ex, but for the sake of argument I was sticking to “major” releases, I guess.

          • bradtastic2

            Deus Ex was pretty major until it lost exclusiveness. Spineless third party devs are the worst, just like with Rayman Legends. There goes all incentive to buy the console…

  • bradtastic2

    Mass Effect 3 may be the exception but only because of the lack of DLC, and the back-story from 1 and 3 is poorly implemented into that piss poor comic. But ME3 and Sonic Racing is amazing and I believe Splinter Cell, Arkham Origins and even Watch Dogs will be better than the PS360 versions BUT since Watch Dogs allows smart phone interaction with the PS4 and XBONE versions (I don’t know if it’s confirmed for Wii U yet), the single player experience will have to really implement the gamepad in a game changing way for me to buy the Wii U version over PS4.

    • Elbee23

      What would this smart phone interaction do? My guess is it’s just going to act like the touch screen of the Wii U gamepad controller but without all the buttons you use to control your character in the same device.

      2nd screen gameplay can really improve a game if done well, but it’s only the Wii U at the moment that is allowing that to be built into game design. One could argue that smart phones and tablet devices are quite common in the developed world, and that it makes sense to use what people already have as that second screen, but then quality control for all the variety of devices out there is a different matter entirely.

      If I remember right, Microsoft recently said that 1.6 million people have downloaded the Smartglass software. But that does not mean 1.6 million individuals are actively using it to enchance their Xbox experience, it just means 1.6 million people have clicked a link, not necessarily all of them would understand what that software is.

      Microsoft and Sony in their E3 press conferences subtly suggested the use of a touch screen device could be used to control or add to a game play experience, but they never really showed someone controlling a game and using a second device at the same time, at least not the same person. You can do that easily with the Wii U gamepad. You can’t as easily when you have a second device on top of your regular controller. =S

  • Elbee23

    Random and anonymous interaction? That just sounds like an invitation for immature players to troll as hard as they can while not seeing any consequences for their interactions, and then calling it “fun”.
    No thanks, I would prefer to avoid such “innovation” as much as I can. =S

    • bradtastic2

      Well they have no detail on it yet but they’e said it’s a risk for the player and you could surmise there would be a reward system for people who do good. I’ll give it a crack because it’s a pretty neat idea.