Et tu, Wii U? — Now playing: Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE

I said goodbye to the Wii, and I'm saying goodbye to the 3DS, and with some urging from other forum members, now it's time to say goodbye to the Wii U, as well.

Looking over my list of what I've played on the Wii U and what I'd still like to play, there are two things self-evident about the system: first, with literally only two or three exceptions, there aren't many third-party games worth playing on the Wii U over any other platform; second, the library of first-party games is packed with quality.

I initially wasn't going to create a thread for the Wii U and was going to quietly wait for Nintendo to finish porting its library over to the Switch, but I started up Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE, and I really don't think it's going to get ported. Nintendo might surprise me here, but there doesn't seem to be any enthusiasm for this game from them. The localization is noticeably half-assed, and I'd be surprised if they tried to release it on the Switch as-is.

With that in mind, I've drawn up a list of Wii U games I'd like to play that I don't think are likely to get ported any time soon. Coincidentally, I've drawn up a list of the last few first-party games I haven't played. As before, games in the bucket list are marked with if I already own them and an if I'm actively working on them. Games in the finished list are marked with if they're recommended and if they're not. There's a lot of in that list.

The Bucket List

  • Paper Mario Color Splash
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE
  • Pushmo World
  • The Wonderful 101
  • Yoshi’s Wooly World
  • Affordable Space Adventures
  • NES Remix
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
  • Rodea the Sky Soldier
  • Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
  • Star Fox Zero

Finished

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Bayonetta 2
  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Super Mario Maker
  • Splatoon
  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
  • Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
  • Super Smash Bros for Wii U
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Donkey Kong County Tropical Freeze
  • Wii Fit U
  • Nintendo Land
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Rayman Legends
  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
  • Pikmin 3
  • Game & Wario
  • Art Academy Home Studio
  • Darksiders II
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Child of Light
  • Costume Quest 2
  • The Fall

Playing Tokyo Mirage Sessions (I am not typing out that sharp symbol again) after playing Persona 5 is an interesting comparison.

In a lot of ways, they're very similar games. I know the expectation when Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem was announced was that it would be a strategy game of some kind, but the team went in a very unexpected direction. I'm not surprised that it failed to resonate both with fans of Shin Megami Tensei and with fans of Fire Emblem.

That said, it's an interesting, stylish JRPG with an interesting take on the traditional Megami Tensei press-turn system. As with those games, there's an emphasis put on exploiting enemy weaknesses to different weapons and vulnerabilities. When you hit a weak point in TMS, you can start a session attack where another member of your party jumps in to add their own damage to what you've dealt. The really cool part of this is that you can chain sessions together so that follow-up attacks can trigger more follow-up attacks for stacking damage. It's a cool system.

The game's two major downsides are the fan service and the localization. Female characters are typically introduced with a camera pan from knees to breasts before the camera cuts to their face, and it's just obnoxious. There's certainly far worse in the world of RPGs, but I wish it wasn't there. Thankfully, I haven't seen any of the casual homophobia and transphobia that crop up in the Persona series.

As for the localization, I mentioned in the OP that the localization is noticeably half-assed, and it is. The game has no English voice acting, which is unusual for a Nintendo title but not necessarily for a lower-tier JRPG, but it also has sections of dialogue where there are no subtitles, either, leaving parts of the game completely untranslated. So far this is just in combat, but I was surprised that not only are the combat quips and comments neither dubbed nor subtitled but so are sequences where bosses are speaking to the player characters. It's not hard to figure out what they might be saying, but it stands out.

There's also a lot of broken English in background signs that didn't get cleaned up in any way, including a "One of Millennium" singing competition that features in the game's storyline. I'm honestly not even sure what "One of Millennium" is supposed to me. Once in a millennium?

In any case, it looks dull and unpolished next to Persona 5, which isn't helped at all by the Vita-level visuals (and, to be fair, by Persona 5 being one of the most stylish games ever released). Still, the combat system is fascinating, and I'll admit a weakness for the Sailor Moon-esque transformations, one of which gives a character a hairband with horse ears.

I'm looking forward to playing more of it, for sure.

I really enjoyed Tokyo Mirage Sessions, though I recall it dragged near the end. I figure if it makes it to the Switch, it'll be reworked and expanded, like Atlus tends to do. At the same time, like you, I kind of doubt that will happen.

Man, is this a game that I never really spent enough time with. In fact, I barely started it. I'd be super tempted to double dip if they put it out on the Switch.

The more I play of TMS, the more I wish it would get a Switch port and the less convinced I am that it will. The character designs are appropriately bonkers, and I love the way that Fire Emblem characters and units have been filtered through Atlus designs. This is Aversa from Fire Emblem Awakening, an evil Pegasus knight, reimagined as a boss in TMS with her original design on the right:

IMAGE(http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--NKYOxAg0--/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/ddea4gowj5trcvxe5ojw.jpg)

But the game's technical performance continues to disappoint. The beautifully animated cutscenes all show a lot of compression artifacts. The game also has some unusually long pauses while it loads things, so you'll see the start of battle screen for longer than you'd expect, or there's a little hitch before your characters will execute an attack. Opening the menu hitches for just a moment. There isn't any slowdown during play, which is nice, but it's not a very smooth experience.

I was expecting to be catching up to pages of this thread as well, but I suppose in this instance I'm right on time.

I'll be curious your thoughts on further localization changes. The game is notorious for "being censored", to which a lot of people cry and whine. There is one instance where I think the censorship actually harms the story, one instance in which it results in a much better, stylish outfit for our plucky new starlette, and then one instance where you can tell they just painted over some major boobage to look like it's part of the dress but the cleavage is still there and it's just awkward for everyone.

I believe the localization for this one was handled in-house by Nintendo, so it's possible that, despite all the Mario RPG's they work on, they weren't really equipped for a game like this. Then again, they've also been doing all the Xenoblades after the first, right? The first was Nintendo of Europe if I recall.

Also also: I believe in an interview the director at Atlus said they tried to make it a tactical game at first, but it was effectively just another Fire Emblem game. So they went to what they were more comfortable with, and to me, having played a chunk of SMT IV, I think they were able to put an interesting enough spin to really make it stand out even amongst its brethren. If I recall, TuffaloBuffalo liked it more than other Persona style games, too.

He and I do have a bit of Weeb in us, though, so take that as far as it'll get you.

I don't usually mind censorship and/or localization changes in games because they're typically to make the games less creepy and sexist. In this case, I think the changes were done to adhere to different standards and regulations in all the regions the game would be released in.

Reading up on it, I'm surprised that Atlus localized this, and apparently the lack of voiceover was due to not wanting to rerecord the game's songs in English. With that in mind, the localization isn't half-assed so much as obviously much less "localized" than I've come to expect from Nintendo's games. (And to answer your question, the two mainline Xenoblade games were localized by Nintendo of Europe. Xenoblade X was localized by 8-4.)

One thing I'll give this game credit for versus the other Persona games: the combat system is really novel and interesting. Where Persona 5 mostly offers refinements on a battle system that goes back to Persona 3, I'm not sure I've played anything quite like TMS before. The session element is really neat.

I liked this game much better than Persona 5 mostly because of the more interesting dungeons and battle system.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Reading up on it, I'm surprised that Atlus localized this, and apparently the lack of voiceover was due to not wanting to rerecord the game's songs in English... (And to answer your question, the two mainline Xenoblade games were localized by Nintendo of Europe. Xenoblade X was localized by 8-4.)

Well I wish I could say I was surprised that I was 90% wrong about everything I said but that's pretty much par for the course at this point.

Well it's been decided, the boy will be getting a Wii U for birthday (Dec). Unexpected need for a new TV puts a Switch + games out of the running financially.

Amazon Prime video have been screening kid friendly let's plays and although I encourage the watching of more fulfilling TV fare all he's wanted to watch this last week or so is a Breath of the Wild playthrough and he's now veeeeery keen to get his hands in the game for himself. When I broke it to him that a Switch was a no go, the news that Zelda BotW was on Wii U, a console he could get softened the blow...

... Dropping by to check the game runs fine on the older console?

Older console option means backwards compatibility with his Galaxies and New Super Mario Bros. A definite plus.

Another query... I'm guessing the majority of Splatoon players have moved on, but was there any decent single player and split screen content?

Your list will be handy Clock...

Top starter picks for the boy look to be BotW, Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 (our Wii version due an update) and Splatoon (depending on the above query). I'd say Mario Maker maybe too, but is it worth it if has it on 2DS?

Looking at the pre-owned market, could probably get the console and games for the price of a couple new Switch Pro controllers! I don't think I'm exaggerating too much there.

Anything folk would recommend that'd be better picks for that opening gift salvo over his bday and Xmas?

Oh one more, for me more than the boy... How do the GBA Virtual Console games play on the tablet? Any good? You know, for original Advance Wars and other nostalgia.

I've played some of the GBA games on my WiiU, both TV and tablet, and they play fine. In fact I hope to eventually do a play of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and give it a more fair treatment than my surly teenage judgment had.

In regards to Splatoon, the single player game is actually pretty great, but maybe about five hours to beat. If you want to master each level with each weapon type then it can be longer, but otherwise it's a bit of a short campaign. I don't recall multiplayer options due to how it used the gamepad. I think if it had multiplayer it was a very lame 1v1. Nevertheless, if you can get it cheap enough that single player campaign is worth it alone. Imagine if a Mario game were a shooter, basically.

As for my own personal recommendations, they sort of depend on the age of the boy when it comes to Wonderful 101. I really liked that game, am dying to go back to it, and think it has a great Saturday Morning Cartoon feel to it. However, Wonder Pink has some minor sexual undertones that might go over a kid's head like a Shrek joke, while one of the female villains is all about that cleavage. It's an otherwise perfectly safe and suitable game for kids content-wise.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is an easy, easy, easy recommend. Top notch fun. One of the best games on the system. Unless your goal is to avoid some of the Switch ports for when you eventually do get a Switch? Then again you said Mario Kart 8, so...

Breath of the Wild runs fine on the Wii U. It gets a bit hitchy in some settlements and frantic battles, but it plays fine. I put a few dozen hours into it before I got a Switch, and I was happy with the performance.

As an opening salvo, I like what you've picked out. Splatoon is pretty fun as a single-player game and has one of the most inventive shooter campaigns I've ever played. I didn't put much time into the multiplayer but was still perfectly happy with the game for the single-player alone.

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not sure that Mario Maker has much to offer anymore unless you really enjoy the level creation aspect. To the best of my knowledge, it's no longer possible to play other people's levels, and that was a huge part of what made that game so enjoyable. (Personally, I loved making levels and had a blast doing it, but that's a different kind of fun and you can probably get it from the 3DS version just fine.)

Cheers CC. Good to hear on the GBA offerings. He'll be 8 in December, I'll check out W101. I think am happy to catch up with the original Wii U versions of games rather than hang on until Switch and ports down the road. So Captain Toad is one that could go on the wishlist for sure.

Thanks Clock, BotW will be a must get then. Yep, I'm thinking pass on Mario Maker, the boy can always trade handheld version for the Wii U version if he wants to at some point.

Oh and ta both... Splatoon too a defo by the sounds of it.

I'd wait on Captain Toad if you're also getting Mario 3D World. Captain Toad was based on a series of levels in 3D World, so if you're planning to get 3D World, anyway, I'd just let that be a kind of demo for Captain Toad.

Cool, ta for heads up.

Time to scour the pre-owned market. Do enjoy a good game bargain hunt.