Jstar’s Chronicles #9 – Hello-bye, Wii U

Welcome to another issue of Jstar’s Chronicles! In this issue, we go all out with the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo Wii U, along with an experiment of mine.

MY TAKE: PS VITA

After going through the PlayStation 4 Pro, I decided to check out another recent PlayStation platform I have; one that hasn’t gotten much love out of its few years. One that has recently been getting a second chance (…Kind of). One that is hackable and absolutely good to hold. This is: The PlayStation Vita Slim.

The PS Vita has a quad-core processor with 512 MB of RAM, and a 960×544 screen display resolution. The old model had OLED, while the Slim model has IPS LCD; colors aren’t as vibrant, but it’s easier on the battery and offers a more natural experience. The Slim model also had a MicroUSB port with 1 GB of useable storage built-in, while the original OLED model didn’t.

It released in the United States in February 2012 (December 2011 in Japan), and had a generally incredible start; Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Killzone, and Wipeout on the go? Plus, a (at the time) great display and specs? Capabilities of PS3-like graphics wherever you go; overall, incredible, and truly hyped up to rival against the Nintendo 3DS (been out for about a year at that point)… Until, it kind of died.

Memory cards killed sales, and Sony mostly gave up on the PS Vita after about 2 years or so. Sales really dropped off a cliff with the ultimate success of the 3DS, and a lot of AAA developers mostly stopped caring about it. It mainly ran off of re-sales and new indie titles… Until it exploded again.

When homebrew took it over with HENkaku in Summer 2016, it once again took the spot in gaming news for weeks on end; suddenly, it became easy to emulate games, play homebrew titles, and even be capable to stream your PC games to it. I brought this up in a previous issue of Jstar’s Chronicles, but the point is that it started getting cared again… At least, through the people.

Now, what’s “my take” on the PS Vita? Well, it’s definitely a good capable device, just held back on a few things. I was lucky to get a good memory card for a “decent” price ($20 for 16 GB of storage). Playing the few games I own has the PS Vita really shine with it’s good graphics… And boy, do I love Persona 4. That game alone deserves its own “My Take”.

Persona 4 Golden is truly a system seller for the PS Vita; sure, the game is also on PS2, but you truly get an ultimate experience when playing it on the go. It’s not the case where Persona 3 got downgraded on PSP to be portable, rather, it’s the full experience with extra functionality. It apparently took advantage of the old model’s OLED screen, and it truly is a wonderful game overall.

At the very least, I’d consider getting a hackable PlayStation TV Micro-console to play the actually decent library that the PS Vita really has to offer. You simply can’t miss out on the games that have been enhanced or made exclusive on the PlayStation Vita. I’d personally recommend it if found on sale… If it’s still being sold, at least.

MY TAKE: Wii U

Let’s move from one inactive handheld… To a dead home console that I also own. You may wonder, “Why?” The Nintendo Wii U was truly pushed aside for some sad reasons, and I think it’s still (at least right now) a great console to check out and consider (or even reconsider).

The Wii U, released in November 2012, features a multi-chip PowerPC architecture processor, 4 different USB 2.0 ports with 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, and is capable of 1080p gameplay (Full HD, a first for Nintendo consoles at the time). It was pretty cool at launch, showing off a wide selection of 1st and 3rd party games. You got some ports like Call of Duty and Mass Effect 3, along with new games like Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, and ZombiU. Was that enough? Nope.

As the months past beyond the holiday season, it no longer looked good for Nintendo; the PS4 and Xbox One got announced, showing off tremendously better details, along with what it seemed to be more 3rd party support. What’s worse is that Nintendo seemed to have focused too much on 3rd-Party support, with developers starting to give up on the strange architecture and overall weak power compared to what’s about to release in a few months. Once they released, it was too late for Nintendo to come out of it succeeding. After just one holiday season, the PS4 grabbed more sales then the Wii U did after year one entirely. Microsoft’s Xbox One eventually sold better as well.

Nintendo, however, still cared for the Wii U, and released some amazing games eventually. The list for games I’d recommend will be below, and I would definitely consider everyone that reads this to consider (or maybe reconsider) a Wii U at a decent price; for example, Nintendo sells refurbished Wii U’s with Nintendo Land for about $200. For people wanting to get The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild when it releases in about a month, keep in mind it’s also coming to Wii U; if you’re fine being stuck at home, and want a slightly lower quality experience for more bang, I’d consider the Wii U as something to get soon (along with a PS Vita, heh…)

Keep in mind that it’s also worth it if you already/currently own a Nintendo Wii; you can transfer everything from your Wii to your Wii U with ease, and having them play from one console can be a good bonus to have. The Wii U can also be good for homebrewing, but I’d consider you to research more into that if you want to.

Here are the games I’d consider for you to also check out as well (in no particular order):

  • Super Mario 3D World
    • This will be superseded by “Super Mario Odyssey” when it releases on the Nintendo Switch in the Holiday season.
  • Mario Kart 8
    • Or, you can wait for “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” to release on April 28th will all DLC and extra content.
  • Splatoon
    • The sequel, “Splatoon 2”, will release on Nintendo Switch in the Summer, but it’s still suggested to see the back-story beforehand. Plus, it’s still active!
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  • Pikmin 3
    • A “Pikmin 4” is coming soon, and a release on Nintendo Switch is likely (not confirmed, however).
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Nintendo Land
    • This is a great way to try out the stuff that the GamePad is capable of doing as a second screen, and it’s pretty cheap to found now (included with the deal I brought up above).
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    • Will release along with the Nintendo Switch on its March 3rd release, but like I said, this may be a lot cheaper when considering your options if it’s the only game you want for it as of now (plus, there’s already a library on Wii U).
  • Any Wii game you missed out on (if you didn’t have a Wii and/or didn’t care about other titles that have been considered good)
  • Any PS3/Xbox 360 game that got enhanced on Wii U
    • This includes “Need for Speed: Most Wanted U“.

Have any more titles you think should also be recognized? Let us know through your responses! This also counts for “My Take” for the PlayStation Vita above.

Headlines of the Week: January 27th, 2017 – February 3rd, 2017

This is an interesting idea I wanted to add-in quickly to today’s issue. I wanted to bring back the part of RTGN that I really liked, and that was to also provide what’s been happening over the past week in the video gaming industry. It might not be much now, but I hope to improve upon it for next week!

I’ll also try to associate some of the topics we’ve explained above to the past week in gaming.

Let us know what you want to see in next week’s issue of Jstar’s Chronicles! I’d love to know what you want us to check out next. 🙂

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