Wii U Countdown: 18 days, and fun for whose family, exactly?

Sections: Columns, Consoles, Features, Originals, Wii U

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I have two rules about movie critics.

  1. If he/she’s not Roger Ebert, he/she isn’t qualified to offer an opinion.
  2. If he/she ever uses the line, “Fun for the whole family,” he/she isn’t qualified to speak out loud in public or be part of a family.

I never have any idea whose family people are talking about when they say that, because it sure as hell isn’t mine. The boy and I (the boy who’s old enough to not get himself trapped behind the dog cage, I mean) find daikaiju movies fun for two-thirds of the family. Those computer animated cartoons that always have one fat kid/adult/thing for comic relief generally appeal to three-fifths of the family. The Fantastic Mr. Fox appeals to four-fifths, and I suppose will likely hit the magical “whole family” once Max frees himself from behind the dog cage and can see the TV again.

The reason for this is that family entertainment is generally pretty horrible. Many parents are able to build up a tolerance for it. I am not. I will not even try. Seeing horrible movies about dancing chipmunks and/or talking cars is what grandparents are for…until I become a grandparent. At that point, grandparents will go back to being for having a jar of those soft jelly candies on the mantle at all points.

Same goes for games.

Sing Party

If you know this family, get the hell out of the state before they swallow your soul.

Family games on consoles are about as low on my list of entertainment options as dropping an air conditioning unit on my foot, which I’ve done, breaking both the air conditioner and my foot, and which I still found more enjoyable than that time I had to watch a Madagascar computer cartoon.

But in order to get the Wii U, I’ll have to get a family game. That’s how you justify purchases in a family of five. Thankfully there are a couple options that’ll make this easy to do. Nintendo’s good like that. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Game Party Champions

Is this a family game? It has bar games in it. Or Chuck E. Cheese games. Know what I really hate as a parent? Chuck E. Cheese and bars. Won’t take my kids into either, for largely the same reasons: loud, obnoxious patrons who eventually throw up everywhere. Pass.

Just Dance 4

Well, I’ll likely end up with this one, but not because I’ll play it. The kids like it, and I like to watch my wife play it. From behind. It’ll do…but come on, Ubisoft. The song selection this time around is absolutely terrible. One song by They Might Be Giants cannot compensate for the other 43 you’ve dumped on here…even if it is from Flood.

Nintendo Land

Of course I’m getting Nintendo Land; it’s coming with the system. But even if it weren’t, I’d be buying it anyway. Nintendo knows how to show off their new technology, and I expect Nintendo Land will be one of the best of the release day titles. I expect it’ll be one of the best launch window titles. Bring it on.

Rabbids Land

I don’t fully understand what this is. Pass.

Sing Party

My daughter loves to sing. I love to hear her sing, but only when it’s something like Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” or Shonen Knife’s “I Hate Mosquitos.” Or that song she made up about a blimp explosion because one day she asked what I wanted her to sing about and I said a blimp explosion. Sing Party has none of those. It has something called a David Guetta. I don’t fully understand what that is. Pass.

Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic, I know. All Stars, I don’t. Are they these guys? These guys? These things? I don’t know who Sonic is racing! I don’t know what’s been transformed! I don’t know why Ulala is never in any of these games! Pass.

Wipeout: The Game 3

I understand the appeal of getting whacked in the head repeatedly with a padded pole and knocked into a deep pool of water in a semi-concsious state for the entertainment of those watching at home. I don’t understand the appeal of the same virtually. Never seen the show, never played a game, won’t start now. Pass.

Of course, you’ve also got the flagship Mario title, which we’ll own soon enough. I’m told those Disney Epic Mickey games are great, but I won’t get it because Disney is the Enemy, as Mojo Nixon once so eloquently explained. Scribblenauts Unlimited looks creative and fun, so that could work. And finally, I can’t get a Transformers game because the Transformers remind me of that Shiba LePoof guy, and he just grates on my nerves. Seriously, you want to punch that guy, right? Right smack in the jaw? I’m not a violent fellow, mind you—never once been in a fight my whole life—but that punk’s got it coming.

Anyway, there you go; 11 Wii U games that are fun for a whole family. Maybe. Somewhere. Not mine.

Read all entries in the Wii U Countdown.

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