Today I did something I never thought I’d need to – I went to GAME to buy a fucking stylus. Now, I’m fully aware that gamers must lose styluses (or is that styli?) on their DS and 3DS consoles all the time, but I never thought I’d lose the Wii-U one. It’s a home console after all and it never leaves the living room. Therefore, the stylus that came with the Gamepad should be near the television, under a sofa or most probably, in the hoover. It’s not as if I’d use it to stir a cup of tea in the kitchen, or pick the shit out of my toenails in the bathroom. But alas, it’s been absent for a while now. I’ll admit that I didn’t drive to GAME just for a replacement stylus – I was nearby anyway, but it was a strangely embarrassing purchase for a grown man to make. I didn’t buy anything else, although I’m kicking myself for not grabbing Hitman: Absolution at 99p. That’s less than ONE stylus.
I’d been getting along just fine, tapping away at Pikmin 3 with one finger, like E.T. working a Morse Code machine, but it highlights a simple flaw in the Gamepad design. The Gamepad is a technical marvel, yet my three-year old daughter’s LeapPad has a key advantage to my fancy Nintendo - a stylus that is attached to the tablet controller. Such a simple mechanic that means toddlers will never lose the stylus unless they cut through the cord with a circular saw. It beggars belief that Nintendo have overlooked this feature, unless it is another money-making scheme (3DS XL charger, I'm looking at you, or rather I'm not…). Yet, my visit to GAME showed that Nintendo don’t seem to sell first-party styluses. What I was left to purchase was a £2.99 pack of three which probably cost all of 10p to make. There’s one normal stylus, which slides in to the Gamepad as natural as the original does, but the other two styluses are curious buggers.
There is a second stylus in this pack of three that is twice the size of the standard one that fits in to the Wii-U Gamepad, but inexplicably contains a hole in one end. It’s too big to put it on your keys, and the hole is too small to be of use for anything other than a flea’s Fleshlight. In fact, the only thing it could be for is to house a piece of string to tie the stylus to the Gamepad. The third stylus is crazier still, designed as a replica pen, despite being as inkless as Sterile Steve from Splatoon. It even has a clip so that you can wear it on your shirt to work, only to serve as further disappointment when your real pen stops working in an important meeting.
Sat here with stylus in hand (and stylus 3 on shirt) I'm happily throwing Pikmin once again, but next time I lose a stylus I may have to give Doc McStuffin’s latest effort a chance instead.