The launch of the Wii U is right around the corner, so the Wii is set for an inevitable phasing out in the months to follow. In light of this, the staff members at Gaming Bus are reflecting back on their memories of Nintendo’s surprise hit system. Each day this week will have a different member share their thoughts on the console itself and their favorite games.
The Wii was actually the very first system I got in the new generation, even before the Xbox 360 and well before the PS3. I would dare say that I spent the most time with the Wii. Most of the Xbox and PS3 games I wanted to play were usually available on PC at not only lower price but were technically superior as well (not always though, goddamn console ports). However, Wi games were usually completely exclusive to that console, not to mention Nintendo would never release their titles on anything other than their own system.
So in no particular order, my Top Ten Wii games are:
Dokapon Kingdom: Mario Party has been shit for ages, cashing in on all sorts of gimmicks (though I hear Mario Party 9 is pretty good), so I needed a game to stoke my asshole meter. Boy, did Dokapon Kingdom deliver! This game basically plays like a Mario Party RPG with your characters going around the board, beating monsters, finishing quests, buying items, and leveling up all to defeat the evil monsters and win the Princess’ hand in marriage. To do all this, you have to turn your asshole meter up to eleven. I have never seen a game with so many ways to mess with other players; hell, the game itself throws crap at you to hinder your progress because it’s an asshole, too! I know a lot of games claim to be “friendship destroying,” but Dokapon is one of the few games that truly does mean it. I still haven’t forgiven my sister for liberating the castles exclusively.
Metroid Prime 3: The original Metroid Prime ranks as one the greatest of games of all time in my eyes, and ever since then, I’ve wanted a Prime game to match it. Prime 2 was good but flawed, and unfortunately, Prime 3 does not reach the heady heights of the first game, either. However, it still manages to be an interesting take on the franchise. I prefer the lone wolf-single planet approach to my Metroid games (Fusion is about my limit of interaction with other characters in a Metroid game). Having multiple locations and fully voiced characters was initially a shock to me, but it was much better handled than the travesty that was Other M. The game mechanics, however, were excellent since the Wii’s motion controls offered far better control than traditional dual analog schemes seen on other consoles. Truly, Retro Studios has shown they are just as good as Rare was back in the day.
Punch Out!!: I have a dirty confession to make: I never played Punch Out!! on NES. I was too busy playing Contra, Super Mario Bros., and some space shooter whose title I can’t remember to bother playing anything else on the NES, so I missed out on a lot of great games like Zelda, Metroid, and Punch Out. Thankfully, Punch Out on the Wii is basically a straight remake of the original NES game, and even today, the simple reaction-based gameplay holds up incredibly well and feels slick and concise rather than shallow and uninteresting. It keeps the challenge up as well, with the estra Title defense mode putting your reflexes to the test against new and improved versions of the traditional cast; e.g. King Hippo wears a manhole cover over his traditional weak spot: the stomach. It’s a must play for anyone who owns a Wii.
Little King’s Story: We never did get Pikmin 3 on the Wii. Nintendo are fixing that with the Wii U, but Cing came to the rescue with a charming royalty sim that exuded cuteness from every pore and was a damn fine game to boot. Unfortunately, Cing lost the rights to Little King’s Story, and Marvelous and Konami are making a remake/sequel on the PS Vita that drops the charming art style and includes love elements. If it ends up being crap, you can easily find the original on the Wii waiting to be played.
No More Heroes: I have a love-hate relationship with Suda51: He is the epitome of style over substance. His games have huge glaring flaws but ooze so much style that I end up liking them. No More Heroes is a perfect example of this. The GTA-style overworld is downright awful, but the boss fights, art style, and the act of mowing down hundreds upon hundreds of mooks never gets old. It’s just too bad you have to do part-time jobs to get to those parts. SUDA! I play video games to get away from reality, not repeat it!
MLB Power Pros 2008: I really don’t like baseball. The only reason I got this game was because it had an intriguing RPG career mode in it and I love that stuff. As it turns out, MLB Power Pros has the best damn career mode ever. You start off in the minor leagues and have a full RPG-style storyline until you reach the final game, where you have to impress major league scouts to get signed. If you make it, you can now play your custom character in the MLB with a more standard but still awesome “Pro Career” mode. I spent hours just playing that and didn’t even touch the extensive GM mode. Why can’t Konami put this material in Pro Evolution Soccer?
De Blob: De Blob was one of the first real exciting third-party exclusives for the Wii, and it did it with the Nintendo style—the keep-your-graphics-simple-but-great art style. The inhabits of Chroma city and their hilarious Ink overlords are great, reminding me of characters like the Servbots in Megaman Legends. I wouldn’t be averse to them getting their own TV show, but I digress. The platforming and coloring in De Blob is a unique take on the genre that Mario perfected. The only two problems that I see is that flicking the Wiimote to jump is tiring and very imprecise, and jumping is important in platformers since it’s 90% of the game. By the end, painting specific objects very specific colors just got tedious, so I’d half ass my painting to get through the level. I never did try De Blob 2, soI wonder if that’s been fixed.
Rune Factory Frontier: I haven’t played Harvest Moon since “A Wonderful Life” on GameCube and never really played the Rune Factory spin-off. Since there was a lack of other Harvest Moon titles on the Wii, I picked up Frontier. Instantly, I realized what I was missing: It wasn’t just Harvest Moon, and it wasn’t just a dungeon-crawling RPG—it was both! It still had that creepy loli-romance in it, but at least they threw in quite a few girls that actually looked legal into the mix. There’s only one glaring flaw, one wrong game mechanic that keeps this from being the best Harvest Moon title ever: the Runeys. Goddamn those Runeys to Hell. I won’t go into detail about that system because it makes my blood boil, though. I’d rather be doing something productive with my time.
Mario Strikers Charged: Super Mario Strikers was one of my favourite games on the GameCube. I’m a total footy nut, so I loved seeing Mario finally get his version of the beautiful game. The sequel, titled Mario Strikers Charged, takes up the craziness of the original up to eleven. More crazy powerups, more characters, more Ultrashots, and more violence. Sometimes, the addition of all this crap breaks the game’s balance and results in a lot of cheap tactics by both players and the CPU; e.g. Hammer Bro special shot on the edge of the area is a 100% sure goal, and don’t get me started on Waluigi’s special skill. But over all, it improves the original game in every way.
Super Mario Galaxy 1+2: 3D platformers perfected. Enough said.