So Long, Wii: Christopher Bowen

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.

Even though there are some great games on the Wii, including some I have not had the opportunity to play yet, the Wii didn’t feature as much into my video gaming during its lifetime as any other system. My setup isn’t really conducive to motion gaming, so I couldn’t get quite as much out of the motion control gimmick as I could. In addition, most of the games that used motion controls used them as a gimmick, in the sense of, “Okay, this system has this weird shit and everyone’s buying one, so let’s throw tack some motion controls in.” Therefore, I basically used my Wii as a really expensive GameCube for the most part. With that said, the Wii did have some outstanding games, even if most of them used the classic controller.

My list is only five deep, though I’m sure I could eventually squeeze ten out. However, I can quantify some of the missing pieces:

– I haven’t had the opportunity to play Skyward Sword yet. Furthermore, while I own and enjoy Twilight Princess, I don’t own the Wii version; I own the GameCube version. Therefore, it’s hard for me to rate it on the Wii since I don’t play with the motion gimmicks.
– I didn’t enjoy Donkey Kong Country Returns nearly as much as the older Super Nintendo games of which I’m a noted fan. Too many motion gimmicks.
– I’ve never been a big Smash Bros. guy, and Brawl didn’t change that.
– New Super Mario Bros. Wii is inferior to other past Mario games. I don’t like the focus on multiplayer or how it was implemented.
– I know some people who remember me from the Fire Emblem fandom are going to ask, “Where’s Radiant Dawn?” After all, Shadow Dragon will make my DS list. For those people, I have a hypothetical question: how can I rate a game as the fifth best on a system if I think it’s the tenth best in the entire franchise?
– To keep the list uniform, I included five games. However, a couple of honourable mentions are necessary. Trauma Center: New Blood was an outstanding game and arguably my favourite actual memory of the Wii was beating the game with Aileen. I also really liked Dokapon Kingdom, but not enough to take off any of the games I have listed.

With that out of the way, here are my five top games from the Wii era in no particular order:

Punch-Out!!: I’ve always been a mark for the Punch Out!! games, and the Wii version is the best combination of two separate games: the NES game and the Super Nintendo one that played more like the arcade games. While leaning a little more heavily to the side of the former and more popular title, there are enough nods to the other games to make this notable for an arcade mark such as myself. Not only was it challenging and fresh, I loved the Last Stand mode, which added some replay value and tension to a game that one would’ve mastered by that point. Punch-Out!! was a great game, and it’s almost heartbreaking to see it on bargain bins nowadays.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Muramasa won 2010’s Mount & Blade Good Bad Game Award, awarded for games that I loved to death despite their not being very good. Muramasa wasn’t bad, for sure, but it was flawed. However, does that really matter when the core game is so freaking beautiful? It’s just like any other Vanillaware game, really: some flawed mechanics on top of a game so gorgeous that I don’t really care. Ultimately, Muramasa was beautiful to play, which made it fun. That’s what I really care about in a game anyway, so it works out.

Xenoblade Chronicles: It might not have made a great game for streaming, but that doesn’t mean Xenoblade Chronicles wasn’t an outstanding RPG. It was one of the big three JRPGs that Operation Rainfall fought to bring over, and it was worth the wait because it’s as deep as expected, bringing in a good battle system with fantastic writing. This is the premier RPG on the Wii.

Super Mario Galaxy 1 + 2: Like Connor, Mohamed, and Aileen, I’ll count both. Nintendo, who perfected the 3D platformer, did it again with both Galaxy games. When Nintendo’s at their best, they do amazing things, and these two games are perfect proof of what they’re capable of when all cylinders are firing. They haven’t caught that magic since, instead trying to recreate Super Mario Bros. again and again and again, but that’s okay. Between Super Mario 64 and these two games, no one’s else has done 3D platforming like this.

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor: Even if it can be frustrating to play, as stream-goers are well aware, I can’t think of a game that has better used the Wii’s control system. Essentially what would happen if Duck Hunt and Panzer Dragoon had a child, Sin & Punishment is
one of the best shooting games I’ve played in years, and it’s just
campy enough to make for good MST3K fodder.

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About Gaming Bus Staff

The Gaming Bus staff consists of some of the brightest minds to enter the field of games journalism, bringing perspectives from all over the world and from all genres.