The Wii, while not the most glamorous console of the current generation, has very diverse offerings, including a lot of titles that are not available elsewhere. While it can be difficult, particularly if one only has room in the budget for one console, to opt for the one with the least amount of multi-platform titles available, we've put together a list of games which make a case in favor of the Wii.
#10 Rock Band 3
We all know and love Rock Band, by this point. Well, I suppose not everyone, but those people probably also don't like puppies, candy, or life itself, because you'd pretty much have to have no soul in order not to find at least one song within Rock Band's cumulative playlist that doesn't make you feel like the champion of the world, even if you're playing on easy.
The particularly magical thing about RB3, though, is not just a solid setlist, but the addition of a keyboard peripheral. This was a fairly revolutionary concept when it was first revealed, and it could, if poorly done, have easily gone the way of Power Gig: Rise of the Six String. Meaning that often, when games try, in simulating such a subjective aspect of reality such as playing a musical instrument, to make the experience as realistic as possible, it can often come across as a bit half-assed. Or at the very least, combining facets of frustration and boredom in such a way that the experience does the opposite of what games are supposed to do, which is challenge, entertain, and reward.
The only downside of Rock Band 3 (and indeed, the entire series) is that you do need to acquire all of the peripherals in order to really enjoy it, which can be expensive. And unless you're prepared to have your living room in Rock Band mode at all times, you'd better be prepared to find a fairly roomy storage space.
The world has become dreary and dismal in a way that only a sun god can fix. Orochi, a monster who was dormant for a very long time, has risen once more, and laid waste to the land. Enter Shiranui, a white wolf who is actually an embodiment of Amaterasu, Shinto deity of light.
This game, originally released on PS2, is a natural for the Wii due to the wielding of the Celestial Brush, which is used in both puzzles and combat. Drawing various shapes with the brush can attack enemies, draw in architectural elements, and perform various other magical tasks, many of which are essential to gameplay. It also helps that the lush watercolor-esque environment is somewhat enhanced from the original version in its Wii incarnation. This game is a must-have for any Wii fan, even if you've already played the PS2 version.
#8 World of Goo
This physics-based puzzle game seems like it would be kind of boring at first play: one must link a bunch of goo-blobs together to form a tower or bridge that spans to a pipe, which then collects the goo blobs. Seems simple enough, right? Except that as the levels progress, and more tools are introduced, such as balloons which can help hold bridges up, or be used to remove obstacles, so too are new challenges introduced to the environment. Spikes will destroy the balloons, and murky pits will eat the goo blobs, so players must take care to be conservative with resources.
The gameplay is engaging, but what makes the game is the sense of humor which underlies the entire scenario. It is never really explained how or why the goo blobs came to be in their predicament, but one cannot help but become a bit attached to them as they squeal and giggle, with never a complaint as they meet as untimely demise.
#7 Mario Kart Wii
What can be said about the Mario Kart series that hasn't already been said? If you like racing games, you'll probably like this one. All the usual suspects are there with their karts and usual armory of traps and boosts, and there are exciting new courses to navigate. Just be sure not to be in the lead when the blue shell is deployed.
It's a bit disconcerting to hold the Wii Wheel that accompanies the game out in open space, but one you get the hang of it, you'll wonder why you were ever content to use a plain old controller for past incarnations. For those who dislike the Wii Wheel, the plain old Wii Remote, or even an old Gamecube controller can be used instead.
#6 Super Mario Galaxy
Well, he's been on land, underwater, and in the air. Really, the only place left for Mario to go is outer space. Or to be more accurate, the only place left to which Princess Peach can be abducted is outer space (seriously, when is that girl going to take a self defense class at the Y, or at least get some pepper spray?).
The traditional Laws of Mario Physics are suspended somewhat, due to being in space and also due to the fact that this game and its equally engaging successor make full use of the Wii Remote, which in addition to the typical button pressing, has players swinging and flailing their arms, even grabbing and dragging objects across the screen. Being that he's in space, Mario's jumping capability is expanded considerably, to a near-dizzying extreme. Fans of the Super Mario series will not be disappointed with the ingenuity of new moves, either!
#5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition
Though Wii games tend towards cute and bizarre, as the Nintendo pantheon is fairly specific, there are occasionally some action games that do relatively well on this platform. A first person shooter, this title is the fourth installment in the Call of Duty series, but the first to deviate from the WWII setting of the previous games. Set in 2011, Modern Warfare follows the story of civil war in Russia after the execution of a Middle Eastern leader by a radical faction. Fighting takes place in multiple locations throughout the world, including Pripyat, Ukraine, a now-abandoned city right next door to the scene of the notorious Chernobyl disaster.
With access to modern weaponry such as rocket propelled grenades and C-4 explosive, gameplay is a natural continuation of previous titles with regard to movement, damage, and AI teammates. Both the single-player campaign and multi-player modes received critical acclaim, though the game took some flak for not revolutionizing the concept of the first person shooter. Personally, if that's the biggest issue, I'm content to play anyhow. The graphics and general realism of the environments more than make up for any perceived lack of innovation with regard to gameplay. Bonus Fun Fact: The ending credits feature a rap performed by Mark Grigsby, who happens to be Modern Warfare's lead animator.
#4 Wario Ware: Smooth Moves
Though the "party" genre often takes a lot of flak from hardcore gamers for being a bit on the wussy side, I've always found that a well-designed party game always ends up being more fun than I think it will. Wario Ware is no exception, and though it is technically in the same category as the Mario Party series, it is very nearly the antithesis. While Mario Party is a fairly long, drawn out affair, Wario Ware concentrates more on "microgames", which are even shorter than minigames. Each lasts from about 3-7 seconds, and often they are presented with little or no instruction.
While there is some semblance of a narrative, much like Mario Party, the microgames associated with regular gameplay generally fall into one of three categories. There are "accomplish games", in which a player must do something, a"survival games", where players must keep a specific thing from happening, and "boss games", which are generally more difficult, do not have a time limit as the other do, and are required to pass to the next level. This is another title that can be enjoyed by all ages, but it is Wario, so be prepared for minor evil and a ton of snarky comments.
#3 Resident Evil 4
This is one of the few survival horror games to make it onto the Wii platform, but coming from such a strong series, it is difficult to see why this does not happen more often. After all, the Wii may not be the most powerful console of the current generation, but it does well enough, graphics-wise, and there is great potential for survival horror and adventure games in particular, with regard to fighting and movement.
Resident Evil 4 has players take on the role of Leon S. Kennedy, who is charged with rescuing the daughter of the President of the United States during the ongoing zombie apocalypse that began during the first game of the series. The game is satisfying for fans of the series, but there are a few new aspects which distinguish it from previous titles. First of all, bullets shot at enemies are location-specific, meaning that if you hit the zombie in the leg, he takes damage specifically in the leg. While this does make ranged attacks more difficult, I personally am in favor, as it will only make everyone that much more prepared in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse. Or at the very least, people will have slightly more realistic expectations.
One of the other new concepts that's introduced here is the "dynamic cut scene". While it's not unusual in many cases to have to press a button to advance dialogue every once in a while, these scenes differ in that the actions for which the player is responsible for actions within these cut scenes which can affect outcomes, or potentially result in death.
This one is worth picking up, particularly if the Wii is your only console due to budgetary constraints or being "for the kids". Just save it for after the kids go to bed. Unless you, like me, believe that everything we do and see in life must be made relevant to zombie apocalypse preparedness. Then you should probably make it mandatory.
#2 Super Smash Bros Brawl
Fighter games are a classic genre within the world of video games. Dating back to the days before online multi-player, when players were forced to stand right next to each other when playing, this genre dares to answer the question: "What could be better than beating the crap out of your friends?". Answer: Beating the crap out of your friends in the form of cute, cuddly Nintendo characters.
Super Smash Bros Brawl very much upholds the rules and enjoyment of the rest of the Smash Bros series with better settings and graphics, as one might expect. Rather than killing opponents, emphasis is placed on knocking them off the screen. An unusual feature of this series in contrast with most brawlers is the ability to obtain and use items. While this is common in side-scrolling "beat-em-ups", it's not as typical in arena fighters. This game is enjoyable on both a hardcore and casual basis, and is simple enough that anyone can enjoy it.
#1 Super Mario Galaxy 2
Bursting with new features and gameplay elements, there’s something for everyone in probably the best 3D platformers of all time. Super Mario Galaxy 2 offers levels difficult enough to challenge the most confident of players but also offers areas for casual players to enjoy. Even the two player modes are so well designed that it's just as much fun to play with your friend.
Your faithful friend Yoshi plays an increasingly important role in Super Mario Galaxy 2 and he has a special new feature. When he eats a light bulb-shaped berry, he emits a brilliant light to reveal hidden areas, but watch out as the ability only lasts a short while so Mario and Yoshi need to grab more berries to keep the platform they’re standing on secure!
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