Alex Phillimore: (alex.phillimore-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-07-04 07:02:04
Debunking the "Wii Didn't Have Any Games" Myth
When talking to people about the Nintendo Wii, a lot of gamers seem to be of the opinion that it had very few games worth playing on it. Many 'hardcore' gamers view the system as a casual platform for kids and soccer moms. I hear this argument made quite frequently, with a few minor alterations, and every time I do I raise an eyebrow; I recall the Wii, and I also recall how it had more worthwhile games than a lot of people give it credit for (either because they didn't know about them or didn't give them a chance). I ended up amassing a collection of some 30+ Wii games that I would recommend to players, which, to me, is the sign of a good console; the Wii may have had a lot of bad games shovelled onto it, but that didn't stop it from having some gems as well.
Super Mario Galaxy, for example, is arguably one of Nintendo's best video games of all time. Gorgeous to look at and incredibly fun to play, the sheer variety the game offered and the genre-defying gravity mechanics made it an engrossing platforming adventure. The sequel did more of the same and it did it well, adding Yoshi into the mix to create even more interesting stages. That wasn't it for platformers, either: Donkey Kong Country Returns is one of the best side-scrolling platforming games I have ever played, period; Kirby's Epic Yarn is a cute little game with a unique art style; Klonoa is a great remake of the original title and a solid bit of old-school platforming fun. How about Wario Land: Shake It!, or more obscure titles such as the beautiful Lostwinds games? Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits also deserves a special mention for being a gorgeous Grecian platforming adventure on the Wiiware service.
Not to mention games like Lost in Shadow and A Boy and His Blob, other platformers that had wonderful art direction and compelling and unique gameplay mechanics. And that's just a handful of the platform games on the system. All sorts of genres were well-represented on the Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, while flawed, represent some of the better adventure games of last generation; nobody does dungeon-based games quite as well as Nintendo do, and neither title was an exception to this rule. The Resident Evil: Chronicles games did a great job of bringing back arcade-shooting in a world that plenty of players love, while the Resident Evil 4 remake was arguably the best version of the game.
Let's not forget the choice-based gameplay of Sakura Wars, or Platinum Games' unique Madworld; don't overlook the excellent and quirky Little King's Story or Zack and Wiki. Long-time franchises such as Fire Emblem, Paper Mario and Mario Kart received updates in games like Radiant Dawn, Super Paper Mario and Mario Kart Wii, while new IPs such as Red Steel emerged and spawned a sequel. Old classics such as Punch-Out!! were given new life on the Wii, and the holy trinity of RPGs under the Operation Rainfall moniker (The Last Story; Pandora's Tower; Xenoblade Chronicles) represent some of the better JRPGs of the generation.
Take into consideration, as well, beautiful cel-shaded games like Okami and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Be careful not to overlook Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and charismatic titles such as No More Heroes. There was also a pretty good Smash Bros. game. In addition, fans of city-building could enjoy titles like Rune Factory: Frontier and Animal Crossing: City Folk. This list is just the tip of the iceberg, and largely neglects to mention solid multi-platform games, from the well-known (Rayman: Origins) to the indie and obscure (La-Mulana), as well as countless other titles that are worth playing, many of which are Wii exclusives, such as Kirby's Return to Dream Land and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves.
Yup, for a console with no games, the Wii sure did have a lot of worthwhile software developed for it. Well over the 30 I predicted at the start of this article, to be sure. That's more than enough good games to justify me purchasing a system.