SB Recommends Wii Games

wii_plushface.jpg There were some high hopes for Nintendo's Wii round these parts: thoughts that it would broaden videogames' appeal, make interaction more intuitive, that the Virtual Console would make the generational aspect of videogame hardware less restrictive—but it's never really lived up to that. There have been lots of hardware sales, but not the diverse software range we usually see in similarly do-welling systems (NES, PlayStation). There are some interesting games, though!, as well as Gamecube backwards compatibility, and digital releases on WiiWare and Virtual Console. It's also really easy to get homebrew stuff running on it, so it's easy to play imports, and makes a great emulation box.

Starting in 2015, Nintendo has begun releasing select Wii titles as eShop digital downloads on the Wii U. That console is already backwards compatible with Wii games anyway, but the digital lineup thus far seems to give special attention to games that received limited print runs or are currently hard to find, so you might want to wait up before spending a lot of money on rare Wii games.

Recommended: Retail

  • Baroque (also on: PS2)
  • Bit.Trip Complete (also on: 3DS (as Bit.Trip Saga))
    • composerzane: […] is like 6 excellent games in one. Plus challenge modes. BIT.TRIP RUNNER in particular is just unfairly addictive, but all 6 are remarkably solid. Pick this one up.
  • Boom Blox - forum thread
    • wourme: The best use of the Wii remote's motion controls that I've come across. Shallow in many respects but a lot of fun. The sequel is good, too, but I'd keep the first game if I had to give one up.
    • Mikey: It's a great game to play with someone when perched on the end of a bed or sitting on a couch with nothing better to do on a quiet evening. I've sold my Wii, but if they ported this game for PS3/Move I'd probably pick it up on sale. I'll add the caveat here that playing Boom Blox is a lot like playing darts. It's either just sort of a relaxing distraction while you have a drink or hang out, or it can be a punch-your-friend-in-the-arm-for-winning, hidden-competitive-streak-revealing kind of game.
  • Castle of Shikigami III
    • mothmanspirit: This is definitely one of my favorite STGs. I love bullet skimming and this game hands you extends like candy for doing it. The localization is amazing and filled with non-union actors who you can definitely hear in other contemporary games in which they aren't credited.
  • Dawn of Discovery
    • wourme: Very compelling. Simple strategy that reminds me of the original SimCity.
  • Deadly Creatures
  • De Blob
    • robotdell: So goddamned charming, De Blob pulls you in with its alluring gaze then traps you inside itself with a fantastic jazz soundtrack and Katamari-esque gameplay. It's also very relaxing!
  • Dewey's Adventure / Suisei Dewy no Daibouken (JP)
    • Pijaibros: I would put it up there with Kororinpa in things that made my buy a Wii. Plus I enjoy all the silly aquapod marketing. Kinda like all the DOLE bananas in the first Monkey Ball.
  • Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors
    • Pijaibros: I like Dragon Quest Swords. I don't care if Tim says it sux. I pretend I am Lion-O calling the Thundercats when I unleash the beast on those slick metal slimes.
      Also the protagonist's Dad is Toups.
    • Persona-sama: 'I like Dragon Quest Swords. I don't care if Tim says it sux. I pretend I am Lion-O calling the Thundercats when I unleash the beast on those slick metal slimes.
      Also the protagonist's Dad is Toups'
    • monaco: It's the love child of Virtua Cop and Dragon Quest, with all of the latter's quirks. One of the most earnest efforts from a big developer on this console.
  • Endless Ocean: Blue World (NA) / Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep (PAL)​ / Forever Blue: Call of the Ocean (JP)
    • kitroebuck: There's only one thing wrong with Endless Ocean, and the sequel fixed it.
  • Excitebots: Trick Racing / Excite mou Machine (JP)
    • composerzane: I forgot to mention probably my favorite Wii game, which is ExciteBots. I can understand why some might prefer Truck, but honestly, once you see what the follow-up has to offer, you'll be willing to forgive the odd pace-killing red bar segments. FUCK THE RED BAR SEGMENTS. Other than that, as good of a game as there is on Wii, or with motion controls, in this man's opinion.
  • Excite Truck - forum thread
    • Sniper Honeyviper: A game entirely about the childish glee of watching vehicles ram into stuff and shattering it with delicious physics. Wii-waggle steering is mandatory, but the designers were nice enough to make the tracks largely wide-open straightaways. Amazing sense of weight and momentum on the trucks. Has extra curio value for being one of the few Wii games to (officially) support custom soundtracks, which you'll want to use since the music is tiresome arena butt-rock.
    • elvis.shrugged: This is honestly the most fun I've had with a racing in years. It combines the insanity of San Francisco Rush and the changing terrain of Wave Race 64 with an incredibly addictive combo points system.
    • Mr Mustache: Can't think of anything wrong with Excite Truck.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
    • Rudie: There's so much good in this game. It's got a never ending supply of gorgeous environments that sometimes feel as good as DQVIII's! The first 30 minutes easily justify whatever you paid for it. You can clearly tell the cutscenes were made from different drafts of the scripts. You pick up a skeleton and throw it and then the wild wolves eat it and they love you.
    • Moogs: Crystal Bearers is a pretty great game!
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon
    • BenoitRen: A charming and addicting rogue-like perfect for anyone who's new to the genre or looking for some rogue-like fun without needing to make a big investment in it.
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
  • Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
    • Rudie: Watch the beautiful trailer to this game, then consider that those moments of beauty are interspersed with 5 hours of running around a survival horror sewer. It's like the game designers actively tried to sabotage the artists.
  • GTI Club: Supermini Festa! (also on: Arcade, PSP)
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
    • 1CC: Decent mix between Time Crisis and a third-person shooter.
  • Ghost Squad (also on: Arcade)
    • bleak: May be the best Wii game.
    • boojiboy7: If SEGA were to make a Tom Clancy game, but not actually care about Tom Clancy, and want to make Virtua Cop 3 instead, this is the game you would get. And you would like it.
    • stoteiheim: Ghost Squad is by AM2 BTW FYI and is perfect in every way.
    • notbov: Ghost Squad is the best Wii game that isn't S&P2.
      It was already a great game, then they released just how ridiculous the entire thing is and added a mode where all the enemies are now women in bikinis and you stab people in the throat with bananas, sending the game into the stratosphere to its proper place among the gods
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: It's possibly worth mentioning that this game only has three levels. The stage and port designers do a truly admirable job of cramming as much variety, challenge and replayability into and on top of those levels as is humanly possible. But they're still only three levels.
  • Gunblade NY and L.A. Machineguns Arcade Hits Pack
  • The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Lovingly presented, perfect ports of HotD 2 & 3, with all the extra content from their respective Dreamcast and Xbox releases! Somehow the games don't seem much easier with a visible crosshair, but you can turn it off all the same. It's kind of amazing how great HotD 2 still looks compared to most Wii fare. No good reason for the original not being included, though.
  • The House of the Dead: Overkill (also on: PS3)
    • BenoitRen: A competent on-rails gun game with a well done B-movie theme.
    • notbov: Stay the hell away from HotD:Overkill, game's bad. Even the manual is like “you aren't allowed to criticize the game on the internets without beating the unlockable mode first”. Maybe you assholes should [have] made that the game to begin with (not that said mode is any better).
    • smartblue: Mechanically the game is easy and boring. Aesthetically the game is one of the most juvenile and ugly looking games. The first level is kind of silly funny but I was embarrassed for myself and any onlookers the rest of the way. Seriously, play Ghost Squad for all your light gun kicks.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Not a very good game, but the dialogue in the last scene alone nearly vindicates the entire experience.
  • Klonoa
    • wourme: A quality remake of my favorite PS1 platformer (well, it's tied with SOTN). Just be sure to turn off the English voices. What I've seen of the extra content is just kind of punishing and not all that fun.
  • Kororinpa / Kororinpa: Marble Mania (NA) - forum thread
    • Moogs: Kororinpa gets even better once you unlock the Star Soldier song.
    • elvis shrugged: This game is everything Super Monkey Ball isn't. It's smart, endearingly adorable, and relaxing. It's extremely easy (I've only been playing about an hour and I'm already 25 percent through the game, according to the menu, but imagine that I shouldn't go by that), but that isn't a deterrent. In fact, it works to the game's advantage—it takes a potentially frustrating experience and turns it into a relaxing one. It's damn fun, and anyone who owns a Wii here and hasn't played it is doing a disservice.
    • dessgeega: Yeah, the thing about Kororinpa is that you set your own difficulty. You could either take the stages slowly, playing one of the easy balls (cute noises!), falling and restarting as many times as you have to, or you can barrel through the stages with one of the fast, slippery hard balls, Star Soldier anthem blaring, trying to finish the course fast enough to earn the gold trophy. Either way, the game gets much more demanding towards the end, especially once you get into the hidden stages.
    • Felix: I'm a huge sucker for ball-rolling games, and even I think this game feels like it's held together with screws and tape, but it was probably the only game released during the year that I had a Wii that I felt was doing something reasonably compelling with the hardware.
  • Kororinpa 2: Anthony to Kiniro Himawari no Tane / Marble Saga: Kororinpa (NA) / Marbles! Balance Challenge (PAL)
  • The Last Story
    • specal blend: The Last Story has this weird vibe to it, like it's Cavia Makes An RPG For The Nintendo 64-2. I'm really enjoying the battle sequences. Half of them are nonsense.
      • special blend: Finished last story. It's really awesome, a real rollercoaster ride. It's pretty much a new and good Final Fantasy, with some of that FF cheese thrown on top. Lots of good moments/setpieces, and the final battles will have that classic Uematsu metal pumpin through your veins. Try it.
      • Rudie: It is a SNES RPG by way of Gears of War. You eventually get to dress your characters in gorgeous ridiculous outfits. I played it like two months ago and strain to remember much about it.
  • Little King's Story
    • TORUMASUTA: […] especially if you liked Pikmin at all.
    • SuperWes: Little King's Story was good, but also had too much padding.
    • Mikey: I'd argue that Overlord had a better fun-to-padding ratio, and is a sibling to this game. If you have an Xbox 360/PS3 instead of a Wii and you're interested (and aren't turned off by the game's 'humor') check it out. I think there's a Wii game in this series that came out but I can't vouch for its quality.
  • MadWorld - forum thread
    • Rudie: 30 minutes into Madworld I turned it off because I kept thinking/screaming “Give me two analog sticks.”
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: If - IF - you can get past this game's PS1-vintage camera, repetitive stages, frequency of waggly quick-time events, deliberately grotesque sensibilities and stylish but ultimately disorienting visual aesthetic, there lies underneath a moderately interesting beat-em-up with a creatively morbid twist: killing regular enemies is pretty easy; what matters is killing them in the most ludicrously, sadistically over-the-top ways possible. (Jamming a signpost through an enemy's face and bisecting them with a chainsaw, for example, constitutes a “Routine” kill.) Sometimes feels like a test to see exactly how much simulated violence and onslaught of bad taste video game players can tolerate before it's “too much” - and the surprisingly not-bad story (penned by Yasumi Matsuno, of all people) reinforces this subversive streak. Just when it feels like it's really starting to go somewhere, it ends.
  • Mario Strikers Charged / Mario Strikers Charged Football (PAL)
    • Vikram Ray: A tightly designed soccer/hockey/basketball mashup with fantastic sound and animation (I wish there were a more robust replay feature, though—–I almost always watch the post-goal replays, they're never not interesting). Virtually unlimited replay value when playing with real people sitting in a room next to you.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (also on: Wii U eShop (as part of Metroid Prime Trilogy))
    • Sniper Honeyviper: I hesitate to refer to this as a Metroid game. Basically it's single-player Halo for the Nintendo crowd; a bunch of fragfests and lame setpieces loosely connected by lock-and-key upgrades and “exploration.” Play it through once to experience the Best Controls In A Console FPS Ever and never touch it again.
    • Kinto: Metroid Prime 3 sucked but I thought it was pretty damn gorgeous.
    • Rudie: It sucked and I hated the controller scheme. So I'm some sort of genius weirdo.
  • Mini Ninjas (also on: 360, PC, PS3)
    • Toptube: is pretty alright if you are like me and enjoy pretty much anything resembling a platformer.
  • MiniCopter: Adventure Flight / Radio Helicopter (PAL)
    • composerzane: MiniCopter: Adventure Flight is short but controls flawlessly and has a great game:Toy Commander]] vibe, if you're into that. It's probably like <5 bucks, and you'll enjoy it at least that much if you like Toy Commander.
  • Monster Hunter Tri (remade for: 3DS, Wii U)
    • composerzane: Maybe it doesn't compare to local co-op on the PSP, but it's an amazing, amazing game. It got my (ex-)wife as deep into videogames as she's ever been in her life. And I wanted her to stop so I could get back online and play some more. Can't say enough good things about MH3. I was never bothered by the lack of voice chat, my trusty USB keyboard served me well.
    • Felix: Monster Hunter seems to me like Dark Souls diluted with some MMORPG mechanics. I'm not really into that but I can see why many people are.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade (also on: Vita)
    • Panoptic: The up to jump shit made me want to stab everyone while I played this.
    • Rudie: It has very pretty backgrounds that you need to get used to seeing over and over again (and over). The story? who cares. The battle system didn't seem precise enough to me that playing it on the “real” difficulty mode would make it fun. On the easy mode, constantly hitting a boss still took 6-8 minutes to kill.
    • Analogos: Wanted to like it. Its combat is really not like anything else, and the mechanics themselves are actually pretty great. Unfortunately, everything surrounding the mechanics did such a good job of being utterly pointless that the combat itself ultimately doesn't really work either.
      The level design is simply nonexistent. There is this hollowed out shell where a metrovania was apparently supposed to be, but it's like they whipped up a day 1 rough draft on graph paper and then just painted over it and left it that way. It is endless flat rectangles that lead nowhere and contain almost nothing. Sometimes enemies will be there and sometimes they won't, which generally means you just walk to the right until a boss shows up because there's close to no reason to do anything else. on medium difficulty the combat is so trivial that there's no reason to fight anything, and chances are if you do happen to die, the enemies won't be there when you come back anyway. Even fighting them for the sake of leveling up doesn't really justify itself because the enemies all scale to your current level anyway.
      […] In any case. the game looked and sounded nice. the combat was quite close to making the game something pretty great, but it never really comes together in the end. (full comment)
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii - forum thread
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Still kind of lacking something, but a massive improvement over the DS version. Level design is nicely varied, and overflowing with little crunchy elements and motion-control gadgets that don't feel like bullshit. Co-op mode is hilarious broken fun, as you'll all be bouncing off each other's heads and tossing each other into lava pits with everyone enjoying themselves too much to get angry. Gets tiresome pretty quickly by yourself, though.
  • No More Heroes (also on: 360 (JP only), PS3) - forum thread spoiler thread
    • Rudie: Years later, and the game isn't commentary on bad game design, it's just filled with it. It has a quarter of the charm of Killer7.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: It's still a pretty great game and one of my favorites of last gen. The strange flaws, all-around roughness and zany spontaneity of the game just add to its appeal. Sadly it's also the last time Suda/Grasshopper ever really gave a shit, with subsequent games descending into crude, pandering shtick and losing the earnest creativity that had defined the studio's games up to that point, leaving only a succession of mediocre action games with “wacky” writing and “edgy” aesthetics.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: Very definitely not as worthwhile an experience as No More Heroes. But it has its moments (e.g. a boss fight that unexpectedly turns into a giant-robot minigame, a Gothic Lolita boss who sings a pop ballad insulting the protagonist while you fight, an out-of-the blue cameo by Takashi Miike).
    • Rudie: I didn't play this one, but I watched all the cutscenes on youtube. I had a much better time watching those cutscenes than experiencing NMH1.
  • Opoona
    • Smartblue: Overlooked RPG with a wonderful rich world. Complete with museums and fictional art history periods, a fun job searching bureaucratic society to dig into, and a mind blowing soundtrack by Hitoshi Sakamoto.
    • Smartblue: I am the guy who always comes into Wii threads to talk about how great Opoona is. You should try to find Opoona somewhere because it is the most charming RPG because because because:
      1. Graphics and art style like a cross between PSO and Bumpy Trot.
      2. Music done by Basiscape.
      3. Play as a fat kid with a ball hovering over his head who either frowns when he runs or rides a hover board that makes noises like Magneto's car in those old cartoons.
      4. Unlike the rest of the game, battles all have music that sounds like it came out of Dragon Quest.
      5. You can watch TV shows that are all goofy at any time from your pause menu.
      6. There are art installations all over the place, each with a plaque explaining who created it, when and what fictional art movement it was inspired by. These range from empty picture frames out in the combat areas that frame up on something cool, to giant neck ties attached to windmills, from a rainbow of televisions showing test patterns to a robot endlessly walking on a giant globe floating on water.
    • TORUMASUTA: There's only one planet, but Opoona is…a ride. It's likely the first, and only, Wii RPG to take place in an idealized utopian communist police state. You're a kid astronaut and that's about the only thing in that game that makes sense. There's…no easy way to describe it, but worth picking up cheap.
  • Pandora's Tower (also on: Wii U eShop)
    • Rudie: What a weird weird game. It's like a group of 16-bit developers were dropped a Wii devkit and asked to design their first 3D game pre-Mario 64. It's about killing monsters to feed their meat to your cursed girlfriend/girl you just met. You gotta raise your relationship bar while navigating vertical dungeons. The dungeons suck. The boss fights are (of the 5 I saw) fantastic.
  • Phantom Brave: We Meet Again (also on: PS2, PSP)
  • Pokémon Ranch
    • Persona-sama: The best screensaver ever made. It helps if you have heaps of Pokémon from your Nintendo DS game you can just dump in there too, and if you name your guys vulgar things.
  • Punch-Out!! (also on: Wii U eShop)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: It's more or less the exact same game as the NES version with obnoxious presentation, so you might as well just play that.
    • Deets: Let me say right now that I really, really like that game, the VS. mode was bonkers, Doc Louis is the best, etc.
    • Felix: When stacked up against would-be contemporaries like Fight Night Round 3+, makes for a singularly depressing statement on why the Wii could never be forward-thinking. That said, it's a pleasant, very faithful sequel to (and borderline remake of) one of the best-aged games on the NES, and that's not such a bad thing on its own.
  • Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
    • Dark Age Iron Savior: pretty much the best version hands down.
    • gatotsu2501: Perfect example of a game stretched too thin. The first third or so is really engrossing, tense stuff, but by around the time you reach the castle the game has already introduced and explored its most novel mechanics, and starts increasingly to rely on setpieces and gimmicks to keep it going for the next dozen hours or so until it finally sputters out. I can't think of another game that makes such a drastic transition from excitement to exhaustion over its running time. The story and cutscenes are mood-ravagingly, inexcusably bad. (Wii Edition is generally considered the definitive version, though one could argue that its super-slick controls break a game that wasn't designed for them.)
    • Rudie: I don't know what the hell gatotsu is talking about regarding the game itself, but I might be the only person on Earth that hates the Wii controls.
  • Rune Factory: Frontier
  • Rhythm Heaven Fever (NA) / Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise (PAL) / Minna no Rhythm Tengoku (JP)
    • sponkmonkey: Rhythm Heaven for the Wii is the best game I've played this year (2012). It's everything you might expect from a RH game, but I was really surprised by how clean and good it looks and sounds on a TV. Few games ever make me smile genuinely, this is one of them.
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (also on: PS2, PSP) - forum thread with (marked) spoilers
    • gatotsu2501: Far and away the best Silent Hill since the original team disbanded, and precisely because the developers (the Brits over at at Climax Studios) gave up trying to emulate their predecessors and decided to interpret the franchise in their own way, honoring the spirit, not the letter, of the series' best games. Gone is the ersatz-Resident Evil design template, exchanged for a more linear adventure game-style progression of exploration, simple puzzles and a series of tense, scripted chase sequences with invincible monsters. The control scheme (designed by seemingly the only Wii developer who played RE4 Wii Edition) feel oversensitive and jerky at first, but after a couple hours they become second-nature and (usually) make the game one of the only titles to make good on the Wii's initial promise of using motion controls to provide total immersion. The atmosphere is more Stephen King than David Lynch, but it's good Stephen King, and the environments and atmosphere are impeccably realized (the soundtrack is Akira Yamaoka's last bow for the series, and it adapts itself perfectly to the different style of the game). Your in-game choices (primarily delivered through the novel framing device of therapy sessions with a vaguely menacing shrink) and play style affect branching story paths and cosmetic changes of varying degrees of subtlety as the game gradually “profiles” you. The final plot twist is genuinely startling and the ending is one of the only times a video game has come close to making me cry. I'm also convinced that it does some genuinely unprecedented narrative stuff as far as probing the uncanny nature of the relationship between player and avatar (never mind some bizarre metafictional mindfuckery with the plot - and players - of the original Silent Hill, of which it was calculatingly marketed as a remake). When playing the game for the first time, this helpful article might prove helpful in putting you in the right mindset. Oh, yeah: the game has collectibles that it doesn't give you any real reward for finding, other than that each one provides a subtle commentary on the story. I love that.
    • wourme: Probably my favorite Wii game. It's a departure from the other Silent Hill games, but definitely a successful one. I immediately played through the game again upon finishing it, which is something I almost never do. Being a third-party Wii title, this probably didn't get the attention it deserved.
    • real_jamicus: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is my favourite Wii game. The competition obviously isn't that fierce or anything, but I do still really like it. It tries a lot of new and interesting things, it doesn't treat you like too much of an idiot and at no point did I think it was being gross of exploitative (this is just an absence of a negative but it is something that inhibits a lot of stuff from being something I'd want to recommend).
      I've replayed it a few times and it feels like a pretty flexible game. It's easy and loose to play and there is a lot of space for interaction with the game world in that you can investigate things and it has a bunch of cool little effects. The Wii controls actually enhance this ease of exploration, I think, giving it that loose feeling that other horror or adventures usually don't have — which isn't to say this is better, it's just different and it encourages the exploration rather than a sense of dread which is pretty much absent from this.
      The chase sequences are pretty annoying, I could do without them entirely but I guess they had to be there for purposes.
      I don't think I really describe many games as great, and I was just thinking about it right now and I wouldn't say this is a great game. It feels like the precursor to a great game using all of the same ideas taken further. It doesn't look like Silent Hill is even remotely interested in going in that direction, though, which is a shame.
  • Sin & Punishment: Star Successor (also on: Wii U eShop) - forum thread
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Almost justifies the Wiimote's existence.
    • Felix: I love lightgun games, and this is almost certainly the best game on the Wii by best-game standards, but it also (depressingly) pretty much plays better with a mouse & keyboard, emulated.
    • boojiboy7: Sin and Punishment 2 is just straight up a great game.
    • sarsamis: S&P2's flying and invincibility roll made it feel like a lot of other games in a way that detracts from its appeal compared to the first for me, otherwise it's a damn good time.
    • special blend: Sin and Punishment for Wii is the greatest fuckin I dont even know what to call it.
      • The Troops: “The Last Videogame.”
    • sponkmonkey: I can't stand Sin & Punishment 2. The entire game is loaded with repetitive filler, most blatant being the water tunnel section early on (never got much farther than that), and being forced to repeat the overlong tutorial stage every credit. There's a total lack of physicality compared to the original Sin & Punishment since instead of jumping to dodge lasers and moving around obstacles you're now always flying like a tepid Space Harrier clone. Press the Dodge button to invincibly dodge bullets instead of, y'know, actually dodging the bullets without assistance. The game is endless factory gray with very little color variety, this coupled with the repetition kills it.
  • Sonic Colours
    • Rokkan: There are some really fun levels, which welcome some really fun speedrunning and exploration, and the environments are pretty gorgeous too, it's just a shame that the game makes you feel a lot like you're on a track made on a level editor while looking at the beautiful level in the background instead of actually being at the level and interacting with all the fun things you can see.
    • Mikey: I think this is the height of the Sonic-game-as-amusement-park-ride school of design, and I mean that as a compliment. It's breezy, not particularly challenging, but wonderful to just sort of sit there and marvel at while it speeds by.
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings
    • BenoitRen: If you can get past its weird control scheme, you'll find a decent Sonic game with a charming story book and Arabian aesthetic.
  • Sonic Unleashed (also on: PS2)
    • BenoitRen: A very competent Sonic game with two modes of play: racing and some 2D platforming at day time, and slower-paced platforming and fighting at night.
  • Super Mario Galaxy - forum thread forum thread
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Not recommended at all. This is irredeemable shit for toddlers and grandmas only. Well, they did throw in some quite difficult postgame challenges for Mario veterans, but they're just re-visits of existing locations covered in a purple fart haze, and the anemic, limp-noodle physics prevent them from being any fun at all. Galaxy 2 is a slight improvement but still not worth it.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: It's not a BAD game, but I didn't find it all that gripping or memorable either. Those who hold Super Mario World as the pinnacle of the franchise will pine for the openness of 64 and Sunshine, while followers of Super Mario Bros. 3 will prefer the later Super Mario 3D games.
    • Felix: Really unbelievably bad. Lifeless physics and level design that is reminiscent of a baby mobile, explosive and facile. The sequel is a big improvement in every aspect but the physics (and, I suppose, the fact that they're both among so few well-produced Wii titles), but remains awfully unexciting.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (also on: Wii U eShop)
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
    • gatotsu2501: A definite step back from the greatness of Melee, but still quite a bit of fun with some friends. There are a lot of disappointments - the Adventure Mode is, floaty, overlong crap, the online mode is laggy, obtuse crap, the Boss Battles mode is frustrating, unfun crap, and the soundtrack - surprisingly, given its assembly of a veritable who's-who of Japanese game composers - is mostly crap outside of the tracks that are simply reused wholesale from their original games or Melee. There are plenty of other nitpicks, too, that would take up too much space to list here. It's telling, then, that for all of the game's faults the strength of the core multiplayer acrobatic-sumo-fighting formula - that is, the real draw of the experience - still shines through, and, yup, it's still a lot of fun.
    • spectralsound: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you exhibit A in the case both for and against modern-day Nintendo. On one hand you have a ludicrously fun versus-platformer-fighting-game-thing filled to the brim with Nintendo nostalgia, and now including a level creator and online play; on the other hand you have the tripping mechanic, the online play being (true to Nintendo) erratic at best and unusable at worst, and the entire single-player “adventure” mode, written by a guy who worked on and obviously loved Kingdom Hearts 2. It's equal parts cash grab and labor of love, nostalgia peddler and history museum; it's a truly awkward beast.
  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
  • TrackMania: Build To Race
    • composerzane: Trackmania Wii is really, really awesome. I love the Trackmania approach to racing. Which is basically nothing but time trials with an auto-restart button. I grinded the hell out of these levels and had a blast doing it. I guess it might be better on PC, I haven't tried it, but I wasn't disappointed. I even had some fun online. Got up to #6 on the leaderboards for one track, felt cocky, and then got my ass handed to me by the dude with the #1 time. I guess there weren't a lot of people playing the game, with it being a less-than-notable racing game for Wii. There's a track editor. Seriously, get this game if you see it.
  • Trauma Center: New Blood
    • Sniper Honeyviper: DO NOT attempt this game without a skilled second player. All the missions were designed with co-op in mind, and they aren't ever adjusted when playing alone. If that's not a problem, this is a refreshingly engaging and challenging puzzle game; otherwise, go with Second Opinion or the upcoming Trauma Team.
  • Wii Fit
    • CubaLibre: If you have a scale and a DVD player you don't need this horseshit.
  • Wii Sports Resort
    • koholinttakeout: pretty much the party game of the generation
  • Xenoblade (JP) / Xenoblade Chronicles (NA/PAL)* (also on: N3DS, Wii U eShop) - forum thread
    • Levi: Jumping is good. Jumping off of really high places is good. The battle system is like Final Fantasy XII run through the filter of people considering what would make something like this interesting. The game is generous. It's open in a curiously satisfying, direct way. You can just start swimming and climb up on an abandoned highway structure and get your shit totally wrecked by a giant bird. A lot of monsters just want to hang out, and don't pick fights unless you start shit with them. The extremely low resolution textures on the characters faces remind me pleasantly of Megaman Legends or Vagrant Story or something. The cutscenes are not an hour long. I hate Bioware and Bethesda. I like the hero's sweaters, and how he does the “Citan thinking” pose as an idle animation (what a fantastic and subtle fanservice that is!) I'm mildly frightened that some of the things I find novel about it's approach are from World of Warcraft or something, but I'm blissfully ignorant of that game. The skies are very very blue.
    • negativedge: Xenoblade is a lost game from the year 2000—which is not to say it plays like a Chrono Cross or what have you, but rather that it plays and acts like you'd have imagined games were going to play and act if you were playing a lot of JRPGs in the years 1997-2000. It's world design is an evolution of the Xenogears/Grandia style of stuff that I was always in love with, and the battle system and all that feels like where the genre was supposed to go (though there are reservations, here—it's clearly more of a “lets copy MMOs” than a “lets critically think about JRPGs from the ground up”). It's as blue skies as video games can get. The environments are really smart, because they're “huge” in a way that isn't even really huge—it's hard to describe. Like, it's not so much that the surface area itself is mathematically as big as something like an Elder Scrolls game, or that it is particularly open, but rather that it is just enough of these things, and then the sense of scale does the rest. The town you start in is situated in a valley, only the valley is large enough that it doesn't feel artificial—it doesn't feel like it is a valley because they needed someplace isolated to keep you on target, and it doesn't feel like it's a valley because the hardware isn't powerful enough to give you a draw distance miles away. It just feels like a valley. The sides of the surrounding cliffs and mountains are huge. When you climb a few of the overlooking areas, the town below you looks small not because it's a small town (it's a fairly large JRPG town, even if you can't enter any god damn buildings), but because you're really high up and everything else is bigger than the town. When you jump off of that cliff into the water below it's just about the greatest thing. When you finally leave that starting area and its associated dungeon, two things happen: first, you get a fantastic view of one of the giant robots that makes up the game's world (which is just weird enough to be delightful); second, you spill out into a giant fucking plain replete with herds of elephant things and rolling hills and Fuck Yes.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: I really want to like this game, because I like Monolith Soft and I like that the entire project was conceived as an abstract visual that came to Tetsuya Takahashi in a dream or something like that. In keeping with its graphic origins, 99% of the developers' effort seems to have gone into crafting really big, visually and spatially coherent environments and somehow getting them to run in real time on the Wii. It's too bad so many aspects of the game beyond that feel like the worst sort of quantity-over-quality checkbox open-world RPG bullshit. There are like 20 different abstract mechanical systems inside and outside combat, each and every one of which carries the intuitive weight and visceral satisfaction of watching inscrutable large numbers go up and down on a menu screen. I don't know how many of this game's design and structural ideas are just carbon copied from Bethesda and WoW but they sure wear out their welcome here. Previous Xeno games gave you worlds with intricate 4,000 year backstories but only let you run down straight metallic corridors and watch poorly edited cutscenes; this one has wide open environments and a million zillion sidequests and still manages to feel shallow and underdeveloped after 100+ hours of play. Your party members are CONSTANTLY squawking generic animu dialogue in every battle yet each one of them has roughly the personality and appeal of a brick. The entire game is set on the dormant continent-sized bodies of warring primal gods and 99% of the NPC sidequests (of which there are literally hundreds) can't think of anything more interesting to have you do than Collect 5 Shitberries from the Fuckgoblin so some guy can do his laundry. The sequel for Wii U (Xenoblade X) is slightly better IMO because it leans even heavier into the open world sandbox exploration aspect the first game is naturally pushing towards, but it still has a lot of the same flaws.
  • Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure / Treasure Island Z: Barbaros' Secret Treasure (JP)
    • username: Zack & Wiki is half a good game. By the time you reach the later stages that can take quite a while to complete it becomes a point & click game where if you click the wrong thing to see what happens you lose all progress and have to replay 15-20 minutes of clicking on things in a specific order. I liked the beginning of the game, loved parts of the middle where a nice balance was realized and eventually got to the point where I FAQ'd my way through the final levels as every ounce of joy was wrung out of it by that point.
    • Felix: It seemed to me at the time like it has Beyond Good & Evil syndrome — praised to the nines by the gaming press for some obvious heart and decent art direction, but when you get down to brass tacks, not especially great as a game. I can't even play Grim Fandango, because I don't like adventure games that don't have sufficiently many skill-based elements or (narrowly-defined, e.g. Tower of Hanoi) puzzles to make me wish I wasn't just reading a book; I don't think Zack and Wiki is going to pass the muster that only Phoenix Wright has passed to date.
  • Zangeki no Reginleiv (JP only) - forum thread
    • 1CC: It's probably the best reason to own a modified Wii, and I really enjoyed both of my playthroughs (one offline and one online). It has the best single-player campaign among the EDFs I'd say, because of the varied levels and because the NPC team-mates got some characterization and personality to them.
    • Chris B: It's basically the fantasy version of Earth Defence Force. Dismembering giants is a lot of fun and the Motion+ enhanced controls work reasonably well, but it takes some time until you figure out how to trigger actions reliably and without flailing your arms all over the place. I'd say that compared to EDF, the game feels a bit less frantic and more methodic. It's all about positioning and reading your enemies' attack patterns, to judge if you have the time to pull of that slow but powerful slash. The two distinct character classes from EDF 2 (marine and jetpack girl) also make a return, yet this time the differences are more subtle. The girl can't fly, but she takes 3 instead of 2 weapons into battle and her powerful staffs burn Mana, which can only be recharged by going melee. The guy has bigger swords and HAMMERS, but his bows are no match for the girl's magic.

Recommended: WiiWare

  • And Yet It Moves (also on: PC)
    • gatotsu2501: Fun little indie puzzle-platformer structured around the ability to pause the action and tilt the Wiimote to rotate the game-world anywhere along a 360-degree axis, with a series of physics-based puzzles testing this ability to its extremities. Has a nice papercraft aesthetic, good, straightforward level design and bonus challenge modes (e.g. limited rotations, limited lives) to compensate for its short length and relatively easy difficulty.
  • ANIMA: Ark Of Sinners
    • monaco: A tremendous blend of Nomura shlock, unashamed SOTN love and very poor skill. Features a ridiculous translation to boot, as well as multiple poor design choices. Pass the controller aroound and marvel at the kusoge-ness within.
  • Art of Balance
    • composerzane: Probably my favorite game ever on WiiWare. It's extremely relaxing and frustrating at the same time.
  • Bubble Bobble Plus
    • Felix: four player Bubble Bobble! I can't believe no one ever talked about this! yes, they ruined the graphics (and nearly ruined the music), but hey. Between this, a version of Tetris that actually has Korobeiniki, and the Japan-only Kunio Dodgeball remake, the Wii actually does a pretty good job of standing in for a 20-year-old console (not that that's high praise in most circles).
  • Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth - forum thread
    • Isfet: Part of me wonders if I enjoyed this game so much because I've become so disillusioned with the franchise's most recent entries and it will probably be some time before I can tell for sure. But as of right now, I'm confident in saying that the game is perhaps not as good as the originals, but it does things extremely well 70-75% of the time.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: This is definitely a pretty good action-platformer by any standard. I'm not usually all that keen on platformers, and even I'm a fan. The soundtrack is killer, too, but what else would you expect from Castlevania.
  • Contra ReBirth
    • monaco: it is good.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
  • LIT
  • Lost Winds 2
  • Maboshi's Arcade
  • Muscle March
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Homoerotic parody reflex tester on rails. If that doesn't sounds like fun, you must truly be a callous soul. It'll only last you about an hour, but what a glorious hour that is, made all the better by some ridiculously catchy original J-pop tracks. Not to mention that it's five bucks.
  • Orbient
  • Swords and Soldiers (also on: 3DS, iOS, PC, PSN, Wii U)
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: The rare RTS game that actually works well on consoles, due to a simplified design (battles take place on a sidescrolling rather than isometric plane, units move and act automatically) and the Wii's IR cursor (or touch controls, in the various ports). It has a two-player local mode, of course.
  • Tomena Sanner (also on: iOS)
    • composerzane: I don't know what to say (other than this game is fucking hilarious); buy it on WiiWare right the fuck now. OK, maybe go watch a youtube video first. The game only uses one button. It's Konami. OK, stop reading and play it.
  • World of Goo (also on: Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, PC) - forum thread
    • internisus: This is one of the very best games to come out all year [2008]. It is obviously a very nice game and one that you would be hard-pressed not to enjoy thoroughly, but what you don't know and what I only found out today is that in addition to being generally lovely and wonderful it is also brilliant. I can't talk about settings and gameplay variations and the (superb) story because it would ruin the discovery for you.
    • wourme: This game really does get more and more amazing as you go along. Playing this kind of reminds me of playing Katamari Damacy for the first time. I hope these guys make a fortune.
    • bruin: Like Portal (and many great puzzle games before it, I guess) it takes one (when it comes down to it) simple concept and riffs on it throughout the game. It stays fresh, but you will learn to make things you're proud of by the end of the game. Struggling to make that bridge at the beginning of the game, then making much bigger, far more elegant structures at the end was really satisfying. Also it's host both to puzzles that require the “cognitive leaps” (like Zelda) as well as the ones that require you to manage time and resources (like Lemmings) […].
    • dessgeega: The thing about this game is that these aren't just abstract engineering challenges as one might expect. Each level is a story. Eighty-hour games get to be eighty hours long because they repeat the same ideas over and over. If World of Goo was an eighty hour game, it would eventually get stupidly, impossibly difficult because there'd be no other direction to build these ideas in. Because World of Goo is only so long as it needs to be to relate these ideas, the difficulty of the stages remains reasonable. Each level is genuinely interesting in a way levels in eighty-hour games cannot afford to be (because they each have maybe an hour of interesting ideas, if that).
  • You, Me, and the Cubes
    • composerzane: You, Me, and the Cubes for WiiWare is pretty stellar. Totally spaced on that one. Really cool aesthetic, really fun gameplay. Check it out on youtube.

See Also

 sb/recommended/wii.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/24 18:13 by alfred
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