It’s pretty safe to say that the Nintendo Wii had a bit of a bad reputation amongst gamers. All too often we’ve seen comments from users dismissing any game on the Wii that was made by anyone other than Nintendo as tedious shovelware titles that no real gamer should ever consider playing. And now, with the release of the Wii U there is a new complaint: there just aren’t enough games. To this problem we present the following temporary solution: try playing some Wii games on it instead.
While it is true that almost every Wii game made by Nintendo has been pure gold there have been plenty of brilliant third party titles that many gamers may have overlooked. With the Wii U’s seeming focus on regaining the hardcore gamer we thought now would be the perfect time to let you know about some fantastic Wii games that you could be playing right now for very little money.
Silent Hill Shattered Memories is a remarkable game for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is arguably one of the best examples of how motion controls can enhance the gameplay experience; the Wii remote is used as your torch, allowing players to shine light on the dark surroundings, and it can also act as the protagonist’s telephone, with phone calls blasted out of the remote’s built-in speakers. The second phenomenal feature in the game is the implementation of psychological analysis – at the start of the game your character is introduced to a therapist, and players are tasked with completing a series of psychological tests between chapters as they retell their ordeal. The first test determines the basic shape of the world and the people around you – if you say that you make friends easily then other characters will be more open and friendly, and if you disclose that you have been unfaithful in past relationships then the entire character model of one character changes completely. Shattered Memories manages to be a disturbing a psychological thriller without resorting to the tired tropes of the genre and is easily one of the best games to be released in years on any format.
MadWorld is an arena based combat game in which you must score a certain number of points to progress to the end of the level. Each level has a unique boss who you must defeat to rise up in the ranks of the competition. Sure you can murder everyone you see with your massive chainsaw arm, but the real way to get points is to be more imaginative in your killing. The ideal combo usually involves trapping your enemy by sticking a tyre on him, impaling him with some sort of sharp implement, and then dragging him over to some environmental hazard, usually involving spikes, and waving the remote around like crazy as you splatter him in to a fine pulp. It sounds easy, but the later levels become increasingly difficult, with enemies that can kill you with one hit, and more complicated motion controls. While it is not a very long game, and can get a little tedious if you play it for prolonged periods of time, Madworld is a fun, arcadey, gory, yet humorous game that will satisfy your inner child no ends.
From the mind of deranged game designer Suda Goiichi comes No More Heroes, a game about a man’s quest to become the number one rated assassin in the world. How will he achieve this? By murdering all of the assassins that hold a higher position in the global assassin leaderboards of course! One of the best things about No More Heroes is it’s brilliantly daft script – a pro wrestling loving assassin that carries a lightsaber and drives around town on a huge motor cycle on a quest to murder ten similarly bizarre assassins – and this script is complimented by some equally strange gameplay and intuitive controls. Put simply, No More Heroes, and it’s sequel No More Heroes 2, are criminally overlooked games that every self-respecting Wii U owner should try.
It seems that the Nintendo Wii is the new home for light gun games with this generation of consoles. Sega in particular have released a selection of their old arcade light gun games on the Wii, including The House of the Dead 2 and 3 Collection. Their follow up game, House Of The Dead Overkill, is a game that has been made specifically for the the Wii. The style of the game has been dramatically overhauled, moving to a graphical style similar to a 70s exploitation movie, and a world populated with quirky over the top characters. There is a film grain filter over the graphics, and the script is pure trashy B movie material, with numerous hilarious moments. In short, it is fantastic.
There is a debate out there that’s been going on for a long time; are games a form of art? Okami is a working argument that they are. The visual style is beautiful and although not much has changed in terms of graphics from the PS2 to the Wii (there is now wide-screen) the art style is what makes the game so pretty, not the technical prowess. It’s hard to understand until you see the game in motion, and see for yourself how the world moves and feels like a living painting. It’s easily one of the best games ever made, nevermind best games on the Wii.
Taking one of the best games from the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube generation, porting it over to the Nintendo Wii and tacking on motion controls sounds like an exercise in futility, never mind the fact that it sounds like a rubbish gaming experience. Colour us surprised then when we discovered that the Wii version of Resident Evil 4 may very well be the best version of this game to date. The aforementioned motion controls are intuitive and make perfect sense; moving your character with the Wii nunchuck, and using the remote itself to aim your reticule feels perfectly natural, in fact it feels more than natural, it feels like the way the game was supposed to have been played from the start. You take control of Leon S Kennedy, the protagonist from Resident Evil 2, on a mission in some vague part of Europe to rescue the President’s daughter Ashley from a weirdo druid cult. What starts out as a simple search and rescue mission soon descends in to a frantic fight for your own life against a sea of monsters and hideously deformed cult members. Even now it is one of the most gloriously invetive action games out there and is well worth your time.
De Blob is a living ball of paint that has taken up arms in the Resistance against the evil I.N.K.T corporation, who have drained all the colour out of Chroma City. Throwing yourself at buildings instantly paints them whatever colour you are currently. Smash pots of paint to change your colour and find all the patterns to give the city even more style as you paint it back into a vibrant, fun loving metropolis.
The things we love most about De Blob are the music that reacts dynamically to how colourful you’ve made the city and the funny video skits that you unlock as you progress and do well in the game. It may not set the world on fire, but it’s well worth your time if you’re looking for a family friendly experience that rewards creativity over mindless killing.
Tatsunoko vs Capcom
Following on from the success of the Marvel vs Capcom series in the West, Japanese fighting game masterminds developed the Japanese equivolent in Tatsunoko vs Capcom. The roster is made up of a bevy of Capcom favourites, including Ryu, Megaman’s Zero and Dead Rising’s Frank West, and characters from popular Japanese anime such as Casshan, Ippatsuman and Jun the Swan. While the majority of westerners will have no idea who these characters are it doesn’t really matter because Tatsunoko vs Capcom has some really intuitive and fluid gameplay, beautiful graphics and eye melting super moves. If you’re a fan of fighting games you need to pick this up.
An on-the-rails shooter that takes place before the events of the original Dead Space, Dead Space Extraction has more in common with classic Sega series House of the Dead than anything else. With an unrelenting wave of necromorph monstrosities heading your way almost constantly the game is more about having a good aim and quick reactions than anything else. It’s also very narrative heavy, with long periods of dialogue and light puzzle solving before things decend into the realm of brutal gunplay. Rather than relying on cheap horror (loud noises and enemies jumping out at you from nowhere) Extraction instead builds tension by overwhelming you with enemies, creating a glorious sense of panic. It’s arguably one of the best light-gun games in recent years and well worth your time.
Eurocom’s re-imagining of the Nintendo 64 classic achieved is rare thing: a remake which understands and respects the core of the original experience, but which never makes the mistake of simply trying to repeat it. It’s a shooter that echoes many of the things that were well-loved about the older title while wisely modernising the elements that don’t stand up so well in the cold harsh light of today, 15 years after its release. The adaptive stealth gameplay and the scaling of objectives relative to the difficulty level adds significant replay value to this loving tribute to one of the most beloved games of all time.
These are just ten of our personal picks, there are plenty of other great Wii titles out there. Did we miss one of your favourites? Share your recommendations in the comments below.