So playing Xenoblade Chronicles has got me thinking about the other great games on the Wii that a lot of people probably haven’t played, but totally embody the Wii experience. With Xenoblade, the Last Story, and maybe Pandora’s Tower being the last real hurrah’s for the Wii in North America, I decided to compile a list of Wii games that people should be sure to play inorder to say that they experienced all the Wii could offer.
The Wii Experience
First, let’s explain what the Wii experience entails. Obviously, motion controls are essential since it’s the Wii’s main feature, but it is a lot more than simply having the ability to point at the screen and shake the controller, it’s also about what crazy and wacky features can be done with using those features. It’s the feeling that you can only get by playing a game on the Wii, rather than the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, or even past Nintendo consoles. This list will not have (a lot) of Nintendo games, since mostly everybody has played games like Skyward Sword, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Mario Galaxy, but instead, this list will feature games that sold poor or were critically panned by people who don’t normally play the Wii (and thus suck at it).
1) Conduit 2
So, the first Conduit game was pretty good, but I could understand how people would be annoyed by the realistic representation of Washington D.C. Most places aren’t built like Disneyland that lend itself best to level design, so it was for the best that Conduit 2 took the player to new locations and really improved on every aspect of the game. But the real love for the game comes from the vast assortment of different weapons, ranging from the crazy cool to those that fully take advantage of the Wii’s motion capabilities.
Some of the weapons included wackier weapons included the Hive Cannon, which could shoot a lure that made all of its shots home in on it, allowing players to shoot around corners and even behind them, the Aegis Device was a weapon that could create a shield that caught projectiles and use them for ammo, the Darkstar created miniature black holes, and the AR-C Eclipse which could render it’s wielder invisible. Of the weapons that specifically used the Wii remote, there was the Deatomizer which could create laser flails that tilted differently based on how the player rotated their Wii remote and the Shrieker which lobbed a projectile that followed the users reticule (which could be done on a traditional controller, but I feel like it works better on enemies at all ranges where a regular controller I feel limits its effectiveness to long range). I think for anyone who is looking for an interesting shooter, as opposed to the same old boring Call of Duty and Halo games that come out every year, should definitely play Conduit 2.
2 ) Red Steel 2
I am still of the opinion that most people hate the original Red Steel because it showed that their expectations and assumptions were much higher than what Nintendo had promised. I hate the sword mechanics in Red Steel but I love the gun mechanics. Seriously, the game had a ton of shooter mechanics that I wish used more in games. However, the game pales in comparison to it’s sequel, Red Steel 2, the first major game to take advantage of the Wii Motion Plus.
The game is probably best described as a first-person beat em up, combining elements of a FPS with closer quarter sword combat. Basically, pointing at the screen and pressing B allows you to shoot while swinging the remote attacks with the sword. Along the way, you learn various techniques that can launch enemies in the air, blast them with air slashes, reflect bullets, and even punch the Earth so hard it makes shockwaves to stagger opponents. The sword combat can get pretty intense in later levels to, requiring a mastery of gun techniques such as bullet time firing and sword techniques like finishers with Kusagari powers. I honestly don’t know why more people didn’t buy this game when it came out, the lead designer stating that perhaps people weren’t ready for full motion control gaming, and that honestly makes me a little sad. I think the lamest excuse I ever heard was that a person’s arm might get tired, which I say, “BAH! Then you’re not worthy to handle the sword!” Seriously though, there is even an setting where the littlest of flicks perform strong attacks, so you can be as in to it as you want to be.
3) Metroid: Other M
Yep, I’m going there. You know what, I don’t even care what people think about the story anymore. Most people I argue with on the story get so many little facts wrong that it makes me wonder whether they paid attention to it at all. If you think the plot makes no sense, pay better attention, everything is explained or can reasonably be explained (even Adam’s restriction of weapons and Samus taking order from Adam) and if you think the game is sexist, you’re an idiot who needs to realize that by placing expectations of person based on their gender, even if they’re suppose to defy them like Samus, is sexist.
What I am going to talk about though is how awesome the gameplay is. While it does seem linear, compared to most other Metroid games, I didn’t mind it. It kept the flow of the game steady and honestly, the original Metroid now a days makes me want to kill everyone out of frustration. What the game does particularly well is combine retro controls with a modern twist in how the game controls. It’s played simply with the Wii remote turned sideways to resemble a NES controller, but you can also point at the screen to go into first person mode for precise aiming and the ability to use missiles. This control scheme is very fluid and provides an interesting twist on how to use more versatile controls in a way that doesn’t suck (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’ grenades, I’m looking at you).
4) The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces
Aw man, I wept manly tears when I heard that Factor 5, the creators of the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series closed before completing their compilation Wii disc and for years I was in a fix for a good arcade style flying game. Then last summer I picked up The Sky Crawlers, a series where fighter pilots are privately owned, and fight wars against each other for really no other reason than if someone is fighting a war, then real wars won’t exist (I think). Either way, it was a game like Rogue Squadron that combined various plane types, good missions, Star Fox levels of banter between pilots, and a great story too boot.
Like Other M, this game also provides an example of Wii games could mix things up based with unorthadox control schemes. While the game does support classic and GCN controllers, I always used the Wii remote and nunchuck configuration that used the Wii remote in the left hand, and the nunchuck in the right. The Wii remote, instead of being the primary controller, actually acted like a throttle, determining your speed. The nunchuck is the focus on the game, but not even in a way most people would expect. The limited motion controls in the nunchuck actually steer the plane, with the control stick just altering how you move for certain maneuvers. To be perfectly honest, it really made me feel like I was playing at an arcade in one of those big simulators and helped create a more immersive experience that I can’t get from any other console.
5) Shaun White Snowboarding
There’s no better reason to own the Wii Balance Board than this game (although, it might be the only reason). Like Sky Crawlers, this is the closest thing to bringing the arcade experience home by adding a new layer of controls that require more than just mastering buttons, but actually mastering your body.
When I was a kid, I use to go snowboarding when my parents took me on ski trips. There’s really nothing like it, and a completely alien experience to someone who has lived by beaches in Southern California his whole life. But, the motions and sensations in your muscles are hard to forget, so even after not seeing snow for years, I could tell the game was incredibly accurate and my attempts to dissect and cheat the balance board only met with failure. Thus, it is the kind of game to best lose yourself and just pretend your on a snowboard. It’s honestly the next best thing, and has less falling down and waiting for ski lifts.
6) Wii Music
Before everyone tries to kill me, hear me out. Wii Music was one of those games that was never trying to be like Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Instead, Wii Music was more of a game where people can get creative, rather than competitive. The brilliance of it was how simplistic and accessible everything could be, you play a piano by shaking the wii remote and nunchuck, you strummed with the remote to strum a guitar, and you held the remote close to your face and tilted it to play wind and brass instruments. It was something so simple, that anyone could do it.
The game also had a ton of instrument types along with the ability to play notes whenever you wanted. It was interesting seeing how adding a couple of extra notes to a tune really changed the way the the song felt. Sometimes, you could make the Mario theme more exciting by speeding it up and adding more notes, playing loudly and using very festive instruments or you can make it more somber by slowing it down and only having a lone guitar and piano play the parts.As an example, I’m going to post two versions of the Super Mario Bros. Theme song that I found on YouTube:
You can also trade your videos with friends and modify the ones they sent to you. I know me and one of my friends spent a lot of time modifying each other’s songs and sending them back to each other. The game’s greatest highlight though was having friends join in and working together to produce something that sound good. It may not be the game for everyone, but it is definitely part of the Wii experience.
Honorable mentions go to games that don’t highlight the best of the Wii’s features, but are still games you should play:
No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2
Monster Hunter Tri
Little King’s Story
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Muramasa The Demon Blade
Sonic and the Black Knight (seriously, give this game a chance)
Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3
Xenoblade Chronicles (just released)
And I’m sure there are plenty more to fit everyone’s particular taste.