Nintendo is preparing to unveil their next console, code-named "Project Cafe", to the world at E3 2011 in a few short weeks. This announcement will signal the slow transition away from the Wii, a global phenomenon that forever changed the gaming landscape and Nintendo's fortunes overnight. While the little white motion control device has never been associated with a consistently strong lineup of titles, the occasional moment of brilliance compelled the Nintendo fan in all of us to dust the machine off once more. The following is a compilation of those moments, the Wii's best titles to date, in alphabetical order.
Dead Space: Extraction
Dead Space: Extraction is a great addition to the Dead Space franchise from the perspective of its story telling. It's very engrossing and it's easy to invest interest in the great cast. Effort has also been made to extend the title's life with the addition of co-operative play, Challenge Mode and bonus digital comics. One things for certain, Dead Space: Extraction is extremely gruesome and definitely deserves the hardcore tag. It's one of the few third-party titles on the system to properly appeal to an adult audience without compromise.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
It's hard to imagine who exactly wouldn't find some kind of enjoyment from visiting Donkey Kong Country, particularly considering the series' most notorious feature (it's learning curve) is balanced out with the addition of the Super Guide. Easy to learn controls, phenomenal level design, two person multiplayer, and a memorable tale of a gorilla searching for his bananas all come together to make this Wii title a fantastic experience. Older DKC fans felt right at home because the game felt perfectly in tune with the classic NES series, and new fans were able to easily jump in for the first time.
GoldenEye 007 is one of the best Wii first-person shooter titles out there. It offers a stellar multiplayer experience where many other titles fall short. Playing through the single player mode is certainly enjoyable once, and multiplayer definitely has its perks, however the title can relay on nostalgia a bit too much at times. Either way, GoldenEye still presents a great opportunity for a younger generation of gamers to take a look at what classic gaming was (more or less) like, while at the same time letting the older generation take part in a classic game successfully re-imagined.
Kirby's Epic Karn
The announcement of a new Kirby game, Kirby's Epic Yarn, the first console platformer in the series since 2000's Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, was met with almost universal approval. In the end, Nintendo delivered. Kirby's Epic Yarn featured a unique art style that made the environment appear stitched together. The style also extended to the mechanics - Kirby could easily manipulate the environment, enemies, and obstacles by pulling at different pieces of yarn. It all came together into a gorgeous, seamless experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Originally designed and planned as a late stage GameCube title, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was delayed to incorporate motion controls, so it could be featured a cornerstone launch title for the Wii. Fortunately, this potentially drastic change didn't impact the game's quality, arguably enhancing it. The new control scheme combined with the clever level design and stunning visuals closely associated with the Zelda franchise ensured Twilight Princess was a success. It's "core" roots helped balance the Wii's launch lineup and new focus on casual gamers.
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri brings new life to the franchise. By tweaking and perfecting past iffy game mechanics and introducing brand new monsters and locations, fans of the series will be able to experience something brand new. New players will find a game that focuses on strategy and simulation. The difficulty curve for Monster Hunter has always been high, but Monster Hunter Tri helps alleviate some of that by allowing better equipment and items to be used earlier in the game. The game will last 100+ hours easily and has no shortage of content. Online mode has been streamlined and offers a great experience. Bottom line, suit up and prepare to hunt some monsters!
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii has surprisingly little "new" about it, which may not actually be all that unexpected considering the Mario franchises decades long, incremental improvement. However, failing to reinvent the wheel doesn't detract from what the game does so well; enhance multiplayer in classic Mario like never before, with fantastic results. The four-player coop in NSMB skillfully balances some of the most challenging platforming the series has seen, with casual friendly features to allow players of any skill to play together.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2 manages to capture that magical sense of fun and amazement for which Nintendo are so revered. This is the pinnacle of Mario platforming. Scratch that, platforming in general. The constant variety Galaxy 2 throws at the player is nothing short of astonishing. Just when a mediocre level makes you consider the remote possibility that the game has finally run out of clever ideas, the next level impresses with something different. Games that put a smile on your face when you're feeling down are a rare breed - Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one of those games.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The original Super Smash Bros. captivated gamers at the height of the Nintendo 64 with its unique take on the fighting genre. The series was successfully sustained over the years by adding new characters, items and increasingly chaotic environments. Brawl continued on that path by adding new characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake, items and stages. Other notable additions can in the form of motion controls and online play, which made SSB Brawl a worthy finale for the revered character mash up series.
Wii Sports was the delightful package of sports mini-games that Nintendo used effectively to prove to the world the Wii's focus on motion control was real and viable. The mini-game collection alone drove the runaway success of the Wii, bringing a gaming console into many homes for the first time. It was followed-up by the equally fun Resort expansion some years later. To this day, a better example of how motion gaming should work in its purest form does not exist.
Disney Epic Mickey
Metroid: Other M
No More Heroes