And so we come to the end of our week-long Wii’s Forgotten Gems feature. Did you enjoy it? We really hope so! We also hope it inspired you to hunt down at least one last Wii game before the arrival of Wii U, because next week our Co-Editor-in-Chief Katharine Byrne will be bringing you all the latest news and previews from the Eurogamer Expo in London, so there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming days.
But just before we let the curtain fall on this issue, we thought we’d bring you a few final thoughts about our favourite “not-so-forgotten Wii gems”, because at the end of the day they’re just as important as their slightly overshadowed brethren. These are the games we feel are what make Wii, well, Wii, and the games that absolutely deserve a spot in your gaming library. So join us as we celebrate the very best of Nintendo’s little white console, and be sure to let us know your favourite game in the comments below!
If there’s one thing I absolutely adore Wii for, it’s for bringing side-scrollers back into the living room in a big way. Seriously, the number of great side-scrollers for Wii is off the charts. You’ve got good stuff like Wario Land: Shake It!, the Kirby games, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Klonoa, Lost in Shadow, and of course my favorite of all, Donkey Kong Country Returns.
DKC Returns is just platforming perfection. The way that Retro captured the feel of the original SNES game while adding new twists made for some incredibly fun gaming. I love how the Wii game also kept the blistering difficulty that Nintendo games first became famous for. Donkey Kong Country Returns also cemented Retro Studios as Nintendo’s premier developer by proving that the company was not just a one trick pony with its Metroid Prime series. I periodically go back and play the Super Nintendo Donkey Kong Country titles, and I feel like I’ll be doing the same with DKC Returns in the years to come.
Back in the dark depths of 2004, Nintendo promised us their new console would feature one-to-one motion control, teasing us with images of beautiful people playing beautiful games, waving their Wii Remotes like swords and blocking incoming enemy fire with their nunchuk-like shields. In 2006, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was released as one of Wii’s big launch titles, and while we all marvelled at being able to whack a moblin with the flick of our wrist, that big promise… didn’t quite happen.
It kept on not happening, in fact, for most of Wii’s lifespan, and game after game came and went, leaving us wondering whether we’d ever truly see a title that fulfilled all those promises we all dreamed of on launch day. Thankfully, Nintendo were just taking their time putting the finishing touches to Link’s next big adventure, and finally delivered on their ideas with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It may have taken five years to develop, and arrived only a year before Nintendo’s next big console, but if there’s one game that deserves a place in your Wii library, this is it.
I may have had some issues with the story, but I’d be a fool to deny its sheer brilliance when it comes to motion control gaming. With the added support of Wii Motion Plus, this was the game we all wished Twilight Princess had been and more. It may have split Hyrule up into three different sections and ventured slightly more into Metroidvania territory than other Zelda games, but the almost never-ending nature of each “dungeon” was a revelation, and we really hope this particular evolution of the so-called “formula” will continue to be repeated and refined in future titles. It’s also one of the prettiest Zelda games you’ll ever play, not to mention one of the most beautiful Wii games too, and even though Link is still tight-lipped when it comes to uttering his first words, he’s easily the most expressive hero we’ve ever seen in his twenty-five year history.
So if you ever needed a reason to see what all the fuss was about regarding Wii, then Skyward Sword is just what the good doctor ordered– and considering it also comes with a free CD of the 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert, you’d have to be Ganondorf himself not to snap up a gift like that!
Most inevitable for any Nintendo console are its proper Mario titles. Wii would get two, but it’s the first Super Mario Galaxy, released in November of 2007, that started it all off. It was a winning formula, the theme of space– far beyond being merely titular or aesthetic– worked into its core. Here was a platformer that had you trotting around planetoids, often without the (platform-defining?) danger of falling off. Gameplay toyed with gravity in memorable ways, too, and getting cannoned from one sphere to the next proved to be a visually empowering twist on conventional level progression.
Super Mario Galaxy offered all of this with visual and aural aplomb. Sure, Wii didn’t have the horsepower to match its rivals, but it never aimed to– and looking at Mario’s new digs, who could complain? From the hub world to the most distant challenges, Mario’s squeaky-clean universe looked like it had gone through a car wash. Music was also the focus of some deliberation in the Nintendo camp, and a 50-player symphony was the end result.
In the end, Super Mario Galaxy got so much right that it becomes attractive to wonder how many of its elements will become standard for 3D Mario games. When it’s all put together, when you have Wii Remote and Nunchuk in hand, you can’t help but ask: “Where does Mario go from here?”
Pages: 1 2