Round Table: Wii’s Not-So-Forgotten Gems

There are other special Wii games, you know…

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 09/29/2012 10:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Luke Brown

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a superb example of a developer taking an innovative idea and using it not just as a gimmick, but integrating it into the core gameplay experience absolutely seamlessly. Not one element of any level feels out of keeping with the materials theme. From volcanoes which spew out molten string to a giant teddy bear who needs stitching back together, the consistency of the design choices is simply amazing. Some of the stages are just breathtaking, too, from the heart-warming Christmas-themed Cozy Cabin to the neon lit ambience of Deep Deep Dive; they’re all a joy to behold. I have vowed to play through Snow Land with my children on Christmas Eve every year until I am old, grey and my fingers are too riddled with arthritis for me to be able to hold the Wii controller.

This game embraces everything that I love about Kirby and Nintendo. Yes, it is incredibly cutesy and you can progress through almost all of the levels very easily. However, to get 100% completion and locate all of the beads necessary to obtain all of the medals is a different story. Furthermore, the game does not shy away from it’s fluffy, twee roots. Kirby puffs out his chest, stands tall and embraces them.

I could play this game all day and never tire of it, so I implore you to experience the game for yourselves. It’s the video game equivalent of ice-cream sundaes, chasing rainbows and shooting stars-Kirby’s Epic Yarn will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside and for that it should be regarded as one of Wii’s finest moments.

Po-Yi Ho

The first game you play on a newly opened system is always special. No, I didn’t play Wii Sports first. Instead, because Wii was sold out at launch, I waited grueling months before I played Super Paper Mario.

Boy, I was in for a treat. I poured thirty some hours into this game, double the length of the average play through which many claimed has no replay value whatsoever. I can safely say I also laughed for thirty some hours while playing this game too. Although Super Paper Mario didn’t innovate with the motion control capabilities of the Wii Remote, it innovated everywhere else. The graphic style retains the quirky charm of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and also adds a magical touch of grandeur that combines hilariously with the casual, spontaneous story. The audio, although not as memorable as it could have been, injects even more humor and energy into the game as well.

All this is backdrop to the phenomenal gameplay. This game teaches a masterclass in taking the core game mechanics from established genres and fusing them to create something exhilarating. While playing the game, I knew I was playing what could be a 2D Mario platformer. Mario jumps in the same way he always does; jumping on enemies feels the same as it always does… but at the same time, I also knew I was playing one of Intelligent System’s flagship Paper Mario series. Real time role playing mechanics? Check. Seriously weird side kicks? Check. Inexplicable fun? Of course. No other game quite combines genres with such dexterity. The age old Mario jump mechanic plays like new using different side kicks while the familiar role playing combat also evolves with real time action. By the end of the thirty hour journey, I felt like I have completed a platformer. I also felt like I had created a character, named the character, given him equipment, and increased his stats as if I was playing a role playing game. Of course, I did none of that. I was just playing Super Paper Mario.

Super Paper Mario embodies what makes Wii, Wii: it’s got character, and for that reason, it’s one of the most important Wii games in my collection. Oh, and there’s no doubt that it’s also the funniest.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 Box Art

Mel Turnquist

There were several Wii games that I absolutely adore for several reasons. However, there was one that has held a special place in my heart more than any other and surprisingly, it’s not the game most people would think. While I do consider myself the resident Kirby fangirl, there’s one game that stands out far more than Kirby’s Epic Yarn and that game is the sequel to Super Mario Galaxy which is, quite obviously, Super Mario Galaxy 2.

SMG 2 is the closest thing to a perfect Wii game that you may find. All the issues that you had with the first game were almost all addressed. Wonky camera? Here’s a camera which works competently. Too easy? Here, have a challenge for you! Not satisfied with 120 stars? How about 120 GREEN stars, which are also all the more difficult?! Wanted to play as Luigi? Halfway through the game, look who joins you! And, of course, everybody’s favorite dinosaur joins in on the fun: Yoshi! It just takes the Super Mario Galaxy A+ work and makes it into A++. And the music? Oh, the music is just as fabulous as it was in the first game. While nothing stands out quite like Gusty Garden Galaxy, there are a few that come very close.

I’ll admit that I am a little bit biased and that this is more of a sentimental pick than any other one here, as the day this game came out was the day after I graduated college. I got up early the next morning to go out and buy this game. I spent the rest of the day playing it but the soundtrack and the game itself always makes me think of my graduation and how great that entire week was for me.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl box art

Adam Sorice

While it may not cross the minds of many when discussing the richest experiences on Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the game that holds more memories for me than any other. Sure, it lacks the tightened linear focus, immersive narrative or sheer singular objective of the Marios, Zeldas and Metroids of Wii’s library but what it offers up in spades instead is a living museum of Nintendo history, all pitted against one each other in a ricochet of nostalgia, explosions, in-jokes and mayhem.

I’ve discussed in the past why Smash Bros. as a franchise is something truly unique and special in terms of the fighting genre but many of those thoughts about its specialness relate to why it was so brilliant on Wii overall. Few other games offered as much content, as many challenges (I still haven’t collected all the stickers and trophies and at this rate probably never will) or as many giddy, hilarious, heartbreaking, triumphant or downright memorable moments as Smash Bros. can. Brawl put the icing on the cake of this formula (cakes have formulas, it’s called food science shhhh) with the mammoth “Sub Space Emissary” adventure mode, and all-encompassing characters with Sonic and Snake along for the ride and a score that paid homage to every blip and squirk since the genesis of gaming.

In short, Nintendo is Smash Bros. and Smash Bros. is Nintendo; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There you have it. Okay, so nearly 50% of this round table consists of Mario games, but you can’t deny the man makes a pretty stellar game! The question now, however, is whether we included your favourite Wii game on the list! Is there another big title you think everyone should buy before Wii U strikes? Let us know in the comments below! And remember, you can also catch up on all this week’s content right here— we wouldn’t want you missing out on all our other forgotten Wii gems now, would we? So embrace your Wii, readers, because come Monday it’ll be Wii U central here…

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3 Responses to “Round Table: Wii’s Not-So-Forgotten Gems”

  • 1245 points
    lukas85 says...

    Metroid Prime Trilogy
    Xenoblade Chronicles
    The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess

    Thumb up 0
  • 240 points
    Windy says...

    Xenoblade Chronicles was absolutely my favorite RPG of all Time. When I first Fired that up my Jaw hit the floor. I could not believe what I was seeing. I am enjoying Last Story Quite a bit also even though it’s still an FF rails RPG. I find myself really liking the online play of Last Story where I didn’t think I would. But it’s a neat mix of Final Fantasy meets Call of duty :)

    Thumb up 0
    • 7 points
      Katharine Byrne says...

      Mine too, Windy! If I could have written about two games, Xenoblade would have definitely made the list! XD Also glad to hear you’re enjoying The Last Story as well. It’s one of my favourite games so far this year!

      Thumb up 0

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