2012 was a pretty rough year for Wii. Admittedly, last year was pretty rough too, but at least 2011 saw the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Xenoblade Chronicles take back some much needed attention toward the latter end of the calender. 2012, on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as action-packed. In fact, these past twelve months have been so bleak that you don’t even need ten fingers to count all of Wii’s major releases. But despite being few in number, there were still a handful of releases that stood head and shoulders above the rest, so let’s cut to the (very fine) chase and reveal our top Wii games of 2012!
BEST WII GAME
The Last Story
Yes, yes, we know you were expecting Xenoblade Chronicles here, but let’s not forget that Xenoblade scooped up a plentiful supply of awards last year, including Best Wii Game Runner-Up and Best Game of 2012 Runner-Up. As a result, we thought it was only fair that we’d give other games a chance this year, so instead the crown for Best Wii Game of 2012 goes to its very worthy Operation Rainfall bedfellow, The Last Story.
This was a game that dared to be different. For starters, Mistwalker and Final Fantasy grand-daddy Hironobu Sakaguchi decided to make it for Wii over its considerably more powerful HD rivals (something which The Last Story would no doubt have benefited from), but it also shook up the JRPG genre with its infusion of real-time strategy that rewarded prudence over power. This was no war of attrition against stats and level-grinding; this was fast-flowing action that just kept on giving, and its loveable cast of characters only made it even more memorable. Its story-telling is some of the finest you’ll ever see on Wii, and its attention to detail is simply astonishing. From the hustle and bustle of main hub Lazulis City to the deepest, darkest Reptid caverns, The Last Story is a joy to play from start to finish, and we can only hope that this is anything but the last story we’ll see from Mistwalker in the future.
- See the full Nintendojo Review.
BEST WII GAME RUNNERS-UP
Rhythm Heaven Fever
“Wuzza-wubba-dub-is-that-true!?” Yep, it’s the one, the only, Rhythm Heaven Fever! Of course, the usual response to the sight of a rhythm game on a Best Of list is normally one of casual dismay, but while Rhythm Heaven Fever‘s presence here may indeed be a telling sign of Wii’s rapid demise, this really was a rhythm game like no other. If you look up the definition of “pure joy” in a dictionary, you’d find Rhythm Heaven Fever right next to it, no question. Go on, we dare you, we’ll wait. Had a look yet? Okay, so maybe it doesn’t say it in so many words, but we’d be hard-pushed to find a game that oozed more charm and sheer delight than this one. Flip-flopping dancing seals? Check. Baboons and chimps helping you play golf? Double check. Cats and dogs playing badminton while flying planes in the sky? Oh, you betcha. It may not have offered the Japanese tracks alongside the English ones (at least in North America), but you’d be a tambourine-tapping fool to miss out on one of the funniest games you’ll play all year.
- See the Nintendojo Review.
Kirby’s Dream Collection
This isn’t the last compilation title to appear on this list, but few can deny the charm of our favourite pink puff ball. To celebrate Kirby’s 20th anniversary, Nintendo packaged together six of his earliest titles, from Kirby’s Dream Land right through to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and even bundled in a soundtrack for good measure. It was the perfect package for any Kirby fan, or at least those in North America, as Kirby clearly didn’t have enough puff left in him to make it across the Atlantic as well for his birthday party over in Europe… A fair trade for the next game in our Honourable Mentions, perhaps? Let us know in the comments below!
This European-only dungeon-crawler was three parts Zelda with a dash of Castlevania and a whole load of Shadow of the Colossus-style boss battles, but ultimately was let down by slightly lacklustre combat and repetitive back-tracking. Still, despite being the least-favoured Operation Rainfall title, it helped plugged a hole in Wii’s ever-decreasing release schedule (or at least it did for some of us across the pond!).
The BIT.TRIP games are all excellent in their own right, but having them altogether in one disc was just too good to resist, especially if you missed the BIT.TRIP train when they first arrived on WiiWare. This wasn’t any ordinary compilation package, though. With a full soundtrack, online leaderboards and lots of extra bonus challenge modes, this was the ultimate guide to everything CommanderVideo.
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Do you agree with our choices? Vote for which game you think should be number one, or choose “Other” and tell us in the comments below!