My Top-5 Games for the Wii U, at the moment

I’ve been getting a lot of gameplay out of the Wii U as of late, so I decided to share just what games are currently shaping up to be some of my favourites on the console. This is really just an update on what I’ve been playing but you can perhaps get a sneak peek here into what’s going to be reviewed in the near future…

Sonic_Lost_World5. Sonic Lost World

Sega’s really done good with Sonic’s latest game. It has a solid vibe and I’m also enjoying the general feel, level design and especially the return of some of the classic Sonic bad guys (much more than in Sonic 4). If some of you have had a feeling like Sonic Lost World is very similar to Super Mario Galaxy, I can concur, it pretty much is Super Mario Galaxy 3. The level designs and some of the gravity effects are at the very least highly evocative. Having said that, I think I would actually prefer this game over either of the Galaxy games on the Wii, simply because of the slightly more novel design.

The cutscenes are also excellent. They seemed to have taken a note from Sonic Generations here with a lot more comedy, but with far better writing and voice-acting. That’s one of the two things I’m currently torn on though. The voice-acting is top-notch (amazingly, even Tails sounds good for once) but some of the dialogue teeters on the cartoonish where I’m not always sure if I want to laugh or cringe. However, the pacing of the dialogue is so good I end up laughing either way.

The second thing I’m a little torn on are the controls. They are good by the way, but after 22 years Sonic Team, for whatever reason, decided to dispense with the momentum system and instead replaced it with a RUN-button (further feeding into the feeling of a Mario game in disguise). At any rate the controls and Sonic’s weird powers (which I guess come from Sonic Colors; not sure because I didn’t play it) give this game a solid feeling and playing is just flat-out fun.

I’m not entirely sure this game is gonna last as a favourite of mine, but it’s nice that I actually have a really good platformer to compare Super Mario 3D World when it finally arrives.

DarksidersII4. Darksiders 2

I know this game is anything but new. I bought it used during the summer, after THQ had already closed down and I didn’t even have a lot of time to play it then. I’ve since gotten back to it and I have to say, I really enjoy this one. I’m surprised I’ve stuck with it considering it’s an action-RPG and, frankly, I am not an RPG fan in the least. I guess the simplified stats system helps and the gameplay does require more skill and not just number crunching which is good. I’ve never had to stop playing the game for level grinding which is good.

Obviously, the things that appealed to me most innitially and the reason I bought it in the first place were all the Zelda-esque elements of the game, but thankfully Darksiders 2 isn’t just a rip-off. It has its own clever puzzle solving aspects, a lot of cool acrobatic sections. The fighting teeters between monotonous and fairly exciting. The control layout and the menus could be a bit more convenient, but by now I’ve gotten so used to them that I don’t mind. Rather, I’ve had to wreck my brain trying to wrap my head around the story (I didn’t play Darksiders 1).

Darksiders 2 isn’t an all-out flawless game, but it’s provided me with a lot of entertainment and, I have to say, I really enjoy the milieu despite its, at times, super-heavy biblical references. The game thankfully finds a way to not appear clichéd and burdened by these elements and instead adapts the quite gracefully. The only thing I perhaps miss would be more female characters (though the few that I’ve seen are quite nice) if for no other reason than to off-set the silliness of all the voice-actors competing who sounds like they swallowed the most gravel before heading to the voice-booth.

TheWindWakerHD3. Wind Waker HD

Wind Waker is a strange game. I clearly love it very much, which is why I’ve been excited as all hell to replay it again on the Wii U. At the same time, there’s still that dread of the Triforce fetch quest in the back of my mind right now even though I read that it had been changed for the remake (I’m eagerly waiting to see how). But even if you’re a skeptic, I whole-heartedly recommend Wind Waker.

I think the art-style and the sailing are probably the elements which split opinions the most, but so far I haven’t been bothered with it. Actually, this game might have the best utilisation of the Wii U gamepad so far since you can fiddle around in your inventory or the map-screen while you’re sailing. That means, no pausing and having to stop in the middle of the sea and that I think is something that people who don’t like the sailing that much are going to appreciate. As for the graphics, I rarely judge games by how they look. Wind Waker HD looks amazing, but it was already easily the most beautiful game released for the GameCube – so they didn’t have to alter the look that much. Some people complain that the edge of the cell-shading is no longer there, but I honestly haven’t been missing it.

The most complaints I’ve had so far is just that the layout of the Wii U gamepad is not the same as the GameCube controller and for a long time I kept hitting X instead of B when I wanted to use my sword. However, I’ve now gotten used to it and I think the layout on the Wii U pad works pretty good. Apart from the menus I haven’t used the touch-screen for anything and I also turned off the gyroscope aiming because, quite frankly, it sucks. There’s already two analogue sticks on the pad, I’ll just use those instead.

And oh yeah, real camera control in a Zelda game. Yes!!

NewSMBU2. New Super Mario Bros. U

Those of you who read my review of this game already know how much I was impressed by it. I haven’t had quite so much fun with a new Mario title in a while. Me and my sister played through the game quite effectively and I was just impressed by the sheer variety of locations and enemies.

Also, the play-mechanic was excellent. The little Yoshis and Squirrel outfits all made sure that this game managed to stand on its own despite the very traditional Mario structure. As I mentioned in the review, I think whether you prefer this or New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a matter of taste, but I felt this game dispensed with a lot of the redundancy in New SMB Wii’s design.

When I first played this, I felt that I might be a tad let down my Super Mario 3D World, coming later this year – but rather I’m now taking it as a sign that the Wii U is really the home of my favourite game genre: the platformer. There’s a hefty dose of nostalgia that’s a part of any Mario game, but I’m honestly just glad that this classic gameplay style seems to be catching a second wind after being near-absent for two console generations.

DuckTales_Remastered1. DuckTales: Remastered

Yes, I was that impressed by the remake that it easily is my favourite game on the Wii U right now. A big part of it is nostalgia, but rather nostalgia for the TV show and not as much for the game. Yet the game is still excellent. This is the type of game I wanted to see a long time ago and I honestly wish Capcom owes up to their promise to remake more of their NES Disney titles. I know they will probably not be as epic as this one, but I definitely encourage them to do it.

Perhaps one of the more ludicrous complaints I’ve heard about the Remake are the complaints about the story and how the game tried to explain the premise of the NES title. For whatever reason, people think that’s a bad thing. I’ve never heard anything more moronic in my life. If the game hadn’t made the extensions to its original design, added a storyline and voice-acting, what reason would there had been to remake the game in the first place? I think this is the worst kind of regressionism I’ve heard from the nostalgia hounds.

This game is so much fun I’ve played through it multiple times. Sure, it’s a little short, but it’s so well-crafted I honestly don’t mind. The high production value, especially for a downloadable game, just gives it that extra “Umpf!” to make it absolutely brilliant. Of course, I’m waiting for that BIG Wii U title to eventually take its place, but for now, it’s just fun to have a classic gameplay experience and wax nostalgic on Nintendo’s latest console.