Top-10 further Wii Games that could have made the Top-10

WiimoteAlright, so I’ve been on a roll recently putting out lists of some of my least favourite games so just for a change of pace, I decided to do a Top-10 now. About two years ago I posted what were my favourite games for the Wii. Immediately after releasing that list though, I wanted to make a second list dedicated to the Wii.

Despite its reputation, I absolutely loved the Wii and it’s become one of my favourite consoles. There were so many awesome and novel games for it and I think the system got hated on more than it honestly deserved. Here are 10 more games for the system which I loved and which could have easily made the Top-10 as well.

Of course in order to remain fair, I will be presenting a Bottom-10 of my least favourite Wii games in the near future. But for now, let’s focus on the positives…

MegaMan910. Mega Man 9

So yes, the classic Mega Man series finally made a comeback on the Wii after a decade long hiatus. I wont lie about the fact that I was genuinely excited for this title. Capcom decided to bring the blue bomber back to his 8-bit roots with a colourful and challenging title. Mega Man 9 was a blast for old school Mega Man fans. The levels were interesting, the music was great and there were even some new and novel ideas, such as including the series’ first ever female Robot Mistress.

At the same time, I did have a lot of pet peeves with this title. For one, I didn’t honestly understand why Capcom thought it was a good idea to downgrade Mega Man’s move-set to not include the Super Shot and, equally disappointingly, they included the useless Mega Man 7 version of Beat the Bird (rather than the Mega Man 5+6 variant who would kick enemies’ asses). Also, while the 8-bit look was cute, I honestly would have preferred a lush animated look for the game and I felt really ripped off when Capcom immediately followed up on the same design for the lacklustre Mega Man 10.

However, my belly aching aside, Mega Man 9 was a great game and a whole lot of fun. It’s just a shame Capcom couldn’t follow through with all their other projects that were due to come out during this console generation, but at least they had one genuine gem in the mix as well.

Nights- Journey of Dreams9. NiGHTS – Journey of Dreams

Sega did something quite unique and released a sequel to their Saturn cult-hit NiGHTS into Dreams on the Wii. I was curious to see what the NiGHTS-experience was like and also eventually played the original (on XBLA) but I have to say NiGHTS was probably one of the most single charming titles for the Wii. In this adventure, you take control of either a boy or a girl travelling to the land of dreams called Nightopia and fly through colourful levels with the help of the strange creature called NiGHTS in an effort to stop the evil designs of Wizeman.

Despite its simplistic gameplay style, NiGHTS is really addicting as a game. It has beautiful music, likeable characters and an atmosphere that can be best described as magical. It’s a true feel-good game.

Obviously, there are some flaws with the game and I will be the first to admit that NiGHTS will probably not appeal for everyone. The game engine for one seems oddly last-generation (even for the Wii) though it’s been used to its fullest in the game’s engine-rendered cutscenes. The voice-cast is a bit of a mixed bag with good performances mixed with pretty lousy ones from the (strangely) British voice-cast. In addition, the segments where you play as the kids in a more traditional 3D platforming environment were just frustrating and tedious and not nearly as much fun as the regular levels.

However, despite its flaws I genuinely loved this game, but it was probably far-fetched to hope to see it on the Top-10.

WarioLandTheShakeDimension8. Wario Land: The Shake Dimension

I’ve been a fan of Wario’s platformer games since I played the original Wario Land on the Game Boy. Understandably, I was also super excited about Wario’s return to his 2D roots with The Shake Dimension (called “Shake It!” in North America). While I favoured New Super Mario Bros. Wii for the actual Top-10, there was one thing where I think Wario Land is objectively superior. The game has a lush, hand-drawn look, something I wish we would see more in traditional 2D platformers (another good example of this is Ducktales: Remastered on the WiiU).

The game is reasonably long with interesting and varied levels. The Wiimote is also put to good use and I even loved the fact that the game brought back some classic Wario Land characters like Captain Syrup. In gameplay content and variety, The Shake Dimension did really shine and I had loads of fun with it.

So why didn’t Wario Land make it to the Top-10? It’s hard for me to say. I suppose it’s possible that I kind of forgot about the game while making the list. Also, to be fair, Wario’s other big title on the Wii, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, did utilise the Wiimote more fully, whereas this title only used it occasionally. It was still an awesome title and definitely recommended.

Bully7. Bully

As a Nintendo fan and as a Grand Theft Auto fan, I of course constantly lament how Rockstar’s flag-ship series always seems to neglect Nintendo’s home-systems. However, I still want to support Rockstar as much as possible, so obviously I ended up getting both of the company’s big titles released for the Wii. Bully was actually one of the first games that I got really long gameplay hours out of on the Wii and (sadly) it is about the closest thing you’ll get to a GTA game on the Wii.

As the neglected and abused kid Jimmy, you traverse the campus of Bullsworth Academy, doing favours for other students, causing mayhem and generally going on very GTA-ish missions. The madness at the school and its immediate surroundings intensify as the game’s surprisingly well-written storyline progresses. Sure, there’s a hefty dose of puerile comedy, but in the end, Jimmy is actually a really likeable protagonist.

Bully kept up the gameplay variety, comedy high and it was a really enjoyable experience when I played it for the first time. However, there were some technical aspects I wasn’t a fan of. The control button layout could be a little awkward at times and I also felt that the first-person aiming controls were somehow surprisingly unresponsive. Also, while the story was great, almost every chapter does end up with Jimmy in a huge slug-fest with multiple opponents which got a little repetitive after a while.

However despite its flaws (and maybe slightly misleading title), Bully was a genuinely awesome game. It perhaps didn’t break any new ground but as a fun, school-themed sand-box/action-adventure title, it brought a lot of joy to me in my early Wii-gaming days.

Broken Sword Shadow Of The Templars The Directors Cut6. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars – Director’s Cut

This was a late addition to the Wii’s games library but one that I was really excited for. As everyone should know, Broken Sword is one of my favourite adventure game series and the first game in the series, in particular, has always been my favourite. The epic tale of American lawyer George Stobbart trying to solve the mystery of a murderer dressed as a clown and getting himself wrapped up in the mystery of the lost Templar treasure has always been one of my favourite adventure game experiences. Due to technical problems involved with running the original game, I greatly appreciated that Revolution Software decided to finally bring the classic game to modern gaming platforms.

The Shadow of the Templars Director’s Cut also added completely new puzzles which was refreshing and actually added a fair bit of challenge to what was originally a very easy adventure game. New segments were also included to add a second B-storyline involving Nico (who was not playable in the original game). These little tweaks add a fair bit of new content to the game so that even people familiar with the game can get something new out of it.

However, the Director’s Cut did also strangely omit some elements of the original game, most notably any instances of gore as well as any of the numerous moments in the game where George could die. I think these were done either to lower the game’s age recommendation or in order to not discourage new gamers, but I felt incredibly conflicted over the censorship exercised here since I personally feel that being able to die is a normal part of the Broken Sword games (especially since it was something that could happen in the first four games).

However, despite these omissions, The Shadow of the Templars is still an awesome and intriguing mystery with many memorable characters, great dialogue and comedy, an excellent soundtrack and generally a lot of fun to be had. Even in this altered form, it’s still one of my favourite adventure games ever.

Manhunt25. Manhunt 2

The original Manhunt has gone down in history as one of the most shit-disturbingly violent games ever, but Manhunt 2 strangely seems to have been ignored by most people. In my opinion, this is a shame, because it seems like a far more interesting title than the original. Manhunt 2 is probably one of the most disturbing games I’ve ever played, where you help a man with amnesia seek his past while having to brutally murder his pursuers in many terrifying ways.

The sheer atmosphere is disturbing enough but the fact that you’re having to hide and then brutally kill people just to make it past the levels just adds to the butt-numbing terror you’ll experience. Every location feels dirty and grimy. And the knowledge that you have to kill people to protect yourself makes it all even more terrifying.

This is the one game where the fact that you have to physically mime the actions you’re doing got almost overwhelming for me. And sure, the Wii version added a red-filter over the scenes to censor most of the violence, you can still clearly make out all the terrible things your character does to his pursuers. No two ways about it, this game is absolute nightmare fodder.

The reason Manhunt didn’t make the Top-10 though was, again, some of its technical flaws. The game engine seems like it came straight from the PS2, some of the flashback levels were honestly a little boring (rather than scary) and in the more difficult levels I started to really get tired of dying over and over again. Regardless, Manhunt 2 is still a truly terrifying game and it would have easily made the Top-10 on those merits alone.

ABoyandHisBlob4. A Boy and His Blob

A remake of the NES cult classic but infinitely superior in every way. In this game, you control a young boy helping an alien blob free his home-world from an evil sludge army. To do this, you have to navigate tricky levels using magic jelly beans which all transform the Blob into something different.

This game has it all, beautiful hand-drawn graphics, nice soothing music, appropriately challenging puzzle-style level design and just a whole lot of cute energy. The game manages to tell a very touching story about the Boy and His Blob and does so without a single word of dialogue said by either character. The most important way this game is better than the original is that it doesn’t suffer from the same cryptic design which made the original borderline unbeatable.

A Boy and His Blob is a sadly under-rated entry for the Wii and a title I wish more people would have played back in the day. It’s all around a solid, interesting and at times challenging title. It’s got a whole lot of charm and could have easily been on the original Top-10.

StrongBadsCoolGame3. Strong Bad’s Cool Game 4 Attractive People

The internet phenomenon known as Strong Bad also had his own game released by TellTale games in five instalments between 2008 and 2009. The amazingly hilarious Flash Cartoon series proved to be extremely enjoyable material for a point and click adventure game.

Rather than having one continuous plot, each instalment of SBCG4AP had its own unique theme which was milked for all its worth with gags and humorous dialogue. The originally two-dimensional flash characters were translated well into a 3D environment and TellTale also used iconic background music from the flash-toons to enhance that Homestar Runner feeling. Also, in vastly more positive comparison to TellTale’s other WiiWare release Tales of Monkey Island (which made the Top-10), Strong Bad’s game didn’t suffer as much from the memory restrictions put in place for WiiWare titles.

My personal favourite chapters were Episodes 2 and 5, Stronbadia the Free and 8-Bit is Enough. Strongbadia the Free featured some of the best puzzles and the most biting satire of war and political imprisonment. 8-Bit is Enough should appeal to even non-Homestar Runner fans as a loving tribute to retro-gaming. Episodes 1 and 4 were also great though both had some weak spots (for Homestar Ruiner the finale; for Dangeresque it was the linear structure). The only chapter of this game that didn’t feel worth-while was the slightly mediocre Baddest of the Bands (Episode 3), but over-all the game was excellent.

This one would have easily made the Top-10, but since I put a cap on downloadable games vs. physical games, Strong Bad didn’t make the cut. Also, compared Tales the game is admittedly much more straight-forward and easy – but it’s not any less enjoyable because of that.

PunchOutWii2. Punch-Out!

This remake/sequel to the classic Nintendo boxing-game series was one of the most delightful surprises on the Wii. Some might feel that a game that imitates the original this closely should be considered instantly inferior (indeed, which is why I hated Street Fighter 4) – but Punch-Out luckily adds so much more to the original game that it manages to stand on its own two feet, even if the gameplay is practically the same as in all prior incarnations of the title.

The pleasant cell-shaded graphic look is excellent and really retains the cartoony feeling of the original. I also have to applaud Nintendo for having all the characters talk in their native languages. I also loved that rather than be just a remake of the NES original, the game also incorporates characters from Super Punch-Out such as Bear Hugger and that cheating, Irish bastard Aran Ryan. The game retains the challenge and fun of the original and in that it’s very succesful as a remake. I also loved the different ethnic variants on the classic Punch-Out music and the cinematic look and animations also give the game a lot of extra life.

There’s honestly not a lot I can fault Punch-Out for. The only negative thing that comes to mind is that the game didn’t really include that many new characters. Disco Kid, as hilarious as he is, was the only one. However, it’s a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent and fun boxing title and a game that could have easily made the original Top-10.

Super Mario Galaxy 21. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Ever since Super Mario 64, I have never been quite as impressed with any of the 3D Mario games since. Super Mario Sunshine of course is rather notorious, but I quite like it and feel its only big weakness is its lack of level variety. Super Mario Galaxy was cinematic, epic and, I may add, even fun to play at times. But it was sorely underwhelming due to its linear stage-structure, frustrating camera-angles, disorienting gameplay and for having a hub-world that was way too complex to navigate (and not really necessary in the very least).

Comparatively, SMG 2 had a lot less flash but it made several minor improvements that honestly made it a vastly superior Mario game. Firstly, the annoying hub-world was removed in favour of straight-forward map-screen which just made it easier to navigate to each level. The camera-angles were a lot more reasonable and did away with the annoying disorientation I suffered from in the original Super Mario Galaxy. Yoshi was fun to use and, generally, I felt the levels were just a whole lot more fun (rather than linear and frustrating as in the first Super Mario Galaxy).

In all, SMG 2 was a better Mario game in every sense of the word. However, it still didn’t offer the freedom of Super Mario 64, the voice-acting and story-telling of Sunshine and it even seemed a bit underwhelming after the epicness of the first Galaxy. It’s easy to see why I was more motivated to pick New Super Mario Bros. Wii for the original Top-10, a straight-forward Mario game with no bullshit, power-ups that carried over to the next level and generally devoid of any huge annoyances. Of course, the comparison is a bit unfair since New SMB Wii is a 2.5D Mario title which necessarily doesn’t need the intricacies of a 3D game and, with Super Mario 3D World, I’ve now started to accept that Nintendo just isn’t going to go back to the open-world design of SM64.

SMG 2 is the best possible game you can come to expect from Nintendo as a direct sequel to a flashy if an unrefined Mario title on the same system. So yes, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is without question the best 3D platformer for the Wii

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