As Wii’s generation enters its final days in Australia, I thought I’d take a look back at every Wii game I ever paid for (so far) and decide whether or not they were worth the purchase.
I purchased Wii Play on launch day, alongside Zelda Twilight Princess and Wii Sports. Essentially a collection of mini games to show off what the Wii remote could do, it also came packed with a second Wii remote, essential on launch day. Stand out “games” for me at the time were table tennis and tanks. Later down the track my room mate and I really got stuck into some drunken laser hockey, and found a bit of fun in the billiards mini game- once you learnt the controls, billiards was actually quite fun. I wouldn’t pay for it now, even with a bonus Wii remote- but when I paid $70 for it in 2006 I had a second remote and a few fun little games to play. Worth the purchase? Because it came bundled with a Wii Remote, YES.
Rayman Raving Rabbids
A purchase again quite close to launch day, Raving Rabbids was another collection of mini games that introduced to the world to the mischievous and outrageous Rabbids. Standout mini games include a Simon clone where you would have to memorise sounds and patterns and then repeat them by pointing the Wii remote at the screen and clicking on the correct Rabbid. Another standout includes the cow throwing mini game which required you to spin a cow around lasoo style and throw it as far as possible. Unfortunately amid some cute and fun little games, a poor user interface and not being able to go to the game you wanted quickly really let it down. Worth the purchase? At $69, NO.
The promise of pointing at the screen to shoot and moving around using motion controls was exciting for Wii owners- it seemed to be what the controller was destined to do. Red Steel suffered from a poor framerate and clunky controls- and Wii owners and the gaming media were not kind. I personally think it copped a bit more flak than it deserved- it was the first game of its kind and Ubisoft really had some good ideas (at launch, no less). Worth the purchase? At $70, NO.
Warioware: Smooth Moves
Warioware on Gamecube would have to be one of my most played games on Nintendo’s little purple box. Smooth Moves made a big mistake by not focusing on 2 or 4 at a time multiplayer (players had to share a single Wii remote) and just too many game modes. The game tried to do too much, but used the Wii remote in fun and inventive ways. Trying to get my friends to understand the concept was a challenge- games that last for a few seconds and rarely offer a second chance to get it right is not everyone’s idea of a good time- but for me and a few friends who got it, Warioware: Smooth Moves was great fun. Where’s the MotionPlus sequel, Nintendo? Worth the purchase? At $70, YES.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Smash Bros. Melee got absolutely played to death on my Gamecube, so the anticipation for the Wii sequel was sky high. Purchased as a birthday present to myself, SSBB is still one of my favourite Wii games. Four players on screen at once duking it out as one of your favourite Nintendo characters (as well as Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog) just can’t be beat. Smash Bros. is a fighting game you either love or hate, and I (and thankfully my room mates) love it. Worth The Purchase? YES. And I’d pay $70 for it today.
Metroid Prime 3
Metroid Prime was one of Gamecube’s best games, (shame about the backtracking, confusion inducing Metroid Prime 2) and Metroid Prime 3 showed how to use the Wii remote in a first person shooter next to perfectly. Moody and atmospheric, MP3 was all about exploring and cataloguing the environment- it was that kind of game where the more you put in the more you got back. It also showed the world what Wii could do in terms of graphics and control. Worth the purchase? At $79, YES.
Worms Battle Islands
Worms Armageddon on the N64 was one of the best uses of the 64’s controller, and definitely the best Worms game ever. Battle Islands brings most of that fun back to Wii, after the dissappointingWorms: A Space Odddity. While the controls take some getting used to, spend an hour with it and Worms Battle Islands becomes the best Worms experience on the current gen machines. Worth the purchase? At $20, YES.
Battalion Wars 2
Battalion Wars 2 came at a time where the masses were crying out for a Wii game with story and substance, rather than just another in the (what seemed at the time) barrage of crappy mini games compliations and terrible ports of older games with tacked on Wii controls. This phenomena gave rise to the industry term “shovelware”. I’ve written about BW2 at length before, and aside from some occasionally shaky controls the game delivers a fun and unique military strategy/action game that should have sold better. Where’s BW3, Nintendo? Worth the purchase? I picked it up at K-Mart for $30, YES.
I technically didn’t buy this game, I was given it by a friend who acquired it using points earned in a promotion, and thought he was doing me a favour. You want all first party Wii games in your collection, don’t you? He said. Well, i thought I did- but Wii Music is probably the most notorious let down of this generation, especially considering Nintendo showcased it as an innovative use of the Wii control scheme. It’s just really terrible, and after giving it an hour or so I just thought- I can’t do this. Sorry Nintendo. I’m not really. Worth the purchase? At zero dollars, NO.
Grand Slam Tennis
Grand Slam Tennis is the best tennis video game ever. I base that statement on impeccable controls and sweet, cartoony graphics. And I don’t care. No other tennis game has since come close in terms of pure fun and playability. Here is another Wii game where if you are willing to spend half an hour learning the controls and realising the nuances, Grand Slam Tennis is the is the ideal level up to the Wii Sports tennis experience. Check out what rustyshell wrote about the game here, and buy it.Grand Slam Tennis 2 is coming for the HD consoles, but MotionPlus comes into its own here. It’s best played with four players locally, and my friends and I are still playing it today. Worth the purchase? At $70 with a MotionPlus dongle, YES.
NiGHTS Journey Of Dreams
After buying a Saturn off eBay in my since abandoned quest to own every games console ever released in Australia, I had been a fan of NiGHTS. I, like many fans, was eagerly awaiting the release of the Wii exclusive NiGHTS Journey Of Dreams. Despite mediocre reviews, I picked the game up on release day, but I could not find it anywhere for less than $99.95. So I paid $99.95- the most I had ever paid for a game. Journey of Dreams was true to the orginal NiGHTS’ flying adventure action, but included some silly platforming/puzzle levels where you had to play as human children- they controlled badly and the camera system frustrated. Despite some cool level design and fun boss battles, I was disappointed as many were with this version of NiGHTS, but still I’m optimistic about a return to glory for SEGA’s weird little asexual mascot in the future. Here’s hoping he makes an appearance in the next Smash Bros. game, too. Worth The Purchase? At nearly a hundred bucks, NO.
I was among the 8 billion people who purchased Wii Fit on launch day, I remember a kid screaming at his mother “He’s got Wii Fit!” as I carried it out to my car after forking out $120 at my local EB Games. The exercises were fun and it taught you yoga (kind of), but there was no real way to string together a workout or play the mini games in multiplayer, and this disappointed me and many others. Standout for me was the hula hooping, as well as the soccer heading mini-game which I still think is one of the most fun mini-games on any platform right now. Worth The Purchase? The balance board is well made and I still use it today, so YES.
Games depicting extreme violence are a rarity when it comes to Wii exclusives- but MadWorld bought it in droves. Not to mention the course language and vile black humour. MadWorld from SEGA was a black and white kill fest, a bit repetitive but still a lot of fun. We wrote more about it here but it’s definitely worth playing through- it should only take you an afternoon. Greg Proops and John DiMaggio commentate the action. And swear. A lot. Worth the purchase? At $54, YES.
No More Heroes
No More Heroes is another oddity on Wii- a violent (although the Australian version had no blood) and funny third person action game that made inventive use of the Wii remote. It’s basically hack and slash- but the wry humour and over the top boss fights made it good fun. The hub world was widely criticised for being lifeless and too hard to traverse- looking back today I would have to agree. I still had a great deal of fun with No More Heroes- it was (and is) different, and that’s ok with me. Worth the purchase? For $60, YES.
Prior to its release, The Conduit was promising the best looking and best controlling first person shooter on Wii. On those fronts it delivered, but the lack of a real cohesive story or any variety in the game play or environments put many people off. I reckon people were a little tough on the game- I thought they delivered on graphics and the fully customisable control and HUD were welcome additions. rustyshell wrote more about The Conduit here, and a sequel was release in 2011. Worth the purchase? At $70, I’m still going to say YES.
Wii Fit Plus
A $30 upgrade for those who had the original Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus bought new mini games, exercises and the ability to put together a workout routine to the table. Snowball fight was my favourite mini game, but like the original Wii Fit, if you wanted to put in the time to make it a legitimate weight loss/fitness tool, it could deliver on that front too. Worth the purchase? At $29, YES.
Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing
The next best thing to Mario Kart on Wii, S&SASR was let down by the inability to put together a multiplayer grand prix or “best of this many tracks” session. A deal breaker for me in an otherwise stellar game, I played this on PS3, Wii and DS and I would have to say the PS3 version is the best, simply because the graphics are better- it’s the same game otherwise. You CAN play as your Mii in the Wii version, although after being distracted for a few weeks, me and my friends always go back to Mario Kart Wii. Worth the purchase? NO. Just buy Mario Kart Wii.
Mario Strikers Charged
I never played Mario Strikers on Gamecube, and I was a late adopter of the Wii iteration too. It’s not really soccer, but the graphics are nice and it controls really well. I think it’s best with two players rather than 4- the action can get pretty frantic- but there is some fun to be had here. You can easily pick it up and do ok against more seasoned players- kind of a given with the Nintendo local multiplayer experience. The ability to choose your team and the tactical aspects add to gameplay depth. Some of my not so Wii friendly friends really enjoyed it too. Worth the purchase? I paid $30 and it’s the only Wii game i ever bought off eBay. YES.
Tatsunoko VS. Capcom Ultimate All Stars
Wii was in need of a serious 2D fighting game contender, and it came courtesy of Ultimate All Stars. Watching the videos on YouTube before its release, I was dying to get my hands on this game even though it was unclear at the time whether it was coming to Australia or not. Thankfully it did, and although I never got up to the standard of incredible gameplay seen on those YouTube clips, my friends and I had a blast playing this nonetheless. I reckon it’s better than Street Fighter 4. Assist OK! Worth the purchase? I paid $79 and it’s not much cheaper today, but YES.
Boom Blox Bash Party
I love a good puzzle game, and after missing the first Boom Blox, I saw the critically acclaimed Bash Party in Big W for $30. I played it with my mates and it was a bit of fun- throw objects at collections of blocks and try to knock them down. Similar in concept to Angry Birds yet not quite as addictive, Boom Blox Bash Party can still be picked up for $20 or so- it’s not a bad puzzle game with some good multiplayer components and heaps of variety.Worth the purchase? YES.
Another mini game collection for Wii but this time from Nintendo themselves. There’s tonnes of games to choose from, so many I did not get through nearly all of them. There’s heaps of game modes and some are quite fun- there’s a horse racing game that’s quite re-playable as well as some other stand outs here and there- but nothing like a Wii Sports Resort bowling or table tennis. Wii Party is not on my regular rotation, but I’m sure given the sheer number of mini games and mode to choose from everyone could find something they liked. Worth the purchase? At $69 on release, NO.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
One of the best and most difficult platformers of this generation, Donkey Kong Country Returns is a must play Wii title. I went into my local EB Games the day before I knew it was supposed to be released and asked for a copy. The young attendant went out the back to look for it, brought a box back to the counter and opened it. Inside were several copies of DKCR and he was about to scan it and give it to me when some other EB staff jerk came over and said “No, we can’t give that to you until tomorrow”. Annoyed, I made up a story about Target having it on display and them being cheaper- I just wanted to buy it here and support EB as they were dedicated to games only. It didn’t work, so I had to go back the next day and hand over my $69. It was worth the wait. Donkey Kong Country Returns is pretty, difficult and a lot of fun. Get it. Worth the purchase? YES.
Don’t confuse this with Monopoly Streets, Monopoly is the 2008 version based purely (besides some silly, optional mini-games) on the original board game. One of my friends is a Monopoly nut, and I bought this as kind of a joke to play with him so I would not have to sit at the kitchen table for eight hours over a game of Simpsons Monopoly. It turns out it’s quite fun- faster moving than the board game and it eliminates any chance of cheating. No one has to be the banker and everything runs smoothly. My Monopoly loving friend brought the PS3 version and I’m happy to say he and I agree- the Wii version is much better, thanks to smoother point and click controls. Worth the purchase? I paid $30. YES. If you love Monopoly, double YES.
Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 With Top Shot
Forget the clunky and badly controlled campaign mode, the shooting galleries are where it’s at in Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010. I saw this on sale at Big W for $39 and seeing as it had a cool looking shotgun peripheral and I had been looking for a “Buck Hunter” game for a while, I picked it up. The single player first person mode sucks, but the shooting galleries are a lot of fun and I had my friends arguing over who’s turn it was next and which was more fun- shooting at ducks flying over a lake, or lions running across a desert plane. Clip your Wii remote and nunchuck into the top shot peripheral and you’re away. It’s an arcade in your lounge room. Nearly. Worth the purchase? YES.
Red Steel 2
After a disappointing first entry in the franchise, Ubisoft took a gamble with Red Steel 2. Moving completely away from the premise of the original, Red Steel 2 throws players into a whole new environment and time. Best described as a samurai western, Red Steel 2 showed the world what a third party developer could do with MotionPlus. It takes a while to get used to the controls and get your character to behave the way you want him to, but this is definitely one of Wii’s best first person shooters. It controls great, runs at 60 frames a second, and is a lot of fun. I even had my non-Wii loving friends playing it after walking past and being intrigued with the distinct graphical style. I have since seen this in K-Mart and Big W for $30 with MotionPlus. Bargain. Worth the purchase? YES.
Worms: A Space Oddity
An unfortunate mis step by developer Team 17 in the usually fun and accessible Worms franchise, A Space Oddity suffered from bad controls and a clunky user interface that rendered the game unplayable. It was to be a few years until the much much better Worms: Battle Islands arrived on Wii. Thanks goodness I only paid $30 for it, not long after it’s release, either. Worth the purchase? You just can’t play it. NO.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Mario Galaxy 2 is the best platformer ever made and also one of the best video games ever made, full stop. All gamers should experience Nintendo’s masterpiece, no more to be said.Worth The Purchase? YES.
I paid $50 for DJ Hero and thought I was getting a bargain. Sure it was a fun, if not accurate, representation of what it’s like to be a superstar DJ. There was some fun to be had and my mates gave it ago- but it really catered to a niche audience, of which I was not a part. It’s no surprise really that Activision has discontinued the franchise. It was a good concept and used a cool turntable peripheral- but definitely not for me. Worth the purchase? I would hate to have paid $120 for it when it was first released,but even at $50, NO.
Super Mario Galaxy
An example of gaming perfection, Mario Galaxy simply must be played. I remember the first time I jumped in Nintendo’s mesmerising new Mario adventure and I was hooked. Everything looked amazing and the controls felt spot on and strangely intuitive. How Nintendo managed to fuse tried and true Mario game play with a mind bending new leap forward is nothing short of genius. Worth the purchase? 120 times YES.
Dead Space Extraction
As far as on rail shooters go, as much as I want to like them, I haven’t enjoyed any since Time Crisis 3. Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles sucked badly, and I never played House Of Dead: Overkill, so after hearing rave reviews for Dead Space Extraction I was keen to give it a go. I waited for quite a while after release, and picked it up quite cheap. An involving story, combined with some creepy monsters to kill with spot on point-and-shoot controls make Dead Space Extraction certainly Wii’s best on rails shooter, if not the best this generation. Take that, The Shoot. Worth the purchase? At $30, YES.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Ditching the clunky hub world of the original and replacing the 3D “side quests” with bizzarre 8-Bit 2D mini games, NMH2 fixes nearly everything people complained about in the first game. Better graphics, a more cohesive mission and support for the classic controller (still no camera control though). Combine these with gratuitous amounts of blood and NMH2 really delivers one of the most unique and fun Wii exclusives. When I picked this up for $30 I was cheering- and although I think it was mostly overlooked by the game buying public, much like a lot of mature Wii games, I’d still recommend giving it a run through- especially if you were a fan of the original. Worth the purchase? YES.
Disaster: Day Of Crisis
Despite some crappy graphics and laughable voice acting and dialogue, Disaster: Day Of Crisis, published by Nintendo, is still quite good fun. Again released at a time when Wii was crying out for games with some substance to the story or a real campaign mode, DDOC is a third person action game that combines shooting and driving mechanics, and puts the Wii controller to a variety of good uses. Playing it through now, it does look rather dated and you can’t imagine how Wii owners were excited for this game, but still it’s unique and a bit of fun if you’re looking for a change from the norm. Worth the purchase? I paid $24 because I had heard about it and was curious, but any more and I’d have to say NO.
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart Wii is the best iteration of the franchise and the best cartoon racing game ever. A great online component combined with the best 4 player action around, Mario Kart Wii is a must have for any Wii owner. rustyshell has written more on it here, and also has a guide for beginners and parents to get good, so there’s not much more I can say than my friends and I keep coming back toMario Kart Wii- and I can’t wait for the 3DS version, much less the inevitable Wii U edition. Worth the purchase? I paid $79 but I’d have paid $179. YES.
New Super Mario Bros Wii
A new 2D Mario game was a long time coming, an NSMBW didn’t disappoint. I thought the game was best played with 2 players- 4 was just too crazy and tended to frustrate me as I waited for inept players to hurry up along the courses. Top notch music, decent graphics and that tried and true Mario Bros. game play all combine to deliver one of Wii’s overall best experiences. I paid full price- $79, and to buy it new these day’s it’s not much cheaper. Get it. Worth the purchase? YES.
Mythmakers Super Kart GP
A couple of mates bought me this (I still hope it was as a joke) with an inflatable kart with a steering wheel for docking a Wii remote and playing games such as Mario Kart Wii, and unfortunately, Mythmakers Super Kart GP. I played this game for about ten seconds. I would have posted a pic of the inflatable kart but my nieces broke it. This is probably the worst example of a Mario Kart clone I have ever seen. Worth the purchase? At zero dollars, still NO.
Super Paper Mario
I never played any of the previous Paper Mario titles, but I still really enjoyed Super Paper Mario. Tricky puzzles including switching between a 2D and 3D plane, as well as light RPG elements made for a thoroughly entertaining ride. Although I never finished the quest, I can now see why the franchise is such a success. Worth the purchase? YES. I might finish it one day.
. . .
So there they are. I’ll admit I read reviews and turn to gamerankings.com like it’s the bible, but I’d love to hear about some hidden gems or any Wii games you think are worth a buy.
You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU
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