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Eight amazing games that prove Wii isn't dead

Wii is the punching bag of the games industry, regularly (though not undeservedly) saddled with the “kiddie crap” moniker and more associated with forgettable shovelware than legitimately good games. Those of us who own and actively play Wii obviously don’t share this view, but it’s almost impossible to read any piece of Wii news, be it feature, review or just straight reporting, without weeding out the “Wii sux who cares” crowd.

This point of view is not without its place, but suddenly there’s an interesting twist: Wii is surprisingly strong right now, even without counting surefire Nintendo hits like New Super Mario Bros Wii. Listed here are four recently released, top quality titles available only for this system, plus four on the way that collectively make a strong case for buying (or hanging onto) your neglected hardware.


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DEAD SPACE EXTRACTION (EA)

When EA announced a sequel to Dead Space, everyone was understandably excited. The first game was one of 2008’s most popular titles, selling over a million copies and, in a sense, showed the gaming community EA was capable of creating a strong new property instead of belching out barely improved sequels. A few months later, EA revealed the sequel was going to be an on-rails shooter like House of the Dead, and would be exclusive to Wii. Um, what?

Surprisingly, Extraction turned out to be much more than a repetitive shooting gallery. Its senses-shattering, guerrilla-style presentation made the game more of an intense film experience than an arcade blaster, easily outshining every other game in this genre in terms of oppressive atmosphere. Far more importantly, EA stayed true to the series’ gory reputation, with a nonstop barrage of horrifying, traumatic events that really make you feel for the poor survivors scrambling to stay alive.


Above: Lots of eye contact, camera movement and genuine shock

Extraction also manages to avoid the “it looks good… for a Wii game” curse by just plain looking good. Smart lighting, camera placement and emphasis on face/character animation make this pop off the screen more than most other titles on the system.

Our review: A heart-pounding thrillride the likes of which Wii have never seen [8/10]


MURAMASA: THE DEMON BLADE (Ignition Entertainment)

Wii is not the usual home to hardcore niche titles, nor is it thought of as a system capable of generating lavish visuals. In complete contrast to this stands Muramasa, a game that manages to offer some of the most beautiful scenes of any 2009 title while simultaneously providing a fast, frantic and immensely fun battle system fit for lifelong gamers or those eager to play something other than a lame party game.


Above: Stunning to behold even without 720p

Developer Vanillaware is known for its gorgeously animated action titles, a proud tradition most commonly associated with Saturn’s Princess Crown and PS2’s Odin Sphere. Muramasa is no less exceptional in this regard, proving that Wii is not incapable of dropping our jaw. All it takes is a developer who cares… and avoids motion controls by letting us use the GameCube or Classic Controllers instead.

Our review: Devil May Cry meets Castle Crashers in this stunningly animated slasher [8/10]


SWORDS AND SOLDIERS (Ronimo Games)

This is reaching back a few months (er, well, into June) but we feel this slipped past everyone except those reviewing it. That seems to be par for the course when it comes to WiiWare, as there are plenty of unique, entertaining options there that routinely drift into nothingness because they lack any kind of marketing push. Truly baffling, as Swords and Soldiers is one of the most colorful, addicting titles on the system.


Above: So, we hear it’s pretty good

The general idea is to push your enemies back along the horizontal plane until you kill ‘em all. It’s sort of like a 2D RTS mixed with the candy-colored visuals of Castle Crashers or Fat Princess. Soldiers also happens to be a WiiWare exclusive and slathered with praise from just about every gaming outlet on the planet – certainly not your typical kiddy fare.

Our review: It’s a Clash of the Inane Titans in one of the best WiiWare games yet [9/10]


A BOY AND HIS BLOB (Majesco)

It would be exceedingly generous to call the NES Boy and His Blob a “classic,” as we imagine most people reading this article either rarely played it, or never even knew it existed. Strange then to see a revival 20 years later, done in such a caring, charming manner that it almost feels like a AAA tentpole release instead of a game tossed to the holiday season wolves.

 

Above: So cute it’s… insert some cliched reference

Granted, Blob fits the Wii stereotype of being super cutesy and ostensibly for children or families, but underneath the captivating animation is a remarkable puzzle/action game that would stand out on any platform. We’re a bit baffled as to why it supports the Classic Controller but not GameCube though.

Our review: Still working on it, though the handful of published scores on Metacritic all fall in the high-7, low-8 range. Sounds lovely to us.

Next page: Four still-to-come Wii games that’ll have you playing well into next summer

We Recommend

45 comments

  • guiarherodrummer1998 - December 12, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    The Wii is the only game system i have. But after having playing PS3 and Xbox 360 at friend's houses. I have come to realize that the console is becoming a family-friendly party game crap-magnet, which is no surprise. I haven't looked in a store and thought to myself, "That game looks awesome" unless it was a Guitar Hero Game, a Mario game, or a de Blob look-a-like. It's all sorta blah. I mean come on, game party?! BLECHK. That is one of those games that you rent and its good for about a week but then you return it happily because you realize that it isn't a good game at all really because the graphics sucked. I really do wish that Nintendo would gain rights to Microsoft's more common first person shooters like Halo and Gears of War. It would do us preteens some good. If it did eventually become dead, then that would really suck. it means well, and the controls are fun, but the party games stink up the graphics side and the overall "funness." PLEASE, NINTENDO, STOP ALLOWING SO MANY THIRD-RATE PARTY GAMES TO TAKE OVER YOUR CONSOLE!!! HOPE MUST REMAIN FOR THE WII! (sobs) (clears throat) YOu know what I mean...
  • Kytl - November 2, 2009 1:54 a.m.

    the Wii was dead?then why have i been excited by a lot of games and have been playing it for these last few years? man theres still a lot of games i still want for it
  • Hellhunter97 - October 20, 2009 12:07 a.m.

    The Wii sucks its dead. Nintendo should just move on and make another system. I have a Wii and barely play it becuz the games get boring and the multiplayer sucks. also the controls suck, the graphics suck, and the games suck. Im not a nintendo hater but im still saying the Wii sucks. my first system wuz a gamecube and i think that is awesome. I have 2 admit tho Brawl is a fun game.
  • shpongled - October 19, 2009 5:20 a.m.

    The Wii is proof that Nintendo have totally lost the plot imo. So in amongst the vast pile of crap that's released for it there may be some games worth playing? Woop-de-do. They'll still look crap on my HD panel, this is 2009 not 1999. The fact that an article like this is needed proves the point.
  • Luigifreak - October 18, 2009 10:17 p.m.

    What about Super Mario Galaxy 2? That game will be the best Wii game that Nintendo has ever put out.
  • DavidMacphail - October 18, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    I'm looking forward to Super Mario Galaxy 2 but other than that there's practically nothing. The Wii is really underperforming in the AAA exclusives department - especially compared to the PS3 ATM.
  • Willy105 - October 17, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    I am hyped up for The Crystal Bearers!!!! And yeah, the Wii is an epically awesome console. I feel sorry for those that don't own one, or even worse, own one but not buy any games for it.
  • teytarik - October 17, 2009 11:07 a.m.

    Isn't anyone excited of the upcoming Monster Hunter..man that game really saved me money( no time for other games) n is the 2nd longest game i've spent playing..n still going 2 bad i have no Wii..O_o
  • dreamgor - October 17, 2009 8:21 a.m.

    ... i knew that wii will not die before any other console XD srsly i skipped through the entire TVC article because i thought it would be only for ps3 and XB360 as almost all other good fighting games... i want muramasa NOW! why hasn't it come in europe yet:(
  • CatrParrot - October 17, 2009 4:51 a.m.

    It's a damn shame Muramasa will end up a cult classic rather than a success. *sigh* If only Nintendo of America did something to promote it.
  • Harmonator - October 17, 2009 3:04 a.m.

    funny... I could've sworn you guys would've put another "You should have bought Okami" in there...
  • asdfer - October 17, 2009 2:29 a.m.

    they already have a zelda for wii when are they gona make a freakig kirby game?!
  • Stefan372 - October 16, 2009 4:04 a.m.

    ehh still not really enough to get me to play my wii again... im actually surprised that i still have it but yea i owuld be more interested if i was younger but 4 now ill just say nah
  • RamenDragon - October 16, 2009 1:07 a.m.

    Am I the only one who really has lost all desire to play anything on the Wii? I just don't want to hold that stupid controller.
  • fionnoh - October 15, 2009 4:51 p.m.

    people think the wii is dead? i hadn't heard, i was to busy not complaining about games i've never played. on a similar note, i didn't know about swords and soldiers or and yet it moves, i must check them out.
  • zanthox - October 15, 2009 4:38 p.m.

    NHM and Zelda are all the Wii exists for >.> Well, for people that anything else that plays games, anyway. Even when there are games I would like to play on Wii there is something "better" that keeps me from bothering.
  • monojono - October 15, 2009 4:14 p.m.

    You should definitely add lost winds 2 to this list.
  • Satu - October 15, 2009 3:07 p.m.

    Perhaps this indicates that the Wii has been renaimated, as it were. However, that would make it undead... meaning it needs a good headshot.
  • DavidMacphail - October 15, 2009 2:51 p.m.

    I own a Nintendo Wii but if i'm totally honest - not a single game on that list interests me.
  • rxb - October 15, 2009 12:57 p.m.

    20.180 Billion damage? thats massive. Its crazy two massive Wii games on the same day.

Showing 1-20 of 45 comments

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