Mega Man 9/10
With over 50 titles to his name, Capcom's Mega Man is one of the most prolific and best-loved heroes of the 8-bit era, and continues to inspire fan-love through updated series such as Mega Man Battle Network and Legends. Sorry, did we say love? We meant incessant, intolerable grumbling, with newer entries in the series encountering mixed receptions from the public at large and incurring frequent cancellation.
And all told, we've little sympathy for those who wanted to see their beloved Blue Bomber go down the Sonic route. Until you've mastered the retro-rebirth charms of Mega Mans 9 and 10, in which NES-era charm meets the sadistic cutting-edge of 21st-century level design, you can just pretend the series ended sometime during the SNES era. And with two full-sized, download-priced games' worth of challenge every bit as engaging and daunting as any of Mega Man's 80s adventures, that ought to keep fans quiet for a while yet.
For its WiiWare debut, XBLA superstar developer RedLynx (of the acclaimed Trials series) offered a twist on its usual motocross fare. Gone were the realistically-proportioned human racers negotiating almost-feasible arenas; in their place came a rambunctious 4WD adventure that retained Trials' physics-centric time-trial play.
Designed from the ground up for a Nintendo audience, any knee-jerk assumptions that Wii players is another word for wimps will be banished after a few hours striving for MotoHeroz' gold-medal rewards. Turns out RedLynx has just as much love/hate for those impossible old NES games as the rest of us.
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People
Nowadays, you know Telltale Games as the household-name developer of serialized adventures like The Walking Dead and Back to the Future; but back in 2008 the company was still building its brand with licenses like Bone and CSI. We should've known the San Rafael upstart had its sights set on weirder fare when it paired with proto-memetic online cartoon Homestar Runner to release a series of episodes based around the show's fan favorite, Strong Bad.
The Cool Game for Attractive People - you want to be one of those, right? - offers five episodes' worth of subversive fun that's a bit like Monkey Island laced with geek-friendly Internet humor from the early days of Web 2.0. If that all sounds a little meta for your tastes, there's also Telltale's Monkey Island reboot.
Do you like Tetris? Good to know, but hey, do you like parties also? Well gee buddy, that's just great, because here's Hudson Soft with a Tetris game that's built for parties. What kind of parties might one expect the seminal Russian puzzler to initiate? You may be surprised.
Besides the obvious sit-on-your-keister-sorting-falling-blocks challenge that's conjured by the word Tetris (and possibly banished by the word Party), Tetris Party incorporates numerous online and local multiplayer modes to keep things fresh. These include speed challenges, worldwide Hudson-organized tournaments, and full-body, I-can't-believe-it's-healthy gameplay which utilizes the forwards-compatible Wii Balance Board.
Platform puzzler Toki Tori has been quietly building steam since 1994, when MSX developer Fony offered a tight little computer-style platformer called Eggbert up into the world. Despite failing to unseat Mario or Sonic, Eggbert's adventure had enough traction that when Fony staff reformed as Two Tribes BV, the newly-minted developer elected to revisit its creation with Game Boy Color title Toki Tori.
A populace enamored of the brand-new Game Boy Advance--not to mention somewhat distracted on the game's original launch date of September 12, 2001--let the title sink into semi-obscurity, from which point it spent the next decade clawing its way back to prominence. Skip forward to now and the authentically taxing platformer has an enthusiastic following across a wealth of platforms, of which the Wii's 2.5D iteration is one of the strongest.
World of Goo
If you didn't pick up World of Goo when it came offered as part of the premiere Humble Indie Bundle, right your error immediately with prompt purchase and enthusiastic embrace of this uniquely addictive architecture-puzzler.
Yes indeed, you might start World of Goo expecting a diverting jaunt through a gelatinous fantasy realm; but before you know it, you're immersed in a reality-bending story of living blobs trapped inside a sentient spam-filter, fighting for escape by teaching you to become a master of structural engineering. By the time you've rescued the adorable little gummies from any number of dire fates, you'll have a new respect for the struggles of architects and jellybeans alike.
Raise our a-ware-ness now!
There's 15 titles you can safely get stuck into immediately, but what other games have piqued your interest? WiiWare veterans, which other titles ought Nintendo converts pick up on their first weekend with the Wii U?