Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Eternal Darkness is more than just a horror game, a genre painfully lacking in non-Resident Evil representation on Wii. It is a psychological thriller in the truest sense. Developed by Silicon Knights, Eternal Darkness transcends horror stereotypes to deliver genuine scares and thrills to the player, sometimes reaching beyond the confines of the television screen and into the real world. I won’t spoil anything by going into specifics, but rest assured that if you play this game alone in the dark with the volume turned up, your heart will race, your eyes will wander and your body will leap out of its chair. On several occasions, in fact. Blake and Scott both recommended this one on Saturday, and so have the majority of critics who’ve played it. You need to play this game.
Super Mario Sunshine
Now that Super Mario Galaxy has reinvigorated platform gaming and brought Mario back into the spotlight, Sunshine stands perfectly suited for the Wii audience. Perhaps one of Nintendo’s most unfairly overlooked games, Sunshine takes Mario on a well-deserved vacation to tropical Isle Delfino, but unfortunately for the portly plumber, Bowser isn’t far behind. Sunshine follows the same basic structure as Galaxy; Mario visits ten unique Delfino locales, each with a challenging series of Shine Sprites to collect. One of the most colorful, vibrant GameCube titles ever made, Sunshine still looks stunning in 480p on Wii, and its classic platforming gameplay is as much fun today as it was in 2002.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
While anticipation for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl reaches ludicrous levels of lunacy, Wii owners ignorant about the hype would do well to pick up Melee. While the original N64 classic Super Smash Bros. set the blueprint for Nintendo’s mascot brawling franchise, Melee set the standard. It offers 25 characters from Nintendo games past and present, as well as 18 character-themed stages for them to pummel each other upon. Add great music, huge modes and infinite unlockables, and you just start to get to the core of what makes Melee so special. There are a few quality fighters available for Wii, but none of them can touch the massive depth, sheer multiplayer appeal and addictive nature of Melee. Until, of course, Brawl hits in a few weeks.
Metroid Prime/Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
While their once smooth gameplay has lost a step to the remarkable controls afforded by Wii in Metroid Prime 3, the first two Metroid Prime games are as perfect a gaming experience as one could hope for. They chronicle the first two chapters of the epic story of universal Phazon corruption, as concluded on Wii last August. Though there is virtually no dialogue and minimal cut-scenes, both games offer a compelling story for those invested in the action. They also boast unparalleled atmosphere, unguided exploration with a real sense of traversal and lots of intense first-person combat. New Metroid fans unable to wait for the franchise’s next step, as well as “hardcore” Wii gamers looking for more Corruption-like experiences, shouldn’t even think twice.
There is a reason long-time Nintendo fans have been calling on Shigeru Miyamoto to bring his Pikmin series to Wii. If there were ever a Nintendo franchise capable of bringing out the best of the Wii hardware, it is Pikmin. Players assume the role of Captain Olimar, who has crash landed on a strange planet. If he wants to get back home, he’ll need the help of the Pikmin, small Elebits-like creatures with different abilities based on their color. These are beautifully assembled adventure games with lots of strategy and puzzle elements sprinkled throughout, and they are still one of the most fun, engaging options on Wii. Pikmin is the type of game new Wii owners owe it to themselves to play.
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Kart is coming to Wii sometime this year, but given Nintendo’s track record of delaying hit titles, Wii owners shouldn’t hold their breath. Thankfully, Double Dash is the same awesome, raucous time it was on GameCube. And if you thought you had a great time with multiplayer Wii Sports sessions, just wait until you fire up Mario Kart. Players choose two characters among nearly 20 from across the Nintendo pantheon, pick a vehicle and hit the road, racing on 16 wacky, well-designed courses. Double Dash was harshly scrutinized when it released in 2003, but something was lost in the reviews and criticisms; Double Dash is an absolute blast with friends and really brings a gaming party to life, the embodiment of much of the Wii spirit. Every console needs a little Mario Kart.
For those who want a more intense racing experience than Mario Kart can provide and have already had their fill of Excite Truck and Nitrobike, there simply isn’t a better option on Wii than F-Zero GX. One of the fastest racers ever made, the futuristic F-Zero GX moves along at light-speed as players maneuver blazingly fast hover-craft through massive alien worlds, each with unpredictable twists and turns that even the most seasoned racer will find challenging. F-Zero GX offers lots of unlockables, insane difficulty, a challenging single-player mode, a garage for craft customization and more. “Hardcore” Wii gamers willing to put their twitch-reflexes to the test should look no further than F-Zero GX.
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Wii has been praised for getting players active and making gaming a more physical endeavor. But long before Wii-elbow was pandemic, Nintendo was increasing heart rates with one of its most beloved icons, Donkey Kong. In Jungle Beat, players control DK through massive jungle environments similar to the classic Donkey Kong Country series. Only this time, there is no directional pad or analog stick; DK is controlled entirely by the DK Bongos. Players must pound the drums to move and jump, and clap to collect bananas. One of the most physical Nintendo games ever, Jungle Beat boasts gorgeous environments, detailed character models, great level design and ingenious boss battles. It was also developed by the same team responsible for Super Mario Galaxy, which is kind of a big deal.
Design mastermind Suda 51 and his Grasshopper Manufacture development studio have gained notoriety on Wii for their recent avant-garde gaming statement, No More Heroes. It provided one of the most unique, exhilarating and mature experiences on the console, and garnered Suda 51 some new fans in the process. Those new to the genius of Suda 51 would be well-rewarded to check out Killer 7. In this psychotic piece of adventure gaming, players control seven unique assassins on a mission to eradicate the Heaven Smile, an inhuman (literally) terrorist group, through wickedly surreal cel-shaded environments. Wii gamers mesmerized by the alluring insanity of No More Heroes will be shocked to find that Suda’s latest work is almost mainstream when compared to the irreverent, indescribable Killer 7.
So there you have it. That’s our take on which GameCube games are still relevant and worth buying for the Wii owner who missed out the first time and is looking for some great experiences on Wii. Did we miss any? Any disputes? Let us know in the comments.