As the leaves begin their inexorable metamorphosis from drab green to a cornucopia of reds, yellows and oranges, so too does the Wii library gain momentum and titles worth playing into the winter months and beyond.
Well, at least that’s what Nintendo and its third party developers want us to believe. Here’s what we at Infendo agree are probably going to be the best of the best for the fall.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
We’re sacrificing a bit of the incredible physics that have been demonstrated on the horsepower systems with this first Wii title, but it’s got moxie*, baby (*see also: waggle). Still, it’s an ambitious cross-platform title from LucasArts, graphics be damned, and the Star Wars brand means it will sell pretty well. Pros? No Clone Wars pseudo-anime graphics, motion controls. Cons? No 1:1 lightsaber battles; those motion controls could be accomplished with a button press.
Deadly insects and arachnids fighting it out beneath our feet, with a final boss that’s all-but-confirmed to be a human being? Just call me a citizen insect soldier and point me towards the fray (or the nearest retail store for my copy). Add in the fact that the buzz is relatively positive (Wired, Infendo, etc), and this creepy crawler adventure fighter makes the list, easy.
Worthy of Miyamoto? The first “true” third party effort on the Wii? Lofty rhetoric to be sure, but this game might just pull it all off. And it does it all with the skill of a Pixar film: vibrant colors and characters for the kids, and a “hidden” storyline and game play that the adults can really sink their teeth into.
Our own overlord Blake Snow has openly gushed while gleaming the cube in this capable challenger to the Tony Hawk skating empire. It’s with good reason, too. The EA title looks sharp and plays with a combination of waggle, motion and balance. Nice combo. Time to shotgun a Mountain Dew!
Guitar Hero World Tour
Not content to be Rock Band with cymbals, Guitar Hero World Tour is also bringing a slew of new bands to the rhythm game front, not to mention a song creation mode that could further blur the line between legitimate musicians and the frat guys I see banging out pseudo-tunes down at the local watering hole. Just be prepared for microtransatctions.
Who said there’s no more life left in the World War II FPS genre? Not the guys behind Call of Duty, that’s for sure! In this, the fifth installment in the Call of Duty franchise, Wii owners get their very own version and a seat a the table previously reserved for Xbox 360 and PS3 owners. If developers can pull of better-than-Metroid Prime 3 FPS controls, the Wii version could very well be a tipping point for the genre on consoles.
Wario Land: Shake It
A personal favorite of mine, and the generous spread in Nintendo Power this month only made the waiting that much harder to handle. Gorgeous 2-D platforming? Check. Slick, insanely detailed characters animations? Check. Unobtrusive motion controls? Check. Flatulence? What do you think–it’s a Wario title.
Mega Man 9
The personal love-in for Wii’s looming 8-bit wunderkind continues in this list with a hat tip to Mega Man 9. Not much more to say on it, other than what’s been said on Infendo already, aside from the fact that this is an inevitable day one download for thousands of people.
From the vibrant 2-D worlds of Wario and Rockman we travel to the black and white ultraviolence fest that is MadWorld. Jarring transition? That’s the point. It’s especially apt (and jarring, again) considering you can dispatch foes with pretty much everything at hand in this game, including road signs. Hands-on impressions have been positive, and we can’t wait for the inevitable backlash. It will only drive sales higher.
So what if EA and the Rock Band folks kick Wii owners in the nads with a half-assed port of Rock Band earlier this summer? I still won’t be buying it, but that doesn’t mean it won’t sell well on the Wii. Having multiple rhythm games available will only strengthen competition (Konami included), making the genre better (and cheaper?) for everyone.
Since Punch-Out is out to lunch on the Wii for now, we’ll take EA’s Facebreaker. Number one Infendo community requested feature that didn’t make the cut? The ability to put my face on your opponent and unload.
More third party Wii love? No kidding. Imagine that. One previewer called the build at PAX a cross between fungus and The Force Unleashed (I paraphrase, naturally). In fact, the motion controls and IR pointing made the game feel like what Unleashed should have been. A character who uses the Force and the fungus? Sounds like a fungi to me.
Dishonorable Mention (as per Blake’s recommendation): Wii Music
The last “best game” in the Wii lineup this fall is Wii Music. Major suckage? Perhaps, but then again it’s not aimed at readers of this blog or even a majority of the Internet’s outspoken denizens. The cheesy, cringe inducing E3 keynote was just beginning–just wait until the Japanese “demo” videos circulating the Net right now get Westernized and applied to television. You can bet Oprah and a bunch of onstage kids are going to be waving their arms frantically in tune with Yankee Doodle in the not so distant future. Thank the maker for the Mute button, but sales will be brisk nevertheless.
Editor’s Note: By all means, suggest away! This list is by no means meant to be a comprehensive list of Wii games. Which ones would you add, and why?