Yo Adrian, we did it!
After deliberation and a few fist fights, we’ve narrowed down a year of Wii software into a list of the ten best.
Each staff member submitted ten picks, each of which was assigned points. From those picks, we totaled the points and chiseled out an overall top ten. We’ll be doing the same for the DS list.
Last year’s list is still available, in case you missed it. Otherwise, Infendo presents our democratically elected list of the ten best Wii games of 2008.
And like Apollo said, there ain’t gonna be no rematch!
10. Wario Land: Shake It!
They say old habits die hard, which is perhaps the best explanation for Wario Land: Shake It! on Wii. It revives the 2D platformer with traditionally smooth gameplay, inventive level design and beautiful hand-drawn animations. Several console generations have passed since this genre peaked, but Wario’s classic feel proves the “flat-former” still has juice in the tank.
After all, who needs polygons?
9. Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip
I’m still not convinced the Balance Board isn’t a one-trick gimmick, but Shaun White Snowboarding is actually better on Wii because of the surprisingly fun foot-controls. Road Trip looks as good as it plays, too, sporting flashy visual effects and terrific stylization.
There’s no online, tragically, but its four-player multiplayer is as party-ready as the system’s most raucous offerings.
8. No More Heroes
Travis Touchdown kills people. He’s an assassin who dreams of becoming the world’s top-ranked executioner, but Travis isn’t interested in the glory. He’s only doing it for the promised prize of intimacy with a shapely con-artist.
Bizarre? We’ve barely scratched the surface of No More Heroes, a deliciously unique action game with some of the most satisfying motion controls on Wii.
WiiWare could have justifiably been renamed “Wii-Where Are The Games?” until LostWinds hit the service in May. A gorgeous platformer more engaging than some retail games, LostWinds challenges players to harness the power of wind with the Wii Remote and help Toku save his island village from an invading evil.
Sure, the story isn’t original, but the game plays great and has infinite charm.
6. Boom Blox, de Blob
For sixth place, we have a split decision!
Things got weird at the Infendo offices after Boom Blox released. We’d arrive in the morning and find David playing it through bloodshot eyes and stacks of empty Red Bull cans. He’d flinch once in a while, too, and occasionally mutter nonsense.
As his addiction may suggest, Boom Blox rules. It’s one of the cleverest ideas to hit the Wii this year.
It’s fitting that THQ’s de Blob would release alongside Wario Land, as the prior provides a modern contrast to the latter’s old-school approach.
But between the two, de Blob stole the show. It’s rife with fun platforming, of course, but it also gives creative control to the player, allowing you to decide what colors you will use to force out the evil Inkt Corporation and bring your grey environment back to life.
In de Blob, the world is a canvas.
An ancient demon has cursed the land, and the goddess Amaterasu has taken the form of a legendary white wolf to defeat him. Okami shares much in common with the Legend of Zelda games, including puzzle-solving and combat, and its artistic presentation is staggering.
Brought to Wii with added pointer controls, it’s more epic and engaging than ever. And it’s the best game you’ve never played.
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
You could play Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the rest of your life, and you still might not find everything it has to offer. Smash Bros. shines because it merges a simple concept and fun gameplay, and Brawl shines because it layers upon that an inconceivable amount of modes, collectibles, statistics and challenges, tasks you’ll return to due to the game’s addictive simplicity.
Brawl is a work of absolute genius.
3. Guitar Hero: World Tour
A heated political discussion once prompted an out-debated peer to shout “socialist” in my direction, yet even I would admit competition has brought out the best in Guitar Hero. World Tour answered the Rock Band threat by delivering a better product and encouraging pseudo-guitarists to start a pseudo-band.
The result is, hands down, one the most enjoyable multiplayer Wii games of the year.
2. World of Goo
Two guys made World of Goo, so we experimented at Infendo to see what we could create with such numbers.
Blake and Jack made a volcano that erupts when you pour vinegar into it. Jake and Will made a spaghetti strainer out of an oil funnel. Sean and I marveled over each others’ red hair, and David played Boom Blox.
Two dudes. We’re impressed.
1. Mario Kart Wii
Honestly, Mario Kart Wii is unique among “game of the year” nods given by Infendo in the past, because upon its arrival, it didn’t blow us away the same way last year’s winner Super Mario Galaxy did.
But if you boil down the criteria and consider the best game of the year the one from which you’ve gained the most joy and to which you’ve returned for more fun than any other, Mario Kart Wii is this year’s clear victor.
Agree? Disagree? Share your own list in the comments.