Do you have a gut-feeling Wiiware’s run its course? Nintendo’s admitted the service didn’t soar as planned and they hope to correct their mistakes with the 3DS eshop. I wouldn’t write the channel off yet; I’m sure good product will arrive for download between now and Project CafÃ©, but lately the Virtual Console has re-taken the spotlight with the long-awaited port of Chrono Trigger.
Wiiware has certainly delivered great titles. World of Goo, Cave Story, Max and the Magic Marker, The Bit Trip series, Lost Winds, Swords and Soldiers, Warioware Showcase and Tetris Party represent just a few of the highlights. Then there’s Dr. Mario Rx–one of Wii’s best games in any format.
Many great games, however, were unjustly ignored or just too quirky for most people to wrap their minds around. Those are the games I still like to revisit from time to time.
My two underdog favorites have two things in common: Both provided a lot of fun, shared gametime with family, and both used the Wiimote to fantastic effect–and in completely different ways.
The director of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark brings us…barbershop action! It’s kind of like Jenga, Kerplunk, Harvest Moon, and…actually, it’s like no other game on the planet. In the most innovative use of the controller ever, you wield the Wiimote like a pair of scissors, pressing B to clip. And it feels perfect…indescribably “just right” and believable.
So, naturally, you open a small town barbershop and in march a parade of goofball plant life, all with unique personalities, and all requesting a particular hair (leaf) style. You do your best to follow a template, but the darn veggies’ greenery is interconnected just like real foliage, and one wrong clip can be hilariously catastrophic, resulting in one pissed-off client.
Trust me on this one: Thanks to its humor and lifelike physics, this game is a thousand times more fun than it sounds.
WILD WEST GUNS
Not quite a true underdog, as it stayed on Wiiware’s best-seller charts for a long spell, but this perfectly-playing shooting gallery is a lot better than it got credit for. And it deserves special mention for one huge reason:
It’s the best shooting gallery-style game on Wii. Think about it: Why didn’t Wii have more quality games in this category? No other console in history was more perfect for shooting gallery play. Where was Point Blank? Virtua Cop? Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman and Hogan’s Alley, for crying out loud?
So, thank goodness for Wild West Guns. Placing you in the role of New-Sheriff-In-Town, this title features solid accuracy, interactive scenery, varied goals, excellent two-player mode, plus impressive Wild West music and narration. It’s as good as the best high-tech shooting gallery at your local theme park. Okay, not as good as Toy Story Mania, but then…nothing is (the ride, not the so-so Wii version).
So, how about you? Of all the titles to arrive on Wiiware so far, do you have any personal favorites’maybe obscure ones’you still return to?