It’s tough being an owner of the Nintendo Wii. Often looked down upon by ‘real’ gamers because of its waggle gameplay, large catalogue of party/family games, and lack of HD visuals, the Wii is labelled a console for casuals and grandmas. Even though the Wii has some of the best games to be released this generation (such as Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Donkey Kong Country Returns) critics will gladly point out the insane amount of shovel ware in the library.
This unfair criticism has caused many great games to go overlooked. Well, we’re here to point out some great games for the Wii. Unlike most lists, MadWorld, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and Sonic Colors (all great games, by the way) won’t make an appearance. No, these are games that were even severely overlooked, and it is time for those games to shine. Without further ado, my list of top 8 overlooked Wii games:
#8. Batman: The Brave And The Bold – The Video Game
Release Date: September 7th, 2010
Developer: Wayforward Technologies
Genre: Side-scroller beat-‘em up
Sales: 200,000 copies
Why It Is: Practically everyone is familiar with Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham series, but they are not the only ones to develop a great Batman game. Wayforward developed this adaptation of the fun and campy Batman: The Brave And The Bold cartoon. Featuring vibrant 2D sprites, fast paced beat-‘em up action, fun drop-in/drop-out co-op, and DC characters you did not know existed, The Brave And The Bold offers a great time. The difficulty is just right, so anyone can join in on the fun. And with characters like Plastic Man, Clock King, and Bat-Mite, you might find a new favorite character in the DC Universe.
Why It Was Overlooked: Sadly, most people know Batman as a dark, serious, and brooding superhero. It’s likely that when people saw this game, they thought to themselves “this isn’t Batman”. If only more people were familiar with the 1966 TV series or the older comics, then they would know that Batman wasn’t always so serious.
#7. Fire Emblem: Radian Dawn
Release Date: Japan- February 22, 2007; North America- November 11, 2007; Europe- March 14, 2008
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Genre: Tactical role-playing
Sales: 450,000 copies
What It Is: The Wii wouldn’t be a Nintendo system if it didn’t have games that were “Nintendo hard”. Enter Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn—the tenth entry into the long running series. Radiant Dawn plays like any other tactical role-playing game; the battles are turn-based, you move your characters on a grid, insane amount of stats to keep track of, and addictive level-grinding. So what sets Radiant Dawn apart from the competition? Two words, permanent death. That’s right, once a character falls, you can’t revive them. This adds some intensity to the battles, forcing you to carefully plan your every move. Creating the context behind this punishing game is an entertaining story with well written characters.
Why It Was Overlooked: Sometimes being too “Nintendo hard” can be a bad thing. Radiant Dawn will make a tactical genius cry for mercy, but let me tell you, nothing feels better once you triumph over a seemingly impossible battle. Add in the fact that it is a tactical rpg—a genre not too popular in the U.S—and you can see why sales were lagging. I would highly recommend this to any tactition that owns a Wii.
Release Date: Japan- (PS2 exclusive) July 7, 2005; North America- March 30, 2010; Europe- April 9, 2010
Developer: Sega (PS2), Idea Factory (Wii)
Genre: Tactical role-playing; Dating sim
Sales: 80,000 copies
What It Is: Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love is the fifth entry into the series and the only entry to leave Japanese shores.I’m going to try and explain the unique beast of a game to the best of my abilities. The story is told visual novel style, and you will frequently have to reply to whomever you are speaking to. Now, unlike Mass Effect (where you take your time and think about your response), Sakura Wars gives you five seconds to respond (kind of like a real conversation). This conversation system is used to increase your companions trust in you, which makes them better during combat. Despite the turn-based battle system, the combat is really fast paced. We’re not lying when we say that some of these epic battles can last up to one-hour, which is great. With a branching storyline, multiple endings, and beautifully animated cutscenes, you will be replaying Sakura Wars long after it is done. Just in case you are still confused, here is a trailer to view.
Why It Was Overlooked: Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love was released in the West five years after it was released in Japan. Even though it has aged quite well, it may have been too late for a release. Also, I don’t think many Western gamers equate dating sim with epic mech battles. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love is a game that should not be missed, whether you get it for the PS2 or the Wii, you should suit up and deploy this game.
#5. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
Release Date: Japan- October 29, 2009; North America- June 27, 2010; Europe- May 7, 2010
Genre: Shooting gallery
Sales: 360,000 copies
What It Is: Sequel to the N64 title, Sin & Punishment: Star, Successor is an insanely fun shooter. The story deals with Outer Space and Inner Space, and creators watching over the various versions of Earth – yes, the story is very convoluted and makes very little sense. Good thing you won’t be playing Sin & Punishment for the story, but rather the high octane bullet-hell battles. The gun fights are fast-paced, intense, and difficult. Don’t worry though, with enough perseverance you will be able to get through Sin & Punishment: Star Successor.
Why It Was Overlooked: Once again, being Nintendo hard can be the down fall of a great game. It seems like in this day and age, people ignore games that offer even the faintest amount of challenge—which is too bad. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is one of the best shoot-‘em ups released in years.
#4. Trauma Team
Release Date: Japan- June 17, 2010; North America- May 18, 2010
Sales: 150,000 copies
What It Is: Trauma Team is the fourth entry into Atlus’ Trauma Center series. Unlike the other entries of the series (which focused on surgery), Trauma Team has you performing the tasks of first responders, orthopedics, endoscopy, and diagnostics. The story is told from each of the six positions and it ties together very nicely. The game is intense; you are scored based on speed and accuracy. Besides the tight gameplay, the characters are a likeable bunch, and the visuals are very nice. Trauma Team shows gamers that the medical profession can be the basis for a very fun, and a very unique game.
Why It Was Overlooked: Released during May, you would think that Trauma Team would have had some nice sales numbers. Unfortunately, Atlus’ medical simulation franchise has never been a huge hit. Whether it is the difficulty, or gamers thinking that medicine can’t be fun, who knows. We just hope that Atlus isn’t discouraged on making more Trauma Center games.
#3. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Release Date: Japan- October 21, 2010; North America- January 26, 2010; Europe- May 28, 2010
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Sales: 350,000 copies
What It Is: Goichi Suda is perhaps the most overlooked game creator in the video game industry. He creates fun and unique games, but they never get the attention they fully deserve. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is a very rare sequel to one of his games. Taking place three years after the events in No More Heroes, Travis returns to Santa Destroy to find his best friend is murdered. Travis vows revenge and returns to the UAA to reclaim the top spot on the assassin’s leader board. This is classic Suda 51 story telling, filled with crazy bosses, crude humor, and references to games and anime. The gameplay has been improved, and those annoying entry fees are gone.
Why It Was Overlooked: Being a huge Suda 51 fan, it is disappointing that his games never find the success they deserve. But I admit that his games are not for everyone. No More Heros 2 is focused more on style instead of gameplay, and the humor is definitely not for everyone. However, if you are looking for a fun and mature game, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is what you are looking for. Oh, and for anyone that thinks that this would sell better on HD consoles, think again.
#2. Little King’s Story
Release Date: Japan- September 3, 2009; North America- July 21, 2009; Europe- April 24, 2009
Genre: Real-time strategy; Life sim; Role-playing
Sales: 260,000 copies
What It Is: Little King’s Story is the closest thing to a Pikmin game that Wii owners have gotten to (if we disregard the fact that both Pikmin games have been re-released on the system). The story is simple – a timid boy wanders into a mysterious place and discovers a crown that grants him the ability to charm people. He is tasked with making Alpoko into a great kingdom and uniting the surrounding kingdoms into one. A large portion of the game revolves around you gathering resources for Alpoko. In order to do this, you use your citizens to dig and construct. With the various facilities, you can train your citizens and even build shops to help bring in revenue.
Construction isn’t the only thing you do in Little King’s Story, you must also conquer the surrounding kingdoms to expand your rule. You do this via real-time strategy battles. Since the Little King is weak in battle, you must issue commands to your citizens in order to win a battle. It is a fun and light-hearted adventure with a few surprises along the way.
Why It Was Overlooked: You might have overlooked this charming game because it was not titled Pikmin 3. Seriously, if you love the Pikmin series, or want to play a very fun RTS, then Little King’s Story should be in your library.
#1. A Boy and His Blob
Release Date: North America- October 13, 2009; Europe- November 6, 2009
Developers: Wayforward Technologies
Sales: 180,000 copies
What It Is: A Boy and His Blob is a heart-warming and charming game. The story is very simple – a boy and his blob must save Blobolonia from an evil emperor. As you go through the wonderfully drawn levels you will encounter enemies to combat and simple puzzles to solve. Since the boy will die if he touches an enemy, your blob is used during combat. Also, all of the puzzles are solved with your blob’s ability to transform after eating a jellybean. A Boy and His Blob is not as tough as the NES original, but it is a fun and relaxing game that anyone can play.
Why It Was Overlooked: A Boy and His Blob was released during the holiday season of 2009. For owners of multiple consoles, it had to compete with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Demon’s Souls, Borderlands, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Wii owners most likely bought Rabbids Go Home or Wii Fit Plus. It was a matter of launching during a crowded holiday, which is honestly the death of many great games.
Well, there are the top eight games for the Wii that went overlooked. Is there a game that you think we overlooked that should have been on the list? Do you agree or disagree? Just shout it out in the comments section below. And remember, one of these games might become a new favorite if you give it a try.