Whelp, it’s already here. On November 18th, the Wii U ushered in a new generation of Nintendo hardware, and I’m very excited. Once again, we have a new controller that will deliver different experiences – but as we all know only niche developers and Nintendo will do something about it. Third parties? Haha don’t make me laugh, seriously.
Oh, where was I again? Oh right, this. Welcome to the first ever Pietriots’ “Best Of” list dedicated to just one console. Hate it blindly all you want, that little box that could gave me (and the rest of the Pietriots contributing to this fun list) a lot of fun times. Sure, it wasn’t flawless, but then again what system is? Speaking of, am I going to be forced to do another system update for my HD twins? I hope not, because I want to play my games, not waiting for god knows how many minutes to update stupid shit.
Anyway, on with the show!
GREATEST WII GAME
Matto – Well crap, that’s a tough one. The greatest Wii game should obviously go to Xenoblade Chronicles. In our current generation of games, not a single game could be a perfect balance of J and WRPGs. On the “J” side, we have a great cast of characters that are not angsty and unlikeable (why hello there Final Fantasy XIII); on the “W” side, we have customization and a game that doesn’t need millions of downloadable patches to work. Congrats Monolith Soft and Nintendo, you delivered an RPG that should hopefully set the standard for RPG games on Wii U.
However, I would just love to give a big giant ‘fuck you’ to the game journalists and “fans” who complained about it being on a “non-HD” console or refused to buy it from Nintendo’s online store or GameStop. You deserve to be angry over the latter? You never were going to support the game in the first place.
Second choice for best Wii game is Super Mario Galaxy 2. Not only did the director go on to make Super Mario 3D Land (which is the 3DS version of Anti-Depressants, according to one Japanese fan after the devastating earthquake last year), but it made Mario Galaxy better, when Mario Galaxy was pretty much a masterpiece. Screw those purple coin challenges though.
Grubdog – Xenoblade Chronicles for me too, and it’s not a hard choice. It’s the best game ever made on anything, both on a technical level and a personal one. I’m in love with the environments and characters, and the way the world throbs and blossoms with life and energy. I also love the robust gameplay system that lets you approach battles in different ways. The game is amazing to the point it gives me shivers when I play. The way the incredible looking places connect with the music gives me a sense of wonder that I’m part of something bigger. Not just a big place or event; but a work of perfection and passion. This game has the best music I’ve ever heard anywhere in anything. I remember everything about the game. I remember the all-nighter I pulled when I had work the next day, but I sat there doing every single quest in Alcamoth until 5am. Then I went to work and still had energy because I was still thinking about Xenoblade, customers in my warehouse all had exclamation points above their heads. When I was done with the available quests I still talked to people again anyway. It’s a game where you can just stand there and enjoy it. Everybody is important, even if they have one line of dialogue; because they feel connected and everything is coherent. 200 hours has never flown by so fast, some RPGs I’d be begging to end about halfway through (Tales games) but I never even thought about the time while playing Xenoblade Chronicles. I just wanted to play, to be there.
Infernal Monkey – Continuing the Monolith Soft love fest, I’m going to have to go with Disaster: Day of Crisis. Yeah, it was rough around the edges and carries the unfortunate baggage of raging Reggie-hatred, but damn if it wasn’t one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had this generation. Disaster knew it was completely over-the-top, and ran with it. Outrunning a freakin’ tsunami, entering a quiet park only to suddenly deal with a fire tornado out of nowhere, surfing flooded city streets on pieces of debris while a helicopter tries to shoot you down, fighting a BEAR. ROBOTS. NUKES.
Holy shit, it just kept ramping things up in the absurd factor. I couldn’t wait to see what it would throw at me next. Disaster: Day of Crisis was just pure fun; the best theme park ride ever.
RABicle – Any answer for best Wii game that isn’t Wii Sports Resort is wrong. One time my housemates and I came back from a party to find two of our younger sisters (don’t ask, Western Australia is like this) had broken into our house, drunk our booze but failed to leave the scene of the crime because they were playing the basketball game on Wii Sports Resort. So what did we do? Join them in drunken gaming for the next 3 hours of course. But what is really special about Wii Sports Resort is that it’s a timeless game. You can have an obsession with archery, play the shit out of it, inflict it on all your friends and then forget about it only to come back a year later determined to become the table tennis champ. The fevor one can develop for the game is all the more impressive when you consider it is after everyone has recovered from their Wii Sports related shoulder and elbow injuries of 2007.
In decades to come, when Wii becomes an antique object, it will be remembered as a groundbreaking motion controlled console that anyone could play and was at it’s best multiplayer. It’ll be a game like Wii Sports Resort that people point to as an embodiment of that. It’s the game that every shovelware game compilation should have been, and evidence enough that Nintendo know something about game development that the others don’t.
Pro Daisy – Wii Sports. “Wii would like to play” and destroy your precious nerd pastime. How dare Nintendo use a tech demo to change the course, map, and vessel of TV gaming for a good part of the last generation. There’s very little to say about the “gameplay” because it’s stupidly straightforward: play by playing. “Real” sports action! Casual simulation! A game even GRANDMA can play! It isn’t an annual shooter nor an annual phone launch; just a genuine idea that you can play games with others near you thru physical expression, divided into activities that encouraged us to explore some wireless Twinkie that many still insist isn’t a “proper” controller. Wii Sports’ influence on the business and the community cannot be understated. I didn’t touch Wii Sports after Xmas 2006, but it still gave me a feeling that things were never going to be the same again.
Traditional sports games suddenly lost some attraction (lol Madden) and action gaming suddenly needed motion (without careful thought). The early Wii sales trends were enough to make companies dedicate separate resources to produce ripoffs/spinoffs/experiments/whatnot that had a tendency to be some of the worst products in their respective histories. FFS, 3rd Parties didn’t do themselves any favors when the quality of their Wii offerings fell below the previous generation’s standards. How could they let that happen? Why didn’t they do a better job supporting the “market leader”? If a new generation of new excuses was their goal, they undoubtedly succeeded.
Wii Sports was a prologue to how things went weird last-gen, how the industry didn’t turn out the way many expected, how fortunes did not flow down the right paths, leading from development pain to certain financial death. No, we would never have that era of prosperous and innovative HD gaming dominated by 2 media giants supported by the healthiest 3rd Party market in the industry’s history (they hoped). Hell no. Nintendo inconceivably “discovered” a “market leading” userbase without depending on a mysteriously absent “PS2 audience” to come back and rescue gaming (the companies that desperately waited have already suffered or perished).
It used to be “happy fun” to make games and write about games, until the industry elite just lost their minds. After the launch buzz wore off, publisher and developer and journalist alike expressed hostility toward regular people for buying into Nintendo’s simple-fun megaton mini-games. Game makers: “Wii caught us off-guard, but we don’t really want make games for Nintendo’s customers (ever), so let’s rush these ripoffs/spinoffs out the door.” Gaming press: “Our readership is dwindling and the new Wii owners won’t read our reviews (ever), so we’d better write angrier nonsense and tell whoever’s left that new customers are hurting video games.” SURE, GUY (or that one woman). That’ll fix everything.
Wii’s bubble did burst – splattering all over the place. But no, it never washed off; never comes off easily. Just ask Move and Kinect.
Mike - Super Smash Bros Brawl. Definitely the best Metal Gear Solid game on Wii. I had a lot of fun taking photos of Snake kicking butt, he’s such a badass and really puts these silly Nintendo characters into perspective. They just didn’t feel like they belonged. It was hard to play without using the jump button (Snake doesn’t jump, I’m an authentic gamer) but still worth it. If only I could use my Dual Shock.
Charles - Charles, here. Oh dear; choosing a good Wii game proved more difficult than I thought. Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop was the closest thing I could find that was similar Sega’s Yakuza masterpiece. Dead Rising was admittedly poor in every department, but I trust Capcom had good intentions. It had some waggle and a few zombies if I recall, so I imagine it did well to satisfy the casual audience throughout the console’s life.
WORST WII GAME
Matto – While I would be a massive dick not to link our fantastic (?) Third Party Wall of Shame, I have to pick one, or in this case like the “Greatest” pick two that were equally awful. First awful game would be Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll. Aside from that horrible DS game, the Monkey Ball franchise had smooth sailing from its first installment on the GameCube to the first Wii entry. Then Sega dropped this turd with uninspired level design and horrible Balance Board controls. What the fuck Sega?!
The second is Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. What better way to celebrate and remake Resident Evil 2 by turning into… a rail shooter. Hey guys, hey, there was this game called Resident Evil 4: WII EDITION. Remember Resident Evil 4? Oh wait, the guy behind that quit your company, I forgot… anyway, while Umbrella Chronicles wasn’t too overly special, it was competent in being a rail shooter. In this game, we get “The Blair Witch Project” camera which makes accurate targeting a pain in the ass. Game looked nice, but seriously Capcom, I wanted another proper ‘Resident Evil 4′ game. But judging from Resident Evil 6, a console one is impossible. Oh well, at least I have Resident Evil: Revelations…
Grubdog – Now THIS, this is hard. I made a habit of buying almost every cheap Wii game I saw and endured some real stinkers. It’s also a category that can be interpreted in a few ways. I’m going with Vacation Isle: Beach Party because it embodies everything wrong with publishers approach to the Wii. A crappy Wii Sports ripoff that was barely playable, and they somehow expected it to compete with a free pack-in game. Nobody wanted this and nobody is glad they played it. It’s offensively bad and broken and ticks every box on the shit list. Bad controls, bad presentation, bad graphics, bad music, bad concept. Marketing companies should not make videogames, find another industry to scam.
Infernal Monkey – Agreed, Grub. This was really difficult! Like Matto, I’m also going to give a nod to Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll. Goodness this game was such a crushing disappointment. I think SEGA’s level designers all got together and furiously broke wind, constantly, in a small room. Several days later someone opened the door, and the game was complete. Over half the game is comprised of tutorial-style stages that feature death-preventing fences because SEGA knew they’d fucked this up. Controlling this game with the Balance Board was a nightmare, and it was the game’s main selling point.
Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll was so awful I was actively hoping it would kill off the franchise. But then they went and made some more. Apparently the latest one for Vita is ‘okay’. It features a level made of tits, afterall.
RABicle – It was easy for detractors to criticise the Wii for the seemingly abundant number of crap games. The once proud Nintendo Seal of Quality became a label that would taunt you for not pirating the game. The only thing was, with few exceptions, these games all completely flopped at retail too and finding someone who has actually played Imagine Babiez or FIFA 2008 is almost as difficult as naming an exclusive Xbox 360 game that doesn’t start with the 6th, 7th or 8th letter of the alphabet. So what was the worst Wii game I played? Uh. Gee. One time, I played Big Beach Sports Party, or whatever it was called, just because it was the first Wii game to feature cricket. I was very upset and had to spend the next day playing Super International Cricket on SNES to cheer myself up.
Pro Daisy – Time to cheat with my all-in-one answer: EXPERIMENTS – It’s basically any time 3rd Parties tried to “understand” “the Wii” without understanding themselves. Be yourselves; differentiate yourselves; do what Nintendo doesn’t. “We can’t compete with Nintendo” – then why did you waste years of development imitating the Wii Series to occupy the same store shelves with similar products to attract/deceive the same customers? Why on earth are you remaking Wii Stuff that people ALREADY HAVE? Competition is good – but you’re not entitled to success nor scraps. Try copying good 3rd Parties for once. If you’re going to compete, then COMPETE. (NOBODY asked for Castle Calibur fighters and Soulvania adventures and Resident Evil: The Kartside Chronicles. WHY-!?)
Mike - Wii Fit. Mom just won’t stop playing it. She keeps inviting men over and making strange noises; she says it’s innocent but I know they’re playing Wii Fit.
Charles - Charles, again. On one occasion I intended to give the Mario Party series a try for the first time, so I purchased Boom Street. BY THE BALLS OF SHERLOCK it was absolutely dreadful. The rules were confusing, there was no party, and it was flooded with characters we never saw on the Nintendo Sixty-Four. If this wasn’t the worst Mario Party ever then the series might be the worst party games ever. Mum was not pleased with that particular Nintendo Night, and she made sure I felt it.
BEST FAN-MADE PETITION THAT SHOWED THE FANBASE WAS FULL OF SHIT
Before Operation Rainfall, the only other big petition was the Starman Petition to bring Mother 3/Earthbound 2 over. Sadly, it failed (though still persists and I support it greatly). Then we have Operation Rainfall.
Operation Rainfall started shortly before E3 2011 to bring attention to three Nintendo published Wii games, those being Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. While all three eventually made it to European territories (Grub reviewed all three this year and Xenoblade last year), North America remained quiet. During this time, we saw the fanbase show its true colors, which were mostly green and shit browns; instead of being positive, we got the same trolling shit that the Wii got since 2006. Despite getting TWO of the three games over here, the fanbase continues to make itself look like shit in the process; Xenoblade is considered crap because its not on an HD system (hmm… Nintendo published and funded game? NOPE IT STILL SUCKS NO HD LOLOLOL) and its only sold in two places. Last Story is considered inferior to triple-A flopbusters because its on the Wii and the gameplay is different.
Jesus Christ, and people wondered why Nintendo of America was so hesistant on bringing these games over [actually, the truth is out there]. Though my heart does go out to the people who bought the game and enjoyed it. You all get kudos for that.
Matto – New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The first 2D sidescrolling Mario platformer made or broke friendships. Nothing was more hilarious then screwing over your friends or family members, and then you would rage and swear at them afterwards.
Grubdog – Mario Kart Wii. 600 hours later and every race is still different – I love the game. Countless experiences shared, countless names taken. The wheel controls are superb and it’s still the best controlling racer on Wii. Online with 12 people is something really special. Honorable mention to Wii Music for the complete insanity it brings to any situation, and Mario Strikers for being so intense that I played every match standing up.
Infernal Monkey – Yeah, you know, I’ve never laughed so much while playing a local multiplayer game as I have with Wii Music. Seriously. I’m voting for that just because it reduced me to a gasping mass of giggles and tears. It’s not exactly the sort of game you’d bust out at every gathering – it’s sort of like the fine wine of gaming – but everything about Wii Music is the stuff of legends with a group of mates. Oh man, the album cover process, the ability to zoom your Mii’s in and out of the screen. Four gigantic Reggie faces fighting to gain cover space for their latest hit single. Incredible.
RABicle – Do I have to write everything I wrote about Wii Sports Resort again? Guys you said I didn’t have to write much!
Pro Daisy – Kart and Wii-something are already covered, so I’ll go with Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. No online, no competitive leaderboards; just an extensive local co-op buddy adventure that isn’t a rail shooter. I took a 1-week vacation to play with a friend after launch, and we completed it nearly twice. About 99.5% of the story can be enjoyed by the two heroes together (minus cutscenes and solo-emo bits). Marta’s arguably the most player-friendly support character the series has provided recently in the West (ever, cuz the series is DEAD; you do a horrible fucking job of handling this franchise, NAMCO). She’s not a rehashed SWORDRAININFINITYBORING protagonist, but a choppity healer whose skills and attention are actually demanded by the whole party; thus a more varied primary character. I can think of other done-in-a-day forget-me-warez that had co-op, but a full-length [unfairly low-budget] JRPG? No – game companies don’t take risks like this anymore.
Mike - My best multiplayer experience was when Mom was playing Wii Fit and I got really angry because she wouldn’t play a real game with me. I waited until she was about to weigh herself, then pushed her out of the way. I sat on the Baby Board and ripped a huge fart, so big my pants ripped (I had been saving it for hours). It weighed in at 140kg and ruined her progress on the graph. I kept calling Mom fat after that; it was worth the 1 week I spent locked in my room.
Charles - Charles, returns. I suppose Wii Bowling is my guilty pleasure. I invited the butlers during breaks and moderated their matches from behind, my discerning eyes fixated on their form, their grip, and dangerously stretched trousers. Riveting.
BEST MII PERFORMANCE
“The Best Ass In The World”
MOST OVERLOOKED GAME
No need to talk about that game.
BEST WIIWARE TITLE
WORST (BEST) WIIWARE GIFT
Deguello – “Nooooooo~ oiled pectorals!”
BEST FLASHLIGHT (ahem, TORCH)
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Honourable Mentions: Lit, Escape From Bug Island, Ju-On, Fragile Dreams, Calling,
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
BEST TRUE SURVIVAL HORROR
Escape From Bug Island
Pro Daisy – Its innovation and ambition went far beyond (way beyond) the developer’s talent; Skyward Sword before there was Motion Plus. Face it: outside of the Wii library, the survival horror genre was dead.
Grubdog – This game is easy to criticise (ZombiU syndrome, except in this case it does have bad production values) but it’s a thrill to play, especially in Hard mode. Everything on the island wants to rip your face off, and the controls actually made it a Wii game with pointing, shaking and balancing. Shake the Nunchuck to roll left, shake the Wiimote to roll right; so much easier than holding 3 buttons. The terrible draw distance makes it more terrifying: when you’re being chased by HUNDREDS of bugs you really don’t want to run into a dead end.
Infernal Monkey – Escape From Bug Island was amazing in that it really captured the feel of a cheesy, low budget horror movie – and just like most of those movies, the staff behind it probably thought they were making the best thing ever. So many things were wrong with the game, but it also has giant gorillas with furious butts that appear out of seemingly nowhere to try and squish your face. So in the end, everything comes up Milhouse.
Matto - I can say I’ve never played this game. Thus the only real survivor horror game I played was Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, and showed Capcom made a game better but they fucked that up down the road (hello thr Resident Evil 5).
Wii Wheel with Inflatable Kart
Honourable Mentions: The “Perfect Shot Gun” Et al.
BEST MOTION CONTROLS
Matto – Skyward Sword with KUNG-FU WHIP ACTION! Oh, and the other motion controlled puzzles were nice too.
Grubdog – Kororinpa and Marbles! Balance Challenge. These controls are polished to perfection and provide such a huge level of freedom that you can flip stages upside down and still keep it smooth. They feel amazing and the simple but accurate controls allow for some crazy level design and tons of replayability. Nothing quite nails the precision of the Wii remote like Hudson did with these games I feel.
Infernal Monkey – Hell yeah, Kororinpa. That was the first Wii game which really impressed me with regards to what the Wii Remote could do. Also, while I didn’t really enjoy the game itself, The Conduit’s controls were superb. Shame barely any other company bothered with first person shooters on the system.
RABicle – Guess what I’m going to say! Correct.
Pro Daisy – More stuff: No More Heroes – a “little” bit of motion that goes a long way. The combat motions povided accents that cleverly shook the pace of typical busy-button action games. Following up with blood fountains and flying heads was a surprisingly satisfying way to take a breather from each combo. OH! Don’t forget High/Low attacks by tilting the Wiimote. Soul Calibur etc. still can’t figure out that kind of shit without adding more buttons to “developer-friendly” last-gen controllers. Genius, Suda.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – hot damn, them pointer controls. And puzzles. And “get off me!” arm thrusting. The core looking & moving mechanics were smooth as silk. It’s stupid that more third-person action/adventure experiences didn’t build off RE4:Wii’s basics and ditch the “second analog” school of thought; what a disease. The industry’s lack of common sense innovation (copy good games, not bad ones) is shameful. “Guided first-person shoo-”? Fuck off.
Mike - Super Smash Bros. Brawl because it had none, AHAHAHA. If I wanted to move my arms I’d get a job scrubbing toilets.
Charles - Charles, at your service. As an academic, I was never quite impressed with the endless waiving and flailing across the full spectrum of the Wii’s kiddie software library. I get plenty of motion with Her Highness right after tea. Cricket for Wii? DO NOT INSULT ME.
But I confess: carrying the numerous Wii system components to the closet at the same time was a formidable challenge. A true test of fitness and balance. Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho
NINPAL’S FAVORITE WII MOMENT
No More Heroes
So we finally come to the end of an era. Overall I’m still wondering to myself why the hell Mike and Charles participated in this since they are busy playing Vita flops. Oh well, who cares? I’m sure Mike enjoyed spreading his closest homoeroctism towards Solid Snake more than motion controls and Charles liked spreading his wet-dreams about the queen. Bill and Deg weren’t available to chip-in more this season, unfortunately. Together, they’ve been busy dealing with the recent East Coast storms and viral outbreaks, babysitting Ellen Page while searching metropolitan ruins for other survivors. For now, we have their regards.
Anyway! You gave me an enjoyable six years of entertainment Wii, and I’m sure Wii U will give me another six years. So here is to you, you white/red/blue/black motion controlled console you. Glad to know my Wii U will actually have proper backward compatibility over the HD twins. Now I have to get back to finishing my backlog of games that nobody else bought because they never cared.