Since we started this series with the Nintendo’s first-ever console, it’s only appropriate that we should finish it off with Nintendo’s latest: the Wii. Originally dubbed the Revolution, the Nintendo Wii was released on Nov. 19, 2006, and it sought to change the landscape of the gaming world by integrating motion-sensing technology as a core feature. With the ability to detect the position of the controller on a 3D plane, the Wii is quite literally changing how you play the game. The integration of these controls came at a price, however, greatly reducing the potential of the Wii’s graphical and processing capabilities. Nevertheless, the simplicity and quirkiness of the Wii’s control scheme, along with the low launch price of $250 and the pack-in game “Wii Sports,” caught the eye of the general public, and the system quickly found itself under the limelight. Of course, with sales skyrocketing thanks to the Wii’s appeal to non-gamers, many developers saw an opportunity to cash in with low-quality, easy to make games. And with their track record through the past generations, it comes to no surprise that the Wii’s strongest support is from Nintendo themselves, as you’ll see right now when we check out my five picks for the Wii!
5. Wii Sports Resort
When the Wii was released in the U.S., Nintendo decided to include a game called “Wii Sports” that showcased the abilities of the Wii’s controls. And when Nintendo released an add-on called the Wii Motion Plus, meant to provide a better and more accurate motion-sensing experience, it came with a game called “Wii Sports Resort” for the same purpose. The main difference between the two, however, is depth – while “Wii Sports” was designed to be nothing more than a tech demo, “Wii Sports Resort” was given more thought and better presentation. Unlike the original, “Wii Sports Resort” was given a specific setting: the luxurious Wuhu Island. All of the game’s whopping twelve sports take place at specific locations on the island, all explorable via the game’s Island Flyover mode. Really, it’s this mode that makes the game feel so cohesive and, as opposed to the original, more than just a collection of sports games. Which brings us to the actual meat of “Wii Sports Resort” – the sports. The game features a diverse assortment of games that compliment the Wii Motion Plus peripheral perfectly. Frisbee, archery and basketball are but a few of the sports contained within this awesome package of fun for the whole party. Oh, and sword fighting – don’t even get me started on how awesome sword fighting is.
What’s this? “Punch-Out!!” again? Oh yes, it’s true – the Wii version of “Punch-Out!!” is pretty much a remake of the original NES game, but with so much more. Okay, so the game mechanics are pretty much the same as they were in the original, but as in “Wii Sports Resort,” the shining jewel in “Punch-Out!!” is its presentation. In short, the game’s visuals and audio play off the nostalgia of the original game while presenting them in a modern way. All the characters are just as you remember them but with a little more detail, and all the songs are just as catchy they used to be but with a little more flair. In essence, “Punch-Out!!” for the Wii is every bit directed toward fans of the NES game, but it makes for a great first outing as well. With multiple control schemes to suit your style, more than just the standard career mode and a long-overdue multiplayer mode, “Punch-Out!!” is an all-around fun game that does its predecessor more than justice.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
You guys must be tired of seeing a “Zelda” game on every one these articles, but I can’t help it. Though fans had quickly taken to the art style of “Wind Waker,” the excitement was at fever pitch when Nintendo showed off the darker, more realistic (or at least proportionally correct) style of what came to be “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.” And while it was originally developed for the GameCube, the game made the jump to the Wii late in its development cycle, with motion controls tacked on to boot. The story this time revolves around Link, a ranch assistant in Ordon Village. After the village is attacked by evil monsters, Link gives chase and gets sucked into the twilight, involuntarily turning into a wolf. With the help of a twilight creature named Midna, Link must then venture to stop the evil king of the twilight, Zant, from taking over Hyrule. “Twilight Princess”’s gameplay sticks fairly close to the classic “Zelda” formula, though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And while the game does indeed have its faults, it makes up for them in spades; great art direction, a beautifully orchestrated soundtrack, and a lengthy main adventure with enough side quests to keep things interesting.
2. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
One of the few good first-person shooters on the Wii, “Metroid Prime 3: Corruption” takes everything great about the first two entries to the trilogy and piles on a whole lot more. For one thing, the abilities of the Wii’s controller make for perfect first-person shooter controls, which “Corruption” uses to their fullest. Not only are the controls highly responsive and accurate, but they now serve as yet another tool to immerse you into the game even more, translating your real-world movements into the movements of the bombshell bounty hunter. And now that you’re not the only human-esque being in the game anymore, the addition of voice acting is highly welcomed. The game also includes an achievement system of sorts where completing certain tasks awards you with medals that can be used to unlock extra features. If you’d like more detail on why the game is great, go back and check out what I had to say about “Metroid Prime 1.” Or, for the standard $50 price tag, go out and purchase “Metroid Prime: Trilogy,” which has all three games in one tidy package and all the features of the final game placed into the first two.
1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The Wii entry to my favorite fighting series makes things more chaotic and fun than ever. This game has so much stuff jam-packed into it that they had to use a dual-layer DVD just to fit it all. With a final roster of 35 unique characters to play as – including Sonic the Hedgehog (!) and Solid Snake (!!) – there’s a lot of variety. And with more modes than ever, there’s a lot of variety in how you can play as well. Quite possibly the biggest addition, however, is a full-fledged story mode known as The Subspace Emissary. Whether you’re brawling it up by yourself or with friends, this is a game that never gets stale. And like the previous games, “SSBB” brings much of its enjoyment through its connections to all the series it encompasses. From the characters to the stages to the trophies to the stickers to the items to the music – oh god, the music! “SSBB” contains a simply amazing soundtrack that spans over 250 tracks, some classic, some remade, all nostalgic. And then there’s the newly-implement level creation system, online mode, achievement-esque Vault mode… there’s just way too much stuff on this one disc to mention. “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” is basically the ultimate Nintendo encyclopedia disguised as a ridiculously fun fighting game. Go buy it.
And with that, we say goodbye to not only the current generation of consoles but this segment as well. Next week’s article may be a mystery, but be sure to keep reading Geek Squad for everything that is, was, and will be geeky!
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