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    5 Hidden Gems on Wii

    Five games you might overlook in one of Nintendo's best libraries.

    The Nintendo Wii might be over fifteen years old at this point but it’s still quite a popular console which is maybe to do with the fact that it’s so cheap to pick up (basic units go for about £15 on eBay). There’s a huge back catalog of both Wii and Gamecube games available for it, (if you haven’t been unlucky enough to have picked up one of the later versions that has no Gamecube compatibility), so there are loads of options to play a wide variety of games. However, the Wii library is littered with ‘shovelware‘, in other words ‘casual’ titles which are basically mini-game compilations, but there are obviously some great experiences to be had with some more ‘hardcore’ titles.

    The critically acclaimed Wii titles include Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, and Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. Other great games that are worth playing include; Metroid Prime 3, Super Paper Mario, and Zelda: Skyward Sword. So far, apart from Resident Evil 4, all the titles I’ve mentioned are the first party and it’s true there aren’t too many great third-party games for Wii. There are some though, including Red Steel 2, Epic Mickey, and Sonic Colors. To be honest, many third-party Wii games could go onto this list, but I’ve decided to talk about ones that I have played, and ones where I can see the game’s merits and do feel that the game is honestly often ignored. So here are my 5 hidden gems on the Nintendo Wii.

    Bully: Scholarship Edition

    Save 65% on Bully: Scholarship Edition on Steam

    Bully or Canis Canem Edit is a Rockstar-developed open-world sandbox-style game that could be described as Grand Theft Auto set in the world of a 16-year-old teenager. The player is placed in a boarding school and can customize his appearance, start fights with fellow pupils (and teachers) and eventually go and explore the nearby town.

    Bully has the polish of a rockstar game and is a great experience if you like sandbox-style games. The class sections of the game use the Wii remote in interesting ways and they are satisfying. Classes include Chemistry, English, and Art, and completing the tasks unlocks abilities and tools/weapons. The combat in the game is well done and there’s also a slingshot that the player can use that became one of my favorite weapons. There’s definitely a buzz to shooting an older pupil with the slingshot and then running from the prefects and teachers that try to catch you. Bully: Scholarship Edition can be picked up for about £10 and if you like Rockstar games then definitely give it a try.

    Madworld

    Madworld Wii image

    Madworld is published by Sega and developed by PlatinumGames, who also develop the Bayonetta seriesSimilarly to BayonettaMadworld is stylish both in its art style and general vibe, and it uses a black-and-white color scheme where the only prominent color displayed is the red of blood from destroyed enemies. The game could be described as a 3D ‘beat ’em up’, possibly heavily influenced by games like Streets of Rage with the main goal of the game to eliminate waves of generic human enemies. The game is highly violent, and the player uses a chainsaw as his primary weapon, and with this executes opponents in a variety of ways. Motions of the Wii Remote result in different kinds of swings of the chainsaw, for example, vertical and horizontal slashes.

    What makes the game great is the satisfying way that the combat plays out, with grabs, slashes, and quick-time events creating a great diversity of ways to dispatch enemies. Many environmental elements can be used by the player to kill enemies. The game could be criticized for being mindless, and this is true to a certain extent, but I guess not many people want every game they play to require the cognitive skills that it takes to beat Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s water temple. The gameplay is split into distinct missions, and although (with the game being black and white) it is hard to differentiate between them, there is enough variety to not get bored. Overall Madworld is a great hack-and-slash beat ’em up, and at only around £5, should definitely be picked up if you like the sound of it.

    Pandora’s Tower

    Wii Great rpg Pandora's Tower

    Pandora’s Tower was part of ‘Operation Rainfall’, which was an online movement to bring three Wii RPGs to the West. Those RPGs are Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora’s TowerPandora’s Tower is probably the least well-known of the three but that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. The game revolves around saving a girl who was become afflicted with a curse that is slowly turning her into a monster. To do this the player must traverse multiple towers, each of which contains a boss whose flesh will slow the transformation of the girl into a monster (yes, the girl eats this flesh to stay human).

    In terms of gameplay, the game is an action RPG with the player character wielding both a sword and chain. The Wii Remote is used to good effect and combat is satisfying. Where the game excels is in the art direction and atmosphere. The environments of each tower are lush, and enemy and boss design really push the Wii to its limits. There is a feeling of isolation throughout the game, yet it feels alive and organic, as each of the towers is not barren, and plants and creatures are roaming each of the areas which keeps the game interesting. Overall, Pandora’s Tower is a great action RPG, although it’s getting more expensive and goes for around £50 on eBay at the moment.

    Manhunt

    Manhunt 2 (Wii) Screenshots

    Manhunt, the second Rockstar-developed game on this list places the player’s character in a cell in a psychiatric hospital. This is an interesting premise and the game includes many psychological twists, definitely making the player think about reality and our perceptions of reality. The game has that Rockstar feel and is extremely violent.

    For example, the player can pick up wooden poles to use as weapons and while it feels satisfying to use, the violence is clearly extreme for this reason. I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone under 18. However, if you’re an adult and interested in psychological horror, or Rockstar games, I’d definitely say give this one a try, especially as it’s under £5 on eBay.

    Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest

    Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest Wii Hands-On - GameSpot

    LOTR: Aragorn’s Quest is an action RPG/adventure game with a slightly stylized art style that could appeal to younger gamers or fans of Lord of the Rings. The game is less serious in style and theme than the great Lord of the Rings games on Gamecube/PS2/Xbox but still has decent combat and a fun story to play through.

    However, the game is guilty of ‘hand holding’ and it feels as if the developers don’t trust the player to explore for themselves. The game (as the title suggests) follows Aragorn through the original trilogy and has the player battling the usual orcs and goblins from the franchise. I’m including it on this list because it’s cheap to pick up and is a whimsical, fun adventure (despite having negatives including being less polished than some of the other LOTR games). It’s the best LOTR you’re going to get on the Wii.

    Conclusion

    The Wii is a great system, whether (to hack) for retro games, play Gamecube games, or play some of the great titles released specifically for the Wii. The last physical title for the system Shakedown Hawaii was released only recently, but it was a sad day when the Wii Virtual Console and Wiiware shut down a few years ago, as there were literally hundreds of classics that could be downloaded. Also, I find the interface of the Wii and 3DS so appealing. Much more so than the WiiU which is really slow, and the Switch interface just seems plain. Anyway, you can’t go wrong with picking up a Wii because of how cheap it is. If you were going to pick up a Wii and three games I’d say go for Super Mario Galaxy, Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

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