Underappreciated Games – Nintendo Wii

Due to the vast expanse of games to choose from in nearly any gaming console, there’s unfortunately, always going to be games that get overlooked and/or neglected. I was recently thinking about the Wii and for what a successful console it was for Nintendo in terms of sales, and yet it seems it’s large library of games went largely ignored or dismissed as being merely shovel-ware, games hastily made and implemented with rudimentary motion controls existing only to capitalize on the successful sales of the console. Given the success of the Wii and it’s innovative motion controls with generally more casual gamers, many quickly disregarded the console’s library of games as nothing but a few Mario games alongside countless collections of half-baked mini games(there were a LOT of those, to be fair). The popularity(at the time) of Mii-centric mini game collections such as Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Wii Party comprised of six out of the top ten best-selling games on the Wii. The Wii sold 100 million+ units during its lifespan, but there is a great disparity between the number of units sold versus games, which is quite unfortunate, as the Wii had a selection of great titles available for all us “hardcore”gamers and not just for “Grandma and the kids”. I WILL defend my opinion that the Mario Galaxy games are top-tier 3D Mario games….anyways, here are some Wii games that I feel never got the love they deserved.

MadWorld

Despite its sometimes own insistence on the “family-friendly” image, Nintendo has released many games that appeal to more mature gamers, with Platinum Games’ over-the-top violent MadWorld being one of them. Players control Jack, a chainsaw-armed contestant in a sadistic reality show called DeathWatch, as you must eliminate other contestants in order to receive the giant cash prize. The game features stylized black and white visuals similar as you would see in a Frank Miller graphic novel. The brutal mini games, gigantic bosses, and dismemberments have since turned MadWorld into somewhat of a cult hit among gamers. The color commentary by the announcers(John DiMaggio and Greg Proops) added an extra dash of dark humor to this twisted game.

Sin and Punishment: Star Successor

Another Wii title that I loved, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, the sequel to the Japanese N64 exclusive. I remember picking up this game a few months after its release and couldn’t believe how little I had heard about it. This explosive rail-shooter packs non-stop action, not surprisingly as the game was developed by Treasure(Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Heady, Ikaruga). Star Successor also proved incredibly challenging at times, another trademark of Treasure games. I heartily recommend any fans of action/shooter games, or someone just looking for a challenge to give this a try.

Punch-Out!!

Punch-Out!! is among Nintendo’s oldest and most memorable franchises, with Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for the NES still popular among retro fans and speedrunners. Next Level Games did an incredible job in bringing back a series not seen since the Super Nintendo. The cel-shaded graphics fit the bill nicely and Punch-Out!! also provided several control options, such as combining the balance board with Wii-mote and nunchuk or simply holding the Wii-mote horizontally and use the D-pad and 1 & 2 buttons just as you would an NES controller. There’s also the fact you could eventually square off against Donkey Kong himself, pretty freaking awesome. (Side note: the game did sell well enough to become a Nintendo Select, but Punch-Out!! is one of my favorite Nintendo franchises and would love Next Level Games to step in the ring once again, after their success with Luigi’s Mansion 3.)

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom Ultimate All-Stars

The Wii may not have been the console of choice for fighting game fans; outside of Super Smash Bros. Brawl there wasn’t much in the way of fighting games. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom followed the formula of the popular Capcom Vs. Marvel games, but instead featured a roster of characters from the legendary animation studio Tatsunoko. The 2-v-2 matches were action-packed and intense in this Wii exclusive. Where else could you pit Ryu and Ken the Eagle against Speed Racer and Viewtiful Joe? There’s also that sweet Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom arcade stick you could purchase alongside the game.

Boom Blox

Another oft-overlooked game for the Wii, one that happened to have the legendary Steven Spielberg involved in its creation. Boom Blox is a puzzle game in which you aim bowling balls or baseballs at columns of blocks and swing the Wii-mote to hurl the object forward and knock down specific columns. Other levels may have you using the Wii-mote to remove blocks from stacks without causing them to fall, similar to Jenga. I have always loved puzzle-type games and Boom Blox provides over 300 levels and multiple game modes to play. A sequel Boom Blox Bash Party was released for the Wii, but the series never seemed to catch on, sadly. I’d love a chance to replay the Boom Blox games on the Switch, but due the combination of Steven Spielberg and EA has me doubtful that will ever happen.

What are some Wii games that you loved and feel should have gotten more attention? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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