It’s a secret to nobody that the Wii U had a bumpy first year. The console released at Christmas 2012 with little fanfare due to not only the lack of effective marketing, but also the lack of system selling titles. Nintendo Land did not provide the same accessible experience as Wii Sports once had. Zombi U felt like a bland zombie survival game with a few gimmicks and New Super Mario Bros U failed to distinguish itself as anything particularly new. Couple those games with a small selection of ports and you can see why Nintendo’s new console was not a day one purchase for many.
We are now coming up to Christmas of 2014 and I believe it’s time to re-evaluate what this console can offer and whether its new and upcoming releases are something that is now able to give it value. Two years of work has been put into this library and I think that with currently released titles such as Bayonetta 2 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and highly anticipated upcoming games, Xenoblade Chronicles X and The Legend of Zelda Wii U, it is finally time to get a Wii U.
MARIO KART 8
Mario Kart is considered a must have for any modern Nintendo console with both Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7 being within the top three best selling games on their respective platforms. Taking in its new gravity mechanics and bringing back the hang glider from Mario Kart 7, it makes the races far more interesting. Combine these new mechanics with the bright colors and effects involved, creating a visually stunning experience and it makes for one of the best looking games on the console.
Whilst the Wii U may be less powerful in terms of specs than other new generation consoles, it makes up for it with design and Mario Kart 8 shows this. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with Mario Kart, don’t think of it as competition to Xbox One and PS4 titles, Driveclub and Forza Horizon. This is a kart racer, which works best as a party game. Collect up your Wii remotes or controllers, get a bunch of friends together and have a great time within the chaos of Mario Kart.
However, not only is it a great kart racer and fun party game at its core, many Wii U titles including Mario Kart now include DLC to extend upon your experience. In this particular title, you can get new race courses, new karts and new characters including the Villager from Animal Crossing and Link from The Legend of Zelda. If you’re looking for your first Wii U game, Mario Kart is it, providing a great single player and multiplayer experience.
For those who want that core single player experience, however, you’re going to want to head straight for Bayonetta 2. After issues with their publisher, Platinum Games has brought the sequel to the popular hack ‘n’ slash onto the Wii U as an exclusive title. Following the story of the witch Bayonetta, you fight through powerful angelic and demon hordes in order to save her friend and rival, Jeanne. You are going to want to put your all into defeating these enemies and exploring the combat system as each combination of attacks is a visual experience in itself. There is also further playtime in trying to get a Platinum Medal for each level and 100% completing this game.
To sum up my review of Hyrule Warriors, I believe it to be an excellent Dynasty Warriors game that not only holds a new appeal in the form of Zelda, but also is made more accessible with a steady difficulty curve and a streamlined story. It offers practical Zelda fanservice in terms of the wide cast of characters and the unique attacks available to you. With each map being very similar to the original areas in past titles, it ultimately exists as a celebration of everything Zelda but with the fun and over-the-top combat and strategy involved in Dynasty Warriors games. This is also all coupled with various DLC packs bringing new characters with unique combat styles to the battle.
SUPER SMASH BROS. FOR WII U
The recently released Smash Bros. for Wii U is a title that probably has many potential buyers interested. Although Super Smash Bros. for 3DS released a few months ago, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 50 Fact Extravaganza video proved that the Wii U version held enough content to be worth the purchase. Whilst Smash Tour can be a complete waste of time with several balance issues and having to unlock all the characters a second time through Adventure mode can get repetitive, it holds value in its multiplayer.
For those without a good connection, getting together with friends is how you’re going to get your value out of this iteration of Smash Bros. Not only have they added many new characters with unique and interesting playstyles and movesets, but there is also more ways to play including the chaos involved in 8 player Smash and possibly one of the best features, the ability to use your 3DS as a controller, making the lack of gamepads a non-issue.
XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X
We are patiently awaiting a very big game in the form of Xenoblade Chronicles X, the successor to Xenoblade Chronicles and a part of the Xenogears franchise. This epic RPG is looking to introduce us to a the planet Mira complete with dinosaurs, mechas and a brand new alien landscape to explore. With the action RPG combat from previous titles, you will need to build up your character in order to face off against the harsh environment and protect the last of humanity from the alien threat. Whilst some of the character models do look slightly disfigured, the world and the large alien creatures are nothing short of amazing. It’s a game that I am very excited to get my hands on and hopefully sink hundreds of hours into.
I love multiplayer games with a unique premise and strangely enough, Splatoon has captured my interest. What appears to be a combination between a third person shooter and de Blob, this game pits two teams against each other in a battle to paint the stage in their team color. It’s something new and that’s what we expect for the Wii U console. A single player mode has been announced, giving the title more value, but we are yet to see if it holds up to its unique multiplayer. The only question now is whether we’ll be able to get any good servers.
SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI X FIRE EMBLEM
Yes, it’s true. We know nothing about this game. It was announced to be under production, as a collaborative title between Intelligent Systems and ATLUS in a Nintendo Direct streamed in January 2013. We had heard nothing about the game until E3 2014 where Nintendo producer, Hitoshi Yamagami announced that it was still on schedule in a conference about Intelligent Systems’ new upcoming 3DS game, Codename S.T.E.A.M. However, despite this lack of information, we can still speculate. The day after the conference, ATLUS revealed that the title would be an RPG, something that was generally expected due to these company’s history.
There is still the question however of what type of RPG it will be and I am hoping for an SRPG combining strategy elements from Fire Emblem games and adding in the complexity that comes with Shin Megami Tensei games. This way, it would be easier to interact with all of these characters from both franchises since they will all be involved in each battle. Even if it doesn’t come out like I hope it will, this is still a collaboration between two brilliant studios with fantastic resumes.
This was just a list of some of the titles that I believe make the Wii U a good purchase after its first year of having no third party and lacking first party support. Do you think this is enough to secure your purchase? What else are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments section below.