Wii Retrospective: A Gamer's Guide (List A-1) - Edward Roivas Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Wii Retrospective: A Gamer's Guide (List A-1)

A week or two ago me and RezidentHazard agreed to do a blog listing rare, under the radar, and non-obvious Wii games. So no Mario, Zelda, or Metroid will be on the list, although Battalion Wars, Sin and Punishment, and Fire Emblem will be. To see his blog, go click this link. To be honest, he did a better job at this than I did, I'm not good at working with a schedule. After all, I have the tendency to have writers block or I'll get distracted and- what was I talking about? Right, the blog.

The Last Story: A JRPG from Hironobu Sakaguchi and composed by Nobuo Uematsu, two of the people behind games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. It's got great combat (real time as well, for those who hate turn based RPGs), but it's often criticized for its cliched, albeit well told story. For those interested in a more in depth explanation, you can read my review here.

Red Steel: One of the criteria for making it into this blog was that the game should have greater than a 60 on Metacritic, and I'm as surprised as you likely are that Red Steel passed it. Although it's not good, the controls aren't as bad as many reviews would have you think. It's playable, but the turning speed was too slow and the deadzone was giant. The sword combat was all pretty poor too. Well, RezidentHazard suggested choosing at least one bad game to be on the lookout for "just because," so consider this it. I think I got a laugh out of the horrible soundtrack. Maybe that was a cringe, I can't remember.

Red Steel 2:The First One Never Happened (my personal subtitle for it): One of the games I recommend most strongly to anyone with a Wii or who is going to get a Wii. It does motion controls better than any other game I know of, and the pointer controls are good too. It captures the essence of being an unstoppable badass excellently, due in part to the 1:1 swordplay. Again, go read my review for a more in depth look at this game.

Pandora's Tower: An Action RPG that made it stateside as part of the Operation Rainfall trio. It came over last and seems to be the most overlooked, and while I share the opinion it's the weakest of the games it's still worth buying. It makes excellent use of a time limit, has some great boss battles, and the towers the game takes place in are well designed. Here's a link to my review of it.

The Conduit: The Conduit had many criticisms, both fair and unfair upon release. The AI was poor, the levels were incredibly linear, the story was cliched, and the tech the developer touted so much was wasted on bland and often repeated environments. The multiplayer was crippled by a couple major design flaws and the ease with which someone could hack or glitch, but those weren't problems if you weren't playing with people who's heads had caved in (That reminds me, I should see about starting those GIO games of The Conduit again, they were fun, especially since I always came out at #1). However, the controls were probably the most customizable of any console shooter, there was an interesting story to be found if you looked for it, the weapons were awesome and competently balanced for the most part, and fans of old school sci-fi shooters will likely to be able to look past the flaws and enjoy it. My review of The Conduit (my first review, for the record) can be found here.

Conduit 2: A very different game from the original. The most obvious change is the shift in tone; The game goes from being all about unsolved mysteries government conspiracies bright lights in the sky alien technology and and aliens to being intentionally poor and silly. The B-Movie vibe could've been executed better though, sometimes it's 'so bad it's good' but other times it's just bad. They also actually use the color pallete, and levels are more open. The new weapons are quite a bit more creative and well balanced, but they kind of went overboard with balance because few of the guns are as versatile as the ones in The Conduit, although they all have a use, even the bad but still underrated Aegis Device. It also has very few hackers and glitchers, as in two of the former in 400 hours or so. People glitching out of the walls is more common, and when someone does they can be dealt with using the Phase Rifle, the gun that shoots through walls. AI is improved, but still unimpressive. Self promotion ftw

Monster Hunter Tri: A niche Action-RPG that's very popular in Japan. There are two kinds of people when it comes to Monster Hunter; People who don't like it, and people who are addicted to it. I bought it and played 50 hours in a week. The beginning is slow, but after that the game is pretty much all about boss battles. You kill increasingly difficult monsters to make better weapons and armor to more effectively kill monsters that you use to make better weapons and armor... If you want to get technical it's just a huge grind, but there's something oddly addicting about it, and bringing down those giant monsters never stops being satisfying. It was re-released in a greatly improved version on the Wii U and 3DS, and the servers for the Wii version were shut down, so if you can get one of those it'd be the better option - but even without online co-op, MH3 is still a great game.

BlastWorks: A 2D sidescrolling shooter with a unique mechanic where destroyed enemies can be grabbed by your ship and used as armor and weapons. While the gameplay is fun, the best part is the deep level designer I still haven't figured out entirely. You could remake the main game in it, which is a first for any game with a level editor I've played. Unfortunately, with WiiConnect24 being taken down by Nintendo, you can't download maps others have created any more, and the game ships with a rather small number of levels. However, bang for your buck shouldn't be too much of a problem, the game is about $5 used.

Metroid Prime Trilogy: A collection of three great games from Retro Studios. It's very rare and expensive, so if you're a collector or Metroid fanatic you should buy it. Aside from the great controls from Metroid Prime 3 being added to one and two, there's not really anything too significant and the three games can individually be bought cheaper.

Sky Crawlers:Innocent Aces: The best flight sim on the Wii, That may not carry much weight considering the limited number of them, but the point still stands. It was made by Project Aces, the team who makes the Ace Combat games, and it shows in the quality. The review

Goldeneye 007: Just to be clear, it's not a remake of GE64. It's a different game based on the same movie, a clever trick on the part of Activision. It's a good game on it's own, with solid level design and a good combination of stealth and action. I could never get the Wii Remote controls to work as good as the other Wii FPS here (except Red Steel, it beats that), or well at all, but there are people who swear by them. The online multiplayer was ok, but there were a couple instances of awful map design and balance is pretty poor. The splitscreen gives you a lot of options, and has over 200 possible combinations of matches. You also never have to worry about host quitting.

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon: The general consensus is that Fragile Dreams has a good story marred by bad gameplay, and although I've yet to complete it that seems accurate so far. The combat is dull, there's plenty of point A to point B then back to point A backtracking, and the only unusual level was a tedious game of hide and go seek with a ghost. However, the story seems promising and it's got good atmosphere, and the flashlight controls work well enough. 

Cursed Mountain: An old school horror game set in the Himalayas, where you play as a mountain climber looking for his lost brother. It doesn't use jump scares and tricks like that nearly as much as most games in the genre, opting for a constant sense of unease that permeates the believable and unusual backdrop.

Battalion Wars 2: A hybrid of TPS and RTS, it's very unique. Aside from gameplay, the lighthearted tone sets it apart from other war games as well. The campaign gameplay was solid, but the game really shines in the multiplayer - which, surprisingly, is still active. The game didn't sell much and released years ago, so I was pleasantly surprised when I started playing again last summer. For information, you can read my review here. Btw, if you do buy it, tell me and you'll always have someone to play against online, I'll even give you a head start. 

Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2/3: These may be ports, but the Wii versions are rather rare so they make it on here. They both have the same Metacritic score, but the third seems to generally be seen as the superior one, because of a larger roster, online play, and improved controls for the Wii Remote/Nunchuk. It also supports the Classic Controller. The Tenkaichi games are different from your normal fighting game, because of things like the camera being placed behind your character and the ability to move freely around the environment, but the fighting gameplay consists mainly of button mashing and charging up your energy to use spectacular special attacks repeatedly.

Sin and Punishment:Star Successor: A great railshooter developed by the aptly named developer Treasure. The original never released on N64's in the states, but it was imported via the Virtual Console some time before the release of the sequel. People who complain about the Wii being too 'casual' should pick this up and play on hard. It demands fast reflexes, precise aiming and timing, and patience for the numerous times you'll die. Because you will die, over and over again. The game is never unfair about it though, you get frequent check points and there are no cheap deaths.

No More Heroes/No More Heroes 2: Both are just the kind of game you'd expect from Suda51. They're about a nerd who just happens to be worlds greatest assassin, and fights outlandish assassins in battles to the death as part of a ranked association of assassins, using his light saber that he presumably bought on the internet. In the first you fought ten and had to earn money doing odd jobs to fight them, but NMH2 increased the number of bosses by 50% and allowed you to go straight from one level to the next.

Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn: One of the two console Fire Emblem games, both of which are very rare, and the series is lesser known, so being made by Nintendo doesn't disqualify it from the list. The series seems to have experienced a surge in popularity since Awakening, and Radiant Dawn is worth a purchase from anyone who enjoyed it, although it won't have all the things that Awakening has added to the series. Fire Emblem is without a doubt a series for people who are either skilled at turn based strategy or persistent, and people always complained that the Wii lacked 'hardcore' games. But Radiant Dawn is very rare, so be prepared to pay a small fortune.

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