The Wii U has been unsurprisingly weak since it was released back in November, but a promising second half of 2013 could turn things around for Nintendo. Here are my top 5 Wii U games for the rest of year.
Disclaimer: While many awesome third party games like Watch Dogs, Batman Arkham Origins, and Call of Duty: Ghosts will release on the Wii U as well, Nintendo has always been known for their first party games, so none of those big name games will be included on this list.
5. The Wonderful 101
The Wonderful 101 is a sleeper hit in the second half of this years Wii U lineup. Essentially, it sort of plays like a Pikmin game would, but instead you use various different superheros and citizens in the game world to fight your enemies. The story is quite simple in that aliens are attacking Earth and the superheroes must band together to defeat the invasion. The story is nothing we haven’t seen before, but the powers of the superheroes and how they work are an interesting new take on superheroes.
Basically, the superheroes use their powers to morph citizens around them into various objects like guns, whips, hands, etc to be used against the alien forces. By drawing a circle on the GamePad or using the right analog stick around a group of citizens, which you can then turn into many different objects to accomplish your tasks. For example, if you need to turn a huge knob then you can turn a group of citizens into a huge hand to achieve your goal, while in combat if an enemy has armor on, you can make the citizens into a whip in order to remove the armor and attack the vulnerable skin underneath.
On top of the many possibilities of single player gameplay with the different combinations of superheroes, Wonderful 101 also supports up to 5 player local co-op between all of the Wii U’s devices. This brings even more possibilities for some interesting gameplay with different players using different superpowers to attack and achieve their goals.
At the end of the day, The Wonderful 101 is a pretty generic game, but the co-op and gameplay combinations are a lot of fun, and it is nice to see a new title with some promise come out on a Nintendo Console.
The Wonderful 101 enters stores September 15th.
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
After of the success of the Ocarina of Time on the 3DS it was only a matter of time before Nintendo brought another Legend of Zelda game to the Wii U. Wind Waker received amazing reviews when it was first released in 2003 and is largely considered one of the Zelda’s , and a remake would give a lot of the people who missed it on the GameCube a chance to finally play it.
On top of just bringing back a Zelda game in HD, this is also a very good opportunity for Nintendo to mess around and show how the next installment of the Zelda series will play on the Wii U. The HD remake looks remarkably stunning with just walking through a door and looking at the surrounding scenery on one of the islands really brings some realism to the most cartoonish game of the Zelda series.
The game largely plays the exact same as the original with just tune ups to make the game play smoother, but they have added a feature that will interact with the Miiverse. The ‘Tingle Turner’ item will be replaced with then ‘Tingle Bottle’ where players can leave messages in a bottle at many points in the game for other players through the Miiverse. While this is a relatively minor feature to the game, it is another way to interact with other players and it is always nice to see Nintendo trying to develop the Miiverse even more.
The Wind Waker HD remake is pretty much exactly just like the original, but for fans of the series and newcomers who missed the game the first time around will definitely enjoy the remake until the next big installment of the Zelda series comes out in 2014.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is slated for release in October.
3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Donkey Kong Country returns for its 5th installment and first HD game this year after the success of Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii back in 2010. This time around, a group of Viking-like animals, such as walruses, penguins, and owls, have invaded and forced the inhabitants of Donkey Kong Island to move to another island. Now with the help of Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong must travel across five islands to defeat the invaders and reclaim his home. Diddy Kong won’t be the only companion Donkey Kong has however, as Dixie Kong will be returning to Donkey Kong Country and there is a rumored 4th character to make an appearence.
The gameplay continues to be the same side-scrolling style that is present in pretty much every Donkey Kong Country game, and each character has their own special abilities that they can use to get further in the game. On top of that, underwater gameplay makes its return to Donkey Kong Country and has been upgraded to let the player do a spin attack underwater and there is now a breath bar that the player must keep from going down by either collecting bubbles or going back to the surface. A new feature also includes being able to pick things out of the ground and even throw enemies and other objects forward. Along with all the old and new features, 2 play co-op will be included as usual for a Donkey Kong Country game.
Now we all know how Donkey Kong Country works and it is really no surprise that they keep a working and great style of gameplay the same, so what makes the game stand out? The answer to that question is the HD aspect to the game. Now HD quality visuals are no surprise on other consoles of this generation, but we have never seen any Nintendo games in HD, and all of them are stunningly beautiful. In Tropical Freeze the water glimmers as you paddle through it, the grass sways in the wind, and explosions shake the background. The new visuals and strong console hardware really bring you into the game as developers are able to add more to the visuals and background of the game, which is a new trait to games like Donkey Kong Country.
Tropical Freeze brings all the same gameplay that we know and love, and with some new additions and the upgraded visuals, this is a Donkey Kong Country you won’t want to skip on.
Donkey Kong Country is expected to be released this November.
2. Super Mario 3D World
The success of Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS convinced Nintendo to bring a very similar style game to the Wii U. World completely upgrades Land in that this time, it isn’t just Mario (and Luigi after you beat the game) running around trying to save Princess Peach alone. In World you can play as four different characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and a blue Toad. Including Peach brings in different possibilities for the plot, as you can assume that we won’t be saving Peach for the 1000th time this time around.
The gameplay of World is largely the exact same as Land, except there is a new power-up; a bell that grants the player a cat suit where they can then swipe at enemies to defeat them, and climb up walls to explore the world in a never before seen way. Each stage is exactly like Land where you have a time limit to get to the end of the stage, but exploring along the way to find secret spots and different stars.
What makes World so awesome however is the fact that we finally have some decent multiplayer in a Super Mario game. Up to four players can control on of the each four characters, and through working like a team you can finish each stage in the game in multiplayer. On top of working together to complete stages, you can also compete with each other to see who does better on each stage. Defeating enemies and gathering coins will garner you more points, and beating your friends is always fun.
3D World brings the same gameplay that we all know and love, but it also adds some killer multiplayer and more exploration possibilities with the cat suit, so this is definitely one Super Mario game that you will not want to miss.
Super Mario 3D World is expected to release this December.
1. Pikmin 3
After 9 years we finally have another Pikman game, and it seems to have been worth the wait. Pikman 3 brings everything we loved in the first two games on the GameCube back into our lives with updated gameplay, two new types of Pikman, and just many more possibilities with the obvious huge upgrades in hardware from the GameCube to the Wii U.
Olimar is no longer the main character, and to our knowledge Louie is also not involved in anyway, as this story is about three different captains. Charlie, Alph, and Brittany are captains from the planet of Koppai, and are out searching the galaxy for food because there is a food shortage on their homeworld. They crash land on the Pikman planet where they find a huge abundance of fruit, but they find that the fruit is too big to carry. They then enlist the help of the Pikman to find and gather the fruit to save their people from starvation. Fans of Olimar will not be disappointed however, as it has been stated that he will be involved in some minor way with the three captains at some point.
The red, blue, yellow, purple, and white Pikman all will be returning in Pikman 3, along with two new types of Pikman, the rock, and wing types. Rock Pikman can be used to shatter strong barriers, like a boss’s armor, while winged Pikman can attack airborne enemies and carry items in the air. On top of the two new types, you can now also control 3 different kinds of Pikman at a time, compared to only two in Pikman 2. With 7 types of Pikman, you can be as creative as you want when exploring the Pikman planet.
While the gameplay is pretty much exactly the same as it was on the GameCube, the addition of the Wii Remote really enhances the game. With the ability to point exactly where you want to throw your Pikman you are much more accurate and can hit a lot smaller targets than you could in the originals. Along with the new HD abilities on the Wii U, Pikman 3 looks absolutely beautiful.
Pikman 3 promises to bring everything we loved back to the Wii U, and with a new story and new Pikman types, this is going to be a must buy.
Pikman 3 enters stores August 4th.
What Wii U games are you most looking forward too? Answer in the comments below!