Five Wii Games that Deserve a Second Chance
The Wii has a great library of games including titles such as Super Mario Galaxy 2, Donkey Kong Country Returns, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and most of Nintendo’s first-party titles. However, there are a lot of great titles that have been shrugged aside, for one reason or another, that I believe deserve a second chance. Today, I’d like to take a look back at five of those Wii games.
I’m starting with Spyborgs, a game that rarely receives attention from the gaming world. I bought it a couple of years back because it was only $14.99 at my local EB Games, and largely because it’s a Capcom beat ‘em up. I popped Spyborgs into my Wii and was surprised to discover a pretty good game. I was surprised because the game was pushed aside by many Wii owners, despite it being the kind of game that Nintendo fans wanted to play on the Wii.
Spyborgs is a pretty standard beat ‘em up that forces you to fight baddies, move onto the next area, and fight more baddies. So yes, it is quite repetitive, but old school beat ‘em up games are the epitome of repetitive. What I genuinely like about Spyborgs is its fluent combat system highlighted by a smart use of the Wii’s motion controls, used to execute finishing moves. Also, Spyborgs gives you three different characters that have separate move sets and attributes, which gives the game a little bit of depth. Plus, each character can be upgraded for more health, damage, etc. It’s a brutal game, but if you can get past that aspect, you might find yourself enjoying the game, especially during its two-player co-op.
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic and the Secret Rings came at a time when the Wii needed software; so naturally, I went out and purchased a copy. At the time, Sonic and the Secret Rings was one of the better Sonic games during a time when Sega couldn’t do anything substantial with the franchise. It isn’t a traditional Sonic game by any means, and does feature a pretty lackluster story set in the storybook world of Arabian Nights, but it was a major improvement over the awful Sonic 2006.
Sonic and the Secret Rings offers fast-paced, on-rails gameplay highlighted by good overall design. There are definitely some issues with the Wii Remote controls – especially when jumping – but with some patience, you can get the hang of Sonic’s moves. One of the more interesting elements of the game is the ability to equip rings with new techniques for Sonic to utilize. Whether it is the ability to run faster, sidestep smoothly, or to boost longer, the ring mechanic helped make the game more enjoyable.
I can’t help but feel like MadWorld is the result of Wii gamers crying out for something gritty and bloody on the Wii. It’s a shame too, because when Platinum Games developed and released MadWorld, it was largely ignored by the very same audience. I’m not sure why it was ignored, but it was the kind of mature title Wii gamers begged developers to make.
MadWorld features a unique art style that is comprised of mostly black and white, save for the inevitable, massive amounts of red blood. This blood bath is the result of challenging players to overcome waves of enemies in a game show called DeathWatch. Gamers are challenged to come up with unique ways to defeat enemies, including the use of environmental kills. The objective is to garner a high score by using different combinations, rewarding gamers with more points with creative kills. MadWorld is repetitive, but like Spyborgs, it’s a beat ‘em up, so that’s to be expected. However, it’s a pretty short game, so the DeathWatch game show doesn’t really have a chance to grow stale.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a reimagining of Silent Hill, the first game in the horror video game franchise. It features a similar story told in Silent Hill, but has a completely different gameplay style. While the first game has a focus on combat and survival, Shattered Memories forgoes both elements to create a different kind of horror.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories introduces a unique twist that forces gamers to complete simple psychological tests. Your answers and actions during these tests will be reflected in the world of Silent Hill. Once you start exploring Silent Hill, some these changes are obvious, while others are subtle, especially during your first time playing the game. The gameplay is then split into two parts; exploration and chase sequences. Silent Hill is a hauntingly, beautiful place that makes exploration a lot of fun. There isn’t a lot to do, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in the game’s atmospheric world, easily my favourite part of the game. Then there are the chase sequences where you are chased by monsters with no means to fight them. These are panic inducing mazes in which the only way to survive is to use the environment to your advantage. You can knock items over to slow the monsters down, hide in lockers to avoid confrontation, or take a moment to use the in-game smart phone to map out the best possible route.
Metroid: Other M
The last entry on this list happens to be one of the most controversial Wii games, Metroid: Other M. It was once a highly anticipated Wii game, but was met with a shit storm shortly after its release. This shit storm was caused by the portrayal of Samus Aran, a strong, rebellious, independent woman that agrees to be part of a team, and follow its commander’s orders. A lot of gamers read into this on a much deeper level than I believe was intended, but that doesn’t excuse the poor, convoluted story told within the game.
Metroid: Other M deserves a second chance on its gameplay merits alone. Sure, it’s far from the masterpieces that are Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, but it manages to hold its own by focusing mostly on action oriented gameplay instead of exploration. That doesn’t mean there is no exploration as there are plenty of clever hidden areas to find, some of which require items found later in the game, a clear nod to previous Metroid games. Overall, I really enjoyed the fast-paced action in Metroid: Other M and found myself glued to the game at times.