With a lot of excellent 8th generation games being released for all consoles for the rest of this year and next year, we are sure to receive a fair share of doom and gloom articles as well. No one can deny that each of the three home consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have areas where they can be improved but what everyone should be focusing on are the games that each system has or will have. It goes without saying that the one reason you should choose a particular console to own over other consoles is because of the exclusive games you will be able to play on that system. It has always been the reason I buy Nintendo consoles.
You will have no doubt read a lot of articles all over the internet that harp on about why Nintendo is failing and that you should not buy into their products etc. Many people suggest that the Wii U is not a “next gen” console because it lacks the same amount of power that the Xbox1 and PS4 have. Others would suggest that the Wii U is not “next gen” because it’s online presence is not as strong as it should be in this age of gaming, while I agree with this point I would not necessarily suggest that this means the Wi U is not “next gen”. People say that because the Wii U is not “next gen” it means that no one wants to buy one apart from Nintendo fans and that no third party company wants to support the Wii U by putting their games on the system.
The Wii U is sure as hell not getting the same third party support as the Xbox1 and PS4 as previously discussed in another of my articles, but it is fair to say that it is getting a fair share of exclusive games. If you are a Wii U gamer or on the fence about getting a Wii U, hopefully you will enjoy reading this article as I attempt to highlight some of the solid reasons to own a Wii U and why I think the console is worth the punt. There may not be the third party support for the Wii U that was promised when first revealed but there are key areas where the Wii U succeeds.
Exclusives out now
So lets start by highlighting some of the Wii U’s exclusive games (although some of them are also out on the 3DS) that have already been released, although Nintendo were quite slow off the mark in getting games ready for the Wii U’s launch, slowly but surely there have been some quality releases up until this point. I have decided to only include major retail releases and not indie games on the following list. Let’s get started.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
This game is literally one of the best platformers that is available on 8th generation machines. Donkey Kong has never looked so good with stunning HD visuals, the addition of a second player being able to play cooperatively using one of three characters gives the game a dynamic edge. Use Cranky Kong to bounce on his cane over spikes, use Dixie Kong to use her hair to glide a bit higher and use Diddy Kong to use his jet pack to give him a momentary boost in the air. The later stages in this game are hard as nails as well as a hard mode that is unlocked after beating the game on normal. Plenty of challenge worthy of any true gamers time here.
Lego City Undercover
A must have for lego fans! You will find many hours of enjoyment in this fantastic open world lego game, it looks great, it plays great, it will make you laugh and there is lots to do besides the main story. If you can see passed the sometimes long loading times you will see that when it comes to Wii U exclusive software, this game should be known as a key selling point in that category. It’s like a family friendly version of Grand Theft Auto which is a very unique genre on the Wii U, there really isn’t anything else like it on the Wii U right now.
Mario Kart 8
If there was one reason to own a Wii U right now it is for this game. The latest Mario Kart installment looks simply stunning in HD visuals and has never played better. You get four new power ups to play on a total of 32 tracks across 8 cups, play online with up to 12 players or play battle mode if you get tired of racing (which you won’t). No one can deny this game for what it is: A classic game that is true to it’s roots whilst offering a new way to drive using an anti gravity system and the game is almost as addictive as breathing. DLC has recently landed in the shape of new Mercedes karts and a LOT more DLC has recently been announced. Why not read my Mario Kart 8 review.
Mario & Sonic at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games
To say that the Wii was not without it’s fair share of family orientated games would be a bit of an understatement, this game arrived on the Wii U in order to cater for the same audience on the Wii. While that may not be 100% possible right now one thing remains sure, this is a game for enjoyment for friends and family. While this might be a game that a lot of core gamers pass up, if you have relatives coming over for the weekend and need to find some kind of entertainment you don’t need to look any further than Mario & Sonic. There are many events and you can play using several different control schemes but be warned, playing a lot of this might activate your competitive side.
Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate
If you were to ask me what my favourite game on the Wii was, it would be a toss up between Xenoblade Chronicles and this. The reason I would have MH3 up alongside Xenoblade Chronicles is because I found it so hard to put the controller down after starting a session. I must have poured hundreds of hours into that game and found it so addictive that I bought the Ultimate version when it launched on the Wii U. I have no doubt poured even more hours into it this time round and always find myself coming back to it once I have finished a new game. Go on quests with up to 4 players online, take down huge monsters and use their materials to make new weapons and armor then do it all again. It sounds pretty uninspiring in terms of “next gen” gaming but if JRPG’s are your bag you will be hooked on this! Mark my words!
New Super Mario Bros U
This was a launch game and effectively a follow up to the version on the successful Wii version. It’s up to four players simultaneous coop fun that does not deter from what you would expect to get out of the game and that is not a bad thing at all. You know exactly what you are going to get from a Mario game, pure enjoyment and fun, the reason video games were invented. Try not to get too mad with your friends when they throw you off the edge, it’s all in the name of fun…For an extra challenge, why not also try out New Super Luigi Bros U.
Another launch day game that came bundled with a lot of editions of the Wii U. I think it is fair to say that Nintendoland is Nintendo’s attempt to showcase the gamepad using a series of mini games like what Wii Sports did for the Wii. Obviously it has not had the same success but offers some fun and challenge while showcasing some of Nintendo more popular IP’s like Zelda, F Zero and Metroid. Core gamers will not be clambering past people in stores to get themselves a copy but there is still some fun to be had here. Use the gamepad in a variety of ways in mini games with some of Nintendo’s core franchises.
Looking for a game that is a break from the more common Nintendo releases? Pikmin 3 screams originality and packs a challenge like no other. Although the single player campaign is a bit short, there are other challenge modes to get your teeth into to see if you can master the online leader boards. It was a bit of a shame to find out that online multiplayer would not be including in this game upon it’s release but it does not stop this cute and charming real time strategy game from being a stroke of Miyamoto genius. Different colored Pikmin have different abilities to get passed certain enemies or parts of the landscape. DLC is also available for purchase once you have beaten everything in the game.
Sonic Lost World
Now this was a game that got a lot of people excited at the premise of finally getting a 3D Sonic game that could stand up against 3D Mario games. When catching a glimpse of the first screenshots that were ever shown off we all got the impression that this game was taking a direction like Super Mario Galaxy did. It isn’t far from the truth either but as we all know it didn’t turn out anywhere near as good a game as Super Mario Galaxy did. Still, any die hard Sonic fan will never pass up the opportunity to get this game and they would sure have a good time playing some of the levels. It’s just a shame Sonic Lost World is far too short and the controls are clunky.
Super Mario 3D World
If I am guilty for anything in this gaming generation it would be for writing off this game too soon. But I can hardly say that I was alone, when first revealed, 3D World turned a lot of people off through no fault of there own, the trailer Nintendo decided to show made it look as if this game is just a 3D version of New Super Mario Bros U and would not be enjoyed by people as much from a single player perspective. Thankfully we were all wrong, very wrong! The next time Nintendo showed off some gameplay footage they did a good job, 3D World turned out to be one of the best games in the 8th generation and offers four player coop, stunning HD graphics, competitive gameplay, unique ideas exclusive to this Mario game, unique power ups and the last level offers a challenge so hard it will make your teeth itch!
The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD
This is not a new game, so nothing new to see here. In fact it is an HD remake, but as far as HD remakes go, it is a great one! The visuals on the original Gamecube version still look good to this day let alone with an HD upgrade. The game still leaves me with memories from specific moments in the game and is well worth the purchase whether you had the original on Gamecube or not. The gamepad controls make it seamless when swapping items over and when navigating the map and just adds to the overall delight that the game is.
The Wonderful 101
Nintendo’s newest IP developed by Platinum Games is a game that is worthy of a lot more attention than it has received thus far. This challenging strategic action game will have you utilizing super heroes for their special individual powers, Wonder Red for example can morph into a giant fist to punch his way through enemies, Wonder Blue on the other hand can morph into a giant sword to slice his opponents and act as a giant key and Wonder Green can morph into a giant gun for ranged attacks. There are lots of super heroes to unlock as you progress in the game and it packs a very deep learning curve.
Another launch game for the Wii U, this game however was met with mixed reviews from users and critics alike. I very much enjoyed the game, to me it was a true survival horror which the likes of the main Resident Evil series had lost after Resident Evil 4. You will come across pant wettingly scary moments whilst using your torch to find your way through a zombie filled London underground whilst trying to preserve ammo. Zombie U wasn’t the biggest game and was not without it’s bugs but it offered a true survival horror experience and was the first game to ever utilize the gamepad for it’s strengths.
Exclusives on the way
Believe it or not, it does not stop there. The Wii U does indeed have a lineup of solid games coming out, the most of which will be next year, although there are still a few notable releases due by the end of this year. Please note that I am fully aware that there are a lot of solid Indie exclusives coming out on the Wii U but I have chosen to highlight the major retail releases. If you are still considering getting a Wii U and have been on the fence for a while, look at the Exclusives out now list and the Exclusives on the way list and ask yourself why you haven’t got one yet. Apologies if I have missed any notable ones by the way.
The Legend of Zelda meets Dynasty Warriors in this action packed looking crossover game. You will fight your way through hordes of enemies in the land of Hyrule whilst playing as one of many characters from the Zelda series, chain combos together, unlock stats, gather materials and compete in the games “Adventure mode” that features an 8 bit Zelda style overview to keep you entertained for months to come. The game has already been released in Japan and has gotten off to a fairly good start so I am hoping it can be built upon once released in the US and Europe.
Set to be the Wii U’s biggest 3rd party exclusive thus far, Bayonetta 2 looks like it will suffice to the needs of all the mature gamers that own a Wii U. It looks stunning and totally bonkers! The combat system looks unique as it does insane with lots of moves to chain together and over the top outrageous special moves that have you summoning all kinds of demons. What’s even better though is that you will get the original Bayonetta packed in for free in the US and European gamers are treated to a selection of different limited editions. You will have no doubt heard about #operationplatinum? I advise all you mature Nintendo gamers to go out and buy this game and support developers that bring quality to the Wii U.
Super Smash Bros U
Undoubtedly, this is many peoples most anticipated game on the Wii U of the year, if not ever! It is very clear to see why, with each iteration of Smash Bros that gets released, each one comes packed with more content than ever before and this time is no exception. A vast array of playable characters, trophies, stages, sound tracks and online play will have so many people playing for months. My one hope is that they fix the stability of playing online because it was because of this that I stopped playing Brawl on the Wii.
Captain Toads Treasure Tracker
Toad having his own game is something to write home about on its own! Another reason to write home about is that the game he is featured in will be taken from the treasure tracking mini games where you play as him on Super Mario 3D World. Everyone who has played Super Mario 3D World will understand the appeal for this game, it may not be a huge blockbuster but it will be thoroughly entertaining nonetheless.
Yoshis Wooly World
Taken from the visual style of Kirby’s Epic Yarn on the Wii, Yoshi’s Wooly World looks absolutely adorable. The knitted graphics effect gives it a unique edge when putting it up against other platforming games on the Wii U (and there are many good ones) and the game looks set to be crazy fun for all ages. It’s the type of game that you cannot help but smile when you watch some gameplay footage and will be a great addition to the Wii U’s library.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
Another fantastic looking platformer that will fit right at home with the Wii U’s already decent line up of platforming games. This one offers a different way to play though as you control Kirby using the styles on the touch pad giving the game its unique edge. The Wii U is fast becoming the home of the platformers as we have already had a lot of great ones and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is looking like it will be no exception.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
This game just cannot come out soon enough, I am craving for that huge JRPG experience right now and Xenoblade Chronicles X will surely fit that bill. If what has been said about it in that it will be more than five times bigger than the original Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii then I am in for such a treat. I was a huge fan of the original and already X looks like it will surpass it in every way, I hope they get it perfect for its release but at the same time I don’t want to wait much longer! My favourite game on the Wii has got a successor and at the moment Xenoblade Chronicles X was announced, my prayers were answered.
Splatoon is the result of what Nintendo does with the FPS genre like Mario Kart being the result of what they did with the racing genre. There will be many modes to play including single player but the hook will be the 4 vs 4 online multiplayer aspect. Nintendo’s take on the FPS genre looks to be good clean fun that looks as enjoyable as it does bright. Not too much information has been given regarding game modes or voice chat or anything else so I hope to hear more about the game soon.
It’s another mature third party game exclusively for the Wii U so you can no doubt understand that I will be treasuring its very existence with a day one purchase. It is a 3rd person action shooter that switches between 3rd person and first person depending on the weapon you are using. There will be a strong emphasis on online multiplayer with this game and you will be able to form guilds, gain experience and even create your own maps to play online against other people all over the world.
Fatal Frame: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden
A game that seems to be very popular in Japan, if the first reveal trailer was any indication Japanese gamers will be very happy to get their teeth into this. Using a camera, fend off ghosts by taking photos of them with it being more effective the closer to the camera they are. I have never played a Fatal Frame game in the past (I know, loser!) but I am a sucker for a good survival horror and I would be all over this! Let’s just hope that Nintendo see sense and do all they can by bringing the game to other regions.
The Legend of Zelda U
If you haven’t seen the latest trailer that was shown at this years E3 then no doubt you have been living in a cave. Please check the trailer out because it looks phenomenal, nothing short of it, it looks unbelievable. It jumped ahead of Xenoblade Chronicles X as my most anticipated game on the Wii U when I first saw it and if it really is as big as it looks and as open world as we all want then this could be easily game of the year next year. Zelda is the greatest franchise in the history of gaming and most people (me included) have Ocarina of Time down as the pinnacle of the franchise. Can Zelda U really be the game to take its place on the podium?
Star Fox U
We may have no information, no screenshots and no video footage but this years E3 saw Miyamoto announce that he is working on a new Star Fox for the Wii U. This is the franchise I was desperate to see on the Wii and could not understand why there has not been a follow up to Star Fox on the N64. However, I am now hyped for this new Star Fox that Miyamoto is working on and can only dream of what it might be like. It could be the best game ever made that showcases the gamepad for its strengths, I just hope Miyamoto does not overdo it with the gamepad integration and just brings us a quality Star Fox game.
Off TV Play
The Wii U gamepad was indeed the main selling point for the Wii U when first unveiled, this is about as obvious as the Wii remote being the Wii’s selling point. The gamepad however, has not made as great an impact as the Wii remote did when it was first introduced to the gaming world all those years ago. The Wii U gamepad hasn’t actually made much of a dent in the industry at all truth being told, when you go over a few facts it isn’t too much of a wonder why in my opinion. Although the idea of the gamepad was cool on paper when it was first announced in 2011 (and still is) it has not been well received by nearly as many core gamers at intended.
To the casual audience that got in on the Wii movement, the Wii U might seem to look like just a peripheral controller for the original Wii. People might argue against this but this argument would not even be in existence if Nintendo marketed the Wii U properly. It seems to me that Nintendo were heavily relying on word of mouth too much to market the Wii U and that the same crowds that bought a Wii would buy a Wii U. This obviously has not been the case and the chances of rectifying that in the 8th generation are looking slim. A lot of people would also argue that the name “Wii U” has not helped either, again making it sound like some kind of Wii add on, rather than an entirely new console.
There have been some games that utilize the gamepad well, (Zombie U being an example) but there is one feature that Nintendo need to market about the gamepad a lot more. I am referring to of course Off TV Play, most games have this feature and to me it was initially a big selling point for me. The convenience of being able to carry on gaming while the other other watches her programmes is currently something that no other console can offer and this point needs to be made clear to consumers. It is a very good feature and has me wondering how on earth I would have been able to put in as many hours gaming this generation without it.
Not many developers will be able to figure out what to do to utilize the Wii U gamepad to its full potential in the future and it would surprise me if Nintendo themselves were able to with every big release. One thing in my opinion at least that Nintendo has got right with the gamepad is being able to game on the gamepad alone, potential consumers need to understand that the time of arguing over who gets the TV is over.
Free Online Play
So let’s be honest, when it comes to Nintendo and the evolving world of online gaming, it goes without saying that Nintendo are a bit in the dark. No party chat, no achievement system, a lot of games that you think should feature online play (Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros U etc) don’t and Nintendo Network ID’s on both the Wii U and 3DS are not fully integrated yet. Who would want to pay for such a service? Probably no one so it’s a good job we don’t have to.
Yes Nintendo certainly needs to jump on the bandwagon more when it comes to providing an online service but what you cannot argue with is that Nintendo are the only developers in the console hardware business that offers it for free. I would certainly not have an issue paying Nintendo for a service that offered me as much as what you can get on PSN or Xbox Live but at the same time am very happy not to have to pay for the service they are currently offering. Free online play is quite a big deal, Nintendo need to be shouting from the rooftops that they are the only players in the game that offer this as playing online is vastly popular.
So there you have it, my reasons as to why I think that the Wii U is worth the punt. It’s mainly about the exclusives on the console but let’s be honest, it should always be about what games you can get on the console. With all the exclusives out right now and the exclusives coming out by the end of next year it really is a good time to own one, Nintendo have recently said that the release of Hyrule Warriors is going to kick off a string of big releases. Miyamoto has also said in an interview recently that Nintendo are going to be focusing on core games again for the foreseeable future. Not to mention the fact that you can get a brand new Wii U for a relatively cheap price as part of a bunch of different bundles. No doubt there will be a special Smash Bros bundle available for Christmas time too, Smash Bros fans should have no reason not to buy a Wii U at this point if they haven’t done so already.
What do you all think of my reasons to own a Wii U? Think it’s worth the punt? Agree or disagree with any of my points? I would love to hear all your feedback, please use the comment section below. Thanks
Written by Sammy J on 9 September 2014