Hardcore gaming certainly wasn’t the focus of this years Nintendo’s E3 press conference. In fact, after watching the recent Nintendo presentation, it would be easy to assume that Wii owners have very few honest-to-goodness games to look forward to in the coming months. Thankfully for us grown-ups, nothing could be further from the truth. Although there are still plenty of kid friendly casual mini-games en-route for the Wii in 2007, what Nintendo neglected to mention was that they have more exclusive games coming out this year than anyone else, and incredibly, many of them are actual games with deep narratives and intriguing game play! Join us as we explore some of the soon-to-be-released Wii games that should satisfy Nintendo’s hardcore fan base. Guaranteed 100% mini-game free!
Super Mario Galaxy
Although fans of Nintendo’s mascot were disappointed that the Wii launched without a Mario game, all indications suggest that Super Mario Galaxy is going to be well worth the year-long wait. In a game spanning 40 galaxies (each consisting of numerous planetoids,) Mario will fly between worlds and run along spherical levels each with their own degree of gravitational pull. Look for this must-buy title this November.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
One of Nintendo’s biggest franchises gets a new-gen sequel this December with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The series has always been easy to pick up and play, but now players will be able to choose between playing with a Wiimote, the Classic Controller, or Gamecube controller. Probably most exciting of all, the new Smash brothers beefs up it’s roster of playable characters by adding Ike (from the Fire Emblem series,) Meta Knight (from the Kirby games,) Pit (the angelic protagonist from Nintendo classic Kid Icarus,) Wario, and Solid Snake (!) to the mix.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
The 10th title in the Metroid series is finally going to be released this August, and although online play has been scrapped in favor of a strong single player experience, hands-on accounts suggest that the Corruption team has finally perfected the control scheme which presented some problems earlier in the game’s development cycle. In addition, for the first time in a Metroid game, all NPC dialogue will support full speech, suggesting that Nintendo paid attention to criticisms regarding the mountains of text-based-dialogue in Twilight Princess.
The latest Sims iteration looks to capitalize on the endearing nature of Nintendo’s Miis by blending together colorful Japanese aesthetics with tried and true Sims game play. Players will interact with over 80 NPCs as they manage the environment and complete a variety of tasks using the Wiimote in creative ways.
Despite the fact that Manhunt 2 was slapped with an AO rating prohibiting the game’s July release, don’t think that Rockstar isn’t cleaning up the content and controls to ensure that gamers will get their hands on this highly controversial title later this year. The story follows scientist Daniel Lamb in his efforts to escape from an insane asylum, and game play promises to be just as brutal as the first installment in the series. Although it’s presently unknown if Manhunt is going to retain the brutality that had the Wii hardcore clamoring to play one of the only mature titles on the platform, one thing is certain: with all the hype surrounding the controversial AO rating, Manhunt 2 is going to attract a lot of attention when it eventually sees the light of day.
No More Heroes
Players anxious to get their hands on a light-saber game for the Wii will be pleased to know that No More Heroes’ game play involves an odd combo of wrestling moves and futuristic beam-katana fighting. In an approach similar to sandbox staple Grand Theft Auto, players will be able to meander about the game’s sprawling environment on foot or tool around in their very own space-age motorcycle as they guide protagonist Travis Touchdown through the early stages of his new career as a hired killer. Look for this quirky, stylish game later this year.
Nights: Journey of Dreams
For years, fans of the Sega Saturn classic Nights into Dreams have been praying for a full blown next-gen sequel. Well, the prayers have been answered, and the promise of a Nights game using the Wiimote for flight controls has Nights loyalists intrigued. Although very little is known about the game at present, Nights: Journey of Dreams is one title Wii owners should keep an eye on.
Dewey’s Adventure has players assuming the role of Dewey, a magical water droplet tasked with saving the ecosystem. Platforming elements are combined with Super Monkey Ball style controls that have players tilting the game world allowing Dewey to flow from one area to the next. To complete puzzles, Dewey will shift his physical form between liquid, gas, and solid states (he is a water droplet, after all,) and other nature-based powers become unlocked as players proceed. Look for this promising platformer this September.
Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire
This title tells the story of Dal, a young man seeking to find the missing pieces of the Dragon Blade, an ancient and powerful weapon with numerous magical properties. In addition to allowing players to flail their arms about in a truly embarrassing fashion in order to perform melee attacks, the Dragon Blade allows Dal to cast powerful magical spells which will make use of the Wiimote’s unique control scheme. Look for this action-intensive game to arrive in Late September.
Madden NFL 08
All accounts suggest that the follow up the popular Madden 07 isn’t just another money-grabbing rehash of the venerable Madden series. In fact, it appears that EA Sports has spent a great deal of effort refining Madden’s game play and feature set. The number of addictive mini-games has been greatly expanded, blocking and throwing mechanics have been tweaked, and there will even be a trivia mode allowing super fans to drop the knowledge bomb. In order to broaden Madden 08’s appeal further, children, the elderly, and girlfriends everywhere will enjoy the new Family Play mode, which greatly simplifies the controls while maintaining the famous competitive spirit of the series. Look for this highly anticipated title in mid August.
Battalion Wars 2
Featuring three different online multiplayer modes, Battalion Wars 2 looks to bring online combat to the Wii when it ships this year. Like a cartoon version of EA’s battlefield series, Battalion Wars 2 allows players to command a wide variety of craft including helicopters, boats, jets, and tanks as they vie for supremacy. RTS fans will enjoy the ability to bring up the map and order troops to various locations, and with six warring nations to choose from, online matches promise to be intense.
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Bully: Scholarship Edition continues the trend of releasing PS2 and Gamecube titles from yesteryear on Nintendo’s waggle-centric console. Filled with Rockstar’s patented humor and a wide variety of mission types, gamers who missed out on last year’s PS2 offering should absolutely pick up the new Scholarship Edition.
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
Unlike most of the other games in the Resident Evil series, Umbrella Chronicles is an on-rails shooter that looks to re-invent the light gun games of yore in true next-gen fashion. Players will have limited control of their player as they are guided through a gauntlet of undead, and as a bonus, Umbrella Chronicles supports two players for local co-op action. The story centers around the downfall of the infamous Umbrella Corporation, who was responsible for the virulent zombie outbreak that has plagued Raccoon City over the course of the popular series.
FIFA Soccer 08
In addition to providing a standard by-the-numbers soccer game, FIFA 08 also will include Footii Party, a collection of soccer-inspired games with an emphasis on family-friendly multiplayer. Up to four players can join in for games of Foosebal, Juggling, or Bullet (a frantic timed shootout,) and unlike the more realistic core game, these multiplayer games will all feature Mii versions of popular soccer players. FIFA 08 kicks off sometime this fall.
Rygar: Battle of Argus
A remake of one of the original NES action games, Rygar will have players killing waves upon waves of monsters by using a large yo-yo like shield weapon. Although little is currently known about this newly announced title, one can imagine Rygar: Battle of Argus taking good advantage of the Wii’s motion based control scheme for its combat. Players starved for action on Nintendo’s console will get the chance to throw Rygar’s trademark bladed shield into their adversaries this winter.
There’s nothing wrong with minigames. Much like appetizers, they allow players to jump in and get a taste of the fun without much commitment or consequence. But much like a diner forced to live off of jalapeno poppers and fried cheese sticks for months on end, Wii gamers have been craving something more substantial. Something that sticks to the ribs. Although the meatiest titles coming out this year are Nintendo’s 1st party offerings, (namely Metroid and Mario, and Smash Bros.,) there are an abundance of 3rd party games coming down the pipes in the upcoming months that may surprise many gamers with their innovative gameplay and robust multiplayer offerings. No longer limited to minigame collections and shoddy last-gen ports with tacked on Wiimote controls, the Wii is getting ready to show it’s true colors with the impeding release of games designed for the Wii from the ground up. Now is the time for Nintnedo to step it up and show their hardcore fan base that they havn’t abandoned them in favor of soccer moms and octagenarians.