FGotY 2009 [Nintendo Wii]

Now it’s time to get to the Big Three Consoles, starting off with the Wii.

Brock – As much fun as Wii Sports Resort, NSMBWii and Punch Out! were, I’d have to say that my picks for the games I had the most fun with on the Wii this year are a little off the beaten track. I had a stupid grin plastered to my face the entire time I played MadWorld, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, The Munchables, A Boy And His Blob, Little King’s Story and Rabbids Go Home. These games might not have the widespread appeal that the first 3 games I mentioned did but were fantastic nonetheless and had me singing their praises to all who will listen. I’d probably give The Munchables my top pick for FGotY on Wii because it was so reminiscent of the absurdity of Katamari Damacy that I couldn’t stop laughing the entire time I played it.

Nat – It was an off year for the Wii in our household, but some games do come to mind: Excitebots: Trick Racing, Little King’s Story, and Excitebike: World Rally. However, it’s Punch-Out!! that gets my vote for Fun Game of The Year. Nintendo did a fine job of staying true to the games roots, adding some excellent humor, and introducing Mac and his pink jumpsuit to a new generation.

Will – Much like my Nintendo DS, the Wii just doesn’t get a lot of love. I have built up a backlog of games that I really want to get back to, like Twilight Princess, Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3. With that amount of shame hanging over my head, I can’t bring myself to keep up my collection of Wii games. However, I did manage to add two games this year, which I submit as my candidates for FGotY 2009 [Nintendo Wii]: House of the Dead Overkill and Punch-Out!! I am just as surprised as you are that I picked the former title. The game is very self-aware, which attributes to the its silly nature. It also captures the grindhouse movie style very well. It plays as well as one would expect for a Wii on-rails shooter, with some pretty cool things to unlock (like dual-wielding weapons).

Tony – Another year goes by where we only bought a couple Wii games and rented a couple more. The overarching theme this year for me was definitely “Nostalgia Never Disappoints”. We started out earlier this year with Punch-Out!!, which was utterly fantastic and the kids absolutely loved, but ultimately, the New Super Mario Bros. Wii wins out for me. I love games that I can play with my kids, which doesn’t happen too often. My four year-old boy has played a bunch of NSMB on the DS and he was able to grasp the Wii version almost instantly. He loves to play with me, but he is a brutal co-op partner! He doesn’t understand the concept of “waiting up” yet, so I’ve got to stay on my toes or I’ll get squeezed out of the level. I love the new power-ups (the Spring Mario is still my favorite!) and the levels have the perfect mix of old-school Super Mario with enough hidden paths and power-ups to appeal to everyone. We will be playing this game long into 2010.

[Gamer Responsibility] Growing Another Hand

Wii Fit comes out this week.

Nintendo, please…stop.

Actually, my wife and I were excited about the possibility of Wii Fit—more so about the possibility of using Wii Fit. We’re not getting it now. For having the cheapest selling (more on that in a minute), fastest selling, and most unique console, Nintendo kills you when it comes to peripherals. I would assume that most readers here who have a Wii don’t just have the basic remote and nunchuk.

How many other games are going to use the Wii Fit peripheral? Looking back, how many used the drums, dance pads, guitar(s), microphones, wheels, etc. other than their bundled games?

Since the release of the console, it appears that almost every AAA first-party title on the system has needed more than just the Wiimote. Sure, many titles can be played with just the included controller, but many of those same titles play better with the nunchuk (also included). Let us see: Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Strikers Charged, Metroid Prime 3, Mario Kart Wii, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Super Paper Mario, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Wii Fit. Yep, it seems as if every title needs a controller add-on. Excite Truck may be the only other major title that can be played with just the remote. It looks like the good ol’ ‘chuck needs to be used on most of them. What happens when you add a player? That $250 console just became a $310 console (another controller plus nunchuk). Now add two more players.

Ouch. We’re in Sony and Microsoft territory now. Their better online play exempts buying another controller for me. I have two 360 controllers. Interestingly, most third party titles get away with just using the standard remote. Of course, they don’t have a need to sell an add-on either.

We won’t even discuss the “classic” controller which is not really all that classic in look, style, or feel. (another $20). And the Wii Zapper? Terrific.

A couple of the games listed earlier let you use the Gamecube controller to play, and ironically it’s even preferred by most gamers on one title. Speaking of Gamecube, I own three drums and two dance pads. Ask me how much we use them.

Why do we need all these extra controllers? Why? I’ve not even touched on all the guitars and instruments that usually work for one game or their sequels…maybe. It appears that the next Guitar Hero is going to have it’s own instrument set. My guess is that it’ll even be exclusive. I really don’t know. I could care less about the music games—Boom Boom Rocket is my level of video game music depth, oh, and Audiosurf—a music game that doesn’t need an extra device to play. In the end, some gamers are going to have more instruments than most real bands.

When I saw the Wii remote for the first time, I was pretty excited about the possibility of playing games with as few buttons as possible. Control simplicity seemed like it was back in our grasp, so to speak. Pointless thinking. (Pun gloriously intended—both times). I will admit, however, that the Wiimote/nunchuk setup for some games is rather intuitive. Excellent, even. I cannot imagine Metroid Prime without it. Keep the gaming design there. Stop. No more add-ons—by anybody. Nintendo is certainly the leader, but, terrifyingly, it appears that the big money is in peripheral bundles.

We already have a Rubbermaid box by our couch that holds all our system controllers and add-ons for a 360 and a Wii. It’s full—a five gallon tote. No more room for another device will use for a period and it’ll sit in the box not to be used for anything else.

The game we keep coming back to: Excite Truck.