As the holiday season looms ever closer, be prepared for a glut of new titles to hit the market. There are a few Im looking forward to myself – Geometry Wars: Galaxies, Godzilla Unleashed and the new Super Mario Galaxy. In the meantime, dont sleep on the following sure-shot titles which are currently on the racks.
10. Big Brain Academy Wii Degree
This cool collection of video quizzes tests your recognition and reaction time. The artwork is colorful while the minigames are varied in selection and difficulty. In addition, this is one of the few titles that use your Mii in-game, so I copped it early on and enjoyed it right away. My wife and I battle on this, and since its the Big Brain Academy whoever wins get to say they are the smartest. I stay winning.
9. Transformers: The Game
The movie was funky and this game delivers too. Out of all the Transformers games ever released, this one has the best mechanics and the most immersive game play. Furthermore, there were some very innovative ideas used in the military-like Decepticons campaign. Though not perfect, if you liked the movie or grew up with the toys you will probably enjoy this adventure title.
8. Super Monkey Ball
One of the largest collections of minigames on one disc (50 in total) the main game has you tilting the Wiimote to roll a monkey in a glass ball all over these crazy little courses in a manner that is deceptively simple and super addictive. Its one of the nicer applications of Nintendos motion sensitivity. The minigame gallery has some neat two to four player games like Monkey Wars, Monkey Race and Monkey Target. Critics have already noted that some of the most fun to be had on the Wii is in the multiplayer action and this game has plenty to spare.
Armed with fists and wits, ninjas make great video heroes and this title is no exception. It has all the acrobatic challenge of the Prince of Persia series (the engine on which this game is built) and adds the charm of the Teenage Mutant Turtles. Its a nicely designed platformer with some clever scenery and a few nifty minigames. Not incredibly inventive, but overall I enjoyed the hell out of this one.
6. Rayman Raving Rabbids
Rayman is the dude but the demonic Rabbids are the stars of this minigame spectacular. One of the first games I got for the Wii, I was impressed from the outset with the quality of the graphics and the ingenious variety of uses for the Wiimote they managed to pack into this bundle. Pretty much a light hearted romp, those dang bunnies love to dance but hate on Rayman mercilessly. After running through the story mode you will have unlocked 70 minigames of various length and difficulty, with the Warthog Race, Bunny Hunt, and the dance scenes being my favorites. One of Wiis launch titles which still delivers, the soundtrack includes Naughty by Natures Hip Hop Hooray and Chics Good Times and good times is exactly what youll find inside. Wifey rides for Rayman, too.
5. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
If it wasnt for comic books, Hollywood wouldnt have half the ideas that they do. The same goes for video games. This particular game was a hit on every console. Perhaps the biggest game with the most Marvel characters in it ever (140 total), you get to roll on Dr. Doom and his associates in this well written Action RPG. Though this is essentially a button smashing dungeon crawler you will get to travel to a grip of locales made famous in the comic books like Asgard, Dooms Latverian Castle, Murderworld and Mephistos Realm, just to name a few. The soundtrack works well with the missions and the voice acting is adequate. A well rounded game with up to four player cooperative options makes for a solid superhero purchase.
4. Trauma Center: Second Opinion
The doctor is in. This game is so fresh that they took it from the hand held version where it started and reworked it entirely for the Wii. A stand out title which defies comparison, anyone who enjoys an exacting challenge and appreciates anime cinema should seek this out. Diagnosis: take one of these and call me in the morning.
3. Super Paper Mario
Its no secret that many of Nintendos best games are made in-house, and Mario never disappoints. A brilliant use of the Wiis graphic capabilities with colors and character designs so flashy and fresh, this is what the modern arcade should feel like. Super Paper Mario builds on the success of the previous Thousand Year Door offering for the GameCube and eliminates the crummy turned based fighting. Sort of an RPG and platformer combination, this is very imaginative with the different possibilities of flipping the screen from 2D to 3D to reveal hidden sections along with the Pixls you collect which all give a special ability, like shrinking extra small to go inside houses so little you dont even notice them on the first pass. I think I spent 50 or 60 hours beating this game and I loved every minute. Its an added bonus that the story dialogue is actually funny with a lot of gamer inside jokes. If youve got pepper in your pants then you will fare well in this adventure.
2. Resident Evil 4
Easily one of the best video games to date on any platform, this joint was out on GameCube two full years before it came to the Wii. Between then and now it was ported to the PS2 and a PC version came out with total sales in the millions. Well worth the wait, the Wii release eliminated some funky control issues the previous platforms had and sped up the load times. More than just shooting monsters in the face and getting money, this game has puzzles, timed missions, and the craziest storyline. Critically acclaimed all around, this game is a steal; I copped it new for around 30 bucks. Superbly paced, there are some oh snap moments in the game that rank among my favorite cut scenes from any video game. The Wii edition is the definitive version and surpasses all competitors.
1. Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess
My wife brought me this game for Christmas last year before we could even find a Wii in any local stores. Now, after 100 hours of game play, I am still running Link all over creation getting treasure and finding hidden areas. This joint is still in my console right now! One of Nintendos greatest franchises continues to deliver with this magnificent odyssey populated with a fantastic cast of characters and sprinkled with spectacular visual effects. The different items you collect have the zaniest uses, the puzzles are excellent, and the boss battles are surprising to say the least. One of the bosses is an enormous spider that sh*ts eyeballs! Zelda has come so far and this game raises the bar yet again for the new generation of gamers to marvel at the ingenuity of Nintendos superb art designers. Highly recommended, this is a perfect release in all aspects and one of the greatest of all time.
I know there are several other games that could have been included here. For instance, I really like Rampage for the Wii, but mainly off nostalgia for the arcade version. Since its pretty thin on actual content, it didnt make this list. Also, the Wii Sports isnt mentioned because its free with the console, though its certainly one of the most popular packages for the Wii. A couple other obvious omissions, Metroid Prime 3, which I have had for a few weeks but havent played enough into it to really give a fair review (though across the board Ive heard its well worth the scratch) and the Simpsons I just copped its got jokes for sure.
Many of the above titles you can find used and save some scrilla for the forthcoming releases, all of which I am hungrily awaiting my damn self. Lastly, cop a few of those wireless GameCube controllers since all of the GC games work seamlessly, plus you can get them for cheap! Happy gaming, yall.
Gentle Jones is online right now at http://www.gentlejones.com