It's time for another blast from the past as we take a look at a Nintendo 64 classic.
Buy Or Don’t? All 31 Wii U Launch Titles
With the 18th rapidly approaching, we’ll soon get our hands on the first offering of the next gen systems. The Wii U is coming out and so are 31 games alongside with it. That’s a gigantic launch selection. We’ve got plenty of ports and exclusives on that list but what is worth your money? What should you pick up on Day 1?
Let’s go through all 31 titles and label them either “Buy”, “Ehh…”, or “Ignore”.
Buy = you should pick this up on Day 1
Ehh… = you don’t need this on Day 1/wait for a sale
Ignore = not worth a buy/wait for price drops
This game really wasn’t well received. After a pretty hyped up pre-launch with reveals containing tons of James Bond nostalgia, Legends just didn’t quite hit the spot. The biggest issues revolved around the game not even feeling like a 007 game and not accurately portraying the movies.
Assassin’s Creed III
Well most of us know by now that Assassin’s Creed III is a very well received game and is even making big waves within the staff here. It is a huge game with tons to offer and an excellent story. So what does this Wii U version have to offer? Honestly, not much. The GamePad’s screen will offer maps, naval radar, and quick change selection for weapons. If you haven’t bought the game yet and are getting a Wii U, I’d wait for this version. If you bought it already and own a copy of the game for PS3/360, you don’t need to switch.
Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition
Arkham City is an amazing game. Will it be any better on the Wii U? All footage and previews point to yes. Armored Edition will contain all of the previously released content, a Battle Armor Tech mode, and additional GamePad features. The ability to control your remote controlled Batarangs with the GamePad is pretty sweet. If you haven’t played Arkham City yet, you need to get this game. If you have it already then you may be questioning yourself too much about whether or not it is worth buying again. You won’t get much for your Arkham City copy right now so trading up is most likely out of the question.
Ben 10: Omniverse
You can think of this game is one of two ways. Do you like Ben 10? You’ll probably like this game a lot. Do you not care about Ben 10 but liked SpiderMan: Friend or Foe? Then you may like this! Omniverse is based off the new series for the successful children’s show and shows Ben and Rock as they try and stop a devious villain, Malware. It’s just like SpiderMan: Friend or Foe. There is 16 characters to play as and plenty of content for fans of the show to be with. It all comes to down to whether or not you really want a Ben10/Friend or Foe game right now.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
I know a lot of CoD players that are iffy about this version but they shouldn’t be. The only thing that buyers may be iff’ed about is the supposed reports about the Nuketown may not be available as launch or ever. Honestly though, it’s just one map. The rest of the game will be identical with the other versions and I see no reason why the future DLC won’t be on the Wii U. If you’re a CoD fan buying the Wii U, it comes to where your friends will be. If you don’t care about that, I’d say support Call of Duty on the Wii U and show Activision that you want more.
Don’t expect anything new about this version. You’ll get GamePad maps, some executable skills on the GamePad, and Argul’s Tomb included. Aside from that Darksiders II is the same game as on the PS3/360/PC. It feels like it plays better on the Pro Controller than the GamePad but if you want to get all you can out of your shiny, new controller then stick with the GamePad. Everythign about Darksiders II remains the same aside from the included DLC and very minor GamePad features. It comes down to if you already own it or not. If not, then you may want to wait a bit. It’s a good game but with 30 other titles to choose from, you can afford to look elsewhere.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
Aside from controls, not much is known about how the Wii U version of Epic Mickey 2 will differ from the others. We know that the Wii version is the featured one and every other system is getting a port. With the Wii U, player one will have to use the GamePad. If the Wii version proves to be that good, you may just want to buy the Wii version thanks to the Wii U’s backwards compatibility. If you think that’s silly for a launch title, then I’m sure you’ll be experiencing the same thing that 360 and PS3 players will. That shouldn’t be a bad thing.
ESPN Sports Connection
Racing, Golf, Football, Baseball, Soccer, and Tennis. That is what you can play in this seemingly terrible game. The gameplay for it is so choppy it almost looks unplayable. Playable demos were less than average. This is definitely a try for the Wii Sports market with the launch of the next Nintendo console. Don’t be fooled by it. It is NOT Wii Sports and you should not spend your money on this. Doing so shows that it’s okay to make a shoddy game like this, release it, and rake in the money. We could use a Wii Sports 2 (or if you will, Wii Sports U) for the Wii U but this is not the answer we’re looking for.
FIFA Soccer 13
Like FIFA Soccer? Do you own 13 yet? If not, you’ll want to get this version. It’s hard to argue that the Wii U version of this game is not the best. You have much better crowd graphics giving games a more immersible feel. The GamePad gets Manager Center which lets you check stats, change formations, set tactics for your teammates, view the actual gameplay, mark people on the field, and much more. The GamePad gives you more to do in a faster way all while the game is still going on. That’s on-the-fly changes with gameplay equal to or possibly better than on the 360 or PS3. That’s a damn good soccer game, folks.
Think FarmVille mixed with a watered down Animal Crossing. Funky Barn is the “ultimate farming game on the Wii U”. I feel that’s a bit premature to say seeing that it is the first and only farming game on the Wii U. Still, if you want to scratch that itch about planting, grooming, building, and feeding then Funky Barn probably has what you’re looking for right now. Don’t quote me on that. In fact, I’d stay away from this one. If farming or similar Facebook-quality simulation games are going to be something on the Wii U, chances are you’ll find something much better than this soon. If you can’t wait, then why not? Pick up Funky Barn.
Game Party Champions
Game Party continues on the Wii U. I really don’t think these kind of games are going to do so well or play well on the Wii U. The whole kick to them was the Wiimote and moving around. Using the Gamepad I can’t see Game Party being such a hit. Still, Champions is the successor to In Motion and if you’re looking for a collection of easy to play mini-games then Warner Bros. Interactive has just the thing for you. You might be better picking up In Motion and attaching some ‘Motes and ‘Chuks, though.
Just Dance 4
There is really four of these games. That just dawned on me. Still, shouldn’t hate on something just because you don’t like the genre. If you’re a dancing game fan and picking up a Wii U you’re going to find the best version here. Although I don’t play these game (I can’t dance. Nor do I try to. For everyone’s sake.) the features with the Wii U are kinda cool. Stand-Alone Play Mode lets you prop up your GamePad, use the front-facing camera, and play the game with a group of friends. No TV needed. There is also Puppet Master mode where you watch your friends play and then make them do stuff based on what you want.
I really wish I could tell you just what the hell this game is. Instead, all I have is three words: WHAT. THE. #$&@. The teaser trailer for this game is a bit disturbing. The biggest problem is that the game is releasing in 8 days and there is no gameplay shown for it. I can’t tell you to ignore or buy this game but I definitely think you need to pay attention to it. It may prove to be something completely fun to play, just stupid and hilarious, or dreadful. Either way, we have no clue and this game is a mysterious, disturbing teaser trailer that I can’t stop watching.
Verdict: No. Effin’. Clue.
Madden NFL 13
Giant tech demo. That is what Madden 13 is on the Wii U. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good, though! The problem here is that the new Infinity Engine is not on the Wii U version. It’s obvious but I’ll just go ahead and say it: it’s a new brand new console and EA just didn’t have the time to make the engine this year. Most likely we’re going to see Madden NFL 14 be a huge hit on the Wii U next year. It’s not likely 14 will be a major revisions like this year was but for Wii U players, having all of the features and Infinity Engine will be a big thing. I can’t really recommend you buy this on day 1 but if you want football on your new console, Madden is it. I can’t wait for 14 on the Wii U, though.
Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
ME3 has been out for quite some time, been through controversies, and seen plenty of DLC already. If you have not played it, then get this version. If you have played it and still want to experience the best possible experience, then get this version. Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U offers the best console gameplay for the series. Issuing commands and using special powers are easy to do here and the 2D map is very helpful. The coolest thing, though? Local portable Mass Effect. You can throw ME3 on your GamePad and play it within the allotted distance from the Wii U. That’s pretty cool. Plus, this comes with all the DLC, Genesis, and Extended Cut. The only thing that sucks is that the Trilogy set is not coming out for the Wii U, at least right now.
New Super Mario Bros. U
HD Mario. I never thought I’d see the day. This is just a precursor, folks. Imagine Galaxy 3 on the Wii U. Holy crap, indeed. NSMB U is exactly what you think it is and it’s more of the same generally good fun that the past titles have brought us, just now in HD. The new challenge modes are pretty cool and offer us some different gameplay styles. Nintendo isn’t really reaching with this new game but you can’t have a new Nintendo system without Mario in some capacity. If you’re looking for a new Mario experience, you won’t find it here. If you just want Mario, like most fans, then you got it here.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
This game didn’t receive that great of a reception when it first came out. A lot of people felt that Ninja Gaiden lost its way. Well, it looks like Team Ninja is headed back in the right direction with Razor’s Edge. The Wii U version of Ninja Gaiden 3 is bringing back the gore, violence, and all the blood you need to make you feel like you’re back at home with Ryu and Ayane. This will be the best version of Ninja Gaiden 3 but it all depends on if you feel like you’ve wasted your money before with the title, liked it, or never played it. If you haven’t played it, feel safe with Razor’s Edge. If you didn’t like the regular version, ask yourself if you’re okay with buying it again even though you know it’s a better version. If you liked it, then you don’t really need to buy it again unless you want to experience body parts flying everywhere.
If you spend the extra $50, you’re going to have this no matter what. If you don’t then let’s talk. NintendoLand is the successor to Wii Sports. It is the glorified tech demo from the company that utilizes all of the system’s strength. The issue is: how much as you going to play it? With Wii Sports you had a reason to keep it and play it a lot. It was fun. It was sports. It was engaging. With NintedoLand it’s just another game like most of the titles in this list. If you feel like the inclusion of the major series like Metroid, Mario, and the such is really cool then pick this up. If you’re interested in how the Wii U can be used correctly, then pick this up. If you’re looking for strong launch titles, look somewhere else.
Puddle is a tilt game where you control… a puddle. You have to reach the end of the level and the move on. Simple game, really. It’s on the Vita and while it’s very pretty to look at, there’s really nothing to it. When you step back and look at all the titles on this list, Puddle comes out as a cool concept but just not worth it on launch day. It isn’t a bad game, though. Just don’t expect a ton out of it. I have to say though, graphics are pretty top notch on this little title.
I love the Rabbids! Well, mainly for the old commercials and their excessive yelling. Rabbids Land, though? With Rayman making a triumphant return the Rabbids have been left in the dust and resorting to using mini-games as their main attraction. It hasn’t worked very well. Rabbids Land is a mess of little games where one play uses a combo of Wiimote and Nunchuk and the other a GamePad. It isn’t very fun and gameplay can be a little choppy. If the Rabbids are going to survive in the next gen, Rabbids Land is not a good start.
Scribblenauts is good fun for anyone. If you can think of something creative, then Unlimited is for you. My favorite thing said about this is actually from a YouTube comment (oh dear god save my soul) where someone said: “I can make a gun that shoots guns that explode into guns that explode into guns that drop presents full of guns that explode into guns.” Yep. Unlimited lets you create new stuff using items, share them, and use them. The multiplayer mode allows two people to go through the all-new story mode where you finally get to see the backstory of Maxwell.
I hope you have friends who enjoy this if you’re going to pick SiNG Party up. The thing is, this game is tailored for parties. The GamePad not only shows lyrics but also tells you what to saw to everyone during solos. “Clap everyone!” That sort of stuff. Also, the game expects you to face your friends while singing while a digital back-up dancer lets your friends dance along to the video and even sing with lyrics that come up on the screen. Sound like something that would interest you? I don’t play these games but the part about having all your new features for the party scene and nothing entertaining for solo play besides pop-up lyrics is pretty lame. Singstar will always be the best.
Skylanders is a great concept. To be honest, if I was still young I’d be clamoring for these figures and games like crazy. The collection aspect is cool and being able to interact with your bought sets is even better. DLC being handled by pieces showing you a pirate ship for a sea-based level is pretty boss. Giants only makes Skylanders better. If this is something your kids like or even if you’re into it at any age, having Skylanders available for the Wii U is probably a great thing. The GamePad is featured primarily with this version using the TV mode, stats, tilt motions, and more. If you own a ton of Skylanders and want some extra features then the Wii U version is good to go. If you don’t own Skylanders and you want to get into it, I’d suggest the Wii U version thanks to the extra functions with the GamePad. It’s an expensive thing to get into but it sure is cool. Because of the expense, I can’t recommend it for a day 1 purchase, though. The Skylanders can wait but don’t forget about it. It’s a cool title.
Sonic & All-Stars Racings Transformed
No Mario Kart at Wii U launch? Not a problem. Racing Transformed actually looks really fun. The tracks are three dimensional meaning you’ll be racing on the ground, in the sky, and in the water. Your carts will transform to accompany the differing terrain and the gameplay looks fast and intense. It would have been really cool to see Mario characters added to the list of playable racers but even still, if you need to satisfy a racing itch when the Wii U releases, look no further than Sonic until Mario gets his Kart racing on sometime in the future.
Tank! Tank! Tank!
Giant monsters? Demolishing cities? Shooting your friends? Tanks is actually pretty damn fun. It’s a simple game but don’t let that scare you off, there’s plenty to do in this game and the big scope for the game is great. Is it a game for day 1? No. It isn’t. Is it a game you should look at down the line? Yes. It is. The multiplayer aspect is pretty fun and it has tons of room for improvement. Tanks could very well become a huge competitive series for the Wii U if they expand on the multiplayer a bit. Add in some random events during the online battles with giant creatures and what not and we got ourselves an awesome title.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
Namco Bandai is going all out with Tekken on the Wii U. This version comes with extra modes and character costume pieces. You can dress your favorite fighters up in costumes for Link, Mario, Peach, Star Fox, Samus, and more. It’s little stuff but it’s funny and cool to have. This is the definitive version of Tag Tournament 2. Looking for a fighter on the new Nintendo console? Tekken has you all ready and Tag Tournament 2 is a great title. The new modes, like Mushroom Battle, are hilarious and can become a race to win between you and your buddies. This should be a good title to show off for day 1.
Transformers Prime: The Game
Based off the current show, Prime brings together some old and fresh faces as the hunt for Dark Energon brings to light a new weapon that Megatron is trying to control. Typical Transformer cliches abound. Still, this game is focusing on kids and you’re not going to find Fall of Cybertron in this title. That being said, unless you’re a fan of the show I can’t really recommend this title. Very, very little is shown of the game and I can’t even find gameplay. I think it’s safe to say that with 8 days left you’re going to be looking for reviews to find out if this is worth it or not. With that kind of business model, it can go either way but do you want to put down money like that?
Verdict: No idea.
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
Wow that sounds like a Street Fighter title. Anywho, this Warriors title features on really cool thing: over 130 characters including some from other games like Ryu from Ninja Gaiden. That should really ramp up the replay factor here. It also has a Duel Mode which is a mix between card battles and an actual fighter game using the available characters. If you’re looking for crazy and huge battles with a ton of characters, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper has you pretty decked out. However, in the midst of all these titles, you may find your money spent better in other places. This doesn’t look like a bad title, though. Pick it up if you’re a fan of the series, definitely.
Alright, the commercial for this is pretty funny. If you haven’t seen it, just look it up. The game, however, looks like nothing worth spending money on, especially on launch day. Did Wipeout 1 sell that well to receive two sequels? Still, the game looks fun to some degree but I can tell it would get old very quick. With 30 other titles coming out for day 1, I can’t recommend you pick this up. If this is something you think you would like, I’d still say wait since it’s going to have a price drop fairly quickly.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
I don’t get into the fitness game genre but this is pretty cool. Your Shape is taking advantage of a lot that the Wii U has to offer. There’s a mini social network built into this game that shows off what you’ve done and allows you to connect to people who are using this game to better their bodies and health. There is also a multiplayer type mode where you can work out together and get better stats. The game keeps track of everything you do and helps you continue on your fitness track. This may be the first fitness game I buy and for me, that says a lot.
I seriously doubt many of you think ZombiU is not a game to buy on day 1. This game looks fantastic and it’s no wonder that Nintendo has used it to showcase the Wii U a lot. This game really shows off how an action game can be like on the Wii U. It’s intense, well thought out, and, yes, a tech demo. A tech demo it may be but it’s a full featured game. ZombiU should be in the hands of all Wii U buyers on day 1 unless you’re buying for the kids and not yourself. Even then, some families may be alright with these types of games being played by kids. If that works for you, buy it anyways.
That’s it! That’s all 31 launch games for the Wii U. I hope this helps some of you and for those of you on wait lists for the console, I hope we all get our chance to own this new system soon. The 18th is going to be a huge day and let’s now forget that Black Friday is right after that. Who knows how many consoles will be shipped to stores for the huge shopping holiday and what games will see early discounts.
To tally it all up, we have 13 buys, 10 ehh…’s, 6 ignores, and 2 no clue’s. Not too shabby for day 1, huh?
Which launch games are you going to get for your Wii U? Even if you aren’t buying one, which ones would you buy?