The Wii is the best selling video game console this generation. It’s a remarkable turnaround from the previous console from Nintendo the GameCube. The little white fun-box has elevated Nintendo from clear cut loser last generation to runaway winner for this console iteration. The secret behind this epic comeback is that Nintendo has successfully captured the family audience and are appealing to non traditional gaming populations. Nintendo’s obvious strategy has been to release games that have a wide appeal which has lead to the Wii having several of the best selling games of all time.
The Wii already has a fantastic game library, but this holiday season is arguably the strongest lineup of games for the console ever. Chances are that no matter what kind of gamer you have on your Christmas list this year, the Wii will have a game coming out for them.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
The big Nintendo title this holiday season is the long awaited return of the lovable ape, Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong Country Returns goes back to the roots of the Donkey Kong console games and will be a 2D side scrolling platformer game. The game is designed to appeal to the nostalgia of veteran gamers while still introducing new game elements. Donkey Kong Country Returns is in many ways similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, another 2D platformer that plays heavily on player nostalgia. If Donkey Kong can follow up the performance of Mario, this game will be one of the best selling games of the year.
The game will release on November 23rd in North America.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Kirby is another Nintendo favorite that is finally making his Wii debut. The super cute pink blob has not made a home console appearance since 2003. Kirby’s Epic Yarn is another game in Nintendos current resurrection of the 2D platform games. Kirby’s return to console gaming has been a huge critical success, it is currently the best reviewed console Kirby game.
The game is set in Patch Land, a world made entirely of different fabrics and threads. This gives the game a unique and beautiful visual style, it also allows for some interesting twists to the gameplay. For example, Kirby can pull on loose threads to pull parts of the levels closer.
The game is perfect for a wide range of gamers, young kids can play the game and beat it, while more skilled players will find the game on the easy side. However there is enough visual appeal and innovative game modes to keep anybody interested.
The game is already available in stores.
Epic Mickey is one of the most anticipated games for the Wii this Christmas. It features Mickey Mouse and is designed by one of the worlds most renowned video game designers, Phil Spector. In Epic Mickey players takes control of the Disney mascot in a world populated by old and forgotten Disney characters. The game plays as a mix between a platform game and a role playing game and features a paintbrush that affects the game in various ways. Using the Wii remote the player can erase or recolor characters and affect the game environments.
The game sets Mickey in a darker and more mischievous setting than he is usually seen. This along with some breathtaking visuals and character animations have a lot of gamers very excited about the game. It is set to release in North America on November 30th.
The Wii consistently delivers new and innovative ways to play video games. Usually these steps are made by Nintendo themselves, but this Christmas sees a very interesting product from THQ. The uDraw GameTablet is a pressure sensitive touch screen tablet that connects to the Wii using the Wii remote. The device comes with a drawing application targeted at kids that lets them create their own artwork on the TV screen. There are also a few games launching at the same time as the tablet, most notably a Wii version of Pictonary.
The real potential of this device however is in the creative ways it could be used for other types of games. The Nintendo DS already has an army of excellent games that use the touchscreen on that device. The added power of the wii combined with a touchscreen is a very interesting platform for these games.
Goldeneye is a beloved classic game from the Nintendo 64. The James Bond branded game introduced a number of now standard features to the first person shooter genre and was rewarded by being one of the best selling games in the N64. In an effort to fill an obvious weakness in the Wii library, Activision is redeveloping their classic FPS and launching it against fierce competition. The Wii is notoriously short on this type of game, but for Christmas Wii owners can chose between Goldeneye and a new entry into the extremely popular Call of Duty series.
While the game retells the same basic story, the entire game is remade to move the whole experience into the current generation. Even the actor playing James Bond has been replaced to reflect a modern take on the game.
Goldeneye was a fantastic game in its day, and the initial impressions of the remake is that the game more than holds up to the competition. For the trigger happy gamer, Goldeneye will be released on November 2nd in the US.
The bigegst strength of the Wii is its capabilities as a local multiplayer gaming machine. Games like Wii Sports have brought people together in living rooms all over the world to play games together. Wii Party takes this play mode to its extreme. The game is a huge collection of small games designed to get people moving and playing together. Nintendo has a long running series of party games in their Mario Party series, but Wii Party expands the concept and makes the party game even more widely accessible.
Wii Party has many different play modes, common for them all are that they are best enjoyed with other people. The game can be played as a standard Mario Party like board game, but there are several other game modes that adds new elements to the game experience. In one game players take turns hiding the Wii remotes around the living room before the other players race to find their Wii remote first. The game will have the whole family joining in for hours of gaming fun.
Wii Party is available in stores now.
Just Dance 2
The first Just Dance game was a surprise super hit on the Wii and Just Dance follows the same success formula. There are more songs, more game modes, and improved graphics and controls but at the core the game is still a simple dance simulator. Some critics have pointed out that the game can be played without actually dancing, but that is completely missing the point of the game. Rather than being a dancing game, Just Dance excels in getting people to have fun while dancing. The combination of popular songs and vary simple controls means the game is great at getting people of all ages and abilities to just dance.
The main reason to consider Just Dance 2 for people who own the first game is in the song list. As before, Just Dance features classics and contemporary songs in fine union. Mom will shine to Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff” while the kids will make their parents feel old when ‘Tik Tok’ by Ke$ha takes the stage.