Since the Nintendo 64′s release, it’s been claimed there are no good third party games for Nintendo consoles. Admittedly, during the N64 and Gamecube days, quality third party titles were few and far between. There were a multitude of reasons for this, the most notable being Nintendo owners notoriously did not purchase many third party titles because the Nintendo first party games were so good. Also while Nintendo always innovated from a control perspective (without Nintendo, God knows what Sony or Microsoft would’ve based their controllers on) and gameplay perspective (N64 games Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye all set the standard for 3-D games in their individual genres), they always seemed behind the times in the format those chose to release those game.While Sony was using CDs with their Playstation system, Nintendo was still using bulky, expensive, cartridges on the N64. Third party developers were scared away, but with the insane success of the Wii, many of those developers have come back into the Nintendo fold. Sadly, that same success led to so much craptastic shovelware being released for the system, sorting through the junk to find the truly entertaining third party titles for Wii has become very difficult. So here’s my list of my favorite 3rd party exclusive titles for the Wii:
EPIC MICKEY (Disney Interactive): Disney Interactive is cranking out a bunch of good licensed titles. Nothing groundbreaking, but very solid titles. The strength of Epic Mickey is the license and the paint/thinner mechanics. As Mickey, the player has to decide whether to be a good guy, and take what is often the more difficult route, by using paint to bring these dilapidated worlds back to life, or be the bad guy by using paint thinner to wreak havoc on these cartoon worlds and be a total jerk. The ending of the game is effected by what choices you make.
BOOM BLOX: BASH PARTY (Electronic Arts): I often describe Boom Blox as reverse Jenga. Instead of trying to build the tower up, in Boom Blox you want to knock it down. More than possibly any other title on Wii, this is one where you want your friends wearing the Wiimote wrist straps. You throw with the Wiimote in a motion just like you would throw a ball in real life. Bash Party is a sequel to the original Boom Blox and adds a lot more options. It’s not just throwing things, there’s shooting, pulling, and sling-shooting among other things. You also can download new puzzles online.
DISNEY’S GUILTY PARTY (Disney Interactive): Guilty Party is like the board game CLUE meets MARIO PARTY. You play as a member of a mystery-solving family. The voice acting in this game is shockingly good. While the characters in the game aren’t quite Pixar level, they’re definitely better than what you’ve found in most Disney flicks of the last 20 years. When taking part in a multiplayer game there’s a clever lie detector mechanic that allows the player questioning a subject to try and fake out his competitors. If you run your pointer over the suspect’s testimony the lie detector will tell you whether the suspect is telling the truth or not. On the other hand, if you press down on the “1″ button while pointing at the testimony, the lie detector will give you the opposite result. So only the player who did the questioning knows for sure whether the suspect was telling the truth.
A BOY AND HIS BLOB (Majesco Entertainment): A remake of the NES classic, the Wii version of A Boy and his Blob will just make you smile. The cel-shaded graphics make you feel like you’re actually watching a cartoon. I’ll admit the controls aren’t perfect, but you can take your time to solve most of the puzzles, so precision controls are only necessary a few times in the game. The game’s got such heart though that you can forgive the occasional control issue.
MADWORLD(Sega): Imagine the Sin City graphic novels as a video game and you’ve got an idea of the visual style of Madworld. The entire game is essentially black, white, and red. I’m not sure how this game even survived the ratings board, it’s the most violent game I’ve ever played and the game rewards you for disposing of bad guys in the most creatively despicable ways you can think of. The game also has a great (sick) sense of humor and top notch voice acting from John DiMaggio (Bender on Futurama, Dr. Drakken on Kim Possible).
NO MORE HEROES/NO MORE HEROES 2: DESPERATE STRUGGLE (Ubisoft): The No More Heroes series is a love letter to old school gaming. You play as Travis Touchdown, an assassin trying to rise in the ranks. To rise in the ranks of assassins, you have to kill everyone above you. The assassins leaderboard looks like the high score list of an 8-bit arcade game. In the second game of the series, you actually play NES-style mini-games to level up various attributes. Both games have a brilliant sense of humor. The motion controls are spot on, as you swing your Wiimote to swing Travis’s beam katana (it’s totally a lightsaber). It’s basically the light-saber game that Nintendo fans had been clamoring for since the announcement of Wii’s motion capabilities. The second game is much more polished that the first, and you can certainly play the second one without having played the first. But I recommend searching them both out because they are my favorite games on the system outside of the SUPER MARIO GALAXY titles.
GOLDENEYE 007 (Activision): METROID PRIME CORRUPTION established the first really good first-person shooter controls for a Wii game. THE CONDUIT then came along and built on those controls by allowing an insane amount of customization. Now Goldeneye 007 has taken the Conduit controls and applied them to a game with much better level design and a better online multiplayer mode. If you’re looking for a top notch first-person shooter on Wii, Goldeneye 007 is it.
Blog-A-Day Challenge: Day 7