What’s Worth Keeping On… the Nintendo Wii?

Part the First: The Preamble

So, this is a column idea I’ve had kicking around in my head for months. It’s based primarily on two concepts. The first is about creating a multi-faceted conversation with readers on multiple topics within a single column. The second is about completely flip-flopping the relationship between a video game journalist and the audience and a column is about the only way one can do that. After all, you read a review for a person (or website)’s specific opinion and as an editorial is simply a very long opinion on something, one reads that for the same reason. However there’s an elephant in the room that many gamers don’t think about and that most reviewers hope you don’t. It’s the fact we can’t play everything and that most reviewers/journalists/bloggers/whatever only play a small percentage of the games that have come out. Even with over 400 reviews under my belt, that’s a minute fraction of the games that come out every year, much less in the decades this industry has existed and so no one can be an expert on everything/anything.

So here’s the nutshell of this column. I may own nearly every video game system ever made, from the Odyssey to the 3DS, but I am also avidly anti-hoarding. I don’t see in the point in keeping every game I ever own or even collecting games simply for the sake of having them. I don’t see who is going to come over to my house and go, “Wow, you have X number of games for the Y system!” I think if someone did, I’d actually be a bit creeped out. Don’t get me wrong, I used to keep a ton of games. However, roughly a decade ago, I looked at my stack of nearly 200 Sega Saturn games and said, “I am never going to play all of these again. They just take up space. Why do I hold on to them?” At that point I determined that if I sold a bunch of games, not only would I have a bunch of money to do other things I enjoy (like cooking, travel, and the like), but I’d also have a hell of a lot more room. The pack rat/hoarding version of OCD is about the creepiest thing I can think of and I didn’t even remotely want to go down that road. Even better, it meant those games would go to someone that likes/appreciated collecting for collecting’s sake and so they’d be in a home that would cherish them more.

These days I limit myself to a total of twenty physical copies of games per system. Yet for the past two console generations, I’ve have a hard time finding enough games to reach my maximum of twenty per system. That’s where you, the reader come in. With each column, I’ll give you my list of games I’ve found worth keeping along with a list of games I’ve reviewed for the system. Then begins what I hope to be an in-depth dialogue with multiple readers. You can name games you think I’d like that might make my permanent collection. You might suggest losing Game A in my collection for Game B that I haven’t played as well. It gives you a chance to say what games you would keep if you had to pare down your collection. It lets you get a better look at my preferences and tastes. Most of all, lets you recommend things to me instead of the other way around. After nine years of me reviewing hundreds of games, this might be a bit of fresh air for all of us. Let’s see what happens.

Let’s start now with the Nintendo Wii. Why this system for the inaugural column? Three reasons. The first is that it’s the most successful system of this console generation. Whatever your preferences, there’s no denying that in terms of money made, volumes sold and home penetration, the Wii has dominated. That means the odds are in favour of someone owning a Wii than any other system, except maybe the PS2. The second reason is that the Wii has a reputation of being full of shovelware and a distinct lack of quality games. The truth is that EVERY system that dominates in a console generation has that problem. Look at the horrible dreck that can be found for the PSX for example. Hopefully by all of us naming what we found to be quality, we can help other readers that are laboring under the misconception that the Wii is only for casual gamers. Finally, Nintendo based reviews/articles/columns/etc tend to hit better than Sony of Microsoft ones (at least here), which ensures a larger chance of audience participation for this test than if I did say, the PSP or the 360. With all that in mind, let’s begin.

Part the Second: Games I’ve Reviewed

Since June of 2007, I have reviewed Sixty-Seven Wii games. That still boggles my mind. Here now is a list of the games. If you are curious as to why I didn’t keep some, that’s where the discussion part comes in. By all means ask why I didn’t keep a game, what a game was about if the name intrigues you, what genre a certain game was in and more. I thought about doing the list chronologically, but instead, I went alphabetically to make looking things up easier. Please note that this list does include WiiWare titles, so you’re probably not going to find a physical copy of say, “Rage of the Gladiator.”

5-in-1 Solitaire
A Boy and His Blob
All Star Cheer Squad
And Then There Were None
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Battle of the Bands
Blast Works
Bust a Move Plus
Carnival Games
Castle Shikigami III
Castlevania the Adventure: ReBirth
Castlevania: Judgment
Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party
Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 2
Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 3
Dead Space: Extraction
Dragon Warrior Swords
EA Active
Endless Ocean
Endless Ocean: Blue World
Fast Draw Showdown
Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked
Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove
Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout
Guilty Party
Haunted House
Hell’s Kitchen: The Game
House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return
Just Dance
King of Fighters ’94
Mad Dog McCree
MLB Power Pros 2008
My Life as a King
Nights: Journey into Dreams
Pokémon Battle Revolution
Pokémon Ranch
Pokémon Rumble
PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure
Rabbids Go Home
Rage of the Gladiator
Rainbow Islands: Towering Adventure
Raving Rabbids TV Party
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles
Sakura Taisen V
Samba De Amigo
Sega Superstars Tennis
Sin and Punishment 2
Star Soldier R
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom
The Bigs
The Monkey King: The Legend Begins
Tournament of Champions
Ultimate Shooting Collection
Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga
Walk it Out
Wii Fit
Wii Sports Resort
Your Shape

Part the Third: What I’ve Kept

1. A Boy and His Blob (Platformer, Wayforward/Majesco)
2. Castlevania Judgment (Fighter, Konami)
3. DDR Hottest Party (Bemani, Konami)
4. DDR Hottest Party 2 (Bemani, Konami)
5. DDR Hottest Party 3 (Bemani, Konami)
6. Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout (Exercise, Rocket/Ubisoft)
7. Endless Ocean (Simulation, Arika/Nintendo)
8. Endless Ocean: Blue World (Simulation, Arika/Nintendo)
9. Exerbeat (Exercise, Namco Bandi)
10. The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (Rail Shooter, AM1/Wow/Sega)
11. The House of the Dead: Overkill (Rail Shooter, Headstrong Games/Sega)
12. Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers ( Beat ‘Em Up, Tamsoft/D3)
13. Sam and Max: Season One (Adventure, Telltale Games/The Adventure Company)
14. Sam and Max: Season Two (Adventure, Telltale Games, Atari)
15. Samba De Amigo (Bemani, Gearbox/Sega)
16. Secret Files: Tunguska (Adventure, Fusionsphere/Deep Silver)
17. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Fighting, Eighting/Capcom)
18. Wii Sports (Sports, Nintendo)

As you can see I’ve only found eighteen games to hold on to. I tried to find patterns. Notice only three games are published directly by Nintendo. That’s because I don’t like platformers, driving games, and most sports titles which kills anything with the word “Mario” in it. You’ll notice I haven’t kept any Pokémon games for the System, or any games featuring Link. In both cases it is because I knew I’d never go back to them. Six games involve heavy motion play (DDR trilogy, two workout games and Samba). There are two fighting games, three adventure games, four Konami games, three Sega games and…those are all the patterns I could find. Nine genres for eighteen games. That’s pretty spread out. Still if you can think of something I’d like based on this list, by all means, let me know.

Part the Fourth: What’s Coming Out

This part is pretty short. It’s a list of games I know I’m picking up for the Wii in this calendar year. This doesn’t mean they are keepers. They are merely games I plan to play/review.

1. Wicked Monster Blast (Rail Shooter, Interworks)
2. Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident (Adventure, Big Fish Games/Nintendo)
3. The Kore Gang (Platformer, Zoink Games/Maximum Family Games)

The first is a rail shooter and I love rail shooters, so I want to play it even if I know I won’t keep it. I second is part of a series for the PC that I enjoy playing, but I don’t know if it’ll be a keeper. The third is a platformer, which will no doubt surprise some readers. I’m getting The Kore Gang, not because I intend to keep it, but because it’s by the same development team that is making Wiiwaa, and it will be a good indication of what they can do.

In short, I may be picking up these three games, but they’ll more than likely be sold or traded in unless they surprise me somehow.

Part the Fifth: What I’m Considering

This section is simply for games that I know are out that I am tempted to buy for the system in question. In the case of the Wii, there is only one.

1. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

I’m interested in the motions controls, which Guy raved about back in 2007, it’s dirt cheap, I like the Mortal Kombat characters and it’s my girlfriend’s favorite fighting series so we can play it together instead of something like KoF or a Capcom Vs. Fighter. However, reviews are mixed (including our own), so I’m torn.

Part the Sixth: Your Turn

So this is where you come in. Recommend me some games and tell me why I should play them. Remember though, just because I haven’t reviewed it, doesn’t mean I haven’t played it. Let me know what you would pare your Wii collection down to if you could only have twenty games. Let me know what twenty Wii titles you would own if you had more disposable income. Ask away if you want to know why I got rid of a game or why I kept one. Let me know if you want to know more about one of the sixty-seven Wii titles I reviewed or want a link to the exact article about them. After all, there are hundreds, if not thousands of Wii titles out there, and if I haven’t played them – maybe you have. Let’s see what you guys have to say and maybe we can see if there are another two games out there that I find worth keeping.



, , ,




17 responses to “What’s Worth Keeping On… the Nintendo Wii?”

  1. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    You forgot Pokemon Battle Revolution, as I still have to send that back to you.

    Anyway, I’m not someone who has a problem with larger game collections, but I only have twenty one Wii games because the console doesn’t do much for me all in all, but if it helps any, I have:

    Monster Hunter Tri
    Bakugan Battle Brawlers
    House of the Dead 2 + 3
    Samba De Amigo
    Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
    Rayman Raving Rabbids
    Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
    Little King’s Story
    Trauma Center: Second Opinion
    Trauma Center: New Blood
    Trauma Team
    Super Swing Golf Season 2
    Mario Kart
    Super Smash Brothers Brawl
    Zack and Wiki
    Endless Ocean
    Endless Ocean: Blue World
    Data East Arcade
    Shiren the Wanderer

  2. Alex Lucard Avatar
    Alex Lucard

    Huh. I thought I sold PBR. I guess that tells you how little regard I have for it.

    I’m surprised how many of our Wii titles overlap actually.

    I’m more surprised you don’t have the Onechanbara game for it since we both love that series.

  3. Sean Madson Avatar
    Sean Madson

    I know you mentioned you don’t have a lot of Nintendo first party titles, but what about Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn? I also enjoyed Boom Blox and Metal Slug Anthology.

  4. Alex Lucard Avatar
    Alex Lucard

    Fire Emblem isn’t even in my top ten SRPG franchises, so I have never felt the need to pick that one up. I have MSA for the PS2 though, and so with that I don’t see the need to double up, you know?

  5. Sean Madson Avatar
    Sean Madson

    I never see you mention FE, so I didn’t know your feelings on that franchise. Thought I’d throw it out there.

    Yeah, I got nothing you or Mark haven’t mentioned already. I think I play more GC games on my Wii than actual Wii games.

  6. Alex Lucard Avatar
    Alex Lucard

    Sean – That’s totally what this is about.

    Out of Mark’s list the only games I haven’t played are The Little King Story, Zack and Wiki and the golf game.

  7. Limodriver Avatar

    Unless you’ve got it for another system, I think that a Guitar Hero/Rock Band game is a must-own. At this point, it’s like Monopoly, where every household needs to own a copy just in case you have a bunch of people over and want to play.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Limo – I’ve had versions for my 360 and PS2, but I eventually got rid of them. Because of all the games I have to play, when I have other people over I rarely want to play video games. :-) That and everyone generally gravitates to my Captain and the Avengers arcade game.

  8. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    Four games isn’t a lot, I don’t think, though I suppose, given our different tastes, that’s not so strange. Oddly, I had Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, the one game you’d think I WOULD keep, and I traded that away as soon as I could. Blech.

    Anyway, out of what I have, the only ones I can recommend as “keepers” are:

    Little King’s Story – It’s cute and amusing, but pretty well designed.
    Trauma Center: New Blood – Mostly for the multiplayer.
    Super Swing Golf Season 2 – Mostly for the multiplayer.
    Shiren the Wanderer – Because it’s the best Roguelike for the Wii.

  9. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Mark – I might try LKS. I wasn’t inspired to pick it up from Nate’s review and then I totally forgot about it.

    I’m not really a multiplayer gamer, although now that Guin lives with me, that might change, but she really just wants to play fighting games with me which never works out well for her.

    Is the Wii Shiren the same as the DS one? The only Roguelikes I have for the Wii are the three japanese only Mystery Dungeon Wiiware games…which i think you’d enjoy if they were in English.

    I loved Rabbids 1 and 2 and I’m thinking about getting the three game compilation that Ubisoft put out when it gets cheap. I loved Bakugan, but I had the PS3 one, platinumed it and then traded it in when I realized I’d never play the story mode again.

    I loved Umbrella Chronicles which I remember shocked everyone, and every so often I consider picking it up again, but it was too long for me to ever really play through one more time. Same reason I dumped Dead Space Extraction.

  10. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    LKS isn’t the greatest game ever or anything, but it’s better than My Life As a King was (it’s not EXACTLY the same thing, but good enough for government work).

    Shiren for Wii is actually the third Shiren game, while the DS one was a remake of the first game. The Wii version is somewhat less brutal, but it’s still Chunsoft, so you pretty much know what you’re getting into.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Well, I do like Chunsoft, but I didn’t like My Life as a King, so I’ll put Shiren on my short list for the final two games.

  11. Elaine Avatar

    based on your list of games you’ve kept, i’m surprised to see Endless Ocean up there. Our tastes are totally different, but I love Endless Ocean too. Here’s the list of games outside your list that I think would be worth keeping, even though there are some first-party games:

    Worth keeping:
    Monster Hunter Tri
    Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
    Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles
    Little King’s Story
    Trauma Team
    Super Mario Galaxy 2
    Mario Kart
    Super Smash Brothers Brawl
    Zack and Wiki
    Sin and Punishment 2
    Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    Resident Evil 4
    Wii Fit Plus
    Wii Sports Resort
    Kirby’s Epic Yarn

    i gotta say Madworld and No More Heroes are pretty fun too. So is Just Dance 2 if you like dancing. However, if you don’t intend to get any new Wii game and wanna reduce your collection, i’d suggest ditching Secret Files. The DS versions are fun as they are.

  12. Thomas R Avatar
    Thomas R

    I’m wondering whether you’ve played Muaramasa the Demon Blade, in case you haven’t it’s sort of a sequel to Odin Sphere where they’ve expanded on pretty much everything.
    While the writing isn’t very impressive it wasn’t terrible either. On the other hand it looks even better than Odin Sphere and the animations are more fluid. The main selling point though are the controls, the game is way more fastpaced than than OS and there is lots more to do, like collecting all the 108 swords or do all the side-events (of which there are many).
    Basicly, if you at all liked OS which I vaguely remember you did you should be able to have some fun with this.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      I have played Muramasa, but it wasn’t really my bag.

  13. Aaron Glazer Avatar
    Aaron Glazer

    Seriously, Boom Blox is worth owning. I thought it was utterly ridiculous at first, but the competition, particularly with the newly live-in GF would make it more than worth it.

  14. […] two years ago I did a one-off test column called “What’s Worth Keeping” and started with the Nintendo Wii. It did extremely well in terms of hits, social media […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *