Almost 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 response and starting a conversation between myself and reader. Well, I never did get to do more than the one-shot because I was so damn busy with the site and real life. However, as I’ve pretty much decided not to get either Sony or Microsoft’s next console due to all the decisions they are making that I find offensive, it means the Wii U is probably my last console for some time. Thus much of my gaming will be handhelds, PC gaming, or retro consoles.
At the same time, while most gamers are pack rats, I tend to be the exact opposite. I don’t see the point in keeping every video game I ever pick up. Don’t get me wrong; there was a time in my life when I did want to keep all my games. Hell, at one point I had over 100 Sega Saturn games, and that doesn’t include my imports for the system. However as I’ve aged I’ve realized several things. The first is that no one is going to care how many games you have and if you’re keeping them as some sort of status symbol, you’re not keeping the games for the right reason. If the games are just taking up space and aren’t being used, then why not sell or trade them to someone who will love, use, and appreciate them? In my case, I have damn near every console ever made and so years back I made a conscious decision to only keep twenty games per console. To some of you that might not sound like a lot, but when you factor in consoles going back decades, that’s still probably more games than I will ever be able to play again.
So that’s what “What’s Worth Keeping” will be all about. It’ll be about pairing down my collection with the help of you the readers. You’ll let me know what I should keep, what I should dump, and sometimes even suggest games I might find worthy of being part of my twenty games per console set. In taking this journey with me, you will not only get to know my tastes and preferences better, but hopefully your own as well. Every two weeks, we’ll look at a console and see if we can not only keep my number of games down, but also help you the readers decide if your collection needs pairing down as well. With that in mind it’s time to start this version of the column with the same system we started with two years ago – The Nintendo Wii.
I’m sure some of you will want to make jokes about how there can’t possibly be twenty good games for the Nintendo Wii or give me a list of nothing but first party Nintendo titles. As you’ll see though, there is very little in my collection that are first party Nintendo developed releases and I currently have 22 games in all, meaning I have to pick two to dump. Ever more telling is that between June 6th, 2007 and February 24th, 2012, I reviewed 73 (up seven from two years ago) different Nintendo Wii releases, with an average of a 6.18 score amongst them (back when we did review scores). So as we can see, the Nintendo Wii not only had a large selection of games, but they were pretty decent for the most part. Well, at least the ones I reviewed any way and that was only a drop in the bucket of titles for the system. Note this list also includes WiiWare titles, and since we’re not really looking at digital games as they don’t take up physical space, don’t be confused if you’re never heard or seen some of these.
A Boy And His Blob
All Star Cheer Squad
And Then There Were None
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Battle of the Bands
Bust a Move Plus
Castle Shikigami III
Castlevania The Adventure: ReBirth
DDR: Hottest Party
DDR: Hottest Party 2
DDR: Hottest Party 3
Dead Space: Extraction
Dragon Warrior Swords
Endless Ocean: Blue World
Fast Draw Showdown
Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked
Gabrielles Ghostly Groove
Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout
Hell’s Kitchen: The Game
House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return
King of Fighters 1994
Mad Dog McCree
MLB Power Pros 2008
My Life as a King
Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident
Nights: Journey Into Dreams
Pokémon Battle Revolution
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
Secret Files: Tunguska
Sega Superstars Tennis
Sin and Punishment 2
Star Soldier R
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom
The Monkey King: The Legend Begins
Tournament of Champions
Ultimate Shooting Collection
Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga
Walk it Out
Wicked Monsters BLAST!
Wii Sports Resort
The scary thing is I only vaguely remember playing some of these.
Next up is a list of the Nintendo Wii Titles I currently have in my “To Keep” collection. Obviously a LOT of the games I reviewed didn’t make the cut. If you’re curious as to why, just ask. I don’t have room to go through them one by one and state why in the column, but in the comments, well – ask away!
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. Endless Ocean (Simulation, Arika/Nintendo)
7. Endless Ocean: Blue World (Simulation, Arika/Nintendo)
8. The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (Rail Shooter, AM1/Wow/Sega)
9. The House of the Dead: Overkill (Rail Shooter, Headstrong Games/Sega)
10. The Kore Gang (Plaformer, Zoink Games/Atari)
11. Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers ( Beat ‘Em Up, Tamsoft/D3)
12. PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond (Sandbox, Creatures, Inc./Nintendo)
13. Samba De Amigo (Bemani, Gearbox/Sega)
14. Secret Files: Tunguska (Adventure, Fusionsphere/Deep Silver)
15. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Fighting, Eighting/Capcom)
16. Wii Sports (Sports, Nintendo)
So that’s only sixteen games, right? Well, that’s where the backlog comes in. I’m sure many of you reading this have a backlog: games that you want to play but haven’t had a chance to yet. Well, as a reviewer, especially a prolific reviewer of both electronic and tabletop games, mine is even worse. I have six Nintendo Wii games I haven’t even had a chance to put into my system yet. Here’s the list.
1. The Last Story (RPG, Mistwalker/XSEED)
2. Pandora’s Tower (RPG, Ganbarion/XSEED)
3. Sam and Max: Season One (Adventure, Telltale Games/The Adventure Company)
4. Skylander Giants (Beat ’em Up, Toys For Bob/Activision)
5. Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (Beat ‘Em Up, Next Level Games/Activision)
6. Xenoblade Chronicles (RPG, Monolith Soft, Nintendo)
The backlog is kind of purgatory. I can’t add them to the “To Keep” collection as I haven’t played them, but I also can’t put them in the “Get Rid Of” pile as I haven’t played them. I’m a big RPG fan, so of course I have all the Project Rainfall games, but I need to play them. Skylander Giants was a freebie from Activision, but not a review copy and it’s sat dormant since I still have to spend time with the original Skylanders. Sam and Max has been in my collection FOREVER, but I still have yet to play the Wii version, having only experienced the PC one. I had Season 2 for the Wii as well, but got rid of it when the PS3 got an HD digital version of the game. Better looking and it didn’t take up space. Plus I had Season 3 for the PS3 as well. I keep hoping that Telltale will eventually release Season One for the PS3 as well, but it just isn’t happening. Grrr. Finally Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is a game many of us here at Diehard GameFAN feel is an underrated diamond in the rough and I picked this up one day after Mark B. and I were gobsmacked by how much this game was selling for on the open market. I found a copy for ten-fifteen bucks on Ebay and as I really loved the PS2 version and occasionally felt bad for dumping it, I picked this up and have yet to see if the Wii version is as good as I remember the PS2 version. If it isn’t at least I can sell this puppy for a good amount of cash, right?
So that’s twenty-two games. The question is what to get rid of. The end result is I have two platformers, one sandbox title, two fighters, four Bemani style games, two underwater simulations, two rail shooters, three beat ’em ups, one sports game, two point and click adventure games, and three RPGs. Also note the publisher variance. One by Majesco, four by Konami, five by Nintendo, three by Sega, one by Atari, one by D3 Publisher, one by Deep Silver, one by Capcom, two by Activision, two by XSEED, and one by the late lamented The Adventure Company. That’s ten different game genres and eleven different publishers. That’s a much wider spread that most people give the Nintendo Wii credit for.
Of course, the question now is what to keep and what to dump? There’s a case that can be made for most of these in some fashion. Like earlier I said if Telltale ever released a digital version of Sam and Max: Season One, I’d dump my Wii copy for that. I haven’t played DDR in years, but that’s a time/setup issue more than a lack of enjoying it. Of course, there’s always the chance I hate something in my backlog and that’s an easy game removal right there. I have House of the Dead 3 for the PS3, but not HotD 2, which is the one I really care about. I guess I could always switch out Overkill for the digital PS3 one as well, but I’m not a fan of Move. So on and so forth. Perhaps the only game I couldn’t even begin to make a case of jettisoning is Secret Files: Tunguska as I love that game and this is the director’s cut you couldn’t get with the US PC release.
So what do you think? Long time readers shouldn’t be surprised by the lack of Mario, Zelda, Kirby, Samus, and the like simply because I tend not to enjoy most first party Nintendo franchises. Still, there’s a good amount of Big N published games here. What do you think should stay, what do you think should go, and perhaps there’s even a game or two that you think I might not have checked out but would like enough to consider a keeper. Let me know in the comment section below. I’ll be back in two weeks with another system, a list of games and we’ll let the pruning begin anew.