Holiday Gift Guide: Wii edition

Posted: December 6, 2010 in HUD blips

It seems to be that time of year again.  The time when we preach to others about peace and love and the time of giving, then curse the day they were born over a parking spot at the mall.  Yes it’s the holidays again…  isn’t it wonderful?  Smell the marginal religious themed capitalism!   Isn’t it grand?


Since I am a devout follower of the church of gaming and a total cheap ass, I figured I could help anyone out who is in need of some holiday gaming cheer and is pretty tight in the wallet areas of their pants.  I am a proud member of the PC gaming master race as well as an acolyte in the sects of the console so I think I’m kind of an authority on the subject.  I mean c’mon, I’m making a sprite based action RPG and I’m currently building an FPS so I think I know a thing or two about games.  Hell, my Xbox360 has risen from the grave twice already…  though it was probably built in a manger- hay has terrible heat dissipation qualities- maybe that’s why they overheat?  Whatever, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this list and get to helping my cheap ass readers- that’s you.

The Wii list.

All the marketing speak touts the Playstation Move and the Microsoft Kinect as the go-to peripherals of motion gaming.  All the SSBB marketing will tell you is that everyone and their grandmas already own a Wii, so what the hell do you want with a $150 add-on for your non-motion consoles?  Nothing, that’s what.  It’s time to blow the dust off your Wii, eject that damn Wii Sports that’s been in there since you bought the thing and get to some motion gaming (some motions not required).  Here’s some new, and not-so-new titles for the Wii that should be a hit with Wii owners this holiday.

1)  Disney: Epic Mickey (metacritic score: 78%, kid friendly, $50)

The ever curious Mickey Mouse has found a magical brush and seems to have gotten into trouble with it.  He’s spilled some magic ink all over the Magic Kingdom and caused all the lesser known Disney characters to lose their hearts.  With his magical brush filled with paint and thinner Mickey must save the denizens of the Magic Kingdom and bring back their hearts.  It’s a beautiful platformer with a fill/erase mechanic which makes every problem unique as it can be tackled differently depending on how you want to play.

2. Kirby’s Epic Yarn (metacritic score:  89%, kid friendly, $50)

Nintendo’s pink puffball hero is back in a new epic adventure.  Unlike previous Kirby games the titular hero doesn’t suck up and consume enemies but instead takes them out in this virtual tapestry of a game.  The whole world is made of textiles, thread and, well, yarn.  Kirby can transform into a tank or a rocket ship to thwart his foes as well as whip them with his yarn body.  This is honestly one of the most beautiful games for the Wii and it stands in the beginner category for 2d platformers so it’s great for kids.  Simultaneous 2 player action gets everyone into the fun.

3.  Donkey Kong Country: Returns (metacritic score: 87%, kid friendly, 50$)

The tie sporting gorilla is at his 2d, SNES style, sidescrolling, platforming best in this new title DKC:R.  It’s a love letter to the SNES games of yore with many of the famous characters from that series of games from RARE.  This installment on Wii is made by Retro Studios, famous for their 3d Metroid Prime games.  The team at Retro really did a bang up job with this game as it truly makes you feel like a kid again.  Until you drop in that damn pit for the umpteenth time.  Yes, Retro really brought back the crazy difficult platforming from the originals, but it’s not punishingly so.  There’s rarely any cheap deaths so the game isn’t padded with difficulty spikes.  With 2 player action this game gets pretty hectic, but it’s always fun.

4.  NBA Jam (metacritic score: 80%, kid friendly, $50)

Yes, the arcade classic has been retooled, re-focused and brought up to date with this action sports title from EA.  It’s the same old 2 on 2 b-ball of the arcade original, 2 button controls and all, brought back from the dead and on your Wii.  The team rosters have been updated with current players on their current teams and new special players from modern pop culture.  EA went to great lengths to make this game faithful to the original even going so far as to get the same announcer from the arcade version (BOOMSHACKALACKA, HE’S ON FIRE! et al).  Big head mode, presidential teams (Palin and Obama hahaha!) and 2d heads on 3d bodies.  This game plays so much like the original you’ll be looking for a spot to dump quarters into your Wii.  Seriously.

5. Goldeneye 007 (metacritic score: 80%, Teen and above, $50)

It’s another remake for a Nintendo console, surprised?  Me neither, but this one looks to be a good one.  Even if Activision is making it insead of RARE, and Daniel Craig replaces Peirce Brosnan it’s still a welcome sight for the waggle machine.  Split screen an online multiplayer spices up this otherwise great game.  Revisiting the locations of the original game with areas like the dam and the facility but with upgraded graphics and play modes really freshens up the game.  I can hear the calls of “no Oddjobs” from the character select screen along with “I know you’re looking at my screen, no cheating!”.  Ahh, memories.


And there you have it.  Seriously go buy these games.  Your Wii will thank you for it, I promise.


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