Nintendo recently sold over 20 million units of the Switch; congratulations! That’s definitely a far cry from the sales numbers of the Wii U, which is probably the worst-selling console next to the Virtual Boy. Hell, we’re not sure if we should even count it in this grand scheme of equations. No disrespect to the late-but-great Gunpei Yokoi though.
It’s a huge shame because the Nintendo Wii U had a ton of noteworthy titles during its 4-year lifespan. From esoteric platformers to unique action experiences, the Wii U had it all except for a huge mainstream customer base who were obviously confused about the system. They were probably thinking to themselves “was it an add-on for the Wii?” or “what’s with the touchpad gimmick?” or other such valid concerns that plagued them and Nintendo from years to come.
Fast forward to now: after seeing Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, and Mario Kart 8 on the Nintendo Switch, I think it’s high time we need to see other Wii U luminaries appear on Nintendo’s new console. Here are our top picks of Wii U titles.
If you know my taste in games, you know damn well what’s number 1. So just humour me for now and read what’s at numbers 6 to 2.
#6. Super Mario Maker
It’s rather sad that one of the top Mario games which involve you making your own Mario levels has yet to arrive on the Nintendo Switch. There’s really not much to say about this game apart from the fact that its tools are accessible and easy for laymen to get a grasp of, and that there are a ton of Mario levels featured and curated by the ever-loving and ever-rabid Nintendo community.
What can the Nintendo Switch add to a Super Mario Maker port? A lot, actually. Now that there’s no Miiverse for players to share your Super Mario Maker levels, Nintendo can make a new one with their new upcoming online service with a definitive version of the game. I doubt it’ll be in the company’s best interest to introduce a new online service and let it last for a few years instead of having a long-term plans; why not bring in a Wii U game that can guarantee some semblance of longevity via unlimited 2D Mario levels from budding game designers-in-training?
Nintendo can also go a step further and feature a 100-or-so custom levels from the company’s brightest designers, along with a “1 Nintendo-made level per week” free DLC promotion? That way, even if you don’t feel like creating levels, you can just play Super Mario Maker and not feel like you’ve wasted money on a level editor.
#5.Super Mario 3D World
Because why wouldn’t you want a 4-player co-op isometric Mario platformer experience? Especially one that is well-made and is filled with tons of gorgeous and creative levels? Unlike previous Mario platformers, this one brings in different characters with their jumping quirks and advantages, like Princess Peach’s float and Luigi’s weird trajectory.
You can’t pick the same characters, so someone in your four-person group is probably going to get stuck with someone they’re not used to. Imagine having one Nintendo Switch and four players sharing the screen playing this game, or better yet, four people with their own Switches playing together in the same room. Imagine the cursing and swearing from young kids and adults as they try to work together in some of the tougher areas in World 6 to 8.
Of course, if you want a more 2D experience, you can go for New Super Mario Bros U (which might come out for the Switch), but I prefer 3D World more because of its jazzy soundtrack and its new-yet-weird-ass powerups. Props to the guy in the R&D team who suggested the cherry powerup and the levels that use them fully.
#4. Yoshi’s Woolly World
This platformer is adorable AF and is devilishly tough. Who knew a cutesy platformer can be diabolic with its level design? That’s the magic of Yoshi’s Woolly World the best of SNES’ Yoshi’s Island and N64’s Yoshi’s Story merge together into one big yarn. Sorry.
The aesthetics are pleasing to the eyes, with a lot of detail and convincing tactile quality that breathes new life into familiar platform action settings. Developer Good-Feel incorporated the art style into the game’s design: since everything’s made out of yarn and arts and craft, you can unravel, oh say, a yarn door and a random ribbon placed on the floor to reveal secrets. The yarn balls you toss also have different properties than Yoshi’s eggs, so you have to get the hang of them later on in the game.
Simply put, this game needs a new audience in the form of a port. The fact that the game features co-op mode means that there’s incentive for two people to play together as two Yoshis, helping each other out through yarn hell.
#3. Pikmin 3
The third Pikmin marching critters simulator is severely underrated. With three different space captains to control and a horde of new Pikmin to use to get from point A to B, we wonder why this game didn’t get the fanfare it deserved.
Imagine if the past two Pikmin games on GameCube came together, you get Pikmin 3 where all the great ideas of the past become one neat package. It’s both easy to learn and tough to master, as it has a lot of stages and areas to cater towards your adeptness at managing little Pikmin in real time while trying not to kill them all via terrible labour division skills and resource allocation.
Personally, this is the one strategy game so colourful and accessible enough that it can make even the most jaded see strategy games like Starcraft in a whole new light, only with more babysitting and scavenging. With the Switch, players can have this game on the go while also choosing between different ways to play the game either with motion control or traditional controls. Perhaps Nintendo can add in a new mode where new spacefolks can join in current sessions to help the other out, like an inverse to Dark Souls online feature.
#2. Wonderful 101
If someone were to tell you that you’re making a game where you control a group of superheroes fighting evil Sentai-style and can form different weapons as a group, that sounds like a hell of an undertaking. If you happen to be Platinum Games, the same guys behind the Bayonetta series, then everyone else should pay attention.
Too bad no one did since this game, for all of its pros, did not sell well on the platform it’s on. This is one of the company’s finest. It’s also one of their hardest games, and that’s saying a lot since their past games aren’t slouches in the difficulty department. You would not believe the many retries I had to endure dealing with some of the tougher foes like the giant turtles, the dragons, and the four-legged alien thing. One was bad enough; try fighting three of them on the same battlefield.
Perhaps the lack of a better tutorial and key explanations for its 101 army mechanic adds to its high learning curve; the Switch version can fix that with a few simple one-page explanations or even some prompts. Not many of us are quick on the uptake when it comes to parrying and dodging in the first few stages of the game; a little heads-up on which evasive moves are best to purchase after the first level will help ease players in before trashing them in the latter half of this fightfest.
#1. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
This is one Atlus and Nintendo JRPG experiment that could have gone places. Basically, it’s about a bunch of kids who want to be pop idols but have to also fend off evil mirages using souls of warriors who are based off the Fire Emblem mythos. The turn-based combat features a lot of dizzying colours and an awesome combo system called sessions where you exploit enemy weaknesses and then hammer them with chain attacks from your band members. Once you play a few fights, it gets more awesome and tricky since most enemies can debilitate you greatly with just a few turns.
The kids themselves are fleshed out despite being walking talking anime tropes like the cool-headed Kiria and the super-young-but-precocious Mamori. To take a page from a previous review I did, the game is colourful and fluffy without being too empty-headed and hollow, its fights are frenetic and fast-paced while rewarding smart play, and its cast is an eclectic group you really want to hang out with, quirks and all.
All I’m saying is TMS needs a sequel. Badly. Or at least a cheaper port that you can take around with you. Think of the huge resurgence this game will get if Nintendo publishes it again on its current platform.
So Nintendo, is there any chance you can make these ports a reality? With Nintendo Switch doing gangbusters right now, it’ll be a crying shame if the best works on your previous platform fade into obscurity. At the very least try not to charge us full price for it; kthanxbai.