Not gonna lie, I enjoy the Wii. A lot. Its a cute little console with a kick-ass controller that has some gems if you take the time to look, GC hardware backwards compatibility was also a nice bonus. It gets hated on a lot within Nintys stable of consoles as it became popular with those you wouldn’t expect – like your gran. This obviously meant the system seen its fair share of cheap shovelware, but just like other popular systems with large libraries – if you push past the shovelware, there’s some gems to be had underneath. That’s what this series will look to do, showcase games that may have been missed. Let’s start with a few easy ones.
What better place to start than with one of the Wii’s best games for me, the stylish and OTT action spectacular from SEGA & Platinum Games. May as well get it off my chest, games still looks amazing today. The lack of a progressive scan mode is a bummer sure, but it doesn’t really have an effect on the games chunky comic book look as it looks somewhat grainy anyway. In a way the Black & White palette with the odd slash of red reminds me of old 2000AD comic books, no doubt why I still enjoy its aesthetic even today.
Thankfully gameplay is just as good. Only a few gestures are really used to grab enemies etc., so you’ll be mainly bashing buttons in what is easiest to describe as a beat-em-up. The games point scoring system is the real driving point of the game as your gratuitous finishers are scored and can combo’d for an even bigger score – Throw a tyre over someone, stick a signpost through their head and then dump em in a burning barrel for a nice point bonus. Boss characters occasionally turn up, as do champion types within stages that get progressively larger as you progress, so its not all you bullying cannon fodder.
If you have a Wii boxed up somewhere with no Madworld played, you really should give it a blast. These days it can be found for less than a tenner, and at that price point there’s no excuse.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
Another great game, this time one that went under the radar, is this gem of a post apocalyptic adventure. Waking up alone in an observatory, you gather up some things and head out into the lifeless ruins looking for someone, anyone, so as not to be alone anymore. The world isn’t lifeless tho, there are still spirits & souls trapped here that will give you quests, or hit you with feels from their stories, in the hope you can ease their passing. Not all spirits you come across are this way, some are left frustrated or angry by death, and these shadowy foes are best avoided unless you have the means to face them.
Gameplay will mainly see you completing puzzles of sorts, by finding items or fixing equipment etc., to open up a new path to keep searching for others. It works perfectly with the nunchuk+WiiMote combo as the slower pace doesn’t require any quick sudden movements so you get to kick back and relax with this one. This also allows you to appreciate to good graphics on display, sure its a little stylised, but it doesn’t stop if from packing in detail when needed. When it all comes together you can get drawn into the game easily and can feel the loneliness of the character as you play – probably why I have such a soft spot
The real damper on the game tho is the price it costs these days, upwards of £70/£80 for a decent copy. Glad I got it when I did, but that high price means even less people will get to try this underappreciated gem from the Wii library.
This game had quite the eventful life when heading westward, with European release nailed on an American release up in the air until picked up by XSSED, as the many issues documented during development kept the game out of players hands for a good while. Pandora’s Tower is an action RPG that doesn’t go down the usual route of grandeur, instead focusing on our protagonist and his personal quest to stop the person he loves being consumed by a curse. To do this Aeron must tackle the thirteen towers of a fortress and defeat each beast to bring cursed meat back to Elena to ease the curse. Once the towers are done and the final boss of the fortress is defeated, that cursed meat should be enough to lift the curse on Elena for them to potentially return to a normal life.
The end can vary depending on your relationship with Elena, keeping her happy with visits & gifts for example, will have an effect on which of the endings you’ll see when its all done. Gameplay is your typical hack & slash style action RPG with some embellishments, the Oraclos Chain allows for some great options in combat such as binding foes or even tearing armour, with some puzzles thrown into the mix between combat. The game was somewhat lambasted a little at release, mainly for controls (I used Classic pad so not bad to me) and graphics (looks fine aside from framerate suffers ever now & again) but is a great little action RPG for the system that adds a little personal touch with your relations with Elena having an effect on how everything ends.
Now is it worth seeking out? Personally for me it is, and luckily it hasn’t quite reached the level of scarcity as Fragile Dreams to warrant a high price. You’ll still need to put down around £30-£40 for a complete copy, but that’s just about worth it for me as there’s plenty of playthroughs to see it all and it’s only gonna get more expensive.
The following two tabs change content below.
Rocking the world of gaming since the Atari 2600, has now settled down to bask in the warmth of moe. Moe is life for a moe connoisseur.