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Under The Radar Wii Games

The Wii has a huge library, 1262 different games hit retail shelves. There are definitely some classic games on the Wii, and there are of course a bunch of junk shovelware titles that hit this hot-selling console. There is also a group of games that just seem to be unrecognized, or forgotten, that don’t quite get the proper respect as other good – great games.

It seems like whenever I’m talking to friends about older games, the Wii gets laughed at or shrugged off, it can’t “shake” (sorry) the stigma of wiggle controls and elderly Wii Bowlers. Whenever I try to mention the Wii has some great exclusives, people kinda nod thinking I’m just talking about Mario, Smash, Zelda and are ready to move onto talking about other systems. I want to list here and talk about some of the Wii games I often recommend that a lot of gamers don’t know about, and deserve a playthrough.

I plan on doing this in multiple parts, I’m sure the hardcore Wii aficionado’s will not be surprised by some of what is on this list, but maybe as we get further in the series, you’ll find some surprises too.

Mad World

The black and white comic book art style is so unique and enticing to me, blood red is the only color you see in this game and it is part of what makes it stand out on the Wii. Your right arm is a chainsaw and the violence is over the top, interacting with items in the environment you can impale enemies with street signs and other objects. The game uses some motion controls and actually does it very well, it has never been released outside of the Wii.

Mad World is developed by Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Vanquish, Nier Automata etc) and is one of my favorite games from the developer. It’s current metacritic score is a 81, but it was given 9’s by publishers like IGN and Game Informer.

I always recommend this to anyone who thinks the Wii doesn’t have any good Mature games or action games.

ExciteBots Trick Racing

How can a game published by Nintendo be on an “Under The Radar” list? Because you likely never heard of this game, or ignored it when you did hear about it.

I’m sure most are familiar with the Excite-series because of Excitebike and probably even the Wii launch title Excite Trucks, but ExciteBots is the weirdest and most unfamiliar.

The vehicles are designed to look like insects, animals and different creatures, as you do tricks they flap their wings, kick out their legs, whip their tail and come to life. The game is all about getting stars from tricks and other tasks in the race, the winner isn’t determined by finishing first.

The goofiness of this game is what makes it so entertaining, while racing you will shake tambourines, kick soccer goals, throw pies in a clowns face, and so many other crazy things I can’t list. This is the most insane racing game I can recall playing. It’s oddly Nintendo-esque, and reminds me of the “Play It Loud” era of the Super Nintendo.

Demand for a racing game likely wasn’t high when this released because it was only 1 year after Mario Kart, and this was came out during a crowded Spring release season. It took me about 2 years after to release to get around to playing this and I’m so glad I did, I highly recommend it.

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Expectations, Speculation & Wishes For the Upcoming Direct

I’d like to keep expectations realistic, and the way I conclude what is realistic, is by looking at the content of past directs.   The best comparison would probably be last year’s Nintendo Direct “mini” that happened on January 11th, 2018.   Like the upcoming Direct, the “mini” was used to kick-start a new year and make some big announcements after closing out a successful holiday season.  In the “mini” we ended up getting several new announcements, 3 New Ports, 2 Remake/Remasters, 3 Newly Announced Games,  2 New DLC’s Announced and 2 Updates.   I would be ecstatic to get an equal line-up of announcements this year, and it’s why I keep pointing out this was labeled as a “mini”

When going into 2018 we were pretty much in the dark about the year’s upcoming line-up.  The only confirmed Nintendo published releases at this point were Bayonetta 2/1 (announced only a month before) and Kirby Star Allies.

In 2019 we already know about several Nintendo published games expected for release:

  • Animal Crossing
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Daemon X Machina
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World
  • Fire Emblem Three Houses
  • Pokemon (Main Game)
  • Yo-Kai Watch 4
  • Town (Tentative Title)
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (already released)
  • Bayonetta 3 – (Maybe not 2019)

This probably means we are less likely to get as many “new” announcements this year, but more likely to receive plenty of new information regarding these previously announced titles.   Most of these games we only know are in development and we don’t know anything else as we’ve never seen footage of them.   Surely through the year we will encounter some other surprises and new games too though, but maybe not as much from Nintendo as last year.

Third parties now have had a good amount of time to gauge the market for the Switch, and surely they’ve seen it’s a huge success.  Studios have also had time to sit down with development kits for about 2 years now, so that also means they’re probably ready to start rolling out more projects now.   I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the “new” announcements we get this year are in regards to third party games.


Here is a re-cap of last January’s Nintendo Direct, just to see the caliber of titles that were announced.

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  • Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
  • Hyrule Warrios
  • Y’s VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
  • The World Ends With You: Final Remix
  • Dark Souls Remastered
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
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  • Kirby Star Allies Release Date Announcement
  • Payday 2 Release Date Announcement (February 27)’
  • Donkey Kong DLC (Mario + Rabbids)
  • Luigi Balloon Hunt Free (Super Mario Odyssey)

There’s some rumors and speculation about what’s going to be shown/announced in the next Direct.  I’ve put together a list of things that have been circulating as possibly being announced

  • Already Announced Games Get Updates – We already know we’ll get a look at Fire Emblem 3 Houses, but we might also get to see some Luigi’s Mansion 3, Bayonetta 3 or Animal Crossing updates too. Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Dragon Quest X-S will likely get a release date (and maybe a related Smash character reveal). I would expect a release date for Spyro Trilogy remaster, and definitely expect release date/windows on all of the Capcom and Square Remasters/Ports that were announced in the last Nintendo Direct. Another forgotten title I’m expecting updated release info on is Shakedown Hawaii by VBlank (creators of Retro City Rampage), I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s released in the eShop tomorrow.

  • Assassin’s Creed III RemasterThere have already been leaks that this is coming to Switch, and it was already on the Wii U, so it might not be too hard of a port. The funny thing is, I bought this on 360 and sold it later without ever playing it. After that, I bought it on Wii U and sold it without ever playing it. I wonder if I’ll buy it and play it on Switch.

  • Frostbite Engine on Switch – There’s rumors that EA has got the Frostbite Engine running on the Switch, if that’s true, what games become a possibility?  Most likely it means we get a version of FIFA 20 that will be closer to the PS4/XB1 counterparts, but I do not think we’d get that announcement this soon.    It also opens the possibility for Madden 20, but again, I don’t think that announcement is happening this time of the year (maybe some sort of Madden 19 Super Bowl Edition?).  Battlefield V would be an awesome game for the Switch, but it’d have to be severely gimped, and it’d probably run awful on the Nintendo online service.   So what the hell might they announce!?  Maybe we’ll see a Need For Speed, Plants vs Zombies or maybe even some sort of Anthem port is coming later 2019 to the Switch.
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