Five games that will (hopefully) help the Wii U succeed in 2013

Wii U Screenshot - 1132755

Though the Wii U undoubtedly found its way in many homes this past holiday season, there's no question that the launch probably could've gone better for Nintendo.  Sure, the system introduced a fun new Mario adventure with New Super Mario Bros. U, and some of the third party games were good, but the massive downloadable update and the lack of downloadable titles were hard to look past.  Not to mention the iffy lack of full 1080p support with some games, which sounded promising so many months ago.

But fret not – the Wii U's best games are yet to come, and we've highlighted five games that will truly help the system shine in the months ahead.  Some are third party and take advantage of the hardware like no other software before it, while others are highly anticipated sequels that could pave the way for better sequels to come.

Here now are the five Wii U games to watch…

Aliens: Colonial Marines (Sega, February 12)

Aliens

Most movie-licensed titles fail to register with gamers because they rely more on the power of the license rather than the substance in the experience itself.  But Gearbox Software has proven it knows how to craft a superb first-person shooter – two, in fact, with its Borderlands series – and their work on the upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines is staggeringly good.  Featuring a storyline that ties in nicely with the legacy that James Cameron's 1986 sci-fi classic had created – and featuring the likes of actors Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen to boot – Aliens promises to be a riveting experience, one that makes use of the Wii U with the exclusive motion tracker feature, similar to the ones attached to the pulse rifles in the movie.  (Yes, that cool ringing sound will be included.)  Throw in a fun multiplayer mode that will take full advantage of the Nintendo Network, and you have an action tour-de-force that shouldn't be missed.

Rayman Legends (Ubisoft, February 26)

Rayman

First set to be released during the launch of the Wii U, Ubisoft opted to give Rayman a little time to be better, so that the game didn't come up short in light of what Rayman Origins did in 2011.  It turned out to be a rather good decision, because, judging by what we've played in the demo for the game, Rayman Legends is shaping up to be fantastic.  Taking advantage of the Wii U GamePad in various ways (namely in a two-player co-op session, with one person controlling the on-screen character and the other doing things via the touch-screen), the game is just as entertaining thus far as Origins, and the visuals and sound are wonderful, perhaps the best we've seen from a third party company to date.  And there's no question that Legends is undeniably silly – it is Rayman, after all.

The Wonderful 101 (Nintendo, TBA 2013)

101

Has Platinum Games really done anything wrong yet?  Nope.  And it's looking like 2013 will be their biggest year to date.  Anarchy Reigns is set to do some damage on Xbox 360 and PS3 next week; Metal Gear Rising Revengeance will carve up the competition next month; and let's not forget about the forthcoming Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2.  But in the meantime, we have this glorious return to the ridiculous style that the team first introduced as Clover Studio with Viewtiful Joe long ago.  Players control a team of superheroes as they battle enemies and traverse dangerous levels, working together.  Featuring a visual style that's unprecedented compared to other Wii U fare, and innovative gameplay that feels right at home on the GamePad, this game will no doubt live up to its Wonderful potential.

Dragon Quest X (Square Enix, TBA 2013)

Dragon

Dragon Quest has been known to be about traditional role-playing action, and has since become one of Square Enix's most respected series.  But with Dragon Quest X, the company is taking the series to bold new frontiers, online. That's right, DQX is an MMORPG, which should open up to the Wii U's audience quite remarkably in terms of choices and battling alongside (or with) others.  Though the Japanese audience already got their taste of DQX, we're confident that it'll break out this year in a number of ways, and will set the pacing for even bigger franchises to come on the Wii U.  Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, we're looking at you...

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Capcom, TBA 2013)

Monster

Though it'll be a while before we see Monster Hunter 4 surface (we're guessing late 2013/early 2014 at best), we will have plenty of slaying to go around with this revitalized take on the Wii classic.  Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will feature online co-op, so you can team up with friends and slay massive beasts with a few well-timed attacks.  It's also expected to include hordes of new beasts and worlds to explore, as well as a variety of new weapons that you can collect to your heart's content.  If any game can give the Nintendo Network a boost in user count, it's more than likely this one.

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Robert Workman
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