originals\ Nov 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Opinion: In Remembrance, the top 5 Wii U games

Gone too soon, and not soon enough

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Honorable Mentions:

These games are amazing in their own rights, and mark a high point in some aspect of gaming.

Tokyo Mirage Session #FETMS

Formerly SMTxFE, this JRPG oozes style, and features a strangely appealing J-Pop soundtrack and focus on the Idol industry of Japan. While it's subject matter is not as dark as SMT fans are accustomed to, it has a lot of core elements borrowed from Persona and Fire Emblem. Beneath its bright and bubbly exterior is a great JRPG that really could have used a modern "fast-forward combat" feature.

Super Mario Makermecha bowzilla

This is the greatest use of user generated content in the history of gaming. Super Mario Maker gives millions of fans an easy to use development tool, filled with amazing variety and content that's entirely new to the franchise, then lets them upload and share their creations with the entire world. Human-kind's creativity is mind boggling, and nowhere is that more evident than the fan creations of Super Mario Maker. Like the fully functional "Mecha Bowzilla" depicted above.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freezedkctf

Many gamers were disappointed to see Nintendo announce yet another 2D side-scrolling platformer in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. This most definitely wasn't the game Nintendo needed to announce for the struggling hardware, but that's not because it wasn't a good game. On the contrary, many feel Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the best 2D platformer ever made. I wouldn't go that far, but here's a reason it's being mentioned in this article, and it's not just the stellar soundtrack.

 

Super Mario 3D Worldsm3dw

Pure joy incarnate. This game is divisive because it's a more linear and less open version of 3D platforming, but anyone that tells you the game is anything less than amazing is lying to you. Super Mario 3D World merges 2D Mario's linearity and precision with the third dimension, creating a highly polished experience somewhere in between.

 

1. Xenoblade Chronicles Xxbcx

Oh man that swerve! Most people were probably expecting a Super Mario game to be placed here when they opened this list, but no. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a game of excess. Planet Mira is one of the largest game maps ever designed by humans, not counting procedurally generated games. The world is truly seamless too, with a load screen only appearing when players send their characters through the barracks or when using fast travel.

While other games have large maps too, the traversal is usually somewhat limited. Players can literally go anywhere on Xenoblade's map. Freedom is the selling point of this game, and unlike No Man's Sky, there's actually stuff to do.

The world of Mira is beautiful. Yes, it has a low resolution, the textures aren't perfect, there's pop in, the shadows aren't dynamic, the combat tutorials don't explain the full depths of combat very well, and the (completely optional) fetch quests can become repetitive, but Xenoblade Chronicles X is the first time I have ever played a game set on not-Earth, and felt like I was on an actual alien planet. Fantasy and science fiction come together to make a gorgeous world that's packed full of life. There is always something to do, and virtually every task gives EXP and other rewards, meaning characters are progressing no matter what the player sets out to accomplish.

I have spent 300+ hours in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles X and I have placed every probe, found every sightseeing spot, and unlocked what is arguably the strongest Skell in the game. However, I'm still nowhere near finishing everything the game has to offer: There are still Tyrants to kill, super bosses hunt, Skells to unlock, characters to recruit, treasure to salvage, gear to augment, weapons to design, story lines to tie up, etc. Hell, while revisiting the game to write this article, I found a hidden area with a powerful super boss just chilling in it.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is flawed, but the strong points are so overwhelming, and the content so expansive, that even the big flaws are overshadowed. Like fellow game of epic scope The Witcher 3, Xenoblade Chronicles X is a game players can buy and play almost endlessly. Unlike The Witcher 3, though, combat doesn't suck in Xenoblade Chronicles X.

There you have it. I'm sure some of you will disagree, especially with Xenoblade's placement, but that's why we have a comments section. In fact, let's turn this on its head: Tell us what your list is in the comments section below, and I'll let you know why you're wrong about Xenoblade Chronicles X, if it's not in the #1 spot.

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About The Author
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James Wynne GameZone's freelance color commentator. Obsessed with recapturing the magic of 90's gaming. Find me on twitter @JamesAdamWynne, or check out my attempts to recreate 90's gaming magazines.
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