originals\ Mar 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Why 2012 is one of the best years to own a Wii


The Wii has become a strange console over the course of the last two years. While there have hardly been waves of excellent releases turning up for Nintendo's shiny console, there have been sporadic reasons to keep it around. In 2010, we got some outstanding retail titles for the Wii. Games such as the old school-inspired Donkey Kong Country Returns, the aesthetically lovely Kirby's Epic Yarn, and the near-perfect 3D platformer Super Mario Galaxy 2 all gave Nintendo fans some truly special gaming experiences. Meanwhile gamers looking for some third-party awesomeness got exactly that with the majestic masterpiece Monster Hunter Tri and the boisterous good time that was No More Heroes 2.

Many gamers might say that 2010 was the last great year for the Wii. With a lengthy list of excellent titles like the aforementioned games plus a bunch of other great releases such as Metroid: Other M, Bit.Trip Runner, and GoldenEye 007, it would be hard to argue otherwise. And when you take into account how poor 2011 was for the Wii, it's obvious the console didn't have two successful years in a row. To be honest, the only two exclusives worth giving a damn about on the Wii last year were Kirby's Return to Dream Land and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There were a few other games that were pretty good, and a handful of solid downloadable offerings such as MotoHeroez, but other than that, 2011 was not kind to Wii owners.

With such a drastic dip in both content and quality, it would be hard to fault anyone for thinking that 2012 will only be worse for the Wii and Wii owners who still have the system plugged in. But already 2012 seems like one of the best years for Wii owners. Now, there may not be much there for the super casual crowd, and to be fair, a lot of core gamers may not be too interested in what the Big N is dishing out this year. But for gamers with specific niche tastes or individuals who just want to try something different, the Wii is looking to provide some solid releases throughout the year.

First and foremost, the Wii already got Rhythm Heaven Fever. Now, this may not seem like the most hardcore game out there, and that's probably because it really isn't. What it is, however, is an absolutely enjoyable rhythm gaming experience that's both affordable and inviting. The game is challenging, cheery, and entertaining. Like WarioWare: Smooth Moves before it, Rhythm Heaven Fever is the type of fast-paced gaming experience that the Wii was made for, and it's sure to cater to both fans of the previous game and newcomers alike. Throw in a two-player mode and some multiplayer mini-games, and you've got a game for two that's both tough and rewarding.

Of course, you can't talk about the Wii in 2012 without mentioning Xenoblade Chronicles. At first it seemed as though we weren't even going to get to play the fantasy RPG here in North America. Thankfully, Nintendo decided to give Wii owners across all regions a chance to get totally stoked for Monolith Soft's upcoming title. Like Rhythm Heaven Fever, Xenoblade Chronicles probably won't be for everyone. Unlike Rhythm Heaven Fever, the grand JRPG definitely caters to a larger audience, and there plenty of RPG enthusiasts who have been waiting eagerly for the game.

Then there's The Last Story, which was announced for North America not too long ago. It was a surprise when Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that we'd be getting the game, and when he made the reveal, it was a chill-inducing moment. Now fans had something to look forward to besides Xenoblade Chronicles, and it just so happens to be the acclaimed Wii RPG from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.

There's one more game that's slated for a 2012 launch on Nintendo's current home console: Dragon Quest X. While most of the coverage the game has gotten has been in Japan, it's most definitely a worthy title that should appeal to everyone from fans of the series to MMO lovers. The game is set to feature a vast open world, countless quests, and online multiplayer. Announced last year for both the Wii and Wii U, Dragon Quest X has managed to generate some buzz, and it's exactly the type of title that could breathe continued life into to the Wii system.

It definitely looks like 2012 is scheduled to be a strong year for the Wii. No, it may not be as packed with triple-A games like 2010 or any years prior, but with several big releases sprinkled throughout the year, it's hard to encourage everyone to disconnect and pack away their Wii consoles. For any fans of RPGs or games that have that distinct Japanese appeal, 2012 is as good a time as any to own a Wii. Rhythm Heaven Fever has already kicked things off, and we still have Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Dragon Quest X, and maybe even Pandora's Tower (fingers crossed!) to look forward to. With the Big N's next platform on the horizon, this is the perfect send-off for the Wii.

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David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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