Despite being a diehard Nintendo fan throughout most of my life, this is the first time I can remember where I didn't have a Nintendo console in the house. When I first got a chance to preview the Wii U prior to its debut I found it gimmicky and unwieldy. Much of what it promised seemed like rather needless improvements to the Wii, and the game selection really wasn't enough to make me consider dropping the cash on it when the PS4 seemed like the surer bet.
After some time to get going, though, the Wii U is starting to look more and more appealing. There's at least five games on the horizon that are making me reconsider dropping the cash on Nintendo's box.
Zelda Wii U Honestly, though Mario remains the flagship mascot for Nintendo it's Link, the perennial hero in the Legend of Zelda franchise, who has been starring in the better titles for the last decade. Nothing looks more awesome than the upcoming open-world Zelda adventure. As marvelous as Skyward Sword was, you could feel it being held back by the upcoming capabilities of the future. That's why it's sort of the Final Fantasy 9 of the franchise.
We didn't see a whole lot of footage of the game at E3, but what we did see was amazing. It looks like Nintendo has really pulled out all the stops in making Hyrule as open a realm as any fantasy novel. Though surely in the end there will be some boundaries, it's still the most ambitious rendering of the land ever done.
Hyrule Warriors Another Zelda, but quite a different one that what we've seen before. Nintendo is teaming up with Tecmo to use aspects of the Dynasty Warriors series but set in Hyrule. Instead of the adventure setting we're all used to, now Link mows down hordes of foes with huge, over-the-top crowd-killing attacks.
In addition, Zelda and Impa are both playable and both show just as if not more impressive attacks than Link, though Link hurling the giant bomb is going to be tough to beat in my book. The Zelda series has always been lacking a big, giant hack and slash entry and now we're finally going to get one.
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Bayonetta 2 Ha! Nintendo stole Bayonetta as an exclusive. Not only are we getting the sequel to one of the most ridiculously fun hack and slashers ever, but the Wii U sequel will also offer a download of the original game giving Nintendo players access for the first time.
It's a direct sequel to the first game, with Bayonetta seeking to save her friend Jeanne from the pits of Hell by traveling there with all the shooting and stabbing she's famous for. There's supposed to be a new two-player mode, which should be interesting to see how the Wii U's technology can be used for that purpose. Even if that falls flat though, I'm not going to miss a chance to play as Anime Ninja Mary Poppins if I can help it.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker There's no good reason for it, but I've always liked Toad as a character ever since Super Mario Bros. 2. He's just adorable, but he's never gotten a spin-off. Well, thanks to the popularity of a mini-game in the Super Mario Land 3D series now he's taking center stage.
Treasure Tracker is very SML3D in execution, but Toad can't jump and that adds a new layer of difficulty and nuance to the puzzle aspect. Plus, there are mine cart riding aspects, and that's always going to improve any game you see it in. It's not big on my list of must-plays, but it has the potential to be a real sleeper hit.
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Xenoblade Chronicles X This game alone is a reason to buy an entire console. The first Xenoblade Chronicles is honestly one of the best RPGs ever created, and Monolift Soft looks like they plan on working exclusively for Nintendo. Mark my words, this game will be worth every penny.
It uses the original battle system, but your characters now control giant battle mechs with transformative abilities similar to the Mechon in the first game. This time, there will also be fighting in the air, which is inventive no doubt. These are just the bells and whistles. Even though details are sketchy so far, the near-perfection of Xenoblade Chronicles promises us another excellent mixture world-building, action, and plot that kept me busy for 500 hours over the course of two years.