Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Top Ten Wii U Games That Deserve A Second Chance on the Switch

The formerly Wii U exclusive LEGO City Undercover hits store shelves today. Not only is it available on Nintendo's new console, the Switch, but also the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. This made me wonder about what other games from the Wii U's lineup would be deserving of a second (or in some cases third) chance on the Nintendo Switch, as Mario Kart 8 is also one such title that was locked to the system but is getting an updated version on Nintendo's newest system. So let's take a look at ten Wii U titles (and yes, there are ten worthy Wii U titles to make a top ten list like this) that deserve a second shot at popularity with a Nintendo Switch version. (Note: Many of these games actually sold well on the Wii U, so the second chance I want them to receive would give them even more popularity for a much wider audience.)

10) Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

We begin with a game with a glorious clay art style that is the successor to the early Nintendo DS hit, Kirby: Canvas Curse. It's the Wii U's Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Unlike most of the games on this list, Rainbow Curse used the Wii U GamePad exclusively for its touch-based, drawing gameplay. You drew lines to guide Kirby around and poked the pink puffball to increase his speed as you maneuvered him through obstacle courses filled with enemies to beat and puzzles to solve. Kirby's sole Wii U outing would have to use the Nintendo Switch in handheld form only due to being touch-centric, but this time around the screen would display the game in much more gorgeous higher fidelity, making for a game that would be great on the eyes on both the TV screen and tablet screen.

9) Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Taking the specific Captain Toad-centered levels of Super Mario 3D World and making an entire game out of them, you moved Captain Toad (and later Toadette) through a series of puzzle levels, interacting with the environment of each to reach the Power Star in it. Along the way, you could pick up three diamonds as well as try to beat the level with a specific requirement in order to go for 100% completion, a really fun goal. Like many Wii U games from Nintendo, the art style and characters were abundantly charming, and the gameplay kept players thinking and reacting fast to solve all of the challenges Treasure Tracker posed to them. Some of the Wii U GamePad-based segments, such as the first-person mine cart targeting, would need to be altered to work with the Switch, but all in all, Captain Toad and Toadette deserve another chance to shine as brightly as the Power Stars they both coveted.

8) Xenoblade Chronicles X

With Xenoblade Chronicles 2 supposedly releasing at the end of the year (but I wouldn't be surprised to see a Western release slip into 2018), what better time to release this marvelous open world RPG to the masses while they wait? The one positive thing about the Wii U is that Nintendo built up an arsenal of games that many consumers didn't get to play because they never owned the system. If Sony can get away with releasing their last gen offerings on the PS4, why can't Nintendo? That's where I think Xenoblade Chronicles X would fit in as an offering for those who never got to become engrossed in the massive world that X delivers and does so very well.

7) Paper Mario: Color Splash

Releasing late in the Wii U's life as most of the gaming world's attention turned to the hype train that was the Nintendo Switch, Paper Mario: Color Splash may not have been the classic turn-based RPG experience that were in the origins of the Paper Mario franchise, but the game still brought a tremendous amount of charm, incredibly well crafted worlds to explore, smartly done puzzles instead of the obtuse ones from Sticker Star, and one of the funniest, well-written games I've played in a long time. Even the lesser parts of Color Splash were worth playing through just to keep enjoying the seemingly endless charm and humor of the game. Plus, battles were finally worthwhile.

6) Pokken Tournament

A Pokemon fighter?! What took so long, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company (specifically the latter)?! Pokken Tournament combined the familiarity of the Pokemon series with the 3D fighting gameplay of the Tekken series, and this explosive combination was a great deal of fun. The arcade version continues to go strong with the inclusion of three new Pokemon fighters not seen in the Wii U version (at least not yet). It seems like it would breathe new life into the console front of Pokken Tournament with a Nintendo Switch port with the new characters and even more DLC included. After all, Pokken Tournament is a really well done fighter, and it deserves more time in the eSports arena.

5) Star Fox Zero

This was a controversial review on SuperPhillip Central, as I didn't agree with folks lamenting about the controls of the Wii U original. I found it really playable once the admittedly high barrier of entry was leaped over. That said, if retooling the controls to make a more enjoyable Star Fox experience with an improved Nintendo Switch version of Star Fox Zero would give the game and the series more popularity and fanfare, then I'm all for it. I wonder how certain parts of the game would work, what with not being able to fly one direction while targeting at a foe by looking at another direction, but I'm sure Nintendo could find some kind of balance. They are pretty good at developing solutions for gaming problems, as their history shows.

4) Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

I never thought Donkey Kong Country 2 would be usurped as the top DKC game in the series for me. Nintendo and Retro Studios somehow did just that by not only creating my favorite Donkey Kong Country game with Tropical Freeze, but also by creating one of the best 2D platformers of all time. This is a shared opinion with a fair portion of the gaming community. That's why Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze with all of its ingenious level design, action platforming set pieces, challenging difficulty, and lovely David Wise-composed soundtrack deserves to be played by as many gamers as possible. It'd be a shame if Tropical Freeze was stuck on the Wii U.

3) Super Mario Maker

This game, a creation tool for making 2D Mario levels, actually already had a second chance to shine with Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, but it was gimped in functionality (such as no online level sharing, a big part of what made the Wii U original so successful). Despite this, the 3DS version sold well. Regardless, I'd love to see Super Mario Maker's full Wii U version given a port to the Switch as a series of tools that are constantly updated-- sort of like its own service that continues to see updates on the Switch instead of multiple iterative sequels. The online level sharing would be included, of course, unlike the 3DS version, granting new life to Super Mario Maker with a Nintendo Switch version.

2) Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

There are rumors of Super Smash Bros' Wii U outing getting a Nintendo Switch release, especially in the early dats of Nintendo Switch news and rumor-mongering. That supposed enhanced port would receive all of the Wii U content as well as the Nintendo 3DS stages updated. We all know how well the Smash Bros. series does, and it did well on even the Wii U, so it seems like a given for there to be a Switch port while we wait for an all-new entry in the series. Heck, even with a Switch port with the Nintendo 3DS stages, that would be more than worthy of being the only Smash Bros. release for the system. Regardless, just imagine the multiplayer with the portability of the Switch. You could smash your bros from anywhere!

1) Bayonetta 2 

SEGA seems to be hinting at a Steam Bayonetta release with a timer, but it seems because of Nintendo's involvement with the sequel (published and provided funding) that Bayonetta 2 will remain a Nintendo system exclusive. Most people didn't buy the Wii U, a fact that has been made clear earlier in this article. It would make sense for Nintendo's investment to get another shot with what I would think (but I really don't want to assume) would be a quick and easy Nintendo Switch port of Bayonetta 2. It's one of the most fantastic character action games around, and Platinum Games did a magnificent job with it. Like many games on this list that didn't do so hot sales-wise, it'd be a shame if a game of this magnitude and quality was stuck on the Wii U.


Speaking of which, which Wii U games stuck on the system would you like to see put on Nintendo Switch the most?

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