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Nintendo announced on their recent Direct last week that Wii games are coming as digital downloads to Wii U. For the US, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is out now, Punch-Out!! is coming this week and Metroid Prime Trilogy the week after. Other territories are getting Donkey Kong Country Returns, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor and more. The first week of the initial releases have the games at half off their original $19.99 prices and I don’t see that happening for future games. However, this announcement opens a whole new catalog Wii U owners can experience again or for the first time even with minimal changes and the same controller support as their original iterations. Here are five Wii games that should be re-released digitally on Wii U.
1) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
I admit that I passed on the last main Zelda game because it came out late in the Wii’s lifespan. Skyward Sword was basically the Wii’s swan song and it would be great to see the game get a second chance on Wii U. If the new Zelda on Wii U gets delayed to 2016 for some reason, Nintendo can easily release this as a digital download to substitute for it or even release both with Skyward Sword being the warmup Zelda fans need. With this iteration taking full advantage of the Wii’s motion controls and I’ll be honest that Twilight Princess on Wii had shoehorned controls to make that console’s launch, Skyward Sword was the culmination of Nintendo’s Wii experiment as a whole. It also might be the last traditional Zelda structure-wise if the new and improved direction for the Wii U entry is any indication. This is a Wii game Nintendo should not pass on bringing to the Wii U digitally.
This underappreciated Wii gem was one of the first games released by Platinum, the folks behind the Bayonetta series and The Wonderful 101. The visual style was something else at the time because it was rarely done and it worked along with the gory kills the game offers. Plus, the arcadey aspect to this brawler is also great for short sessions even for $20. Nintendo, Sega and Platinum continue to have a good relationship especially with how critically acclaimed Bayonetta 2 was last year, so this coming as a Wii U digital download is another no brainer. Now when’s that MadWorld sequel Platinum?
3) Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Arguably the best and “cutest” Kirby game on the Wii, Epic Yarn was something special because of the whole yarn theme. From the visuals and the gameplay, it wasn’t your traditional Kirby game and yet it works really well. Then again, Nintendo and HAL Laboratories do love putting Kirby in experimental games like this, Canvas Curse on the DS and the upcoming Rainbow Curse on Wii U. Re-releasing this on Wii U might steal some thunder from Yoshi’s Wolly World since that is having somewhat of a similar visual style, but Yoshi and Kirby having different gameplay mechanics should be enough to separate the two. I do love that these “yarn” games are becoming more of a thing and hopefully Nintendo keeps it going with their stable of characters.
4) The Last Story
This Japanese RPG was thankfully brought over stateside by the fine folks of XSEED on the tail end of the Wii’s lifespan. Made by Mistwalker which consisted of some guys behind the Final Fantasy franchise, mainly Hironubu Sakaguchi and composer Nobuo Uematsu. If this game does get re-released on Wii U, which would be a rare chance considering how long it took for it be released for US folks, it will have gamepad support because the Classic Controller can be used. The Last Story is another one of those rare, traditional JRPGs you see these days even though it has cover elements along with some real time strategy mechanics. The genre has been on the way out with only a couple of franchises keeping it going because even Final Fantasy is going on an more action-oriented direction just by the footage of XV. Seeing The Last Story on Wii U would be a reminder of how much JRPGs were the talk of the town back in the 90s and early 2000s.
5) Xenoblade Chronicles
Sure, there is the New 3DS XL-exclusive version of Xenoblade coming, but what about Wii U only fans that never played it on Wii needing a primer on the series before the sequel is out later this year? Another rare game that came out on the Wii’s last months with copies on eBay costing way more than the regular retail price, Xenoblade was another beloved JRPG by the Monolithsoft guys. Nintendo is so far doing a great job hyping up Xenoblade Chronicles X with the recent trailer last week and Shulk being in Super Smash Bros, so why not keep it going by re-releasing it on Wii U for those that won’t get the New 3DS XL. It might derail sales of the New 3DS version, but having a cross play feature with a digital Wii U version in terms of saves carrying over would be nice. I still consider this a long shot of the first Xenoblade coming to Wii U because of the New 3DS and the Wii U sequel coming, but this should be another classic worthy of coming as a digital download.
Any other Wii games you want to see come to Wii U as digital downloads that haven’t been officially announced yet? Jot down your suggestions in the comments below.