Best Wii Game 2011
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
An easy decision for Wii game of the year, the latest major Zelda still managed to knock-off many contenders for overall GOTY too. Critics of the series may scoff, but there’s a reason each Zelda is eagerly anticipated – they’re uniformly excellent, and Skyward Sword is no exception. Sort of a Knights of the Old Republic to the series, set long before the Triforce, Ganon, and even Hyrule, a barely-recognizable Legend of Zelda universe just makes things that much more interesting. It’s a shake-up that even the naysayers can appreciate. Tight, puzzle-filled level design, an intriguing story with a freaky new antagonist, a world in the clouds that you fly a giant duck through, and an abundance of things to do and places to see. Oh, and motion controls finally have a decent application. Hurrah.
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As platformers go, you won’t find one more bizarre, or brilliant. Everything a classic platformer needs is there. Polished, tight controls? Check. Plenty of fun hidden secrets and replay value? Check. Unbelievably catchy tunes? Check. Challenging but fair gameplay? Check. Addictive co-op multiplayer? Check. Riding around on mosquitoes shooting giant eels in the ass? Double check. Buy.
Kirby: Return to Dreamland
In a year with pretty much no Wii releases, Kirby stood out like a beacon of hope. A more traditional adventure than Epic Yarn or Mass Attack, Kirby: Return to Dreamland proves that Kirby’s delightful platforming and eating abilities are a draw. The co-op is good fun too.
Xenoblade Chronicles makes short work of the dusty reputation of the jRPG genre. The game sports great visuals, an engaging story, rich gameplay and nearly unlimited customization options. But the most impressive aspect of Xenoblade Chronicles is its massive scale, ensuring countless of hours of entertainment throughout.
All six of the excellent Bit.Trip games in a single package would be an enticing offer on any given day but when it comes with 120 new challenge levels and a slew of other bonus content, it becomes nigh impossible to ignore. As a package, Bit.Trip Complete is a masterful tribute to the history of the gaming industry and as such, deserves a place in the spotlight.