Snackbar Games Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Wii U/Wii

November 29, 2012

Looking for a good game for yourself or someone else this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. There’s a handful of Wii releases to go with the gems of the Wii U launch lineup on your radar.

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii): Xenoblade Chronicles evolves this style of game by taking the necessary steps forward to keep things fresh, while respecting what made the genre so popular in the first place. It will appease both RPG veterans and newcomers alike, proving to everyone that there is a lot more life left in the JRPG genre. (Full review)

Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii): With a beautiful soundtrack and visuals to match, you can’t go wrong picking this game up for the Wii. The game is quirky and fun, and has an undeniable charm that many games today don’t have. (Full review)

New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U): You might think that this is a game that is worth passing on unless you’ve never played a NSMB game before, but New Super Mario Bros. U is easily the best in this line of Mario games so far. There are plenty of fantastic levels and secrets, plus the co-op is still a lot of fun with the right people. It may be more of the same overall, but Mario’s first HD adventure is something worth experiencing no matter how you choose to experience it. (Full review)

The Last Story (Wii): From Xenoblade Chronicles to Tales of Graces f, the genre has been alive and kicking again for the first time in a few years. And now, the man responsible for creating the Final Fantasy series is at it again with his team at Mistwalker, bringing us The Last Story. This Wii exclusive JRPG tells a relatively formulaic tale, but thanks to its action-heavy battle system, it manages to stand out in the genre. (Full review)

FIFA Soccer 13 (Wii U): The Wii U has a lot of potential for new game concepts, and we’re starting to see some of them from system-exclusive titles. Third-party games, though, are generally quicker ports, or sporting ideas that could use a second draft. EA has really put a lot of thought into its port of FIFA 13, though, and the result is a suite of new modes, interfaces and mechanics that really is impressive. (Full review)

Nintendo Land (Wii U): Nintendo Land does what it sets out to do: showcase the GamePad. There are a few stinkers among the games, but even they are a lot of fun when the competition and party starts on the Attraction Tour. If you’re looking for a way to take advantage of the multiplayer potential of the Wii U, this will be right up your alley. (Full review)

Kirby’s Dream Collection (Wii): Though more games could have been included, I think the choices they made here contain the best Kirby has to offer outside of Return to Dream Land. This collection is a must-have for any Kirby fan, old or new. (Full review)

Skylanders Giants (Wii U/Wii):  Giants is a solid gaming experience that lets you reuse your old figures and encourages you to expand that collection, for a fee. It can also easily serve as an entry point for someone new to the series that didn’t want to go back and play the first game, which has limited compatibility with the extended character collection. (Full review)

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Wii U): The action racing genre has seen all sorts of variations and attempts over the years, though very few of the experimental ideas in the rougher games have found their way to more polished experiences. These were good ideas, though, and eventually a team was going to pick a lot of the best ones and make them a cohesive whole. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is exactly that: a polished game with cars, planes, boats, tricks, changing tracks, mods, campaigns, battles and impressive online play. (Full review)

Mario Party 9 (Wii): Who would’ve thought that a couple of simple tweaks to the traditional formula would actually make this iteration feel like a completely different ballgame? This time around, all four players travel in a vehicle around the map. Each player takes turn at becoming Captain, leading the group through the board. (Full review)

ZombiU (Wii U): With ZombiU, we have finally gotten the survival-horror game many fans have been asking for, and not just another third-person shooter. ZombiU is definitely not another Red Steel, and what I hope is the first of many third-party successes on the Wii U. It is well worth looking past the gimmicky name, because this is a game that will deliver a great experience that capitalizes on the strengths of the new hardware. (Full review)