The 5 Best Wii U Games That Still Need a Switch Port
Few companies have experienced peaks and valleys quite like Nintendo. From the ground-breaking success of the Wii to the disaster of the Wii U, the iconic video game company was on the brink of financial ruin. But Nintendo quickly regained status among the industry’s titans with the release of the Nintendo Switch. As the hybrid console continues to sell at a record-breaking pace, Nintendo has also ported many first-party games from the Wii U era. After another flurry of recent announcements, we have compiled a list of the five best Wii U games that still need a Switch port. Enjoy!
5. Yoshi’s Woolly World
The Yoshi franchise remains an oddity among Nintendo’s first-party offerings. While the earlier titles embraced a cartoon aesthetic, the mechanics featured hardcore platforming and puzzle elements. However, with each subsequent console launch, installments of the Yoshi series began embracing accessibility over difficulty. Although the cutesy art-style appealed to a wider audience, long-time fans demanded the rewarding puzzles of Super Mario World 2.
Enter Yoshi’s Woolly World. Set entirely in a world of yarn, Woolly World delivered a perfect combination of accessibility and challenging gameplay. Players of all ages and abilities could enjoy the game; however, finding every collectible is a rewarding challenge in large part due to the mechanics.
- Yoshi not only fires yarn eggs to defeat enemies but also uses them to create platforms. This allows players to reach new areas and discover secrets.
- Yoshi’s new dog friend, Poochy, can reach higher platforms as well as duck underneath obstacles. While exploring inaccessible areas, Poochy can retrieve collectibles.
4. Paper Mario Color Splash
Perhaps no Nintendo franchise is more divisive than the Paper Mario series. Once heralded as a staple in the JRPG genre, Paper Mario has recently sacrificed turned-based mechanics for exploration and puzzle-solving. As fans clamored for return to the Nintendo 64 days, Paper Mario hit a record low with the 3DS release of Sticker Star. Battles became pointless, boss encounters were cryptic, and players hated the card-based gameplay. With the franchise at a crossroads, Nintendo resurrected Paper Mario with the Wii U release of Color Splash.
Set on the colorful Prism Island, Color Splash corrects several mistakes from the Sticker Star disaster. Battles are no longer pointless, exploration is rewarding, and the card-based gameplay is much more forgiving.
- Players earned no rewards from battling enemies in Sticker Star; however, Nintendo corrected this crucial mistake in Color Splash. With each battle Mario earns Hammer Scraps, which he can use to upgrade the capacity of the Paint Hammer.
- Each level features numerous sections of colorless terrain, which Mario can fix with the Paint Hammer. Repaint every section of the level to earn 100 percent completion.
- From the start of the game, Mario can hold up to 99 turned-based battle cards. Exploration in various levels yields special cards called “Thing Cards”. Mario often needs these unique items to defeat the game’s bosses. While Sticker Star encouraged players to hold on to special cards, Color Splash encourages experimentation. Mario can repurchase all discovered “Thing Cards” from Port Prism.
3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
The Sticker-Star equivalent of controversial Zelda games is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Originally released in 2002 for the GameCube, Wind Waker instantly enraged the Zelda community. A 2000 Nintendo GameCube tech demo misled fans into believing that Nintendo was developing a realistic sequel to Ocarina of Time. The 30-second trailer demonstrated a graphically-enhanced Link battling Ganondorf inside Hyrule Castle; however, the Wind Waker reveal trailer featured cell-shaded and cartoon-style graphics. While critics praised the gameplay and story, the Zelda community did not fully embrace the revolutionary title until its HD remaster in 2013.
The Wind Waker HD boasts a native 1080p resolution with performance capped at 30 frames per second. In addition to improving the cel-shading textures, Nintendo also added realistic light and shadow patterns, an upgraded HUD display, and increased character expressions. But perhaps the most notable improvements include massive gameplay overhauls. Listed below are the most notable changes that make Wind Waker HD the definitive version of the game.
- The dreaded Triforce Shard Quest now includes deciphering three of the five Triforce Charts. Link can find the remaining five shards without charts.
- Players can discover the Swift Sail early in the game. This addition automatically changes the wind direction and doubles the sailing speed.
- Nintendo added gyroscope aiming for multiple weapons and items to include the hookshot and bow.
- Finally, Aonuma and crew increased the capacity of the beginner wallet from 200 rupees to 500 rupees.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Although the Wind Waker divided the Zelda community, the next installment in the Zelda series was a return to form. Modeled after the dark tones set in Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess embraced the nostalgia of the Nintendo 64 era. While the game featured an original protagonist in Zant, the themes, quests, and progression system mirrored Ocarina of Time. Fandom erupted, and Twilight Princess quickly became the second best-selling Zelda game of all time. The game’s success spawned a series of spin-offs, which included a manga series and playable characters in Hyrule Warriors.
For a game so beloved by fans and critics alike, how could Nintendo possibly improve Twilight Princess? The truth is that few video games are perfect. While the darker GameCube classic remains an iconic entry in the series, Twilight Princess still contained multiple flaws. Just like the Wind Waker HD remaster, Twilight Princess HD dramatically scaled the graphical fidelity to 1080p resolution. Fans applauded the upgrades; however, the gameplay changes were the most impressive.
- Instead of collecting 16 Tears of Light, players only need 12 tears to awaken the Spirits of Light.
- Nintendo added the Ghost Lantern, which glows when a Poe is nearby. This device significantly reduces the time needed to complete this quest.
- The Wii U gamepad displays a second screen, which allows for rapid equipping and map viewing.
- Aonuma also scattered Fifty Miiverse Stamps across the overworld and dungeons. These stamps featured a Hylian alphabet as well as pictures of famous Zelda characters and items.
- The Wolf Life Amiibo unlocks a new Cave of Shadows challenge mode, which acts like a Zelda-themed enemy rush.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles X
The Nintendo Switch is no stranger to the Xenoblade Chronicles series. During the hybrid console’s first year, Monolith Soft released Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to critical acclaim. The franchise grew in popularity with the release of additional story content in Torna the Golden Country and blossomed with the HD remaster of Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Eddition in May 2020. From rousing character arcs and storylines to the immersive worlds and soundtracks, the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise is now a staple in Nintendo’s catalog of JRPG series. Yet perhaps the most ambitious Xenoblade Chronicles title remains trapped behind the failure of the Wii U: Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Released worldwide in late 2015, Xenoblade Chronicles X showcased a divergent approach to storytelling and gameplay. While the mainline series adopted traditional JRPG systems, Xenoblade Chronicles X featured a MMO-style of gameplay. Character creation makes an appearance for the first time in the series, and the city of New LA emulates a hub world for NPC quests and online multiplayer functionality. Other gameplay options mold Xenoblade Chronicles X into a truly unique experience.
- Players can choose between 10 standard and 6 advanced classes, and each features unique arts and abilities.
- Upon completing a series of requirements, players unlock the ability to pilot Skells, which makes traversing the world must faster.
- Players can add up to three additional party members, which consist of mainline story NPCs and other standard NPCs.
- When connecting online, players can join Squads of up to 32 players to complete time-based tasks and missions. The reward for completing these assignments is unique gear and expanded fast-travel options.
For these reasons, Xenoblade Chronicles X is our choice for the best Wii U games that still needs a Nintendo Switch port.
But we want to know what you think. Do you believe that Nintendo will port the remaining best Wii U games to the Switch? What other Wii U games would you like to see ported? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on Mario, Zelda, Modern Warfare, Blizzard and more.
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