It's very possible that my friends and family think I need to have more fun. There must have been a vast conspiracy to hit me with a bunch of new games for my Wii this year. And how completely great! Here are the additions to my Wii gaming library from this Christmas. These games are all new, so I haven't played them extensively yet (unlike Guitar Hero III).
How can you not like the Mario series, and with a game that is rated 5 stars by all the major publications (IGN: "The greatest Nintendo platformer ever?") Super Mario Galaxy is a must have. Mario continues his never ending mission of saving Princess Peach from Bowser. Galaxy is set in space and you leap from various planets. It's Mario in 3D which I'm usually not a huge fan of, but this is done really well. After about 10 minutes of setup you are into the game and having a great time. The integration with the Wii controls is intuitive and really nice, which you would expect from Nintendo anyway. Must have for any Wii owner.
This combo pack is really cool. The Wii Zapper is a plastic mold that you place the Wiimote and the Nunchuck into and in concert they make a gun. A really nice gun too. It's a little small for a big guy like myself, but still really playable. I'd possibly actually enjoy a first-person shooter with this setup. The included game, Link's Crossbow Training, is light on any story and really just filled with action for you to learn how to use the crossbow. I need to do some research on any other games that use the "zapper", but it's a very fun play. The lack of story insures that this will be a favorite when friends come over and just want to play the Wii for a little while.
Zack & Wiki is a ridiculous name for this game. It's as if they went out of their way to find something that would discourage you from buying it. I didn't even know about it until a friend of mine IM'd me a link to a review (IGN: "Buy it. Now.") that was off the charts. After playing it for even a short while, I concur with the review. This is a great, fun game. The characters are well done, the game play is superb and you could easily see getting lost in it for hours. The game is setup sort of like a movie, so it has a decent amount of setup time and getting to know the plot. But even that is enjoyable. I highly recommend this game.
As I said above about Galaxy, I'm not a huge fan of Mario in 3D. I still think of Mario in my old platform 2D world. Always going from left to right (always!). Paper was really interesting to me because it has much of that classic 2D platform experience. Again, there is a decent amount of setup in this game like Galaxy and Zack & Wiki. In fact, there is a lot of setup. I think it was 20 minutes before I was actually playing. The cool thing about paper is that the entire game world is both 2D and 3D. Early in the game you earn the ability to "flip" into 3D, but you can only do it for a little while at a time (like holding your breath underwater). The result is a game with puzzles that require you to flip and explore in order to proceed. Way cool! Plus, for some reason, to me the graphics look stellar in the 2D mode. I love the crisp and vibrant colors.
I've been a long-time fan of the Tiger Woods series. I've played the games on a couple of different consoles as well as versions for the PC and Mac. This is a great continuation of the series with wonderful adoption of the Wii control system. I can see this game being very playable right away, and in fact the intro sequence you run through to get familiar with the swing gets you almost all the way there. I don't groove on the funky character customizations all that much, like different shirts and setting how long my facial hair is. I sort of yearn for integration with the Wii's Mii system, but that doesn't make sense since they are far too cartoon-like to appear at Augusta. I'm looking forward to playing this some more and if you are a fan of the series it's worth it. (Note, I borrowed Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07 from a friend before and I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between '07 and '08. It's likely not worth the cost if you already have last years edition.)