As the Wii ends its incredibly successful tenure as the best selling console, we have been throwing lists of great games you’ve never played.
Now? Ten great “guilty pleasure” games on the Wii. What is a “guilty pleasure”? Well, it is either a game that is just SO BAD that it’s good – or it is a game you would hate to admit to your friends and family that you actually play and enjoy.
So, here you are – my personal top ten “guilty pleasure” moments in Wii gaming history. They get more cheesy and shameful as the list counts down. Enjoy!
10. Link Crossbow Training
What? A game with Zelda characters on the cover is a “guilty pleasure”? It is when the game costs $3 used at Gamestop and no one you know will admit to playing it.
Crossbow Training came as a pack-in with the odd-looking Wii Zapper gun shell – which no one bought because it looked terrible – so everyone bought Nyko Perfect Shot guns instead. Hence, few people own it – and fewer people went back to re-address the game proper.
Those that DID play it – probably played the first couple of levels – decided it was a wasted pack-in title, and threw it away or stuffed it in the closet.
Fact is – the game gets progressively better as you move up the ranks and it is loaded with secrets, specials and is possibly one of the GREATEST gun based score attack games ever.
Did I mention it was dirt cheap? Did I mention you can use a different gun shell with it? It should really be in everyone’s collection.
9. Speed Racer: The Videogame
Big movie IP games tend to lean toward “guilty pleasures”; usually reserved for “superfans” of the IP only, these games tend to be more likely trash than treasures. Add to the fact it is based on a remake of a relatively prized IP – well, you could put it between two slabs of bread, toast it – and you have dinner.
What makes this game tragic is that … IT IS A GREAT RACING GAME! Had it been named anything else? It probably would have done great. But, it is wasting away on the shelves of Gamestop because no matter how much fun it is … no matter how GREAT the Wii controller is used to shunt cars and perform tricks … people just won’t play it.
It has made many of my “great games you didn’t play” lists and for good reason – it is a fantastic game (that you have to hide when your friends come over).
8. Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers
When you can’t pronounce a game’s title? It probably falls into SOMEONE’S guilty pleasure pool. Throw a scantily-clad cowgirl fighting zombies on the front? You’ll never get anyone to be brave enough to even take it up to the register – let alone let your friends see you play it.
Yet like so many games on the list, this action brawler adventure belies the cover and the IP and delivers a gory, satisfying mindless slash-fest with plenty of blood. What? You’re afraid to play a girl? Pffft. Your loss … at least she is fun to look at while the carnage ensues.
7. The Munchables
The sad truth is – the cover of this game makes it look like a terrible, no-name Pac-man knock off. Even when I recommend it to friends (sometimes, the desire to share overcomes your feelings of guilty pleasure) I get glib, disinterested responses. Sadly, to love this game is to play it in secret … alone.
It is too bad this game was never given a chance; a yellow creature that eats is about all this game and Pac-Man have in common. Throw a little Katamari Domacy in there with some light puzzle solving elements and hidden goodies – and you have The Munchables. The bigger you get, the more bad-ass you become and the bigger obstacles and monsters you can take down – and if the monsters are still too big? Bust them into smaller monsters you can eliminate.
6. Real Heroes: Firefighter
I got this game because I thought it was a port of the arcade game; which featured realistic hose and nozzles for an action experience putting out fires. Hey, who didn’t want to be a fireman when they were six?
Unfortunately, this title is not the arcade game and the box art will push away just about anyone that sees it. Worse yet, how fun can fighting fires really be? Sounds like work! So the game languishes in the guilty pleasure pile.
While it is NOT the arcade game, a subsequent play really turned me on. Fight fires, bust in doors, cut holes in the wall, use the Jaws of Life to tear the doors off cars … what’s not to like? Throw in some puzzle solving and rescue elements and you have a winner.
5. Dino strike
First off, it’s from Zoo. That turns most real gamers off (don’t know why, but it does .. not as bad as UFO Interactive, but the same idea). On the cover is yet another dinosaur themed promise (that tried and failed several times before) and there is no desire to even pick up the box, let alone play the thing.
Fortunately, I did because I’m a complete light gun type gamer on the Wii. I love just about any game I can point and shoot at – and the Wii makes this incredibly easy and fun. That’s probably why there are so many gun games on this list.
Remember Jurassic Park the arcade game? Where you get to blast your way through the Park wasting dinosaurs? Wouldn’t that have made the PERFECT Wii game? Yeah, well it didn’t make it. Dino Strike, however did.
This is as close to Jurassic Park as you’re going to get on the Wii. Clever action shooter with plenty of body count, items and more. A dinosaur arcade shooter? This delivers.
4. Martian Panic
Do I even need to explain why this is a guilty pleasure? I didn’t think so.
Remember the flick MARS ATTACKS? This is Mars Attacks – but in video game form. It is everything a good shooter should be; plenty of targets, hidden powerups, lots of weapons, cheesy storyline and destructible environments.
Everything is a top quality production that truly belies it’s “guilty pleasure” status. Truth is .. sometimes you need to shoot aliens.
3. Target: Terror
I have no idea why nobody likes this game. No one admits to loving the arcade it is based on. No one cares it was created by Robotron’s Eugene Jarvis. I have to explain the game to everyone I recommend it to – and even then, I droop my head in shame that I love this game so damn much.
This is another light gun style shooting game – straight from the arcade. Much like Area 51 and its ilk (funny, eveyone seemed to like Area 51) this game uses fully digitized graphics for environments and people. Take Lethal Enforcers, Area 51 and sprinkle in TONS of secrets, surprises, ultra-gore-enducing weapons and amazing mini-games – and you’ll have the start of Target: Terror. Looks and plays JUST like the arcade – right down to the horribly acted news casts between levels.
Could be the best buddy gun shooter on the Wii.
2. Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack
Everything about Mad Dog McCree screams cheese; the name .. the box … the horrible acting. It was one of the first FMV laserdisc shooters out there from American Laser Games (ran on an Amiga 3000 too) – and several more followed. To even admit you PLAYED Mad Dog in the arcade will get your Cool Card revoked – let alone putting out cash to buy it on the Wii. Mad Dog makes Target: Terror look like Call of Duty.
Sure, it is partly nostalgia that makes this game fun. I took the game for a spin recently with my six year old son and he LOVED it. We blew a good hour on that game easy. There’s no blood – people die, but it’s so bad – you’ll laugh. Even my kid didn’t think the people were dead.
I’ve always had a soft spot for FMV games and this is no exception. It’s so bad it’s good. Plus you get all THREE games on one disc!
If you want a taste (that’s just as fun and more focused), snag Fast Draw Showdown on WiiWare. Same people, same cheese – all fast drawing.
1. Chuck E. Cheese’s Party Games
Growing up in the 70s and 80s, Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater was the Golden Oasis for children everywhere. More video games than any arcade, animatronic Elvis “hound dog” and cheeky covers of popular songs by the giant rat himself. You didn’t go there for the cardboard pizza – you went there for the fun!
To pass up a Chuck E. Cheese title at the video game store would be considered good sense by any sane individual. Sometimes my sanity leaves me, a buy-two-get-one-free deal strikes or I just feel like “renting” from my local Gamestop – and I’ll seek comfort in my sexuality and pick up a title like this.
After getting a good ribbing from the Gamestop employee, I found this cheese-ball title packed a TON of fun. Making pizza to earn tokens, unlocking and playing arcade and redemption games and collecting tickets/prizes totally hooked me in. Before I’d realized it, I’d blown most of the night on what would seem to be a garbage bin game.
The sequel didn’t have the magic – and you can get BOTH games in one pack for a low price. Why not? Children of the 80s – band together!