The Wii U has had a very rocky path since its release. Nintendo has had to lower its sales expectations for the system drastically for 2013 from nine million units sold to a mere 2.8 million and both Shigeru Miyamoto (the mind of Mario) and Satoru Iwata (the CEO of Nintendo) have had to take paycuts. However, it looks like the console may pick up steam this year with these five upcoming single player Wii U exclusives.
The original Bayonetta was a critically acclaimed masterpiece by the team at Platinum Games, who have also developed Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Vanquish, and The Wonderful 101. Now, the studio will be releasing the sequel to this epic action title exclusively for the Wii U. Despite the controversial exclusive release for Bayonetta 2, considering its predecessor came out on PS3 and Xbox 360, the sequel will have bigger set pieces within its Climax Action segments, and implement a new feature within the battle system called Umbram Climax. Yusuke Hashimoto, the director of the game, has explained that the Umbram Climax system “gives you the option to unleash a combo made of successive Wicked Weave and Infernal Demon summons” after saving your magic gauge. Hashimoto has also mentioned to fans that “this time the action is going to take you to all different places, be it land or sky [and] […] there will be exciting new situations of all types.” Bayonetta 2, with a new story, visuals, and mechanics, is definitely something to look out for when it releases later this year.
In a shocking turn of events late last year, Tecmo Koei and Nintendo announced that they have teamed up to create a whole new Zelda experience that is established on the Dynasty Warriors formula. While we haven’t been given much information on this title, we can expect The Legend of Zelda’s systems to be twisted with a Dynasty Warriors spin.
For example, Tecmo Koei have shown a progression of Link’s abilities and stats as the character’s heart meter has increased as the video progresses and we also see various items in the Zelda universe such as a fire rod (seen in Four Swords Adventures, A Link To The Past and A Link Between Worlds), treasure boxes, and bombs. Plenty of Link’s past enemies have come back too including the Bokoblin and the Lizalfos. Hyrule Warriors, with it’s action packed combat, should be coming this year for the Wii U exclusively.
X is the continuation of the critically acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles and sets to amaze Wii U owners with its spectacular visuals, large open world, and mech-based combat.
Once again, there isn’t much information revolving around this title but we do know that it will involve Xenoblade Chronicles’ battle system, huge monsters, and transformable robots that can help you traverse around the game’s spectacular environments. Also, while the main character does not seem to be Xenoblade Chronicles’ Shulk, Nintendo have alluded that the character may appear once again as the trailer reveals his face towards the end. I cannot wait to hear more on this upcoming RPG due to its visuals and the game’s predecessor.
Developed by a new studio called Big Red Button Entertainment, founded by a former Naughty Dog employee, Sonic Boom is the new entry in Sega’s most beloved series. Running in CryEngine 3, this new game features Sonic and the crew with open platforming levels, fast paced running sections, and individual special abilities.
The creative director of the game, Bob Rafei, who has worked on both Jak and Daxter and Uncharted, will be putting his experience in character based story telling. He explained to Polygon that while the Sonic Team are great at making speed-orientated games, that feature will not be the focus. According to Rafei, “speed is an important aspect of it, but exploration, combat and the strong narrative of the storyline are very big aspects of the game.” Honestly, this is a very exciting aspect not seen in other Sonic games. The chance to explore the beautiful aesthetic of the game’s landscapes, getting to know the characters in a well scripted story, and a proper combat system in a Sonic game is definitely appealing to the old Sonic and 3D platforming fan in me. Sonic Boom is scheduled to come to the Wii U later this year with a portable release as well on the 3DS. These games, however, will be different as the 3DS title will be developed by Sanzaru Games, the team who worked on Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Tropical Freeze continues the Donkey Kong Country franchise and will shortly be released on February 21st. In this platformer, Donkey Kong and company face the Snowmads, a new enemy who freeze the tropical landscape and blow the game’s heroes away from their home with an arctic cyclone. To get back to their home, the Kongs must intrepidly travel through six differently themed islands. According to Nintendo’s press release, “a multitude of fierce and frantic levels await that throw Rambi rides, underwater antics, epic boss battles and secret exits across your path.”
This sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns also gives us two more characters to play as, Dixie Kong (a returning playable character from previous SNES entries) and Cranky Kong. Dixie can spin her hair into what resembles a helicopter’s blades to gain an extra boost of air movement with jumps and can use her Gumball Popgun, while Cranky can use his walking stick to bounce off the floor and reach higher areas. Nintendo fans should be happy in a few days as Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze arrives on the 21st of this month.
The Wii U is up for a great year of single player releases with Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors, X, Sonic Boom, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the way but we also have Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, Yarn Yoshi, and Super Smash Bros to look forward to this year.
What are you most excited for this year, Wii U owners? Let us know in the comments below!