Holiday Shopping Guide: 10 Cheap Buys for the Wii


The clock is ticking down on Presents Day, and if you haven’t bought your gamer anything because all the new games are too expensive, these gift ideas under $20 will be sure to do the trick! The Wii gamer is harder to shop for this year, as many retailers are clearing old games in anticipation for the Wii U (no official release date yet).

de Blobde Blob cover

Metacritic: 82

Price: $19.28

Arguably, de Blob is the best third-party game for the Wii. The game is colorful. The controls are fluid. The story is fun. And anyone in the family can play and enjoy it.

Set in a black-and-white world, de Blob is part of a resistance organization seeking to return color to the city. As players paint the town red (or any other color), new areas are opened for new challenges.

If de Blob 2 is too pricey for this year’s buy, starting with the original is not a bad idea.

Dead Space: ExtractionDead Space: Extraction cover art

Metacritic: 82

Price: $19.90

Dead Space on the PS3 and 360 was one of the scariest third-person shooters to be released since Resident Evil 4. It redefined the survival-horror genre. Unfortunately, Wii owners got the shaft.

EA realized that Wii owners would want to enjoy getting scared and released the on-rails FPS, Dead Space: Extraction. While most on-rails games are dull and lifeless, this prequel to the original surprised many. While the graphics aren’t as pretty as the next-gen cousin, Extraction still looks better than most modern releases.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessThe Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Wii Nintendo Selects cover art

Metacritic: 95

Price: $19.96

Every Zelda game has a gimmick. Fortunately, it’s the gimmick that causes people to stay interested in the franchise.

In Twilight Princess, Link is a young farm boy called upon to save Hyrule in his world and the Twilight Realm. While in the Twilight Realm, Link becomes a wolf, allowing for a completely new game mechanic to the franchise.

This was initially a port from the GameCube Nintendo, and in the original (and all original Zelda games), Link was left-handed. Fortunately, Nintendo accounted for the fact that Wii games play right handed, so Link changed his grip.

Monster Hunter TriMonster Hunter Tri Wii cover art

Metacritic: 84

Price: $19.35

The Wii is not known for its online capabilities. In fact, the biggest complaint against the Wii is its complicated Friend Code and refusal to allow people to search for each other. Fortunately, a handful of games are fun, even without having friends online to play with. Monster Hunter Tri is one of those.

The gameplay makes the game best enjoyed with a classic controller (bundled with the game for $15 more or sold separately). While that controller may be an extra purchase, the game itself will always have more to accomplish, better loot to acquire, and bigger monsters to slay. Also, the online community is active and kind, unlike many other games.

All in all, this feels like an MMORPG, like World of Warcraft, without the monthly fee to suck every penny out of your budget.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

Metacritic: 84

Price: $19.99

Usually, sports games get better with each year. Somehow, 2009 was the best year for Pro Evolution Soccer.

The game features many teams, players, and arenas, but the best element of the game is the online play. Again, due to the Wii’s unique online features, it will be difficult to play with friends online, but there are always players on the web to offer a far better challenge than the game can bring.

Punch-Out!!!Punch-Out!!! cover art

Metacritic: 86

Price: $19.99

Mike Tysen’s Punch-Out!!! on the NES was one of my all-time favorite games as a kid. Unfortunately, the game died there. Yes, there was a game on the SNES, but for me, nothing captured the awesome that was the NES game.

Until the game was remade for the Wii! The game supports two control styles: motion controls or classic NES two-button controls. The look has been updated, but all the original fighters are here, including my favorite living punching bag King Hippo.

Resident Evil 4: Wii EditionResident Evil 4: Wii Edition cover art

Metacritic: 91

Price: $9.96

The Wii is plagued by shovelware and inferior ports. When fans heard that Resident Evil 4 was to be ported (again), most wrote it off as the same game with a new control pattern.

Boy, were they wrong! Of all versions of RE4, the Wii’s port is the best. The controls are smooth and perfect. The additional bits of game are enough to make it better than the original. And the graphics were actually improved for the Wii! How often do you hear that graphics are better on the Wii?

The game is terrifying, taking the Resident Evil franchise away from zombies and instead pitting players against mutated Eastern European cultists. Delve into the story and learn more about the franchise than ever before for under $10.

Sin and Punishment: Star SuccessorSin & Punishment: Star Successor cover art

Metacritic: 87

Price: $14.89

I am not a fan of on-rail shooters. I hate being guided across stages and forced to stand in one place as enemies are firing at me. Dead Space: Extraction is my threshold for on-rails shooters.

I do like variants on the genre, like Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. While the stages are laid out in specific ways, and players cannot explore areas, the game features something that other on-rails shooters does not have: Characters. Choosing between two characters, players can dodge bullets and collect power-ups with the Nunchuk while aiming and shooting with the Wiimote. It’s a fluid control style.

The game features two-player local multiplayer and online leaderboards. Although the game itself is short, the aim for the top score brings players back.

Super Mario GalaxySuper Mario Galaxy cover art

Metacritic: 97

Price: $19.99

There is no better buy for the Nintendo Wii than Super Mario Galaxy. This game embodies what the system is capable of, and it is cheap!

If this game is not already in your library, it needs to be.

Bowser is at it again, and Mario must save the galaxy by traveling to various planets, collecting stars, and using all-new power-ups. It’s addicting, fun, and worth playing over and over again.

Super Paper MarioSuper Paper Mario cover art

Metacritic: 85

Price: $19.96

The Paper Mario franchise has been one of the few Mario games that flies under the radar. As a continuation of the ideas laid out in the SNES classic Super Mario RPG, this game has always combined the platforming of a Mario game with puzzles and platforming.

This version takes the game out of 2D and brings it into 3D for some puzzles, and some have complained that there is too little RPG in this game. However, for a different take on the Mario franchise, Super Paper Mario aims to please.

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About Ben Davis

Ben writes for KWCR 88.1 Weber FM, Studio 76, the Signpost, and KSL.com and can be contacted on Twitter (@GameTaffyBen) or at Ben@GameTaffy.com!

Posted on December 11, 2011, in Holiday Shopping Lists and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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