Wii Launch Guide - Genre BreakdownBy: Andrew Joy & Jared Black
No genre on Nintendo's new system has come out swinging harder than action games. From wholly original games such as Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, to old favorites like Splinter Cell: Double Agent, to the licensed filler like Disney's Chicken Little: Ace in Action, all of it seems to be offering a new and interesting way to play. When we first looked at the massive list of games coming out, it was hard to pick just one, and that alone should prove why this genre earned its grade.
The adventure genre might seem poorly represented on the Wii, at least right now, but a lot of action titles (the two usually go hand-in-hand) should help soften the blow. As for the singular title that it is included there, well, it is Zelda. Enough said.
At one time, Nintendo's legendary Super Smash Bros. series was promised for launch. Now, the game is planned for an unspecified date next year. That was a considerable blow to the genre, but still, two games are better than one (the number the Xbox 360 launched with).
The relocation of Metroid Prime 3 to sometime early next year really puts first-person shooters at a loss on the Wii. Unfortunately, while that may mean Corruption will net some online play, there may not be a title that properly shows off how perfect FPS games are for Nintendo's new system. For one reason or another, each title here has been subject to scrutiny, but we're still holding out hope.
Since the more anticipated platformers, such as Super Mario Galaxy and Sonic and the Secret Rings (which really would have pumped up this category), won't be there in time for launch, the "kiddie" games will really get a chance to shine. While there really aren't any standouts, it will be interesting to see if all these movie-licensed, children-targeted games are more fun to play on Nintendo's new system.
The racing genre has always been a sort of hallowed grounds for launch day. The games are almost guaranteed to sell for one reason or another, so publishers are usually quite eager to get 'em out there as soon as possible. With the Wii, though, the new controls just beg for racing games, and game makers aren't disappointing...or are they? While there are a good number of titles out there on day one, a lot of them really fail to impress. I mean, when a skateboard game can be our top pick, come on!
While the future may be looking better for the RPG genre, the Wii launch is left hanging. There is only one RPG at launch, the Action RPG Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and while it does seem like a decent enough game, its success is so far proven. This is the sort of wild card the thin genre can't afford.
An oft-overlooked genre in years past, a resurgence has been seen in this genre in recent years...in large part due to Nintendo's DS handheld system. In fact, the only game in this genre at launch is a port of a popular Nintendo DS game. Still, even though there is only one game, and even that is a port, it is more than most systems get on day one.
Sports games are getting a new lease on life with the Nintendo Wii. With the system's purposely understated graphics and experimental controller, the games won't be able to sell version after version on just looks alone, and innovation will almost be forced. While some staple sports are missing, like basketball, the ones that have made it are looking to reinvent their respective genres, and for that they have earned their genre score.