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Raptor Picks 2014 – Wii U

Don Parsons / January 15, 2015 at 11:00 AM / Gaming, Opinions

The Wii U was the first of the next gen consoles to launch, and it’s had a bit of trouble here and there. While confusion about it (people thinking the gamepad is the Wii U and just a peripheral for the Wii) has hampered the system, the Wii U’s long list of exclusives help bolster it. Nintendo has more games that are just on its console then either the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One. While many of those are just Nintendo first party stuff, which are often relatively predictable, this last year Nintendo innovated some more, brought in some new games, and further refined some of its keystone franchises.

With sales issues the Wii U has been forced to innovate and those things have been proving successful in 2014. Funding a third party game, doing spin offs in partnership with others, and of course, while less innovative, the amiibos were all a huge hit. With all that said, here are the Techraptor picks for Wii U games of 2014! — Don Parsons

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad

Sometimes a simple focus on a basic mechanic makes a game stand out, and Captain Toad brings that to light, focusing on determining your best path to continue through a level. Simple at heart, the game feels like a stripped down version of Super Mario 3D world, with the inability to jump and the various powerups of games past, but its focus on level design and using the level to change up gameplay makes a surprisingly fun puzzle platformer that tests your mind and your foresight more then anything else. The game has a wonderful charm that comes to life in its characters of Captain Toad and Toadette as they make their way across the worlds and into your hearts. — Shaun Joy

Currently Available on: Amazon (Phyiscal Only)

Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors

The mixing of Dynasty Warriors and the Zelda Franchise created a game that’s accessible for those looking for button mashing fun, but also challenging at higher difficulties for those looking for a real challenge. The amount of content the game offers in terms of gameplay is amazing, along with a variety of characters and combat styles for those characters that really make a difference when taking on the armies of light and dark. Mix in the nostalgia with the adventure mode, and old 8 bit like maps along with a variety of challenges in that mode, and you have a game that you will be playing for a long while to truly get all of its content. — Shaun Joy

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical Only)

Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight

Nintendo is known for some of the greatest platformers ever, and Shovel Knight fills in those lofty shoes rather well with a fantastic experience. Awesome tight controls help players traverse the various wonderful levels that range from a tower filled with gears and moving parts to the wasteland of graves that Specter Knight haunts. On top of that is some of the best 8 bit music that the genre has seen in a long while, and bosses that test you in a variety of ways. The game is still accessible to more novices of the genre with additional items that can help get you through tough areas in a pinch, while still being challenging for those who want to remember the yesteryear of NES platformers. In the end, Shovel Knight stands alone as the sole Indie representative of the Wii U console and takes its place among the giants of triple A titles. — Shaun Joy 

Mario Kart 8

Mario Cart 8

Mario Kart 8 started off the resurrection of the Wii U this year for Nintendo, as this title alone started to see the Wii U console pick up in sales in conjunction with the game’s release. That should be enough to speak to the quality of the title, but also under the hood is a fantastic multiplayer experience to share with your friends and those around the world. The addition of the cinema elements after the map is finished adds a level of community to the game where you can talk about what happened in the chaos that was that track, and the customization of carts and parts allows for an experience tuned to your playstyle. And the tracks take it up a notch this year, with a variety of tracks that range from the innards of Super Mario Sunshine’s busy airport to racing across the clouds and airships. All in all, another fantastic inclusion in the franchise that is always a candidate to break out when friends are over. — Shaun Joy

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)

Runner Up: Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U

Super Smash Bros mario Fox Pikachu

Nintendo is known for their franchises, and they all come together once again in another version of Super Smash Brothers. Bigger is better is the name of the game this year, with the addition of 8 player smash mode and more online options and modes then we’ve seen in the franchise yet. Along with the additions are some new franchise characters in the Villager and the Wii Fit Trainer, and some classic 3rd party characters in Mega Man and Pacman. Small additions like the ability to level up your amiibos and train them to be strong fighters, as well as the customization of fighters with equipment and special move sets, help bring a level of customization that the franchise hasn’t seen up to this point. It’s a rare situation where the game is still open to new players, but has the level of customization that veterans of the series will love to exploit for their own advantages. Nintendo’s commitment to quality shines through once again. — Shaun Joy

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)

Top Pick: Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2

One of the best technical fighters in the last several years finally came out with a sequel that carried on the high quality of action and precision combat in this Wii U exclusive. The story is reasonable with a lovely mixture of visuals and music to complement what is at the core a wonderful spectacle fighter that rewards dodging and attacking at the right times, and rewards using various forms of combat styles with the different available weaponry. Mix in some great collectable costumes and a fun cooperative mode to make the money for those costumes, and all around Bayonetta 2 is a fantastic continuation of the series. — Shaun Joy

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)


And that was how we saw the Wii U’s lineup this year. There were a lot of solid games and promises for the future that came from Nintendo in 2014, and by and large they delivered. They have made everyone wonder what they will bring in 2015, as some of the hottest games of 2014 being exclusive to the console.

What did you think of our picks? Do you think we missed something? Tell us in the comments below!


Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.