The video game industry owes a lot to Nintendo. People often point out how the former toy company single-handedly brought this entertainment medium back after the horrific crash, and went on to innovate and reinvigorate in a new generation of their own making — but that was then. Nowadays Nintendo is too hung up on gimmicks and maintaining an inoffensive online community, leaving lots of former fans in the cold. Too many awesome games go unnoticed by those who abandoned Nintendo, and here’s a handful that have no business being exclusive to this fading icon.
Obviously first-party titles are off-limits, but second and third-party games are in play. Let’s get goin’!
Ah, man… this one breaks my heart. Cursed Mountain had so much potential! The mountainous setting was fantastic, getting across its frightful atmosphere in spite of the Wii’s PlayStation 2-esque graphics. The story was also intriguing, even if the characters were sometimes flat… but the gameplay. Oh Lawd, the gameplay! I challenge anyone to show me a game with motion controls botched worse than this, whereas a more straightforward combat system would have done wonders. Budget horror titles can be done well — look at Deadly Premonition — they just need to be put on consoles that don’t already start with a handicap. There were rumors years ago about a Xbox 360 port, but alas they never proved true.
Monster Hunter Series
Seriously? Let’s take an immensely popular franchise that was once at home with Sony, and start pumping them out on Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U! Whose idea was that?! Imagine if an expansive Monster Hunter was made on PlayStation 4, PC or Xbox One, with creatures so realistic that you can almost smell their toxic breath. Not to mention what a boon it would be to have access to an online network with some thought put into its infrastructure and features.
The sequel to a surprise success, Bayonetta 2 gave gamers more of the intense, high-flying action combat they craved… except you can only get it on Wii U. This obviously annoyed those who supported the original, but Nintendo fans were given their first taste of this wild ride and surely enjoyed it. You can’t really begrudge them of that, can you?
Fatal Frame Series
Once a notorious survival horror series on PlayStation 2 and later Xbox, Fatal Frame is now bound to Nintendo due to a partnership with Tecmo-Koei. Now, don’t get me wrong — Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water finally justified my purchase of a Wii U all on its own, due largely in part to its amazing use of the often mishandled gamepad. However, Nintendo still seems embarrassed by the few “mature” titles it puts out, stealthily releasing this one as an eShop exclusive last Halloween with nearly nonexistent advertisement.
The Last Story
Brought to us by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy (FF) fame, The Last Story was a great surprise when it was first announced for Wii. Its enthralling story and fun, strategic JRPG gameplay was a breath of fresh air — and certain people choose to think of this as the best FF game in a decade.
Silent Hill: Shattered memories
Serving as a reimagining of the very first Silent Hill, Shattered Memories was one of the few Wii games to legitimately excite me. Similarly to Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, its use of the mostly gimmicky Wii remote was put to good use… but if this was designed for other consoles from the ground up and shown proper treatment, it could have been something truly memorable. Unsettling though they were, the blocky nature of its enemies kept them from instilling much fear, and the game as a whole could have been terrifying with a little more graphical power. It was later ported to PlayStation 2 and PSP at the end of their cycles, but for a while there it was the first Nintendo-exclusive Silent Hill.
Xenoblade Chronicles Series
This (relatively young) series, headed by the man behind Xenogears, is near and dear to my heart. The first Xenoblade Chronicles reignited my love of JRPG’s, bringing me back to a genre I abandoned after Final Fantasy X. Every fan of that genre should be able to play them, not just those who remained loyal to Nintendo or, in my case, listened to a misguided friend’s console recommendation.
Chris Cobb is an Associate Writer for MONG and is gleefully aware of the click-baity nature of the title above, particularly because he doesn’t dislike Nintendo in any way. You can express your displeasure on Twitter.