Author Topic: Best of the Wii U eShop (Round 9: 2017 - Present)  (Read 1311 times)

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Offline Bungle4

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Best of the Wii U eShop (Round 9: 2017 - Present)
« on: January 17, 2021, 05:57:43 PM »
Background
The Wii U eShop will only be open for a limited time so it is worth looking at the games there while there is still time to buy them. I will be going through the list of eShop games chronologically by release date using Nintendo's Game Store site. I will be skipping over Virtual Console releases for now, but I will cover them at the end. I am also skipping games that were released on disc, unless the disc version costs more than the download.

The Games: Round 9 - 2017 - Present
While it took 8 rounds to cover the first four years of the console, we can cover the remaining four years in a single round. There are 71 titles listed on Nintendo's Game Store site but very few of these were reviewed so I will eschew the typical format and jump right to the highlights.  The list below is severely abridged so feel free to comment with any other titles released during this time frame that are worth mentioning.

Plantera (Ratalaika Games, $4.99, 3DS/Vita) is the final game to offer a the cross-buy promotion with the 3DS.  A demo is also available.

Back to Bed (Bedtime Digital Games, $9.99, Switch/Vita/PS4) has a 56 on Metacritic and, according to my list, last in line to get reviewed as a Wii U game by NWR (NWR Review).

Pic-a-Pix Color (Lightwood Games, $5.00, PS4) also has a free demo available.

The switch version of Use Your Words (Smiling Buddha Games, $14.99, Switch/PS4/XB1) received an 8 from NWR (NWR Review).

In an earlier round, Discord.RSS asked about Kemco RPGS. The switch version of Revenant Saga (EXE-Create/Kemco, $4.99, Switch/Vita/PS4/XB1) got a 7 from NWR (NWR Review).

If you have some extra space on your Wii U, then you might want to pick up Daikon Set (Butterfly) and Cubeshift (Jace Voracek), both of which are free downloads.

Now let's talk about the games developed by Ultra Dolphin Revolution. In addition to Shadow Archer, mentioned in round 8, UDR released Space Hunted ($2.99), Super Ultra Star Shooter ($1.99), Spellcaster's Assistant ($3.99), Shadow Archery ($0.99), Sinister Assistant ($3.99), and Space Hunted: The Lost Levels ($3.99) during the post-switch era. Normally when a developer releases this many games with similar assets and titles, I pass them off as shovel ware. On the other hand, their loyalty to the Wii U (these are all Wii U exclusives as far as I can tell), their clear love of Nintendo (just check their social media), and even their name (a combination of the codenames for past Nintendo systems) garners them some decent street-cred and makes me wonder if there is something here ???. Unfortunately, the closest thing I can find to a review for any one of these games is Discord.RSS's comment from round 8. I will try to check one of these out and post my thoughts later.

The most recent, and probably last release, on the Wii U eShop is Shakedown Hawaii (Vblank Entertainment, $7.49, Switch/3DS/Vita/PS4/XB1). The switch version scored a decent 6.5 on NWR NWR Review. Vblank's follow up to Retro City Rampage was seemingly disappointing to some, but served as the sole disc release in 2020, providing a satisfying bookend for Wii U collectors. If you missed out on that limited pressing, the physical version will cost you around $50, making the $7.50 eShop price quite the bargain.



Bonus Rounds
As we reach the present day with eShop releases, our attention turns to the Virtual Console. In the coming weeks we will take a look at each system represented and see what might be trapped on the little console that couldn't. Whether you collect the original carts or rely on the switch online service, we should have a few notable titles for all Nintendo fans. This all starts next week with games from the NES.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Round 9: 2017 - Present)
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2021, 06:56:26 PM »
Oof, we're in the weeds now huh...

Highlights (all of which are on Switch) :
Shovel Knight got 3 expansions between 2017 and 2020:
Specter of Torment is a prequel for that series with great gameplay but the worst story of the lot. It leans heavily anime, which felt like a poor fit. They also removed the world map for a level select feature.
Shovel Knight Showdown was their take on Smash Bros. and it's... rough. I might even go so far as saying it's kinda bad? In fairness I never played it with friends, but I mean, who's gonna suggest to play this bootleg Smash Bros. with characters nobody outside of Gamers(TM) will recognize, when Smash is right there on the console?
King of Cards feels like WarioLand with the cardgame from a PS1 Final Fantasy bolted on top. I don't know if it's the best of them all, but it's amongst the funniest for sure. The world map returns with a vengeance for this one, and it's a suitable send-off for all these characters I think.

Forma.8 is one of the last big games I remember coming out just prior to the Switch launch. It's a Metroidvania game from the Futuridium developers, although not my fave by a long shot. It feels similar to Affordable Space Adventures, in that you move a spaceship through a bunch of interconnected puzzles. Unfortunately the world is a bit too mysterious in this one, so I was often flying around aimlessly hoping to trigger some path of progression. There's a peculiar easter egg where you can move in the directions of the Konami code in a certain area.

Sky Force Anniversary is a vertical scrolling shooter with some steampunk vibes. Really smooth controls, although it forces you through every level on multiple difficulty settings a bunch of times to farm upgrades before you can unlock the later stages. This means you can't really do one run through right away, unlike in Gradius for example. Good game though! Includes local multiplayer, and online leaderboards.

Does the Breath of the Wild DLC count...?

Now let's talk about the games developed by Ultra Dolphin Revolution.[...] Normally when a developer releases this many games with similar assets and titles, I pass them off as shovel ware. On the other hand, their loyalty to the Wii U (these are all Wii U exclusives as far as I can tell), their clear love of Nintendo (just check their social media), and even their name (a combination of the codenames for past Nintendo systems) garners them some decent street-cred and makes me wonder if there is something here ???.

I also played one of the Assistant games, though I can't remember which of the two. That one's a lot better than the Shadow Archer game. Basically you control a little librarian in a library of magical tomes, and you need to file the correct books to their respective bookcases (red/green/blue). There's enemies in the way (I wanna say they were Bookworms?) you can blast using the spells in the book you're carrying, but you can't do it too often or the book runs out.
Basically comparable to Pac-Man in a way. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it had bespoke levels, rather than one endless field like the Archer game, and looked better too.

A cursory Google search says they're planning to make a holiday themed game which got pushed from last December to early this year. If that indeed ever releases I'll buy it and report back next holiday lol.

Offline Bungle4

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Re: Best of the Wii U eShop (Round 9: 2017 - Present)
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 03:12:10 PM »
A cursory Google search says they're planning to make a holiday themed game which got pushed from last December to early this year. If that indeed ever releases I'll buy it and report back next holiday lol.

It appears Seasonal Assistant was released, so look forward to Discord.RSS' impressions next holiday season ;). I did download Space Hunted and have played for about 3 hours. I really like it. The controls feel tight, the pixel art is nice, and you get to use a zapper in the game. It reminds me of some of the single screen challenges in Celeste. I have completed 60 levels so I am about halfway through. Ultra Dolphin Revolution may have a strange business strategy, I think their games are worth a look.