At the start of the year we published our Biggest Wii U games of 2013 feature, sharing some of the exciting releases set for Nintendo's latest home console. That list included some titles that are now available, and also some "before 31st March" predictions that have come and gone — those due to drop out due to imminent or recent release are LEGO City Undercover, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Runner 2 and Toki Tori 2.
So, it's time for an update.
We do feel that there are a number of exciting games on the way that are either confirmed or likely to arrive in 2013. We've listed our updated choices below, alongside some honorable mentions. Based on Nintendo's enthusiasm and level of announcements for Wii U games since our original list, we expect that the following ten won't be our final choice this year.
Pikmin 3 — Due Q2
Keeping its place on our list, Pikmin 3 has been on a number of wishlists for too many years, with rumour and speculation in the past even tying it to a Wii release. The predominant control scheme of Wii Remote and Nunchuk certainly suggests that this was once on the cards, but a number of fans are likely to be relishing the chance to dive into a new experience with the extra bells and whistles on offer with Wii U. We still expect a Q2 release, though no firm date has been set.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD — Due Fall 2013
When this HD remake of the GameCube classic was unveiled, we suspect a lot of hearts fluttered. While an all-new Zelda title for Wii U is unsurprisingly a while away, the prospect of replaying this one in HD, and with GamePad enhancements, is exciting for fans of the game and those that are yet to enjoy its delights. Remakes aren't always the answer to a potentially quiet release window, but we suspect this one will go down rather well.
Rayman Legends — 13th September (NA)
We had this down for March at the start of the year, but then Ubisoft infamously switched the game to a multi-platform release and delayed the Wii U version for a co-ordinated distribution. Despite that controversy, this still looks like the fantastic platformer it always has been, while the GamePad's capabilities will naturally provide unique gameplay opportunities. Demo and preview builds look and sound stunning, while Wii U owners are supposed to receive a Challenge Mode exclusively, and for free, in April.
Game and Wario — TBA 2013
This is a game that's had less focus and attention than some others — which we believed was supposed to arrive in Q1 — and fully expect it to arrive this year (it's already out in Japan). Taking its cue from the manic and cult-favourite WarioWare series, this will serve up a number of mini-games that should take advantage of the control options provided by the GamePad, as well as provide plenty of frantic and wacky moments. If it's done right it could be a party classic for those with quick reflexes and a sense of humour.
The Wonderful 101 — TBA 2013
This one is a bit like Pikmin, but with some Platinum Games madness and superheroes fighting giant mechs. It didn't get a showcase moment like Pikmin 3 at E3 2012, but this title deserves to be on every Wii U owner's radar, with its chaotic brand of action and intuitive use of the touch screen for move selection boding well. If preview builds are anything to go by this will offer some truly epic and gorgeous action strategy gaming, and its presence at PAX East recently is encouraging our hopes for a Q2 release.
Bayonetta 2 — TBA 2013
If Nintendo was hoping to cause a shock when it unveiled this title as an exclusive in a Nintendo Direct broadcast last year, it seemed to succeed. While Bayonetta wasn't necessarily a commercial smash — which may explain one of the reasons why SEGA dropped out from publishing the sequel and put the project in jeopardy — its intense action and sense of style did earn some critical praise and a passionate following. Nintendo stepped in to publish and get exclusivity, prompting quite a backlash throughout the online gaming community, with some using words such as betrayal and others even saying they'd buy a Wii U just for the sequel. We'll see whether excitable online comments convert to sales when Platinum Games gets this one finished, which is certainly expected this year.
Watch_Dogs — TBA 2013
When Watch_Dogs was first shown at E3 2012, its impressive visuals and busy city environment caused much speculation in terms of which systems would get the title. The answer is simple — most of them. Alongside PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 releases will be a Wii U version, making this Ubisoft title one of the highest-profile multi-platform titles set for Nintendo's console later this year. With interesting mechanics, technological manipulation and whizz-bang Triple A-esque features on display, this looks like a candidate for the Holiday season. Considering the current hype, we at least expect it to hit in 2013.
Yarn Yoshi — TBA
One of a number of games announced during the Wii U Direct extravaganza from earlier this year, this takes one of Nintendo's more adorable mascots and gives him the yarn treatment, which worked to wonderful effect with Kirby's Epic Yarn. No release window was given, but considering the number of screens released, some brief footage and the fact that it's a twist on an engine that's already been used on Wii, it wouldn't surprise us if this arrives before 2013 is finished.
Shovel Knight — September 2013
We're now taking a step back to some choice download options, starting with a successful Kickstarter campaign from Yacht Club Games, which is comprised of former WayForward team members. The Kickstarter fundraising has a short time to go at the time of writing, but its success has already ensured that the game is coming to both the Wii U and 3DS eShops, as well as PC. It's a retro-themed action-platformer that looks to have gorgeous bit-style visuals and music, and the footage and previews already in the wild look fantastic.
DuckTales Remastered — Summer 2013
Announced at PAX East, this collaboration between Capcom and WayForward Technologies came way out of left-field, as this looks set to be a multi-platform download-only remastering of the NES classic. We can expect the developers to add their own twists while following the classic mechanics, and considering the fact that the original is one of the most treasured 8-bit games out there, we can't wait to see whether this is a worthy modern-day follow-up.
This list, of course, could have included a lot of other games. Honorable mentions should go to Monolith Soft's 'X' and Mario Kart U, both of which arguably seem likely for this year; then there are those that we expect in 2014 — including 3D Mario, no less — which aren't listed. Even in making this list we had to exclude some exciting small developer's upcoming projects, as well as some big-hitting retail titles. There's plenty on the way this year.
As always we want to know what you think. You can vote for your favourite in the poll below, or let us know what's pushing your buttons in the comments section.
What's your most anticipated Wii U game of 2013? (613 votes)
- Pikmin 323%
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD25%
- Rayman Legends5%
- Game and Wario2%
- The Wonderful 1018%
- Bayonetta 28%
- Yarn Yoshi8%
- Shovel Knight2%
- DuckTales Remastered6%
- My choice isn't on the list5%
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