By now you should be fairly familiar with our quarterly tradition of looking at the biggest games coming to the Wii U. Our Summer edition gave us a fairly strong line-up, and we now head into the final quarter of the year with a mixture of major retail titles and some select eShop entries.
As we're sure you've figured out, Hyrule Warriors is now off the agenda; others to drop away due to release dates pushed into 2015 are Project CARS and Affordable Space Adventures. Nevertheless, we think this mix of retail and download games should have something for everyone.
So, without further ado, here's our updated list of what we consider to be some of the biggest games still coming to Wii U in 2014.
Not a great deal needs to be said to hype this one, as we said before. Due in the Holiday season — we hope for a release date soon now that the portable version has arrived — this has been shown off a lot by Nintendo. There are still mysteries around Wii U-specific modes, in particular, while we expect amiibo to be promoted heavily alongside this title. With the 3DS version earning plenty of acclaim, many will hope that this takes the new generation of Smash Bros. to yet another level.
Now just weeks away, this is finally ready to bring its brand of explosive action exclusively to the Wii U. It's certainly shaping up well, especially with Bayonetta also coming to the eShop — it'll be a freebie with retail copies in North America, and will feature as part of a dual disc edition in Europe. With Nintendo-themed outfits, gorgeous visuals and fast-paced, accomplished combat mechanics, this is an action title that should be on your radar.
Revealed at E3, this takes the basic concept of the popular puzzle levels in Super Mario 3D World and expands them into a full adventure for the heroic Toad. Early footage and hands on time bodes well for this one, as there appears to be plenty of variety and clever design at play so far. Due in the Holiday season — though pushed to January 2015 in Europe — it'll also support the amiibo toys.
After the hype of its original reveal earlier this year, Developer Big Red Button is now facing the task of delivering on promises made with this Wii U iteration in the new spin-off for the Sonic universe. In our first impressions article we tackled the slower-paced, co-op adventure element and came away with some cautious optimism, though that same demo has received some criticism. With a cartoon and toys joining this and the 3DS title, there's plenty of pressure as Rise of Lyric approaches release.
The LEGO games may have had variable quality of late, but the Batman iterations are normally among the best, with the home console versions standing out. There'll be some attractive visuals and co-op mayhem, undoubtedly, while this one will have over 100 characters from the DC universe along with an outer-space setting.
This is included somewhat begrudgingly, considering its shoddy route to Wii U, yet sneaks in due to the fact that — for those gaming exclusively on Nintendo hardware — this could still be an attractive proposition. Ultimately, and with Ubisoft now confirming a release date, this will still excite gamers that only own a Wii U or have held off from buying any of the other versions. We'll see how it shapes up — even with the minimal "stick a map on it" approach to the GamePad — relatively soon.
Following the previous release of the stripped down Art Academy: SketchPad, this Winter will bring the full-fat version of the drawing title to Nintendo's home console. It'll feature lessons, gallery sharing and more; it should suit the GamePad particularly well.
Exclusive to the Wii U eShop from regular Nintendo supporters Curve Studios, this in a tricky puzzle / action platformer in which you aim to defy the odds and survive as a vulnerable clone. With clever traps to avoid, plenty of challenges, Metroidvania aspects and a particularly enticing level editor with online sharing and rankings, Stealth Inc 2 could provide a huge amount of fun gaming on the console; this is definitely one to watch.
Initially a failed Kickstarter campaign, Atlus saw such potential in this comedic RPG from Eden Industries that it stepped in as publisher. With inspiration drawn from titles such as EarthBound, you take on the role of the Vice President of the World to tackle an alien threat, assisting and recruiting a quirky cast in the process. It could be a treat.
Many Wii U owners — based on the Wii U eShop charts — have enjoyed Trine 2: Director's Cut, yet this arrival of the improved original will be the first opportunity for Nintendo-only gamers to enjoy the first entry. It's been reproduced with the Trine 2 engine, so should also look fantastic.
So there you have it, ten games that we think represent some of the best of what's still coming to Wii U in the remainder of this year; we hope they'll all make it, too. Other titles that narrowly missed out include Skylanders Trap Team and a wide range of promising eShop titles — there are plenty of gaming options coming to Wii U before 2015 rolls around.
As for this list of ten Wii U games, let us know what you think and which others you think should be included via the comments, while you can also vote for your favourite in the poll.
What's your most anticipated Wii U game of 2014? (778 votes)
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Art Academy for Wii U
Stealth Inc 2
Citizens of Earth
Trine Enchanted Edition
My choice isn't on the list
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