While the Wii lacks the graphics power of the PS3 and Xbox 360, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its share of good-looking games. Here are ten games that show just how good a Wii game can look.
MadWorld is not simply the most visually stunning game ever made for the Wii; it is one of the most visually stunning games ever made for any platform, showcasing a primarily black and white world that looks like a detailed, living line drawing. With its grim locales and savage violence, you wouldn’t call the game pretty, but it certainly is striking.
With its Japanese watercolor look, Okami boasts an art design that blows away 99% of all videogames. I fell in love with this game the first time I saw it on the PS2, and to this day it is the first game I mention when talking about the need for video games to think more about visual design and less about detailed texturing and frame rates.
This 2D platformer is essentially a series of really pretty landscapes - flowing streams and falling blossoms - set off by pretty avatars battling cool monsters. The game has the lovely quality of a Japanese woodcut.
With mysterious machinery casting long shadows tossed across ancient, sun-dappled floors and walls, Shadow has a wonderfully magical quality to it that caused people to compare the game visually with the classic Ico. While the gameplay sometimes felt repetitive, the visuals were always fresh.
It is remarkable how often Fragile Dreams manages to create landscapes in which a beautifully lit sky is placed behind the silhouettes of dark towering structures while a figure watches from the foreground. It works; the game is full of moments where you gasp as you enter a new location.
I’ve never been under the ocean, and the real thing is probably even prettier than Blue World, but it’s still wonderful how well the game creates the feel of being in a beautiful underwater paradise of colorful fish and lovely ruins.
Kirby is notable for its clever visual design; the whole game appears to have been prettily sewn together, with Kirby himself being a living yarn outline. With its pastel colors and varied textures, the game makes you feel as though you’ve wandered into your mom’s sewing kit.
No one has had more practice making games for the Wii than Nintendo, so it’s unsurprising that five years after the console’s debut they’ve learned how to make very nice-looking games indeed. I was shocked when critics spoiled by HD PS3 graphics complained about the game’s look. If you can watch the shadows of clouds sweep across a vast desert and feel nothing, you must be a little dead inside.