Looking for a gift? Know someone with a Wii? Here are some of the best Wii products on the market for the 2011 holiday season. Also be sure to read my guide on how to choose a game as a gift.
RPG fans have received little love from the Wii, but this year that changed with the release of Xenoblade Chronicles, which is arguably the best JRPG of the year, at least so far. The game is huge, both in world scope, with vast areas to explore, and in length; it took me 140 hours to finish the game (although people claim you can beat it in half that time). In spite of a rather flat story, the game's epic scope and elaborate, deep gameplay make this a compelling experience. For the serious JRPG aficionado who never had a reason to even buy a Wii, this game is reason enough.
This is the other
great Wii RPG of 2012. While it is not as vast and detailed as Xenoblade
, it has greater focus and a tremendously exciting combat system that is more action than RPG. The game was directed by the creator of the Final Fantasy
series and scored by the Final Fantasy
composer, making this the closest the Wii has ever come to getting an actual Final Fantasy
game. Even the title is a sort of funhouse-mirror version of "final fantasy!"
Will The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword be Nintendo's greatest achievement for the Wii? Perhaps. Nintendo has consistently pushed the potential of the Wii, the Zelda games are always great, and what I've seen looks like everything a Wii game should be. Even though I've only seen a brief preview, I feel safe in saying that if you buy one game for the Wii this year, it should be this one. And if you're not planning to buy even one game for the Wii, change your mind.
There are two aspects to Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures, the gimmick and the game
. I can take or leave the gimmick, in which a game peripheral allows players to use physical toy figurines to choose an onscreen avatar, but the game itself is a terrific game that is fun, colorful and imaginative. And if you're a kid, you might like the gimmick as well.
By squeezing the capabilities of the MotionPlus
into the Wii's normal remote, Nintendo has created what will in time be the defacto Wii remote. This is the remote anyone who has MotionPlus-enabled games needs to have.
The greatest failing of the Wii is the lack of a rechargeable remote, which is why so many peripheral makers have created chargers that let you use rechargeable battery packs to power your Wii remotes. The best of the lot is Energizer's Flat Panel Induction Charging System (just edging out Nyko's terrific Charge Station IC
), an elegantly designed, two or four-remote charger that simply works better than its competitors. This is an inductive charger, meaning you can charge your remote without removing its protective silicone sleeve or attachments like the nunchuk. Everyone needs a way to free themselves from the slavery of constantly changing batteries; Energizer offers the best solution to date.
A Wii Skin
A Wii skin lets you modify the look of your Wii. Like buying clothes for someone, buying a Wii skin as a present requires some knowledge of the recipient's taste; you don't want to buy a Spongebob Squarepants skin for someone who would rather have their Wii look psychedelic. Choose well.
Don't know what to get someone even after reading my article on how to buy a game for someone
? Let them make their own choice with a Nintendo Points Card. Online shopping for the Wii is done through a points system, and with a points card you can buy WiiWare titles like Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhale
or Virtual Console games like the ever-popular Super Mario Bros. 3
(you can also buy games for the Nintendo's handheld DSi). Always preferable to buying that bargain bin shovelware title with the colorful cover.
A nifty little cordless keyboard useful for browsing the Internet on the Wii's Internet Channel or for use in games that allow text chatting (as is reportedly the case in [i]Animal Crossing: City Folk[/i]). If you're buying it as a gift, just make sure it's for someone who actually web browses or text chats on the Wii, or this item is fated for regifting.