The 10 Worst Wii U Exclusives Released So Far
The battle of the video games exclusive to one platform or another is important, because it helps gamers choose which box to place under their TV. We’ve already looked at the best exclusive games for Wii U. Now it’s time to head down to the opposite end of the spectrum and look at the worst of the worst.
To find these poorly received games, we surveyed all of the Wii U exclusives listed on Metacritic and created a composite score that includes both the critic and user ratings. For example, a game with a 55 critic score and 5.3 user score would receive a 54 composite score. This should give us the most accurate picture of how well the games were received between the time of release and now.
10. Devil’s Third
If there’s one thing a brawler needs, it’s tight controls. It’s immediately obvious that Devil’s Third fails at this basic requirement. Beyond that, it might have been a decent game if only it didn’t look ugly, play terribly, and feature player-unfriendly nonsense, like a pay-to-win multiplayer mode. Although it’s made by the people responsible for some excellent Ninja Gaiden games, you wouldn’t know it by playing this clunker.
Despite the occasional laughs and wonderfully weird multiplayer modes, Devil’s Third is near-impossible to recommend. The numerous issues with the controls as well as crucial elements of the game’s combat systems soon mount up to provide an experience that frustrates far more often than it entertains, resulting in a missed opportunity for what could’ve been a cult hit.
9. Tank! Tank! Tank!
Not many console games start life in the arcade these days, but that’s how this Namco game began. In it, you control a sluggish tank as it fights through a city full of giant mechanical monsters. Unfortunately, the experience is as slow as it is boring. It may work better in an arcade than on a home console, but either way it’s not worth more than a few minutes of your time.
Finding entertainment in Tank Tank Tank is like panning for gold in the bathtub – you’re not going to find anything. I can see a group of businessmen amusing themselves with the game at a bar during happy hour, but they’d never want to bring that experience home. Like a culturally sensitive foreign joke, Tank Tank Tank fails to translate.
8. Funky Barn
Though the last one you might have heard about was Farmville, there are a surprising number of farming games out there, ranging from content-rich ones like Harvest Moon to mobile games you might check in on a few times a day. Although Funky Barn was released as a full Wii U game, it feels more like a mobile game. The problem is that those mobile games range from free to a couple of bucks, while this one costs considerably more.
Funky Barn had a lot going for it, and in many ways it works a treat thanks to some smooth controls and the farming element proving to be quite fun. However, when a lot of the processes become automated later on, the enjoyment factor starts to wane considerably. On top of this, despite having some pleasing options, the general amount included does not warrant its high retail price-tag, and it would have been far more palatable had it been a cheaper eShop download.
In this stealth game, you play as a chameleon who has to make his way from point A to point B without alerting the many enemies in his way. The unique part is that you can use the Wii U’s GamePad to create camouflage prints to help you blend in with the background. It’s a solid idea, but unfortunately the game is punishingly difficult and requires you to grind for resources. Playing soon becomes a chore, which is a shame.
With that said, the underwhelming implementation of all these good ideas unfortunately cuts short our enthusiasm for the game. We really wanted to love Canvaleon, but grinding for resources, one-hit deaths and some wonky design choices makes this an uneven experience. It’s a fresh idea that needed a better execution, but could prove to be a hit with anyone who can look past its flaws.
6. Pokémon Rumble U
Pokémon has had more than its share of spinoffs in its nearly two decades of existence, but not all of them are good. Mark Pokémon Rumble U as one of the bombs. This game turns the beloved creatures into windup toys and has you mash a single button to fight other Pokémon. With its one-button gameplay, there’s hardly anything to it.
Worse yet, the game is compatible with 17 Pokémon figures that are sold separately, but because they’re “blind box” figures, you never know which ones you’re going to get. If you want to collect all of the figures, you’re going to waste a lot of money wasted on a game that just isn’t any fun.
When all is said and done, Pokémon Rumble U comes off as nothing but Nintendo trying to build up some hype for the highly anticipated Pokémon X/Y and line their pockets with some cheap action figure sales in the process. The game works as a proof-of-concept for the NFC technology (even if no one else is using it right now), but beyond that, this is the kind of dull downloadable game you hope will get lost in the ether sooner rather than later.
5. Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival
The Animal Crossing series has proved an unlikely hit, thanks to its low-stress gameplay that has you tidy up a town while making small talk with its inhabitants. What could go wrong by throwing some Amiibos into the mix? A lot, apparently. Instead of going for the relaxing town simulation experience of the core games, Amiibo Festival is a dull digital board game that fails to impress on every level.
Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is undoubtedly charming, using the world and little details of Animal Crossing to their fullest. However, there’s not enough to it to keep me coming back. The amiibo integration is cumbersome and hard to play with, and interesting ideas like the use of the stalk market are limited by a slow pace. It’s delightful enough to make me smile, but it’s still a bit boring.
4. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
The Sonic series has been down in the dumps for a long time, but the worst of the bunch is Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, a Wii U exclusive that fails early and often. It’s an ambitious game in that it offers levels featuring brawling, platforming, and speed-running, but it doesn’t pull off any of them in an enjoyable way. Ambition is great, but only if you have the chops to back it up. Perhaps some focus would have helped.
One thing I’m sure of is that Sega ought to be embarrassed for pouring so much hype, so much marketing money, into this project, only to have a sad, miserable little dog’s dinner of a product to show for it. I guess it doesn’t matter, though. It’s an idiotic baby’s game for children, and it exists to sell toys. It also thinks you’re all dumb, and it wears its contempt for you on its sleeve. A sleeve covered in bandages.
3. Game Party Champions
This Wii U launch title featuring mini-games like skee ball, tennis, and arcade basketball could have been a fun party game — if only it were any good. None of the games included here feel imaginative or go beyond their basic premises. Worse, the controls are awful and there’s an unskippable story shoehorned in for no apparent reason. This game feels like a series of bad decisions someone should have stopped before it went to market.
Game Party Champions is – to put it nicely – a bad game. We’re not even venturing into “so bad that it’s good” territory, either. We’re way past that. On the shelves on Wii U launch day, you could pick up any other title for just a few pounds more than the asking price of this. Alternatively, you could have not bothered buying any games, and still had more fun than if you’d walked out of the store with Game Party Champions. This is so bad that your great-great-grandchildren will want to change their surname when they find out that you once played it. Avoid.
2. ESPN Sports Connection
Another abysmal mini-game collection comes from the biggest name in sports broadcasting. With six games, including kart racing, soccer, and tennis, you might think there’d be enough here to satisfy a group of people looking for a game. That’s not the case, thanks to shallow gameplay across the board and poor performance when more than one player joins in. You’d think ESPN would know better than to release junk like this.
Everything ESPN Sports Connection does has been achieved already. Older sports games – including the original Wii’s pack-in, Wii Sports – accomplished the same goals better and without embarrassing technical issues. The convenience of bundling these particular games into one box simply isn’t worth it – there’s so little to motivate and reward players that the limited novelty of competitive sports on Wii U vanishes almost immediately.
1. Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Family Party is another mini-game collection for Wii U… Are we seeing a pattern here? Like the others, this game seems to have been hastily assembled and rushed out the door before any level of fun or enjoyment could be baked into experience. Family Party is an overstuffed and under-polished collection of games that offers no reason for its own existence. As with the rest of the exclusives on this list, steer clear of this one.
As clunky and poorly considered as its title, Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade is awful. Relying entirely on the shallow and repetitive waggle that should have died along with Wii, there’s absolutely no reason to recommend this obnoxious, screaming, clattering monstrosity at all. It’s mindless entertainment at its worst, but, on the bright side, it might be the perfect way to cure your children’s burgeoning video game addiction.