I fondly remember my Wii as a Super Mario Galaxy machine. I loved that game, flying through space and collecting those gems to shoot at enemies was a real blast. All of the first-party Nintendo games on the system were truly amazing, and I believe that I own almost 90% of those titles. As I scour used game stores and the internet, I’m quickly finding out that the Wii was more than just a first-party machine. It was also, surprisingly enough, a survival horror machine. I know that Capcom and Nintendo re-released the GameCube Resident Evil titles under the moniker of Resident Evil Archives, which I still need to purchase to have a full set. The Wii also had the Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles that retold the Resident Evil history via an on-rails shooter. Those were really the only survival horror games I remember being marketed for the Wii; it wasn’t until I dug a little deeper that I found a slew of amazing survival horror games just waiting to terrify me.
5) Cursed Mountain
Cursed Mountain was released in 2009 for the Wii and tells the tale of a man searching for his brother. Set in the 1980s Eric must climb Chomolonzo to find his missing brother Frank. To do this you must brave the mountain and all the horrors that it will bring you. To succeed you must fight off the souls of climbers and monks who have been trapped in Bardo. Seeing as this game is steeped heavily in Tibetan Folklore, most people may not know what Bardo is: think of it as Purgatory, a place where the spirit wanders between our realm and the next. So not only are you fighting for your life against the elements and the mountain, but you must fight half-crazed spirits and free them with some wagging of the Wiimote. What kept this game from being the next Silent Hill franchise was the sluggish controls–I’m sure that combat is frustrating when the Wii sensor bar is reading your waggling incorrectly. I hope to jump into this title very soon with the Wii Motion Plus added to my controller, trapped spirits beware!
Calling is a Japanese survival horror game developed solely for the Wii console. It was released in 2010 after all the hype of The Grudge and Pulse had died down. In this first-person game you explore haunted areas, schools, hotels, hospitals, and the like to escape the Mnemonic Abyss. You use the Wiimote to move around and interact with objects in these places. Your character finds themself online at “The Black Page,” and after entering a chat room, you and your friends get sucked into Mnemonic Abyss. The only way to get out is to use your cell phone–ghosts will talk to you through your phone, you can warp with your phone, and you can battle ghosts with your phone. Pretty nifty concept to me! I’m sad that we won’t get the Fatal Frame that came to the Wii, but this is the closest we’ll get to playing that game. Hopefully when I jump into this game my phone will be fully charged.
3) Ju-On The Grudge: Haunted House Simulator
I found out about this game quite a while after the passing of the Wii, and finding a copy was no easy task (perhaps surviving a haunted house it easier). It’s said that when a person dies with a large grudge a curse will be born. This happens when an average housewife in Japan is the victim of a grisly murder and her curse finds and unsuspecting victim in Erika Yamada. Erika was searching innocently for her lost dog when she unknowingly unleashes the curse upon herself and her family. Each family member has to face their own challenge, which are basically the levels of the game. To do this you must equip yourself with your Wiimote and not run out of batteries. You use the Wiimote to shine your light and the directional buttons to follow the light. Don’t hang out too long in one place or walk too slowly or Kayako will unleash her curse upon you. Also, always been on the lookout for batteries, for if you find yourself in darkness, you will never escape.
2) Obscure: The Aftermath
Obscure was a game that actually lived up to its potential; it’s obscure and I never would have heard of it had Game Informer not done a little writeup for the original release thirteen years ago. The sequel takes place two years after the events of the first game, and some of the original cast are dealing with consequences from their encounters in high school. Little did they know that their troubles from the game would follow them into college. Now, with some old friends and new acquaintances, you must battle once again to rid your college of this terror and bring normalcy back into your life and your college. I loved what I played of the first game on my Xbox, and I still need to wrap up the story so that I can play this on my Wii or PS2. This is one of the most underrated survival horror series of the Xbox generation, and it’s sad that many gamers passed up on it or didn’t know about it all together.
1) Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
Konami has given up on the Silent Hill franchise, but not before releasing a very good retelling of the first game. Shattered Memories is not a complete retelling of Harry Mason’s tale. This Harry Mason is set in a different fictional universe; however, he must still find his lost daughter. His tale this time has different plot points, characters, and five different endings, so play wisely. Climax Studios took a different route with this title: at first you start off in first-person mode searching around, then you eventually switch to a third-person mode for when Harry is running around Silent Hill trying not to die. I’ve enjoyed my time with the title; it’s nice to see a new and updated take on the original tale. It still doesn’t hold a candle to the outright creepiness and experiences offered by the very first one on the original PlayStation, but it’s another fun romp through Silent Hill.
Bonus: Dead Space Extraction
Visceral Games surprised us all with their sleeper hit in 2008, Dead Space. This on-rails shooter that released in 2009 served as a prequel to the original game. You get to set foot on the Ishimura before Issac Clarke clears out the necromorphs. The ship is on course for a colony that has been infected, and Detective Nathan McNeill and Sgt. Gabriel Weller must find a way to save themselves and any survivors that cross their path. The Wii was built for on-rails shooters, and Extraction shines as one of the best. The Wiimote, or Wii Zapper, make this game addicting and fun, not only in that Visceral didn’t take anything away from the original title, but you can still use Kinesis to move items and launch them at your enemies. You can also melee and stomp on the disgusting lifeforms by shaking the Nunchuck. I prefer the stand controls for these titles due to the fact they are so difficult, but after the disappointment of Dead Space 3, this may be just what the doctor ordered.
So, what do you think? Is the Wii more than just a Mario machine, or have I got this entirely wrong? Or, have I missed any hidden gems for the Wii that I should play?