The Wii Buyer's Guide

With a new Super Mario Bros. title to tide fans over, and plenty of third-party software, this year's Wii offering includes an eclectic mix of games. But which to buy?

While the list below isn't a rundown of all of the reviews that ran this year on Kotaku, it is a fairly strong sampling. Use it to help you decide what you should and shouldn't get.

Which games make your list for wishlist or gift list?

A Boy and His Blob

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $39.99
Rating: Everyone
Genre: Platformer
Subject Matter:A Boy and His Blob is a platform game in which the titular duo use their wits and the Blob's transformative powers to overcome obstacles as they try to save the planet from an evil alien overlord.
Value: Moderately lengthy for a platformer, A Boy and His Blob's main draw is it's combination of platforming and puzzle-solving, using the unique morphing blob mechanic to create ladders, holes, trampolines and more to help traverse increasingly hostile environments. The graphics are gorgeous and the presentation is charmingly bare. It's almost artistic.
Buy it for: fans of the original game and people with a strong bond to their pets
Read the Full Review

Bakugan Battle Brawlers

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: Everyone
Genre: Marble-shooting, creature-battling action game.
Subject Matter: Based on the wildly popular collectible toy game and cartoon series, Bakugan follows in the footsteps of Pokemon but adds transforming marbles to the mix. The game does a good job of capturing the essence of the franchise.
Value: With a relatively robust single-player campaign and ability to battle up to three friends on one television in a slew of interactive arenas, this game is a pretty good deal.
Buy it for:fans of Bakugan and maybe even curious fans of Pokemon.
Read the Full Review

The Beatles: Rock Band

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: The stand-alone game sells for $59.99, the Limited Edition Premium Bundle sell for $249.99, the Rickenbacker 325 Standalone Guitar and the Gretsch Duo Jet Standalone Guitar sells for $99.99.
Rating: Teen
Genre: Rhythm music game
Subject Matter: The Beatles: Rock Band is a musical journey through the history of one of the world's most popular bands.
Value: For those new to the Rock Band phenomenon and fans of The Beatles, this 45-track game is well worth a purchase because this is the only way you'll play The Beatles music in a Rock Band game. If you're not into the band, give this a pass.
Buy it for: huge Beatles fans.
Read the Full Review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: M
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Subject Matter: The Call of Duty series jumps from old school wars to modern combat in an edgy politically-charged tale of nuclear warfare.
Value: With Wii shooters few and far between, this is a must-have for FPS fans.
Buy it for: FPS fans who also happen to be Wii owners. Or your grandma, if you're trying to get un-invited to the family reunion.
Read the Full Review

Contra ReBirth

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $10.00 (WiiWare)
Rating: Teen
Genre: Action
Subject Matter: A new entry in the Contra series in glorious, Super Nintendo-era 2D.
Value: It's short and hard, like a body-building elf. ReBirth takes the classic 2D run-and-gun gameplay of the Contra series and...doesn't do all that much with it. It's a new game with an old look.
Read the Full Review

Dead Space Extraction

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: M
Genre: Dynamic on-rails first-person shooter.
Subject Matter: Sci-fi horror prequel to 2008's Dead Space, featuring survivors on the run from alien horrors.
Value: A short Wii game, but one of the best-looking and most exciting ones in recent memory.
Buy it for: Fans of the Dead Space series and Wii gamers looking for a game targeted to an older crowd; this one's too profane for kids.
Read the Full Review

DJ Hero

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $119.99
Rating: Teen
Genre: Rhythm
Subject Matter: DJ Hero is a rhythm game featuring a replica DJ turntable so players can mix and scratch to the beat of original music mash-ups.
Value: DJ Hero features upwards fo 100 different DJ-driven mash-ups featuring songs from the 70's on up to present-day hits. Unlike the latest Guitar Hero or Rock Band games, however, it's only good for one or two players, so the party element just isn't there. The innovative turntable-based gameplay makes it a breath of fresh air in the currently band-centric music genre, but it certainly isn't as social.
Buy it for: Fans of eclectic music mixes and lonely Guitar Hero fans.
Read the Full Review

Excitebike: World Rally

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $10 (download only)
Genre: Arcade racer
Subject Matter: An update to the classic Nintendo racer Excitebike, with a few minor gameplay tweaks and a revised link.
Value: A touch pricey for what is essentially a modern day port of a classic racer, but I suppose nostalgia has no price.
Buy it for: fans of classic Nintendo games and pick up and play gaming.
Read the Full Review

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A Darklord

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $10 (download only)
Rating: E10+
Genre: Tower Defense
Subject Matter: In an twist on the genre, evil princess gets to stack one tower against invaders.
Value: Lots of levels, but the creators charge extra for a lot of the cooler items and features.
Buy it for: Tower defense fans who want a major change to the traditional formula
Read the Full Review

Ju-on: The Grudge

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $29.99
Rating: M
Genre: Horror, Action
Subject Matter: Relive the eeriness of the Japanese horror sensation in this "haunted house simulator."
Value: With a second Wii Remote, you can randomly inflict scary "haunting" moments on the person playing the game by mashing A.
Buy it for: Japanese horror film fans and anybody you secretly hate but don't dare give lumps of coal to.
Read the Full Review

LEGO Rock Band

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: Everyone
Genre: Rhythm
Subject Matter: It's the family version of Rock Band, with adorable LEGO characters.
Value:The value in LEGO Rock Band comes mainly from knowing your children won't be exposed to any suggestive lyrics or imagery, so if you're the type of parent/aunt/uncle that actually worries about such things, then there you are. Otherwise, you get somewhere around 44 songs that will just be released as downloadable content for the main game anyway.
Buy it for: Younger fans of good music who already have access to Rock Band instruments.
Read the Full Review

Little King's Story

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: T
Genre: Role-playing game mixed with empire-building
Subject Matter: A fairy-tale-style king at odds with increasingly clever and culturally-interesting enemies tribes and kings.
Value: High. Lengthy, imaginative single-player quest.
Buy it for: Wii owners who want a game that will last; fans of quirky, more artsy video games.
Read the Full Review

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: 1000 Wii Points
Rating: Everyone
Genre: Platform
Subject Matter: It's the sequel to 2008's LostWinds with the new ability to switch between seasons (winter and summer).
Value: Small touches, like the character being realistically refracted when standing behind ice, made us forget this is not a packaged retail release. The graphics and music are both deliver — as does the Wii Remote gameplay.
Buy it for: Gamers looking for a breezy and cute platformer.
Read the Full Review

Marvel Super Hero Squad

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $39.99
Rating: Everyone 10+
Genre: Beat-em Up
Subject Matter: A standard tale of good versus evil told with tiny, superdeformed Marvel characters
Value: While the adventure mode will only last a couple of hours, Marvel Super Hero Squad features a Battle Mode that lets your kids fight against each other using iconic Marvel Comics characters, so there is some lasting value there, if only for the youngins'.
Buy it for: kids old enough to enjoy Marvel Characters but not old enough to handle Captain America getting shot and killed
Read the Full Review

Muramasa: The Demon Blade

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: Teen
Genre: Action RPG
Subject Matter: A highly Japanese hack and slash RPG with very striking 2D visuals.
Value:A gorgeous single-player action RPG, Muramasa has a great deal of gameplay but very little in the way of story development. Lots of over-the-top action and some very impressive boss fights make up for the overall lack of depth.
Buy it for: Japanese RPG and anime fans.
Read the Full Review

MySims Agents

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: E
Genre: Action/Adventure
Subject Matter: Make your MySim into the ultimate secret agent by unraveling a huge mystery.
Value: Lots of customizable costumes and outfits, plus a secret alternate ending and bonus puzzles lend the game replay value.
Buy it for: Your kids and play it when they aren't looking.
Read the Full Review

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: Everyone
Genre: Side-scrolling, nostalgia-tugging platformer
Subject Matter: New Super Mario Bros. Wii doesn't explore any new narratives, you're still Mario who is still trying to save the princess, but this time around you can play with three friends, and the game is there to help you when you get stuck.
Value: New Super Mario Bros. Wii feels like two games in one, and there are several mulitplayer modes to add to the fun after you've beaten the game.
Buy it for: Anyone with a Wii, anyone considering a Wii.
Read the Full Review

Rabbids Go Home

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: E10+
Genre: Comedy platformer
Subject Matter: Three manic rabbit-like creatures and their shopping cart put to task to rob humanity of its junk in order to build a pile and pathway to the moon. Plus, the Rabbids can and must yell the clothes off ridiculous people.
Value: A pleasant and funny adventure that will last a weekend, but longer for those who want to collect 100%.
Buy it for: Gamers who want a game that makes them laugh out loud; fans of platforming looking for a Mario alternative; people looking for the Rabbids to finally star in something that isn't a mini-game compilation.
Read the Full Review

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: M
Genre: On-rails shooter, Resident Evil retrospective
Subject Matter: Single-player or co-op light gun shooter takes on Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica, wrapped up in a short, new pre-Resident-Evil-4 campaign, all presented with RE's mix of horror and cheese (though this one isn't scary).
Value: Light gun games are usually very short, but this one has three campaigns and enough unlockables to offer at least nine hours of first-time play.
Buy it for: Resident Evil fans; people looking for a less innovative Wii light gun game than Dead Space Extraction and a less outrageous one than House of the Dead: Overkill, but, of the three, the one with the most content. A solid game.
Read the Full Review

Spyborgs

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $19.99
Rating: Teen
Genre: Beat-em Up
Subject Matter: Spyborgs is a simple arcade-style beat-em up with cartoon tendencies.
Buy it for: Young children and early teens who've yet to develop discerning tastes.
Value: $19.99 could very well translate into keeping your kids quiet (or at least only yelling at each other) for a few hours, or some quality parent-child bonding time. It's not particularly exciting, but it'll do in a pinch.
Read the Full Review

Sword & Soldiers

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $10 (download only)
Rating: E10+
Genre: Side-scrolling real-time-strategy game.
Subject Matter: Vikings vs. ninjas vs. Aztecs
Value: High, given the amount of levels, the gleefully violent cartoon visuals and the creative campaign.
Buy it for: Fans looking for cartoon violence on the Wii and fans of Patapon the only game remotely like this.
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Wii Energizer 4X Charging Station

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: N/A
Genre: N/A
Subject Matter:An induction panel that charges up to four remotes at a time.
Value: With four rechargeable battery packs included with the induction panel, this seems like a fairly good deal.
Buy it for:Wii owners sick of burning through batteries and people who have their console set up in a place where space is at a premium.
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Wii Fit Plus

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $19.99 (game only), $99.99 (with Balance Board)
Rating: E
Genre: Fitness, Sports
Subject Matter: A slew of next mini-games and a handful of new exercises round out Nintendo's home fitness tool.
Value: With a new multiplayer function and the ability to weigh your cat, baby or dog, Wii Fit Plus pushes its fun on the whole family.
Buy it for: Yourself because you're too lazy to go to the gym, your grandparents who need help getting over last year's hip surgery, or your brother-in-law who should really be watching his weight.
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Wii Sports Resort

The Wii Buyer's Guide


Price: $49.99
Rating: Everyone
Genre: Casual sports
Subject Matter: Wii Sports Resort drops you on an island with a dozen sports to attempt using the Wii's new, more accurate MotionPlus device.
Value: Packed with a MotionPlus remote add-on and a hefty collection of sports, this is a must have for Wii owners.
Buy it for: Fans of Wii Sports, casual gamers, anyone looking for some family time on their Wii.
Read the Full Review