The Wii had a good 2009, thanks to the arrival of Nintendo fan-pleasing releases like Punch-Out!! and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. But 2010 should one-up this year's showing thanks to Nintendo and third-party publishers.
2010 may get off to a slower start—and we may only get to sample the next Legend of Zelda game for the Wii with our eyes, not our hands—but with a new Metroid, a new Mario and Epic Mickey coming, the rest of the year may be remembered as one with too many good Wii games. Or at least one with variety, interesting third-party support and the year that the Wii Vitality Sensor was released to rave reviews and mind-blowing sales.
At the very least, we expect these important Wii games (and Wii Remote add-ons) to make 2010 a better year for Nintendo's platform than the previous one. Let's begin...
Note: We'll be looking at every platform's currently announced and estimated 2010 slate over the course of the rest of the week—and much much more.
Metroid: Other M
Nintendo and Team Ninja give the Wii its first all-original Metroid game and the freshest since 2007's Metroid Prime 3, blending side-scrolling action with first-person adventuring. Or is that side-scrolling adventuring and first-person action? It's penciled in for a 2010 release.
Warren Spector's dark, spectacular looking adventure could give the Wii the finest Mickey Mouse game since Castle of Illusion, no small feat.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Nintendo turns around a proper Mario sequel with surprising speed, promising a more challenging galactic Mario adventure, now with more Yoshi and a tentative 2010 release date.
Red Steel 2
The Wii MotionPlus may get its "killer app," with Ubisoft's first-person shooter/slasher combining old west aesthetic with ninja killing. Red Steel 2 should lead a longer list of mature-targeted "core" titles in '10.
Sin & Punishment 2
Cult favorite Treasure churns out a sequel to the Nintendo 64 classic shooter, a title aimed squarely at the hardcore fan. Will the Wii audience respond? They better, or they truly deserve punishment.
Arc Rise Fantasia
The Wii gets a dose of traditional fantasy turn-based RPG action, courtesy of Luminous Arc developers imageepoch, a relatively young studio with a solid pedigree.
The highly anticipated WiiWare version of the freeware PC adventure game was supposed to have been released by now, but we hope the remake will actually make it's way to the Wii Shopping Channel in 2010.
Endless Ocean: Blue World
The sequel to Nintendo's serene underwater adventure hits in the first quarter of 2010, far away from the Nintendo titles we expect to make a much bigger splash.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
Post-apocalyptic, yes, but Tri-Crescendo's role-playing game does not feature much in the way of zombies or nuclear wastelands. Instead, expect adventure, puzzle solving and the use of your Wii Remote as a flashlight.
High-Voltage, developer of first-person shooter The Conduit, tries its hand at an ancient Roman fighting game. The developer knows how to get peak performance out of the Wii, keeping Gladiator A.D. on our radar.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
It's LEGO plus Harry Potter plus Wii. We expect this LEGO adventure game to be like its ancestors: good, but now with more Quidditch.
Line Attack Heroes
Frankly, we're not sure what Nintendo's plans for Line Attack Heroes are, since the company has been silent about it since E3. Maybe the publisher is working a new name for the multiplayer action game. Or at least we hope.
Monado: Beginning of the World
Monolith Soft's original role-playing game will likely hit North America before the developer's Disaster: Day of Crisis. With Baten Kaitos and Xenosaga under their belts, Monado should be on the radar of any Wii owning RPG fan.
Monster Hunter Tri
Capcom tries to wrangle monster hunting success in the West with the release of the newest Monster Hunter, the action adventure hit that will give you a reason to dust off your Wii Speak microphone.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Grasshopper Manufacture sends Travis Touchdown back out to the field for the follow up to the quirky, bloody No More Heroes. Improvements abound, hopefully with Wii MotionPlus support included.
Like Line Attack Heroes, Nintendo has been mum on Span Smasher since E3. Players will control the titular Smasher and smash things, a smashing concept from developers Artoon.
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Capcom's arcade fighting game comes to the Wii, with a slightly different cast of characters from animation company Tatsunoko and fighting game experts Capcom. The 3D meets 2D brawler features a more simplified fighting system and a potpourri of contestants.
High Voltage software's other Wii game planned for 2010 puts tons of enemies on screen, then lets the player kill them. With guns.
Tower of Shadow
This gorgeous looking puzzle-platformer should be coming to WiiWare sooner before later. Keep an eye out for it.
Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll
Sega puts the Wii Balance Board to banana grabbing use, asking great balance and patience of Wii owners' calves to help guide Mimi, Baby, AiAi and GonGon to monkey ball rolling safety.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Sega brings its many characters together from franchises as unique as Shenmue, Sonic the Hedgehog and Samba de Amigo, then puts then in karts. They race.
Wii Vitality Sensor
We're not sure what to make of Nintendo's Wii Vitality Sensor add-on, but the E3 announced device could open up new gameplay opportunities for Wii games. That, or we'll have something new into which we can stick our fingers. And that's great!