Well, the official release list of what will be available launch day with the Wii U has been released by Nintendo, and maybe breaking new graphics ground isn't all it's cracked up to be because rarely in terms of AAA titles has a launch lineup been this strong or varied with pretty much at least a couple titles out there for everybody. Now I'm not including any downloadable titles because while several already guaranteed to be awesome games like Trine 2 Director's Cut & Mighty Switch Force HD are set for November, they aren't for sure day one titles. This may seem early, but with only 51 days til launch, it's probably time to start saving for a rather expensive day if you're looking to get more than just Nintendoland. Here's 10 out of the lineup that should be good solid bets for most gamers:
#10: Call of Duty: Black Ops II-While the Wii had some strong original online offerings such as Smash Bros. or Monster Hunter 3, it didn't have any particularly compelling online FPS games. Black Ops II is arguably the riskiest COD title in some time, ditching modern or historical settings in lieu of a near future deal. It also gives an opportunity for Nintendo to show that they really are serious about at least having a competitive online presence so look for this to be one of the big titles for their online push. Beyond that, it's most likely to be an incredibly solid shooter for couch play as well, especially with the exclusive gamepad option.
#9. Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition: Yeah there is no Smash Bros. But Until then, the latest release in the Tekken Series is hardly filler. It's pretty wacky all on it's own, and with some crazy Wii U exclusives like "Mushroom Mode" it's bound to be some crazy fun.
#8: Epic Mickey 2: To say I was massively dissapointed with the original Epic Mickey would be one hell of an understatement. The god-awful camera made the game pretty much impossible to play. But the sequel looks to have improved on that and other aspects quite a bit as well. It has a strong co-op component that no other Wii U title can really boast, and I'm very interested to see if this "video game musical" can really deliver and odds are it will.
#7: Rabbids Land: Yeah the Rabbids got a little over-exposed on the Wii (though Rabbids Go Home is a wonderfully underrated gem). But that makes it all the easier to forget that the original Raving Rabbids was one of the best games in the Wii launch line-up, making great original use of the Wii remote. Ubisoft is clearly making a big investment on Wii U as they are providing a lot of the initial original content, so look for Rabbids Land to make as good use of the Wii U gamepad as Nintendoland if not better with its unique mini-game collection.
#6. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: It's extremely rare that any Sonic title would make any positive top-ten list these days. But the last Sonic Racing game got really solid reviews, essentially being called a very solid Mario Kart clone, and there's really nothing wrong with that, especially for those looking for a fun racing game to play with their friends.
#5: Skylanders Giants: The Wii U has no rpgs at launch you say? Ok it doesn't really, but this follow-up to the surprisingly good addictive Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure does provide some decent almost Diablo-style roleplaying elements along with solid gameplay. Granted, the whole collect 'em all aspect can get expensive, but it also provides much longer legs than many games in the Wii U's launch line-up.
#4: ZombiU: This has been one of the most hyped and interesting titles for the Wii U launch, with very interesting ideas such as using the gamepad as a scanner and when you die you come back as a different survivor and need to kill your old zombie self to recover your items. It's an original mature title specifically meant to shake the image of Nintendo consoles something with only kid-friendly titles so it's likely to be a rather stellar launch title.
#3: Darksiders II: Darksiders II of course is already out on the PS3 & the 360, but those planning on getting a Wii U and wanting a really solid deep Zelda-esque adventure may want to wait for the Wii U version as that's exactly what this will provide. It's already gotten incredibly strong reviews, so unless they massively screw up the port this is easily one of the best bets on the Wii U if you don't own it already.
#2: Nintendoland: Sure it's a pack-in with the "deluxe" (i.e. real) version of the Wii U, but it's also what Nintendo is essentially hedging all it's bets on to really sell the concept for the Wii U, so look for it to have an incredibly high level of polish and just be an incredibly fun time.
#1. Super Mario Bros U: Unoriginal? Probably. A little too much of the same thing (especially if you've also played the DS & 3DS games)? Quite possibly. But that classic Mario formula is always fun, then add in the co-op, social networking aspect and the fact that while there have been a couple of 2D Mario games in the last few years, the number of 2D platform games is few and far between for this whole generation of consoles. The Wii was actually quite a good home for 2D platformers in general and hopefully the Wii U will do the same. And frankly for sure bets at launch, it's hard to go wrong with anything with the name Mario in it.
Ok that's the list. Some of these titles admittedly may not pan out all that well, but there's still plenty of content for virtually any gamer of any type so you should have no shortage of choices come launch day. I should have another post up Friday or Saturday. In the meantime, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Promised Land