There's no escaping the reality that the Wii U has been a failure for Nintendo. The video game giant essentially admitted defeat when it announced that its next console, the NX, will launch in 2016, making the Wii U Nintendo's shortest-lived home console of all time. But while Nintendo's ailing flagship has suffered from a confused marketing campaign and poor support from third-party developers, it's arguably the best current-gen(ish) console for first-party support, with a games line-up that sticks to its guns, reverse compatibility that shows loyalty to its core audience, and the bravery to try and stand out from its rivals - which at this point feel like little more than watered-down PCs relying mostly on remasters of last-gen games. The good news for Wii U owners who thought they might be left out in the cold, is that 2016 will be a strong year for the console, despite the cloud of its successor looming overhead. Here are the most promising titles to look forward to this year, proving that in terms of pure gaming quality, the Wii U still has some life left in it.
Made up of the leading people behind legendary N64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie, Playtonic Studios set out on a mission to make a game that would pay tribute to the golden age of 3D platformers, while bringing it gloriously into the current gaming climate courtesy of the robust Unity Engine. Over £2 million from Kickstarter later, Banjo's spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee is on its way to all platforms. Sure, it may not be a Wii U exclusive, but the game's strong ties to much-loved N64 games make it a fantastic fit for the console's family-friendly image. Despite the huge amount of support it's received from Kickstarter, Yooka-Laylee hasn't received much exposure in the wider gaming media, and Nintendo would do well to support it and build it up as an iconic Wii U game. The game itself, in which you control a gecko with a bat perched on its head (kind of like a bear with a bird in its backpack, no?), looks delightful so far - a big, bright return to that collectible-oriented, 3D platforming gameplay style that's been shunned in recent years. The great Grant Kirkhope (Banjo-Kazooie, Goldeneye 007) will be providing the soundtrack as well, so expect it to not only feel but sound like a glossy new take on the platformers we all loved in our youth.
Gamer, Researcher of strange things.
I'm a writer-editor hybrid whose writings on video games, technology and movies can be found across the internet. I've even ventured into the realm of current affairs on occasion but, unable to face reality, have retreated into expatiating on things on screens instead.