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LONG BLOG

The Wii Christmas Buyer's Guide

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DOWNLOAD: Despite having the least proficient online service of the three consoles, Nintendo's WiiWare does have a pretty decent selection of strong games available for download. There also the Virtual Console, but if you're a Destructoid visitor then I'll assume you'll know what you're looking for there.

LostWinds/LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias: These two games are short but sweet. If you can justify spending 1000 Wii points for games that can completed in a single extended sitting, the Canvas Curse-inspired gameplay, which sees the Wii remote pointer controlling gusts of wind that can be used to solve puzzles, provides an aperitif of platforming excellence.

Bit.Trip series: These throwback platformers are fast-paced and designed to recall the days of the Atari. Gameplay is very simple, but infamously challenging: you have to help 'Commander Video' collect gold and avoid obstacles as he runs towards the finishing point of each course. At 800 Wii points for 50 levels, these games are exceptional value for money.

Art Style: ORBIENT: Another simple but addictive idea, ORBIENT gives players control of a white star which grows in size by absorbing other coloured stars, using the A and B buttons to control gravitational pull. Crashing into red stars, asteroids or black holes causes damage. Although a high-score game that could easily be done on an iPhone, at 600 points it's a decent bargain.

NyxQuest: Before Nintendo brought back Kid Icarus for the 3DS, developers Over The Top Games did it for them. It's a pretty standard but enjoyable platformer, with no great innovation on show but everything designed intelligently and with attractive art design. At 1000 points it may be a smidgen overpriced, but there's plenty of fun to be had nevertheless.

World of Goo: One of the most intricate and intelligent puzzle games released in recent years, World of Goo demands high levels of creative thinking to beat its challenges, involving the manipulation of 'Goo balls' into bridges and towers in order to cross the map back to the World of Goo Corporation. Released on WiiWare and PC to enormous acclaim, the 1500 point price seems high but is justified by a game that is of a higher standard than most retail releases.

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Of course there are innumerable other excellent games out there (mention any favourites of yours in the comments), but for all those first-time Wii buyers out there having trouble sorting through the shovelware, the twenty-five games listed above will set you in very good stead no matter whether you're looking for something more family-oriented or are after a spot of the old motion-controlled ultraviolence. Next Sunday is my birthday so I don't know whether I'll be posting or not, but hope you found my Buyer's Guide useful (forgive any typos that might have slipped through the cracks - as you've probably noticed, this post was quite long!), enjoy your Wii and send me your friend codes - yes, you've got those to look forward to...
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About Xander Markhamone of us since 3:08 PM on 02.07.2010

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I'm a 26-year old English writer, formerly known on the CBlogs as Xandaça. I've been an avid gamer since I was a wee lad, gripping a NES controller in my hands and comprehensively failing to get past those infuriating Hammer Bros on Level 8-3 of Super Mario Bros. I've stuck with Nintendo since then (not for any animosity towards the other console makers of course - Nintendo just make games I enjoy and have grown up with), apart from a brief sojourn with a Sony PlayStation, several woeful attempts to play Half-Life 2 using a laptop touchpad and sporadically wrangling a turn on my sister's beloved Sega Saturn.

In addition to burping out the occasional novel, I'm a passionate critic, writing reviews and articles of films, book and games for my school magazine and university newspaper, for which I created and edited its film section. In addition to starting up my own blog, covering television, games and movies, I am also a writer for Destructoid's cine-geek sister Flixist. While primarily a film geek, the evolution of the games industry over the course of its short lifetime has fascinated me and provided vast quantities of content for some incendiary pieces of work - perhaps a few more might spring up on here?

My Favourite Games of All Time (because who doesn't love having a few Of All Time lists?) are GoldenEye 007 (which I still play through at least once a year to remind me of its glories), Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Gunstar Heroes, Super Mario Bros 3 (I don't know who told Shigsy Miyamoto-san that raccoons could fly, but I'll love them forever) and No More Heroes.

I hope you find great enjoyment in my many scribings, and please keep an eye out for upcoming news on my novel(s) and do pay a visit to my blog sometime. And yes, the Dtoid community's 'no copy and paste' rule will be fully respected!

Good gaming, everyone!