The Nintendo Wii had so many good titles—Mario Kart Wii, a great port of Okami, Monster Hunter Tri—but it also had a deluge of awful games that weren’t worth the material they were printed on. We’re not talking about games that are so bad they’re good. No, we’re talking about the worst Nintendo Wii games everyone loves to hate.
10. Anubis II
It’s a miracle Anubis II was released, let alone ported to the Nintendo Wii. If you can spare 15 to 30 minutes, that’s all you need to beat the game, provided you manage to avoid enough bugs and glitches. None of the levels offer any real challenge other than timing and the occasional enemy. Heck, you’ll spend more time fighting the camera than you do enemies!
Then there’s the story—or rather, the lack of a story. All you have to go off of is you being Anubis trying to lift the Curse of the Pharaohs, which doesn’t make any sense if you have even a basic understanding of Egyptian mythology. And you won’t find any story in the first Anubis because there isn’t one.
9. Balls of Fury
Balls of Fury violently fans the flames of lousy movie games. To be fair, the movie wasn’t exactly good, with the only bright spots being James Hong and Christopher Walken, so it didn’t have a good foundation to start with.
The hit detection is whacky. When you can manage to hit the ping pong ball, there’s this odd delay. And all the while, the same rock-n-roll soundtrack loops over and over.
I know the Wii wasn’t known for graphical fidelity, but the models are horrific. Their mouths don’t even move when they talk smack, which is just audio ripped straight from the movie, might I add. Like the soundtrack, those are on repeat, too!
8. Castlevania: Judgment
Castlevania: Judgment should have been something worthy of its name because, on paper, it sounds pretty sweet: a fighting game featuring characters like Alucard, Dracula, Trevor, and Simon Belmont. Takeshi Obata, the artist for Death Note, did the art. Awesome!
However, we got a fighting game with an abysmal control scheme, albeit one with a great art style. The root cause was the use of motion controls to fulfill many of the combos and special moves while not only fighting your opponent but the camera, too. The Wii Remote just wasn’t up to the task of performing such specific motions.
Maybe the Nintendo Switch would fare better, but until then, it’ll maintain its place as one of the worst Nintendo Wii games.
7. Ninjabread Man
Ninjabread Man sounds like fun, at least at first, but then you zone in on the UI and start feeling a bit of deja vu. In fact, the controls feel all too familiar. Did Ninjabread Man copy Anubis II? Nope! Ninjabread Man is another half-baked title developed by Data Design Interactive, the developers of Anubis II, and it’s somehow worse.
Level design was thrown completely out the window, not to mention being smaller than Anubis II. The camera was a pain to deal with in Anubis II, so with the levels being more compact in Ninjabread Man, it’ll often get you killed. Oh, and when you die, you’ll have to restart the entire level and objectives over again, making it needlessly hard for what is essentially a kid’s game.
I know the Wii Remote had its fair share of haters, but Ninjabread Man makes it seem even more unresponsive. It’s a terrible situation, considering combat is slightly more relevant here, and you need to shake the Wii Remote to use your katana. That’s on top of dealing with the same bugs, glitches, crashes, and poor framerate.
6. Chicken Shoot
On paper, Chicken Shoot sounds like an easy sell: it’s essentially a Duck Hunt clone, but for the Wii. Take advantage of the Wii’s motion controls, and you have yourself a chill time waster, at best. Instead, you get an extremely boring point-and-click shooter with the depth of a puddle. Everything Chicken Shoot has to offer is experienced in just the first five minutes.
All you do is pan back and forth, shooting chickens, with nary a resistance in sight other than the occasional tossed egg. The only thing Chicken Shoot has going for it is its hand-drawn graphics, giving me a sense of nostalgia for the old educational games I remember playing in school.
The Wii Remote ushered in a novel way to play racing games, given its motion controls, and it usually worked out well. There were some stand-out titles, like Need for Speed Carbon and Mario Kart Wii. However, there were some stinkers, Cruis’n being one of them.
For starters, the game is just too hard to look at. Compare Cruis’n side by side with Cruis’n Exotica—a Nintendo 64 title—and you can barely tell the difference. And don’t tell me the Wii is holding it back, not while Driver San Francisco gets away looking as good as it does on the Wii.
Lastly, playing Cruis’n is a mixed experience. While the motion controls are okay, more often than not, you’ll find yourself moving too far one way, forcing you to frantically course correct only to slide too far the other way. This is in addition to random stutters and poor framerate. Cruis’n might carry the same name, but it’s nothing like its arcade cousins.
4. Billy the Wizard: Rocket Broomstick Racing
Billy the Wizard: Rocket Broomstick Racing (that’s a mouthful) is another chapter in Data Design Interactive’s past. As if making copy-paste platformers wasn’t enough, they went ahead and made a racing game. Good for them to try something new, but now we have to suffer for it.
The main gameplay mechanic is fundamentally flawed. You control flight with the Wii Nunchuck. Okay, that’s awkward enough, but it’s nothing compared to the nature of turning. One moment, you’re turning like a tank, and the next, you’re doing a complete 180. All the while, your character is jerking around in myriad directions.
What’s the Wii Remote used for then? Casting magic bolts and using items, and that too is a painful experience. There’s an automatic lock-on system that rarely works, and there’s only one item in the game—a speed boost. So, have fun with that balancing act!
3. Game Party
I understand the need for party games, especially when you’ve got a few buddies over, but compared to Wii Party, Game Party is nowhere near as entertaining. Of course, there’s more to it than that, or else we wouldn’t consider it one of the worst Nintendo Wii games!
With just seven mini-games to play, Game Party didn’t have much going for it. Only two are arguably any fun: air hockey and maybe shuffleboarding. It wasn’t just the quality of the mini-games but the frustrating controls that didn’t quite do what you wanted them to. But when you finally think you have the hang of it, the game breaks on you.
Poor controls, mini-games, and bugs—that’s three for three. Despite Wii Sports having just five mini-games, they’re all fun. It was also bundled with the Wii for free.
2. Ju-On: The Grudge
Let me preface this entry by saying I actually like Ju-On (the movie); I even like the American remake from 2004. Ju-On: The Grudge should have been a slam dunk for me, but it abuses a pet peeve of mine: jump scares. Rarely, if ever, are jump scares justified or earned, and the game hands them out like it’s going out of style.
Some might have worked if you had some semblance of control over your character. The gameplay amounts to searching a few rooms here and there at the speed of a snail. You can’t run, fight, or use weapons; you just have a flashlight. When The Grudge does appear and attacks, the game throws QTEs at you.
For me, the nail in the coffin is the sound design, a vital aspect of horror. Ju-On: The Grudge is always uncomfortably quiet when it should fill that silence with meaningful effects to build up tension. Only then will a jump scare pay off, no matter how cheap. The game did one thing right: it made me appreciate the films a lot more.
1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventures
With Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventures, we’ve come full circle! This time, you aren’t lifting a curse in Egypt, being a wizard or a ninja, but an Elvis look alike because, you know, Elvis was culturally relevant in 2007. The levels now take on a musical aesthetic like speakers and clouds, along with the same basic platformer seen in Data Design Interactive’s other games.
You better get used to it because Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventures rarely has enemies. On the rare occasion, you come across any, you’ll club them to death with a guitar in a cloud of electronic components. That’s strange in and of itself, but even weirder knowing the enemies are mostly drums and cymbals. But when have these games made any sense?
How fitting that we end our list of the worst Nintendo Wii games with another Data Design Interactive bomb. Speaking of Nintendo, how about a shift in tone? If you want good games, you can check out the best online Wii U and 3DS games!