Holiday Videogame Guide 2010: Wii

The "must-have" gift as recently as last year, commotion over Nintendo's Wii quieted down over this year. The best part of that may be that if you waited, the console can now be readily had and in some cases will be featured in holiday sales. The console now comes with the improved Remote Plus which includes the Motion Plus add-on that improved the sensitivity of the original controller. The Remote Plus is available separately but the bundle pack pairing it with the new FlingSmash games offers a deal that's hard to beat.

This year also brought another wave of new versions of Nintendo favorites to the Wii library. Our gift guide includes a selection of games that make great companions for the system whether you already have one or plan it as a new addition too.

Super Mario Galaxy 2
For: Anyone who enjoys a good smile, whether young, or young at heart
Garnett says: Mario needs no introduction. Nintendo's iconic plumber has been adventuring for over a decade across every game machine they've made, and then some. Like its predecessor, Galaxy 2 is in 3D, filled with all sorts of spherical and cylindrical worlds for Mario to traverse.

There's plenty of challenge to be had, if you want it, but the game does an excellent job of letting everyone have fun with it regardless of their skill. When it recognizes that you're struggling a unique system kicks in to hold your hand and help get past the tough part. On the other hand, collecting all the stars in the game will keep even the most dedicated player busy for a good while. Our Mario Galaxy 2 review takes a closer look at the game.

Metroid: Other M
For: Anyone who can roll themselves into a ball
Xav says: Metroid is probably my favorite video game franchise of all time. The legendary Samus Aran continues her deep space adventures in Other M, a game developed by Team Ninja. Although the latest game in the series doesn't hit the same high-points as previous installments--as outlined in my review--Metroid: Other M packs a great adventure. If the Wii fan this game is being purchased for is looking for a world to explore, secrets to unlock, and space pirates to destroy then this is the game to buy.

Also, if you can find it, make sure to check out the Metroid Prime Trilogy, which packs the first two GameCube games in the Prime series (with added motion control) and the last (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption) into one fantastic package.

Kirby's Epic Yarn
For: Gamers looking for something fun to play cooperatively with loved ones who don't normally play games, parents looking for something they can play with their kids, and those looking for an incredibly relaxing experience with amazing visuals.
Jeff says: Because everyone likes Kirby. Seriously though, despite Epic Yarn's move-right-to-win simplicity, it's nearly impossible to play without smiling. The unique, yarn-based aesthetics make the game immediately compelling, and though Kirby still uses his shape-shifting shenanigans, the controls are very accessible. Core gamers can still test themselves with finding hidden collectibles and gathering the most beads, but the game's "no dying" ethos ensures that even the most casual player will be able to progress through a story that's so cute and sweet, it should come with a free vial of insulin.

Donkey Kong Country Returns
For: Equally appealing to nostalgic fans of the original and a new generation alike
Brian says: Platforming fans will find a bit more of a challenge in this Wii title over Kirby's Epic Yarn and Retro has done a great job evoking the style and enjoyment of Rare's original SNES classic. While the game isn't that long, the levels are all unique and distinctive and getting to 100% completion will be a tough journey. It supports two-player co-operative play and packs enough nostalgia to keep fans of Donkey Kong Country going, while introducing the franchise to a whole new audience. See our Donkey Kong Country review for a deeper look at the game.

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