It's obvious that Nintendo is going to support the Wii. After much speculation as to how the controller works (for the record: sensors placed in front of the TV detect the controller's motion, while internal sensors detect its tilt and yaw), many often speculate as to how one will use it, or who will support it. After all, what good is a console without third-party development?
That is where this list comes in. This, we are hoping, will be the definitive list of titles that showcase the Wii's unique controller. We will be constantly updating this list with new titles and new information regarding listed titles. Sure, some lists out there are longer, but those lists are full of untitled projects with no information about the game whatsoever. We hope to provide you some tangible evidence of Wii titles and not just verbal commitments or praises by the developer community.
This list will be presented alphabetical by game title. A few of the developers we've listed are independent and still lack a publisher; we have provided below (when possible) outlets by which publishers can contact these firms.
Here is a list of speculated titles for the Wii (as of May 2nd).
Without further ado, on with the list. All in all, 14 third-party developers have commited a grand total of 14 exclusive titles (and 2 non-exclusive titles promising to use the controller in unique ways) to the Wii. It's no launch lineup, but it is a start:
Game Title: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
Developer: Tokyo, Japan-based Spike
History with Nintendo: Minimal; Spike has released a handful of Nintendo DS games but mostly focuses on PlayStation 2 titles for Japan only.
About the Game: In a press release from April 24th, Budokai Tenkaichi 2 will be an action game with fighting and RPG elements, featuring "intense 3D flying and fighting dynamic and takes it to a whole new level with over 100 playable characters, 15 vast and vibrant 3D destructible environments, and nine different game modes, including single and multiplayer battles."
Using the Controller: Players will recreate moves via hand movements. One example cited in the press release is Goku's Kamehameha, "moving both hands to execute this devastating energy attack." So does this mean each player will use two controllers?
Release Date: Holiday season 2006
Game Title: Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Wii [tentative title]
Developer: Tokyo, Japan-based Square Enix
History with Nintendo: Once the mainstay of all its Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest titles, Square and Enix both moved to the Sony PlayStation after its release. Now merged into one super company, Square contributed one title to the GameCube, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Square Enix is currently bringing a number of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Mana titles to the Nintendo DS.
About the Game: Very little is known about the title, except that there is also a sequel coming out for the Nintendo DS. We suspect some connection between the two.
Using the Controller: Square Enix president Youichi Wada said the game would feature "online capabilities, magnificent graphics, and an intense use of the revolutionary control of the platform." In other words, currently unknown.
Release Date: Unknown, despite a rumored 2007 release.
Game Title: Elebits
History with Nintendo: Extensive; Konami has published and developed hundreds of titles for Nintendo, dating back to the beginning.
About the Game: Produced by Shingo Mukaitouge (Guitar Freaks & Drum Mania series), the game features the new Elebit creatures. Players will explore the game world, hunting these Pikmin-like characters, which actually serve as an energy source for the movement of the game world. The name Elebit is derived from "electricity" and "bit" (as in "tiny") - 'tiny power-charged creatures.'
Using the Controller: No specifics are given, but Mukaitouge said his goal is to give players the sensation of actually touching the game world, of manipulating the objects to find things.
Release Date: Unknown; will be shown at E3.
Game Title: Flight Game [tentative title]
Developer: Japan-based Hudson Entertainment
History with Nintendo: Extensive; they are responsible for all of the Mario Party titles and the Bomberman series. During his keynote speech at GDC 2006, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed that the "best" titles from the TurboGrafx, Hudson's former console, would be available for download via the Virtual Console.
About the Game: Announced via an e-mail sent to those attending E3 2006, not much is known about the actual game except that the title will allow "total plane control as players pilot their planes through various acrobatic flight maneuvers ranging from sky artistry to bomb drops." Our guess, given Hudson's relation to Nintendo franchises, is that it might be the often rumored sequel to Pilotwings.
Using the Controller: The description stated that the title would use the Wii's "Gesture System."
Release Date: Unknown, but it is debuting at E3 this year.
Game Title: The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross
Developer: AGFRAG Entertainment Group. According to an e-mail from own Joseph Hatcher, everything is currently being moved from San Jose, CA to Kodak, TN.
History with Nintendo: None
About the Game: The game was announced in March 2006 press release by Bob Ross, Inc. The game is currently scheduled for release on the PC, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii. The game is still in the design phase.
Using the Controller: Currently unknown, but we are predicting a scenario where one uses the controller as a paintbrush (or a spray can). Said Hatcher, "to remain competitive with our products, we can't share that information at this time. Control will be intuitive and easy. Watch the Bob Ross TV shows, and you'll start to put two and two together."
Release Date: Unknown; no publisher has been announced. Any interested publishers and / or investors should contact AGFRAG at jhatcher [at] agfrag.com.
Game Title: Madden NFL 2007 [tentative title]
History with Nintendo: Extensive, contributing a plethora of games for every console in existence (including Nintendo's) -- you name it, EA's been there.
About the Game: The Madden franchise has more or less defined the video football genre with its realism and annual updates. Love 'em or hate 'em, having a Madden game on your console is an initiation rite (although wii still long for the return of Mutant League Football ... but wii digress). This version of Madden, however, will not be a port of the PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 versions. Online play is being planned.
Using the Controller: EA's John Schappert gave an example of some of the controls in a recent IGN interview: you snap the ball by jerking up on the freehand controller, select a receiver using the D-pad / A button, while how you swing the controller relays the intensity of the pass. Juking is done via quick movements with the "nunchaku" attachment, as well as movement using the nunchaku's joystick.
Release Date: Expected to be a launch title.
Game Title: Orb
Developer: Crossbeam Studios, located primarily in the "North-West Chicago suburbs," with offices coming soon.
History with Nintendo: None; (independent developer)
About the Game: According to an interview with Total Gamer Zone, "Orb follows three students on a quest to save their abducted teacher, at least that's what it is if you boil it down to it's very basic motivations. The world however is very rich in history, culture, and traditions. there's a lot of magic, and weapons and myth and lore."
Using the Controller In an e-mail exchange with Joystiq, Orb director Greg Szemiot wrote that "I want to try and push the immersion of the world, I want people to be able to pick up an object, inspect it, look at it from any angle, just by turning it in their hands. We're been doing some brainstorming and such and have been working out plans for new camera systems and new ways to look at games than the normal first person and standard third person views. We've also been looking into the player interacting with the game world on a whole new level.. we've even begun thinking of how to move the player and really simplify control schemes."
Release Date: Unknown; the prototype will be shown at E3. Crossbeam is also planning other projects -- Thorn, Darkness, and Orb 2 -- but production will not start until Orb is released. Any publishers interested should contact Crossbeam Studios at publisher_info [at] crossbeamstudios.com.
Game Title: Raid Over the River
Developer: Poland-based NiBRIS
History with Nintendo: None
About the Game: As David McBride, an alcoholic former air force pilot, you must defeat an evil sect known as "Molayarius" through 10 missions spanning different regions and different time periods. The Revolution Report has a full write-up on the game. The game is being developed exclusively for the Nintendo DS and Wii.
Using the Controller: Unknown; likely the tilt of the controller will determine the tilt of your plane, or perhaps the cross hairs of a rotating gun turret on screen.
Release Date: Unknown, but will appear at this year's E3.
Game Title: Rayman Raving Rabbids
Developer: Ubisoft; helmed by Michel Ancel
About the Game: According to Ancel, the world of Rayman "has been invaded by thousands of raving mad and vicious bunnies, who have apparently been preparing this assault since the very first Rayman game. We are now sending an SOS to all motivated gamers to help us get rid of them as fast as possible!" This title is also coming out for other current and next-generation consoles.
Using the Controller: One picture shows super-goth-kid controlling the character (sitting on top of a spider) by rotating the controller; the caption promises that many other creatures can be controlled in similar manner.
Release Date: Holidays 2006; will be shown at E3
Game Title: Red Steel
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
History with Nintendo: Extensive; the Paris branch of Ubisoft has previously developed the multi-platform titles XIII, 187 Ride or Die, and King Kong.
About the Game: Unveiled in the May 2006 issue of Game Informer, Red Steel is a first-person shooter exclusive to the Wii that revolves around an American man who plans to marry the daughter of a Japanese Yakuza boss. Trouble arises when a warring Yakuza lord kidnaps the bride-to-be in order to obtain her father's ceremonial katana (hence the title). Your job is to find your fiancee and bring to justice the kidnapper by gaining the support of other crime syndicates.
Using the Controller: The game will utilize the "nunchaku" attachment of the Wii controller to move around. The player can use the controller to push objects (pushing the controller forward), reloading (pulling backwards), and the gun you are holding will twist accordingly with the twists of the controller. The game is reported to also allow you to equip a katana and lob grenades (underhand or overhand, relative to how you move the controller). The game starts out promoting reckless violence, but later emphasizes more precise aiming as you grow more comfortable using the controller.
Release Date: Confirmed as launch title.
Game Title: Sadness
Developer: Poland-based NiBRIS
About the Game: A psychological game the developer hopes will "scare not with the amount of blood but with sheer atmosphere. Imagine a game in which you do not use guns or knives but you will have to protect yourself with the objects you find exploring the ground -- a stone, a stick, etc" (from the IGN interview). The game will be presented in black & white.
Using the Controller: From to the same interview, "Some examples of using the controller - you swing a torch with it to scare the rats off; you slit the throat (controller as a piece of glass or a knife); if you want to climb the wall you will have to hook a rope over the piece of a wall sticking out (controller serving as a lasso). And this is only the beginning."
Release Date: Unknown; will not be shown at E3.
Game Title: Skatto Golf Pangya Wii
Developer: Korean-based Ntreev Soft; published by Tecmo
History with Nintendo: None; Tecmo did not support the GameCube, but has contributed a number of titles to the NES, SNES, Nintendo DS, and both Game Boys.
About the Game: Pangya is a casual online golf game for the PC that was free to download and play, but cost money for virtual property such as clothing and equipment. The Wii version will feature updated graphics; according to the latest Famitsu, the Wii version will focus on the offline experience, while still allowing for downloadable content.. This title has not been announced for other consoles, so for now it is an exclusive third-party game.
Using the Controller: Tecmo producer Keisuke Kikuchi (Fatal Frame) believes that players will enjoy moving their bodies for the game -- will we be required to stand up and "swing" the controller? Kikuchi also noted that a more standard, button-based control scheme is in the works.
Release Date: Confirmed as launch title for Japan.
Game Title: Spider-Man 3
Developer: unknown; published by Activision
History with Nintendo: Activison's involvement with Nintendo has been extensive, providing dozens of title (including the Tony Hawk series) for each of Nintendo's consoles.
About the Game: Nothing is known; based on the 3rd Spider-Man film (whose 2nd villain is still unknown). According to an article on WiiSpot.com, the game has been promised to be different than the Xbox 360 and PS3 titles; the previous Spider-Man game featured Grand Theft Auto-style gameplay.
Using the Controller: Unknown, but promised to use controller in unique way -- web slinging, perhaps?
Release Date: May 2007; will be announced (and possibly shown) at E3.
Game Title: Sunder: Land of Divide
Developer: LifeSpark Studios
History with Nintendo: None; founded this year by Derek Sarbou and Kenton Bailey of Playbomb.
About the Game: According to an interview with Zogdog, Sunder will be an MMO that may have a single-player campaign. Sunder itself is a hollowed out planet, allowing for two cultures to form -- one on the surface and one inside the planet. Needless to say, the two cultures eventually collide and some fighting breaks out.
Using the Controller: The entire control scheme is mapped out here. Some of the freehand movement suggestions include "gesture, thrust, twist, drop, lift ... choke, hold, greet, spin, flip, pet, knock, wave, salute," etc.
Release Date: Unknown; the title is currently just a concept and lacks a publisher.
Game Title: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
History with Nintendo: Extensive; aside from that whole rivalry back when consoles were measured in bits (8-bit, 16-bit, etc.) Sega and Nintendo were competitors. After the Dreamcast met its unfortunate demise, Sega became a third-party developer and made quite a few titles on the GameCube, including the original Super Monkey Ball.
About the Game: The primary aspect of all Monkey Ball titles is to roll your encased monkey around a twisty maze with a bottomless pit (think: Marble Madness). Another feature known to the Monkey Ball series is its collection of mini-games: Banana Blitz is no exception (although the details of these games have yet to be revealed). Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi promises more mini-games this time around than ever before.
Using the controller: For the main game, Nagoshi describes the gameplay: "instead of tilting the controller lever, players will be tilting the controller itself to tilt the game board. I'm sure you will realize how perfectly this operation matches the game."
Release Date: Unknown; will be shown at E3.
Game Title: Tony Hawk: Downhill Jam
Developer: Toys for Bob
History with Nintendo: Minimal; Toys for Bob is known for its acclaimed Star Control series, but has only developed two titles for Nintendo (both on GameCube): Madagascar and Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure (the latter of which received fairly decent reviews).
About the Game: If you do not know about the Tony Hawk series, then you have been living under a rock. Just in case you are an ascetic, the basic premise of the game will be to skate around and pull off cool tricks. This version is more of a racing game. According to the June 2006 edition of Nintendo Power, Downhill Jam "will incorporate four-player split-screen multiplayer, eight new racers, as well as eight environments modeled after real-world locations, including Machu Picchu in the Andes and the hills of San Francisco."
Using the Controller: Also from the Nintendo Power magazine, "by using the Revolution controller's motion-sensitivity, racers will be able to turn and boost without touching a button. The game will also feature button combinations to pull off tricks that recall the controls for the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Tony Hawk's Underground titles."
Release Date: Unknown; will likely be shown at E3.
[update 1: Just to clarify, this is a list of third-party titles (i.e. not by Nintendo, Retro, Camelot, etc.) that we have some information on (since, for example, Trauma Center Wii has only been recently announced as existing, we are not going to add the game until we can actually put more information regarding its development). This list will be constantly expanding and will receive major updates before, during, and after E3.][update 2: Cleared up some language. So as not to "cop out," we will be including non-exclusive third-party software, but not until we have some tangible information on them -- something more than just an announcement. This list will likely be updated almost daily, so we do not feel that this is a premature feature as it will be expanded on a regular basis when new information arises.]
[update 3: Added Pangya Golf and updated Orb; yet again updated introductory paragraphs]
[update 4: Added Dragonball Z]
[update 5: Added Tony Hawk; awaiting some more info on SpongeBob and Avatar]
[update 6: clarified what Downhill Jam is about -- thanks, balohna]
[update 7: updated Pangya Golf; added Monkey Ball and Elebits]
[update 8: added Madden, renamed all Rev's to Wii's -- new graphic coming soon!]
[update 9: New graphic!]
[update 10: cleaned up the formatting]
[update 11: added new information regarding Madden Wii]
[update 12: added Rayman and Spider-Man 3 titles; tentative list of all Wii titles]