In this weekly column, we’ll be selecting inexpensive, discarded titles from still playable consoles for your perusal. They may be games you’ve heard of and remember playing, or they may be games that have flown completely off of your radar. Just know that we love them and they’re available on the cheap. That’s a bonafide win/win situation.
If you have any favorite titles that you consider hidden gems, let us know in the comments below and we might feature your pick in the weekly column.
Wario Land: Shake It
Original Release: July 24th, 2008
If pressed to recall one extremely under-appreciated title during this current console generation, I’ll likely name Wario Land: Shake It among my top choices. This Wii game is outstanding. The art direction, the music, the gameplay and the goofy storyline are all exceptionally well executed. It’s too bad the game released to a sour-side-of-mediocre sales performance. Odds are, you’ve never played this one.
Wario Land: Shake It is a 2D sidescroller that tasks gamers with platforming to one side of the level while hunting out collectibles and overcoming obstacles. Then, and this is where this game is unique, Wario’s forced to dash his way out of the level as fast as possible. The obstacles you were once made to clear are now aids in your escape, making you dash faster or leap further and, thus, decreasing your fleeing time.
The game is rich with collectibles and an easygoing charm that never wears off. Perhaps the only downfall of the experience is the motion control portion itself. Nintendo built this Wario property around the concept of shaking the Wii remote … constantly. You’ll shake, shake and shake some more. It gets repetitive and tiresome before it ever reaches any noticeable level of fun.
But, still, the game is stellar for what it is. Wario Land: Shake It typically sells for under $20 used. If you’re looking for a Wii game that you might have missed, this is a great one to start with.
Be sure to check out our ever-growing list of Hidden Gems.