The alternative 2008 Wii awards

We here at TVGB enjoy our Wiis, and while the little white box of waggle (Is that getting cliche yet?) has its problems it also has a lot of great stuff going for it. Though looking at Spike’s VGAs you wouldn’t know it. If it doesn’t have a gun and a way to make someone’s arm fall off than it isn’t a game of the year it seems. That’s why we’ve developed our own Alternative Wii Awards, the AWAs. Credit has got to be given to the underpowered console for some of its greatest achievements and biggest failures and where Spike TV cuts the slack, TVGB is there to pick it up.

So let’s skip over the best Wii game (Ed. No More Heroes, I tell you!) and dive into the things people really care about like how out of touch Reggie can be and where Wii Music truly sits in the patheon of things to get angry about at E3.

Most unassumingly brilliant game
Boom Blox

Has there ever been a game that’s been more hampered by its lack of style than Boom Blox? Even its cover and advertising suggest a title that it’s an alternative take on Jenga as opposed to one of the best games released on the Wii this year. From the ingenious level design to the unique use of the Wii remote, Boom Blox deserved more ambition from its artists too. With neither the sparse modernism of the Art Style games nor the hand-crafted excellence of World of Goo, EA helped Boom Blox get overlooked when it should have been anything but. Hopefully the much rumored sequel will place as much emphasis on style as it does level design.

Most cringe-worthy moment
Wii Music demo at E3

Along with Animal Crossing: City Folk, Wii Music was Nintendo’s big title for the holiday season, so it made sense that they wanted to demo it at E3 this year. What didn’t make sense was the over-enthusiastic and poorly performed rendition of the Mario theme tune that Nintendo hoped would sell the game to the public. All it did was confirm in many people’s minds that the whole project was out of date and out of touch. A shame since the actual software (it’s not really a game is it?) ended up being quite good, and a bit of cult hit – albeit a multi-million selling one.

Most poorly conceived game
Castlevania Judgment

The thinking behind this title seemed to be to alienate as many people as possible in one shot. The strategy against traditional gamers? To take one of their most cherished series, turn it into a waggle-heavy beat ’em up with androgynous male characters that apparently have a taste for a little S&M. The strategy against the expanded audience? A beat ’em with characters they’ve likely never heard of or seen before. Konami, who was this game for, and why was it given the green light?

Best comeback
Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip

There is no other publisher that has done more to affirm the Wii’s status as a console for casual gamers than Ubisoft. With games like Petz: *insert cuddly animal here* and Imagine Party Babyz, the company has waged an unerring campaign of hate against the letter ‘z’ and traditional gamers on the Wii. Which made it all the more surprising when Shaun White Snowboarding turned up. A title that used the Balance Board well, had great graphics and was actually better on the Wii than on the HD platforms. To top it all off, it’s been selling best on Wii too. Surely there’s some sort of mistake here?