Download These Rare Wii U Games Before They’re Gone

Nintendo’s Wii U is known for how poorly it failed, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have some great games. While many popular exclusives have made their way to Nintendo Switch or other systems, some are only suited for the Wii U and/or its GamePad or simply haven’t made the jump to new platforms for various reasons. Now that Nintendo plans to shut down the Wii U and 3DS online store in 2023, many of these games will become much harder to play and much more expensive.

If you’re one of the 13.5 million people who own a Wii U and are wondering what to buy before the eShop closes, we recommend these five blocked games.

Affordable space adventures

While the Wii U GamePad’s dual-screen functionality was an interesting concept, few games made significant use of it. Affordable space adventures is an indie title with gameplay intrinsically tied to the GamePad. While that makes it one of the coolest games on the system, it also means that this experience wouldn’t be the same elsewhere. In Affordable space adventures, players find themselves stranded on an alien planet and explore it in a small spaceship. To complete levels and ensure the spaceship remains safe and stable, players operate various systems on the GamePad’s touch screen.

It makes the gamer feel like a pilot and shows how some gaming experiences are only possible with two screens. Affordable space adventures is a digital-only title, which means interested players should purchase it (and its DLC) soon.

Devil’s Third

Devil’s Third is not a good game; it’s downright awful. Still, it’s such a beautiful disaster that we recommend all Wii U owners play it. It follows a buff assassin named Ivan as he hunts down members of a secret organization he was part of, but it’s not like the plot is good or anything. This is an explosive, poorly constructed adventure with a dumb story and janky combat that never goes smoothly. Corn Devil’s Third think it’s so cool with its tattooed, drum-playing protagonist who looks like Vin Diesel that we can’t help but find him adorable.

Firmly So Bad It’s Good Territory It’s Amazing Nintendo Chose To Release Devil’s Third. It will forever be one of the weirdest games in Nintendo’s catalog and one that the company will probably never acknowledge again. Its multiplayer mode stopped a year after its launch, and now its single-player mode will be lost forever unless someone finds a physical copy.

Unfortunately, Devil’s Third is one of the rarest Wii U games as it had a fairly limited physical release in North America. Copies already cost $280 or more, but the eShop had remained an easy way to introduce people to the game until now. Devil’s Third won’t get even more expensive once it’s not available digitally, so those who want to experience this train wreck should get it on the eShop before the storefront closes.

Star Fox Guard

Star Fox Zero was a lackluster reboot of Nintendo’s sci-fi franchise that incorporated the GamePad with mixed results. Star Fox Guarda side game released alongside this title, makes much more exciting use of the GamePad, but also risks being lost forever.

Star Fox Guard is a tower defense game where players switch between different cameras to fight against invading robots. It features Star Fox’s favorite character Slippy Toad and looks like a unique blend of classic tower defense games like Five nights at Freddy’s and star fox. As Affordable space adventuresthis experience will likely be stuck on Wii U forever.

The game received a limited physical release alongside the first printing of Star Fox Zero, and chances are it will become very rare and valuable once the eShop closes. Until next year, it’s thankfully still available via the eShop.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

The player and their party monitor Mira with a Skell.

While Xenoblade Chronicles will soon have two numbered sequels and a remake on Nintendo Switch, a unique spin-off game is still stuck on Wii U. Sporting more realistic visuals than the rest of the series, Xenoblade Chronicles X follows a group of settlers from a destroyed Earth as they attempt to explore and establish a new society on the planet Mira.

It plays like other Xenoblade games but focuses much more on exploration and even lets players control giant robots called Skells. Xenoblade Chronicles X is the black sheep of the series but nevertheless remains an enjoyable RPG. With Xenoblade’s popularity on Nintendo Switch, it’s surprising that this title hasn’t made its way to that system yet. While the game may eventually make the leap to Nintendo’s modern console, interested players’ only option until then is to purchase Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U before March 2022.

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

Mario flies with a raccoon tail in Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3.

Telling someone to pick up the Wii U Virtual Console re-release of a Game Boy Advance port of a SNES remake of an NES Mario game might seem like an odd request. But this particular version of the game gives players access to bonus content that is otherwise difficult to play. With its Game Boy Advance reissue of Super Mario Bros. 3Nintendo actually added several new levels, but the only way to access them was through the Nintendo e-Reader, a malfunctioning device capable of reading cards containing game data.

The Wii U Virtual Console version allows players to access these fun levels without the need for an eReader, making it the definitive way to play this game. Boy Advance in working condition, a copy of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, an eReader, and all the necessary maps, this Wii U Virtual Console version is worth it.

Regardless of the bonus content, Super Mario Bros. 3 is a great game, and it’s a solid remake that also includes a new version of the original Mario Brothers. The situation of this game also shows how badly Nintendo is doing to preserve the games available on the Wii U Virtual Console, especially on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS consoles.

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