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Dolphin, the great emulator of the Wii and Gamecube, with its many options and many tools to bring games up to the glorious standards of today, is rife with games you need to play at least once in your life to truly grasp what you might have missed out on while playing Xbox or PlayStation 2.
Dolphin’s library is vast and extravagant, so we’ve split this article into two parts to help cover both Gamecube and Wii. This is the Wii portion, so be sure to check out what we recommend on the Gamecube as well!
Once you’ve tinkered with the bindings for the controller to a mouse or even got your Wii Remotes straight up connected via Bluetooth, Eledees/Elebits is one of the more fun point-at-the-screen games on the Wii.
A light gun game in the sense of it requiring you to point and shoot, you can wreck whole rooms with semi-realistic physics, hunt through the various levels for the little critters hiding everywhere and eventually, as I did, get way too wrapped up in the nuances of the game’s score and progression.
This is one of those buried classics on the Wii, as it came out at an awkward time where everyone was so focused on getting it out for Christmas with a copy of Wii Sports, that I think it just got lost in the mix.
But the game is genuinely good fun with a friend and playing it together as you turn entire rooms upside down to look for these things is something that the Wii actually rarely ever did.
Another launch window game, Kororinpa is a Marble Madness styled game that features cute critters to roll around and an infuriating level design. You’ll probably be best trying to map a controller with a gyroscope or something along those lines to get the most out of it and a Wii Remote is always recommended over everything else.
Kororinpa is addicting in that it isn’t too long, but getting ahold of levels to perfection is impossibly anger inducing – in the best way!
Every time you fail you know that you can do it. It’s your fault. No it’s the controller’s fault. No it’s yours again.
Whatever the case may be, this is perfect for a Dolphin emulation in 4K, especially if you can get the game running at 60fps, rather than the limited 30 on the original console.
Wario Land Shake It!!
The Wario Land series is one of my favourites. Both excellent puzzle platformers with 2 and 3, removing death from the games, to the original’s gall to try something wildly new with a character only just introduced in a prior Mario game. 4 however is where Wario finally got that incredible personality he’s known for, with a game so far out there and one of the best looking game on the Gameboy Advance, it’s a serious contender for one of my favourite games of all time.
Which is why Shake It!! needs more love. These handcrafted 2D animations, all sublimely put together in a way that I think it might have been Cuphead to usurp it for animation since it released.
It might be your typical Wario affair, with a lot of bashing into enemies and ridiculous scenarios, but it is genuinely an enjoyable game that will look great on a great big screen at a resolution it was never meant to be seen at.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Laid back fun is never something to snub your nose at, especially when it looks this good.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn is such a wonderful little game, with its easiness nothing to be scared of, as it can become a child’s favourite game – especially in two player modes.
The whole world is made from this fabric, with realistic and expected effects when you for instance, head under the trees for treasure and you can see the little lump of Kirby fumbling around.
It might not feature a lot of Kirby’s more traditional gameplay attributes, like taking and copying powers, but it does its own thing so well that it really stops being an issue more than five minutes in.
It is also impossibly cute, egregiously so. Like, the game should be arrested for being like this.
Super Paper Mario
A little well known out of everything on this list, Super Paper Mario is a bit different to the rest of the Paper Mario games, ditching a lot of the RPG mechanics in favour of the more platforming centric ones, but it still features a funny story and some twists in the formula for an overall comedic, odd game.
This game focuses on the ‘paper’ aspect, by allowing you to twist the world into a 3D version, meaning that ol’ Paper Mario can begin to slot into different places he wouldn’t usually be able to.
While the platforming isn’t the greatest Mario has seen, it is very different once you begin to morph in the various RPG elements, offering something new for those burnt out on the constant Goomba stomping.
Super Paper Mario’s script is where it really shines, as it is genuinely funny – a lot of these Mario offshoots actually are – and its fourth-wall breaking is never not going to get my sides hurting.