6th - Little King's Story
Release Date: July 21st, 2009
The Nintendo Wii clearly did not receive the same level of third-party support that the other consoles of the same generation did. Given how its hardware paled in comparison to what the 360 and the Playstation 3 housed, the system had to rely on a good collection of titles that understood the system for what it was, and tried to build games specially for it. Little King's Story is the finest third-party game to hit the system, and even though it does not take advantage of motion controls and barely makes use of the Wiimote's fantastic pointer, the game enchants with its unique look at medieval society, approaching it with a lot of humor and occasionally highlighting the brutality and lack of enlightenment of that era with a touch of child-like fantasy. The result is a game that has complete cohesion in its theme, blending the imagination of a kid with loads of hunger for power and totalitarianism.
The game draws obvious comparisons to Pikmin. After all, you control the leader of an army that sends his minions to deadly danger while exploring a realm and battling many foes. However, despite the fact that Little King's Story is technically rawer than Pikmin, for it does have some camera issues; the game is much bigger, bolder and better than Miyamoto's creation ever was. It is not a copy, it is a significantly more engaging improvement. Everything about the game is enormous: there are dozens of boss battles, more citizen classes than a king can keep track of, huge number of sidequests that extends gameplay to over forty hours, an enormous variety of enemies, eight other kings to defeat, plenty of room for the expansion of your own kingdom, many collectibles and even seven loving wives, each with their own hobbies that must be satisfied.
Games that are this ambitious are awfully rare to come across, and when all of the pieces fall into place nicely, we end up with game that is extremely addictive, and funny without trying too hard. The world in Little King's Story is a huge contradiction between its watercolor palette and the mature themes it touches upon in a seemingly naive way. Life as a king may look like paradise to some, but Little King's Story reveals it to be a whole lot of work, and politics, whether you are sitting on your chair reading the complaints and compliments on the kingdom's suggestion box, collecting taxes by sending soldiers into citizens' houses when the treasury is in a dire state or just trying to chill with your wives as they pamper you with compliments only for them to later ask for you to perform some tough deeds. Life as a king is tough, but it is a whole lot of fun.