Action-adventure RPG for Wii?
February 16, 2010 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Action-adventure RPGs for Wii?

My wife bought us a Wii for Christmas, which is the first console I've owned since the SNES. For me, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the pinnacle of video-gaming (although I realize I have a very limited post-1992 sample). I've been playing a lot of Wii Sports, though, and made my way through most of Twilight Princess. I'd like to try some other sword-swingin' action-adventure rpgs for Wii, but I'm just not sure where to start. Fire Emblem? Arc Rise Fantasia? Rune Factory? Sword of Legendia? Tales of Symphonia? Am I on the right track with these?
posted by brozek to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (19 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Fire Emblem and Tales of Symphonia aren't sword-swinging per se but I think both are great fun.

If you'd like a scaple-wielding RPG, the Trauma Center surgery games are AWESOME. Your character doesn't get to level per se, but you do play the role of the surgeon and advance through the storyline.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:47 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

For the Virtual Console, I'd recommend Secret of Mana. You might be interested in the Monster Hunter series; I believe MH3 is coming out soon. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a nice side-scroller action-adventure RPG. Those are at least some of the few games that I've played so far that fir the description to some extent.
posted by DiamondGFX at 8:48 AM on February 16, 2010

Prince of Persia? I don't know about the Wii version but I know people who swear it's the best thing ever on the PC.
posted by Xany at 8:57 AM on February 16, 2010

Okami is supposed to be in the Zelda-style vein of gaming. I have yet to play it, but it's on my list. Super Paper Mario is an excellent action-adventure-RPG as well.

Also, the A Boy and His Blob remake is more of a puzzle-adventure than it is an RPG(no leveling or stat/ability development), but I'd still like to recommend it. It oozes cuteness, but has a nice level of challenge as well.
posted by owtytrof at 9:03 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

For a Zelda alike, I'd suggest getting Okami, which apes the series pretty well, and has a pretty amazing art style to boot.
posted by zabuni at 9:06 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you haven't had a console since SNES, I'd definitely recommend downloading The Legend of Zeldas since then - Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask - from the Virtual Console. And also, buy TLZ: Windwaker on gamecube, which is compatible with Wii. You're in for a treat!

Also, not really a RPG, but if you love Zelda, I found the Resident Evil 4 Wii experience to be strangely Zelda like in a very dark, scary way. I might be off on that recommendation, though. But it's an incredible game.
posted by visual mechanic at 9:10 AM on February 16, 2010

If you like the actual sword-swinging aspect of Twilight Princess (that is, the physical movement with the controller), your best bet is No More Heroes.
posted by Prospero at 9:24 AM on February 16, 2010

I'm actually a little disappointed in myself that I forgot Okami. Okami is absolutely worth checking out, and was one of my favorite games for the year it was released!
posted by DiamondGFX at 9:41 AM on February 16, 2010

Tales of Symphonia is wonderful and highly recommended. It has an interesting story, and the battles are in real time rather than turn-based - so it's more sword-swinging than most RPGs.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:53 AM on February 16, 2010

Seconding getting Ocarina of Time from the virtual console. That was actually the pinnacle of video gaming, although Link to the Past was a close second.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 9:59 AM on February 16, 2010

Ok, 3rd person to suggest it, but get Okami. You'll love it. It's even got the mystic-ancienty vibe as those other games. Battle includes sword flinging controls, as well as a very well implemented calligraphy mode, where you draw symbols and it affects the world.

No More Heroes is a action-adventure rpg for sure, but it's got a funky flavor that might not jive with some people. Plus nerdy-hyper-violence. If laughing in a shower of blood and gold coins spouting from the neck-turned-fountain of the enemy you just decapitated with a knock-off light saber wouldn't bother you, it's a fun play.

Non-RPG, but some of the best games for the Wii: Super Paper Mario, Super Mario Galaxy, and New Super Mario (2 player!). Yes, nintendo knows how to make a good game for the Wii, even though I had no loyalty to the mario franchise. (I was a Sega kid)

Fun, less serious games (think, hanging out with a group of friends) Trauma Center, Raving Rabbids, Wario Ware.
posted by fontophilic at 10:02 AM on February 16, 2010

the battles are in real time rather than turn-based - so it's more sword-swinging than most RPGs

Sadly (for me, your emotions may vary) I find real time battles have pretty much become the default for RPGs these days. Damn twitch kids. I actually miss the turn-based games where you can set down the controller, consider different strategies, debate them with someone close to you, and then press your buttons and go.

That said, there are some good action RPGs out there, and Okami is indeed a beautiful one. I loved it on the PS2, and its particular mechanics make it one of the few RPGs that should be a very distinct, and better, experience on the Wii than on other consoles.
posted by Naberius at 10:03 AM on February 16, 2010

The entire Gamecube catalog is compatible with the Wii, as long as you buy and hook up a Gamecube controller. Get a GC controller and get Wind Waker---it's easily my favorite Zelda game.

The Paper Mario games (the original on N64 virtual console, and the sequel on Gamecube) might be up your alley: they're fun RPGs with a timing-based battle mechanic.

You might check out Little King's Story. It's kind of a weird simulation/RTS hybrid, but the way you explore the world and gradually increase in power feels very Zelda-like to me.

I also want to put in a good word for the Metroid Prime series here: they're not RPGs, but they're probably the best thing going for the Gamecube/Wii in terms of action and adventure.

LostWinds and its sequel (available on WiiWare) are fantastic platformers with light RPG elements that make excellent and creative use of the Wii remote.

Last but not least: find a copy of Beyond Good and Evil for Gamecube. Not sword-swinging (I think the protagonist wields a staff thing mostly), but so much fun.

(This list is a bit GC heavy. The Wii hasn't really been very fertile ground for this kind of game, for whatever reason.)

Also: Arc Rise Fantasia, Sword of Legendia, and Tales of Symphonia are all turn-based JRPGs, not action games (well, for the most part), so that might not be what you're looking for. (Maybe watch some gameplay videos on Youtube before you buy to see if you're interested in that kind of gameplay.)
posted by aparrish at 10:05 AM on February 16, 2010

n'thing Tales of Symphonia & Okami
posted by pyro979 at 10:27 AM on February 16, 2010

Last but not least: find a copy of Beyond Good and Evil for Gamecube.

Oh my God, yes! I had no idea this was available for Nintendo platforms or I'd have called it out myself! Brilliant game.
posted by Naberius at 10:47 AM on February 16, 2010

be careful with okami - it seems like the port from the ps2 isn't as loving as it could have been.

i really enjoyed beyond good and evil for the first couple hours, but i hated the sneaking around part.

i put in 12+ hours on rune factory in the last 2 days. i have 30+ hours on it total. it has action battles, crafting, potion making, a deep and involved social game, and it's a farming sim. some people find it tedious. i find it amazing. just get past the first season before you throw in the towel. you gain points by doing actions - so if you want more points in cooking, you have to cook, same with sword swinging, and hammer smashing, and weapon making. i feel that it gives you great control over your character. you don't waggle controller to fight - but you can use it for farming and fishing. it also supports the classic controller.

little king's story is fun - not RPG - but i agree that the exploration feels sort of zelda-esque. and it is action instead of turn based. honestly, for the action-y RTS, i prefer the pikmins. in fact, pikmin is probably in my top 20 favorite games of all time - maybe top 10.

i could go hoarse recommending super paper mario. it's what would happen if you took an RPG and a traditional mario platformer and smooshed them together.

if you like mario 3 or mario world then you should really get super mario bros wii.
posted by nadawi at 1:54 PM on February 16, 2010

Okami is so frigging awesome. My tastes are very similar to yours and I had a lot of fun with that game; playing time is enormous and it's *beautiful*. Great game. Liked it more than Twilight princess.

I haven't played it, but I've heard mostly positive stuff about Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars. It's more adventure than action, but may be up your alley, too.
posted by smoke at 2:26 PM on February 16, 2010

Rune Factory Frontier is an amazingly good action RPG/farming game/life sim. You have a farm and also explore various dungeons around the town. There are a fair amount of townspeople to interact with (and court, if you wish). The crafting system is the best and most in-depth of any non-MMO RPG I've played. There are hundreds of items to craft - from food to potions to armor to weapons. The materials are gathered from your farm as well as the dungeons you explore. You can also tame creatures from the dungeons and have them fight alongside you or help you in your farm. The graphics are very pretty as well.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 3:26 PM on February 16, 2010

Rune Factory Frontier is essentially Harvest Moon with some traditional action RPG elements included, so it might be best to first read up on the Harvest Moon series and then ask yourself, "is this the sort of thing I would enjoy playing?" It's definitely a great game, but it might not really be what you're looking for.
posted by jal0021 at 3:34 PM on February 16, 2010

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