After a couple of shaky years, the Wii U has stopped treading water and started fighting back hard, reminding gamers that it already boasts a fantastic lineup of great games. This trend is set to continue throughout the rest of the year, resulting in a slate that's relatively slim on quantity but utterly sensational in terms of potential quality.
So without further ado, here are the Wii U's exclusive highlights with release dates and links to our on-site coverage where possible!
Hyrule Warriors | September 19th
Bringing Zelda characters into Dynasty Warriors is risky business, but Nintendo are rigorously putting the incredibly inconsistent Omega Force through their paces and watching their every move. What we've seen so far looks like simple satisfying fun, and what Matt played cemented our opinion.
"If Hyrule Warriors can manage to borrow as much from Hyrule as it can from the Warriors series, then we might just see a Warriors game that proves to be something a bit special here, rather than a novelty paint job," he wrote. "I had fun, though; I can say that." Fingers crossed.
Bayonetta 2 | October
Bayonetta is still the benchmark for brawlers, both in terms of peerlessly fluid mechanics, fun factor and distinctive art direction. Very few games have even come close.
The sequel, then, is making us positively salivate with anticipation... and it still looks as bonkers and brilliant as ever. Matt even bought a Wii U just to play it!
Yes, we're massive Platinum fanboys here, seeing as I originally bought mine for The Wonderful 101. What of it?
Stealth Inc. 2 | October
Stealth Inc. (or Stealth Bastard as it was originally known and we much prefer to call it) was an utterly superb platform hybrid that delivered some of the most brutal, tactical and true stealth gameplay we've seen from the last generation. Curve Studios shocked the gaming world when they announced that the sequel will be a Wii U exclusive, and we can't wait to see how it turns out.
Featuring expanded stealth gameplay, challenge rooms linked by a MetroidVania overworld, cooperative play and a vastly enlarged scale, Stealth Inc. 2 is very much on our radar.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker | Q4 2014
Nintendo's big Christmas spinoff might seem a bit limited at first glance, seeing as it's basically just a massively expanded version of Toad's bonus stages from Super Mario 3D World, but that's not doing it justice.
"It's an incredibly "Nintendo" game in so many ways -- thoughtful and cerebral in design, stuffed with charm and whimsy in terms of presentation, and exploratory in terms of interacting with a world", reads our hands-on preview. "Treasure Tracker works because of Toad's limitations and is all the better for it -- a familiar-but-fresh puzzler that'll make a fine addition to the Wii U's lineup later this year." Crisp visuals and clever puzzles make for a massive potential sleeper hit.
Super Smash Bros | Q4 2014
No tripping. Sold.
Though we're seriously excited about the upcoming 3DS version, Smash is all about getting four mates together around a single telly and an irresponsibly unhealthy pizza. Smash is an institution and it's about time too.