Rodea the Sky Soldier is a game with a bit of a troubled development history.
Rodea the Sky Soldier is a third person platformer where you fly through each level, collecting stars and fighting robotic enemies. Brainchild of Yuji Naka, this game shares more than a little in common with the creator’s other works, Sonic the Hedgehog and Nights into Dreams. While released on the Wii U and 3DS earlier this month, the game was initially developed for the original Nintendo Wii. In fact, back in 2012 the game was complete.
However, the game’s publisher, Kadokawa Shoten, chose not to release it. By 2013, the game was still in limbo — though with a 3DS port in the works by another team. It wasn’t until last November that it was announced that Rodea the Sky Soldier would be getting a second chance at life on the Wii U.
But what about the game’s original Wii version? Well, it has gotten its own second chance at life. All first-run copies of the game in Japan come with a special bonus: the Wii version of Rodea the Sky Soldier complete with its own box and manual.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the two versions of the game is how differently they play. Though the story and level design remain largely the same, the Wii version uses motion controls while the Wii U version uses a far more standard control layout. In a 2013 Polygon interview, Naka worried that the free flying feeling of the game wouldn’t be preserved without using the Wiimote — and from the time I’ve spent with both versions of the game, I’d have to agree that those fears were well founded.
While the game is certainly playable on the Wii U, it is much more fast-paced and flowing on the Wii. To put it another way, this is a game where the pre-order bonus may be superior to the retail game.
Rodea the Sky Soldier was released in Japan on the Nintendo Wii U (with the Wii version included as a bonus) and 3DS on April 2, 2015. It is currently scheduled for a Western release on September 25, 2015, for the Wii U.