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Not looking for a definitive list or anything but of the most popular Wii titles, which ones require you to use a nunchuk controller?

Also, are there games that optionally allow use of the nunchuk controller?

Edit: Or to phrase this question a different way - my 3 kids will be getting a Wii for Christmas and I'd like to know if it's worthwhile getting 3 nunchuk controllers? Games they'll be interested in: Super Mario (Bros,Galaxy 1 & 2, Kart), Lego Star Wars, Zelda, ...

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Shopping/game recommendation questions are now off-topic on this site due to subjectivity(no one correct answer, "most popular" differs from person to person) and localization(not only do games and answers become less relevant as time goes on, but this needs to be updated as all the new Wii games that come out supporting a nunchuk). As a result, I'm closing this question. Please see the updated FAQ for more details on what questions are good for the site format and what questions don't work so well. –  Mana Aug 30 '11 at 0:14
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closed as not constructive by Mana Aug 30 '11 at 0:15

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4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Very many games use the nunchuk.

The Super Mario Galaxy games require the nunchuk; both are very popular.

Mario Kart Wii can be played with a whole host of control schemes, though I feel that nunchuk + Wiimote is one of the more accurate ways to play. One of the schemes is the standalone Wiimote (with optional steering wheel, but it's the same scheme).

New Super Mario Bros. does not require the nunchuk, and I believe there isn't even an option to use one.

Regarding your amended question, yes, I would strongly recommend picking up at least one nunchuk. Ideally you'll want as many nunchuks as Wiimotes, however one should be enough given the games they're interested in.

Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2: 1 nunchuk max.

New Super Mario Bros.: 4 nunchuks max (thanks to Josh).

Mario Kart: 4 nunchuks max, 0 nunchuks min. Depends entirely on the way they like to play it, not worth getting more than one nunchuk for this straight off the bat. Not worth bothering with extra steering wheels either, in my opinion.

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OK - so it looks like I'll start with one nunchuk and maybe get a second if the boys get into the boxing game and start fighting each other virtually (for a change) :) –  Catch22 Nov 1 '10 at 16:47
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New Super Mario Bros does have an option to use the nunchuck and I far prefer playing with one! –  Josh Nov 1 '10 at 17:50
    
I must have missed that, then! Sounds a lot more fun as I literally can't get to grips with the standalone Wiimote. Thanks. –  Jamie Schembri Nov 1 '10 at 18:12
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Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess requires the nunchuck

Super Smash Brothers Melee has an option to use the nunchuck, and personally I prefer it.

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In addition to Jamie's answer, some of those games require two for some things.

Lego Star Wars requires a nunchuck, and you'll need two if you want the co-op play in that.

Mario Kart has the option for two although it can be done without it as (s)he stated.

I also think that Super Mario Galaxy 2 needs two nunchucks for the co-op play. The first one only uses one, but the co-op doesn't add much there, either. (Nevermind, it only uses one.)

Also, the boxing game on Wii Sports that comes with the Wii requires a Nunchuck or two if you're boxing against another human.

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I can't confirm this as it was quiet some time ago, but I played Super Mario Galaxy 2 cooperatively and, if I recall correctly, the second player could still do nothing with a nunchuck. Good call on Wii Sports' boxing. –  Jamie Schembri Nov 1 '10 at 16:33
    
Ah, you're right. I remembered that you could move and attack, but I just started up my Wii and checked. You point and use A to move to an object. –  Ullallulloo Nov 1 '10 at 16:42
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A lot of games, as stated, use the Nunchuk. Its main use is the analog stick and the extra buttons, but it also has XYZ accelerometers so you can shake and jab it. It's probably the most oft-needed extension to the basic "Wii-mote" that you can buy.

Here's a partial list of games I own that can use a Nunchuk, or require one outright. I would recommend all of these titles to anyone moderately serious about Wii gaming:

  • Wii Sports: Boxing requires one Wii-mote with Nunchuk per player, max two players simultaneously.
  • Wii Sports Resort: Archery and a couple other sports require the Nunchuk; I do not believe any of the sports that require the Nunchuk are simultaneously played, so you can get away with one Nunchuk and sharing the controller. All of the sports require the MotionPlus; you get one white add-on sleeve for a classic Wiimote with the game, and you can either buy more sleeves for Wiimotes you have, or buy the new generation of remotes with MotionPlus built in.
  • Mario Kart: Can be played with a Nunchuk or the Classic Controller attached. However, the recommended mode of play is with just the controller, with or without the Wii Wheel attachment (you get one Wheel with the game). The game keeps track of the percentage of time you use an extension controller in your Mii profile.
  • LoZ: Twilight Princess (Wii version) requires the Nunchuk outright; no way to play without it, but it's only one-player. MotionPlus is optional but recommended when you go fishing.
  • Metroid Prime 3 requires the Nunchuk for the analog stick to control Samus's movement. Again, one-player only.
  • Super Smash Bros Melee can use the Nunchuk, or you can play with just the basic Wiimote turned sideways, or attach the Classic Controller. Personally I prefer the Classic Controller for this one.

Personally, I would recommend at least two Nunchuks and at least one Classic Controller if you have two kids who play often. I would also definitely recommend getting the maximum of four Wii-motes if they plan on bringing friends over, . This should meet the controller requirements of most Wii titles, as well as allow them to play Virtual Console games from the SNES, N64, and Sega consoles. You may want more than one Classic if you buy them Super Smash Bros. Melee, or if you get hooked on the golden oldies for the Virtual Console (one Classic Controller is needed per player for SNES, N64, and most Sega console titles; most original Nintendo titles can be played with just the remote). I wouldn't go overboard though; Classics and even Nunchuks aren't needed for every game, and it can cost you more to fully load out the controllers (three extra Wii-motes, four Nunchuks and four Classics) than you spent on the Wii in the first place. Let the games they want dictate the extra controllers you get, and avoid the mess of "non-functional" extensions that just add a tennis racquet or a golf club head on to the remote. The Wii Wheel and B.O.S.S (turns the controller into a more conventional-looking gamepad) are the only two I own in this vein. If you get hooked on gallery shooters like Big Buck Hunter, or FPSes like Medal of Honor, you might consider the Wii Zapper (takes the remote and Nunchuk and turns them into a ray gun controller).

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