While most of the gaming world is abuzz with tomb raiding and wasteland wandering, there are other titles out today. One is the NIS America-published Rodea the Sky Soldier.

Developed by Prope, Ltd. and Kadokawa Games, the title was originally in the works for Wii before the Wii U and 3DS versions became a priority. Today, developer Yuji Naka of NiGHTS Into Dreams fame shared something peculiar via Twitter.

Rodea the sky soldier will be released today in North America! ! Please play the Wii version. http://nisamerica.com/games/rodea-the-sky-soldier/ 

The Wii version comes with first-run copies of the game for Wii U. When we saw this, we thought Naka might be urging people to play the last-generation version instead of the Wii U edition. Further research suggests he simply doesn’t want you to miss the Wii version because it offers something the other editions don’t.

In a developer interview posted on Nintendo’s website in October, Naka and game director Jin Hasegawa directly address what sets Rodea the Sky Soldier apart when playing on Wii. “The key point about the Wii version is the direct flying action experience that players can enjoy with one Wii Remote,” Hasegawa says. “With the sense of speed where players can’t even take a breather, it’s almost as if players can experience something similar to an arcade game. The Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions are an adventure flying action game that players can take their time with and enjoy.”

Naka confirms that the Wii version also features a different mechanism for traversing and a multiplayer mode. “The Wii version’s biggest element is the fact that players can freely fly through the skies directly with the Wii Remote,” Naka says. “Since it’s a control that nobody has ever experienced before, some may hesitate at first, but once they get the hang of it, players will be able to feel the freedom of flying through the skies and experiencing unity with Rodea to the fullest. The loading time is also short so players will be able to play the game at a brisk tempo. Also, in the Wii version, there is a bonus element where up to four players can race each other. Definitely try playing with your friends and family.”

It seems Naka wants fans who end up with a Wii copy of the game to spend a bit of time with it. Now we know why NIS made the effort to package the Wii version with the HD iteration.

[Source: Yuji Naka on Twitter, Nintendo]

Our Take
If you are interested in Rodea the Sky Soldier, nabbing one of those first-run copies has a bit more meaning with this understanding. It’s interesting to know that the Wii version isn’t just a casual inclusion, it’s deliberate as part of the game’s history, offering a unique experience.

the author Mike Futter