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Posts tagged ‘wii’

Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Nintendo – Nintendo Wii

When E3 aired online last year, I know Nintendo fanboys like myself went nuts over some of the titles that were being previewed. This excitement only got stronger when we saw that a lot of the titles were coming out before the year’s end (Zelda didn’t though… boo.) This was one of those games. My first impression of it just watching the video: awesome. After beating it, I feel no less.

The game stars our wonderful pink pile of puff in yet another adventure where he is helping out his friends from impending doom. This time, however, it is not King Dedede that is terrorizing Dream Land, but a new threat by the name of Yin-Yarn, an evil sorcerer of sorts from the world of Patch Land. Frustrated with Kirby’s attempt to eat his Max Tomato, Yin Yarn sucks Kirby up into a sock… and turns him to yarn!

I know, epic right? The storyline is absolutely adorable though. It is narrated like a children’s storybook, and you cannot help but grin every time the narrator tries to get angry. He uses his own voice to make the voices of all the characters while telling the story, and it brings you back to the days when your teachers read the books for you. The story does not lack though. It has, albeit a simple, beginning, middle and end as it should, and it is not broken in the least.

With Kirby’s new look comes so many opportunities for Nintendo to make Kirby look adorable, and boy, did they nail it on the head. From turning into a mini-submarine while swimming, to changing into a parachute while gliding, each and every form that Kirby possesses is absolutely squee-worthy. But enough with the aesthetics. Onward to the nitty gritty!

The game itself is solid. I couldn’t find a single fault in how it is laid out and played whatsoever. The objective of each stage is simple: run through the stage, collecting as many beads as possible, find two hidden patches, and a music CD in each stage (assuming you’re looking to get 100%). You don’t ever die in the game. Jumping off a cliff, however will force a fairy to come pick you up out of the hole, dropping all of your hard earned beads back into it. Receiving ‘damage’ will also make your beads explode all over the place. You can pick them back up for a limited time, but they fade away rather quickly. Kirby cannot fly in this game, but it adds a new level of difficulty to the game. Gone are the days when you can simply coast in the sky from beginning to end and complete a stage. Besides, you’ll be too busy collecting beads on the ground, swinging your yarn around like a whip to worry about flying.

Musically, the game impresses me on every level. Each stage has it’s own track (that can be collected, as mentioned above) to listen to at any time in the game, and it is one of the most beautiful OSTs I’ve heard in such a long time. Each song is perfect for the stage your playing, completely setting the mood for how the stage is supposed to feel. Music is very important to me in a game, for an annoying soundtrack can cause you to lose your patience quickly. I can assure you that the only time you notice the music is when you realise just how awesome it is, and continue to sing the songs well after you stop playing. It feels like old SNES music in terms of likability, but with today’s technology, if that makes sense.

Graphically, the game looks exactly how it should. The colors are vibrant, and the stage interaction with the whole ‘yarn’ feel is awesome. Some of the points in the game (like when you unzip the background) just leave you with your mouth open at how cool it looks. Moments like that make you have to think of things on a new level.

The multi player feature is actually a step above what it has been in the previous games. Multi player does consist of you playing as Prince Fluff, the Prince of Patch Land as you would with any other Kirby game. The Prince has all the same moves and abilities as Kirby does, and functions exactly the same. Where they took the step above is when you obtain the patches to transform Kirby into the super transformations. For example, in single player, Tank Kirby can move his head up and down, and shoot missiles from his mouth. With a second player, you can now swing the tank arm around, allowing for extra damage at melee range. There are nine total transformations all together (if I remember correctly) and each one has a little quirk like that between single and multi player.

The re-playability of the game is sort of non-existent if you received 100%. I haven’t really found a reason to pick it back up other than to show people the cuteness, or if they were interested in seeing it. I don’t know if it will live up to Kirby Superstar in that aspect, at least in my own opinion. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pick it up though.

Overall, the game is a great game, and they took the old formula, added a little jazz to it, and reinvented the wheel with a bigger, stronger tire. This is how these games should be done, honestly: preserving the old style by adding new-age game play twists with it. If you’re a fan at all of Nintendo, or even own a Wii, I would highly recommend adding this game to anyone’s collection.

Rating:
9.5 / 10.0

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Metroid: Other M – Nintendo/Team Ninja – Nintendo Wii

Seeing previews for this game brought along a lot of mixed reactions. I was happy and scared at the same time. Here they were making a game that was side scrolling again, just as I have always loved them, but I saw elements of FPS and the only thing I could think was “Oh God, I hope they don’t screw this up.” The franchise isn’t bad anymore, but it certainly isn’t what it used to be. I guess for the kind of gamer I am, this could be said about a lot of different game franchises. This game didn’t completely disappoint, but it certainly was no Super Metroid like I was hoping it was to be. As a matter of fact, when I first beat the game I was 100% satisfied, but in retrospect, I realise the more I think about it, the more disappointed I was.

The game takes place directly after Super Metroid. There are a lot of references in the story from Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion, so if you haven’t played one or both, please jump off a brid- .. that is get yourself copies of each and play them. They’ll be worth your time alone. Unfortunately, after you have played them I’m afraid that this game will simply not live up to them at all.

You play the game about 90% in a third person view. This way, the controls are fluid, and simple. There’s really nothing you can say bad about them, because they are as easy as the NES. Running, jumping and shooting all done on the D-pad and two buttons (the wiimote is held sideways). Where things get a little fishy is the FPS part of the game. To access it, you must turn the wiimote and point it at the screen. This usually causes issues, because you point it and Samus immediately starts looking up, or to the side, or whichever way she feels like it while your wiimote figures out where it is on the screen. You’ll find that you have to get into this mode to shoot missiles too, because you can’t do it any other way. A bit of a downer, but what can you do?

Throughout the game, you gain access to your abilities not by finding them, but by being given permission to use them by a certain character in the game. Really? Samus is supposed to be this extremely awesome bounty hunter who works on her own will, doing as she pleases, and in this game she has to ask permission to use her weapons? Kinda weak if you ask me. At least you still have to find energy tanks and missile upgrades. Speaking of, each missile upgrade only gives you one extra missile, but in return, you practically get infinite missiles. They added a feature called ‘focus’ where if you hold your wiimote in the air and press A, you regain all of your missiles. You can do this too when your health is red to regain a small chunk of health. It sounds cheap, but it’s a lot harder to do than you think.

The exploration is relatively linear, and you follow a guided path almost the entire time. This takes away from the Super Metroid feel of it, and shortens play time immensely. Add this in with the fact that everything you are ordered to do is almost identical, and you’ll find yourself getting slightly bored with it.

The one strong suit of the game is the visuals. Team Ninja did a wonderful job rendering the CG animations, and even owners of PS3’s and 360’s have to stop and ‘wow’ at what they made the Wii put out. They gave a new twist on the way the different beams look as well, so that was a nice surprise. Visually, the game is quite appealing to look at, and never once was I disappointed.

Aside from one small element in the story, the overall scope of the story was excellent. They gave Samus a full fledged personality, which for most of it, I can definitely see her having. There were one or two things that I would have changed personally, or to be quite frank, not put in at all, but I was able to overlook those flaws until the end of the game.

Overall, the game was fun to play, and I was glad to see it move out of the FPS era. However, I think the programmers forgot how to make a decent third person game, and half heartedly put this together. I’m afraid to say this, but had I known what this game was going to produce, I would have just rented it and beat it then. I definitely believe it’s worth playing, but if a friend has a copy, just borrow theirs.

I’m starting to lose faith in the Metroid franchise. It truly is a shame that the games from the 80’s and 90’s are still worth replaying, while the others will probably sit on my shelf for the rest of time to come (until my kids play them, anyways).

Rating:
6.75 / 10

Dokapon Kingdom – Atlus – Nintendo Wii

So, I was extremely skeptical about this game, even if it was an Atlus game. I shouldn’t have been though. Within the first ten minutes I was drawn in, and I didn’t want to put the game down.

Dokapon’s plot is that you must save the kingdom from the evils that are now roaming the land, and as a reward, you get the hand of Princess Penny to marry (even if you’re a female character). Sounds simple enough, right? Hah. If only. Allow me first to explain the game mechanics.

The game is played similar to a Mario Party style board game. Players are to spin a dial, and move that many spaces across the board accordingly. Players may move in any direction they wish, but must continue on a forward pattern (in other words, no moving back and forth between only two spaces). Landing on certain spaces do certain things, and so on. The twist to the game is that it’s also an RPG, in that you battle, gain experience for your character and level up. It’s really wild the way they incorporate it. Using these mechanics, you liberate towns and try your best to become the wealthiest character by the end of the game.

However, your friends or the AI will always be trying to foil you, by stealing your gold/towns, changing your character name and hair style, or even drawing graffiti on your character. The game is very vengeful, and creates much animosity between the players that are competing. It’s quite hilarious, to be honest. You can be downright brutal to the players in the game.

You may also fight any character you wish at any given time, provided you land on their space. When building a character, you get to choose a class, giving you a multitude of skills to work with. You can only carry two skills at a time though, which could get a little irritating at time, but not enough to destroy the novelty of the game.

The only real downfall is the lack of the single player excitement. Playing a four player game with three AI seems to deplete the novelty of it all. Other than that, I really don’t see much being wrong.

Overall, it seemed like it was a great party game. I can’t really say that it was the best Atlus ever made, but they truly surprised me. It makes me further believe I should never doubt their purchases.

Rating:
7.0 / 10

Super Smash Brothers Brawl – Nintendo/HAL Labratories – Nintendo Wii

When you see a game having a sequal, you generally expect there to be a lot of improvements from the previous (assuming the formula was a bit shabby) and you want new features. Brawl encompasses everything you would expect, plus a little more.

Still one of the best party games out there, SSBB has made some significant improvements over the previous. I’m going to try my best to capture them all.

We’ll start with the game modes. There are countless modes that are available to you right off the bat, followed by two that are unlockable (sorry, gotta play through the game to find out what they are. Hehe.). They brought back the Home Run Contest, Smash The Targets, and Multi Man Brawl. We’ll start with those:

Home Run Contest is a game where you have to inflict as much damage as you can on a sandbag, then with a home run bat, smash hit it as far as you can within 10 seconds. This game was always fun but they made a substantial improvement on it. Around the circumference of the starting platform they put an invisible shield that prevents the bag from falling off accidentally. However, this shield will break if you repeatedly beat the sandbag off of it.

Smash The Targets (formerly known as Break The Targets) is a mode where you run a character through a level filled with targets and try to break them as fast as possible. In the past, each characher had his or her own individual course. This time around there is a default stage but there are five levels. With each level you progress, the targets become smaller and the stage much more hazardous. Its definitely a plus.

Multi Man Brawl is essentially a bunch of different challenges that you can do against generic characters. In the original everything was called melee (100 man melee, endless melee) and they changed it to brawl (10 minute brawl, cruel brawl). Not significant, but just shows they pay attention to detail. Also the wire frames have been replaced by colored alloys. Its a neat change. They kind of look like spacemen. Heh.

Now onwards to what was Adventure mode, and classic mode:

Adventure mode has been renamed to The Subspace Emmisary. This one has much more of a storyline (and a wonderful one at that) and is really very awesome. No longer are you limited to using one character throughout the mode, but you are given an option depending on what is going on in the story. Also, the cutscenes have no spoken words, and yet I found myself gasping and laughing during surprising and funny parts, respectively.

Classic mode is back in all of its glory and needs no real introduction. You play through 12 stages of characters and fight the Master Hand at the end. Its been this way since the original, and holds true.

Something I noticed about all the modes is that the AI is really intelligent this time around. I mean REALLY smart people here. Playing on a difficulty above hard is near impossible, and I’m a pretty good player.

Another thing they added, is that every single player mode can be done cooperatively with a friend. This, in my opinion is wonderful. It adds so much more potential to the game.

There are all new events for you to play through, and again, all can be done cooperatively. The difference in this mode is that single player events and multiplayer events are slightly different, so they count them as separate events. So when you fire up your game and only see 10 events, breathe easy, there’s really 20.

Graphically there’s no tremendous improvement. The backgrounds are a bit more sparkly, and the character models are rendered a bit smoother, but aside from that there are no real big changes. They did add widescreen compatibilty so all of you with enormous tvs can smash on your friends in full 16:9 glory.

Musically, however, is a different story. The amount of music and the quality of this music is simply outstanding. They have so many old and new music for you that you will constantly be excited about each new song. But it gets even better. They now allow you adjust the music frequency so you can hear more of what you want, and less of what you don’t. For example, the Zelda stage,Bridge of Eldrin, they play four songs: Legend of Zelda Theme, Ocarina of Time Melody, Hyrule Field, and the Twilight Princess field theme. Since I love the OoT melody so much, I have that playing as frequently as possible. No more crossing your fingers and hoping the Zelda temple played the Fire Emblem theme. Hahaha.

There is also a custom stage builder, where you can create your dream battlefield, with whatever music you want, and play on it. You can even send that stage to your friends so they can play too.

The items are extensive too. There are old favorites and new ones, but two items that really stand out are the smash ball and the assist trophy.

The smash ball incorporates a new feature called a Final Smash. Basically this is like the creme de la creme of all attacks. It does severe amounts of damage and almost always kills your opponent if they have over 30% of damage before being hit. They are unique to the character and look amazing.

The assist trophys are just an added perk if you are a Nintendo fanboy such as myself. Grabbing this item, you have a random Nintendo character pop from inside. Be it Lyn from Fire Emblem, or a Labrador puppy from Nintendogs, they really put thought into these. Each character that pops out does something that’s a signature move in collaboration with its game. Even Little Mac made it!

Ahh man, all this. Does it get any better? Yep. The characters:

The first thing I said when I saw the characters was wow. I was simply blown away. 35 total characters, which is definitely the most yet. This doesn’t count two transformations: Zelda to Shiek and Samus to Zero Suit Samus. How about them apples? And believe me when I say that each of these characters are absolutely phenomenal. I still wish they would make a few of them more unique but hey, there are more than enough characters to fill your needs somewhere.

So with that all being said, you’re probably wondering if there is a flaw in this game. Unfortunately there is, but it doesn’t even lie in the game itself. The load times are not so great. The game is a dual layer disk so it takes the Wii greater effort to find the data it needs, and the most load time I’ve run into was about 8 or 9 seconds. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up when you want to play a quick game.

Overall though this game is above and beyond everything it has ever done. If you’re thinking about getting into the series for the first time, and are on the fence about it, climb on over, its definitely worth it. Even if you played (or own) the other two games, buy this one too, because there are enough things to do to keep you busy for a long time.

Did I mention there is a wall of unlockables? :]

Rating:
9.5 / 10