E3: Nintendo Wii: Looking Back and Forward
The Nintendo Wii took the world by storm in 2006 with it's unique Wiimote motion controller. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded stores causing numerous outlets to sellout of the console. The Wii was a smash hit, drawing in new customers, and expanding the market to seemingly all ages. However, over the years, the amount of shovelware and lack of “hardcore” games have caused some gamers to move over to other systems that appeal more to their tastes. That being said, Nintendo made a strong push at this year's E3, revitalizing many of their tried and true IP's. If you're considering buying a Nintendo Wii, here are the three games you must have, three under-appreciated games, and three games to look forward to from this year's E3.
Super Mario Galaxy- Honestly, there may not be a better 3D platformer out there, that is, unless you played Super Mario Galaxy 2. Nintendo has some intense gravity puzzles in this game as you constantly jump from planet to planet, changing your gravitational pull. Super Mario Galaxy feels like the spiritual successor to Super Mario 64, taking the same mechanics and adding some much needed complexity.
Boom Blox- Did you like Jenga? Well how about anti-Jenga? In Boom Blox, you take your Wiimote and throw objects trying to knock down the colorful towers. This game is an absolute blast with 4 players as you'll love annihilating your friend's castles. Boom Blox has incredible replay value as the single-player mode is long and varied and the multiplayer never gets old.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl- Take all of your favorite video game characters and put them in a deathmatch. This 4-player fighter is simple to learn and highly addictive, as you'll never get tired of launching your friends off the map. This must-have fighter is best enjoyed with Gamecube controllers, so it's a great choice if you owned that system. Personally, I feel that Brawl is the worst installment in the series, but this is still a great go-to party game that everybody can enjoy.
Mercury Meltdown Revolution- This game is actually a port of a PSP game, but it is much more enjoyable on the Wii. You control a mercury blob and by turning the Wiimote you roll across puzzle maps a la Marble Madness. In later levels you'll have to combine your mercury with different colors and separate yourself into different pieces all while avoiding falling off the edge. This under-appreciated gem will keep you entertained if you're a puzzle enthusiast. Gamestop is currently selling this game new for $10.
Cave Story- This Wiiware game is free on the PC, without the updated graphics, however. If you enjoyed playing 2D platformers when you were younger, this game is sure to capture your heart. Crispy's own Michael T. Astolfi said it best in his review: “Playing Cave Story is like rolling around in a pile of your favorite 8-bit game cartridges.” The added bonus is that the game is only $12.
Tales of Monkey Island- Do you like funny and witty dialogue? Do you like adventure games, a la Myst? Tales of Monkey Island is niche Adventure game that is great on the Wii as it makes good use of the Wiimote's functionality as you'll need to examine numerous objects on the map. This Wiiware game is even fun to play with a friend as they can help you solve puzzles you may be stuck on and they'll be entertained by the superb writing.
The E3 2010 Games you must play
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword- It's a Zelda game, so you know it's going to be in the top tier of action adventure and dungeon crawling. The graphics for this game also look stunning, possibly a hybrid of realistic style and cel-shading. If you looking for an epic single-player sword-fighting experience, then you need not look any further. Using the Wii Motion Plus, Link should move better than ever, which only adds more hype to this title.
Metroid: Other M- Originally announced in E3 2009, this new Metroid game by Team Ninja is slated to release on August 31st. The control scheme is unique as you'll have to hold the controller sideways to control movement from a third-person perspective but then you can switch anytime to first-person by aiming the Wiimote at the screen. Team Ninja is known for making the action-packed Ninja Gaiden games, so one would hope that the same sort of energy will be seen in Metroid: Other M.
Kirby's Epic Yarn- I already raved about the graphics in a blog post but seriously, I am overjoyed to see this franchise back in all its glory on a Nintendo home console. I am curious to see how they implement gameplay without Kirby being able to suck in enemies but, knowing Nintendo, they probably figured out a way to make the game feel like Kirby and incorporate the yarn into the mechanics. I'm especially happy to see that they kept co-op play as well. I only hope this game retains the same level of fun as Kirby Super Star did for the Super Nintendo.