:: Search:

Billy the Wizard

:[ October 29th, 2007

Billy the Wizard Data Design Interactive Conspiracy Entertainment, Wii
ESRB E September 28, 2007

I’m not sure about the history of Conspiracy Entertainment, but the games they’ve released lately on the Wii haven’t been the best games available. I”ve played some crazy games where the game play was fun but it lacked in different aspects whether it be balanced controls, challenging objectives, or plot, however Billy the Wizard lacks all three and still isn’t fun. Players can race, collect objects, or fight an enemy as well as race friends, play capture the flag, or compare the accuracy of their flying skills with opponents.
Some games start players off with a mandatory tutorial, however Billy the Wizard starts the game off with every feature unlocked. There is a Wizard School with will ease players into the game however its not available in multiplayer. So players can jump right in to the game with no explanation, however game play isn’t intuitive since players must use the nunchuck to control the broom, pressing Z to move and c to slow down.  Overall this game will mostly appeal to a younger audience, possibly the same kids who would come to the library for a Harry Potter Party.
Overall: 3.5 of 10
Playability: 2 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Dave Mirra BMX Challenge

:[ October 26th, 2007

Dave Mirra BMX Challenge Crave Entertainment, Wii
ESRB E September 25, 2007

For years Teens have been living their extreme sports dreams through gaming consoles thanks to the Tony Hawk pro skater and other spin off games. BMX challenge is one of those spin off games where players ride bicycles and do tricks to boost their speed in races. Like the Tony Hawk game for the Wii the wii mote is held sideways pressing buttons to trigger tricks. Unlike Tony Hawk, you have to hold 2 to petal, meaning that you only have one button to press to activate tricks.

If the developers of BMX Challenge licensed the engine for Tony Hawk’s Downhill, they’ve made many improvements. For instance players move the wii mote to steer the bike, instead of using the d-pad. However the levels are poorly created. Instead of performing laps around the same area, or progressing through a visually rich neighborhood/city, player ride through a short piece of identical scenery that displays as if you are looping, but the game no indication that its a lap. Some levels have a unique area players come out to at the end, but again this same scenery is repeated a few times as players advance towards the end. This had a very disorienting effect, and takes away from game play.

Like Tony Hawk Downhill Jam this too has a multiplayer option where players can participate in many different types of events that range from tricks to racing. Overall this game was easy to get into, but not enjoyable to play since the tricks weren’t varied enough and the levels were boring to advance through. Beyond this the game also lacked level creation which was a favored piece of many Tony Hawk games. So I don’t recommend libraries purchase this game.
Overall: 4 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Cosmic Family

:[ October 26th, 2007

Cosmic Family Data Design Interactive Ubisoft, Wii
ESRB E September 18, 2007

When I was a kid some of my favorite games where Mario Paint, Mario is Missing, and Carmen Sandiego. I played them long into my early teen years because they were fun beyond the educational aspects of them. Cosmic Family was intended to be an educational game for 4-8 year olds, but it failed. Instead its a series of actions that the player performs, learning how to follow directions. If you want to go off task and explore the area your host a big elephant repeats the directions urging you to comply. Thus children learn simply to follow directions, which most video games teach children in less annoying ways.

After you follow the prompts to explore on level of the Cosmic’s Family home which is actually a space ship, players are given the option to color a picture, or create a collage with clip art. This feature is similar to Mario Paint I loved as a kid, which can be a precursor to photo editing, unlike Mario Paint there are limited colors that are automatically applied within the lines of a picture, which can hinder children’s fine motor development. The things I liked about Mario Paint is that I could paint a picture, create a little animation, and write a song. Sadly Cosmic family provides none of this, is most closely comparable with interactive baby Einstein. So I do not recommend this game for libraries.
Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 4.5 of 5
Social: 2 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Anubis II and Ninjabread Man

:[ October 13th, 2007

Anubis II Data Design Interactive Conspiracy Entertainment and Metro 3D, Wii
ESRB E September 25, 2007

Ninjabread Man Data Design Interactive Conspiracy Entertainment and Metro 3D, Wii
ESRB E September 25, 2007

The Platformer has always been a popular genre especially in the early days of gaming. When the 2-D games where taken into 3-D worlds it created dozens of horrible transfers but a few titles were amazing like Super Mario 64, so when I saw Anubis II and Ninjabread Man on the shelf of my local game rental store I was intrigued to play a platformer with Wiimote controls.

I hadn’t heard anything about the designer, and so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Anubis was..fun..but I had to learn some of the controls on my own even though there is a required tutorial before you reach any levels. Anubis has about five levels where players collect 8 objects that open a gate at the end of the level. There are enemies in your way you must kill, and a maze like path you must transverse to get the objects. While there is no story line, or any reason to continue I played through a few levels. It wasn’t too difficult to play once I figured out you can jump by pressing Z instead of lifting the nunchuck. The entire time I was playing, the game reminded me of something a game design student might create using a game engine.

Now if you play Ninjabread Man you’ll see it plays exactly like Anubis II, except the levels are layed out differently, and Ninjabread Man is actually a simpler and less fun game than Anubis. It has only 3 levels, and requires jumping to stationary platforms, while Anubis has moving platforms.

After playing these games I looked up the company to find out a little more about them, and discovered they are releasing many Wii games that are remakes of games people love. So while Anubis and Ninjabread Man may resemble my favorites as a child, these games only belong in bargin bins, and even then I hope that those who purchase them pay no more that a movie ticket since these have little more than 2 hours of gaming included. Signs that the people who made these games didn’t quite get what makes a good game. Which is more than obstacles, enemies, and a goal.
So if you are considering purchasing these for your library, please don’t. Save your money for Metroid, Smash Brothers Brawl, or an original title. It seems the longer the Wii is out the sadder the game selection from 3rd party publishers is.
Anubis II
Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 2 of 5
Social: 1 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Ninjabread Man

Overall: 3 of 10
Playability: 2 of 5
Social: 1 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

The Sims 2: Pets

:[ October 1st, 2007

The Sims 2: Pets Maxis EA Games, Wii
ESRB T June 13, 2007 -Multiplayer-

Everyone loves the Sims. You get to omnisciently control the lives of virtual people who act like realistic humans. I’ve heard parents say that the Sims taught their children money management, social skills, and other important live skills. Sims is also a favorite among adults who are attracted to its various elements, from building a dream house to watching the lives of the people who live there. Sims Pets adds a new family member to this game, who in general is easier to build a friendship with than the other members of the house.

For those playing this stand alone version on the Wii, they will find similarities with the computer version. Starting with all of the people act the same, with meters for their hunger, sleep, social, bladder, hygiene, fun, comfort and room needs. However now you have a pet who demands your attention, adding complexity to the game. Like in the classic version there are preselected families for players to control. From a family of four with two dogs, to a single women with five cats each has its own unique challenge. In this game you can go to the town center to purchase pet supplies, adopt new pets, and more. The fun part is that you not only care for pets but you can train them as well. You can also breed pets, producing kittens or puppies for added difficulty.
One of the better parts of Sims on the computer is sharing your own uniquely created people and homes. In this version you can start your own family within the same city allowing users of the same game to interact with eachothers sims.
Another feature is that you can be one of the people in your family, moving around the house in complete control of their actions. Unlike classic mode where you suggest actions for your sims, this allows you to have a little more control over the relationships developed, but also means you have to be more careful, since your Sims will not automatically meet their own needs.

On the downside this game has no unique wii functions. It plays as if you are on a computer, with the nunchuck for movement and camera control, and the wii mote used to select actions and other necessary functions. However since this was a computer game originally the lack of movement makes sense.

Overall this game was alright. I’ve played other console versions of the Sims, and they all are second best to the PC games simply because I have limited options on the console games. However this can be a fun game for those who like The Sims and are looking for a new challenge.
Overall: 6.5 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 2 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Brunswick Pro Bowling

:[ October 1st, 2007

Brunswick Pro Bowling Point of View, Inc. Crave Entertainment, Wii
ESRB E August 28, 2007 -Multiplayer-

The two most popular games on Wii sports are tennis and bowling, so it makes sense that a game would be developed focusing only on bowling. However Brunswick Pro Bowling is an imitation of the actual game. Where Wii Sports incorporated your movements as you throw the bowling ball down the lane, this game only requires you to mimic the action designating an average force to the throw no matter how your arm moves.

Another let down to this game is that the multiplayer options are a little confusing. While you only use one wii mote to select players, game style and set up the match you need to have multiple wii motes to actually bowl, and there is no indication of this as you set up the match.

One draw is that you get to create a customized avatar to represent you, much like the tony hawk games where you can build your own character. This was actually the best part of the game, which isn’t saying much for the game, however since Wii Sports bowling utilizes your Mii’s that feature is already built into wii sport’s bowling.
While real life can be slightly boring, I found that this came was completely unfun. I definately prefer the bowling in Wii Sports, which comes free with any wii, so I see no reason for anyone to purchase this game.

Overall: 4 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Mario Strikers Charged

:[ October 1st, 2007

Mario Strikers Charged Next Level Nintendo, Wii
ESRB E10+ July 30, 2007 -Multiplayer-

Mario Strikers brought the international sport of soccer to the Gamecube. Now in the sequel players can not only compete against players in the same room, but they can also compete online. Like most sports games you play all the different members of the team, switching between players with a simple press of the button. Unlike traditional sports games this one is packed full of special moves that are unrealistic but add to the fun of the game including items that players can use to add bonuses or perform special actions.
This isn’t the best Wii game out there, because it includes more button mashing than wii motions, but its a fun multiplayer game that everyone will enjoy, especially sports fans.
Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Legend of the Dragon

:[ September 8th, 2007

Legend of the Dragon Game Factory Necko Entertainment Wii
ESRB T May 1, 2007 -Multiplayer-

There are many games made from popular movies, cartoons, and other media These games are called licensed titles, because they use characters who’s image belongs to another company. This video game is designed as a fighting game, so fans of the TV cartoon can play as their favorite characters. Hardly distinguishable from other fighting games, with no little plot, requiring players to already be familiar with the story. The game is merely a series of fights. In single player mode players must defeat their opponent using a specific move, while in the multiplayer games two players to battle each other using one, or a series, of the show’s characters. I would have liked to see the option for players to fight together against opponents, or had more than two fighters on the screen at a time.
The problems with the depth of the game’s plot is intensified by the overly complex controls that use more button mashing than wii movements. In order to defeat your opponent, you must transform and use specials attacks that involve movement of the wiimote. Sadly that is the as integrated as the wii-mote is. I do not suggest the purchase of this game for the Wii. It will only appeal to fans of the TV show, and will most likely leave many of them disappointed as well.
Overall: 3.5 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Rock Band

:[ September 5th, 2007

As published on Libgaming:


Its singstar meets guitar hero + drums

Coming November 20th, Harmonix and MTV Games are releasing a new music/rhythm game that involves karaoke, lead and bass guitar, and drums.

It should be avaliable for PS2, PS3, Xbox360, and possibly Wii

This would make a great library program. For more information check out the wikipedia page about the game, or dig around on the official site.

As published on YALSA blog:

Don’t be a Guitar Hero, form a Rock Band

Its singstar meets guitar hero + drums Rock Band Launch
Harmonix, the people who developed Guitar Hero, along with MTV Games, have a new project that they’ve been taking to gaming conferences recently. It’s called Rock Band. Its a four player game with two guitars, drums, and lead singer. When I attended PAX I was able to “try” out the game, which was amazingly alot of fun.

Set to release in November, some online game stores are listing the bundle at $199, but there is no official announcement about the price. The Rock Band game wikipedia page lists PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as the consoles it will be playable on, but when I talked with Harmonix at PAX they said they’d like to have a Wii version as well.

This appears to be the next big thing in music gaming. Libraries who have gaming programs will want to watch the developments of this game.

Alien Syndrome

:[ August 14th, 2007

Alien Syndrome Totally Games Sega of America, Wii
ESRB T July 24, 2007 -Multiplayer-

The first space RPG for the Wii, brings players into the far future, where Aileen Harding is investigating a space station which lost communication. When she arrives she finds the station crawling with aliens she must subdue as she explores the station to discover what happened.

The camera defaults at a top down view making play similar to watching ants in an ant farm. Up to four players can play at the same time, but must share a screen. Game play consists of killing aliens, picking up items, and reaching the end of each of the 15 levels. Item management can quickly take over game play as you must balance your inventory as you explore the station. Killing aliens themselves becomes repetitious as the aliens are mob like, and do not pose a large challenge.

Building off the controls in the previous Wii adventure games, Alien Syndrome uses a combination of buttons, analog stick, and wiimote pointer to manage inventory, access health and ammunition, interact with objects, and shoot. The analog stick on the nunchuck controls movement and the weapon is aimed by pointing the wiimote to the targeted area on the screen. Alien Syndrome was released simultaneously for the PSP and Wii. The Wii controls reflect this, however it is an improvement on previous Sega Wii titles. The camera is the hardest element to master. One unique element is the division between aiming and movement, so that players can shoot while running away.

While the story is similar to Metroid Prime, and game play is close to a dungeon crawl campaign, this game is less than average. It combines all of the good elements of great games, but creates nothing new on its own, making Alien Syndrome second rate.

Overall: 4 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 2 of 5

Rampage: Total Destruction

:[ July 30th, 2007

Rampage: Total Destruction Pipeworks Software, Midway, Wii
ESRB E November 14, 2006 -Multiplayer-

The goal of this game is to destroy buildings on a city block. According the the opening cut scene players are byproducts of a failed product testing that turned the drinkers of Scum soda into monsters. This game was originally released on the gamecube and playstation 2, however midway added extras to the wii version.  While it sounds slightly appealing to cause mass destruction, this game has a few stumbling blocks that hinder its playability. The game doesn’t have instructions for how to play with the wii mote, and players start the level with little introduction to the game. After pressing buttons and moving the wii mote in different directions, one can figure out how to play, but its cumbersome and slow. The  pace of the game is slow compared to other destruction and fighting games, which deters from players trying to learn how to play the game.

Beyond the basic mode, players can also compete with up to four computer or human opponents. The goal of the multiplayer challenge is to win four blocks, destroying the most buildings thus raking up the most points.

Overall I do not recommend libraries purchasing this title. If your community is looking for arcade classics consider getting gamecube titles such as Gauntlet, or download a game from the Virtual Console.
Overall: 4 of 10
Playability: 2 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Pokemon Battle Revolution

:[ July 29th, 2007

Pokemon Battle Revolution Genius Sonority Nintendo, Wii
ESRB E June 26, 2007 -Multiplayer-

Load pokemon from your DS into this Wii game or use a rental pass to play the computer or connect with other players online.

The first Pokemon game was released on the Gameboy in the United States in 1998. This game featured diverse creatures combined from animals and elements of the natural world, which players collected, raised, and battled. The game played like an electronic Collectible card game, where players would work to create a team of 6 Pokemon to defeat trainers in the game. A natural extension of challenging trainers in the game world is challenging players in the real world. Each version of the game has a few titles that are compatible which allow players to trade and battle Pokemon. In 2000, Nintendo released Pokemon Stadium for the Nintendo 64 that allowed players to battle on the television instead of with their Gameboys. Seven years later we have a new version of Pokemon Stadium that is compatible with the DS version of the popular Pokemon game. Players who have Pokemon Diamond or Pearl can connect wirelessly with the Wii to battle opponents in a up to 4 player Battle. Special rules can be applied to allow team battles (two on two), all pokemon to at a set level, or even a pokemon swap where players take one of the opponents pokemon for the battle. Games played from players DS use the DS to interface with the battle on the Wii. Otherwise players battle with a rental pass of level 50 Pokemon, and select moves with the wiimote utilizing all of the buttons to try to conceal selections.
Previous versions had minigames and the most recent version allowed players to capture Pokemon, but these features are not in the Wii version. Overall the Wii version is worse compared with the previous Pokemon Stadium games, but provides a fun visual way for players who have the DS Pokemon games to battle each other. If you have a large population of Pokemon trainers in your community I encourage you to use this in programs to let players compete.
Overall: 6 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5 with wiimote 5 of 5 with DS
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree

:[ July 15th, 2007

Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree Nintendo, Wii
ESRB E June 11, 2007 -Multiplayer-
Track how Big your brain is. Compete against others in Mind Sprint challenges. Share your data with your wii friends.

Players are tested in five areas: Analyze, Memory, Identify, Visualize, and Compute. Each works a different part of your brain. Players begin at an easy level and as they answer questions correctly move up to medium, hard and expert. An Average Brain weighs 1,400 grams after a week at the academy, but on your first test don’t be surprised if you get about 750 grams. The professor’s brain weighs almost 1,977. The Score is calculated by accuracy and speed.

Unlike the original Brain Age this game has more depth in the regular exam. Most responses are selected from multiple choices that require players to no only know the right answer but select it on the screen. This game has equal single and group play. Alone players can test, as well as earn medals practicing the mini games that make up the test.

Players can also race to the finish playing mini games, compete against opponents records, maintain a streak of perfect answers, or complete a preselected board of mini games, Alone or in groups.

This title would make a great addition to any library’s game collection or as part of a wii gaming day.

Overall: 7.5 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Super Paper Mario

:[ July 15th, 2007

Super Paper Mario Intelligent Systems Nintendo, Wii
ESRB E April 9, 2007

I bought Super Paper Mario for my husband, thinking it was a role playing game. I was surprised to find that this game had elements of adventure and nostalgia as Mario and his friends flip from 2-D to 3-D levels trying to bring balance to the world. The fun part is that the game world is 2-D, so entering 3-D allows you to see levels in a whole new way. Often going into 3-d allows you to bypass enemies or find hidden items.
In previous Paper Mario games play resembled classic console RPG where players took turns fighting battles that were excerpted from the exploration of the world. This game is similar to the original Mario games in that to defeat enemies Mario or his friends jump on the enemy. However like a Role Playing game their is one central location where characters can rest, shop, and complete side quests.

The Main game consists of 8 chapters each with 4 levels. Players can play through chapters as many times as they wish exploring and collecting items, coins, and experience. Each chapter has pixl’s that will join your group and help you complete the chapter. Each pixl has a unique ability such as allowing you to creating bombs, throw enemies or objects, or allow you to turn your character sideways becoming practically invisible.
This is a fun game to play starting out with familiar Mario levels and progressing into completely original story, it adds a fun new way to play with all your favorite Mario Characters. I recommend all libraries adding this game to an existing gaming collection.
Overall: 9.7 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 2 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Wii Sports

:[ July 15th, 2007

Wii Sports Nintendo, Wii
ESRB E November 19, 2006 -Multiplayer-

With every Wii console purchased Gamers receive a copy of Wii Sports. This title features 5 sports games, and a basic introduction to the use of the Wii mote. Individuals familiar with the games tennis, baseball, bowling, boxing, and golf are able to pick up the Wii mote and play. Since these sports have world wide popularity this set the mood of the Wii to be for everyone.

The Wii comes with only one Wii mote, but Wii Sports can be played with up to four players. Allowing families to enjoy the console together. Individuals can also train on three different skills relevant to the sport itself learning how to better use the wii mote. As gamers play each sport their skill levels increase until they reach Master at 2000 points.
In a library, you can use this game as part of a wii arcade that features several wii games for gamers to enjoy the cross-cultural experience of the Wii. If your community is hesitant about the Wii, I suggest showing off the system with Trauma Center, Cooking Mama, Marble Mania, and Wii Sports.

Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Mario Party 8

:[ July 3rd, 2007

Mario Party 8 Hudson Soft Nintendo, Wii
ESRB E May 29, 2007 -Multiplayer-

The first Mario Party Game was a very original combination of board game and mini-games. Instead of having a dozen or so games to choose from this game linked them together by dishing out stars, coins, and another reason to out do your friends. For the past couple of years Hudson Soft was coming out with a plethora of Mario Party Titles each almost identical to the previous one, really devaluing the series. This game is fresh because all the games utilize the Wii mote. Players can play single player at the Star Carnival Arena where they enter a contest against one computer controlled character on all of the available boards before being interrupted by Bowser. Players can also skip the boards and go straight to any unlocked mini games in the Mini-game tent.
The fun part begins in the Party Tent where up to four players can play on six different boards and in 73 different mini games. Like previous versions the players main goal is to earn coins to purchase candies (that aid in moving on the board) and Stars. After everyone has moved once on the board a mini game is played. Depending on the spot you are on the board players will work together, two on two, three against one, or all opposing. After a set number of turns more stars are awarded for different things such as person who won the most coins in mini games.

Most Mario Party Games are easy for gamers and non gamers to pick up and play. This title is especially easy since each mini game comes with easy to understand instructions, practice options, team break down, hints and simple controls for actual play. In previous Mario Party games mini games involved mostly button mashing, stick grinding, and callus making, so the simple transition to the Wii makes this game better than previous versions. I look forward to seeing how the series grows on the Wii.

Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Prince of Persia: Rival Swords

:[ June 30th, 2007

Prince of Persia: Rival Swords Ubisoft, Wii
ESRB T
April 3, 2006

A re-release of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, This game is the third in the Prince of Persia trilogy. The prince is returning home with the princess he rescued in the second game. When he approaches his home land the ship is attacked and he is thrown overboard with the princess. Now without a weapon or knowledge of what is going on he must rescue the princess again.

The original version, released in 2005, was fun to play and appealed to a wide range of gamers who gamed on the PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, and their home PC. This version only adds wii mote functions, which deter anyone who has played the previous version from enjoying the game. If you haven’t played Two Thrones however, Rival Swords for the Wii provides a new gaming experience for adventure games. Ubisoft has done an excellent job pairing the controls to the previously created title. If nothing else this title is a good example of game designers learning to program for the wii mote, focusing solely on the controls with an already established game.

Since this is a direct port I don’t recommend libraries collecting this title, unless you are collecting the entire Prince of Persia Series, which in that case this title would be preferable to Two Thrones.

Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 1 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Shrek the Third

:[ June 30th, 2007
Shrek the Third Amaze Entertainment Activision, Wii
ESRB E, May 14, 2007 -Multiplayer-

This single player game adds adventure to the story of Shrek”s journey to find the next king of Far Far Away. This game has about 10 hours of playable content. Unlike most previous games released for multiple systems, Shrek the Third has easy to use controls that incorporate the motion sensitivity to mimic natural movements in combination with traditional controller usage.

In addition to the main story mode, this game has a series of one or two player mini-games including Castle Attack, where players compete to destroy the opponents castle, a Frogger style challenge crossing moving catacombs, and two other aim and shot games Shooting Gallery and Ships Ahoy.

Overall this game holds little value for the price, and will most likely only be a small afterthought to the movie. I do not recommend libraries collecting this game.

Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Wii Play

:[ May 13th, 2007

Wii Play Nintendo, Wii
ESRB E February 17, 2007 -Multiplayer-
Packaged as a game and new wii mote, this title has little to offer players. Designed to provide new gamers with and introduction to different uses of the wii mote, this game really lacks the quantity needed to make it worth purchasing. Only 9 games are available in Wii Play, and not all of them are fun to play. Players can visit classic nintendo’s duck hunt in level 1, or venture on to play games such as table tennis, laser hockey, fishing, pool, , and tanks. The mii is also incorporated in searching, posing, and charging scarecrows while riding a bull. Only two players can play at a time, which also deters from the gaming experience, but makes sense since its packaged with a “second wii mote”

Overall Warioware does a better job of acclimating gamers to the wii mote, and has 12x as many games including similar versions of the ones within wii play. I do not recommend this game for anyone, unless you see it priced with a wii mote, and you have no other way to purchase another wii mote.

Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

News & Update

:[ May 3rd, 2007

I have a new job, which is great, and I’m really excited, however I have to move from Indiana to Washington in order to productively do my job. While I’m moving reviews will be put on hold. Look back in two weeks to find reviews of:

 Prince of Persia Rival Swords

Super Paper Mario

Wii Sports

and possibly SSX Blur.

 

New Wii

:[ April 27th, 2007

I realized today I hadn’t share my new Wii code order to share Miis:

If you would like to be my friend on the Wii enter this code: 8880 2152 3837 6241, and send me yours.
jami schwarzwalder at gmail dot com

Bust A Move Bash

:[ April 21st, 2007

Bust-a-Move Bash Happy Happening Majesco, Wii
ESRB E April 17, 2007 -Multiplayer-
Since the beginning of computer games there have always been puzzles. Their complexity increases with ease from small challenge to insanely impossible. Whether it’s Tetris, Bejeweled, Breakout, Minesweeper, or Snood these games are a great way to relax at the end of the day, or at least get your mind off other things. Puzzle Bobble or Bust a move has graced arcades, consoles and your computer’s browser all across the world since its first release in 1994. In this game multicolored balls/bubbles hang from the ceiling and players shoot bubbles using a cannon trying to group like colors. Once three of the same color are touching they will pop, sometimes dropping bubbles beneath if not attached to group anywhere else. There are also special bubbles that are in the main group, or can be earned by shooting down flying saucers that cross the screen. Players lose if bubbles get too close to the ground. Change the cannons control to fit your comfort level. I found the best way to control the cannon is with “Baton.”
The Bust a Move series is best know for large multiplayer capabilities as well as game’s hosts which include the characters from Bubble Bobble. This game plays like a PC puzzle game, but incorporates the wii mote for directing the cannon, and capturing falling bubbles to earn power ups. Up to 8 players can play at the same time, using people or computers. This will appeal to mostly non traditional gamers, consider combining with other multiplayer games like Warioware to have a massive multiplayer event.
Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Monster 4×4: World Circut

:[ April 21st, 2007

Monster 4×4: World Circut Ubisoft, Wii
ESRB E November 19, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Originally released for the Xbox, this port incorporates the wii mote as a steering wheel as players race across the off road world circuit. Vehicles are customizable, and resemble traditional vehicles with monster truck tires. As you race, earn XP to upgrade your favorite ride. Very similar to the Nintendo off road racing game excite truck, this version has no additions to the original title which makes it second choice for off road racing on the wii.
Unlike Excite Truck this game has more multiplayer possibility than just racing. Up to four players can compete with barrels or balls. In combat mode players knock explosive barrels into the other opponents to earn points before the time runs out. For soccer fans, you can play “Football” where players use there trucks to run the ball into the opponents goal. Or you can practice control with Vehicle ball, where your goal is to move balls out of your area with enough momentum to make it into your opponents’ space since you can’t leave your area.
Overall this game is realy not that exciting, but has the best multiplayer of the currently available vehicle based racing games.
Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Medal of Honor: Vanguard

:[ April 16th, 2007

Medal of Honor: Vanguard Electronic Arts, Wii

ESRB T, March 26, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Set in World War II, Medal of Honor Vanguard chronicles the battles of 82nd Airborne Division. The main story follows Corporal Frank Keegan through four airborne operations. They play basically like any other first person shooter. Even the wii motes integration adds little to the title.

One of the best features for first person shooters, is the multiplayer. This title has five different ways to play multiplayer, but they forgot to include computer players. You can play deathmatch, capture the flag, King of the Hill, or Scavenger Hunt, but you need people to compete with, to make it worth playing.

Overall, the lack of originality and multiplayer features is a deterrent from playing the game more than once, so I would not recommend this game.

Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 2 of 5

Rayman Raving Rabbids

:[ April 13th, 2007

Rayman Raving Rabbids Ubisoft, Wii
ESRB E November 15, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Rayman is one of those classic video game characters that touches all the video game platforms with its presence. For the seventh generation, Ubisoft has amazingly created a game that works both on the controller platforms Playstation and Xbox, but also on the motion sensitive wii. While I’ll be biased and say I’d much rather wear my arms out performing the motions on the wii than my hand with a controller, Ubisoft should be praised for being the first third party company to really get the Wii. Each launch of a new platform has a few bumps. Rayman is on of the gems.

Rayman is kidnapped by the highly insane Rabbids, and forced to compete in a gladiator type arena. Conquer three out of four challenges each day to earn…a plunger. The controls take some getting used to, but its worth the pain. Play the storymode’s challenges again in score mode, where players can participate in party mode or single player.

Overall this game is not perfect, but a glimpse into the potential of the Wii. I encourage everyone to at least try this game. It’s insanity can keep you laughing for hours.
Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Super Swing Golf

:[ April 11th, 2007

Super Swing Golf Ntreev Soft Temco Wii
ESRB E 10+ December 12, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Golf is a Sport most people are familiar with. Its a game that is boring to some, and a great challenge to others. Golf video games have always had to add a little more to the game in order to make it more interesting. Super Swing Golf added a story that puts the characters on the golf course. Part Anime, part swing this game is more fun to play that the golf on Wii sports.
The controls are balanced so that each step in the swing is easy to understand. As you move from beginner to pro, you get the chance to play different modes including story mode, stroke or balloon play and small matches. You can play with a friend or a computer earning Pang for getting holes under par, good swings, and more. With 11 courses this game has many opportunities to practice your golf swing. Use Pang to change your character’s appearance, and challenge a friend.
Overall: 7.5 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Kororinapa Marble Mania

:[ April 9th, 2007

Koronipa Marble Mania Hudson Soft Konami Wii
ESRB E March 20, 2007 -Multiplayer-

Like Super Monkey Ball, Marble Mania utilizes the wii mote to move by tilting the course. The controls are easy to master, and the levels while challenging are fun to play. Collect Crystals to complete the level and get bonuses including new balls. The new balls add to the game with sounds, varying controls, and aesthetics. There are 45 levels in all that can be played solo or with a friend. In multiplayer mode players compete on a split screen but the opponents ball is represented in the course so you can keep your eyes on your part of the screen. One unique feature is that you can unlock levels in multiplayer mode just as most games have limited to single player.
Each level is unique and every ten have a theme for the levels materials. For example levels 1-10 feature bark, leaves, and scissors. While levels 11-20 feature wafers, chocolate covered pretzels, and other candies. Overall as the levels increase the game gets frustrating, but with the different marbles it is fun to play especially with a friend.

Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Cooking Mama

:[ April 9th, 2007

Cooking Mama Office Create Majesco Enterainment Wii
ESRB E March 20, 2007 -Multiplayer-

One of the best games for the Nintendo DS is Cooking Mama. Now you can play it on the Wii. In the wii edition players can cook 55 recipes from 10 different countries solo or against a friend. In addition to the main game players can compete against computerized “friends” from around the world to gain gifts for your virtual kitchen.

While the DS version was widely liked, the Wii version’s controls make this title more frustrating. At times it is extremely difficult to match the appropriate motions, forcing players to fight with the wii mote. This makes the game suitable only for wii mote masters, and not as great as the DS version.

Each recipe requires a set of actions similar to completing the recipies from pure scratch. Peel and chop Vegetables, sift flour, roll rice balls, clean fish, stir fry , control the stoves flame while adding ingredients and stirring,  andbake to the perfect time to make a delicious meal “Better than Mama”

Overall: 6 of 10
Playability: 2 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

WarioWare Smooth Moves

:[ April 8th, 2007

WarioWare Smooth Moves Intelligent Systems Nintendo Wii
ESRB E 10+ January 17, 2007 -Multiplayer-

Like Mario, Wario has become a classic icon for Nintendo systems. With his titles comes blatant silliness, random obscurity, and a fun adventure that will leave you scratching your head if you take the time to think. Smooth Moves consists of a series of micro games that utilize every motion possible for the wii mote. Skill is required to quickly change the position of the wii mote in the few seconds before the level begins, and then complete the level before the bomb explodes. Each new position of the wii mote is explained in a short, humorous monologue. As you master moves more areas are unlocked, but you can return to unlock new micro games and test your survival skills.
Once your completed all of the areas you can then challenge your friends to a multiplayer version. You only need one wii mote to play, which is passed among friends. You can compete with up to 12 taking turns playing unlocked micro games. With four friends you can play a of virtual darts, or use the nunchuck to play two two player games one involving flying, they other hurdle racing as a team. Overall the multiplayer feature is lacking, since the wii mote could easily get broken being passed around, and it would be better if it allowed simultaneous play. This however does not deter from the fun of the game. The micro games are highly addictive, making this game a must play for everyone.
Overall: 9 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Wing Island

:[ April 8th, 2007

Wing Island Hudson Soft Konami Wii
ESRB E March 23, 2007 -Multiplayer-

Developers are getting the hang of the unique wii mote controls. Wing Island is a unique game for the Wii. Players control an airplane on missions that include delivering cargo, capturing cows, and destroying rock formations. Try flying solo or lead a group of five in different flight combinations. As you complete missions you are able to upgrade and purchase new planes with money earned. The game itself is a fun experience, but not really an addition to everyone’s game collection.

In addition to the main game players can also compete with friends popping balloons that are either stationary or attached to the tail of opponents planes.

Overall its appeal will be mostly for casual play, learning how to use the wii mote and experiencing the wii’s first flight simulation.
Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2

:[ March 5th, 2007

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 Spike Atari Wii
ESRB T November 19, 2006 -Multiplayer-

The story of Dragon Ball Z revolves around different sagas where the main characters Goku and Gohan defend earth and other planets from villains. In the video game players can pair their favorite characters up to duel. Recreating famous battles from the Anime, or simply becoming a master defeating all of the 135 characters using blasts, fusions, and special moves. There are 17 different areas that mirror the worlds of the anime.

This title is a fighting game, and doesn’t contain any story depth. It is an extension of the Dragon Ball Z universe, and will appeal mostly to fans of the anime and manga. For a fighting game the controls are easy to learn on the wii mote. However to reach master level it takes great skill, practice, and time. Using a Wii mote and nunchuck players can battle head to head in tournaments, free battles, fusion battles, or follow the adventure path to earn money to buy moves.

Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5 (wii mote)
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Sonic and the Secret Rings

:[ March 4th, 2007

Sonic and the Secret Rings Sonic Team Sega Wii
ESRB E Februrary 20, 2007 -Multiplayer-

Sonic was originally created for the Sega Genesis. He soon became the most popular character for Sega, much like Mario was for Nintendo. The original games were side scrollers, where players would speed through the levels collecting rings and destroying Eggman/robotnic’s robots and freeing the animals trapped inside. As video games evolved Sonic enter the 3d world, and the quality of the games started to decrease.
In Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic is teamed a ring genie who transports Sonic to the world of the Arabian night stories to save them from being erased by Erazor Djinn. Like the classic Sonic games you are running through levels attempting to also defeat the enemies, collect rings which double as health, and reach the goal.However, this time players have more of a first person view with the camera behind sonics head. This makes moving through the levels more exciting. Add to the adventure, challenges such as not collecting pearls, beating a time limit, or win without dying, and you have a fun replayable main game.
In addition to the main game, you can also play party games with up to three friends. This is completely separate from the main missions, and incorporates the wii mote into play by allowing you to simulate the actions like pumping a balloon or directing a flashlight. Most of the games are similar to the games in other video game titles including Mario Party, Wii Sports, Sonic Shuffle, and the other Sega title Super Monkey Ball.
This game utilizes the wii mote effectively. While in the main game the wii mote is sideways and Sonic runs with balanced motions turning as you tilt it sideways. Sonic can also jump different lengths proportional to the time the 2 button is held. Once in the air he can destroy enemies or cross small gaps with a slight forward motion. Like stated before, in party mode the wii mote makes the games more interactive and fun. They are the best party games I’ve seen in a game. Lastly the more you play, you can unlock secret pages, party game characters, and easter eggs, making this a family friendly game suitable for all audiences.
Overall: 7.5 of 10
Playability: 2 of 5
Social: 5 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Wii broke

:[ March 3rd, 2007

I’m sorry to have to share with you that my Wii will no longer accept power. Nintendo is going to fix it, but that means I can’t write reviews without the console.

 Here’s hoping my Wii returns soon.

Madden Football

:[ February 15th, 2007

Madden NFL 2007 EA Sports Wii
ESRB E November 28, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Every year since 1992, EA games releases a version of each sports game to allow players to compete with all the players of their favorite game. In the 2007 version for the wii they have incorporated the classic features of tournament play, practice, and team editing. They have also livened the game with a new set of controls designed specifically for the wii. Now players can throw the ball by moving the wii mote down, kick by moving up, and tackle by moving the nunchuck and wii mote forward simultaneously. Players also have a lot more control on the field selecting the person who they want to use simply by highlighting the person during the hike. Most importantly while moving players using the nunchucks control stick players can stiff arm or juke by with slight movements of the nunchuck or wii mote.

To begin playing players can go through tutorials that explain actions used for each play, or learn as they progress through normal play mode. Each time you learn a new skill it gives you a chance to practice giving feed back if you aren’t quite right, making the game easy to pick up for non gamers. The Multiplayer options add to the experience allowing you to play against your friends.

Overall I recommend this game for sports fans, and wii enthusiasts. Its a nice game to experience even if you aren’t a football fan, although understanding playbook diagrams and basic football lingo is essential to enjoying the game.

Overall: 7.5 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Splinter Cell

:[ February 14th, 2007

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent Ubisoft Wii
ESRB M November 28, 2006 -Multiplayer-

As in other Splinter Cell games, this action title introduces the player as a covert operative. Your first mission is to infiltrate a factory in Iceland, where you learn the basics of playing the game as well. The basic play is slowly learned through tutorial videos that will progress you through by hitting the same button needed to activate the feature. It is highly emphasized that players should sneak through the areas knocking out the enemy rather than killing him, even though it is possible to kill people in the game. As a stealth operative its important to learn how to obtain information without letting people know you are there, so most of the skill in playing comes from being aware of surroundings, knocking out security features, and quietly maneuvering around the areas.

The wii mote controls have been utilized to combine buttons and wii motions. The camera is controlled by movement of the wii mote, with the B button serving as a trigger. The left hand controls movement, secondary gun features, and crouching. The result was easy-to-learn controls.

The multiplayer options allow players to play against each other in six different types of competition. Capture the flag type hacking and key grab, Battle Royale, Team Battles, One players vs. Everyone, and Timed Battle. Cooperatively players can progress through 14 missions related to the single player version of the game.

Overall this game has earned its M rating because of the players ability to kill each other, However with the emphasis on stealth, and various multiplayer options this game would be suitable for Mature teens and adults.

Overall: 6.5 of 10
Playability: 3.5 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 2 of 5

Mii

:[ February 12th, 2007

I have made my mii’s and now I’d like to offer to readers the chance to be my wii friend. Just email me “my first and last name” at gmail.com with your Wii console code. You can find it at the bottom righthand corner of your wii menu at the message board.

To add me as a friend register this code 6080-2396-2185-3088

We both have to enter eachothers codes to form a friendship, so don’t forget to email me.

Cars

:[ February 9th, 2007

Cars Rainbow Studios THQ Wii
ESRB E November 17, 2006 -Multiplayer-

When a movie is a blockbuster or appeals to a younger audience, gamers will often see a video game released in conjunction with the movie. This game is based on the Disney Pixar film. Like other racing games it is played with the wii mote sideways. These controls are a little easier to learn than other racing games, which means either I’m getting used to the wii mote, or the controls are easier. One extra feature is that when you are going fast you can move the wii mote directly up to jump. Players enter the middle of the story as Lighting McQueen is in Radiator Springs. You compete in races as well as assist local citizens with odd tasks such as tractor tipping, Power Sliding, and Tire Collecting. Also available is multiplayer options which allow up to four people to compete in mini games or races. As you complete tasks you will get points which you can use to unlock new characters, paint skins, and extra features.

Overall this game is designed for a younger audience, making it not as fun to play. Races use the rules of Nascar, which can allow you to get boxed in, and forces you to stay on the road. I recommend this game for families, and younger gamers. If you are a fan of racing games however I recommend trying one of the other titles available for the wii.

Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Metal Slug Anthology

:[ February 6th, 2007

Metal Slug Anthology Terminal Reality SNK Playmore Wii
ESRB T December 14, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Originally on the Neo Geo and in arcades, the seven games of the Metal Slug series makes its way to the Nintendo Wii in a complete port. Unlike the games available on the virtual console, this package has modifiable controls so players can use more than a sideways wii mote. One option includes the nunchuck allowing players to shoot with B, and incorporate the wii mote’s motion. Fans of the original games will enjoy this title, but that is the limit to its audience. It is extremely violent, and lacks a story line to encourage additional play. The screen is reminiscent of an arcade with free play enabled, making some versions unable to save progress. It involves side scrolling action with various soldiers. Players move through the levels shooting and bombing both the bad guys and hostages (to free their bonds), earning weapon upgrades, and extra lives. If your character runs our of lives simply press the +, choose a character, and continue on.

For retro gamers who enjoy run and gun games, this is a great addition to your game collection. However for others, this title may not be exactly what you are looking for and should be played before purchasing.
Overall: 5 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 2 of 5

Zelda: Twilight Princess

:[ February 5th, 2007
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Nintendo, Wii
ESRB T, November 19, 2006

Since the original Nintendo Console Link has graced us with a legend relating to the princess Zelda. In the same world as Ocarina of Time, The story of the 64 game is a mere legend. Our link is living in a small village as a young adult. His day job is a ranch herder, but he does many things for the families in the village. Once a player acclimates himself to the basic controls of the game in Link’s village, your journey begins, in both the game and shadow worlds.

This version of zelda follows the basic storyarc as some of the previous zelda games.Only this time Navi is replaced by a Twilight Shadow. But producer Miyamoto hasn’t just updated the story, he’s revolutionized the game controls. Players are immersed into the game with a balanced combination of wii mote movement and button pressing. The nunchuck is used to move Link around the world with camera controls also on the left hand. Active actions are used with the right hand where players also move the wii mote as a sword, fishing rod, and focal point.This game is the best zelda game I’ve seen, and a perfect example of what is possible on the wii. I recommend this game for everyone.Overall: 9.5 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 1 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Trauma Center: Second Chance

:[ February 5th, 2007
Trauma Center: Second Opinion Atlus Wii
ESRB T , November 19, 2006

Originally for the DS, the game Trauma Center makes use of the unique controls available with the wii mote. Players begin as a first year surgeon learning the ropes of normal hospital operations. As surgeries become more complex, the players use different tools to remove tumors, heal lacerations, and other medical procedures. One new tool for the wii version is the forceps which allow players to remove objects like glass and tissue from patients.

This game follows a very similar storyline to the DS version, but has slightly different operations. I can see many opportunities for the use of this game in classrooms with students learning about various diseases, although not all conditions later in the game are real. I recommend using a version of the game that has many levels unlocked if going to utilize in a group manner. Unfortunately this game does not have a multiplayer option, but I anticipate interest in players attempting various levels in a group setting comparing surgical scores. Overall I recommend this game for everyone, especially non gamers.

Overall: 8.5 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 2 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Tony Hawk Downhill Jam

:[ January 30th, 2007
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam Toys for Bob Activision, Wii
ESRB E 10+, November 19, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Tony Hawk games are best known for allowing players to do tricks on a skateboard in various areas. The wii version has converted the style into racing, and unfortunately taken a step back on Wii innovations. Like with Excite truck the wii mote is turned sideways. Players use the d pad, 1 and 2 buttons more than the wii motions which are only used to direct the skater and begin moving.
The multiplayer option in the game is better than the single player option. The Downhill Challenge gives players a feel for how to play the game, but consists of mostly races in beginning. Once you’ve unlocked an area you can host any event type at that location in the multiplayer game including racing, tricks, speed, directional accuracy, knock outs, and most time in first place. While it requires another person on additional wii motes, it does make this game more like previous Tony Hawk games.
So far this has been one of the best Wii multiplayer games, allowing for an enhanced experience when playing with others, one of the features of most Nintendo consoles.
Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Avatar

:[ January 28th, 2007
Avatar THQ, Wii
ESRB E 10+, November 19, 2006

With every game system there are many licenced titles, some appeal mostly to the fans of the continuing story, and others add to the gaming experience. Avatar is a decent cross over title, it adds to the avatar story from the television show allowing players to interact in a combination of exploration and fighting. The style fits the story, allowing players to alternate characters so that each is used equally, as written in the TV series.

I’d prefer this game to allow multiplayer action, but it can be fun single player. One down side to the game is the cut scenes. While accustomed to a certain style of visualization from the television series the graphic quality of the cut scenes deters from the players experience, and thus takes away from the game. Another downside is the limitations on playing levels, once players reach a boss they are not allowed to return to an area. This would be fine, expect in addition to the main storyline of defeating the fire nation, the avatar and his companions assist the members of the local towns with various tasks, which must be completed before the main boss. Since it is not clearly stated, this can cause some frustrated for players in the beginning.

This is the first title I’ve played for the Wii that is available on multiple platforms. Playing it on the wii wasn’t much different than my experience with other consoles: alot of button smashing. The wii mote was utilized to activate special moves, but the control did not feel natural for the fighting. It was primarily used in replacement of a button I felt would be pressed if I was on a non wii console.

Overall this isn’t the best Wii game, but it is one of the better licenced titles I’ve seen. I would recommend this for anyone who is a fan of the television show, action adventure games, or mythology in games.

Overall: 6 of 10
Playability: 4 of 5
Social: 1 of 5
Originality: 1 of 5

Excite Truck

:[ January 16th, 2007

Excite Truck Monster Games Nintendo, Wii

ESRB E, November 19, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Off Road cars, designed to handle turbo boosts, multiple crashes, and extreme fun, this game is most like the Burnout driving game series, where the fun is in completing tricks with you vecile while racing computer players. Once players master the different controls, game play becomes enjoyable to any racing fan. The game starts with a manditory tutorial, then basic courses. As you play you can unlock the game which includes multiplayer courses for two players.Performing tricks while racing the courses will collect into awards gaining players a wider selection of vechiles.
While this game isn’t the most original racing game. It combines some of the best elements of other popular racing games. I recommend playing with a wii stering wheel. The controls of the game make the learning curve a little steeper when picking up the wii mote.

As the Wii develops I anticipate EA or Nintendo might create a better racing game, but for now this is enough fun for everyone to enjoy.
Overall: 8 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Red Steel

:[ January 16th, 2007

Red Steel Ubisoft, Wii

ESRB T, November 19, 2006 -Multiplayer-

First-person shooters (FPSs) are a popular game genre. Classics include Halo, Doom, and Half Life. In these games, all you see of the main character is his/her hand holding a weapon. Red Steel is the first FPS for the Wii, and sticks to the classic FPS model. You in love with the daughter of a Japanese mob boss. The game begins in a restaraunt where you are to meet you future father-in-law for the first time. Soon you, your fiance, and her father are under attack. Now you must discover the truth behind the assult, earn the trust of your future father-in-law, and find your kidnapped fiance.

This game’s story includes using guns and swords to fight your way to answers. While the title is multiplayer, the feature is limited to playing with others on the same console. Overall, I would say that Red Steel is just an average FPS, and will only appeal to fans of mission based FPS.

Overall, the lack of freedom is a deterrant from playing the game more than once, so I would not recommend this game for general use.

Overall: 7 of 10
Playability: 3 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 3 of 5

Elebits

:[ January 14th, 2007

Elebits Konami, Wii

ESRB E, December 12, 2006 -Multiplayer-

From the makers of Dance Dance Revolution, comes Elebits. The game where electricity is represented by little creatures that came from lightning. You play as a child of the leading elebit researchers, home alone during a world wide power outage. While the concept is closet to the games Pikmin and Katamari Damacy, the originality and absurdity of this game makes it one of the best early titles for the Wii.

The game is easy to pick up and play. Using the wii-mote you move objects around in to look for the elebits. When you find one you capture it by zapping it. The more elebits you collect the more electricity you get in order to turn on devices around the house. Some items perform special tasks to increase the variety as you move from bedroom to front of your house.

In addition to the story mode, regular game play, players can also battle each other to collect the most elebits from one of the levels. This feature allows one player to control the camera while everyone moves objects and captures the elebits. Another unique feature is the ability for players to create their own levels using various items. Levels can be shared with friends using the Wii’s Internet connection, and friend codes.

All in all I recommend this game for everyone, and think it would be a unique addition to elementary science learning.

Overall: 9 of 10
Playability: 5 of 5
Social: 4 of 5
Originality: 5 of 5

Super Monkey Ball Bannana Blitz

:[ January 13th, 2007

Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz Sega of America, Wii

ESRB E November 14, 2006 -Multiplayer-

Monkey Ball is a game originally for the Nintendo Gamecube developed by the makers of Sonic, Sega. Players tilt the ground to roll their monkey through a course collecting bananas and reaching the goal within the time limit. It plays much like a Hamster Ball golf. For the Wii version they have adapted the Wii-mote to simulate the movement of the course. With 8 worlds to select from, the main game is not much of an improvement from the Gamecube version, but for series fans still fun.

Previous versions of the game have had multiplayer options, and the Wii version is no different. There are 50 party games to choice from, but many are difficult to play using the Wii mote and nunchuck controls leaving players frustrated while playing. Another frustrating option in this game is the menu system. When playing a level or a party game players are not allowed to pause, back up, or end the game early, which makes the party games just annoying.

While I commend Sega on development on a Wii game, this game could have used a slimmer party game option, and more time spent working on the controls.

Overall: 4 of 10
Playability: 1 of 5
Social: 3 of 5
Originality: 4 of 5

Welcome to the world of gaming

:[ January 10th, 2007

This blog is set up to be a place where I can post reviews of games as well as industry news. Make sure you check out all the pages on the website to see all the resources I’ve created

Ratings - Originality

:[ January 8th, 2007

Originality

5 of 5 - A game that is a completely new idea that has not been seen in past titles. (Katamari Damacy, Pikmin, Trauma Center[DS], Super Smash Brothers[N64])

4 of 5 - A title that has a new concept to utilize the unique features of the platform or a sequel or port of a completely original game.

3 of 5 - A game that has one new idea integrated into a classic gaming model.

2 of 5 - Combination of existing elements.

1 of 5 - Direct port or clone of existing media with few new elements.

Ratings - Social

:[ January 7th, 2007

Social

5 of 5 - This is something that is great to play multiplayer and is better multiplayer than single player.

4 of 5 - Something that has a well-designed multiplayer aspect.

3 of 5 - Game contains multiplayer options, but it could be improved upon.

2 of 5 - Does not contain multiplayer options, but lends itself to gamers taking turns or being interested in watching each-other play.

1 of 5 - No multiplayer option available, and no options to easily change players.

Ratings - Playability

:[ January 6th, 2007

Playability
5 of 5 - Pick up the controller and you know what to do, and are motivated to continue playing.

4 of 5 - The controls are easy to learn, but hard to master, and the flow of the game eases you into the controls.

3 of 5 - The controls are suited to the title, and if you have an interest in the game you will be willing to learn them.

2 of 5 - The controls take effort to learn, and you aren’t able to proceed with the game until you have mastered the controls.

1 of 5 - The controls are so difficult to learn, that it deters from the overall play of the game, and frustrates them so that they cannot enjoy it

Ratings - Overall

:[ January 1st, 2007

Overall

10 of 10 - This game is flawless. Its balance allows new players to easily learn, and still provides fun for experienced gamers. It also adds value to the world of gaming.

9 of 10 - This game is excellent. A title that earns a 9 of 10 is worthy of every gamer to play. It has little flaws, and none that hinder the game play.

8 of 10 - This game is great. It will appeal to gamers who do not normally play this type of game.

7 of 10 - This game is good. It is a good addition to its genre, and adds originality to the gaming experience.

6 of 10 - This game is Ok. It will appeal to a specific audience, who already enjoys a specific genre. It adds nothing to the genre or gaming in general.

5 of 10 - This game is Average. Its a game who’s system was ported. It has no originality, and is hardly distinguishable from other games.

4 of 10 - This game is Below Average. It has a minor flaw that interferes with the players ability to enjoy the game, such as control, plot line, or basic playability.

3 of 10 - This game is Barely Tolerable. It is frustrating to play to the average gamer, and takes away from the gaming experience.

2 of 10 - This game is just plain bad. It should never have been released. It has more than 3 major flaws. Its not even a game.

1 of 10 - This game contains no content. The screen is black, and does not respond to controller.