Tagged "Wii"

Aug 11
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

You don’t need me to tell you that Pheasants Forever is a hunting game. And as you may have guessed, it’s for Wii. But what a strange name to call a game – if people hunted pheasants forever then there will be none left. I suppose though they couldn’t have called it Pheasant Slaughter Sim. If it’s any better than Duck Hunt on the NES I will be very surprised, and if review copies have been sent to press I’d be even more so.

If you feel that fruit needs to be punished rather than pheasants, there’s Fruit Ninja Kinect on Xbox Live Arcade. It got an 8/10 in 360 Gamer magazine – “It is what it is” they said. A simple game done well, in other words. It’s a greatly improved version, or rather a totally new version, of the popular iOS game. If you can wait a while it’s also going to be bundled on the same disk as The Gunstringer, which was once due on Xbox Live Arcade but is now a retail release.

As per the usual, there are a couple of seemingly random DS games out this week too. Mystery Tales Part 2 and 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven, to be precise. We all remember the classic that was the original Mystery Tales, don’t we? Yep. 7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven appears to be the sequel to 7 Wonders II but by going by the boxart and product descriptions the differences between the two sound rather minimal.

Next week: Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii), Toy Soldiers: Cold War (XBLA), Arcana Heart 3 (PS3, 360), Country Dance (Wii), Farm Frenzy 3 (DS), Timmy Time (DS) and Youda Legend: Amsterdam Diamond (DS).

Jun 14
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

There’s always a sense of excitement when one of the big three console manufacturers release a list of what’s due out on their consoles from now until the next six months or so. Part of this excitement comes from the fact that often there are games mentioned that haven’t been officially announced, or haven’t been previously reported as being released outside of Japan or whatnot.

This time round it’s Nintendo, with a list of what’s being released in US this year.

For Wii and DS owners it isn’t very good news. Nintendo’s own titles aside, the majority of games for both platforms are either licensed or child friendly. In fact, every DS and Wii game from Activision, Disney, Sega, Konami, D3, THQ, Ubisoft, Take-2 and Warner Bros has a license attached.

Incidentally, WB lists LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 for release on DS and 3DS but not on Wii. A mistake, surely?

EA’s Wii line-up makes for even more depressing reading – four titles based on board games and this year’s Madden and Need for Speed updates. Looks like they aren’t even going to bother releasing FIFA 12 in the US.

There are of course a few exceptions: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 on DS should be worth an import. Two new WiiWare games are on the list too: La-Mulana and MotoHeroz. On DSiWare meanwhile there’s the excellent sounding Pro Jumper! Chimaki’s Hot Spring Tour Guilty Gear Tangent.

More exciting is the list of titles for the 3DS’s eShop – five GameGear games from Sega, Let’s Golf 3D from Gameloft, something called Picture Lives! and confirmation that The Rolling Western – shown at E3 – is an eShop title. That’ll explain why it looks so barren in the screenshots.

After a few months of silence, Nintendo are unleashing three big titles on 3DS – Kid Icarus: Unrising, Mario Kart and Super Mario are all due in time for Christmas while Starfox 64 3D is out in September. Paper Mario and Animal Crossing still have ‘TBA’ next to them. It’s not long until Kirby Mass Attack on DS though – that’s due in September as well.

Anything else? Ubisoft are stinking up the 3DS with no less than four virtual pet games – Petz Fantasy 3D, Cute Puppies, Horses 3D and Imagine Babyz. Shudder. It would also seem that Sega are holding back Thor on 3DS to tie-in with the DVD/Blu-ray release – it’s not due out until “Fall”. The DS version gained some favorable reviews; this could turn out alright too with the extra development time behind it.

To only see one DS game from Ubisoft is a bit of a suprise and it looks like THQ aren’t releasing any more uDraw games now that the uDraw for Xbox 360 and PS3 has been announced. Odd.

The US Nintendo release list in full: (more…)

May 13
By Jake In Most Played No Comments

Art of Balance - Wii

I was over a year late to the Art of Balance party, and for that I blame only Nintendo. Had they given the green light to WiiWare demos earlier – as they clearly and obviously should have – then I would have played the demo earlier, and realised how ridiculously brilliant it is earlier.

The couple of months it took me to download the full game after playing the demo, and the couple of months it took me to play it after that… that’s all Nintendo’s fault too. It is! DO NOT QUESTION ME.

Art of Balance - Wii

Actually, I blame Shin’en too, for giving the game an awful name. Awful because it sounds for all the world like a balance board game. But it isn’t: your task is to build a stack, using all the pieces you’re given, that doesn’t fall into the ever-threatening bowl of water below for at least a count of three.

It starts with nice simple geometric shapes, which fit together nicely with a steady hand. But, as these things inevitably do, it soon gets more complicated: pieces with curved corners or pointy bits; pieces that smash when other pieces are stacked on top; pieces becoming usable in an unhelpful order; less uniform bases for you to build on. There are challenge stages too: a time limit; a required height to achieve with your stack; or a floating, unstable base to build on.

Art of Balance - Wii

There’s some really clever level design, and when repeated attempts are required – which they definitely are later in the game – it’s not always for the same reason. On more puzzling levels, the solution may only become clear after a bit of trial and error; some levels just takes practice, either to perfect the balancing act, or to do it quickly enough. It makes for a surprisingly varied game.

It has the hallmarks of a good physics-based puzzler: that delighted satisfaction that comes when a solution materialises from nowhere, and a desire to pursue more ‘interesting’ solutions, just because they’re fun.

Only twice, by my reckoning, does the game overstep the mark into frustration. Most of the time evil levels give the most satisfaction, but those two… still evil, even afterwards.

If, like me, Art of Balance passed you by when it was released over a year ago, then dust off your Wii and give it a go. DO IT.

Apr 30
By Matt Gander In Blog 3 Comments

If any of these faux Wii 2 rumours – fresh from my very own brain – turn out to be true, my uncle will be a monkey. Or however that phrase goes. Behold:

  • Nintendo’s top boffins are currently creating a new colour that only the Wii 2 will be able to display.

  • The Wii 2 will be shaped like Abraham Lincoln’s hat.

  • The Wii 2 will examine your face and give out make-up tips while booting up.

  • If you have an honest looking face the Wii 2 will let you download games before paying for them.

  • The Wii 2 will monitor how many violent games you play and then send a ‘Psychopath Rating’ to the local police.

  • Unlike other videogame consoles, the Wii 2 will only need an oil change every 18 months.

  • The Wii 2 will take photos of you while you play and send them back to Reggie for his own ‘personal collection’.

  • If a Wii 2 breaks it’ll automatically request a visit from a fully trained electrician. It’ll also eject a rubber dingy.

  • The current design of the Wii 2 infringes on no less than sixteen of Dyson’s patents.

  • To justify the high price tag the Wii 2 will have built-in parking sensors.

  • If you’re bald the Wii 2 will offer sympathy and make games easier so you don’t feel inadequate.

  • You won’t be able to download software onto the Wii 2 without purchasing the chip and pin machine accessory.

  • Wii 2’s friend codes will be formed of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

  • You won’t be able to eject disks from your Wii 2 unless you regularly charge up the Soda-Stream style gas canister located underneath.

  • Valve wanted to make Portal 2 a Wii 2 exclusive but Nintendo turned it down saying it looked “too white”.

  • If you buy a pre-owned game the Wii 2 will send your name and address to the developers so they can send you hate mail.

  • The Wii 2 will emit a pheromone to attract kittens.

  • To deter hackers the Wii 2 will simply give out your credit card details to anybody who asks nicely.

  • The Wii 2 will switch itself off the moment somebody with a beard enters the room.

  • The Wii 2 is, in actual fact, a board game.

And here are some of our favourites from our Twitter followers:

  • Wii 2 will be sold with a magazine that gives away a new piece each week for 97 weeks starting with the first at £1.99. – @Treesmurf11

  • Wii 2’s home screen will constantly display “We are making Pikmin 3” as a reassurance. But it will never come out. – @jellyscare

  • To stop theft Wii 2 sprays skunk essence at anyone wearing Black and White stripes and carrying a bag marked ‘swag’. – @Treesmurf11

  • A new PSN style trophy system will be incorporated into the Wii 2, called NintenRophies. – @RicDixon

  • Instead of Miis, the Wii 2 will have a built-in Tingle who will invade every game you play at the most annoying times. – @jellyscare

  • Wii 2 will have hair like Donald Trump. – @painstick

Mar 09
By Jake In Ten Years of GA 2 Comments

Ten years is a long time. But has much actually changed since Games Asylum was born into this world? Yes. And no. I’ve dredged the archives to illustrate.

1. Walls no barrier

GP32

“Another technical marvel contained within is the RF module. With this you can play against up to three other players within a ten metre radius. No link-up cables are needed, and it even works through walls.”
GP32 – The Korean Alternative, January 2002

It works through walls? Wow! Mind you, a home network back then meant a load of CAT5 cable nailed to the skirting board. So going through walls was kind of a big deal.

2. Infrared?

“There is a built in rumble device, motion sensor and infrared communication capability. These allow for more interactive games, and of course for simple multiplayer gaming.”
Pokemon Mini, March 2002

And infrared was a simple way of achieving multiplayer gaming, apparently. Having to enter my Wi-Fi security key every time I get a new device is almost too much effort for me these days. Infrared? Jesus.

3. Downloads

Xbox Live

“If people want to download the latest blockbuster EA offering, I’m happy for them to be able to, but I see no reason for such releases not to also be available in shops. It’s for smaller games that I see digital distribution playing its part. Microsoft seem to agree. It’s on what sort of games, and how much they should cost, that we disagree.”
Digital Distribution, November 2004

Download games have exploded since Xbox Live Arcade first launched – and in much the way I thought they should. But I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that it would be Apple who would transform the market, with the sort of pricing I was looking for back then.

4. Rise of the casual

“To be fair, making a game for our Mr and Mrs Middle-Aged would probably be suicidal in the current market – except possibly on PC, but let’s not start on the problems of PC gaming for Joe Average.”
Bang On Target, July 2001

It’s easy to underestimate just how much Nintendo reshaped the market with the DS and Wii. A game for middle-aged people? You can’t get my mum off Professor Layton these days.

5. Rare

Rare

“Early signs, such as Rare remaining in scenic Warwickshire, indicate that Microsoft won’t be destroying the history and traditions of Rare. […] The biggest gainers are doubtless Microsoft. They are in need of more quality exclusive titles, and Rare should provide them. Not only that, but Rare are skilled in the art of platform gaming, one area in which the Xbox is particularly weak.”
Microsoft Buying Rare, September 2002

Rare didn’t attract a less shooty demographic to the Xbox brand, and Viva Pinata didn’t really appeal to the typical shooty Xbox consumer. The idiots. And look at Rare now: moving to Birmingham, permanent jobs being replaced by contractors. It’s fair to say it didn’t work out like anyone wanted.

6. Connectivity

“Shigeru Miyamoto recently stated that 70 to 80% of the GameCube games released in the coming year will feature Game Boy Advance connectivity.”
Connected, March 2003

Well that didn’t happen, did it? The GC-GBA link cable was the great USP that never was. Possibly partly because, if memory serves, it was virtually impossible to get hold of the official product. Still, Pac-Man Vs was quite fun. It looks like it’s Sony’s turn to give connectivity a bash now, with the NGP and PS3. It’s sure to be excellent.

7. DualShock

DualShock 3

“Sony really have to change the placement of the left analogue stick on the PlayStation 3 controller, or they’ll get a bloody good kicking from me.”
Sony, Change Your Pad, February 2004

A year later, the PlayStation 3 was unveiled – initially with a truly bizarre boomerang-style controller. But the final PS3 pad is virtually identical to the PS2 pad, so despite my ranting, the left analogue stick is still in the wrong place. I’m waiting to hear back from Sony about administering that kicking.

8. Action adventures

“A simple question for you: are 3D action adventures the easy way out for games companies? There certainly are a lot about. Possibly more of them than any other genre.”
Action Adventures, January 2002

The original Xbox hadn’t even been released in January 2002, so the seemingly unstoppable rise of WAR GAMES above all else hadn’t really commenced. How I yearn for the days of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger.

9. Special edition

Driver San Francisco Collector Pack

“A lot of people are as pathetically materialistic as me, and would be encouraged to buy a game in its first week to get some nice packaging, and publishers would get better first week sales. Everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth.”
Cardboard Sleeves, February 2004

This has changed, by my reckoning: you can’t move these days for metal boxes, character figurines, and other special edition nonsense. At a suitably inflated price, of course.

10. Completism

“There is an unquantifiable pleasure and satisfaction to be had from complete, boxed consoles and games – both old and new.”
Digest #03 Column, September 2002

Well that certainly hasn’t changed – helped to some extent by the above. A quick look at our regular Cache in the Attic eBay trawls demonstrates how much people are willing to pay for a bit of old cardboard.

Feb 26
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Useless videogame accessories have been around for as long as videogames themselves. Who remembers the infamous Game Veil, a piece of black cloth designed for putting over your head while playing handheld games? Or those extra speakers for the original Game Boy, so that everybody in an entire train/bus/school/underground nuclear bunker can have their ears filled with the iconic Tetris music?

The incredible success of the Wii has help fill the coffers of peripheral makers but now it would seem that they’re getting stuck for ideas. Need proof? Here’s proof:

Inflatable Boxing Gloves
When playing boxing on Wii Sports, physical contact isn’t required – so why would you need padded gloves? My guess is that it’s for people who want to physically punch their opponent in two-player after they give them a hiding. But look: free pump!

Check out: the boxart with Guile on it

Wii Rifle
There are plenty of unofficial Wii light-gun adaptors, but this one caught my attention due to the sheer size of it. Maybe you’re meant to hang it on your wall on a plaque when not using it. This one has a ‘lock and load’ feature which doesn’t actually do anything but does reportedly make a nice clicking sound. It probably goes a bit like this: ‘click!’

Check out: the orange bits

Anti-slip gloves
Sweaty palms? Really cold house? Regular attendee of ’90s rave nights? Then you need these white anti-slip gloves, complete with a suspect unofficial Wii logo.

Check out: the typo on the box

Wii Rod
Not just any old rod, but a premium fishing rod with a separate compartment for a nunchuk. Shame the best fishing game on Wii is still the mini-game in Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Check out: the freaky fish

Sword and Shield sets
Import place Deal Extreme has two different sword and shield combos. The first looks like something you’d find in the toy section of Poundland and lights up like a Star Wars lightsaber. There’s even artwork from Knights of the Old Republic on the cover. Funny thing is, we don’t remember Darth Vader and his cohorts ever taking medieval looking shields into battle.

Set 1: yours for only $18

The second set looks much more authentic, but one of the customer comments handily points out that the swords cover up the sensor on top of the remote.

Set 2: not too shabby looking

Air Combat Controller
There aren’t many flight sims on Wii – Sky Crawlers is the best of the lot, but rather hard to find. Perhaps Pega – the designers of this controller – hoped that more copies would have been released. Select quotes from the back of the box:

“Be able to feel conveniently and more sense when you play games.”
“One cupule accompanied, with this you can absorb the controller to the table and teapoy wherever you want.”

Teapoy? We’re guessing that they’re talking about a tray of some kind.

Check out: the control description

Densha de Go! Controller
Train games are popular in Japan, but apart from various realistic PC sims the only one we can recall coming to Europe was Extreme Express on PlayStation 2. Taito’s Densha de Go! series has been running for years, and this accessory was released alongside the early Wii launch title Densha de Go! Shinkansen EX: Sanyou Shinkansen Hen. Hilariously, NGamer magazine once tried playing Mario Galaxy with this chunky accessory attached.

Check out: the choo-choo

Sports Gauge Pedometer
Not just any old Pedometer, but a Sports Gauge Pedometer. For reasons unknown to me (and probably the designers) it’s shaped like a bone and has an image of a gorilla on the box. “Can be used both indoors and outdoors,” claims the blurb. Really? Wow!

Check out: the sinister gorilla

Cooking Mama Prop Kit
Boxing gloves, shields and aviation controls not weird enough for you? Then how about a plastic frying pan attachment for Cooking Mama? Also comes with “spade”, knife and fork accessories. An official Swiss Army Knife add-on can’t be too far away.

Check out: the “spade”

Wii Kitty sticker
Let’s end on a light note, like they do on the local news. Here’s a lovely sticker of a fluffy kitten that you can stick onto the side of your Wii to make it look less manly. Ahh!

Check out: the innocence

Feb 16
By Jake In Most Played 4 Comments

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I

I wanted S4E1 – that’s what I reckon all the cool kids are calling it – to be excellent. I think I only read one review when it was released last year, and took that as confirmation that it is indeed excellent. Having finally got round to downloading it, I’m not entirely disappointed.

It starts perfectly: the SEGA logo and voice sample are bang on. It goes a bit wonky on the title screen though. The music just isn’t right; it’s suitably 16-bit, but it sounds tacky rather than fun.

That’s soon forgotten though, whizzing around the Green Hill Zone, or whatever they’re calling it this time. Running, jumping, spinning, springing, looping – all that jazz is as much fun as ever.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I

Gladly, there are few interruptions to this speedy tomfoolery. There are tonnes of alternative paths, and the odd puzzle, but nothing to bring the game grinding to a halt. Except once. There’s one torch-based puzzle, which isn’t hard to understand, but is tediously fiddly to execute because Sonic is so unweildy to control from a standing start.

While I’m moaning, I should go on about the final boss stage. First, you have to go through all the bosses seen earlier in the game again – lazy, lazy, lazy. Robotnik’s very final incarnation is actually quite imaginative, and it’s satisfying to work out how to survive some of his more challenging attacks. But the number of hits he takes at every stage of the fight makes it needlessly repetitive – and hard. I was more relieved than satisfied to finally beat him, and that’s not the way it should be, is it?

I do approve of the length, though: four zones, each with three acts. Long enough to leave me sated, but with enough room left in my gaming belly for a bit of replaying – to collect the Chaos Emeralds and all that.

So: not entirely disappointed. Not very disappointed at all, actually. I played the Mega Drive original not so long ago, and I was bloody rubbish at it. Maybe my complaints are just a result of my ineptitude. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Anyway, here’s looking forward to Episode II. I don’t anticipate being especially disappointed.

Feb 01
By Matt Gander In Blog 7 Comments

Nintendo has revealed that Donkey Kong Country Returns has managed to shift over 4 million copies worldwide since being released on 3rd December while 1.5 million copies Art Academy on DS have been sold so far. I expect that’s more than what Mario Paint on the SNES ever managed to sell.

The two aforementioned now join the likes of Mario Kart Wii and New Super Mario Bros. in Nintendo’s impressive lifetime sales charts. Below are lists of Nintendo titles that sold at least 1 million between April to December 2010:

Top-selling Wii games
– Mario Kart Wii – 26,500,000 units
– Wii Sports Resort – 26,350,000 units
– New Super Mario Bros Wii – 21,280,000 units
– Wii Fit Plus – 17,740,000 units
– Super Mario Galaxy 2 – 6,150,000 units
– Wii Party – 5,070,000 units
– Donkey Kong Country Returns – 4,210,000 units
– Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition – 1,950,000 units
– Kirby’s Epic Yarn – 1,380,000 units

Top-selling DS games
– New Super Mario Bros DS – 26,210,000 units
– Mario Kart DS – 20,700,000 units
– Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver – 11,720,00 units
– Pokémon Black and White – 5,320,000 units
– Art Academy – 1,520,000 units
– Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem – 1,152,000 units

The popularity behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn – which is still yet to be released in the UK – explains as to why a new Kirby game was announced last week. Apparently it bares a striking resemblance to a canned GameCube Kirby game.

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