Friday, September 22, 2006

Notable Wii Games To Watch

The Wii's launch is looking very, very good. There's a solid mix of inventive, new games and sequels to the best-loved names. It's far better than the nearly exclusive reliance on brand-name franchises on Microsoft and Sony's consoles. There's even a few DS ports, which should be interesting. Without mentioning the obvious hits (Zelda, Metroid), here are a few titles that really grabbed my interest:

Excite Truck

This racing game just looks better and better. At least, it looks better to my eyes than the last time it was shown, at E3. I still don't have any clue if multiplayer is included, but it would be almost criminal if Excite Truck was only for one player.

Anyway, this is one of the first must-play games on my Wii list. Especially when you factor in the fact that Wiimotes and Nunchucks are sold seperately, Excite Truck becomes an easy buy. Big air, blinding speed, multiple tracks, and smacking into other trucks? Yeah, baby!

Cooking Mama

This has just been released on DS, another in the long line of quirky, inventive DS titles. A cooking game? Haven't really seen anything like that since good 'ol Burgertime. It looks like it couldn't possibly work, yet it seems irresistable. You've got to give it one try at least. I think the DS developers will adapt to the Wii the fastest, treating the Wiimote much like the DS' stylus.

Battalion Wars 2

A cooler-looking sequel to the real-time strategy game from Gamecube. While I hope that this series doesn't present Intelligent Systems from bringing out a Wii version of Advance Wars, I'm thrilled to see this game appear on the new console. The graphics look a lot better, heavy on the color saturation and meaty explosions. I'm wondering why people so easily complain that Wii is the weakest console of the current crop. Since when does this pass as an eyesore? Too bad the online service won't be open until next year - this would be a perfect contender.

Marble Madness-Type Thing

I don't know the name of this title, and I'm scouring around the internet to find some gameplay videos. But, hey, it looks really cool. This will probably another one of those titles that gets lost in the fog, as most consumers spend all their money on Zelda and Metroid and Madden. Not that it's a bad thing; let's just try to notice the other titles. Any game without a roman numeral at the end needs a fair shake.


Another show-off game, or the Wii answer to Katamari? Hard to tell just yet, but any game that allows me to break apart and smash anything in sight can only be good. Good to see that Konami isn't resting on their laurels, giving us something unique and new. As best as can tell, the game involves scooping up little aliens which may hide within the nooks and crannies of your house. The only way to find them is to zap everything in sight with your ghostbuster gun.

Trauma Center

The second of three Nintendo DS ports/sequels (the third being Big Brain Academy), this should become a fan favorite if the handheld version is any indication. It promises to be a perfect showoff title for the Wiimote, and looks pretty damn good to boot. The designers are insistand that this is not merely a port, but a complete, new game in its own right.

Metal Slug Anthology

Classic gamers take note! Do not let this one slip through your fingers! Metal Slug Anthology is the complete collection of every game in the series, but the most important news is the all-new control scheme - using the Wiimote to fire. You simply aim the controller like a mouse and fire away, and the Nunchuck controller moves the characters. It's a title that SNK Playmore has become proud of, and it's the lone classic side-scroller in the entire lineup, so don't miss it.

Harvest Moon

Shown at the Japanese premier, which means it won't appear Stateside until sometime next year. Hey, if it shows up earlier, all the better. I know that the DS version includes all-new gameplay mechanics that take advantage of the hardware, so let's cross our fingers and hope those innovations appear on the Wii as well.

Project HAMMER

The E3 version looked pretty good, but a bit choppy. This new photo looks much better, especially with the backgrounds, and I'm hoping the speed and rhythm will have been sufficently improved. For some odd reason, there hasn't been any really good beat-em-ups since the 16-bit days of Final Fight and Streets of Rage. What's the deal with that?

Red Steel

An almost guaranteed hit among the Wii crowd this holiday season. It's certainly among the more ambitious titles, and easily the most "adult." Most of the major concerns from E3 have been addressed, if reports are to be believed. The designers have completely ripped out the old sword-control scheme, and instituted a new one that promises far more fluid movement. Will it be actual one-to-one movement from your Wiimote? Will there be lots of cool explosions? Will we be able to shoot everything in sight? We're all rooting for Red Steel to succeed - you, me, the guys and gals at Lucasarts. Best to iron out all the kinks before the lightsabre game comes out.

Sonic Whatever-The-Hell-It's-Called

Please don't suck, please don't suck, please don't suck, please don't suck.

Ah, who am I kidding? It's gonna suck. Tom Kalinske had to have made some sort of voodoo pact when Sega was shuffling him out the door.

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