Weekly Challenges 2 & 3 Entries

Well, I promised to post all of these a long time ago (or at least a week ago), so here they are!

Week 2’s winning entry by Titan38:

New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Wii – Nintendo

By now, it is no secret that Nintendo is a consistently solid Game Developer. With such hit franchises as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pikmin, Nintendo sets the bar for quality. With Wii Sports Resort, there is no difference. Based on the four basic mechanics of any exceptional game, graphics, presentation, controls, and lasting appeal, Nintendo covers all bases.

The Wii is not a graphics powerhouse, as it only has 480p graphics, compared to a PS3 and Xbox360’s 1080p graphics. However, Nintendo knows their system in and out, and it shows. New super Mario Bros. Wii has an excellent graphical style. It is simple, so the Wii can handle it, but it is not so simple, as say, Kidz Sports: Basketball. If you have ever played New Super Mario Bros. on the DS, you will know the art style. It is smooth, and all of the characters are colorful and vibrant. Although it is not necessarily a “New” art style, the franchise continues what works.

Presentation is important to all games. With a shoddy HUD, it is difficult to understand what is going on all over the screen. As usual, Nintendo keeps the on-screen information to a minimum, allowing you to play the game without distractions, but with necessary information. For example, the only icons on the HUD are your lives, coins, score, and time left. It isn’t bogged down with useless facts. Another important aspect of the presentation is the 2D aspect of the game. Returning to Mario’s roots, Nintendo made this a 2D platformer, as opposed to an entirely 3D one, such as Super Mario Galaxy. The game does however have some 3D elements, such as the background and depth of characters. By reinventing the original Mario experience, which made Mario one of the most iconic game characters of all time, Nintendo ensures success without taking any huge risks, and it certainly works out for them. The 2D appeal adds a sense of simplicity to the game, but also allowed Nintendo to add in challenging elements, which may make you use the Super Guide.

The Super Guide is a new element Nintendo has included to a classic Mario equation. If you get stuck on a level, don’t know where to go, or simply are sick of trying to figure things out for yourself, you can bring up a Super Guide, which will show you how to beat the level, through the means of Luigi. He will play through, and at any point, you can take over for him. If you let Luigi beat the level for you, you can even skip the level entirely and move on to the next level. This is a wonderful addition to those that may find the game challenging. Also, if you don’t want to use the Super Guide, you don’t have to, and you can go through the entire game without using it at all. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for players of all levels.

The diversity of enemies is also a welcome addition to the game. Of course, there are the classic enemies, but Nintendo has introduced some new ones, which adds to the game. They are not necessarily harder than any of the originals, such as Goombas, but they are appealing to the eye and will probably make you smile when you come across new ones.

Nintendo knows how to please a consumer, and didn’t let them down with their controls which have been incorporated into New Super Mario Bros. Wii. A certain downfall to motion controlled games is the temptation for developers to overuse it. Nintendo has never overdone it, and they continue their excellent control streak with this game. The Wii Remote is orientated in the NES fashion, and you use 1 to run and 2 to jump. However, in order to do special movies, you may have to tilt or shake the controller, such as when wearing the twirly hat, you must shake the Wii Remote in order to activate the “twirl” element. Luckily, you don’t have to do this every second of the game, but it is often enough to add to the experience. It also does not seem to be thrown into the game without any thinking. When it must be used, it works, which was expected from Nintendo.

This game has quite a lasting appeal, which will let you play for hours and hours, and yet still not be satisfied. Nintendo is known to not have a strong online system, and this is no different. In fact, Nintendo simply excluded online capabilities of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, as to not disappoint. This was probably a good idea, since it may have ended up like the online of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which was quite the unsatisfactory online experience. But, you can still play locally with up to four of your friends. With a drop in and drop out feature, you can play by yourself, and have your friends enter the game with you without having to go back out to the main menu. This is a great addition to the game, since going back to menus can be cumbersome, when it isn’t necessary.

With 8 full worlds, with each world having roughly 10 or so levels, and each level having at least 3 collectable coins, this game will take up a lot of time to beat 100%. At your first play through, it is not even necessary to play through every level. There are multiple paths you can take in order to get to the final level. However, with such a diverse set of levels, may it be fire, ice, or grass, you will want to see and experience every level for yourself.

Another welcome addition to the game is the new slew of power ups. Generally, there is only the starman and fireflower. However, this time around, Nintendo included some new and exciting ones. There is a twirly hat, which, when worn, allows you to spring high into the air, and then slowly come back to earth, almost as if you are floating. Another nice power up is the ice flower. With this power up, you can shoot snowballs, which are much like fireballs, and they freeze enemies into ice blocks, so you can jump on them or crush them, it is up to you. These different advancements in the game also add a set of new colors which are quite appealing.

Nintendo played it safe when it came to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, returning to Mario’s roots, and taking what worked from New Super Mario Bros. for the DS. With an improved graphics style, excellently simple presentation, controls which allow you to reminisce about NES days, and a gambit of levels and collectibles which add a ton of replay value, New Super Mario Bros. Wii takes to player back to the glory days in a game that you will not want to miss for anything.

The rest of Week 2’s entries are after the break.

Week 3’s winning entries:

A Mid-Brawl’s Final Destination by Charmy:

Subspace Emissary “End of the World” Trailer by DarkWish:

Kirby Weekly Challenge 3 by Rocho:

The rest of Week 3’s entries are after the break!

Let’s start with the rest of the video entries – they should be quicker to go through.

The Subspace Invasion by DarkWish:

Nintendo Through the Ages by Jakek9:

Why They Made Super Mario Galaxy 2 by Charmy (with SirWetBiscuitJr. and FlyingHigh):

Why Mewtwo was Rejected by Jakek9:

Alright, that’s it for Week 3’s entries. Now for Week 2, listed in the order received:

Kingdom Hearts 358/ 2 Days

After years of not seeing any sort of Kingdom Hearts game being produced, Square Enix releases Kingdom Hearts 358/ 2 Days. If you have played Kingdom Hearts 2, then you will recognize all the old maps from the previous games. This whole game is basically a recycled version of Kingdom Hearts 2.

So, if you are new to the series and decide to pick this game up, you might get confused about a few things, but mostly the storyline. But, most players find the combo system and panel links a fun challenge, whether your a new fan of the Kingdom Hearts series, or a hardcore one.
One of the new things about this game is the Tetris like grid called your panel link system. This is a fun new way to raise levels, add magic to your arsenal and add key blades, Which is called “gear”. Now, in the past the connection with Disney has proved useful, if you played the game before, you will realize that it is not so helpful anymore. The story focus on original characters of the story, creating an new atmosphere for the series instead of the “friendship” status that’s always thrown into every game.

If your a casual, or hardcore fan of the DS, you will recognize some of the best graphics on the DS in this game. And the PS2 like cut-scenes just add to the wonderful simplicity to the game.
I highly recommend this game because whether your a hardcore Kingdom Hearts fan, or a casual gamer you could pick this up for a Keyblade slashing good time! And, it’s great for trips. Kill some time in the car by finishing the storyline to this series! Or just start the series and find out a little about it!

Though Square Enix did not make this game “new fan friendly”. The story is heavily all based upon previous games. Whereas you could pick up any other game in the series and quickly find out the story.

I gave this game a simple 8/10 score. The game is very slow, but picks up for an epic kickass ending!

-Jakek9

Excitebike: World Rally

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OVERVIEW

Although we’ve been looking, a new motor-running highway-blazing Excitebike adventure has not come our way to the Wii. Well, today is where that ends because darlin’ Monster Games just went and made it happen (if you saw what I did there, you get a victory lap).

Of course, we’ve gotten Excitebike 64 as a sequel as well as Excite Truck and ExciteBots: Trick Racing (both developed by Monster Games as well) as spiritual successors, all of them being great games. But none of them have that classic arcade, two-wheeled, four-lane, pop-a-wheelie feel to them quite like the original Excitebike game does. Monster Games does a fantastic job of capturing that essence and putting it into a new game almost exactly 24 years later that longtime Excitebike fans as well as young fans are sure to enjoy.

GAMEPLAY

Although Excitebike: World Rally has much-upgraded graphics and visuals, it pretty much has the same style and gameplay as the original Nintendo Entertainment System title. The objective in each race is to get to the finish line as fast as you can, not to beat the other 3 racers. Them and all of the other hazards on your side-scrolling path, such as jumps, gates, and all of the other hundred slower-paced racers are just in your way, plotting to make you crash and take precious seconds off of your final time. Depending on how fast you get to the finish line, you will be ranked S, A, B or C. Only gaining a rating of B or higher will allow the player to progress in the championship mode. Races take place throughout different countries in the world, such as America, Japan and London.

The biggest notable change from the original Excitebike is the online mode. If your Wii is hooked up to the internet, you can play over the internet with random strangers, or with friends if you’ve exchanged your Friend Codes. This turns Excitebike into a real racing game now that you are competing against riders just as fast and strong as you. Same as the original title, Excitebike: World Rally has a level creator, allowing players to create tracks and share them over the Internet with their friends.

The game features the ability to change camera angles as well. You can view the race from behind your rider to be safe, or you can view the race from in front of your rider, giving you less reaction time to obstacles. The game also features a replay mode in which you can watch a race just finish over and over again in different camera angles.

CONTROLS

In this installment of the series, the game is played by holding the Wii Remote sideways. Press up and down on the D-Pad to change your lanes to dodge obstacles. You have two means of getting where you want to go: your accelerator (the 2 Button) and your turbo function (the 1 Button). Holding down your accelerator is the basic way of driving. You go at a nice speed, you can see obstacles miles before they become a danger, and basically nothing bad happens. But if you’re really into going super fast, holding onto your handlebars for dear life, then you’ll want to use your turbo function. The turbo function is a great deal faster than your accelerator, and if you’re skilled enough, obstacles shouldn’t be any more of a problem. However, if you use the turbo function too much, your bike’s engine temperature increases and if you overheat, your player’s bike will stall making you lose time and giving your opponents a chance to push past and take it themselves. However, to cool your engine, let off the gas, run over the cooling strips on the road, or knocking other racers over by swiping them with your rear wheels. If you find cooling strips consecutively enough, theoretically you could hold your turbo the entire race. However, some of the more difficult races only have a few spaced out strips, so using both the accelerator and the turbo function is essential to winning.

A very important part of the Excitebike series is going off jumps and how you land them. If you land a jump with your bike parallel with the ground, you’ll get a boost of speed. If your bike is not sufficiently parallel, you’ll either lose speed or even wipeout, depending on how awful your landing was. This gets very difficult when you land a jump on an incline or a hill, so be careful. Tilt the Wii Remote back and forth to line your bike up with the ground. If you ever wipeout from landing a jump poorly, crashing into a gate or another rider, or overheating from using the turbo function too much, just shake the Wii Remote up and down and your rider will quickly jump back on his bike and resume the race. To help you avoid crashing into things, Monster Games has added to ability to pop a wheelie and ride right over obstacles, and even other riders! Just sharply tilt the Wii Remote to the left.

NEGATIVES

One surprising unfortunate part about this game is there is no local multiplayer. The online play has minimal lag, but it is certainly strange that it is the only way to play the game with other humans, especially since the previous games developed by Monster Games had multiplayer. Also, some of the tracks seem to lack creativity. However, considering this is only a 1000 point WiiWare title instead of a retail game, these unfortunates are moderately easy to overlook.

CLOSING COMMENTS

This is certainly a nice little game with a lot of attitude packed into it. The online abilities are a great addition when there is no lag. The level creator is wonderful for when the already created tracks get dull or repetitive. The game can be very difficult if you’re trying to get an S rank on every track. I found myself trying and failing countless times on the first track! The graphics and effects make the game come to life (check out the cameraman!). The music is also great. Of course, there are a few gameplay-altering elements that anybody could come up with to make the game more “exciting”, but simplicity works well for this game and it’s both relaxing and challenging. Overall, a nice, simple game that is easily one of the best on WiiWare. If you’ve got Wii Points, I would recommend choosing this over the original.

- Charmy

Guitar Hero 5 – Wii – Vicarious Vision (Activision)

It is common knowledge that Activision loves to milk their franchise with a slew of Guitar Hero games, seemingly coming out monthly. For example, in about one year, the Guitar Hero games that have come out are Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, Guitar Hero 5, Band Hero, DJ Hero, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades, and Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits. With such an impressive list, it is hard to believe that any of these games have any real quality. However, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, as is the case with Guitar Her 5 for Wii.

Vicarious Visions has worked on all of the Guitar Hero games for Wii, all the time trying to find new modes to create a superior game to the other consoles and to make up for the Wii’s lack of graphic capability. Guitar Hero 5 most certainly has the best graphics of any Guitar Hero game for Wii. The crowd members are still as pixely as ever, but the main players in the band seem to have more fluent motions with their respective instruments, and seem to have better texturing. Graphics should not be a major contributor to a music game, though. Therefore, the graphics are not what make this game great, what makes it great is the set list and originality of VV.

With 85 songs to play, excluding the expansive music studio and downloadable content, which I will get to later, Guitar Hero 5 is chocked full of great songs. It is unable to please everyone, but there is quite the bit of diversity in the songs. For example, there is Medicate by AFI, Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon, Fame by David Bowie, They Say by Scars on Broadway, Du Hast by Rammstein, Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry, and a ton more. So even though some songs may not appeal to you, there is a pretty good chance that a fair few of them will. Also, if you simply despise a song, you don’t even have to play it if you have enough stars to progress to the next venue.

Stars are a revamped idea in the Guitar Hero franchise. Gone away with cash, Guitar Hero 5 lets you collect stars. These stars are simply used to get through venues. You no longer have to buy different guitars and outfits and characters. Instead, there are song specific challenges, in which you can earn up to three extra stars, and possibly a new guitar, outfit, or character depending on how good you do. Some examples of these challenges are trying to whammy the most during a song, trying to hit as many notes as possible, get the largest streak, and scoring the most points as possible in star power mode.

One of the more exciting additions to the game is Roadie Battle. In this mode, you can connect your Wii up to your DS, and then play with a friend. As one person plays through the song, the other person is on the DS, and is a roadie. They try to sabotage the other player, and also fix whatever equipment that has been sabotaged to you. Equipment failures create different effects on the screen, like hyperspeed, flashing jewels, flames, bombs, and a few more. It adds a whole new level of difficulty to the game, whether you are an expert or beginner.

But the DS can also connect to the Mii Freestyle mode. First introduced to the Wii on Guitar Hero World Tour, this mode has been expanded. Basically, you choose a genre of music, and jam out to it freestyle, with your Mii as your avatar. It is difficult to make the song you create sound bad. It is a simple mode, but adds a lot to the game. When you are done with a song, you can replay it, and even save it to the Wii, so you can show a friend. The DS is able to change the lighting and camera angles of the song as you play through. So if the DS person hits the red light button, the lights on the television turn red. If they decide to zoom in on the bassist, the camera on the screen zooms onto the bassist. It is very intuitive and includes some pretty crazy effects you will have to experience for yourself.

Yet another new mode for Guitar Hero 5 is party play mode. In this mode, you can create huge playlists, and then have the songs just play through. In fact, you don’t even have to play the songs, because you can’t fail. You and/or a friend can jump in or out of the song at any point of the song, depending on if you want to play. There are no rewards in this mode, but it lets you play the songs you like.

By now it seems cliché, but another new mode for the game is the Competitive Mode. You can play this mode locally, or online, as you can with the campaign (which is once again nonlinear). In this mode, there are multiple different ways to battle friends, either instrument vs. instrument, or band vs. band. You can have up to 8 people online, with 8 different Wiis. Some of the modes, which are quite enjoyable, are momentum, streakers, and perfection. The modes are too diverse to explain individually, but once you experience them for yourself, I am sure you will love the diversity.

Guitar Hero 5 is the first Wii game which supports up to 32gb high capacity SD cards. Also, you can import songs from Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero Smash Hits to add to your playlist. With so many songs that you can get, a simple 2gb SD card would not even be close to being big enough. Although not expansive as Rock Band’s extensive song list for DLC, Activision releases new songs every month, trying to catch up with Rock Band. Eventually, both franchises will have a huge amount of DLC and the difference in quantity will be miniscule. But, for the first time, the content is able to be downloaded in Track Packs, rather than individually. This simplifies the downloading process.

One of the redesigned modes in Guitar Hero 5 happens to be the Music Studio. Completely revamped, the Music Studio is more user-friendly than ever, making the power of creating music at your fingertips. Not only the ease of use has been modified, but also the amount of content you can work with. There have been even more sounds added for the guitar, bass, drum, and keyboard. This allows the Wii version to be even more on par with the 360 and PS3, which generally have even more features than the wii. Because of this simplicity, there has been even more creativity to the already expansive user content list, GH Tunes. Also, all of this user content is downloadable and playable on the Wii, 100% free. So even if you don’t have any Nintendo Points, you still have an endless amount of songs you can play.

Finally, Guitar Hero 5 has the single best online experience from any other Guitar Hero game in the past. After many installments, the franchise finally included a lobby. From here, you can switch to any mode, online or offline. This saves so much time, and allows even simpler gameplay. In the online part of the lobby, you can choose competitive modes, or cooperative campaign, so to speak. In my experience, there has been absolutely no lag, and it is very efficient. There is a voting system to choose what songs to play, as well as a timer, which keeps the game moving. With such an expansive setlist, it might be difficult to get to a song in the middle before the timer runs out. But Vicarious Visions noticed this, and allows you to have about 10 different ways of sorting the songs, as well as scrolling by page (about 10 songs), instead of individual songs. Overall, the flawless online and being able to connect to 8 different Wiis is a sure success for Guitar Hero 5.

Guitar Hero 5 Wii is most certainly the best in the series, and arguably the best game compared to other systems. With multiple Wii-specific modes without any exclusions, Guitar Hero 5 for Wii shows the true power of the Wii, with enhanced graphics, a great setlist, excellent online play, and DS Connectivity.

- Titan38

The Conduit – Wii – High Voltage Software (Sega)

With a lot of pre-release hype, The Conduit had a lot to live up to. Developed by High Voltage Software, the game has fully customizable controls, excellent graphics, and an online system, comparable to Xbox Live.

Before The Conduit, most people had never heard of High Voltage Software. To put it simple, the quality of their games were questionable with such titles as Dora Saves the Snow Princess, Go, Diego, Go!, and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. However, it seems that they put an extra amount of work into The Conduit. The entire project took over two years to complete, which includes the creation of an entirely new engine for the Wii, the Quantum 3 Engine. This allows for in-game bump mapping, real time water effects, with reflection and refraction, as well as having a full set of textures. Built from the ground up, the Quantum 3 Engine has superior real-life graphics to basically any other Wii game on the market at this time.

The Conduit is about a character, Mr. Ford, who must save Washington D.C. from an alien invasion, which call themselves the Drudge. He works for a shady organization called the Trust. You actually play in real sites in the Nation’s Capital, such as the Pentagon and the White House. Because the places are real, the graphics reflect that, making it seem like you are actually there. The aliens are also very diverse and creative in design. With multiple plot twists, told through cut-scenes in between missions, the storyline will keep you playing to figure out the ultimate ending.

Along with the single player campaign, there are many achievements. For example, some may depend on you getting multiple kills with a certain weapon, or killing a certain enemy a certain amount of times. Also, as you progress through missions, there will be Data Disks to collect. There are 10 in every level, and as you collect them all, there is an unlockable art gallery where you can see concept art as the game progressed through the development stages. In addition, there are quite a few cheats in the game, unlocked by completing certain achievements, such as finishing single player campaign. Some of the cheats are unlimited ammo, and one shot kills. These cheats are strictly optional, so if you don’t like to cheat, then you are in no way obligated to play with them on.

Throughout the game, there are 3 different weapon classes. They are Drudge, Trust, and Conventional. The Drudge weapons are all organic based, and fire bullets of orange energy. The Trust weapons are advanced weapons from the secret organization, which are usually quite powerful. The Deatomizer Mk4 fires 3 bullets, which bolo around the target, almost ensuring a sure hit. However, if you twist the Wii Remote while charging it, you can change the angle of the bolo to get around objects in your path. One of the Trust gadgets is called the ASE, or All Seeing Eye. This is an extremely important tool, and it is what the storyline revolves around. The ASE is able to see and destroy hidden mines, unlock secret chests, and allow you to solve puzzles. Sometimes, if you solve a puzzle, you can get a prototype weapon. These weapons are just like the other weapons, except they are red, and infinitely more powerful. But they do have a limited amount of ammo, so you must be careful with them. The Conventional weapons are your everyday weapons in most First Person Shooter games, including a Shotgun, Pistol, and Sub-Machine Gun.

With the gun weaponry, there are also three different types of grenades. There are standard flag grenades, which simple blow up the enemy. But there are also Flash Grenades, which cause a disruption to technology, and make a flash of bright white light, as well as disrupting the radar, leaving the enemies temporarily stunned. The final type of grenade is the Radioactive Grenade. If you throw this at an enemy, it will stick to them, and release pulses of damage until they are dead. If you miss the enemy, it will still damage someone if they walk through it.

As usual, the controls are extremely important, and have the option of either making or breaking a game. High Voltage Software played it on the safe side by having 100% customizable controls. You can change your dead zone (when the character starts to turn), map any action to any button, minimal waggle with the Wii Remote, change the sensitivity, as well has having different camera options, including steadiness. Once you find a control set that works for you, you are able to save that customizable control set, and it will be there the next time you play, so you don’t have to keep changing it every time you want to play. While you are playing, you are also able to lock onto enemies, which keeps them on the screen. High Voltage seems to have remembered everything with the control options, and therefore do not leave any room for complaints about shoddy controls.

The most enjoyable part of this game is not the single player modes, but the multiplayer ones. Nintendo does not have a strong online system, but High Voltage seems to have developed one that is pretty impressive and comparable to the experience you would get while playing Xbox Live. Friend Codes are one of my biggest vices, because if you have someone registered as a Wii Friend, it doesn’t make sense that you have to add them again. Fortunately, High Voltage was able to minimize friend code use. If you have a friend registered in the Wii, you can pull straight from your Wii Friend Roster, and invite them to be a friend, no friend codes included. But, if you don’t have a friend in your Wii, there are still friend codes that you can use. So they aren’t entirely gone, but for the most part, you can get by without them. Another great feature of the online is the ability to use Wii Speak. Being only the second game to utilize this accessory, The Conduit lets you talk to your friends, and friends of friends during matches. The sound quality is pretty clear, but you will probably have to adjust the sensitivity once or twice before things come through the speakers clearly. Also, The Conduit has online character customization. You can change your primary and secondary colors, as well as your skin, which you have the choice of being a Drudge, Scientist, Agent, as well as a few others. With virtually lag free online, and up to 12 people playing at once, The Conduit offers a great chance for you to show your skill on a level playing field. This skill is reflected by your ranking. There are 25 different ranks, each represented by some sort of a colored symbol. Although 25 does not seem like much, it takes a long time to get to 58,000 experience points. Each kill is only 2 points, but if you rack up a streak of 3, you get 150% experience, 4 kills gets you 200% experience, and so on and so forth. It adds a level of completion to the game if you reach rank 25, but the desire to reach the top level will most certainly keep you playing.

The Conduit, a First Person Shooter, developed by High Voltage Software, published by Activision, contains all of the elements needed for an outstanding game. It has some of the graphics every witnessed on a Nintendo Wii Console, as well as having full customizable controls. The single player campaign is an immersive ordeal that will make you want to keep playing, as well as having a fantastic set of achievements and online capabilities to play with all of your friends in a close to lag free environment, depending on your connection. This game shows the true ability of the underestimated Wii.

- Titan38

Pokémon Platinum was released March 22, 2009. This game was a third title to the Pokémon DS series, and is a must pick up for the fans of diamond and pearl, old players who remember only playing gold/silver/blue/red, or brand new players!

This game starts off very newbie friendly, but then things start to kick off and pick up speed, and in no time you find yourself struggling with battles and having a good time trying to defeat your friends or the elite four! (Pokémon League champions)

Although, the new Pokémon in this series, are lacking some creativity and are weirder than most, are some of the best Pokémon throughout the whole Pokémon series, and for new time gamers, you don’t need to know much about the old games to have a good time! I recommend this game to anyone who wants a strategy game, where you actually have to think and react! This isn’t a simple beat them up with powers game! It requires thinking. Players will love the constant leveling up and new add-ons this game has compared to older games. And you newbies will find that this is one of the few Pokémon games with fun minigames and events you can enjoy for the first time!
The new Wi-Fi area isn’t as cool as everyone, including the developers, claim for it to be. But the main body of gameplay and storyline makes up for all that and more.

The story is basically the same as diamond and pearls, though this time around, Girantina is the more powerful Pokémon round. Plus, you have the chance to catch all three legendary Pokémon!
Players will have a blast adding Pokémon to their precious collection that they plan to level up to every Pokémon gamers dream, LEVEL 100! But, players will soon find out that it’s not just leveling up that makes your Pokémon stronger. It’s having the right nature for your Pokémon, the right EV’s. A lot more strategy goes into this game then most gamers think there is.

Overall I would say this game is pretty kickass, mostly due to the highly fun and addicting gameplay, to beating and trading your friends Pokémon. Plus, players easily love having a collection of Pokémon, items and other junk!

I recommend this to any newbie, or old or new players to the series. It will keep you busy hours upon hours building that perfect team!

THIS IS THE BEST OF 2009!

- Jakek9

Metroid Prime Trilogy

Retro Studios, the developers of all three Metroid Prime installments, have compiled all three of their amazing adventures into one tiny outstanding package that every Wii owner should buy. The reason? Three titles (which have all received incredible reviews and are often claimed to be one of Nintendo’s greatest franchises) smashed on one disc, stuck in a metallic case with a little art booklet that includes a synopsis of the games to boot. Not to mention all of the new features and upgrades that were added, such as the new HUD, a lot of new unlockables, and the added rewards system for Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, in which you can trade your medals with friends over WiiConnect24. Having all three games on one disc is also a bonus so that there is no disk changing. As soon as you finish one game, you can move right on to the next with no hassle. Plus the fantastic price for three games that will each last you AT LEAST 20 hours. Need I say more? Of course I do, you’re still wondering how the game plays!

Each Metroid Prime installment plays pretty much like a classic first-person shooter with a lot of creative touches and personality flowing from it. One thing that continually impresses me with each Metroid Prime are the level designs. They are ingeniously created, always clever and original. The worlds the game allows you to explore are incredible and fun to trek through. You play as Samus Aran, the female space bounty hunter chasing down the Space Pirates and their leader Ridley, all the while hunting down the energy-draining alien parasites: the Metroids.

Since Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes both originally released for the GameCube, making the transition to Wii of course meant new controls. I am happy to report the upgraded Wii Controls are nothing to complain about, as they work just as good for this particular FPS as the GameCube controller does, if not better. They were tight and responsive. I never felt screwed over by the game because my controls were uncomfortable; I felt completely in control.

However, there are a few things I would like to make note of. I have an HD Widescreen TV, so I set the options to the new 16:9 widescreen capability. However, the HUD is always displayed at the original aspect ratio, causing it to be stretched horizontally while in widescreen mode. This was a little strange, but easy to overlook. Another con was the graphics. The graphics and texture effects in Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes were not upgraded much at all, and in some cases looked almost worse than they did on the GameCube. Again, this was easy to overlook as the original GameCube graphics can hold their own in comparison to most Wii games today. My final con has to do with the controls. Not the Wii controls specifically, but the options. As I said before, the controls as they are can’t really be described as uncomfortable, and with three different sets, you get some degree of customizability. But it would have been great if the controls were completely customizable, like they are in games like The Conduit. However, I am glad that they do allow the choice of choosing the A Button for jump and the B Button for shooting or vice versa. Personally, the thought of shooting with the A Button sounds like torture. Overall, though, these cons are somewhat minor considering the fabulous deal just buying this game is.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

If you do not already own the Metroid Prime games in their original forms, my advice is to buy the Metroid Prime Trilogy, for obvious reasons. You’ve been missing out on one of Nintendo’s greatest franchises.

If you already own the Metroid Prime games in their original forms, my advice is to buy the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Of course, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth buying again for you personally, but for me, the upgraded Wii controls are almost enough to warrant a purchase alone. Not to mention some very welcome added features, a beautiful metal tin case, and a fun art booklet. Of course, Japan got Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes on the New Play Control!, which were sold for $49.99 each, but all three games on one disc for the price of any old Wii game makes this one collector’s disc that deserves a place on everyone’s shelf!

- Charmy

Modern Warfare Mobilized

This game released on the same day as the 360, and PS3 counterparts. This game has been claimed to have better Wi-Fi. The developer did not disappoint. The Wi-Fi is very exclusive and a lot less laggy for those who have a good router.

The story sometimes feels kinda forced, but most the time it is very fun. I don’t feel like I’m playing a COD game on the DS. I feel like I’m playing a small beta for COD. The controls aren’t as natural as other first person shooters such as Metroid Prime hunter and surprisingly Bionic Heroes. Wi-Fi is now extended to 6 players instead of 4. but, unlike World At War, it isn’t laggy and can be quite fun besides the fact the controls aren’t very comfortable.

Though the game has issues, it deserves to be game of the year, because it adapts very well and has made the most progress out of every other DS game I’ve seen.

The story is very much like every other COD game, shoot this, eliminate that. I would say the replay value is about medium. If you pick up this wonderful title, you will find yourself in a new way of combat, and a surprisingly fun story. The AI isn’t as smart as it should be, but they are put in extreme situations that make the game harder and thus more fun.
It isn’t as big as the console counterparts, but if your looking for something new, you should pick this title up. Because it is defiantly something new.

- Jakek9

sirvenom@wiinintendo.net'
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About the author:

I am SirVenom, and that is all anyone needs to know.

Nick – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


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