Arguably the two biggest titles set to release on their respective platforms this year, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks have both been dated by Nintendo of Europe.
NSMBW is set to invade living rooms on November 20, while Spirit Tracks will be pulling into the station on December 11. But that’s not all, as Nintendo has also dated Wii Fit Plus for October 30 and plans to cater to your inner fashionista with Nintendo Presents Style Boutique on October 23.
For Wii lovers, the University of Houston is officially the coolest school on the planet. And, no, it’s not because faculty member C. W. Chu won a national medal of science, though that is indeed a high honor. As a point of fact, the University of Houston has a class called PEB 4197. The nondescript title of the class is “online aerobics.” The actual content of the class is Wii Fit exercise for an hour or so a week.
The university renovated an unused racquetball court in order to host the new class. They installed 10 Wii stations, equipped with Wii Fit platforms and accessories. The class, part of the school’s PE program, is intended to enhance fitness and encourage aerobic exercise among the students. The class doesn’t actually have an instructor, tests, or papers. All that students have to do is exercise on the Wii Fit for two 20-30 minute sessions.
Charles Layne is the chairman of the department of health and human performance at the University of Houston. He explained that PEB 4197 was the brainchild of him and the health and human performance program director, Randi Weintraub. Months before the semester began, the launch of the Wii Fit got them thinking. In order to encourage students to take a physical education course, why not use an extra incentive? Use video enhancement like the Wii Fit. As Layne remarked, “The goal here is that there are people who may be interested in physical activity, but maybe they’re not confident enough to join a regular yoga class … and what we’re hoping through the Wii is that this can serve as sort of a gateway class.” Hopefully, the students will like it so much that “maybe next semester they’ll join the face-to-face class.” Read the rest of this entry »
Bit Boy!! starts off as an interesting concept.Players have to guide a cube named Kubi through different eras of video gaming to save his friends because he accidentally offended a 4-bit monster.As with most arcade style games, this storyline is good enough to get things going.What’s going to make people take a closer look at Bit Boy!! comes from the lure of playing through those different video game eras in the same game.But once the novelty of that wears off, Bit Boy!! becomes a desperate Pac Man clone trying hard to charm its audience with cute looking characters.Bplus tries hard in this title to make something they think will please gamers, but comes up short with multiple gameplay issues.
The gameplay options are lacking.There are only two modes, Classic and Warp.In Classic, Kubi goes around saving his friends by going through different maps which looks like Pac Man style mazes.In Warp Mode, Kubi has to collect shiny silver rocks which gain points for the player.The emphasis goes towards achieving high points in Warp Mode.These are okay, but the core game doesn’t want to make one want to spend hours going for the high score.More ways to play would have been helpful.
Rapala and Activision Team up for New Wii Fishing Game
Fishing enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts, rejoice. The game of your dreams is here. It’s fishin’ time, thanks to Activision’s latest game for the Wii: Rapala: We Fish.
True fishermen will recognize the name “Rapala,” the name-brand fishing supply company, and developer of the “Original Floater,” a balsa wood minnow lure. Gamers will recognize the name Activision, as one of the foremost gaming companies worldwide. This company is the genius behind games like Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and Tony Hawk, to name a few.
Rapala and Activision have come together to design a brand new game, Rapala: We Fish, which Activision calls “the first fishing title developed specifically for the Wii.” Although the game will not be released until the end of September (September 29), speculation, anticipation, and excitement is building over the launch of an Wii-exclusive fishing adventure. Read the rest of this entry »
There is not much out there this week on WiiWare but you can enjoy a new version of Mr. Driller and on the Virtual Console you can play the Super Nintendo version of Super Empire Strikes Back. Have fun!
Mr. Driller W. (NBGI, 1 player, 800 Wii Points): This version of the classic puzzler presents 20 different levels and missions to drill through, though it lacks the multiplayer features of its predecessors. Not much else is said about the game, but we have a feeling that if you played Mr. Driller before, you pretty much know what the score is.
Super Empire Strikes Back (SNES, 1 player, 800 Wii Points): This game picks up where Super Star Wars left off, following the exploits of the second film. You can participate in the Rebel exodus of Hoth, play as Han Solo and even fight Boba Fett.
Two dinosaurs are on a quest to save their human parents who are stuck underground somewhere.That sums up the storyline of this retro remake. Bubble Bobble Plus brings gamers back to the days of arcade-style gaming, where quick action was involved, accompanied by cute storylines that were just good enough to get things going.The old school charm of Bubble Bobble Plus cannot be understated.It’s a classic game that would seem to fit within the limited constraints WiiWare has.There comes a major shortcoming though, one that should have been easily picked up during gameplay testing.Taito has had years to look at the old Bubble Bobble and perfect its flaws.But Bubble Bobble Plus has one major flaw which will be frustrating enough to make you not want to play anymore, considering there is no save feature once you decide to take a break.If you can overlook the pending frustration that will surely come from one flaw, then there will be fun to be had, especially with friends.
Let’s start with the flaw, getting stuck in narrow corridors.This will happen at some point.The way some of the maps are designed, getting stuck in narrow corridors becomes unavoidable.What makes one stuck comes from the fact that the dinosaurs can’t make a bubble in a tight area, because the bubble will immediately hit the wall before it can be jumped on.This is a serious flaw, because being stuck in a narrow corridor means any enemy can come by, and there’s nothing that can be done to escape them.I’ve read online in different blogs and forums that there’s a way to make the bubble while stuck, but even if that’s true, Bubble Bobble Plus shouldn’t make it that hard to get out of the situation.Hopefully, there will be a friend next to you that can finish off the level, but if not…
We promised to keep you up to speed on the potential rollout of the black Wii, due in Japan in less than two weeks. According to the latest news, the black Wii is not coming to the U.S. The report, alleged by Gamedaily cites a Nintendo representative saying that Nintendo has “no plans to have other colors of Wii in the U.S.”
If there is a demand, a market, and potential gravy for Nintendo, why not make a go of it? That’s the question some of the blogs are asking, including one gamer who levels the accusation: “they’d be crazy not to.”
Oh no, a game featuring kids running around shooting water at each other! Could Water Warfare be just like any other “family” title that has seemed to flood the Wii since its inception? Hudson releases a game that at first glance screams shovelware, but a closer look reveals much depth.
Let’s start off by explaining the gameplay. Personally, I don’t have too much experience in the FPS genre since I don’t have an affinity for massive amounts of violence in video games. When I heard about this title that was a FPS, yet with no blood, I had to give it a shot. Basically, the nunchuck is used to run around the field while the Wii remote works as the pointer to where you’re aiming the watergun. The trigger underneath the remote is used to shoot water, while the direction pad can be used to send pre-set messages. The buttons on top of the nunchuck are used to jump and pick up items. So the controls are simple enough for newcomers to get a hold of, but complex enough to satisfy the hardcore crowd if they give this a chance. From what I hear, Water Warfare controls in the same way Metroid Prime does, so Nintendo fans should feel right at home. Another thing to note, they’ve included the classic controller option, for those who don’t care for the nunchuck and remote setup.
So you thought the Wii was just for tennis and fitness programs? Think again. Finally, after months of eager anticipation, Sega’s Wii-controlled first-person shooter game is on the shelves: The Conduit. Developed by High Voltage Software, The Conduit features a Mr. Ford who is, not surprisingly, expected to save the world.
The story goes something like this. Since Washington D.C. has come under fire by The Drudge, an alien invading force, Mr. Ford, secret service agent par excellence, is summoned to solve the problem and save the day. Unfortunately, his sponsor “The Trust,” is mixed up in the problem, and Ford finds himself needing to unravel the betrayal as well as battle the bad guys.
If it sounds strangely familiar and vaguely boring, you’re not alone. Gaming artist Tae Kim gives it a passing grade, and but isn’t totally excited over the fact that The Conduit recollects the tenor of GoldenEye (vintage 1997). But while Goldeneye may have a more engaging 007-style story, The Conduit doesn’t. As Kim complained, “[it was a] boring story that had me tapping the A button as fast as I could.” What did he catch? “Some mumbo jumbo about some shadow organization that’s plotting to take over the world using aliens or something; I don’t know, it didn’t make a lot of sense.” Read the rest of this entry »
There are 3 new title updates for the Wii Ware Channel this week.
NEVES Plus (Yukes Company of America, 1 – 4 players, 800 Wii Points): Originally a DS puzzler, the game now comes to Wii in an enhanced state that adds several multiplayer modes spanning across 500 new puzzles. Players can work cooperatively, or against one another, as each tries to complete one silhouetted puzzle after the next.
Family Mini Golf (Aksys Games, 1 – 8 players, 500 Wii Points): Aksys brings the family back again, this time for a round of putt-putt. The press release mentions that there will be several hazard-filled courses to navigate, and that players “can download new courses to expand” the experience. Based on Aksys’s otherFamily titles, however, you may want to wait a bit on this one.
Drill Sergeant Mindstrong (XSEED, 1 – 4 players, 800 Wii Points): Unlike the military’s physically demanding boot camp, this is a training camp for the mind. Players are drilled on a series of questions, with the goal to be the top recruit in the class. We just hope everyone learns something in the end and grows as a person, like in that Major Payne movie.