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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-04-13 05:12:18
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Must've Been Colorblind
Which means you have hope Vargas!
Let's talk about the Wii. It's a complete success thus far, continuing to sell out every batch as soon as it hits our shores. However, I'm concerned about its long term health as a gaming platform. As cool as the motion sensing controls are, I don't see anything on the horizon that will elevate it from gimmick to "revolution". It's doing a great job snagging non-gamer mainstream consumers (I keep hearing anecdotes about Midwest agrarian families and retirement homes having Wii Sports bowling tournaments), but I wonder about its ability to retain the consumer loyalty of actual gamers. These non-traditional Wii purchasers are wowed by its intuitive controls, but also seem content just playing the pack-in title. It's almost as if they purchased Wii Sports as opposed to the Wii itself. I can't find any numbers, but I'm hypothesizing that the attach rates of games sold is lower than say, the Xbox 360.
So what else can you actually play on the Wii? I already talked about Super Monkey Ball (meh) and Zelda: Twilight Princess (w00t). As awesome as Zelda was, it's just a ported GameCube title that barely scratches the promise of the Wii.
I had a lot of hope for Madden. You use quick jerks of the nunchuk and remote to pull off jukes and stiffarms, make throwing motions to receivers, and even upward paper football type motions for kickoffs and field goals. The jukes and stiffarms are very intuitive, and tackling is significantly harder, resulting in high scoring shootouts. I was having flashbacks of using Bo Jackson in Super Tecmo Bowl. I hated the throwing scheme. Instead of a single button press to throw the ball, you have to select the proper receiver and then make a throwing motion. The killer for me is the Wii's last-gen graphics. After getting accustomed to razor sharp visuals on the 360, it's tough to swallow PS2esque graphics on a brand new Madden release. RANK - C
Rayman Raving Rabbids is a better attempt at utilizing the strengths of the Wii. It's a series of mini-games that involves actions like swinging the remote in a circle to make Rayman hurl a cow like a hammer toss. The game's strength is its humor; it made me literally LOL several times. Unfortunately, several of the mini-games are repetitive or exhibit unresponsive controls. If you're looking for a Mario Party type game, it's significantly better than Super Monkey Ball. RANK - B
Trauma Center: Second Opinion is the sort of game I've been hoping for on the Wii. Any true Wii title should be impossible to play on another console. It's a remake of the DS Trauma Center that's been improved in just about every way. You take on the role of an up and coming surgeon in a manga-like medical drama. Using the nunchuck to select your tools, you use the Wii remote to perform the actual procedures. You need to make clean straight lines for scalpel incisions, zig zags to suture, and squeeze the thumb and index finger buttons to use the forceps. All the tools feel really good and responsive, especially the defibrillator. The story is pretty silly; you possess a super "bullet time" time slowing healing touch, and at one point you use your surgical prowess to dismantle a bomb. It's all good fun, but be warned: this game is hard. "Easy" mode is most other game's "Veteran". RANK - A (It earns extra points for being so unique.)
Wario Ware: Smooth Moves is a clinic in how to make a party game. For those of you who have never seen any game in this franchise, you're briefly greeted with a situation where you have a few scant seconds to figure out what to do before you're whisked away to another microgame. The whole experience is a seriously quick and swift series of WTF?! kicks to the gonads. If you've ever watched a Japanese game show, imagine that on methamphetamines. Smooth Mooves makes excellent use of the Wii controller, pounding you with one gimmick after another. RANK - A