Last night Nintendo announced their new WiiWare lineup (as well as showing off some of their normal software that is coming up). I must say I am pretty impressed over all, however I think pricing may be interesting to say the least. The games that I can recall off hand include a Pokemon Farm which allows you to upload pokemon to the wii from D&P and raise them in a farm… this one sounds pretty cool and I will likely take a look at it when it launches. A new Dr. Mario… A new version of one of those popular Turbo Grafx Games (i can’t remember which). And a new Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles. Read more “WiiWare & other fun stuff”
A couple of weeks ago I was looking for something to do with my sister’s family because they were coming down for my daughter’s birthday. I decided to go out and buy Mario Party 8 and Wii Play. I decided to get Wii Play, like most people, because I wanted another controller (brought me up to 3) and I was willing to pay $10 for the mini-games. I will talk about the game in a future post.
Mario Party 8 was actually a bit of a hard decision for me though. I wanted it because it is my room mate’s favorite series of games, and I like buying games that she will play with me. But I heard a bunch of bad reviews saying this game really should have had wifi connectivity of some sort, many of the games are the same that have always been in the game, the implementation of the controller seemed forced and rushed, etc. So I was going to wait for Mario Party 9 in order to buy it on the theory that this was likely just a modified gamecube game ported to the Wii with weak controller use.
Now i have owned Mario Party previously. I have Mario Party 4 for the Gamecube so it has been a long time since I’ve gotten one. In fact, I generally don’t think you need more than 1 per system unless there is an overwhelming upgrade (as I assume there will be with the wifi in the next couple of years) and have long felt that Nintendo’s biggest mistake with this franchise has been to make it a yearly game. I think they would have been much better suited had they just put out 2 per system with a year or two between games to protect the franchise. However, that is not what they’ve done and as such this franchise has gotten worse and worse scores as it has continued and become less relevant, even for party games. (Most people would prefer Rayman now instead of Mario Party although they could create the same mistake as Rayman 2 is coming out in just a year from the previous).
I was pleasantly surprised by this game however. The graphics were much nicer than 4, the new characters were a welcome change (to me.. I love dry bones, boo, birdo and hammer bros. as additional characters). The Donkey Kong board is a brilliantly designed board, and I wish the others were to this quality but there are some interesting designs in each. Such as the train cars being mixed and moved, the random generation of rooms in the haunted house, or the monopoly like purchasing of hotels for stars. Many of the games seem fresh to me, even if they aren’t really, and the controls seem very appropriate and well done for the most part.
That isn’t to say it is perfect… controls in particular seem to be a constant annoyance. Twisting to turn or rotate in some games doesn’t seem to work all that well and everyone ends up annoyed that the computer consistently beats us because he doesn’t have to deal with the controller. Another trouble some game is where you have to flip the controller to the side in order to flip the monkey to a different side of the rope to avoid dropping coconuts, however, more often than not flipping the controller just doesn’t work at all and is an early prime contender to be taken out of the rotation if we can’t figure it out because this game will only work with 4 players being equally bad at the controller.
Another issue I have with the game is the general lack of boards. I have always found it curious that Mario Party has stuck with 6 boards since its inception on the N64. Despite growing disc size (now on DVD), they just refuse to put in more boards. Even if they didn’t want to totally design new boards, it would be nice to throw in 3-4 “classic boards” that could be unlocked in the game not unlike what you got from Mario Kart DS. This would reduce the onus of having to design new boards, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason that they don’t do this is because they later want to sell the classic Mario Parties on the Wii Shop Channel.
Overall, it was a pleasant purchase though I still believe Nintendo needs to start a low cost line of casual games in it for $39.99 instead of the traditional $49.99 as they do with the DS. This line should contain Mario Party, Big Brain Academy, Wario Ware, Cooking Mama, and other such games. The problem with many of these types of games, Mario Party included, is though it is a quality game, it often doesn’t feel like you are getting your money’s worth when you compare it to similar priced games such as Metroid, Zelda, or Mario Galaxy. I think at a $10 lower price, it would encourage more people to pick up these games in order to give them added value.
I got my copy of EQuinox a few weeks ago and have read through most of it… I haven’t read two of the fan fictions within the magazine but now that school has started I don’t think I’m really going to have time to get to it for awhile, so I’m just going to review it without those two pieces.
So I’ve been beta testing SOE’s new trading card game for EQ1 & EQ2 for the past week and today the game went live officially so today I guess I can talk about the game a little bit. Now keep in mind there are some things I do not know about the game… for instance, during beta you could not get boosters from in game drops, so I can’t honestly say that I can comment on the drop rate… I also was not able to get any loot cards in beta to be able to comment on the process of redeeming them or how good the items are in reality. That being said, I can talk a bit about it, I have gone through all 11 tutorials, plus 5 of the scenarios so far.
Read more “Legends of Norrath”
I have been very retrospective of my MMO career the past week. I’ve been thinking of past friends, past games, past joy, past sorrow. I look at where I am now and where I’ve been, and I wonder what happened to me. There are many things I wouldn’t change about myself at all. My knowledge about the genre in general, and how to act for two. But then I wonder why I’m not as nice as I once was, why my goals in the game has changed so drastically much, why my play style, while still playing a lot has changed to the point of unrecognizing the importance of what you do. Read more “Lost”
So why do all video games have to be epic anyways? I look around and the storyline of every game is some epic scale… save the universe/world/girl/etc. Nothing real. In fact these are the same type of stories you tend to get from action, fantasy, and sci-fi movies. I use movies here mostly because much of the game industry compares itself to the movie industry, even if done so unintentionally. Read more “Epic Video Games”