Backlog: Wii Overload Day One

Apart from a little bit of New Super Mario Bros and the odd level of Rabbids Go Home, the Wii under my TV hasn't been getting much attention lately. Buying a Wii was what got me back into gaming two years ago, and though my Xbox 360 is by far my most played console, I've been quietly accruing games with the signature white covers anyway. I've currently got a pile on my coffee table of about 20 Wii games that I haven't yet touched, a few potential classics among them. 
 
For the previous backlog sessions I've done, the length of each game impression has been governed by achievements or trophies. Since there's no such thing on the Wii, I'm going to have to go by my gut. This might actually work out. 

 

Game 1: No More Heroes 

 
BEFORE: I intentionally picked a game that I'm somewhat in the dark about to start out with. I've read and heard so much about the strengths and flaws of this game that I really don't know how to expect. Action on the Wii? Not so sure about that. Quirky Japanese semi-pedo sex jokes? We'll see. 
 
AFTER: Played through the tutorial, beat the first boss, took about 30 minutes. This game is weird. The combat is extremely satisfying, with great sound design and rewards flying everywhere. The voice acting is hilariously over-the-top and totally Japanese, as is pulling your pants down to save on the toilet. And an after-boss cutscene where the petite agency girl you're talking to keeps her ass in your face most of the time. As I'm writing this the awesome J-Pop tune "Heavenly Star" video is playing on Travis' TV. The graphics are pretty terrible technically, the camera is last-gen wonky, and the framerate stutters a little too much, but all these negatives don't matter to me so far. I really want to get deeper into this.  Also, did I mention that it's weird? It's weird. 
 

Game 2: Samba De Amigo 

 
BEFORE: I have a Dreamcast, and Samba De Amigo seems to be one of the must-have titles for that console, though I can't be bothered to track down the original game with the maracas controllers. I pulled the Wii version out of the bottom of a bargain bin at a ridiculous price. The word around town is that the controls are pretty terrible. Let's find out. 
 
AFTER: Played through the basic tutorial and the first career challenge, about 20 minutes. Samba de Janeiro is still an amazing track. And, surprisingly, so is Smooth. They would be a lot of fun to play if the controls were reliable, which they aren't. Regular maraca shaking seems fine as long as you don't get too into the music and dance around too much, but as soon as dance moves and posing comes into the picture, accuracy suffers, taking the fun away. I love the idea and presentation, though. This should be a Natal launch title. 
 

Game 3: Order Up 


BEFORE: I seem to remember hearing positive things about this on some podcast. That's not much to go by, but enough to make me pick this up, it seems. I've never played a cooking game.
 
AFTER: Okay, I see how someone could like this. It doesn't seem to be for me, though. The tutorial overstays its welcome and some transitions are a bit on the annoying side, lenght-wise. Played tutorial and finished my first day as a diner chef. The cooking minigames are pretty fun, nothing special, though. The audio quality seems pretty terrible. It's for kids, I guess. 
 

Game 4: Klonoa

 
BEFORE: High expectations for this one, what with people all over the internet waxing nostalgic about the qualities of the PS1 original. 
 
AFTER: Yep, this sure is one late nineties platformer. The basic mechanics seem solid, and the presentation is colorful and jolly. I can't help thinking that I'd love to see it in HD, though. Will play more, I'm sure my son will adore this game if given the chance. Played through the first stage... er, vision. Ten minutes. 
 

Game 5: Super Paper Mario

 
BEFORE: Having played a fair chunk of the original N64 Paper Mario, my expectations for this game are pretty high. Should be equal parts platformer and light RPG, by what I've read. 
 
AFTER: Played for 30 minutes, end of chapter 1-1. The intro felt a bit long, but I guess that's what you get for playing five tutorials in a row. Awesome music, great writing, and nice little nods to Mario's 8-bit roots. I'm sure this game will take a while to play through, but I'm putting it on my list of must-finish games for 2010. 
 

Game 6: Resident Evil 4

 
BEFORE: A few weeks ago I played through RE5 in co-op with my brother. I liked it. How jarring will this supposed downgrade be? 
 
AFTER: Spent 40 minutes. It's Resident Evil with last-gen graphics. As expected, the game is about shooting zombies in the head and collecting the gold that they leave behind, and those parts are as satisfying as ever. The atmosphere is great, too. I doubt I have it in me to finish this, though. 
 

Game 7: Mercury Meltdown Revolution

 
BEFORE: Impulse bargain buy, the concept seems to be perfect for the Wii. 
 
AFTER: Nice Commodore throwback loading screen. Nice music. The game seems well thought out, but at this stage iPhone would probably be a better fit. Spent 10 minutes. 
 

Game 8: WarioWare: Smooth Moves 

 
BEFORE: I actually bought this with my Wii two years ago, opened it, put it in the console, played it for all of three minutes before I rushed back to the store to return it. I failed to make heads or tails of it at the time, maybe things will be different now that I'm a little more gaming literate. 
 
AFTER: Played for about 20 minutes. I think I get it now, I just don't see myself spending hours upon hours with this game. It's delightful in its totally Japanere, quirky manner, but when you have three seconds to point the Wiimote at a specific point on the screen and the sensor fails to pick up, it gets annoying quickly. I have no history with the franchise, maybe that's why I don't get the reviews it received back in the day. 
 

Game 9: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

 
BEFORE: No history with Super Smash Bros. No idea what to expect. 
 
AFTER: I played the first two stages of the "Subspace Emissary" story mode, and I really enjoyed it. Still fumbling a bit with the controls, but the action is fast, frantic and satisfying. I recognise the fact that half of the Nintendo callbacks and references go over my head, but I'm happy at the ones I do catch, like Mario's different special moves. Wow, this is a quality product. Need to play more.
15 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by Angularbanjo
Apart from a little bit of New Super Mario Bros and the odd level of Rabbids Go Home, the Wii under my TV hasn't been getting much attention lately. Buying a Wii was what got me back into gaming two years ago, and though my Xbox 360 is by far my most played console, I've been quietly accruing games with the signature white covers anyway. I've currently got a pile on my coffee table of about 20 Wii games that I haven't yet touched, a few potential classics among them. 
 
For the previous backlog sessions I've done, the length of each game impression has been governed by achievements or trophies. Since there's no such thing on the Wii, I'm going to have to go by my gut. This might actually work out. 

 

Game 1: No More Heroes 

 
BEFORE: I intentionally picked a game that I'm somewhat in the dark about to start out with. I've read and heard so much about the strengths and flaws of this game that I really don't know how to expect. Action on the Wii? Not so sure about that. Quirky Japanese semi-pedo sex jokes? We'll see. 
 
AFTER: Played through the tutorial, beat the first boss, took about 30 minutes. This game is weird. The combat is extremely satisfying, with great sound design and rewards flying everywhere. The voice acting is hilariously over-the-top and totally Japanese, as is pulling your pants down to save on the toilet. And an after-boss cutscene where the petite agency girl you're talking to keeps her ass in your face most of the time. As I'm writing this the awesome J-Pop tune "Heavenly Star" video is playing on Travis' TV. The graphics are pretty terrible technically, the camera is last-gen wonky, and the framerate stutters a little too much, but all these negatives don't matter to me so far. I really want to get deeper into this.  Also, did I mention that it's weird? It's weird. 
 

Game 2: Samba De Amigo 

 
BEFORE: I have a Dreamcast, and Samba De Amigo seems to be one of the must-have titles for that console, though I can't be bothered to track down the original game with the maracas controllers. I pulled the Wii version out of the bottom of a bargain bin at a ridiculous price. The word around town is that the controls are pretty terrible. Let's find out. 
 
AFTER: Played through the basic tutorial and the first career challenge, about 20 minutes. Samba de Janeiro is still an amazing track. And, surprisingly, so is Smooth. They would be a lot of fun to play if the controls were reliable, which they aren't. Regular maraca shaking seems fine as long as you don't get too into the music and dance around too much, but as soon as dance moves and posing comes into the picture, accuracy suffers, taking the fun away. I love the idea and presentation, though. This should be a Natal launch title. 
 

Game 3: Order Up 


BEFORE: I seem to remember hearing positive things about this on some podcast. That's not much to go by, but enough to make me pick this up, it seems. I've never played a cooking game.
 
AFTER: Okay, I see how someone could like this. It doesn't seem to be for me, though. The tutorial overstays its welcome and some transitions are a bit on the annoying side, lenght-wise. Played tutorial and finished my first day as a diner chef. The cooking minigames are pretty fun, nothing special, though. The audio quality seems pretty terrible. It's for kids, I guess. 
 

Game 4: Klonoa

 
BEFORE: High expectations for this one, what with people all over the internet waxing nostalgic about the qualities of the PS1 original. 
 
AFTER: Yep, this sure is one late nineties platformer. The basic mechanics seem solid, and the presentation is colorful and jolly. I can't help thinking that I'd love to see it in HD, though. Will play more, I'm sure my son will adore this game if given the chance. Played through the first stage... er, vision. Ten minutes. 
 

Game 5: Super Paper Mario

 
BEFORE: Having played a fair chunk of the original N64 Paper Mario, my expectations for this game are pretty high. Should be equal parts platformer and light RPG, by what I've read. 
 
AFTER: Played for 30 minutes, end of chapter 1-1. The intro felt a bit long, but I guess that's what you get for playing five tutorials in a row. Awesome music, great writing, and nice little nods to Mario's 8-bit roots. I'm sure this game will take a while to play through, but I'm putting it on my list of must-finish games for 2010. 
 

Game 6: Resident Evil 4

 
BEFORE: A few weeks ago I played through RE5 in co-op with my brother. I liked it. How jarring will this supposed downgrade be? 
 
AFTER: Spent 40 minutes. It's Resident Evil with last-gen graphics. As expected, the game is about shooting zombies in the head and collecting the gold that they leave behind, and those parts are as satisfying as ever. The atmosphere is great, too. I doubt I have it in me to finish this, though. 
 

Game 7: Mercury Meltdown Revolution

 
BEFORE: Impulse bargain buy, the concept seems to be perfect for the Wii. 
 
AFTER: Nice Commodore throwback loading screen. Nice music. The game seems well thought out, but at this stage iPhone would probably be a better fit. Spent 10 minutes. 
 

Game 8: WarioWare: Smooth Moves 

 
BEFORE: I actually bought this with my Wii two years ago, opened it, put it in the console, played it for all of three minutes before I rushed back to the store to return it. I failed to make heads or tails of it at the time, maybe things will be different now that I'm a little more gaming literate. 
 
AFTER: Played for about 20 minutes. I think I get it now, I just don't see myself spending hours upon hours with this game. It's delightful in its totally Japanere, quirky manner, but when you have three seconds to point the Wiimote at a specific point on the screen and the sensor fails to pick up, it gets annoying quickly. I have no history with the franchise, maybe that's why I don't get the reviews it received back in the day. 
 

Game 9: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

 
BEFORE: No history with Super Smash Bros. No idea what to expect. 
 
AFTER: I played the first two stages of the "Subspace Emissary" story mode, and I really enjoyed it. Still fumbling a bit with the controls, but the action is fast, frantic and satisfying. I recognise the fact that half of the Nintendo callbacks and references go over my head, but I'm happy at the ones I do catch, like Mario's different special moves. Wow, this is a quality product. Need to play more.
Posted by Meowayne

This is how its done, people. Trying out games even though nothing about them immediatly screams "I'm epic!" at you. You have my respect, sir. 
 
Have a great time exploring the quality titles on the Wii. (even though Samba De Amigo is widely known to be terrible due to broken controls)

Edited by Hitchenson

I had a Wii which I sold towards a PS3. Recently I've been considering getting a new Wii though ...might just have to get one for Christmas.

Posted by Angularbanjo

You should do that, it's still a worthwhile console to have. The graphical difference gets more jarring every year, though. 
 
And Meowayne: Thanks! I can confirm the brokenness of Samba, which is why I want it for Natal. It would be a fun game if it worked. Have you tried the original with the maracas? That's supposed to be marginally less broken, I guess.

Posted by Meowayne

Oh, the original Samba de Amigo is supposed to be pure awesomeness.  I don't know, never played it.
Are you open to game suggestions? What are the other titles you have lying around?

Posted by Willy105

Good grief that's a lot of games for one console. And all of them backlog! I would go insane.

Posted by Angularbanjo
@Willy105 said:
" Good grief that's a lot of games for one console. And all of them backlog! I would go insane. "
If you check my blog, you'll find the rest of the Backlog series. I've done all of my 360 backlog + all my PS3 games with trophies. I have a handful of trophyless PS3 titles slated for a future session, plus plans for a DS and PSP edition. 
 
Backlog can be intimidating, and writing about it is a nice way to get a quick idea of which games to prioritise.
Edited by Angularbanjo
@Meowayne said:

" Oh, the original Samba de Amigo is supposed to be pure awesomeness.   

I don't know, Ryan seemed to have some issues with it in the Quick Look they did for the site. It's supposed to be way better, though. 
 
I'm open to game suggestions, if you have any gems I might have missed - and they're available around here for cheap enough to take a chance. 
 
The games I'm doing tomorrow are: 
 
Twilight Princess 
Okami 
Tiger Woods 10 
Battle of the Bands 
Anno 
Pikmin 1 & 2 
Little King's Story  
 
Probably a game or two worth finishing there.    
Edited by Al3xand3r

Stick with RE4, it's better than 5. Better control, atmosphere, pace, setting, bosses and AI partner doesn't play much into it.

Posted by Angularbanjo

I struggled a bit with the RE4 Wii controls, actually. Maybe I'll get the hang of it with a little persistence. I love the atmosphere, will play more. 
 
Glad to hear about the bosses being better. I had a blast playing through it online, but the bosses really got on my nerves. Stupid quicktime events. 
 
RE5's so pretty, though...

Posted by AgentJ
@Angularbanjo: Wow, you've got some work to do as far as your "backlog" goes. I wouldn't even bother unwrapping Battle of the Bands, but I think you'll enjoy the rest of those games you have yet to play. 
Posted by Angularbanjo

Battle of the Bands was a bargain bin pickup after I saw a few videos and really dug what they did with the music. Crazy marching bands and mariachi groups battling it out to a hip hop jam seemed to have entertainment potential. What's that Jeff keeps saying on the Bombcast, $5 is too good to miss, no matter what game it is. Of course, if the gameplay sucks, it goes straight back to Gamestop. 
 
I recently played the first level of Alone in the Dark for my last 360 Backlog, and that may be the one game so far not to warrant a purchase at that price. Get away from me, Satan!

Posted by AgentJ

I was a game tester at Nintendo for a short time, and while I didn't play the game myself, I heard nothing but complaints about Battle of the Bands. Then again, considering the nature of that job, people complained about almost ever game they were assigned to. There's only so much testing that can be done with Personal Trainer: Cooking.

Posted by Angularbanjo

Interesting. I imagine that must be a pretty horrible job at times. 
 
I'm a musician by trade, so the Battle of the Bands purchase was sort of motivated by that. That said, if the gameplay is too horrible to stand, I won't bother playing it long enough to enjoy the music.

Posted by Angularbanjo