Backlog: Wii Overload Day Two

The Wii festival continues. 

Game 1: Battle of the Bands   

 

BEFORE: What happened to Planet Moon? From Giants: Citizen Kabuto to Battle of the Bands in eight years. Anyway, I bought this for cheap after hearing some of the outrageous cover versions in the game. If the gameplay is anything other than absolutely horrible, I might enjoy this.

 

AFTER: Hey, this game is not bad at all. It's not a marathon session kind of game, but it was fun for the 15 minutes I played it. The music is very well done. The next time I have my bandmates over, I'll bust out some marching band versions of Insane in the Brain and Blitzkrieg Bop.   


Game 2: Okami

 

BEFORE: This is supposed to be an absolute classic. Hit me.  

AFTER: Wow. For a PS2 game ported to the Wii, this one sure has some impressive visuals. This is how you make games stand out on the Wii. Nintendo's figured it out, but I haven't really seen many third party titles pull it off this well. 11:30 PM is kind of the wrong time to read 20 minutes worth of text and then play a tutorial for 40 minutes, but this game has me intrigued. I'd love to play some more of this. Still, what if it had HD graphics...   


Game 3: ANNO - Create a New World

 

BEFORE: City building in all varieties is a long-standing favorite of mine. From the first time I got to play Civilization on a friend's PC, I've been fascinated by taking on the role of benevolent deity. Making broad structural decisions or minute tweaks and everything in between for the good of the people, and then pulling back to watch it all unfold. Civilization Revolution rekindled my love for these games last summer, and I even spent an inordinate amount of time keeping my Keflings content about a year ago. I've heard good things about the ANNO series. 

AFTER: I'm impressed by the solid controls and streamlined interface. Not too far away from the aforementioned Keflings in tone and style, but serious enough in economy management to keep the grey cells working. Just about half an hour in, I can already tell I'm going to enjoy this, and I hope my kids will grow to like it, too.   


Game 4: Pikmin 2

   

BEFORE: After hearing a lot of positive things about them, I picked up the New Play Control versions of both Pikmin games when they came out. From what I can tell, Pikmin 2 is in many ways a refined version of the first game, so I'm skipping straight to that one for the purpose of this Backlog. Apparently, Miyamoto's concept for this game grew out of his love for gardening. I'm not crazy about gardening, but I'm rather partial to Shiggy's games. 

AFTER: About half an hour in, one Duracell battery collected. A pretty slow-paced game so far, I'm sure it will ramp up in pace and complexity over the duration. I like the controls. This might be a good "My First RTS" for the kids.   


Game 5: Little King's Story

 

BEFORE: Pikmin with city building elements? Let's see. 

AFTER: Enough with the gibberish, already! It's plenty adorable, but I can see the unskippable lines of dialogue becoming a problem in the long run. Also not a fan of the archaic save system. Only 20 minutes in, though, so it's too early to tell, but I think this will be a mixed bag.   


Game 6: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

 

BEFORE: Of course the guy sleeps around. He's a star. He's also one amazing golfer, and this game promises the closest approximation of the sport on any console yet. I bought this with the bundled Motion Plus the day it came out, but I haven't gotten around to playing it yet. For shame. 

AFTER: The graphics scale pretty well to my HD set. Although it doesn't look as sharp as its 360 or PS3 counterparts, the controls elevate it to a league of its own. I'm having people over for New Year's. We might be playing this.   

 

Game 7: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

 
BEFORE:
My brother is a Zelda nut. He played the hell out of Ocarina on the N64, and the first thing he did when he bought his Wii was play through Twilight Princess. I own most of the Zelda games, but this will be my first experience actually playing one. Again, for shame. 
 
AFTER: I tried so hard to be angry with this game for the first hour. After playing through Assassin's Creed 2, Uncharted 2 and Batman: Arkham Asylum this fall, the pacing, controls and the lack of direction here seemed antiquated and stiff to me. But there's something here; a huge heart, some kind of magic. It grew on me tremendously. Unable to put it down, I played through the first two hours, and I'm planning on playing through the next 38 or so before 2009 is over.
21 Comments
21 Comments
Posted by Angularbanjo

The Wii festival continues. 

Game 1: Battle of the Bands   

 

BEFORE: What happened to Planet Moon? From Giants: Citizen Kabuto to Battle of the Bands in eight years. Anyway, I bought this for cheap after hearing some of the outrageous cover versions in the game. If the gameplay is anything other than absolutely horrible, I might enjoy this.

 

AFTER: Hey, this game is not bad at all. It's not a marathon session kind of game, but it was fun for the 15 minutes I played it. The music is very well done. The next time I have my bandmates over, I'll bust out some marching band versions of Insane in the Brain and Blitzkrieg Bop.   


Game 2: Okami

 

BEFORE: This is supposed to be an absolute classic. Hit me.  

AFTER: Wow. For a PS2 game ported to the Wii, this one sure has some impressive visuals. This is how you make games stand out on the Wii. Nintendo's figured it out, but I haven't really seen many third party titles pull it off this well. 11:30 PM is kind of the wrong time to read 20 minutes worth of text and then play a tutorial for 40 minutes, but this game has me intrigued. I'd love to play some more of this. Still, what if it had HD graphics...   


Game 3: ANNO - Create a New World

 

BEFORE: City building in all varieties is a long-standing favorite of mine. From the first time I got to play Civilization on a friend's PC, I've been fascinated by taking on the role of benevolent deity. Making broad structural decisions or minute tweaks and everything in between for the good of the people, and then pulling back to watch it all unfold. Civilization Revolution rekindled my love for these games last summer, and I even spent an inordinate amount of time keeping my Keflings content about a year ago. I've heard good things about the ANNO series. 

AFTER: I'm impressed by the solid controls and streamlined interface. Not too far away from the aforementioned Keflings in tone and style, but serious enough in economy management to keep the grey cells working. Just about half an hour in, I can already tell I'm going to enjoy this, and I hope my kids will grow to like it, too.   


Game 4: Pikmin 2

   

BEFORE: After hearing a lot of positive things about them, I picked up the New Play Control versions of both Pikmin games when they came out. From what I can tell, Pikmin 2 is in many ways a refined version of the first game, so I'm skipping straight to that one for the purpose of this Backlog. Apparently, Miyamoto's concept for this game grew out of his love for gardening. I'm not crazy about gardening, but I'm rather partial to Shiggy's games. 

AFTER: About half an hour in, one Duracell battery collected. A pretty slow-paced game so far, I'm sure it will ramp up in pace and complexity over the duration. I like the controls. This might be a good "My First RTS" for the kids.   


Game 5: Little King's Story

 

BEFORE: Pikmin with city building elements? Let's see. 

AFTER: Enough with the gibberish, already! It's plenty adorable, but I can see the unskippable lines of dialogue becoming a problem in the long run. Also not a fan of the archaic save system. Only 20 minutes in, though, so it's too early to tell, but I think this will be a mixed bag.   


Game 6: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

 

BEFORE: Of course the guy sleeps around. He's a star. He's also one amazing golfer, and this game promises the closest approximation of the sport on any console yet. I bought this with the bundled Motion Plus the day it came out, but I haven't gotten around to playing it yet. For shame. 

AFTER: The graphics scale pretty well to my HD set. Although it doesn't look as sharp as its 360 or PS3 counterparts, the controls elevate it to a league of its own. I'm having people over for New Year's. We might be playing this.   

 

Game 7: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

 
BEFORE:
My brother is a Zelda nut. He played the hell out of Ocarina on the N64, and the first thing he did when he bought his Wii was play through Twilight Princess. I own most of the Zelda games, but this will be my first experience actually playing one. Again, for shame. 
 
AFTER: I tried so hard to be angry with this game for the first hour. After playing through Assassin's Creed 2, Uncharted 2 and Batman: Arkham Asylum this fall, the pacing, controls and the lack of direction here seemed antiquated and stiff to me. But there's something here; a huge heart, some kind of magic. It grew on me tremendously. Unable to put it down, I played through the first two hours, and I'm planning on playing through the next 38 or so before 2009 is over.
Posted by Brunchies

It's awesome that you are interested in continuing to play Okami, I was going to pick that up a couple weeks ago but the Nostalgia of 2003 and Wind Waker steered me away from this game. I hope I can get this for Xmas along with some other Wii games because my library is empty.

Posted by Godwind

Anno is a pretty awesome game, although it called Dawn of Discovery here in the states.

Posted by juanvaldes

Really enjoyed this list. The before and after gives a cool  glimpse into your opinion about the game. Little Kings Story and Dawn of Discovery (aka Anno) keep peaking my interest when I'm in a store. Yet I keep waiting for the price to drop, or for my own backlog to clear out some. 

Posted by JJOR64

About time you play Okami.

Posted by Synthballs
@juanvaldes: I'd really like to see Wii games drop in price. Doesn't happen often. And if it does, it's for shovelware.
 
Awesome list. A few games have hit my radar too but, I'm over the Wii. Maybe some of these games can fix it.
Posted by juanvaldes
@Synthballs said:
" @juanvaldes: I'd really like to see Wii games drop in price. Doesn't happen often. And if it does, it's for shovelware. "
Like everything its a simple question of economics. If the game is still selling at $50 (or 60 or whatever) it will keep that price. Shovelware does not sell, or have the staying power of say Nintendos AAA games so they drop in price quickly to make room for other hopefully better selling games. But good solid games can and do keep the  introductory price until sales start to slip or its eclipsed by a sequel (which usually is followed by slowing sales). An example of this was Fallout 3 was still $60 until the day the game of the year version shipped. Or Metroid Prime 3. 
Edited by Willy105

I still have to track down Okami and Little King Story. But 2009 will have to wait for me, as I also have a backlog to clear.
 
@juanvaldes said:

" @Synthballs said:
" @juanvaldes: I'd really like to see Wii games drop in price. Doesn't happen often. And if it does, it's for shovelware. "
Like everything its a simple question of economics. If the game is still selling at $50 (or 60 or whatever) it will keep that price. Shovelware does not sell, or have the staying power of say Nintendos AAA games so they drop in price quickly to make room for other hopefully better selling games. But good solid games can and do keep the  introductory price until sales start to slip or its eclipsed by a sequel (which usually is followed by slowing sales). An example of this was Fallout 3 was still $60 until the day the game of the year version shipped. Or Metroid Prime 3.  "

Metroid Prime 3 is still $50, even right next to Metroid Prime Trilogy. That's a downside to how Wii games sell on the Wii. Instead of opening big and slowing down, they speed up. I actually miss when Nintendo games kept failing to sell, that way I could afford it six months later.
Posted by oldschool

It is nice to see someone trying games with somewhat of an open mind or still trying with reservations.  Still don't think I will get Battle of the Bands though, despite the ridiculously clearance prices I have seen them at lately. 
 
I have only played 2 of those games (plus Okami on the PS2 & Pikmin 2 on the GC), being Zelda and Little King's Story (close to my favourite game on the system), but I will get Dawn of Discovery as I love RTS (the only games I play on PC). 
 
How old are your kids (mine are 14 & 16 year old girls who have grown on up games, mainly Nintendo)?

Posted by Angularbanjo
@oldschool said:
How old are your kids (mine are 14 & 16 year old girls who have grown on up games, mainly Nintendo)? "  
I've got a boy (4 1/2) and a girl (3). My daughter is not way into games yet, but she does like fooling around with the voice/picture manipulation on the DSi, and she plays dressup games on my wife's Mac. My son swears by his DS, his favorites are the Lego games, Pokémon and Viva Piñata are also pretty hot. 
 
It's been really interesting to follow his gaming skills develop, and though he's not totally fluent with a 360 controller yet, he's pretty good with the DS. He's got a kind of patience when exploring new levels and areas that I think may be unique to children.  
 
What's also interesting is observing what mascots or characters they get into. Long before they knew his name, and long before they showed interest in playing themselves, Mario was a favorite. Yoda opened up the Star Wars universe for them, and Pikachu is pretty big, although they've never watched anything Pokémon related on TV.
Posted by oldschool
@Angularbanjo said:
" @oldschool said:
How old are your kids (mine are 14 & 16 year old girls who have grown on up games, mainly Nintendo)? "  
I've got a boy (4 1/2) and a girl (3). My daughter is not way into games yet, but she does like fooling around with the voice/picture manipulation on the DSi, and she plays dressup games on my wife's Mac. My son swears by his DS, his favorites are the Lego games, Pokémon and Viva Piñata are also pretty hot.  It's been really interesting to follow his gaming skills develop, and though he's not totally fluent with a 360 controller yet, he's pretty good with the DS. He's got a kind of patience when exploring new levels and areas that I think may be unique to children.   What's also interesting is observing what mascots or characters they get into. Long before they knew his name, and long before they showed interest in playing themselves, Mario was a favorite. Yoda opened up the Star Wars universe for them, and Pikachu is pretty big, although they've never watched anything Pokémon related on TV. "
My daughters were both reading at 3, so their first games of Pokemon on the Gameboy are fun memories.  I do believe that games are very good for teaching your children how to read, assuming you take the game slow and go through the text with them.  As long as you are willing to play ANY game with your kids, you are in for many years of great times, just as I have had.  Pokemon and Harvest Moon have been the most consistent games played in our house for the past 13 years.
Posted by Angularbanjo

Your daughters read at three? Well done, sir. 
 
I'm gonna have to teach my kids to read English before they can get the most out of their games, I guess. Most games are not localised for Norway, and most Norwegian kids' games are crap.

Posted by oldschool
@Angularbanjo said:
" Your daughters read at three? Well done, sir.  I'm gonna have to teach my kids to read English before they can get the most out of their games, I guess. Most games are not localised for Norway, and most Norwegian kids' games are crap. "
Oooh, Norwegian.  That is a problem.  Outside English, Spanish, German, Italian and French, the rest of European languages are largely ignored I assume (based on what languages are always on my PAL games for Australia).  Bilingual is a goal I suppose, but it shouldn't have to be a must.  If all my games were in French or German, we would have a BIG problem as I can only pick up certain words to guess the meaning.  Good luck.
Posted by Angularbanjo

Most Norwegian kids are bilingual by 10. That's how it has to be in an increasingly global society when your native language is limited to 4.5 million active speakers. Video games and other media help inspire the kids to want to learn. I guess we're lucky that way, though. In countries like France and Germany, where most movies, TV shows and games are either translated or dubbed, there's really no such motivation. 
 
And I hate that some games come out later or don't come out at all over here because of the localisation process. Just give us the English version while the other guys wait, we'll manage. 
  
Or maybe just get over the dark ages and abandon the idea that, even though all entertainment media are heading towards digital distribution, we still need separate regions to make money globally. 
 
Yeah, that'll happen.

Posted by teh_destroyer

AAAAAAaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!! To many games :(

Posted by bdhost05
@Angularbanjo: please play through okami!!! i really doubt you'll regret it, i think it's one of the most underrated games of all time.
Posted by Angularbanjo
@bdhost05: I certainly will play Okami all the way through at some point, it left enough of a positive impression. I'm working on Twilight Princess now, though, and I think I might need a palet cleanser inbetween the two. 
  
Okami was rated very highly by reviewers, it remains very underappreciated, though.
Posted by Linkyshinks
@bdhost05 said:
" @Angularbanjo: please play through okami!!! i really doubt you'll regret it, i think it's one of the most underrated games of all time. "
 
Okami, a one time GOTY, underrated :?
Posted by spankingaddict

LOZ: TP and Okami are two of the greatest games ive played. thats all i gotta say :)

Online
Posted by Meowayne

 I guess we're lucky that way, though. In countries like France and Germany, where most movies, TV shows and games are either translated or dubbed, there's really no such motivation.

You are lucky. Oh dear god, you are. 
 
  
Thank god those days are over.
Posted by demontium
@Angularbanjo said:
"   Game 6: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

 

BEFORE: Of course the guy sleeps around. He's a star. He's also one amazing golfer, and this game promises the closest approximation of the sport on any console yet. I bought this with the bundled Motion Plus the day it came out, but I haven't gotten around to playing it yet. For shame. 

"

lol