By Angularbanjo 20 Comments
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.