By Video_Game_King 24 Comments
Wii Sports Resort( Well, I finally finished Wii Sports Resort, something that is actually possible.) Yes, no more shall I struggle in vain to slap a rubber condom on my Wii-mote, and no longer shall the Wii Motion + eat away at my batteries. Unless, of course, I get Red Steel 2. Or Skyward Sword. Or Zangeki no Reginlev gets an English localization. Whatever, the point is that I've finally beaten this game, which took me a ridiculously long time to do. Not entirely due to difficulty with the game, but more with a general sense of laziness. Since this game took me so long to beat, I'll be sure to lengthen the blog as much as humanly possible. And then I'll make it longer because of the fact that I'm not human.
Sword Fighting ( Well, we're off to a good start so far.) Then again, we should be, right? Sword fighting with the Wii-mote is the first thing we thought when we saw the damn thing, so why not make it the first game? Because it doesn't work? Screw you, because it does. It may seem like you can waggle your way through a lot of it, hoping that your stupid flailing can beat your opponent to the draw, but there's actually quite a bit of strategy to it. Adjusting your angles and blocking incoming attacks are a must if you don't want to plunge 4 stories into....the ocean? Seriously? You couldn't make it lava or ground? Just the ocean? Damn it...well, at least that's....wait, what's that about 1 vs 100? The reward for it is just the same levels, but reversed? *sigh* Moving on...
Wakeboarding( This one pissed me off for quite some time.) Ha! You thought I was establishing a Fire Emblem pattern, right? No, we're going with all strategy RPGs! (Except for the bike one. Guess why.) Anyway, this one consists of you riding around the island on a wakeboard, doing sweet flips in the air, and falling not-flat on your ass. Half of your jumps will end with the audience noting your horrible failure. Hell, even when I dedicated the Wii-mote to being flat, I still fell flat a lot. It doesn't help that the camera loves taking a shot of the worst angle possible for what you're trying to do. It's a big joke and the punchline is you.
Frisbee( This one feels like a mixture of both of the previous ones.) No, not in terms of events (even if surfing swords would be absolutely awesome, even if it totally wasn't when the Turtles did it in The Manhattan Project), but in terms of overall quality. Remember how the sword-fighting game rewarded smart use of the Wii-mote's position? Well, the same applies here, only it's not as forgiving if you fuck things up a bit, mainly because distance and direction have been added to the equation. Unless you're some type of Russian Gaming Robot, there's a good chance that about 30% of your shots will go far away from where you want them to go. I found that turning my body (as the game suggested when it found out how uncoordinated I am) works for the most part, but it doesn't really help when you're aiming to the right. Still, pretty good first try.
Archery( Thanks for the lack of human targets, asshole.) Also, thanks for the complete absence of practice. Keep in mind that I put several of these games behind me long ago, meaning I had to come back and remind myself just what the hell they were. At least frisbee and sword-fighting had a practice mode. Here, I have to play the real thing or whimper off to air diving (but more on that later). Well, at least the first level is easy enough to be considered practice, even if the controls take some getting used to. You use the nunchuck to draw your bow, but I honestly don't see why you need it. What, for immersion? Why not get rid of it so the game controls better? Hell, it's already hard enough, given that you don't point until you've drawn the bow, and that you're pointing with a huge circle. I'm not saying that it's bad, just that it takes some time to adjust to the controls. Not that you'll have that time, given that the difficulty curve is more of a difficulty spike. By the time you finish, you're aiming at targets miles away, in places where the wind is so fast that it will blow the arrow back at you. That's how much the game hates archery. And you.
Basketball( I feel a theme developing.) Actually, now that I remember it, two: lack of non-practice practice modes, and implementation of real-world skills. That may sound like a super-cool thing to have in a game, but i think it depends on what you consider "cool." I kinda like it, but remember that if you happen to suck at these activities, then this form of escapism will essentially amount to a Holocaust victim escaping Auschwitz, only to remember that they're still in Nazi Germany. If you're like me, you'll end up getting the balls in the hoop some of the time, but many will either launch themselves in a straight line at the rim, or go forward only 1 foot because of separation anxiety. It's hard to tell if it's me sucking, or the game just being too damn finicky. The half court game only helps a little bit, but only by adding some new stuff, like movement and stealing your enemy's ball (and their hopes and dreams with it). It doesn't really explain how some of these work, but I think that's because it's easy enough to figure out on your own. Still, it could afford to explain things like how to do a slam dunk (hint: you still have to shoot) or that you don't have to jump to shoot. Other than that, go with half-court over marathon-shooting.
Ping Pong( Simple, right?) Oh, wait, you usually say that after your main point. Let's try that again. You just swing the Wii-mote and the ball goes flying into your opponent's face, if you're lucky. Simple, right? In that regard, yes, it's pretty simple. However, there were a few nuances to the whole thing that kinda annoyed me. The computer does all the movement for you, but it's still up to you to position the paddle. This may not sound important, since the focus is more on timing and force than your paddle's position or angle, but if you're aiming to a certain part of the table (or at somebody's face), shit yea, it's important! Those nuances I mentioned earlier? They turned out to be highly exaggerated positioning; the game only registers "stretching your arm all the way to Alpha Centauri" and "clinging the Wii-mote to your chest" as actual paddle positions. The cherry on top of the turd?: the game suggests pointing at the screen and holding down on the d-pad to recenter your paddle. Yea, that's something I have time for while balls are flying at my face. Dick.
Golf ( Wow, just wow.) No, I'm not mad that this isn't mini-golf. Or that it's recycling courses from the Frisbee golf thing. The thing is that I did not expect this part of the game to go by so quickly, especially after the nightmare that was the bowling part of the game. Why I chose to put this part of the blog just before the bowling part, fucking the timeline harder than a horny Jake Gyllenhaal, is something I still don't understand. Now that I think about it, both of these games are incredible opposites. Bowling is rather simple to play, but will suck up more of my time than...well, a horny Jake Gyllenhaal. Golf, on the other hand, is the reason why people don't like Wii Motion +. I tried following the (nagging) instructions of holding my Wii-mote down and swinging it forward, but from there, things devolved into insanity. The Wii-mote just refused to do anything that can be associated with the idea of intuitive, deciding to turn my straight shots into flaccid penises that shot my ball into a mermaid's face, all the while requiring me to swing BACKWARDS. That's when I found out that pointing my Wii-mote at the TV fixed all my problems. All of them except putting. Either way, you're fucked. The game only registers two types of puts: that of an old man with a skeleton made of pudding, and that of ODIN, SUPREME GOD OF THE NORSE GODS. Of course, you'd expect progress in this game to take ages, but the reality is that I was able to beat it in a couple of days. Turns out that getting -1 for a score will make Wii Sports Resort lose its shit, giving you about 200000000 points. Speaking of shit...
Bowling ( RRRRAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHH!!!!!) You shall no longer torment me, demon game!! As you can see, this is definitely one of the more frustrating games I've played so far. In fact, it's the most frustrating of them all, which is weird, given that it isn't as convoluted as canoes nor does it demand too much like archery. You just hold down B, swing the Wii-mote, and let go of the B button, NOT the Wii-mote. Here's why. However, there is one addition: twist your wrist before you let go, and your ball develops a sentience and veers off into the corner you want it to go toward. In theory, at least; the reality was that there almost always seemed to be one pin that refused to go down, especially in 100 pin, where the only pin left standing will invariably be the one with a huge magnetic field around it. Wait, it gets worse: the game will always show the Obama Mii getting strikes in the next lane while you struggle to hit that last pin. No, wait, I meant to say, "Take a look at the stamps." You will never get all these stamps. There's no way you'll ever get English Major (the fuck?), no matter how hard you try. Even if the game lowers the difficulty to Retard level, you still won't get it. Before you try, though, I feel I should mention that playing this game for a long time will make your arm hurt. So like real bowling, this is not something you want to mix with masturbation.
Power Cruising( I find this game to be a lot like sex: it's over quickly, but still leaves me painful and tired.) Plus there are a lot of things about it that still confuse me to this day. How do I know when she's done, and why do I need to use the nunchuck for this? OK, I'm not talking about nunchuck sex, the leading cause of death among today's teens, but the fact that this power cruising thing requires you use the nunchuck to steer your vehicle. Why? I've been steering with my solo Wii-mote for years, and now you make me do it with this weird control scheme? You've left me confused, flailing my arms around to steer the damn thing, utterly fucked when I miss my mark! If you got rid of that thing, this would be near perfect, and I don't see anything in the current control scheme that's incompatible with a Wii-mote only thing. Hell, most of the controls are on it already! The only other thing of note is that the waves can screw up your plans. Other than that, GET RID OF THE DAMN NUNCHUCK!!!
Canoes( You'd think that this would be the more relaxing of the mini-games, right?) It's certainly more relaxing than bowling, and all the practice mode offers you is a tiny, serene lake, your only goal being the rescue of ducks. It'd help to practice on the actual courses, but that's not enough to interrupt the tranquil majesty of nature, is it? Where does the stress come in? First, the controls. I can see what they were going for, but in practice, it just doesn't work. You row like you would in a regular canoe, but not feeling the depth or weight of your strokes presents a lot of issues with rowing, the biggest one being the position of the oar. Row off to the sides, no problem, but when you want to go straight (something that requires alternation barely left/barely right of strokes), your oar becomes a bit finicky, like your Mii wants to stab a fish that's right in front of it. But you adjust, and soon, you find yourself racing against the clock (and the Viking drums in the background (excellent choice)) to finish the course. Once you realize that the game can actually penalize you for winning (COMMUNISTS!!!) is when you discover that there are actually different courses for different difficulties. Nice. What's not nice is that the difficulty curve is more of a difficulty spike, turning what was once a relaxing stroll through the 19th century into Devil Survivor levels of frustration. OK, maybe not THAT frustrating, but you understand, right?
Bicycles ( Sorry, I just couldn't resist the nostalgic appeal.) Why can't I break theme for a change? Besides, I need something relaxing that can fill me with joy; had I chosen to go with a song that reflected my real feelings after this, it'd be Keni Ito's Ode to Insanity. Not only was it so tiring that I typed this part of the blog three years after, but it's also kinda weird in how it controls. Instead of not playing it at all, like they should have done, you move forward by beating your Wii-mote and Nunchuck like a coked out Neil Peart. But not TOO fast, though, as the game will (condescendingly) tell you that you'll "run out of breath." No shit, Sherlock. Why, then, do you constantly encourage me to peddle when I'm trying regain what breath I've lost? You know, this particular part of Wii Sports Resort is a helluva lot more confusing than the other ones. Why doesn't this one use custom Miis? Why do their limbs look like ugly noodles? But more importantly, WHY CAN'T I USE MY F'ING WIRELESS NUNCHUCK WITH WII MOTION +!?!? Assuming you're sitting (for full immersion), the wires will inevitably slap your legs the entire time. It's already hard enough beating this game, and now I have to deal with this? I was fine with the slow progression and the opposite-rubber-band AI (computers will slow themselves down the moment you get behind them, causing everybody else to speed past you), but not with the wires hitting me all about. Remove those rubber feet so I can use my Nyko Wireless Nunchuck!
Flying ( OK, the timing on this one is gonna be a bit weird.) This is the last game in the line-up, but as of typing this, I haven't even bothered touching any of the five mini-games above it, canoeing being the only exception. Despite this, I still consider the flying mini-games to be the best in the entire package. Your Wii-mote represents you or the airplane, but for now, we'll stick to me because I'm a narcissist ass. This means that I'll be talking about my skydiving experiences, where I saw a wide variety of Miis. The skies were littered with Michael Jacksons, Jokers, Simpsonseseses, Cobra Commanders/Vaders, and even some furries! Yes, the Internet is a horrible place, especially since it completely lacked a Bushwald Sexyface. So I fixed this dilemma, as you can see. Anyway, the game itself controls wonderfully. You turn left and right to do that, and lean forward to speed forward. It's easy to pick up and feels completely natural. I know that a lot of the other ones feel natural, too, but I rank this above the others due to the leisurely pace the others lack. Everything I've said also applies to the airplane parts, which I sadly had to ignore. Why? Well, the dogfight mini-game is multiplayer only, for some stupid reason, and there's no real way to beat the flyover one. I know what you're thinking: find all the landmarks in this surreal game sequence. That's just 100%ing it, fools. You can 100% a Metroid game without even beating it. Like Battletoads, the flying crap is fun to play and impossible to beat. Also, it'd probably make for a kickass Star Fox game. You reading this, Nintendo? Of course you are. Get to it.
The end part( OK, now it's time to tie this behemoth into one cohesive unit, Transformers style!) So what's my final opinion on this absolute behemoth? Simply put, I was playing it the wrong way. Don't go into this actually trying to beat it, as you'll end up an armless freak fully aware of the problems of motion control in general. I'm not insulting how the Wii Motion + actually works (it works well), but rather the general direction of motion controls in general. As soon as you introduce real-world skill, shit hits the fan. Why do you think strategy RPGs are a niche genre? (It's not because I've endorsed them in this blog.) Still, as an actual game, I imagine it'd be pretty fun at parties, or, given that I worked up about 12 drums of sweat during this ordeal, as a work-out tool. At least for the upper body. Don't get me wrong, it won't make you better at sports (something I learned through a skin-ripping round of golf last night), but I imagine that if you were dedicated to a work-out routine, this would probably yield some decent results. Following this train of thought, I'm giving this game the Rocky IV Award for I Really Want to See This Being Used in a Rocky IV-esque Work-Out Montage. However, since I sucked so hard at some of these games that the game itself had to tell me how to play while I was playing it, I think I'd have to get a Miyagi-esque sensei to train me not to suck before I could even tackle the Rocky IV exercises. Damn, it's getting really 80s in here. So let me end on this series of notes.
- The motion controls mostly work well, but the problem arises when you find out that you may not want them to do so.
- The ideas behind this range from awesome to the awesome power (flying) to "why are you?" (bicycles).
- Yes, I actually made all those Miis.
Wow, this is embarrassing: I can't post my video here. There's no way I could get away with outright posting it in this blog...but I can link it. Just so you don't feel disappointed (and just so the lack of space doesn't fuck up the look for me), here's a picture from the video. I find it rather apt:
Art of Fighting( There's no way I can keep an upbeat tone for long when talking about this game.) So instead of beginning with anything about the actual game, let's go with the stuff I found when I typed part of the title into Google: Art of Shaving, something da Vinci considers an oxymoron. Art of War, wherein Sun Tzu proves how incredibly stupid ancient China was. Art of Manliness, also known my personal mural. Art of Trolling, which I assume directs you to this page, if you feel lucky. Notice how none of those are Art of Fighting.
My introduction serves no purpose, so let me begin by telling you that Art of Fighting is, obviously, a fighting game by Takara ( oh shit!) with a typical save the princess storyline. That may not sound notable enough to waste an entire sentence on, but the way this game shoves the story down your throat makes it worthy of about a paragraph. The first option on the title screen is a story mode, where you find out that only two characters get the chance to see story mode: Ryo (even in Japanese, he's one letter away from being a Ryu rip-off!) and Robert (Gayest. Victory pose. Ever.). Oh, and they both share the exact same moveset and storyline. And the story is just, "She's not here, she's there!" with a predictable plot twist at the end of it all. We need to invent a new word for this type of lazy!...Mencia. This game is Mencia.
Also, it's an RPG, or at least it wants to be one. I've already mentioned how the story is slightly deeper than "there's a foot that is not yet in somebody's ass, please correct this problem", but there's also stat progression. Every two battles, you get to play a mini-game where you gain either HP, spirit (I'll come back to that) or a new move. This, of course, assumes that you complete said mini-game with absolute perfection; miss the mark by even a yoctosecond, and you get nothing. It may sound like I'm nitpicking, but keep in mind that your enemies level up at a constant rate, while even your best efforts to level up will still place them several health bars ahead of you. So try to imagine a less forgiving version of Romancing SaGa. Also, throw in some crappy fighting mechanics. I know it was hard with just the first statement, but trust me, that's what Art of Fighting is like.
Don't believe me? OK, I can't exactly vouch for the SaGa part, mainly because there's actually a story of some type, but I can easily bitch about the fighting in this game, despite the fact that I essentially only played as one character, that character being Ryu with ammo. That's what spirit is: ammo for your moves. I can see where they were going with this, trying to prevent players from spamming moves, but it just isn't fun. It really interrupts the flow of battle when I have to charge up enough spirit power (great way to emasculate me, SNK), especially when you realize that both you and your foe can get rid of each others' spirit by calling the other person bad names. It turns each battle into a hadouken-launch-fest where you charge up your wasted spirit between collapses.
You know, there's a chance I'm not being fair to this game. After all, I only played as two characters, so maybe the others (against whom, need I remind you, I fought) make the game super awesome! Let me just check the move list.... oh.....fuck. Turns out these characters really, REALLY suck. They seem to have an average of three random Japanese words that apparently mean the same thing and a special quirk, like the inability to jump. (That's actually in there.) Oh, and speaking of jumping, doing that against a wall does not involve the usual "jump at it, then away from it", for reasons I can only guess are poorly thought out. Who the hell was making this game, and were they properly punished for their misdeeds? The answer to both questions is probably "no", as I'm still not done complaining (something that should've been obvious to anybody reading this). Let's end this by saying that even the core fighting mechanics don't work. Either that, or I didn't know that you can punch fireballs out of the air with no damage, so long as blocking hits removes the chip from "chip damage." So, to balance out this game, I will not give the characters more moves or get rid of the stupid spirit system, but instead give this game the Chip Award. Go figure.
- Why are my moves limited like this?
- And how can something with only three moves be so damn aggressive in battle?
- Oh, I get it now: it's kinda like the Fallout 3 of the early 90s: combining RPG elements into something that could have them, but it just doesn't work out as well as you'd want in the end.