One of the things I find kind of interesting about how gaming culture in general has developed over time is how people feel about “arcade games”.
Back in the 8- and 16-bit eras of computers and consoles that I grew up with, the seemingly unattainable dream was to have “the arcade experience at home” — or, well, more accurately, an authentic arcade experience at home. This was kind of strange when you think about it, because a lot of home computer and console games already offered experiences of greater complexity, depth and duration than your average quarter-muncher, but still the dream persisted.
Once we got to a stage where our home gaming hardware was more than up to the job of providing an “arcade-perfect” experience, however, many people had become so accustomed to those longer, deeper experiences that the dream of “arcade games” kind of fell by the wayside for a significant proportion of the gaming audience. And consequently, I suspect a fair few people missed out on highly enjoyable cheese like Sega’s Ghost Squad.
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Ghost Squad
The poor ol’ Wii gets a lot of crap for its numerous minigame compilations, when in fact these releases were a significant part of the system’s appeal.
Minigame compilations provided accessible ways for people less accustomed to games to get accustomed to the Wii’s unusual control scheme, great packages to entertain groups of friends on social occasions… and brilliant opportunities for developers to get a bit weird and creative.
One of the best examples I’ve come across is 2011’s Wii Play: Motion, one of the lesser-known entries in Nintendo’s Wii [x] series, and a game that most people know as “the game you got free with a Wii Remote Plus for a while”.
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Wii Play: Motion
Wii Music is one of those releases that a lot of people didn’t pick up back in the day, primarily due to its mediocre critical response.
At least part of this was down to the (not entirely unreasonable) assumption that it would be a traditional “game” of some description — or at the very least a collection of minigames, as with the other titles in the Wii [x] series from Nintendo. But it’s actually something rather different.
And take the time to engage with it on its own terms and you’ll find something both entertaining and educational. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Wii Music
Regrettably no longer available for purchase due to Nintendo’s closing of the original Wii Shop Channel’s payment processing, Konami’s ReBirth series consists of several wonderful “modern retro” takes on classic Konami properties, including Castlevania, Contra and Gradius.
It’s the latter we’re concerned with today, as it really is an absolutely fantastic shoot ’em up, and an absolute crying shame that it can no longer be legitimately acquired via normal means.
Still, if you want to know what you missed out on — or perhaps spend some of those Wii Points you’ve been hoarding before the Shop Channel closes down completely — then read on.
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Gradius ReBirth
Despite selling extremely well, Nintendo’s Wii — or, more accurately, its software library — is not something that gets talked about a whole bunch these days.
This is largely down to the fact that its motion and pointer controls were seen by many as “gimmicky” despite how accessible they made gaming to people who had historically never picked up a controller. But, as anyone who has taken the time to get to know the Wii and its substantial library of games will know, games where you point a remote at the screen aren’t automatically “bad”… or even “casual”.
Sometimes they’re really good. Like Eledees by Konami, also known as Elebits outside of PAL regions. But I’m from a PAL region, so it’s called Eledees so far as we’re concerned!
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Eledees
With how well-received 2009’s DS title Rhythm Paradise was, it was only a matter of time before the series made the jump to home consoles — and the Wii was, of course, the perfect fit.
Since Nintendo’s unconventional but immensely popular console catered to a broad demographic almost identical to that of the DS, it made perfect sense to bring the series to players’ televisions. So that’s exactly what happened in 2011 in Japan, followed by a Western release in early 2012.
Like its predecessor, Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise (Rhythm Heaven Fever in North America) combines extremely simple, accessible mechanics with a gentle but firm difficulty curve — and the result is a highly enjoyable game that pretty much anyone can enjoy, regardless of their gaming experience.
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Beat the Beat – Rhythm Paradise
Well, friends, it’s finally happening: as of the time of writing, you can no longer add credit to your Wii Shop Channel account, meaning that if you don’t already have some on there, you can’t buy anything.
With this in mind, I loaded up on points the day before the payment processing facility was shut down for good and downloaded a number of Wii-exclusive digital-only games that, come 2019, will no longer be available to buy at all.
One of those games was Konami’s Castlevania: The Adventure – ReBirth, a remake of Game Boy title Castlevania: The Adventure. So, was it worth the last-minute scramble for 1,000 Wii Points?
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Castlevania: The Adventure – ReBirth