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
I’ve liked rhythm games ever since I played Bust-a-Groove on the PlayStation. And I particularly like rhythm games that do something a little bit… odd.
Nintendo’s 2009 title Rhythm Paradise (aka Rhythm Heaven, Rhythm Tengoku Gold or Rhythm World depending on where in the world you are) is certainly very odd indeed at first glance… but it’s also an incredibly solid music game that both demands and helps train a good musical ear and sense of rhythm.
It’s also a fine example of the Nintendo DS doing what it does best: providing distinctive, experimental experiences quite unlike the games you find on any other platform.
Continue reading Nintendo DS Essentials: Rhythm Paradise
My most-played and arguably favourite Nintendo DS game is not a big first-party release from Nintendo, nor is it a title that is talked about particularly frequently in general.
It is, however, a game that everyone who actually played has extremely fond memories of — and with good reason. The trouble is, it’s all too easy to dismiss it as yet another piece of shovelware — something the DS wasn’t exactly short of, particularly later in its lifespan.
I am, of course, referring to Agenda’s 42 All-Time Classics, also known in North America as Clubhouse Games, and in its native Japan as Daredemo Asobi Taizen (loosely translated, Everyone Wants to Play). This is a title that, if you have a Nintendo DS to hand, I strongly recommend adding to your library, because it will keep you and your friends busy for hours.
Continue reading Nintendo DS Essentials: 42 All-Time Classics
A core part of my gaming “diet” in the 16-bit home computer era and onwards into the early days of mainstream PC gaming was the military flight simulator.
I have many fond memories of piloting numerous pieces of military hardware around the virtual skies, dropping bombs on filthy commies (this was the height of the Cold War, after all) and dictators in the desert — but for me, it wasn’t necessarily the action-packed parts of these games that was appealing. No, it was the simple satisfaction of remaining in control of several tons of metal that really had no business being up in the air and not immediately plummeting to the ground.
This was a feeling I hadn’t really experienced for a while, to be honest; the Ace Combats of the world have their considerable appeal, but they’re not exactly realistic. Taito’s 2003 release of Energy Airforce, on the other hand… well, let’s take a look.
Continue reading PS2 Essentials: Energy Airforce
I’m not a big sports game guy, but I’ve always had a lot of time for Nintendo’s takes on tennis and golf.
The Game Boy Color version of Mario Tennis in particular stole many hours of my life back in the day — as well as again a little more recently, I must confess — so I was rather excited to check out the Nintendo Switch incarnation of the series.
Among other things, the new game promised a return to something I had particularly liked about the aforementioned Game Boy Color version: a substantial single-player mode. So it’s that we’ll be focusing on today as I talk about my first impressions of the game.
Continue reading Mario Tennis Aces: Some First Impressions
You know sometimes you just see a game and think “I’m going to enjoy this?” That was very much me and Riddled Corpses EX.
There was something about the game’s excellent use of convincing 16-bit style pixel art and the suggestion that it would incorporate two of my favourite shmup subgenres — bullet hell and twin-stick — that made me pretty sure I was going to have a good time with it. And I most certainly did.
If you’re yet to check out this enjoyable blastathon, either in its original PC incarnation on Steam or its all-new “EX” version on PlayStation 4/Vita cross-buy and Xbox One, then grab yourself a sturdy controller, strap yourself in and get ready to perforate some cadavers.
Continue reading Shmup Essentials: Riddled Corpses EX