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
And so it is that we come to the fourth installment in the Project Zero series: a game that never came West in an official capacity.
Known as Zero: Tsukihame no Kamen in its native Japan and Mask of the Lunar Eclipse in the West following an ambitious (and successful) fan-translation project, this fourth game represented a number of “firsts” for the series.
It was the first installment to not be exclusively developed by Tecmo. It was the first installment to leave the series’ original host platforms of PlayStation 2 and Xbox. And it was the first installment to make a number of mechanical shakeups to the basic Project Zero formula, which would become fixtures in subsequent releases. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Project Zero 4: Touched by the Moon
How do you follow an impressively creepy horror game about ghosts in the Japanese tradition? With more of the same, but different and/or better, of course.
Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly began development shortly after its predecessor was completed, and eventually released for Japanese and North American PlayStation 2 players in late 2003, and for Europe the following April. This was then followed by an enhanced Xbox port, which released in Japan and North America in late 2004, with Europe once again bringing up the rear in February of 2005.
Interestingly, the game then got a complete remake for the Nintendo Wii in the summer of 2012; this released simultaneously in Japan, Australia and Europe, but skipped a North American release. It’s this latter version that we’re primarily concerned with today. But first, a bit of history…
Continue reading Project Zero 2: Float Like a Butterfly
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
The Nintendo Wii was a peculiar system, as those who have spent any time in its company will attest. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Rather, I’m referring to the fact that out of all the consoles in that particular generation of hardware, you were most likely to find completely unique games for Nintendo’s hardware rather than straight ports. Sometimes this happened due to a desire to make use of the Wii’s unusual control scheme; sometimes it happened as a side effect of the system’s lack of power compared to its Sony and Microsoft peers. It always resulted in games that are fascinating — not always the best, but definitely always fascinating.
And the Sonic the Hedgehog series was no exception to this rule.
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: The Storybook Adventures
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