All About SirSpudly
Since I beat two games in three days I'm just going to group this together. No surprises this time, as most people have heard of (and played) both games on the docket. Remember, just because I'm talking about it does not make it insanely obscure or expensive.
Link's Crossbow Training is a Wii title that comes packed with the Wii Zapper. Since Nintendo felt the need to only sell the game in such an expensive manner, I went the used game route and picked up a copy at Gamestop for $2.69. I popped it in after supper and promised myself that I couldn't possibly be disappointed in such a good deal.
I felt like I was playing a third-person shooter on rails. This could have been done brilliantly, had the game actually used that setting in a cohesive manner. In reality, the sections were just random clips of the game retrofitted to work using only one weapon. On top of that, the one scene from the game did work like LCT is absent from the game (known as the Giant Bird scene). I understand that the reason is likely because Nintendo forced the player to replay that part 7-8 times in a single play-through, but it is also the only time I've played a Panzer Dragoon clone that didn't blatantly use dragons.
57 minutes after I clicked start, I was done. Completely. I mean, I COULD go for 100%, but that would require playing it.
Total Playing Time: 57 minutes Score: 6.5 (once again, high because I only paid $3)
Katamari Damacy is a rather interesting concoction for the PS2 mixed up by Namco back in 2003. The goal of the game was to create stars using spare material on Earth. However, as it is explained, the inhabitants do not want to be sent into the atmosphere to burn brightly for everyone else to see. This is the King of the Cosmos' problem.
Enter the Prince, in a sincere moment of fatherhood, we learn that the King is making his ultimatium on his child by giving him the task of rolling up these unwilling creatures with a Katamari, or globe of near-infinite stickiness. After a minute of explaining how two joysticks are used to move around the enormous ball, the Prince is thrust onto the earth world and put on a timer. When time is up, the globe must be a certain size, or the King will grow angry with his creation and smash it into stardust; forcing the Prince to start all over again.
At first, there is no reason this game couldn't have been on the PS1, the graphics and colors come straight from 1998 and the need to explore the dual joysticks remind me of 1999 and Ape Escape all over again. Then a miracle happens, the katamari reaches a certain number and the game spazzes out in real time. The Prince has become much more powerful, and those things that were angry with you are now very very afraid.
It's time to roll them up. Every last one.
This is the majesty of Katamari Damacy, a true sense of accomplishment and newfound power can be felt several times a minute. The player is in full control of how exactly everything sent into space. Like the prince, eventually the time comes to stop worrying about their livelihood and think of your own. After all, dad's waiting; and you're not the only prince for the job.
I found this on Amazon for $10. It was a reprint, but the only difference is the game case.
Total Playing Time: 13:10 Score: 8.0
Considered the black sheep of Wii games, Hudson's Kororinpa: Marble Mania has the distinction of being one of the only titles on the console to have resale value over MSRP. Buying used is upwards of $60-80, which means not enough copies were produced to meet the growing market demand. I spotted a rental copy for sale at Gamecrazy last week and purchased it without hesitation. For $13.50, I was not about to care how pristine the game was, especially since I hadn't seen a copy since Mercury Meltdown Revolution hit shelves.
So how does it play? Exactly like you would want a game about rolling a marble to play, except Hudson added floating orange crystals to collect before an otherwise arbitrary goal allows you to complete the course. Every stage starts by prompting the wii remote to be held face-up and pointing to the left. From the moment the game clock starts, every movement made by the controller translates into 360 motion on-screen. A fixed camera angle follows your ball around the screen, with obstacles appearing to provide clues as to how to complete each section or find more crystals.
Not everything is connected and bolted down in this crazy marble mania. Obstacles like marble magnets, running treads, and the rotating magnifying glass of doom keep the player from entering a state of Man Vs. 3D maze. Kinetic backgrounds keep the screen from being distracting, and the moving platforms scattered around the middle of the game give you plenty of time to look at them, relaxing and sometimes fooling the player into forgetting there is a maze to finish.
The best part of this game is the incredible marble physics. Balls will bounce around and ricochet off of every surface in the game. Many balls were lost in my play-thru, taking the great plunge of disgrace into the family-friendly environments below. All 24 marbles have different properties as well, making some challenges more difficult if the wrong type is used. Also making high marks is the sound. Everything sounds like these mazes are real, and in an instant everything can sound like a frog crying as you literally drop it down a flight of steps. Hudson did a fantastic job on including a mix of soothing songs and some retro tunes from previous games. I really don't want to give the later away, because Hudson's history of chiptunes is among the catchiest in the profession.
Did I mention perfect rotation? Yeah...best handling Wii game I've ever played. This was created in the era known as "pre-waggle," and features absolutely no gimmicks.
Wii game..no gimmicks...full motion control. No wonder this sells for kingly sums of money.
Ah...but the replay value....really depends on how much you enjoy touching crystals with a sphere. I mean, being a basketball is cool, but being a big roly poly panda is much cooler. The game never specifies how to unlock something, sometimes it is by clearing a certain number of stages, other times it is to finish a course using three different marbles, and some things are only unlocked by collecting trophies for speed or the hidden green crystal in each of the 45 levels. This will unlock 15 additional levels, which rely less on a theme and more on challenges the designers thought were more interesting to include in a theme level.
Sadly, two player is a joke, as it just involves the same puzzles with half the screen, forcing both players to be better than just playing levels by themselves and passing the controller around to get the fastest time.
Final Word: A Wii game anyone can understand. A title everyone should play.
Since the Hotspot is completely focused on doing submissions and then eliminating all of those that get more than one. I figure I'll just post whatever comes to mind without getting it vetoed.
For 2-04-09 : Spoil a game with a title....
Final Fantasy VII->The Black Man doesn't die OR Your name is Zack
kinda either or
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