Friday, October 12, 2007
Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast (Wii)
This game features quite possibly the most annoying control scheme in history. It's a shining example of "motion control" translating to "flailing your arms wildly and watching what happens". To accelerate, you have to make drum motions quickly with the Wiimote and nunchuk, and turning is done by drumming to one side. Your arms will start to get tired after one race, and the tracks and weapons are generic and uninspired. It doesn't help that it visually resembles a Nintendo 64 game, either.
Dewy's Adventure (Wii)
Dewy's Adventure is quite clearly from the makers of Elebits, which should be obvious from the art style and terrible voice acting. It utilizes the Wii remote in much the same way as Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. As such, you'll be tilting the environment around your character to make him move. You can also use motion to activate earthquakes and wind bursts, as well as change the temperature of the world. The motion control is pretty spot-on, but the game itself doesn't have too much depth to it. Might be a good title for younger gamers, but anyone over the age of 10 will probably get bored fairly quickly.
Fishing Master (Wii)
When Nintendo finally let the cat out of the bag by announcing motion control for their new system, gamers minds everywhere began to imagine the possibilities. One of the obvious applications for a wand-type controller with motion capabilities is a fishing game. Unfortunately, Fishing Master is not exactly the experience everyone had in mind. It basically becomes an exercise in staring at a meter and rotating your wrist until the bar almost fills up. If you let it go too far, the line breaks. There isn't a whole lot of strategy to the whole experience, and I found myself getting terribly bored before I had even caught five fish.
NBA Live 08 (360)
As much as I criticize EA, I consider them to be the premier developers of sports simulation games. Madden, NHL, and Tiger Woods are excellent (and more importantly, fun) recreations of their respective sports. I'm not sure if it's EA's fault or simply the nature of basketball, but I've never really had fun with an NBA simulation title. I've always felt the sport lent itself better to an arcade style such as the ones seen in NBA Jam or NBA Street. Regardless, there's nothing specifically sub-par or broken about Live, it's just not a terribly engaging experience.
Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol (DS)
Right on the cover of Chibi-Robo Park Patrol is a graphic that mentions it's "Only Available at Wal-Mart!". I think there's a reason for this limited American release it's really, really Japanese. Therefore, I don't know if ADD-riddled Halo fanboys across the country could deal with the slower pacing and extremely Japanese nature of this title. For those hardcore gamers that do pick up Park Patrol, however, it's a unique title filled with some entertaining gameplay and a great personality.
Sega Rally Revo (360)
I have fond memories of playing the classic Sega arcade racers as a kid, and was hoping Rally Revo would recreate that experience. To a certain degree, it does. It's not checkpoint-based like the old classics, but it definitely eschews realism in favor of an arcade style. There aren't a terribly large amount of tracks or modes, however. It'll also take you a few races to learn to drive without fishtailing every time you make a slight turn. Regardless, it's a solid racer that reminds me of the days when arcades were actually relevant to the industry.
Sonic Rush (DS)
Dear Sega: Please give me a Sonic the Hedgehog game. I was really hoping that your latest DS offering would provide me with the classic 2D ring-collecting, loop-running, high speed gameplay that I haven't seen in this series since Sonic & Knuckles. I don't want weird jet-ski minigames between levels. I don't want the hyper-annoying music this series is recently associated with. I just want to run from the left side of the screen to the right, then fight a big fat guy in a giant mechanical contraption of some sort. Thank you.