Another week, another Wii-kly update! This week sees the arrival of two new games, one each for WiiWare and Virtual Console.
Bonsai Barber (Nintendo, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone-Comic Mischief, 1,000 Wii Points): The village residents are hungry for the latest in foliage fashion, and it’s up to you, the new barber, to fix them up. Use the tools of your trade: scissors, clippers, spray can, and more in this humorous, first-of-its-kind "first-person-groomer" game. Bonsai Barber features a colorful cast of 12 intriguing customers, including a temperamental shallot starlet (don’t call her an onion), an oddball strawberry boffin, a cactus cowboy, a daredevil carrot, and a suave banana with top-secret clearance. Each day, five customers arrive to test your stylistic skill. If the customer requests a specific style, you’ll plow that furrow, or you can rely on your expertise to pick from more than 30 popular fashions. Or, why not turn over a new leaf? Be creative and see how they react. They’re a demanding bunch, so if you miss an appointment, you’ll hear about it-on your Wii Message Board. If you do a good job, you may receive a gift or even a postcard from an exotic destination as your happy customers travel to distant lands and show off their exquisite coifs.
Super Punch-Out!! (Super NES™, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 800 Wii Points): Featuring the tight game play and humor the series is known for, this sequel to the NES™ classic sees Little Mac return to the ring with the World Video Boxing Association belt once again at stake. Slug your way through the grueling, sweat-pounding matches of the Minor, Major and World Circuits as you face off against some of Little Mac’s greatest rivals, such as Bear Hugger, Bald Bull and Super Macho Man. With a cast of new challengers waiting, do you have what it takes to identify their unique patterns and exploit their weaknesses? Go to your corner and come out fighting, but remember what Doc Louis would say: "It’s not about brawling-it’s about finesse!"
According to ESRB’s game ratings list, id Software’s classic first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D is headed to PS3 and Xbox 360.
No further details were given, but many are speculating that the PSN and Xbox Live Arcade release will be timed to promote the upcoming Wolfenstein game in development at Raven Software; it is due out this summer on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Planned future releases include Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Far Cry, Heroes of Might and Magic and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.
Run by Polish publisher CD Projekt, GOG offers DRM-free downloads of classic games with bonus features typically such as downloadable soundtracks, manuals and avatars.
With the start of a new week comes word of a new Virtual Console title, as well as a new WiiWare one. Nintendo has added Summer Games II, a Commodore 64 classic, that has players, as the name suggests, take part in summer games around the globe. The other game is BIT.TRIP.BEAT, a retro action game that features four-player multiplayer and a 8-bit soundtrack.
BIT.TRIP BEAT (Aksys Games, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 600 Wii Points): BIT.TRIP BEAT is a rhythm game that brings retro action into the present, letting you use the motion-sensing Wii Remote™ controller to bounce beats. Retro visuals, classic game play, four-player multiplayer and an 8-bit soundtrack will get you in the zone and rock your world. The challenges are mighty, but if you can stay cool as the difficulty increases, you’ll discover the beginnings of the BIT.TRIP saga.
Summer Games II™ (Commodore 64, 1-8 players, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): A thousand athletes. A hundred countries. Billions watching around the world as you enter the stadium, marching confidently among your nation’s strongest, fastest and boldest young men and women. Your gaze sweeps the crowd as you realize the scope of your achievement. You are about to compete against the world’s best athletes in a 3,000-year-old competition. This is the pinnacle of athletic achievement: the Summer Games. Summer Games II challenges your competitive skills with a series of athletic contests for one to eight players. Experience the excitement and realism of eight different events: cycling, equestrian, fencing, high jump, javelin, kayaking, rowing and triple jump. Practice each event to sharpen your skills, then choose from the 18 countries you can represent in the competition.
Only two new titles enter the marketplace this week on the Wii. First up is a new WiiWare game that offers supernatural villains – dubbed LIT, the game takes players back to high-school to beat up the school’s teachers. I’m not kidding. The retro game this week is Wolf of the Battlefield, a Sega Genesis title that has you defeating terrorists. Enjoy:
LIT (WayForward Technologies, 1 player, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older—Violence, 800 Wii Points): Dark creatures have taken over Jake’s high school, and it’s up to you to guide him through each classroom in order to be reunited with his girlfriend Rachael. Existing light sources must be used smartly to create bridges of light for Jake to cross. One false step and Jake gets pulled into the darkness. Along the way he’ll encounter twisted versions of his school’s faculty, which must be battled in order to advance. LIT is a horror/puzzle game that requires the Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk™ controllers. It contains 30 levels, five boss battles, replay modes and several unlockables, including multiple endings, Dark Mode timed challenges and an unlockable character.
Wolf of the Battlefield: MERCS (SEGA GENESIS, 1 player, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older—Mild Violence, 800 Wii Points): Following a rash of terrorism outbreaks and increasing opposition from guerilla fighters, the U.S. government has decided to hire a group of professional mercenaries to undergo secret missions, battling through enemy lines to go where no ordinary soldier would dare to go. Based on the popular arcade game, the SEGA GENESIS version of MERCS lets you play as a MERC and also adds an original mode, allowing players to choose from five different characters. Take no prisoners as you shoot, drive jeeps and tanks, and clash against huge bosses to accomplish your mission.
Delivering even more awesome goods, Good Old Games is now host to titles from Epic’s classic shooter franchise Unreal.
The first titles to be available are Unreal Gold (with the Return to Napali expansion pack) and Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition. Two more titles – Unreal 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004 – will also be made available completely DRM-free.
“Epic Games redefined the first-person shooter with the Unreal series, and we’re very happy to welcome them to the growing list of companies that share our vision of digital distribution,” said Adam Oldakowski, Managing Director of GOG.com. “We know that a lot of gamers have been waiting for new deals, and we’re sure that the Unreal games will satisfy their lust for alien blood and intense multiplayer action… DRM-free, of course.”
This week sees the introduction three new additions to the Wii Shop Channel in the form of two WiiWare and one Virtual Console title. Here’s the deal:
Brain Challenge (Gameloft, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): Just like your body, your brain needs to be exercised to stay in shape. Boost your brain and relieve stress through various minigames in a personal session to get a detailed evaluation. Challenge your friends’ brains in delirious party games to see who is the smartest. Test your brain’s abilities in Visual, Memory, Logic, Math and Focus minigames. Compare yourself with friends by challenging their brains in three multiplayer modes. Develop your resistance to stressful situations that could happen in real life. Use a customized Mii™ character to create personal sessions. Choose your favorite personal coach. Track your overall performance with detailed statistics and graphs. The special Kid Test and Senior Test modes will gather everyone around the game.
Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam (Virtual Toys, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone-Animated Blood, Comic Mischief, 1,000 Wii Points): Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam is a frenetically active cooking game in which you must serve food to your customers as quickly as possible. This could be a simple task, but the customers aren’t very patient, and you’ll find a multitude of annoying insects that make the noble mission of satisfying your small gourmets’ stomachs much more difficult. In the game’s Career Mode, your goal is to become the best chef in the city. To do so, you have to prove your worth by cooking in four fantastic restaurants: the Hot Dog, Hamburger, Pizza and Mexican Restaurant. Enjoy playing Yummy Yummy with your family, serving delicious food to the most surprising characters: vampires, ninjas, extraterrestrials and mafia thugs. Put on your chef’s hat, sharpen your knives and turn up the heat.
Mega Man 3 (NES™, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone-Mild Cartoon Violence, 500 Wii Points): In the year 200X, the notorious Dr. Wily, now reformed and working for the forces of good, works hand-in-hand with Dr. Light to build a new type of peacekeeping robot. When a new set of eight Robot Masters escapes the lab to wreak havoc on the world at large, only Mega Man can save the day. This time, Mega Man must rely on his new slide move and canine companion Rush to conquer the stages and vanquish evil. A new character, Proto Man, adds to the mystery and appeal of this seminal title in the famous action-game series.
With the WiiWare service up and running, Nintendo today added two new original games to the service along with a lonely retro game to Wii’s Shop Channel.
Priced at 1000 Wii points, Konami’s Critter Round-up has players trying to herd farm animals and keep them from escaping (or whatever it is they are trying to do) from the player’s grasp. The second title is the latest entry in the popular top-down shooting series – Star Soldier R. Released by Hudson Soft, the game has players test their skills in 2 or 5 minute increments. It can be bought for 800 Wii points.
This week’s lonely retro release is Namco’s Skykid. Purchasable for 500 Wii points, the NES game has players enjoying the rivalry between Red Baron and Blue Max as they drop bombs on one another.
This week’s additions to the Virtual Console service are:
Cybernator (SNES, 1 player, rated E 10+ for Everyone 10 and Older – Mild Fantasy Violence, 800 Wii Points): It is the near future. Resources are dwindling, and the major powers of the world are in dispute over territory. Pilot the Cybernator G5-E for the 95th brigade of the mechanized marines and throw yourself into the war. Get briefed before each mission to confirm your targets, and then do your best to clear each of the seven stages, freely using the suit’s equipped tools and four types of weaponry. By collecting the “power chips” left by defeated enemies, it is also possible to reinforce each weapon up to a maximum of three levels. It is left to your judgment as to whether to reinforce a specific weapon or to power up all weapons simultaneously, adding a bit of strategy to the nonstop action. The powerful background music, military-like atmosphere (look for bullet marks on the walls and the strained communication during combat) and intense story development combine to give the world of Cybernator a gritty, sci-fi feel that you won’t soon forget.
Alien Storm (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, rated E 10+ for Everyone 10 and Older – Mild Fantasy Violence, 800 Wii Points): Shape-shifting aliens have infiltrated the city, creating chaos and panic! Fortunately, a trio of heroes called the Alien Busters has agreed to wipe out the invading creatures. The members of the team wield their own special attacks, and they unload a world of hurt on the Martian menaces from the city streets to the mother ship. Gordon, a tough guy with a bazooka, has a special gunship attack, while Karla has a flamethrower for alien crisping, though she prefers to use her special ballistic-missile attack. Finally, Slammer the robot can self-destruct at will and attacks the intruders with an electric whip and other devices. Take the aliens by storm and save your city.
Monster Lair (TurboGrafx16 CD-ROM, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone – Mild Cartoon Violence, 800 Wii Points): Join young Adam and Laura as they embark on a fantastic adventure in this comical action/shooting game. Featuring beautiful music brought to life by the power of the CD-ROM, the game consists of 14 rounds packed with cute monster enemies. Players can either play alone as Adam (or play with a friend controlling Laura) as they battle their way through round after round. The first half of each round is the action scene, where players must avoid obstacles and pits. Use your Power Boost weapons against enemies and restore your Life Force with food as you head for the gate at the end. The second half is the exhilarating shooting scene, where players must shoot down flying enemies. Take out the boss at the end to clear the round and move to the next one.
This week’s releases on the Virtual Console service aren’t just games, but new features as well. But first, the games:
Pokémon Snap (Nintendo 64, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): As one of the most unique games in a renowned series, Pokémon Snap was the first truly 3-D Pokémon game and introduced the phenomenon to the Nintendo 64. Travel to Pokémon Island and meet Professor Oak to begin a safari, taking the best possible photographs of 63 different Pokémon as they exist in the wild, undisturbed by humans. This is not as easy as it sounds-the island has many types of climates and environments to explore, along with secret activities and hidden passages to discover. Plus, some of the Pokémon can be a little shy and won’t pose for the camera unless you tease them with special items. After you’re done, submit one picture of each Pokémon to Professor Oak, and he’ll judge it based on size, pose, technique and number of Pokémon captured.
Ghosts’n Goblins (NES®, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone-Mild Animated Violence, 500 Wii Points): Ghosts’n Goblins was a popular arcade game before it made the leap to the NES in 1986. Like later games in the series, Ghosts’n Goblins presents quite a challenge to players brave enough to take on the role of Arthur and delve into the realm of demons and monsters to rescue the kidnapped princess. Choose your weapons wisely and take advantage of their strengths to deal with the situation at hand. Pass through the six gates that stand between you and Astaroth, and teach him a lesson in chivalry he’ll never forget. Demonstrating a high level of technical prowess for a game of its era, Ghosts’n Goblins presents a unique and unforgettable universe. The stage for adventure is set. Are you up to the test?
BASEBALL STARS 2 (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 900 Wii Points): Lace up your cleats and step onto the diamond with the pros of BASEBALL STARS 2. You’ll find everything you’d expect in a classic game of baseball, but with an arcade feel and intense action that distinguish it from the pack. Pick one of six unique teams from cities around the world, then get ready for nine innings of excitement, whether you’re taking on the computer in a 15-game tournament or squaring off against a friend. There are two modes of game play, so even the most inexperienced player can compete at the major-league level (with a little computer-aided fielding). Watch as the game develops through split-screen views and close-up shots worthy of any highlight film, and see if you can catch the numerous over-the-top animations of the large and detailed player models. Think you have what it takes to win the pennant?
Besides games, Nintendo added new features to the service, one of which allows players to post pictures they take in a game to their Wii Message Board and let their friends view the pictures. To celebrate the Holiday season, they have also added a new Gifting feature to send games to other Wii owners with whom players have traded Friend Codes.