Friday, January 1, 2010

Yo Ho! The College Life for Me!

Hello, Nintendo fans!

I would like to address two things. First, it is apparent that I’ve been absent for a while (about a year, actually), as college life is arduous and tedious and has left me no time for site updates. For this I apologize.

Second, I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year, and I hope everyone’s Christmas was an enjoyable one.

Moreover, I hope Nintendo was an integral part of everyone’s Christmas festivities. If not, then why wasn’t it? Perhaps because you were missing Frank’s Top Ten Wii Games for the 2009 Holiday Season list, which has actually come to fruition after the 2009 holiday season. So what? Fork out some of that surplus holiday cash for a game or two from my list. I assure you that you won’t be sorry.

Frank’s Top Ten Wii Games for the 2009 Holiday Season:

1) New Super Mario Bros. Wii
2) The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
3) Metroid Prime: Trilogy
4) Super Mario Galaxy
5) Super Smash Bros. Brawl
6) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition
7) Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
8) Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
9) Mushroom Men
10) World of Goo (WiiWare)

Allow me to clear up some things about New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Yes, Nintendo has based this game upon New Super Mario Bros. for the DS, and furthermore upon a twenty-year-old, hackneyed franchise. Yes, the damsel in distress plot is again alive and well. And yes, it is still a side-scrolling (albeit a slightly 3-D) platformer. But Nintendo’s never done it better. This game is just plain fun, especially with friends. The beauty of the game is that YOU decide how to play it: cooperatively or competitively. Each player can work together to share power-ups and 1-Up mushrooms and help each other to the flag. Conversely, you may also choose to swipe every single item on the screen, rendering your friends defenseless, and subsequently bully them by hoisting them up and flinging them into passing enemies or multitudinous holes in the ground. I chose the latter. And it was a blast.

You may notice that most of the games on my list are pretty old by this point, particularly The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which Nintendo released in the days of yore as a Wii launch title. The game is nothing short of fantastic: a testament to Nintendo’s true talent as a video game publisher. Period. So if you haven’t played it yet, what are you waiting for, I ask? Jump on this bandwagon, if any, and have some timeless Nintendo fun.

I can’t recommend games I haven’t played, but if I were to compose my own wish list, Wii Sports Resort, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, and Dead Space Extraction would certainly make an appearance. So might The Conduit, but only because the retail price has dropped from 49.99 to 29.99; the new low price should be worth it.

Now, games to avoid unequivocally:

Frank’s Top Ten Wii Games to Avoid for the 2009 Holiday Season:

1) Red Steel
2) Sonic and the Secret Rings (and all Sonic Wii games, for that matter)
3) Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
4) Spider Man 3
5) Carnival Games
6) Nights: Journey of Dreams
7) Call of Duty 3
8) New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis
9) Wii Sports
10) Mario Kart Wii

“Wait just a minute! New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis, Wii Sports, and Mario Kart Wii?! No way! But why?!” Well, I’m glad you so emphatically inquired.

New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis replaces the freedom of movement you have in the GameCube original with the limitations of automatically controlled characters that follow the ball without your consent like miniature, pre-programmed robots. It is essentially Wii Sports Tennis with beloved Mario characters instead of Miis. Have I said enough?

While I'm on the topic, Wii Sports’ linear and dull gameplay left me unsatisfied; you could essentially swing the controller the same way for each sport and achieve the desired result. At best, the game is a fly-swatting simulator. I understand that it's the premier game for the Wii and that it’s merely supposed to showcase the Wii controls, but that’s not enough for me. Luckily, it’s free and comes bundled with the Wii. I suppose I just dearly needed to vent.

Along similar lines, Mario Kart Wii brought nothing new to the table: just horribly spastic controls and drearily designed tracks. And an gratuitous racing wheel. Get it if you’ve exhausted all other options and delight in throwing away fifty-dollar bills. If you’re like me and you value your Grants, then whip out the good old Wavebird and Double Dash and have a ball.

Now that you have at your disposal a comprehensive list of the good and bad for the Wii, brush those cobwebs off your Wii and have some fun again!

I hope that in the ensuing months I will be able to bring you some more Wii reviews, so check back soon!