Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fun! Fun! Minigolf TOUCH! (3DSWare) Debut Trailer


Shinen is terrific on Nintendo hardware. I'd love to see what they could do on other platforms, but if that means spreading themselves too thin, then no way, Jose. Their next downloadable title is for 3DSWare, and it is a sequel to their WiiWare miniature golf game. It is Fun! Fun! Minigolf TOUCH! The game allows you to utilize the touch controls of the 3DS or use the circle pad on one of 54 individual holes spread out on unique environment. Earn coins to purchase equipment, and go for that ever elusive hole-in-one!



Friday, December 2, 2011

Pokemon Rumble Blast (3DS) Review

It is the second of December and already we are jumping into our first review of the month. It is a recent release for the Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon Rumble Blast (also known as Super Pokemon Rumble/Scramble). Will this fill your need to catch 'em all?

The Toys Are Back in Town


With every new Nintendo portable comes a new generation of Pokemon games. While we wait for Pokemon Granite and Brick or whatever Nintendo decides to call the next generation of Pokemon titles, we, the gaming masses, are subjected to countless spin-offs featuring everyone's favorite pocket monsters. It is no different with the Nintendo 3DS. Instead of going with a puzzler or racing game like the DS had, the 3DS gets a $40 sequel to the WiiWare service's Pokemon Rumble. Is there enough content in Pokemon Rumble Blast to justify the premium cost, or are you better off continuing to grind your Pokemon in Pokemon Black and White while waiting for the next generation of games?

The world of Pokemon Rumble Blast does not use real life Pokemon. Instead they are replaced with toys that are wound up and let loose. Pokemon here do not evolve, they do not gain levels, and they do not learn moves in the traditional sense. Each town in the game has a Glowdrop fountain, the lifeblood of the world. When a mysterious and seemingly sinister force begins stealing the drops from each town for their own unknown gain, the world starts to lose its luster and balance. Commanding an armada of Pokemon toys, it is your job to stop the army of Pokemon led by Cobalion and restore order to the world of toy Pokemon. Rumble Blast is divided up between five unique chapters. Cutscenes mostly display the story, and these are relatively quick. Unfortunately, these cannot be skipped, but they are so short most of the time so it is not a huge problem.

Any Miis on your 3DS will appear at the beginning of the game.

There are four types of gameplay in Pokemon Rumble Blast. The first has players selecting a Pokemon and going to one of many zones. These zones have multiple linear areas full of Pokemon to defeat. Most of the time you'll gather PP, the currency of the game, from defeating Pokemon, but if you're lucky you'll defeat and befriend a Pokemon, adding them to your collection of usable pocket monsters. Each zone has its own set of Pokemon to collect, but some won't appear unless you're really lucky. There are over 600 individual Pokemon that become a part of your collection, so you'll be spending a lot of time with this game if you so choose to do so. However, the repetitiveness of combat may make some players grow tired of the game long before they beat the game. This takes anywhere between 9-12 hours. There are more zones than in the WiiWare installment with such areas as forests, glaciers, volcanoes, factories, graveyards, and lakes. At the conclusion of each zone, you face off against a boss Pokemon, a bigger version than normal of a pocket monster. With good luck (perhaps by using a Pokemon with a certain lucky trait...) you will befriend that Pokemon after knocking it out of commission.

Zerkom is one boss that means business.

Each Pokemon you befriend has its own attack power. The stronger the power, the more damage it does. Each Pokemon can also use up to two moves. Most Pokemon come with two already learned, but you can purchase new moves from a vendor in one of the many towns the game has to offer. There is some strategy involved in choosing a Pokemon. Sure, your monster might have powerful moves, but if they take too much time to unleash, then you're vulnerable to being attacked. Quick offensive abilities might be swift in unleashing, but they don't take off as much damage. Additionally, some Pokemon are faster movers than others. Then there's types of Pokemon to take into consideration. For example, a fire type will make short work of a grass type, but it will also be harmed exponentially by a water type. Furthermore, some moves can create a status effect such as paralysis, confusion, poison, and burn. These wear off after a short while, but they can pop up at the most inopportune moments.

You only have three keys to work with. A key is lost when one of your toy monsters is downed. Lose three monsters in a zone, and it is game over. Switch wounded Pokemon out before they are defeated, but remember that switching out takes some time. If the toy you are switching out is attacked, the switch will fail.

Switch out when there are no hazards nearby.

After all of the zones in a world map area are completed, players will be able to participate in a battle royale. This is the second type of gameplay in Pokemon Rumble Blast. This has you picking a Pokemon and battling in a WWE Royal Rumble styled match. Of course, there is no over the top rope rule. Instead, the ring is lined with an electrified fence. The goal here is to take out all of the opposing Pokemon within the time limit. Downed Pokemon that you take out will drop clocks that add more time to the clock. Special boss Pokemon (these are the same size as normal Pokemon unlike zone bosses) will have more HP and do more damage. Successfully be the last toy standing to become victorious. Some battle royales specify a specific type of Pokemon needed, so some royales might require you to use a fighting type or a ground type, for instance.

The third form of gameplay is a team battle where you select three Pokemon to launch into multiple battle arenas. You control one Pokemon while the AI controls the other two. After each round, the boss Pokemon drops health that will partially restore everyone's HP. Downed allies can be revived a sliver of the way by standing over their frail bodies. If all three Pokemon fall, then you lose. Team battles can be incredibly frustrating as sometimes it just seems like using the same strategy one time does well while using it again does a different result. It feels like a crap shoot most of the time.

Finally, there are charge battles where you take a group of Pokemon into battle and rush several targets. The combined attack power of your brigade of toy creatures must outnumber the power of your opponents. Meanwhile you must mash the A button to get your rushing power up to max in order to obliterate the opposition.

Pokemon Rumble Blast is not the best looking 3DS game. The toy models are crude, the backgrounds are static, and the presentation values just aren't there. The 3D effect is pleasant, but there are so many other titles on Nintendo's latest handheld that show the effect much better and much more impressively. The soundtrack borrows selected pieces from the WiiWare game while also sporting several new tracks. These are memorable tunes that had me humming while playing occasionally. The toy Pokemon utilize the sounds they speak from the games, and these can come across as grating to some. This isn't the Pokemon Company's best effort presentation-wise.

The bottom screen displays the map, your money,
how many PKMN you've collected, and much more.

Overall, if you don't mind the repetitive combat and low budget, then you might find something to enjoy in Pokemon Rumble Blast. Collecting the over 600 different Pokemon is an enjoyable task, and befriending new, more powerful Pokemon is addicting. It is a rush, really. Still, at forty dollars MSRP, I'm hesitant to fully recommend this game. It might have been better as a downloadable eShop title. Sure, there is plenty of content to be found, but will most players stick around until the very end and beyond? Poke-fanatics will discover a lot to love about Rumble Blast, but the shallow combat might put off everyone else.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.0/10]

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) North American Debut Trailer

It's officially official, official SPC faithful-- Xenoblade Chronicles is coming to North America via GameStop and Nintendo of America after a long wait. It seemed hopeless, but the constant cries for localization were apparently worth it. Check out the first of what I assume to be many trailers for this what has been been called greatest RPG of this generation. Xenoblade Chronicles is currently set for an April 2012 release.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Top Ten Zelda Items

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is now available worldwide for Wii. It brings with it the most versatile combat the series has ever seen via MotionPlus. To commemorate this occasion I would like to post a list of my favorite items from the Zelda franchise. From past to present, these items have helped Link and the players controlling him reach the conclusion of his many quests.

10) Fire and Ice Rods


Both rods are basically the same save for elemental powers, the Fire and Ice Rods from A Link to the Past use energy from Link's magic meter each time they are used. The boss of the Dark World's seventh dungeon, Turtle Rock, can only be defeated by attacking the fire snake with the Ice Rod and the ice snake with the Fire Rod. They are tremendous attackers to enemies that Link does not want to get too close for comfort to.

9) Magnetic Gloves


Introduced in Oracle of Seasons, the Magnetic Gloves will really pull you into using them. They can be used to defeat Magnites by pulling the iron masks off them and then attacking them with Link's blade. The armor of Iron Masks can also be pulled off with these formidable hand warmers. Puzzles can be solved, Link can pull himself across chasms, and they can be utilized to draw a large metallic orb to attack foes. In Four Swords the Magnetic Gloves can be used to pull other Links towards the player.

8) Pegasus Boots


Used to run fast, pass through enemies with sword in front, and just speed through hallways, the Pegasus Boots are advantageous in getting through the 2D Zelda games such as A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, and the Oracle couple of titles, The Minish Cap, Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures, and Phantom Hourglass. The Pegasus Boots can be used in tandem with Roc's Feather/Roc's Cape to fly over much larger gaps than if just using Roc's Feather by its lonesome.

7) Roc's Cape


A more enhanced version of Roc's Feather (the one that first made its appearance in Link's Awakening), The Minish Cap's Roc's Cape not only allowed Link to leap over chasms in an effortless fashion, but he could also hover for a brief period of time as he floats to the ground. To cross over chasms and ignore enemies was the main job of Roc's Cape. This item is received by Link from a giant treasure chest inside the Palace of Winds dungeon.

6) The Spinner


The Spinner item is closely guarded by the Death Sword in the fourth dungeon of Twilight Princess, Arbiter's Grounds. It is essential for crossing sandy recesses that Link would otherwise sink in. With the Spinner, Link can hover over such recesses, attack enemies by performing a spin attack where spikes pull out of the spinning top-like device, and ride it like a skateboard. Certain walls can be scaled by digging the spikes of the Spinner into them, and Link can ride across them safely. The boss of the Arbiter's Grounds can only be defeated through Spinner use. Unfortunately, the item is used sparingly outside of the dungeon which is why it isn't as high on the list as I'd like. It is truly an entertaining means to ride around the world map.

5) Bombchu


Making its first appearance in Ocarina of Time, the portable bombs known as Bombchu move along at a fair pace before exploding upon contact with their target. Link starts out with ten Bombchu, but he can gain more through completing certain mini-games. Puzzles require Link to let a Bombchu go through a small hole to hit an out-of-the-way switch. Bombchus returned in Majora's Mask, both Oracle games, and Phantom Hourglass.

4) Gale Boomerang


A relic from the original Zelda, the Boomerang is a mainstay of the franchise. It has been in every (correct me if I am wrong, guys) Zelda since the beginning in various forms. Sometimes it merely stops enemies in their tracks while other times it damages them. Sometimes it spins a short distance away from Link while other times it strays a fair distance from the green clad hero. Twilight Princess features my favorite version of the Boomerang, the Gale Boomerang. It creates a gust of wind that takes out the most precarious of baddies. Like past Boomerangs, it can grab far away objects and send them toward Link. Several puzzles utilize the Gale Boomerang in ingenious ways such as powering up windmills and the like.

3) Beetle


The lone item representing the newest game in Zelda lore, Skyward Sword, the Beetle item has players adjusting the Wii remote and controlling the item with the device. Turning the remote toward the left moves it to the left, and turning the remote toward the right moves the Beetle to the right, funnily enough. The Beetle is used to attack enemies from afar, to reach switches that are otherwise unreachable (such as a switch that is on the other side of a wall), and to cut down Skulltulas that hang from webs. The item is insanely fun to use, and it is a terrific addition to the armada of items in The Legend of Zelda's tool library.

2) Hero's Bow


An item that few Zelda games can go without, the Bow (sometimes called the Hero's Bow or Fairy's Bow) is used to shoot arrows at foes from afar (what else?). There are several different types of arrows Link can receive and use such as fire, ice, and light arrows. Light arrows are generally the only means that can penetrate the sinister defenses of Ganon and defeat him. In the 3D Zeldas the quiver of Link can be upgraded to hold more arrows. In the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time, the bow can be aimed not only with analog controls but with the gyro controls or a combination of the two. The bow pictured above is from Majora's Mask

1) Hookshot


First appearing in A Link to the Past, the Hookshot is the quintessential item for getting around large gaps and attacking far away foes. In Ocarina of Time, through making it through Dampe's maze-like crypt, Link can obtain an upgrade to the item, the Longshot. It has an extended range, perfect for crossing large chasms, reaching platforms holding Heart Containers, and batting away bothersome enemies. The version of the helpful item shown above is The Wind Waker version of the Hookshot. Twilight Princess would take the item a step further, introducing two clawshots. While hanging with one clawshot, Link could shoot another to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Very sneaky, Nintendo.

===

There are dozens upon dozens of useful items in the history of The Legend of Zelda franchise. What are some of your favorites?

Review Round-Up - November

Mario once again astounds with his
latest run-and-jump adventure.


SuperPhillip Central successfully had a month exclusively full of games featuring platforming. We started off slow with the slightly disappointing but still above average Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One for the PS3 which nabbed a 6.5. This was followed by the impressive return-to-form Sonic Generations which grabbed an 8.75. We kept the momentum going with a review of the 3DS eShop game Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! that got an 8.0. Then we moved onto our game of the month and contender for Game of the Year with Super Mario 3D Land which jumped its way into my heart and scored a 9.5. Not ones to slow down, we kept moving with Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (9.0) and ended the month with a 3D Classic in Kirby's Adventure (7.75). Overall, it was a productive platforming month for SuperPhillip Central!

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (PS3) - 6.5
Sonic Generations (PS3, 360) - 8.75
Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! (3DSWare) - 8.0
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) - 9.5
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3) - 9.0
3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DS) - 7.75

Unravel the mystery of the Atlantis
of the Sands in Uncharted 3.

Central City Census - December

We've reached the final month of the year-- December! It's time for cold temperatures, slush, snow, flurries, and wet precipitation. Yikes! Despite this we're trudging on. Before we start talking about this month's Census, let us look back at the results of November's Census. How did the SPC faithful vote?

Do you utilize auction sites like eBay?

Yes, I buy/sell games using them all the time.
4 (13%)
Yes, but only on occasion.
12 (40%)
No, but I've been interested in them.
3 (10%)
No, I use alternate means to buy/sell games.
5 (16%)
I don't buy/sell used games online.
6 (20%)

Votes so far: 30

The topic was about auction sites such as eBay and whether you use them. Twelve voters responded that they do, but only on occasion. The rest of the votes were pretty much split between the other four answers whether it is all the time, they've been interested but haven't yet, they use alternate methods to buy and sell games, or not going online to buy and sell at all. Well, I pretty much wrapped up the results for this month rather quickly. Nice! What's the question for December, folks?

The holiday season is upon us. Gifts will be given and gotten by loved ones. Do you plan on getting or buying a new console this holiday season? Perhaps you'll buy me a new Xbox 360? I wouldn't mind, gang...

Monster Hunter Tri G (3DS) New Screens

Following the reveal of the game's opening video, Capcom has let loose a series of screens for its upcoming Monster Hunter Tri G behemoth of a game. The shots show off some of the massive monsters hunters will face off against on land and underwater. Monster Hunter Tri G has no Western release window, but in Japan it is coming out later this month.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DS) Review

We conclude our month of platformers with a new review. It is time to take a gander at our first 3D Classic from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. It is a title that is much more meaty than previous 3D Classics, Kirby's Adventure.

More Than Meets the Glasses-less Eyes


Kirby floats onto the 3DS in downloadable form with 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure. For those of you not in the know, the 3D Classics series is where Nintendo takes a classic game and gives it the stereoscopic 3D touch. The original Kirby's Adventure appeared on the original Nintendo Entertainment System where Kirby first appeared pink. Prior to that and on the Game Boy, Kirby was a white powder puff as there was no way to tell what color the always hungry hero was via the black and white Game Boy screen. I digress. Is Kirby's retro journey to restore the star rod to Dream Land a successful one, or is the price tag and content of the game hard to swallow?

Kirby's rival, King Dedede, has stolen the fabled star rod from the denizens of Dream Land. He has broken it up within multiple pieces and has given them to his best bosses. A puffball on a mission, Kirby must traverse food-themed worlds to gather each piece of the broken star rod and teach King Dedede yet another lesson in civility. The entire story is set up in the opening cutscene, that is, the cutscene the occurs if players don't touch any button on the title screen. It is a simple premise great for children, but don't be fooled-- this game is for everybody.

Kirby's Adventure has our floating hero strolling through levels of increasing difficulty, sucking up enemies, and taking their powers. After a foe has entered Kirby's mouth, a downward press on the d-pad will transform Kirby into a new form (pending that enemy has a form to copy). There are many powers for Kirby to nab including tornado, laser, storm, fire, ice, sword, and many more. Storm, for instance, gives Kirby the ability to create a static shock around him, destroying any enemy foolishly standing nearby. The hammer ability gives Kirby a mallet to not only smack baddies with, but also smash wooden stakes to open otherwise unreachable paths. Additionally, there are one time only use abilities like crash and mic which take out every opponent on the screen in a grandiose fashion. However, if Kirby takes even a slither of damage, the ability will be lost. A star containing the ability will bounce away, and Kirby will have to suck it back up before it disappears if he wants to continue using it.

Beam is one of the first abilities players will come across.

Kirby can infinitely float in the air through presses of the d-pad in the upward direction. Enemies that are sucked up can not only be swallowed, but they can be shot back out at other foes. This is terrific for enemies that do not give any powers to Kirby. Case in point, Kirby has a lot to offer players with his ability to copy foes' powers, float over hazardous chasms, and take down opponents wanting nothing more than to destroy the pink puffball.

Suck and chuck.

Levels themselves are divided up between multiple "rooms." Generally it is a left-to-right affair, sometimes a vertical one with Kirby either going to the top of the screen and sometimes Kirby going to the bottom of the screen. Occasionally Kirby will come across a power that will open the way to a secret area or perhaps a secret switch. These switches open up new areas on the level select map. These can be mini-games like a quick draw competition, a crane game mini-game where players move a crane to attempt to pick up differently sized Kirby dolls, each worth a different 1up value, and a game where Kirby scarves down many eggs while closing his mouth when King Dedede chucks a bomb at him. There's even a game at the goal of each level (marked by a star over the door) where a well-timed button press will launch Kirby up to the highest platform where he'll earn an extra life.

Chunky Kirbys are worth two 1ups
while a regular size Kirby is worth one.

Every final level in each world is a boss battle. Kirby veterans will be familiar with most of the bosses that King Dedede places in Kirby's path such as Whispy Woods, Kracko, among others. The boss battles are the most difficult part of the game, and they can certainly make players get their butts handed to them-- especially Kracko's fight where the cloud creature moves in fast patterns and there is but a short window of opportunity to attack.

Kirby's Adventure works well in 3D with platforms popping out and backgrounds feeling and looking like they are far away. The parallax effects are impressive as well. This remains one of the best looking NES titles the system has to offer. The soundtrack features many memorable tunes that would go on to be included in the history of the franchise like Butter Building and Ice Cream Island. Sound effects are sometimes grating, but for the most part they are pleasant to listen to despite the technical limitations of the NES sound card.

When underwater, Kirby shoots out water to take out foes.

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure is a relatively short romp, but it desires players to go through it multiple times. It is the type of game like Super Mario Bros. 3 or A Link to the Past that players will find enjoy in playing through once again, perhaps on a rainy afternoon. The 3D effects create an added sense of depth (no pun intended) and look sensational even if the game doesn't cover the entire 3DS top screen (the image is cropped). This is without a doubt the only 3D Classic worth purchasing unless you happen to like featureless shmups. After all, it is almost impossible to hate on Kirby.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.75/10]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monster Hunter Tri G (3DS) Opening Trailer

In Japan, Monster Hunter Tri G is merely weeks away. Capcom of Japan has posted on YouTube the full opening to this much anticipated Nintendo 3DS title, a game that is sure to spur even higher handheld sales. The battle between the 3DS and PlayStation Vita is sure to be a heated one, but will Monster Hunter's jump to Nintendo's portable be the ace in the hole the 3DS needs? We'll find out in a few short weeks.



Top Ten Under-appreciated Wii Games

Nintendo's Wii was the most dominant console this generation, but it really wasn't future-proof. Its graphical power was outperformed by both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 right out of the gates. Nonetheless, with its selection of casual titles and innovative motion control (so popular that the competition created their own solutions), the Wii sold strongly for about four or five years. Now we are at a stretch where sales have dwindled down, and the game selection is slowing to a crawl. For every Super Mario Galaxy, Smash Bros., and Mario Kart is a game that is overlooked and under-appreciated. This list is my attempt to enlighten Wii owners on games they may have missed out on. These are titles that either did not sell to their potential or were overlooked completely by nearly everyone.

10) Wario Land: Shake It!


Wario returns, but this time he's ditched the biker attire, the micro-games, and donned his familiar purple overalls for this console iteration of the popular Wario Land series. In every level there are a trio of treasures to find (entirely optional), bags of money just waiting to be shook loose-- performed through shaking the Wii remote, and a myriad of missions to attempt to complete such as reaching the goal in a set amount of time, not getting hit at all throughout a level, or collecting a certain amount of gold. The levels are cleverly designed both in how Wario reaches the treasure room to how he has to quickly race back to the goal soon after. The mellow soundtrack offers some memorable melodies as well. Wario is back, and he means business.

9) The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces


Take to the skies in one of many customizable fighter planes as you dogfight above enemy fortresses, dams, cities, and mountain ranges. Utilize motion controls to pilot your plane (the nunchuk is used as your throttle in this setting), or opt to use regular ones. The game features 20+ missions that have you protecting a friendly, taking down an enemy target or series of targets, or taking out as many fighters as possible within a given time frame. Containing massive amounts of customization, mission variety, a superb score, and intense dogfighting, The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is great for the pilot in all of us.

8) Muramasa: The Demon Blade


Play as one of two characters in Muramasa: The Demon Blade as you venture across a perilous countryside, through forests, rough waves, and icy mountains, collecting cursed swords. This is all in an attempt to accomplish your task before the sinister Shogun has his way. Combat flows elegantly and effortlessly as you ward off soldiers, skeletons, giant krakens, and other mythical beasts. The true star of the show, however, are the gorgeous graphics. Hand-painted and never losing their luster, the worlds of Muramasa: The Demon Blade come to life with colorful backgrounds with objects such as blades of grass wafting in the wind and sensational scenery. This is one game that deserves a chance to shine in HD if only for the aforementioned visuals.

7) Go Vacation



Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away. You will be able to get away with Go Vacation-- even in these cold fall and winter months. Participate in one of over fifty activities with over 100 different variants. Explore Kawawii Island's four unique resort areas: marine, mountain, snow, and city as you discover new activities, find new friends, and unlock new content. Create your own villa with furniture you collect from your various excursions on the island, and invite up to three other players to explore the island with you. Whether you're surfing, scuba diving, skydiving, hurling snowballs, riding horses, or inline skating, there's an activity for everyone in Namco Bandai's Go Vacation.

6) Endless Ocean: Blue World


Take a dive in Arctic seas, South American rivers full of piranha fish, and Caribbean oceans in this globetrotting adventure to find treasure within ancient underwater temples and tunnels. Interact with the aquatic wildlife-- just be sure to avoid those sharks! Discover buried treasure, make friends with a helpful dolphin, and hop online with a friend to explore the dank, deep depths of the ocean together. While the option to import custom soundtracks from the original Endless Ocean is gone, the Celtic Woman soundtrack is surprisingly poignant and pleasant. If deep water makes you anxious like me, then why not take a virtual tour of the many waterways of the earth with Endless Ocean: Blue World?

5) We Love Golf!


From Camelot, the makers of Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, and the Golden Sun series comes this Capcom-published take on arcade golf. With eight wacky, regular courses and three short courses, a cavalcade of characters and Mii support, online play, and the ability to unlock Capcom-related costumes such as Apollo Justice, Ryu, and Arthur from Ghost 'n Goblins, We Love Golf! is a golf bag packed full of content. The intuitive controls offered rewards for terrific timing, and the course design itself was challenging enough so the game never felt too boring. Couple all that with another sensational soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba (Tales of, Star Ocean), and you have one mighty golfing game.

4) Klonoa


The floppy-eared wonder returns with this Wii remake of the PlayStation One classic, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. With updated vibrant visuals and new modes, Klonoa's very first adventure shines brightly. He'll have to overcome perilous platforming challenges, grab enemies with his Wind Bullet and use them to launch himself to higher ledges, and solve intriguing puzzles to reach the final showdown with the being that threatens the very existence of Phantomile, a land made up of dreams. This all concludes with an out-of-nowhere heart-tugging ending that will touch even the most cynical with a hole in their heart.

3) Sin and Punishment: Star Successor


Taking place in a far away future, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor pits players against an increasingly more powerful enemy force. You'll point your Wii remote at the screen, picking off foes of low-level scrubs, mid-level forces, and big-time bosses taking up a sizable chunk of the screen. Up to two players can trek through the relatively short campaign, racking up multipliers to increase each others' score, and then hop online to add their scores to an online leaderboard. Those who missed having a console Star Fox this generation will find a lot to love about this substitute. It's the type of game that was a one-in-a-million shot to ever have been translated as the original S&P sold an atrociously pathetic amount of units in Japan. Regardless, Star Successor can now be found within bargain bins for less than twenty dollars.

2) The Munchables


Ranking at number two on my list comes The Munchables, a Pac-man meets Katamari Damacy type game. To progress through levels, your Munchable much gobble up lower level monsters than your character is currently at. As more monsters are munched upon, your creature grows, allowing him or her to digest larger enemies and advance to otherwise unreachable portions of levels. Boss battles have you eating a monster made up of grapes, broccoli, and chocolate, and the game features eight worlds of multiple levels to go through. For a colorful adventure that supports poor eating habits, there is no better alternative to a zany game than The Munchables on Wii.

1) Excitebots: Trick Racing


Sent out to die with no marketing whatsoever by Nintendo, this excellent arcade racer isn't so much about coming in first, but coming in first and doing so in style. At the conclusion of each race, the player with the most stars (earned by performing tricks, reaching high amounts of hang time, crashing into other vehicles, kicking field goals, catching butterflies, etc.) is the victor. Excitebots will have players purchasing new vehicle types such as squid, mice, lobster, ladybugs, frogs, and many more. The locales are numerous and have racers slogging through marshes, through dusty deserts in Mexico, and through wintry forests in Canada, to name a few. Online play has racers betting a set amount of stars and competing with up to five other players. For a game that will give you such a bang for your buck, Excitebots: Trick Racing is top of the heap.

===

Hopefully the following list provided you with some ideas of games that you may have not known were available. The Wii is an interesting console as it has the most niche games on it in comparison to the competition. Whether you're teeing it up in We Love Golf, soaring the unfriendly skies in The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces, or tricking out to rock music in Excitebots: Trick Racing, these under-appreciated treasures demand your attention.

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