Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kororinpa: Marble Mania (Wii) Review

MadWorld shipped yesterday, and it should be readily available in most retail stores. That's not the big story this week though. No, the big story is that today is the release date for Marble Saga: Kororinpa for Wii. Marking this occasion, I have one of my earliest reviews period with my assessment of Kororinpa: Marble Mania, the original game in the series. When it released, the game was $40. It had about 40 individual "Kororinpa" (levels) to play through. Compare that to the sequel that costs ten dollars less initially at $30, has 150 levels, balance board and Mii support, and online level-sharing.

The following review is mostly unedited. It's rather short compared to my reviews now, and it even includes the old recap at the end of my early reviews. Enjoy a neophyte reviewer's review!

UPDATE: Apparently this game is now rare. Don't fret though. It seems the sequel has more than enough content in comparison, so don't feel like you're missing out totally.

Marble Madness!

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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz introduced Wii owners to the tilt the world to guide your pawn to the goal concept first. Kororinpa: Marble Mania takes the form of that concept and expands upon it. The aim of Kororinpa (Kororinpa meaning the levels you play on) is to guide your marble along various themed worlds, tilting and flipping the playing field with your Wii remote to guide your ball to the goal. While doing this in each level, your ball will need to collect a set amount of orange crystals to unlock the goal. If you have less than the amount required as you reach the end, you'll be teleported back to the beginning to grab those last couple crystals. Unlike Monkey Ball, when-- and not if you fall because later on in levels you WILL fall-- you do not lose lives. Instead, you are just transported back to the start of the Koronipa you're on with the time counter still running. Placed on a plethora of Kororinpa are green crystals. These help the player unlock new, more challenging Kororinpa. There are numerous locales as well including the park, candyland, a cityscape, toyland, and even space to name five, and most of these locales change after every ten Kororinpa completed.

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Roll on wooden platforms...

Starting off, you'll probably roll through the first world of ten stages. Each level or every other level successfully adds a new twist into the Kororinpa formula ranging from slippery slopes of water, to wall-less platforms, to cannons that shoot you into the air, to a magnetic track that carries you across gaping maws, and etc. Later on in the game you'll need to twist and turn your Wii remote to complete areas in some devilishly clever levels. Unlike Monkey Ball, the game doesn't feel too frustrating either. For the most part, the remote controls the marble well. Sometimes when you're forced to turn the level on its side (i.e. turning the remote on its side as well) it can get a little overwhelming, but with practice these levels aren't as challenging as they may seem. However, a lot of the later levels kicked my ass for sure, rest assured.

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...Or take it to the streets.

Graphically, the game won't win any rewards, but at the same time it is not bad to look at whatsoever. The music is fun, catchy, relaxing, and very well done to this listener's ears. The game boasts longevity that some sites and reviewers missed out on. Collecting the green crystals as stated previously unlocks new stages/Kororinpa. Also, beating levels with gold trophies unlocks content as well such as new BGM, marbles like the cute penguin and flatulent panda balls, and new Kororinpa. In fact, after completing the game, you'll unlock a mirror mode of all of the Kororinpa in the game for more fun.

Overall, Kororinpa: Marble Mania is an excellent game which I prefer to Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. It's fun, engaging, seldom aggravating, and is something anyone can get into. The Wiimote hardly feels unnatural while playing which is a great relief.

The Recap

Graphics: They could be better, but it's nothing ugly for sure.

Gameplay: Use the remote to guide your marble around various courses picking up orange crystals on the way to the goal. Fun stuff indeed! No, really. It IS fun.

Sound: I'm still humming some of the music if that's any indication.

Replay Value: Unlockables include new stages, marbles, and BGM for gathering green crystals and gold trophies help lengthen the experience.

Overall: 6.5/10 - A game that won't make you lose your marbles in a bad way.

1 comment:

Val said...

Cool! This game looks like its jam packed with enough randomness to keep me entertained for hours.