IGN Reporting on the top ten Wii Launch Titles:
November 10, 2006 - After two years of wild rumors, speculation and love--or hate--Nintendo Wii is finally ready for launch. Shipping on the same week as the PlayStation 3, it's a battle for the future of gaming: will the graphical powerhouse prevail, or the console with a uniquely interactive control interface?
There are nearly 30 launch titles games, including first-party games such as the Legend of Zelda. Here are our top 10 picks that you should keep an eye out for this holiday season, sponsored by AT&T and its blue room.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Publisher: Nintendo | Developer: Nintendo
Quite possibly the single greatest launch title in the history of videogame consoles, Nintendo's Twilight Princess is, according to master game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the best Zelda game ever made. The title, directed by Eiji Aonuma (Majora's Mask, Wind Waker), stars classic hero Link in an all-new adventure with Princess Zelda and the always-evil Ganondorf. Twilight Princess features a huge overworld, more dungeons than ever before and brand new gameplay mechanics such as the ability for Link to transform into a wolf. The game makes use of Nintendo's new controller for enhanced maneuverability, including precise new bow and arrow targeting and gesture-based sword slashes. The Wii build also features an exclusive 16:9 widescreen display option. Simply put, this is a system seller, and an absolute necessity for the holidays.
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Publisher: Atlus Software | Developer: Atlus Software
If you're looking for a little less caroling and a little more open-heart surgery this holiday season, then Trauma Center is the game for you. Taking inspiration from one of the most original and stylized games on the Nintendo DS, Trauma Center: Second Opinion has players taking control of Dr. Stiles, a young hot-shot surgeon out to save the world one patient at a time. The game follows the storyline and missions of the DS version, adding stronger presentation and a graphically superior look into the anime world of Trama Center. New to the Wii version is the ability to switch tools on the fly, having the Wii-mote act as your hand, and the nunchuk controller's analog stick to select the equipped tool. In addition, the ability to use new tools such as the two-handed defibrillator has been included, as well as new techniques, healing powers, and conclusion chapter to the game. So forget Jack Frost this holiday season; you've got a patient waiting in the ol' O.R.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Publisher: SEGA | Developer: SEGA
The true sequel to Super Monkey Ball 2, Banana Blitz is built exclusively for Wii. The game comes from Toshihiro Nagoshi, who created the first two titles on GameCube, and it shows. Banana Blitz includes 100 new puzzle mazes and a spectacular 50 new mini-games. The best part is that all of the mazes and mini-games are designed to work with the Wii remote and nunchuk. Rolling the monkeys around is as simple as gesturing forward and backward while rotating left and right on the Wii remote. And many of the mini-games are intended for up to four gamers. Banana Blitz also comes to life with a visual makeover complete with colorful cel-shaded visuals and everything runs in 16:9 widescreen mode at 60 frames per second. This is one of the must-have Wii titles as far as we're concerned, and nothing says holiday cheer like screaming monkeys trapped inside a tiny glass ball.
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Publisher: Ubisoft | Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier (France)
Tis the season to be kicking the crap out of furry little bunnies, and when it comes to that, Ramyan is the only logical choice. From the team that created Beyond Good & Evil comes Rayman Raving Rabbids, a game that represents a dramatic departure from the franchise norm. Rabbids isn't a platformer, but a compilation of compelling mini-games - all designed around the Wii remote and nunchuk attachment - complemented by a brilliant sense of humor and a Gladiator-inspired storyline. When Rayman is captured by the evil Rabbids, a race of menacingly stupid rabbits bent on taking over the world, he must compete in a series of mini-games to build his popularity so that he may eventually escape. Rabbids includes a whopping 70-plus mini-games, each more unique and ridiculous than the next. Many of the minis are designed for two or more gamers. Finally, because Rabbids runs on the Jade engine, which powered BG&E, it features some of the best visuals on Wii yet. Our advice: don't shrug this game off because it's one of the more ambitious efforts at Wii launch. Surprise the youngins with some Raving Rabbids in their stocking; we guarantee you it'll be the best Christmas ever.
Publisher: Nintendo | Developer: Monster Games, Inc.
If you're anything like us, the holiday season screams monster truck action, and luckily Nintendo has you covered this year. The next installment in Nintendo's classic racing series, Excite Truck throws gamers into a selection of speedy buggies or gargantuan monster trucks and then challenges them to blaze a path over a series of twisting, turning, mountainous stages. Players flip the Wii-mote on its side to steer, press a button to accelerate, and hit the D-Pad in any direction to execute speed boosts - the nunchuk is not used. The result is a simplified, but extremely intense racing experience complemented by the ability to morph tracks on the fly and catch huge air for points. We're not kidding about the air potential, either - there are points where gamers will feel like they're dropping from the clouds. Excite Truck boasts some of the better visuals of any Wii launch title and it includes a two-player race mode, too. Santa's sleigh may have more presents, but it'd take every reindeer in the land to get as much air as you'll hit in Excite Truck.
Madden NFL 07
Publisher: Electronic Arts | Developer: EA Canada
The holiday season means more than golden stars and tinsel, rather it's about snowy gridiron games in legendary Lambeau Field and 80 yard drives well after the two-minute warning. Which brings us to Madden NFL 07 for Wii. Publisher Electronic Arts has invested a lot of time and effort into re-imagining the sport of football for the Wii remote. The result is a pigskin game that feels completely fresh and surprisingly intuitive. In this new footballer, players hike the ball by pulling back on the remote and pass simply by making a throwing gesture. Guess what? It all feels great. Although Madden for Wii lacks an online mode, it boasts new Wii-exclusive multiplayer games and a very polished look. This is the best football game to ever grace a Nintendo console. Forget the traditional Monday Night Football gig between the Vikings and the Packers. Madden Wii has you covered over and over again this holiday season.
Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam
Publisher: Activision | Developer: Toys for Bob
Just because the windows may be laced with frost where you're at doesn't mean the holidays are any different in Southern California. With the Wii version of Downhill Jam, Activision has turned the Tony Hawk franchise on its side - literally. Players flip the Wii remote sideways and steer their skateboarder of choice through a series of intense downhill races, performing tricks and mid-air combos for extra points and boosts. The accelerometer in the Wii remote measures motion as gamers slide around corners, jump over ramps, and grind telephone wires to victory. Downhill Jam's play mechanics are deceptively simplified, but underneath the façade lies a racer with nearly all the tricks and combo complexity of previous Hawk endeavors. Although Hawk himself is the only real playable character, gamers can choose from a cast of fictional riders, or create their own. The title even includes a four-player mode split-screen mode. As far as the birdman is concerned, tis the season to be ollie.
Publisher: Konami | Developer: Konami
If there's any game in the Wii launch line-up that truly screams "holiday fun", it'd have to be Elebits. In a world not unlike our own, the magical race of Elebits have disappeared. Used to generate the world's power supply, these tiny electrical elves have run amuck, and it's up to you to take in hand a gigantic gravity gun and Elebit zapper, and wreak total mayhem on the tiny creatures. For its first Wii launch title, Konami has designed a world full of innovation and simplistic fun, as players will need to manipulate objects with the Wii-mote, opening cupboards, moving tables, activating mini-games and eventually lifting entire houses to seek out and collect tiny Elebit creatures. Throw in an advanced physics system that makes Elebits less like an epic adventure and more like a lighthearted interactive sandbox and you have one of the most innovative and intuitive Wii games to date. It may not have pine trees and stockings, but there are plenty of tiny elves to go around in Elebits, created exclusively for Wii.
Publisher: Ubisoft | Developer: Ubisoft Paris (France)
Developed from the ground up for Nintendo's new generation console, Red Steel is an innovative first-person shooter that utilizes the Wii remote and nunchuk attachment to the maximum. The game pits players as a hero who travels to modern-day Japan to rescue his kidnapped fiancé and avenge the death of her father. He'll shoot it out with Yakuza thugs and swordfight with blade masters along the way. Players use the Wii remote to aim their guns and to swing their sword in specially designed duels. The game attains a level of targeting precision not possible with a dual-analog controller configuration. Red Steel also features some of the most detailed graphics to grace Nintendo's new console yet. And to top everything off, the title also boasts a four-player split-screen mode that some fans are already comparing to GoldenEye on Nintendo 64. Metroid may loom over 2007, but if FPS gaming is what you need this holiday season, only Red Steel will satisfy.
Call of Duty 3
Publisher: Activision | Developer: Treyarch
As a series first, Call of Duty 3 follows you as the player during one single battle of World War II. Making use of the Polish, Canadian, American, and British forces, you'll work to take over the city of Chambois in what has been widely considered one of the most successful (and most detrimental) pincer attacks in World War II. Switching armies from mission to mission, players will experience every aspect of the battle, as they wage war on the elite German Panzer forces. In Call of Duty 3 you won't be fighting alongside your allies, rather you'll take control of them. Using the Wii-mote for pin-point accuracy, players will experience a more immersive and realistic take on World War II that only Call of Duty and the Nintendo Wii can provide. With the complex aiming control and mature themes, Call of Duty 3 is definitely aimed towards hardcore gamers and elite first-person shooter fans, and is a great addition to this holiday's launch.
Will any of these games hold the key to getting homebrew to launch on the Nintendo Wii? We shall see. Wipeout Pure opened up the doors to psp web browsing, who knows whats in store for the Ninendo Wii Games.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
IGN Reporting on the top ten Wii Launch Titles: