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What Wii're Getting in 2011

So I was saying not too long ago that 2011 looked pretty bleak for Wii owners, like myself. And I'm the last person who would say something like that. From my point of view there's always been something interesting coming out on the little white box of love. But 2011 was just looking really desolate. But now there's been an announcement here and a press release there, and I present to you my list of Wii games to keep your eye on in 2011. (As of January 28.)

Lost in Shadow

I thought I'd start the list off with this one because it just came out. Hey. You can buy it right now. So go do it.

Lost in Shadow is the first Hudson game I've been interested in for a very long time. Or ever. What does Hudson make? Bomberman? Well anyway. The reviews are awfully polarized, which sort of makes me want to play it even more. I guess what's sold me on it is it's like what would happen if Ico had a baby with Out of This World. 2D platforming set in a creepy tower full of shadow monsters.

You Don't Know Jack

I know this one's multi-platform, but I've been saying since 2006 that the Wii needs a You Don't Know Jack. There's Scene It and other dull gameshow stlye games, but YDKJ is the one I remember from my youth. I remember celebrating our graduation by going over to my friend's apartment with a few of my other nerdy doods, and just playing You Don't Know Jack and Mario Kart 64 and eating pizza and Fuzzy Peaches until we passed out. Ah, good times.

Yep, this is one title that should have been resurrected ages ago. Or rather, it shouldn't have died in the first place. Man, I love this generation.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I could say anything here and you wouldn't care. Skyward Sword sells itself. So instead of me rambling on, here's Shakespeare and a kitten.

Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,
That I did never, no, nor never can,
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
In such disdainful manner me to woo.
But fare you well: perforce I must confess
I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
O, that a lady, of one man refused.
Should of another therefore be abused!

You think about that before you enter a comment below.

Rune Factory Oceans

I played Harvest Moon for the SNES many a year ago and I really loved it. And ever since then I've tried and I've tried to enjoy subsequent Harvest Moonery, but have failed each and every time. And then I played Rune Factory Frontier for the Wii and was hooked. I can't really say why for sure. The graphics were sort of eh, and the combat system was sort of the suck. I guess I just liked the sheer vastness of what you could do. I excelled at cooking and was a master of the 2-handed sword. I married my local mailcarrier, had a giant arachnid tending my fields, and by day I sucked happy spirits out of the air and transported them to other parts of town. It was quite the game.

After my experience with Frontier, Oceans may very well let me down. But I won't know that until I play it.

Rhythm Heaven Wii

I never played Rhythm Heaven on the DS, but you know what I love? Warioware: Smooth Moves. A friend of mine got that when it came out and we played it to death. And then just recently I decided that if I'm going to have a proper Wii collection, it needs to be there. Rhythm Heaven Wii looks more like Warioware than it's DS predecessor to me. Maybe with less games about nose-picking though. Shame.

Rodea the Sky Soldier

So the Sonic creator hasn't had much love since his departure from Sega. I'm no historian on the guy, but I know he created Nights and more recently, Ivy the Kiwi. Those were sort of flops. But this new title, Rodea, it kind of reminds me of Sin & Punishment. Only happier and with giant colossi. And for better or worse, this character reminds me of Sonic. Maybe it's the look on his face. Regardless, it's on my radar until more info on the game turns me away.

Kirby 2011

This one really took me by surprise. We just got a Kirby game. Just! But I guess, as people like to point out, Epic Yarn was originally a Prince Fluff game. This, on the other hand, is Hal Labs' first shot at a console Kirby since Seinfeld was still on their air. It really does have the look and sound of a Kirby game, right down to his ability to inhale and consume the soul of his nemeses. Now detractors can say this game sucks and they'll be sort of right.

I can't say the trailer wowed me in any big way, other than the fact that it came out of nowhere. I think it's going to need a bit of that Nintendo spit-and-polish. We'll have to see what happens in the weeks and months to come.

Monado: Beginning of the World (Xenoblade)

Here's the thing. Most people believe this game isn't coming to North America. It was shown at E3 a year and a half ago, has been out in Japan for quite a while now. I was on board with the we're-never-getting-Monado theory until just today. And then Kirby Wii was announced.

Kirby was TBA on the list for US Wii releases for years. It felt like ages. Every time Nintendo would release a presser for their upcoming software, it was on there, and more recently, so has Monado. I feel like I can trust those press releases now, now that I know they weren't lying to us about "Hoshi no Kirby". I believe we're getting Monado. And I believe 2011 is the year it'll happen.

Now The Last Story and Earth Seeker? That's another story.

Pandora's Tower

Speaking of games we'll never get. We don't even know what this game is yet, and already people are claiming it won't leave Japan.

Is it an RPG? Action adventure? Tattoo-fetish Dating Sim? Or is that just a sexy birthmark? I hope that's not a man. You know the Japanese. This teaser site's done it's job though. It's a Nintendo title and it looks like this. I'm thoroughly teased.

Am I missing any titles on this list? This Wii list. Of Wii games. Wii, people.

Friday Night Thoughts: 3DS

So the 3DS. I have so many mixed feelings about this little newcomer. I mean, you all know me. You know I'm a Nintendo nerd and they'd have to really mess up for me to skip one of their systems. I had a Wii mere weeks after launch, despite all the shortages. I was the only person I knew who owned a big, fat original DS. For that matter, I was the only person I knew with a Gamecube.

I want to say I'll be taking a wait-and-see approach with the 3DS. But that's not even it. It's just a wait approach.

I'll get the cons out of the way first. Because nobody likes cons. Except negative people. Of which there are many, on the internet. Okay so most people like cons. But I don't. And you're on my blogamagog now.

CONS! (Also? The cons are less interesting, because you hear them a lot around the tubes.)

  • The price. Gotta start there because sweet baby gravy, it's currently the same price as a PS3. We all saw it coming though. In fact, word was that it was going to be $300.00 after hearing what the conversion from yen was. So when it turned out to be $250.00, it was a breath of relief. Until I realized I'd just been conned. (See what I did there. Cons.) Nintendo wants you to think $250.00 is a reasonable price for a handheld. It's not.
  • The other thing? The screen is kind of tiny. For the last year I've been doing my portable gaming in style with my DSiXL. Those screens are so huge. The size of the screens almost negates it's portability, which is fine by me because I play my DS the same way I play my Wii. In the comfort of my comfort zone, away from the jerks and strangers and creepy on-lookers of the world. Don't judge me, creepy on-lookers!
  • All of those silly little features like Miis and a pedometer and that thing where you walk around with your 3DS and it communicates with the 3DSses in other people's pockets. I believe I just told you I don't carry my DS around with me. I'm also a Canadian, which means for a DS to be in my pocket, it would have to be subjected to some bitter temperatures several months a year. And I'm pretty sure the instruction manual says not to put it in your freezer. February in Ontario gets colder than your freezer. By quite a bit.
  • Oh and also? I've been playing Last Window - The Secret of Cape West (Hotel Dusk 2) lately. Did you all know this game wasn't released in North America? Did you also know you can play European DS games on a North American DS? Oh and were you aware that some people speak English in Europe? Did you know it cost me twice as much as a DS game should? One last question. Did you know the 3DS will be region locked and I won't be able to play Last Window or any other game Nintendo of America deems unsuitable for my market, no matter how much money I pay to import it? Yeah. Cons.

PROS! (This is the part where you can stop frowning and start going "Ooh baby, my groin is tingly.")

  • As much as I object to paying an extra three bucks to see the final scene of Harry Potter in blurry 3D confuso-vision, I don't object to glasses-free 3D that I can turn off. As long as I can turn it off when it's annoying. Or ugly. Some 3D is pretty fugly. I welcome the 3D revolution if I don't have to wear stupid glasses and can experience it in 2D if the 3D doesn't do it for me.
  • And you know what's awesome? The software. Sure everyone's all "Dood, Nintendogs and Pilotwings. That's it." Yeah. They're right. Sucky launch. The Wii had Twilight Princess and Trauma Center. But give it a year and there'll be Kid Icarus. And possibly a Paper Mario or Mario Kart. Or both. Professor Layton. Yeah? How about Professor Layton Vs Phoenix Wright! Hells yeah! Have you seen Dr. Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights? Or what about the fully-voiced remake of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor? Or Mega Man Legends 3?
  • Also, speaking of software. Remember Rabbids Go Home, for the Wii? They took the Rabbids out of mini-game compilations and gave them a strange and hilarious adventure in which you steal people's clothes and dogs and jet engines and poor dying guys in bubble beds and pile it together to get into space. And then in the end *spoiler alert* you totally get there. I cried. Those poor bunnies. Now they're home. Or something. So then I thought "Kick ass. Rabbids have left mini games behind and are embracing adventure games." Then Rabbids Travel in Time came along. And broke my poor little innocent heart. So now, this is the weirdest part of all. Rabbids Travel in Time is coming to the 3DS. But it's a 2D (with 3D somehow?) platformer. Adventure game. It's my favourite genre. Thank you Rabbids. Next time do that from the start.
  • I'm also happy to see Gameboy downloads going on in the Virtu- sorry. eShop? eShop. The name's kinda bland, but who am I to complain. I just want to play Heiankyo Alien again.
  • Also, the death of friend codes and Nintendo points.

I'm sure there's stuff I'm not thinking of, but really, I think the bottom line goes something like this: The 3DS? Meh, okay. The 3DS's library and what it means for the future of Nintendo? Awesome. I know it's weird, but I think what I'll do is buy 3DS games, but hold off on buying a 3DS until I feel it's time. Maybe when the bigger screened version comes out. Maybe when Layton Vs. Wright comes out. Who knows. I just know I don't want to hunt down a used, case-and-manual-less copy of a game I really want but didn't buy when it was everywhere. Like I did with Kirby Canvas Curse.

So, in summary: Import and play Last Window for your DS. Now. It's pretty great.

Really.

I'm only on chapter 3, but I gives it two thumbs up.

Or if you're European, don't import it. Just buy it.

This has been my thoughts on the 3DS.

Drink Invaders

One of the coolest gifts I received this Christmas: a Space Invaders ice tray. Retro-gaming nerddom at it's finest.

2010 - My Life and Gaming

In what may very well become an annual tradition, I'm back to talk about another year in life and gaming. How was 2010 for all of you?

I'm not on Facebook or any of these other social networks, nor do I intend to. I lead a private life and I treat Gamespot no differently. I come here to talk games. It's only really when the new year is quickly approaching that I divulge a little about my life. And while 2009 was a year of accomplishments, 2010 was a mixed bag. But before all that, here's my collection.

Added to my collection from last year are Disgaea 3, Eternal Sonata and Final Fantasy XIII for the PS3, as well as Donkey Kong Country Returns, the Dragon's Lair Trilogy, Epic Mickey, Fragile Dreams, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Metroid Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Tatsunoko vs Capcom and Trauma Team for the Wii. Leaving my collection this year were de Blob and Klonoa. I was just a bit meh about the pair of them. Oh well.

On the portable side of things, Ace Attorney: Miles Edgeworth, Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future join the ranks, while Dragon Ball Origins, Dragon Quest IV and V, Exit DS, Trace Memory and the Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road have all been given the axe. 2010 wasn't an easy year for DS games in my collection.

Digital downloads make it easy to overspend.

Especially when nostalgia is mixed in. Unreadable titles in this section are A Boy and his Blob (NES), Super Mario 2 (NES) and Super Mario World (SNES.)

And then there's the PS3 and DSi downloads. All 4 of them.

That's Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Flower, Shantae: Risky's Revenge and Photo Dojo.

Last year at this time I had 36 titles in my backlog. And today? Today I have 30. I think that's promising. I'm currently hacking away at DKC Returns, Shantae, and Strong Bad's Cool Game 3.

2009 was a great year. I lost 35 pounds if you remember, got a promotion at work and generally just kicked ass. 2010 on the other hand. It's left me very tired. I'm sitting here, barely able to keep my eyes open, and I realized something. I've been in this state for a long time now.

Not that I'm saying it was a bad year. Not in the slightest. In fact, I found my Wonkygirl last February. She's an old friend of mine who I'd never really looked at in that way. We gave it a try early this year and never looked back. It's been pretty amazing and I don't know what I'd do without her anymore.

I've also lost another 20 pounds, putting me firmly in a healthy weight range. One of my friends calls it my disguise. He says that people who knew me when I was heavy don't recognize me now. An old work colleague of mine said I look like a teenager, which made me smile because I just turned 30 not too long ago.

2010 was a good year. But the year had one major snag.

This little kitty, (originally posted about here,) who has been by my side since I was 12 years old, passed away on a Sunday evening in late November. I suppose it's difficult to explain, but it hit me hard. She was a very intelligent cat, very caring and as you can tell from the picture above, she had excellent taste. It's left me thinking about what matters in life, and as much as I love my games, I'd sell my collection in a second to have one more day with her. Games, like TV, movies, books, you name it, are escapism. And I pray that all of you take the time to be with the ones who matter to you in the coming year.

Even if it means letting the backlog grow.

Have a wonderful, and meaningful 2011 everybody.

Deadly Creatures: A Fluffy Kids Game for your Grandma

"You are on a scenic route through a state recreation area known as the human mind. You ask a passerby for directions, only to find he has no face or something. Suddenly up ahead: A door in the road. You swerve and narrowly avoid... The Scary Door."

It has taken me years to get around to playing Deadly Creatures. Not because of a lack of interest though. I wanted to play it for Halloween. And this year I did. I started it on Halloween, and I finished it on November 14th. Does that make it a short game? You betcha. But you know, not every game needs to be a 60 hour epic.

When people complain about a short game, I'm always reminded of .Hack. The four games with the story that could have been told in one. It was made to be unbelievably long on purpose so they could force people to buy four games. Then I think about Final Fantasy XII. That was one game, sure. But oh my gosh I just wanted it to end. I understand when people want their games to have value, so they can justify spending $50 a shot on one, but there's a limit.

Deadly Creatures is exactly the type of game I'm always on the hunt for. I'm not by any means saying it's perfect. But this is a unique, under-the-radar gem.

There are ten chapters in this game. Five of them you will play as a tarantula, and five as a scorpion. As you journey through deserts, caves, subterranean mazes, nests and human junkyards, they will slowly witness a story unfold between two greedy men. I thought this was a very interesting way of telling the story. Every time I could hear one of the men speak, when I travelled within earshot (tympanal organ shot?) I would stop to listen to what was going on. But by the end of the game, the question was nagging at me: What reason do these creatures have to put their lives at risk? Why are they travelling into more and more dangerous territory? The game shows us the perspective of the creatures, but I never once understood why they did what they did.

I also never understood the motivation of my non-human foes. Why did I just battle a horde of black widows who have teamed up with rats? How did those spiders convince those rats that they should all fight this one tarantula together? I could understand when you invade a nest and all the hornets have a go at you. They're defending their home. But the logic gets screwy after a while.

There is a very creative levelling up system in place too. It's just not exactly Discovery Channel material. You learn new abilities by defeating and devouring the creature who first displayed it. So, for example, you learn to burrow as a scorpion by killing and eating a rat. Or you learn pincer techniques from the preying mantis. And then there's the smaller insects. Crickets are for health recovery, grubs are collectibles that unlock interviews and production art, and grasshoppers are very rare, but if you can find one, they'll boost your lifebar.

The graphics in this game are phenomenal. We're looking at a game on the Wii here. I was blown away at times when the camera zoomed in close and I realized I could see every hair on that spider's creepy leg. It comes with the cost of framerate drops, but what is this? A PS3 review? Wii owners don't complain about framerate, consarnit! Something that did concern me though was viewing this on a standard definition TV. I played it on an HDTV, but a friend of mine who also owns it, played it in standard definition. He found things to be too dark and confusing, even though he stressed that it added to the creepy atmosphere. It certainly doesn't add to the ability to actually play the game.

The ending was very abrupt, and the video quality of the final cutscene was a bit of an insult. I was also left disappointed that even though the scorpion had the last word in his story, the tarantula never gets to finish off the snake. I would be very happy to see a sequel to this game, but given how many copies of it I see in the discount bins around here, I'm not going to hold my breath. This is exactly what's wrong with gamers this generation. A new, creative, well-made and chillingly not-for-kids game hits the market and gets thoroughly ignored, making way for more space marines. I can only guess why. Is it because it's a Wii title? Or do modern gamers feel terrified at the sight of something new and different.

Regardless, Okami got a sequel. And they're making another Rune Factory for the Wii. Maybe a Deadly Creatures sequel isn't completely impossible. Maybe one in which the tarantula finally offs the snake.

"I have combined the DNA of the world's most evil animals to make the most evil creature of them all."

... "It turns out it's man."

So I Just Finished Zombie Panic in Wonderland

So I just finished Zombie Panic in Wonderland last weekend. I played it through as a Halloween game with a friend of mine who's been playing local multiplayer games with me off and on since Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Gamecube. And we both knew this game was going to be weird. But the weirdness exceeded our expectations.

Here's the weird we DID know: You play as either Momotaro (a Japanese fairy tale hero), Dorothy (of Oz), or Snow White, with the option of unlocking Little Red Riding Hood and Alice (in Wonderland) later on. This random assortment of fairy tale protagonists come packing heat in a big way. Machine guns, flamethrowers, missile launchers and grenades are at your disposal, and it's up to you to take on wave after wave of the cutesiest zombies you'll ever shoot in the face.

I won't spoil too much, but the weird we didn't know comes in the form of smelly gnomes and a Prince Charming that seems to be excessively light in the loafers. Or maybe he was just castrated by the over-sexed Snow White and her anger management issues. Just in case you've never seen her in this game:

Did I mention this game is weird? It's pretty weird. And short. When we finished it, we found out that in order to unlock Alice and Little Red, we'll have to play through the game 4 times. When we learned this, I turned to my friend and I said "Do you really want to play it 3 more times?" to which my completionist gamer friend said "What other Halloweeny games do you have?"

My review of Deadly Creatures will be coming soon.

Oswald the Angry Rabbit

So in preparation for Epic Mickey, I borrowed my brother's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit DVD set a while back. It had been sitting beside my receiver, not being watched for months. I finally sat down over the weekend and marathoned them all and I have to tell you, these cartoons are hilarious. Oswald is like an angrier, more womanizing Mickey Mouse. Great stuff. I just hope that when Oswald returns, in Epic Mickey and whatever else Disney decides to use him in, he doesn't get watered down like so many other well-known characters.

Warren Spector, I'm watching you.

Things That Aren't A Thing Yet.

This last year or so has been downright creepy in terms of how many of my wildest, most delusional gaming wishes have been coming true. Mario's return to 2D, Sonic's return to 2D, not to mention Kirby, Donkey Kong Country and Metroid (sort of.) Then there was Kid Icarus, a game I just loved as a kid, finally getting a sequel over 20 years later on this futuritic gaming machine thing. Oh, how about Shadow of the Colossus and Ico getting an HD compilation disc. I played Portal over the summer, without having to buy a 360 or get the Orange Box, and I played it for free. Free! The DSi XL was ripped straight out of my skull too, as I always wanted a DS with nice big screens for RPGs. And you think that's not enough? Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright. In the same game.

It's nice to know I'm still in the demographic gaming companies listen to, despite my 30th birthday being mere weeks away.

So in the spirit of being followed and brain-probed for ideas, I present to you my list of stuff that still hasn't happened. In hopes that it does happen.

Rocket Slime 2

You heard me. I want more tanks, more desperate firing of your kitchen sink at the villain. I want Square to make more games that are FUN. Everything they do recently just makes me go "Ehhhhhh..." But Rocket Slime? Now that was a game. And the sequel should be a thing.

I Want Reggie to Stop Denying North Americans the Good Wii Games!

Like some sort of a-hole immigration officer, Reggie has been denying some of the most gamery games onto our shores. Let's start from the start, shall we? There was Disaster Day of Crisis, Fatal Frame IV, Captain Rainbow and Another Code (Trace Memory) R. More recently we lost out on getting Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (aka Hotel Dusk 2), even though Europe got it. Explain that one to me. How an English version exists and yet we still can't have the title up here? And now, my friends, now there is a triad of Wii RPGs, all under Nintendo's development. Monado (Xenoblade), The Last Story, and Earthseeker. Will we get any of them? Earthbound just called and laughed at me.

All those games, here in the Americas. That should be something.

Speaking of Things We Can't Get Up Here

Why did Namco Bandai deny North American Wii owners Tales of Graces? North American Tales of Graces for Wii. That should be a thing.

Virtual Console Compilation Discs

I hate downloadable games. Gah! But I love many of the games I've downloaded. Club Nintendo should offer to cram as many of your WiiWare games onto an optical disc as they can, and ship it to you for like 800 coins. It doesn't even have to have proper packaging. It can say "Club Nintendo WiiWare Disc" on the spine. I'd still think it was awesome. That should happen.

Mario's 25th Anniversary

Funny about that. I could have sworn Mario's first game was Donkey Kong (1981). Wouldn't that make him 29?

Anyway, in Japan and Europe, they're getting a new Mario All-Stars. Except, you know.. it's not as impressive as the original Super Mario All-Stars that came out on the SNES back in the day. It's Mario 1, 2 (both the DokiDoki Panic version and the Lost Levels version) and 3. And um. That's all. On a disc.

It just seems to me that if the same company can cram Metroid Prime 1, 2 and 3 onto a single disc, then they could cram Mario 1, 2, 2, 3, World, Yoshi's Island, 64 and Sunshine on one disc. Just saying. Why isn't that a thing?

Hey everyone! Wonkyman's back! And he's retarded!

Gabbo @ Nintendo's E3 Presentation

Gabbo: "That oughta hold the little S.O.B.s"
Me: "Gabbo quiet."
Gabbo: "Oh I wouldn't want to offend the little S.O.B.s"
Me: "I wish you'd stop saying that."
Gabbo: "All the kids on Gamespot are S.O.B.s!"

Great conference. It's like Nintendo heard every whiney, unsatisfiable forum trolling baby and kicked them in the face with a shoe full of awesome. Kirby, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Kid Icarus, even a rumored Star Fox 64 remake.. is there a Nintendo franchise that gets whined about regularly that they neglected today? I don't think so. Great job, Nintendo. And that's my two cents. ... That oughta hold those S.O.Bs.

Scott Pilgrim Wins Gaming!

Any Scott Pilgrim fans out there? I know I asked this a year ago, but it never hurts to check. They just released the trailer for the game and I momentarily forgot to close my mouth. All I can say is this: Greatest movie tie-in game ever. Past, present or future.

[video=Knc0lDv65bMNvDHW]

Granted the source material is very video game reference laden, but that's the brilliance of this game. It's not based on the upcoming Michael Cera live action movie. It's based on the comics. More specifically, the 16-bit art that's been on the back of the last few volumes. And it's done so brilliantly.

The trailer shows off some real love for the series. Not only can you play as Scott, but every member of his band, Sex Bob-Omb, and of course, his girlfriend Ramona. Defeating enemies gives you very small change, and all the coins are Canadian currency! I spotted all seven evil exes in the trailer, and each of the boss fights not only seems unique but tailored to the character. Did I mention it's a 16-bit River City Ransom type game?

Ubisoft is my hero.

It was because of The Last Guardian that I broke down and got a PS3. But I think if it that game didn't exist, it might have been Scott Pilgrim to make me finally get one. I know I'm gushing like a fanboy, but it's well-earned. If any of you love indie-comics you owe it to yourself to check out Scott Pilgrim, especially before the movie comes out. And then get the game.