Category Archives: Wii

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

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It’s good to know that 2D platforming is still alive, Nintendo for quite a while decided to deny the awesomeness of this kind of game, ever since the Super Nintendo days were over, but a game that was fun will always be fun. With the Wii Nintendo realized it was unreasonable to go hand-to-hand against its competitors, because they’ll always win, so a more simplistic approach was a great opportunity to bring back fun like we used to have. Kirby’s Epic Yarn succeeds at that, it brings up-to-date graphics with the gameplay we used to have back in the day.

A fear I had, especially because we’re in the Wii era, was that this game would be too much casualized, upon further inspection I realized it is casualized, but not to that point I was afraid for. The style is kids-friendly to attract the Wii’s new demographics, but the challenge is there nonetheless, and the features added to the deep gameplay elements is more than enough to make you forget all the silliness around it. The story, as one might expect, is perfectly skippable, and a must if you’re older than 6 years old, watching the animated scenes might squeeze out a laugh or two, but that’s about it. One day Kirby gets in trouble with a yarn-composed being known as Yin-Yarn, Kirby eats a tomato-like fruit called “Metamato” and Yin-Yarn gets angry about it, so Yin-Yang decides to suck Kirby into a sock he keeps in his waist, inside this sock lies a world known as Patch Land, patch land is composed of various lands patched together with something called Magic Yarn, this Magic Yarn is what keeps the world as a whole, but Yin-Yarn’s malignancy knows no limits, so after saving a prince named Fluff from a yarn monster who was chasing him, Kirby finds out that Yin Yarn has separated the various lands and is now running loose, now Kirby and Fluff decide to stop Yin-Yarn’s evil ways and restore the peace and quiet to the beautiful Patch Land. I know it’s silly, but all you have to do it press a button and skip all that.

The fact that Kirby meets up with this prince named Fluff actually opens space for multiplayer, if you wish so, two players can play simultaneously, pretty fun if you have someone else to play with. The single player continues being the main deal. In this new land, and with his body entirely made of yarn, Kirby has lost his most iconic move, his sucking ability, but another iconic move stays intact, the one Kirby transforms into a weight and falls downward until is reaches plain ground. The fact that Kirby is now made of yarn actually brought many possibilities for new moves as well as gameplay elements, Kirby’s main move is a yarn whip, with which he is able to disintegrate yarn enemies or collect them forming a yarn ball out of their body, with this whip Kirby is also capable of holding onto things, especially buttons around the stages that can serve as switches or grapple spot. If the player presses the forward button twice Kirby performs a dash transforming into a car, another one of the wonders possible by having a body entirely made of yarn. Kirby’s able to crawl through very small holes by simply deconstructing his body and becoming a simple line; a parachute is also possible for our yarn hero, reducing the falling speed.

Aside from the moves you can perform at any time–except the one Kirby becomes a line which happens only at certain spots–there are various kinds of vehicles and animals that Kirby can morph into. Like an off-road truck, a surfing penguin, a train; each of them has its own set of moves, most courses demand a transformation, some are made entirely for them, from start to finish. The difficulty of the courses is not steep, the game doesn’t leave a good first impression though, for instance, you can’t die, no matter how you try, all you get is a decrease of your beads count, if you manage to fall into pit traps too much or get hit repeatedly by enemies and reach zero in the counter, you won’t lose anything; that takes away some of the challenge the courses impose, but if you’re a completionist you won’t allow any beads loss since you get medals at the end of the stage for having many of them, of course reaching gold isn’t difficult even by losing a lot of beads. A similar system is found in the newest Prince of Persia released for the HD consoles and PC, where anytime you fell down a pit you’d get instantly restored back in place, the same thing happens here. The brads I mentioned are found everywhere in the courses and aside from giving you medals depending on how good you did in the course and your final count, they also serve as monetary currency.

The first thing you’ll want to buy in the game is a home, with that out of the way, you’ll help the owner of the spot you purchased expand the business, by giving him beads and helping decorate the newly constructed apartments to allure possible tenants, these tenants are actually a source of side-quests, upon completing the stages on the main game more will become available, they range from races, defeating certain amount of enemies in a limited period of time, collecting a number of beads and so on. One thing you are able to do is decorate your own room with the items you go collecting on courses, of course most veteran gamers won’t find any fun in that, so this is one of those aspects thrown in for the casuals who happen to come across Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Nintendo wouldn’t want to forget about them right? There are quite a lot of collectibles packed in for the 100% aficionados. Items you find in chests around stages will serve as decorating pieces as well, you also have one soundtrack disk in each course, after getting the disk the stage music becomes available for listening anytime you want. The game keeps track of everything basically, items, disks, enemies and characters found, medals; all count for your percentage and will make the completionists dreams come true.

Graphically the game is as beautiful as can get, the velvet-like appearance is not the most ground-breaking idea ever but it’s certainly underused, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a lesson on how to use it. The musical compositions are excellent as well, even some redone classic tunes make their presence known. A problem I had was some slowdowns in the faster levels, like the one with the off-road truck, it especially happens in multiplayer as far as I can tell, it was bothersome when happened but won’t stop anyone from fully enjoying the experience. Another thing that’s a plus are the boss battles, a lot of creative ways of making bosses are present here, much like Kirby’s Canvas Curse was for the Nintendo DS for 2D platforming in general, of course, overall the Nintendo DS game was much more innovative and challenging, but we can see Kirby in the vanguard of modern 2D platforming, two major releases for consoles and handheld capacitate the franchise for that, let’s just hope Kirby stays a powerhouse of fresh and fun ideas, the formula is known by gamers and widely accepted, it’s just a matter of making it come true.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn might scare hardcore gamers at first glance, for its excessive cuteness, its excessive silliness, and the overall aesthetic, but deep beneath the top surface of its casualized skin hides a pretty fun game to be played, of course it’s not as challenging as most of us hoped but anyone could guess that, you’ll still go through good moments while playing it. The main game will take about 6-10 hours to finish, but if you decide to go for the 100% you might clock 20 hours of gameplay, and that’s good if you ask me. Nintendo seems to have made sure this game would walk the thin line of a game made for experienced gamers and a game made for a casual audience, trying at all cost to blend both, it often feels like it leans more toward the casual side of the rope, but that shouldn’t stop an experienced gamer to have fun with it, of course they have to keep in mind that this is very far from the average shooter and that the real fun doesn’t lie upon its room-decorating tasks or its overly simplistic children-friendly story, or the fact you can not die; its fun lies in the varied gameplay elements and the imaginative level designs, for that, Kirby’s Epic Yarn deserves the praise.

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2010

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Well, it’s not like I wasn’t expecting this, it would actually be a surprise if was otherwise, which would then leave me shocked, but a man can always hope. To cut a long story short, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 is almost the same game Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 is, so few things have changed that it’s absolutely not worth the purchase if you already have the last year’s release — or the 2008 version for that matter. If you’ve never played a Wii release for this series this stands as the best yet, maybe because it still has some minor tweaks over the rest, maybe because 2010 is rounded and sounds official, or maybe because the cover art is probably the nicest. Whatever the reason it is, it’s still a solid game with nothing new brought to the table.

Like in the previous, before you start you’re bound to come across a tutorial on how to perform the basic commands and tricks in the game, just not to throw you into the action without having a clue about what’s going on. A coach will take place on screen and teach you the basic stuff. Of course I already knew the commands and decided to go through the whole thing just to make sure there isn’t anything fresh I should know about before I start, and now I’m sure, there isn’t anything new. The tutorial follows the same basic idea, first a little theoric insight, then practice; the design for the practice scenarios are exactly the same. It teaches you good though, in case you’re new. And as before you have more techniques than the shown at the beginning, more advanced ones, and you can learn them if you want, though for newcomers is suggestible to go gather some experience and feel the controls first to then venture through more complex moves.

Most game modes mark a comeback with the original scheme intact. You can still select a quick match just to play some soccer, no worries attached, just select a club or a national team and game on. Or you can choose a league among the many featured to get things a little more serious. Need I say there’s lots of missing leagues? No, but leagues aren’t the main problem. If you want something even more serious then you can choose the UEFA Champions League and try emerging victorious with a team of your choice, Europe’s most important soccer tournament is well emulated and ends up being the closest an average person can get to the feeling of participating. Champions Road is back as well, and I was saddened to see nothing has changed in it, it’s the same, you start with a cheaply developed team and start making your way up by winning leagues, building up your training center and acquiring followers for your team; still great for someone who hasn’t played it before, depressing for anyone else. A similar system can be found in Master League, you can choose many aspects for your team, make transfers and all that, minor changes can be found in this mode but nothing that would make this worthy enough for a comeback; again, if you’ve never played it, it’s sweet as sugar.

The actual gameplay mechanics for the wii using the motion controls are still top-notch. You point the screen with the wiimote and control the passes and shots of your players, as well as controlling the player itself, if you want more precision you can also use the analog stick, useful when you’re invading the goal area and need more precision to go past the defenders. The system brought us basically the best gameplay for a soccer game ever, but rehashing the same game over and over each year won’t help much. Konami states that some tweaks have been made, among them are the visuals, now I don’t want to get cocky but if there is a difference in the overall graphics it’s incredibly superficial, in-game player animations — shooting, passing, running — may have been reworked but the difference is practically imperceptive. What is actually noted is non-game player animations which I could find some improvements — like when you score a goal and the players gather to celebrate, moments not controllable. The online received better treatment on this one as well, so if you plan on getting online the 2010 version is really the best choice, of course finding someone to play against can still be tricky; I still don’t see a point in re-buying it just for the online multiplayer if you have a previous installment.

The flaw regarding the focus on European teams and forgetting about the rest of the world continues, actually the teams present here are practically the same as last year’s. Of course, people in Central America aren’t major fans of soccer, people in South America aren’t major fans of soccer, people in Africa aren’t major fans of soccer; after all, they’re merely a bunch of monkeys climbing in trees and the closest thing to entertainment for them is swinging in ropes around the jungle, nothing outside Europe exists anyway, so why bother? It’s like they don’t even try to get licenses from local teams in other areas. Instead of releasing a 2011 and a 2012 rehashes, they should postpone them and release an ultimate soccer experience in, let’s say, two or three years; now that would be cool. Of course, cool doesn’t always mean profitable.

The most noticeable addition would be the debut of licensed music, there are various musical groups available and a good dose of tracks, the music will take place at menus though, not during games. You can find artists of rock, hip-hop and techno among them. The rest of what you hear is still depressing, the commentators are the same as previous versions, and they’re good, but the rest is just awful, the crowd still sound like white noise and the sporadic effects of shooting the ball or any other thing just don’t cut it, they’re lifeless and uninspired. As much as the sound effects stays as a supporting role to the amazing gameplay system, this installment should have moved forward in the sound department, like this it just feels stagnated.

Well, it’s still a solid soccer game with great controls and the great gameplay mechanics, nothing actually major did get into the game after the one-year hiatus. I should recommend this game for anyone who doesn’t have any other recent Pro Evolution Soccer, that being 2008 and 2009. If you have the previous versions on any other console outside the Wii you should consider buying this one because the Wii controls enhances the experience immensely; some people like the new type of control, some don’t, but anyone ought to experience and judge it themselves. If you have any of the last two years releases for the Wii then you’re better off saving your money and buying some game else.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

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Such a simplistic formula and so much fun delivered, it’s hard to explain the magic of Super Mario Bros since most of us have memories of childhood etched on each game of the series. It’s not hard to get excited every time a main Mario game is announced — taking out the spin-offs with Mario playing tennis, golf or throwing a party, not that these games are bad. New Super Mario Bros Wii at first glance seems a carbon copy of the rejuvenated game released for the DS, which by the way was awesome, but don’t be fooled by the practically unchanged name or graphical similarities, this game throws many other past and new ideas into play, and these changes are more than enough for anyone who played the DS version or is a fan of Mario’s primordial style to pick this game up.

We could say this is a mix of many Mario games to make the ultimate new generation Mario experience, you can find ideas from many past games inherited in the gameplay. The main system is not tight like I had hoped for in a new Mario 2d platformer, it follows New Super Mario Bros and brings a more loosy type of Mario movement, it feels somewhat tighter than the DS release, but that might be because one is for a handheld and the other is for a console, even so, the system is amazing. You hold the wiimote horizontally for a NES-like controller handling, functioning like a SNES controller we are left without one essential button, having the run and jump buttons, we miss the spin jump, which is present and is triggered much like it was in Mario Galaxy, by shaking the controller, with the possibility of being performed in air for a quick glide. That might be the principal gameplay flaw, actually it’s more of gameplay weirdness since sometimes the character will perform the move simply because you made a sudden movement not intended, maybe calling it a flaw is overrating the gravity of it, but it could happen. One change they made and I didn’t really find good was that now to hold blocks, for example, you need to hold down the run button and perform the spin trick, in other Mario’s you hold the block by simply holding the run button, it’s simpler and works better since it doesn’t worsen the basic functions of the button, it only enhances it.

Among Mario’s power-ups we have the mandatory mushrooms, the always present fire flower, the still fresh ice flower, and others. The absence of the flying feather from Super Mario World could be described as expected, still one can hope; while I admit I don’t see me playing with the feather in these “new levels”, it somehow fits perfectly in Mario World, but would be strange in today’s games. Instead of the feather now we have a gyrocopter cap, it’s more limited than the cape but it also lets you fly for a short period of time culminating into a slow glide, it’s nice that you still have all Mario’s movements intact while wearing the gyrocopter cap, in Mario World if you were running and jumped you would instantly take off, but since here the flying happens when you shake your wiimote — doing the spin — you can control Mario normally with no worries. Who did come back to a Mario 2d platformer from Super Mario World’s debut in 1990 is Yoshi, the cute green dinosaur has shy appearances here, but enough to make fans happy; unlike Mario World you can’t go with Yoshi to any level, you’re forced to play with him only on levels which he is available inside a “?” block, in the past the player could enter a stage and play on it only for Yoshi, you’d still be riding him in the map screen and when you chose a level you’d start mounted on him, now it’s not possible because you say bye-bye to him at the end of the level, a shame.

When I said the game is a hybrid mixture of many Mario games I meant it. By simply looking randomly we can grasp the similarities. From Mario Bros 3 we have the finishing line, where there’s a flag and you try to jump as high as possible for the most points or, if high enough, for a 1-up; also the fact you first lose your power-up to then shrink in size; the flying koopa ship marks important presence as well, not on all levels but it’s nice to see it back; and the way the worlds are disposed, selectable yes, but distinct, not forming a big open world like Mario World, and the menu with the items you get from Toad Houses ready to be used at stages whenever you feels like. From Mario World we have Yoshi, a sub-castle and a boss castle where you face the enemy much like you did in Mario World with each koopa boss having different kinds of skills, attacks and battle terrains. From Yoshi’s Island we have Kamek casting his magic on bosses to make them stronger, much like it was in Mario World 2. From Super Mario 64 we have the triple jump. From Mario Galaxy we have the air spin attack. From New Mario Bros DS we have practically everything else, including some already mentioned, forming the base of the new gameplay style. this is only to cite a few. I can also find some Luigi’s Mansion inside those Ghost Houses, I just can’t help it. Little from this game is actually “brand new”, but that’s the charm, this is new age Mario 2d with a touch of many nostalgic elements that certainly counts a lot.

If you thought this game was mere fan-service forgetting entirely about the motion sensing you thought wrong, a new gameplay mechanic debut here, the player will encounter moving platforms and lanterns throughout the game, and to control them you need to use the wiimote. In the case of moving platforms they generally will ask you to move the wiimote left or right depending where you want to lean it toward. The lantern can be moved freely wherever you want the light to shine upon, sadly the system is only available in one stage, while the moving platforms are found in higher number, designs and functions. That adds to the multiplayer, which brings good co-operation action, every player will play at the same time, and the characters available are Mario, Luigi and two Toads, one yellow and one blue. There’s also Coin Battle and Free-for-all modes to play with your friends. Nice to notice how if Peach were available to play, which truthfully wouldn’t make sense story-wise, it would have the cast of Mario Bros 2 for multiplayer.

Graphically this game satisfies, the effects are really beautiful and the details impress, it’s a must to keep in mind that this game doesn’t primarily require graphical prowness, so the visuals are more than excellent for what it tries to achieve, although high definition for this would do wonders. If what you see is awesome, what you hear is even better. Old classic compositions rearranged share the show with amazing new ones and form a soundtrack to be remembered, of course we couldn’t expect nothing less from Mario, especially when we look at a recent release like Galaxy, which finally brought us symphonic beauty, and old releases, which brought us unforgettable classic compositions, musics that even non-players may recognize. New Super Mario Bros Wii doesn’t have an orchestra to do the job, but it’s incredible nonetheless.

The enemies are the usual ones for a Mario game, some are new, but most we’ve already seen in some Mario game before. To enhance it, some known bad guys received new sets of attacks or movement patterns. For example, whoever played the original Mario remembers the Bloopers, they’re a bunch of squid-like creatures found in water levels, they’ve always been known as deadly creatures, they lurk the seas swimming horizontally on the screen and always caused trouble for players; they are present here, but now they also hide behind submerged flowers waiting for Mario to pass by to ignite a swift boost toward the player, making them even more of a threat. The bosses remember the ones found in Super Mario World, they follow the same overall idea and that’s more than welcome, the boss battles offer the certain amount of challenge. What’s even more worth noticing is the last battle, which is one of the most epic confronts that appeared in any Mario game.

Without a doubt the new Nintendo wouldn’t let the less fortunate souls drifting hopelessly by the game’s difficulty, although far from raw difficulty, be sure to find a tricky game, much like any other Mario game. There are many secondary paths along the way, similar to Super Mario World, though in a less extent; also the 3 Star Coins per stage from the DS game is back. If you find yourself lost trying to find the coins or finding the secret pathways you can get your already earned Star Coins to spend in hint movies, which is pretty straight forward, they allow you to see a movie with the CPU performing what needs to be performed. There are also movies to help you gather lives more easily by introducing the best spots to do so or showing high skill gameplay stunts. And like that Nintendo pleases the casuals and the hardcore players, if you don’t want to touch the hints movies, it’s your choice; if you have a problem with some level and think they could give you a hand, then there they are. A cheaper way to beat a level you’re stuck in is the Super Guide, if you keep failing in a level, suddenly a green block will appear, if you jump on it you’ll be asked to be shown how to play the stage, a cpu-controlled Luigi will take place and play the level, when you decide to take on the stage again you can, this time from where Luigi left off. The high amount of Toad Houses for items and lives ease things up as well.

When Nintendo want to make a great Mario game they do it, it’s fairly easy to tell the truth, this game doesn’t aspire much innovation like Mario Galaxy did for Mario’s 3d platforming, but as a piece of merged new and old ideas it succeeds greatly. Of course the job was made easier because of the DS’s release, but this one improves satisfactorily upon the game it was based on, adding exciting new features, even though many others were still left out, which is fine since I can only hope that this is not the end for Mario’s 2d platformers. The graphics are much more polished than the DS’s and the sound is as awesome as ever. This is an easy recommendation, though I’m not sure if any Mario game needs recommendation at all, at least not the main games in the series.

Pro Evolution Soccer ’09

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Pro Evolution Soccer for the Wii might be one of the very few examples on when a franchise actually fitted better on the Nintendo’s console than the others. As we can see, not by much tweaking, more because of convenience; and, of course, a couple of great ideas here and some other quite good ones there, some are still raw and need improvement, but the overall product ended being fine, and pretty satisfying.

You won’t find a soccer game that handles better than this one, you may find a better looking one, that’s not hard. After all, this game isn’t anything spectacular, to tell the truth, it’s very far from that. While other consoles still have high definition which could very well serve as a little makeup, the graphics overall, with high definition of not, aren’t good. As you may already know, the Wii doesn’t support high definition, and the poor 480p doesn’t cut a deal. The game doesn’t sound that good either, not that it really matters because a soccer game doesn’t need a soundtrack, all it needs is a commentator and a background sound looking like the white noise from your TV without a channel signal on to serve as cheering. That’s all it takes for the perfect soccer experience, this game serves you just right with that, but it’s still nothing to be proud of, nothing that leaves you breathless or at least thinking soccer games sound had just been reinvented. Actually I don’t have a problem with that.

The presentation for a Wii game sure isn’t what most Wii owners are waiting for in a game. Yes, lately not even first-party releases are that polished, this game sure isn’t either. But what makes this game shine isn’t graphical power — what the Wii sadly doesn’t have — nor is the sound — which a soccer game doesn’t primarily require. What makes this a better choice over the other consoles’ releases are the controls. Hard to believe since most third-parties just try to cash-in a little more over the large Wii installed base releasing underwhelming ports, not caring much for the tools they have at hand to make the game really noteworthy using the motion controls. This case might be the black sheep of the cash-ins, which is good, as far as we consumers are concerned. But not without some flaws. For instance, when you’re suffering a swift counter-attack, you have to use what you have up front to neutralize, not what’s coming back to the defensive field. Sometimes, opposite players start running fast in direction of your goal and some of your players even get out of the way for the guy, if they were out there marking some other players maybe it would be at least acceptable, but no, sometimes they just do it for some laughs, I suppose. Come on, kindness never killed anyone.

Of course, it still needs tweaking, and with the amazing strategy from Capcom — and many other developers, most notably EA games — to bring us a new game every year with minor changes just because there’s always someone to buy it, and better, there’s always someone who bought the previous and wants the updated version. More like need it. You know sports fanatics, sometimes not even fanatics, just enthusiasts, they can’t look at a 2010 version at some store and not buy it, after all, he only has the 2009 version, god forbid that. But truthfully, the system does work great here, the overall idea is awesome, and if it keeps evolving the way I think it should this game only tends to get better and better, and there’s a lot of spaces for improvements. You have more than one way to control it, the way I find most amusing, and presumably the way most people will play, is the nunchuk plus wiimote version. The game was just made for that, it almost screams for that, and to get the most out of this unique version you better choose this one. You can move the player both with the analog stick and by pointing some place on the screen using the motion control, but the thing is, you won’t choose which one best fits you, you’ll basically play both ways at the same time, and that works perfectly fine. The analog stick takes care of more precise dribbling, it is slightly slower but when you reach the goal area you’ll find lots of use for that extra precision when dribbling, especially when using the wiimote feels somewhat awkward. With the Wiimote you’ll mainly move when there’s a lot of spaces, these controls aren’t very tight to keep a player running and carrying a ball by his feet while many other players are around and close, ready to take the ball out of you and rush in direction of your goal.

Well, the real star for this way of playing is the passing system. It works greatly. You don’t even have to stop, while moving a player using the analog stick you can simply point to whatever place you want the ball to go and the player will make sure the ball gets there. It sometimes can be a little tricky only because the cpu has a somewhat strange AI system where it positions whatever player it has around in the middle of both of your players; your players won’t try to do that, sadly. You can choose between a ground pass or an air pass, by just single or double pressing the button. It’s especially interesting to rush towards the backline and cross the ball exactly in the place you want to do it, and you can be sure that some player will try to reach the ball, if he’ll succeed at it before a defender or not is another story. To shoot you also have two ways, you can either shake the nunchuk or point where you want the player to shoot. I find that it’s easier to shoot by waving the nunchuk, the intensity and height of the shoot will be established by the game anyway. When you don’t have the ball all it’s left for your to do is recover it as fast as you can, to do that you have a button to put pressure on the player with the ball to try recovering it, you have more not-so-subtle ways to do this too but they often end up in fouls and yellow/red cards, more for the desperate situations.

For a soccer game it has quite a lot of game modes, and that’s pretty good. You can have regular matches with no big aspirations whenever you want. You have an online system, as well as split-screen multiplayer up to 4 players. But this game also lets you try one of the most important soccer championship in the world, the UEFA Champions League. Just pick the Champions League, choose your favorite team and start the game. There’s also a game mode that’s really interesting called Champions Road, where you start playing in cheap leagues with a small-time team, by winning and climbing your way you’ll have the opportunity to acquire players from the opposing teams you’ve just faced and use them on yours; you have your own training center where you’ll be able to buy new facilities and improve your reputation allowing better players to be acquired. It’s also nice that in Champions Road you play in several leagues around the world, with the respective regional teams; from the leagues won you’ll earn cash and new supporters for your team . Speaking about regional teams brings us to another touchy subject, the number of them. This game should have a lot more teams than it has, some regions — outside Europe — have several other teams that are insanely deserving to appear in the game, while others not so much did make it into the game, it’s something I’ll never be able to understand, a serious research should be made by the development team into teams all over the world, and more licenses should be acquired. I know it’s not easy, but that would make the game so much better, and that’s one more point to improve, and improve hard. Here’s something else to improve, the actual port of all the menus in the game, some of them are poorly calibrated and it’s a pain to navigate through them, the analog stick is just too much sensible.

If you simply want to play a regional cup or some other league you are able to, there may not be all leagues in the world but we can pretty much deal with that for now. In Master League you have the opportunity to build a team from scratch and start developing players and making transfers; you can choose, or make, stuff like the emblem of your team, the name, etc. Maybe a good choice for those who didn’t find their loved teams in the game is to make the exact same emblem of his team and start changing the name of the players of some high-class team to the names of the absent team, not an easy and quick job I must tell. Before you try everything this game has to offer you need to learn the basics, and the more advanced tricks as well; after all, this one differs quite a lot from other soccer games. To do that there has been implanted a nice tutorial system that will certainly come in handy at the beginning, and who knows, maybe even after many hours into the game. It teaches many techniques that are primordial for you success, and some you’ll only expect to use when you get more experienced or when the right opportunity happens to appear in front of you.

There you go, a nice soccer game, you won’t find a better one these days, of course that only lasts a year before a new updated version comes out of the oven, hot and fresh, maybe not as fresh as we would have wanted though. The in-game controls are well calibrated and works great overall, even though some little tweaks should be made here and there, which won’t stop you from having fun. The presentation is as good as it gets for a Wii soccer game, as much as the graphical department should be better taken care of, it doesn’t disappoint. The game modes will keep you busy for a while, with some of them being pretty interesting. In the end, this is a prime example on how the Wii should be used for third-party games, and not just that, how the Wii should be used at all. Gameplay mechanics perfectly adapted for the motion controller. If you’re a fan of soccer do not let this opportunity pass.

Mega Man 9

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When I first heard about this new game with a new direction in the Mega Man series I thought to myself: “Genius!”. After all, let’s be serious here, technology advancement wasn’t easy on Mega Man. The old days were glorious for this franchise, but it never actually adjusted itself for the newer consoles, 3D or anything like that. Mega Man’s deal is 2D platforming, plain and simple. That’s why the best more recent Mega Man games are exclusively found on handhelds, where gaming has still a lot to evolve in terms of 3D, and 2D ends up reigning. Straight-to-the-point platforming is what you find here, in a series that tried to fit in, wasn’t a hundred percent successful, and then built a time machine of a game that will make you remember the good old days when developers didn’t have many tools, features, and hardware power at hand.

This, my friends, is true time backtracking. A game that could have been made in 1990 indeed. The whole package is set to stay primitive: in-game graphics, cutscene graphics, menu, music, controls. Everything is made like it would have been two decades ago. The stages are all designed with limited number of colors and staying simple at all costs, but they’ve actually managed to create a retro atmosphere that’s absolutely incredible. The musics and sound effects are presented in an archaic manner as well, like the sound of old 8-bit games. Although primitive, the musics are insanely addictive, as music quality doesn’t necessarily mean high-end production, many memorable video-game musics are from the 8-bit era, many received improvements in the composition and can now be played by an orchestra, but the sheer beauty of a nostalgic low-fi track is not something to be underestimated. While in the music department Mega Man 9 is awesome, with several memorable tracks that aren’t classics simply because they weren’t made 20 years ago, the sound effects do a incredibly good job as well, the same old beeps and bleeps we had back in the day, but amazing nonetheless.

If everything about this game is like how it was many years ago, the difficulty should follow the same path, right? Yes, that’s right, and you bet it did. The game is very challenging, you’ll spend many hours trying to get past the 8 stages found in the game, which sounds too few stages for today’s standards, but believe me, it isn’t, the stages are addicting and takes a lot of time for them to get old; not that this game has a problem with breaking current standards anyway. After all, the steep difficulty is one of the aspects that make this game shine, making a game difficulty with clear but hard tasks for the player to overcome was one of the few tools the game developers had in the past. With that, it’s safe to say the player won’t “accidentally” beat the game the first time he sits in front of the TV to play it, this is the type of game that requires some kind of devotion. The first times you enter a stage you’ll mainly try to figure out how the stage works, what kind of enemies are in it, what kind of attacks they use, what is their weakness, where are their locations, what surprises you may come across, what’s the enemies’ attack patterns, item locations, traps, and so on. Only after many deaths, and a few “game over” screens you’ll have the stage known like the back of your hand. The bosses follow Mega Man habits, you have one boss at the end of each stage, and if you beat one of them you acquire a new weapon that reflects the abilities of the boss you’ve just faced. This weapon will be the weakness of some other boss, and using it will certainly ease things up a lot for you. So it all comes down to 8 bosses, 8 new weapons and 8 weaknesses, very familiar for anyone who has played at least one Mega Man game before.

The weapons are also pretty cool, like the Black Hole Bomb, which shoots a projectile that will travel the screen until the point you decide to press the fire button again to activate the black hole, sucking almost everything up inside of it, be an enemy or a projectile coming at you, pretty cool. These special weapons have a limit, and you can refill them by downing enemies along the way and collecting the refills if you’re lucky enough for them to drop it, the always useful Mega Buster has infinite shooting, just like always; again, good old Mega Man style. You also have two handy techniques using the ability to summon Mega Man’s dog, one lets you jump on the dog’s back to take a big jump reaching incredible heights; in the other, you’ll be able to jump on his back and use the dog as a flying little ship, it can come in handy in many difficult situations, and when you get the hang of it it’ll ease things up a lot for you during the game. You control holding the wiimote horizontally in your hand, making it look like a NES controller — which couldn’t be more convenient for a game like this –, your left thumb will reach the d-pad of the controller, while your right thumb will take care of the “1” and “2” buttons, one for shooting and one for jumping; like I said, keeping it simple. The “+” button acts as the pause button. Like that you’ll practically feel like having a NES controller in your hand, and that adds up to the experience. No fancy controller is needed because the game keeps it simple at all costs, so everything you need will be at the palm of your hand using the wiimote. Other moves implanted in later Mega Man games aren’t present in this one. In addiction, you have some items to help you during this hard game, health filler, special weapon meter recovery, etc. You also have the opportunity to gather bolts in the game, which you’ll be able to exchange for items in a shop accessible by the level select screen.

If beating the game isn’t enough for you, other modes can also be found in Mega Man 9. Like a time attack, which the name pretty much sums it all up for you, timed mode while playing the courses found in the game; best times can be sent to an online ranking. Also a list of challenges with several criteria waiting to be met in-game, some are easily achievable, like killing 100 enemies, but some are insanely cruel, requiring the player to do tasks like beating the game without ever receiving damage. Downloadable content is present as well, if you’re up to it, after finishing the game, it’s a good choice to purchase it and add some more hours of gameplay; if a game is this good, that’s never a bad idea.

So, what do you do when the advancement of graphical capabilities doesn’t suit your series? Go back to what it used to be, of course. That’s what Capcom did, and I hope they do it again, soon! That it may serve as an example for many other developers with old-school series just waiting to enter a time machine and bring us more of that old-school charm they all had; simple, but effective. This game turned out better than I had imagined, and I imagined a great game, often I’m deceived by my high hopes for stuff, especially for games, but not this time. The minimalistic approach can be the experience of a decade for some, and insanely unexciting for others, it’s your call, I guess you might have an idea if you’ll like this game or not. For anyone remotely interested in this simple, but inherently complex, title, I gladly recommend Mega Man 9.