Wiikly Wii Releases - 5/18-5/24: Wii Fit Edition

authorIlchymis | May 21, 2008

Welcome to the this week’s edition of the Wiikly Wii Releases! Here we’ll pick out a small selection of the upcoming week’s Wii titles and give you some information to help you pick the game that’s right for you. When applicable, we’ll choose one game to be the “MyWiiNews Pick of the Week,” a game that stands out among all the others as the title that takes the crown for that week. Without further ado, let’s look at what’s coming out this week

Wii Fit

Nintendo – May 21

With the release of such an important title as Wii Fit, it makes perfect sense that every other publisher decided to back off this week. Sure, there’s slim pickin’s out there for new titles, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to gloss over this important title and not give it our fabled My Wii News Pick of the Week.

What’s to say about Wii Fit that hasn’t already been said? Nintendo continues to set its sights on the casual market through its latest peripheral bundle, Wii Fit, which comes with a huge hunking Wii Balance board to help you keep track of your body’s progress on its way to fitness. Sure, it can be seen as interactive edutainment, or worse, another low-substance minigame title, but let’s not lose focus of Nintendo’s dream: to completely integrate the Wii’s into every aspect of a gamer’s life, from the core to the casual. Here Nintendo opts to shift the focus from the social, interactive element of the Wii (found in most games, especially minigame fests like Wii Play) to the personal and individual experience of working out and getting yourself into shape.

Wii Fit is more than just an interactive board to stand on. It’s a peripheral that both calls out to legions of gamers looking to get into shape and integrate videogames into all aspects of their lives. While Wii Fit in itself isn’t enough to get you into shape, it does help people see their progress towards their goal and adds a bit of incentive along the way. I’m hoping to hear about some inspirational tales of people really helping themselves due to Wii Fit, yet I’m also skeptical about the finicky general public sticking with a strict gaming regimen. Any way you look at it, Wii Fit is certainly an original and worthwhile title, and one that helps to distinguish the Wii from its current-generation competition.

Wiikly Wii Releases : 5/4 - 5/17

authorIlchymis | May 13, 2008

Welcome to the this week’s edition of the Wiikly Wii Releases! Here we’ll pick out a small selection of the upcoming week’s Wii titles and give you some information to help you pick the game that’s right for you. When applicable, we’ll choose one game to be the “MyWiiNews Pick of the Week,” a game that stands out among all the others as the title that takes the crown for that week. Without further ado, let’s look at what’s coming out this week.

Castle of Shikigami III

Aksys –May 13

Few things are as needed on the Wii as a good vertical shooter. As the arcades of yesteryear pass into the memories of most Americans, more arcade-styled shooters are necessary to keep the dreams of us nostalgic gamers alive. Sure, Metal Slug Anthology was great. And who could forget that double-pack of House of the Dead 2&3. But where is that good ol’ anime-inspired vertical shooters of yore?

While it’s certainly not a game for everyone, Castle of Shikigami III will surely satiate the desires of old school gamers looking for some quality quarter-munching fun. With ten unique characters to plow through its ten expectedly challenging stages, a wacky anime cast, and even a two-player co-op mode, Castle of Shikigami III offers plenty of replay value for $30. Even though vertical shooters may not be for everyone, CoSIII certainly offers a good time for those so inclined.

We Ski

Namco Bandai – April 21st

We Ski just might be another misleadingly titled, cutesy game for the Wii, but who are we to judge? The real kicker here comes in the games utilization of the Wii’s yet-to-be-released Balance Board, which could turn a mediocre game into one of the most engaging skiing experiences outside of the arcade.

How well We Ski holds up under critical scrutiny remains to be seen, but at least its price point seems to be in line with its cutesy title. It apparently offers a variety of courses, characters, and skiing options, so for those looking to head down the casual slopes, We Ski just might be for you. With tons of unlockables, customizable characters, Mii integration, and an entire school and mountain to explore, We Ski looks to be quite an enjoyable winter jaunt. Check it out when it hits stores this week

Boom Blox

Electronic Arts – May 6

If you’ve ever wanted to play Jenga with approximately 100% more explosions and monkeys, Steven Spielberg knows exactly how you feel. Boom Blox doesn’t make too much sense, but it is packed with enough awesome to keep you coming back for more than anything else released in the past few weeks, garnering our coveted Pick of the Week award.

The premise behind Boom Blox is simple enough: build things up and watch them fall. But throughout the game you’re faced with many different challenges, stages, minigames, and obstacles to overcome that you hardly do the same thing twice. It’s a difficult game to try to explain, so take a peek at this video to see how much fun is contained on a single Wii disc. With local multiplayer, hundreds of levels, level creation and even online stage sharing, Boom Blox is a helluva lot of game for the money.

While Boom Blox was technically released last week, My Wii News just couldn’t skip over what may be one of the best third-party games released all year. Its been receiving rave reviews from some of the biggest media outlets out there, and is apparently the very definition of fun. Go out there and buy this game, as there’s not likely to be anything that will demand your money in the same way for months to come. Here’s to exploding monkeys!

Want to Watch Movies On Your Wii?

authorIlchymis | May 10, 2008

For those in the know, Xbox Media Center (XBMC) is one of the greatest homebrew applications ever created. It perfectly streams movies, videos, pictures and more from your computer or the Xbox’s internal harddrive onto your TV, turning last-generations behemoth into a wonderfully powerful media center experience. Unfortunately, running XBMC takes two things that you probably don’t have: an old Xbox lying around, and the correct tools to do dastardly deeds to the consoles innards to either soft mod (through applications) or hard mod (through actual computer chips) the Xbox in question. Sure, you could just run out and plunk down $300-400 for one of those other consoles that have limited playback support, but what’s the fun in that?

Wii owners handy with their Twilight Princess discs, rejoice! Wii Miidia is here to save the day! With a core program that clevery “borrows” from XBMC, WiiMiidia 0.1 will let you play back most any common movie or music format on your TV in no time. While it’s certainly a work in progress (and has quite a few bugs to be worked out as time goes on), creator dCiSo deserves a big pat on the back for doing what Nintendidn’t. Why Nintendo couldn’t allow for simple movie playback from SD card is beyond me, but luckily those of us with a little patience and computer know-how can be watching Sanford and Son on our Wii in no time. And how!

Click on the image of WiiMiidia in action to find out more details.

Wiikly Wii Releases - 4/20/08

authorIlchymis | April 21, 2008

Welcome to the this week’s edition of the Wiikly Wii Releases! Here we will let you know about all the great Wii titles coming out this week and give you some information to help you pick the game that’s right for you. When applicable, we’ll choose one game to be the “MyWiiNews Pick of the Week,” a game that stands out among all the others as the title that takes the crown for that week. Without further ado, let’s look at what’s coming out this week.

Wild Earth: African Safari

Majesco – April 22nd

Do you like taking pictures? How about playing videogames? Now, hold onto your hats, what about playing videogames about taking pictures? If your mind isn’t completely blown yet, hop into the Jeep and start up your very own African Safari.

You guessed it: Wild Earth: African Safari is a game about taking pictures. But these are no normal pictures; they’re pictures freshly taken from the exotic Savannah, where life and limb are constantly at risk of being torn asunder by a lion the size of most small cars. Yeah, that’s right, lions. Africa doesn’t mess around.

For those who remember yesteryear’s Pokemon Snap!, Wild Earth: African Safari is more of the same virtual photography fun with a few cool extra features, including two-player co-op, multiplayer missions, and an “interactive Safari mini-game” that allows players to play from the animals perspective. Neat!

Wild Earth: African Safari is a port of the similarly-titled, award-winning PC game Safari Photo Africa: Wild Earth, so even if you played (or missed it) it the first time around, give it a try for the new content and improved Wii controls. Nothing quite like quaking in front of a Wildebeest with a camera in your hand!

Target: Terror

Konami – April 21st

America. Terror. Both are undeniably words that don’t get along under almost any circumstances, Iran-Contra affair excepted. So what in the heck was Konami thinking in bringing these two volatile concepts together? A quick lightgun buck, that’s what. And that’s exactly what you’ll find here.

In addition to continuing this week’s colon theme, Target: Terror brings the arcade experience of annihilating swarms of infidels to your Wii in a way that hasn’t been seen since, well, House of the Dead 2 & 3, which was released earlier this month. Only this game was specially designed for the Wii’s Zapper attachment, making it the first game that will hopefully work well with the giant piece of plastic. Oh, and it’s absolutely hideous.

If you love to shoot some terrorists, need to get another lightgun fix, and are hankering to see how a game that was designed for the Wii Zapper controls, give Target: Terror a go. If you want pure lightgun joy, don’t care about the zapper, want something that’s a tiny bit easier on the eyes, and only want to spend $20, give House of the Dead 2&3 a go. Either way, both games are fun and at least worth a rental, especially for those times when you just need to kill something.

Heavenly Guardian

U.F.O. Interactive – April 22nd

For those who like their shooters to be in two-dimensions, thankyouverymuch, U.F.O. Interactive has just released the bargain-priced Heavenly Guardian. The $20 title is overflowing with 32-bit charm that two parts hack n’ slash adventure and one part Tempest/Stinger clone, with a little bit of story and exploration thrown in there for good measure.

Sometimes you just need some mindless fun, and for those times, Heavenly Guardian should probably fit the bill. For those wondering what version of the game to pick up, the Wii version features some special Wii Remote actions, while the PS2 version is $5 cheaper, so pick your poison wisely. Now buy somethin’, will ya?

Battle of the Bands

THQ – April 22nd

If only I had a “wow, that sure didn’t take too long” award to hand out here, Battle of the Bands would be the first candidate after Rock Band to take home the top honor for music-oriented game bandwagoning. Oh sure, THQ added a few different play mechanics and uses the Wii Remote instead of some wonky peripheral, but Battle of the Bands? C’mon! The name is hardly better than “Guitar Hiro” or “Country Band;” both of which are only one or two notches below this unfortunately-named Wii exclusive.

Generic title qualms aside, Battle of the Bands looks to give Samba de Amigo a run for its maraca-shaking money with its mildly-innovative control scheme. Instead of pressing down buttons, strumming, or tapping controller triggers rhythmically, the majority of Battle of the Bands is based around shaking the Wii Remote at appropriate times. Seemingly influenced by the musical minigame found in Zack and Wiki, Battle of the Bands seems to be an interesting take on the rhythm genre. It also features multiple music renditions of the same song, making for some of the most confusing aural abominations ever heard. Ever heard country renditions of Cypress Hill songs? How about latin interpretations of metal? While the latter may be better than the former, Battle of the Bands looks to give players a run for their money with the 150 included songs.

If you’re looking for more maraca shaking fun and can’t wait until Samba de Amigo’s proper Wii release later this year, give Battle of the Bands a try. It’s hard to say it won’t be at least interesting.

None. Go play Okami instead.

Okami Watermark Fiasco - Is IGN Involved?

authorIlchymis | April 19, 2008

For many hardcore gamers on the Wii, this past Tuesday marked the starting of a grand adventure in Okami, one of the most anticipated games to hit the Wii so far this year. With an updated control screen, minor graphical improvements, and new widescreen support, the Wii looked to have the definitive version of the adventure game.

Yet suddenly something is up. No, not the slightly problematic control scheme, or the questionable graphics which have both been receiving minor flack from a handful of critics. No, the big fiasco has to do with the picture right on the cover of the box - plain and clear as night and day (you may need to adjust your monitor screen to see it more clearly).

(Click to enlarge)

See that little watermark right there? That’s the watermark used to mark images as exclusive to IGN, one of the largest hubs for gamers across the Internet. How could such a blatant and obviously problematic thing have taken place? It’s not sure right now, but according to sleuths on NeoGAF, the image actually wasn’t watermarked in pictures prior to release. Here is the original art that was featured on the Capcom website and other media outlets before the game hit stores. Notice how it’s flipped, and how you can’t really make out any watermarks in the same area.

Either someone intentionally stuck the IGN watermark there in hopes of subliminal advertising, or there was a major snafu at the publishing plant. Either way, the problems are obvious:

(Courtesy of Double_A on the IGN Boards)

That’s not supposed to be there. And it’s even more obvious on the actual boxart you’ll see in stores. For shame, Capcom. What’s the real story here? Could it be a disgruntled employee? A lazy one? The same one behind Mr. Gay? Only time, and Capcom, will tell.

Stay tuned at My Wii News as we figure out if there is something special going on with this cover, and what future steps may be taken by Capcom.

GameStop, Inc. GameStop, Inc.

Logos | Icons | WordPress Themes