Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Nintendo Wii in 2008 Part 3: Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii is listed as a Q2 release but considering the limited amount of information on the game I wouldn't expect to see a release this spring. Most likely Nintendo will unveil more information on the game at this years E3 conference and move the game to a fall release just in time to cash in on the holidays.

Mario Kart games are simple. Race to the finish line on a variety of tracks against multiple Nintendo mascot opponents using an arsenal of weapons such as banana peels, heat seeking shells, and blocks. Choose from a multitude of racers with varying skill sets including weight, acceleration, and top speed. Player modes have included circuit racing, time trials, battle modes, and split screen multiplayer racing. The game has appeared on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameBoy Advance, the Nintendo GameCube, and most recently the Nintendo DS sporting a great online multiplayer feature.

Rumor has it that the latest entry in the Kart series will go back to its roots featuring one racer per kart (Mario Kart: Double Dash for the Nintendo GameCube offered two racers per kart giving the gamer the ability to switch between racers depending on the situation). Also rumored is the return of the power slide ability for advanced racers (a must for time trials) and an online multiplayer option that will allow you to race with up to 12 people from all over the world all at one time. Finally the game is to be packed with a steering wheel accessory that will cradle the Nintendo Wiimote for a more immersive game play experience (I think I'll stick with a more traditional approach with the game using a standard controller). See the video below for an explanation of the steering wheel accessory.

Reggie Fils-Aime's Comments on Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart 64 is one of my favorite games of any generation and I'll be in line to try out Nintendo's latest Kart offering later this year.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Nintendo Wii in 2008 Part 2: Wii Fit

One of the next big releases projected in 2008 is Wii Fit. The game is still listed as TBA 2008 but I would expect a release earlier in the year rather than later. The release in Japan in Decemeber has already yeilded over a million units sold. So what is Wii Fit? Again I refer to our friends at IGN:

"The hit combination of Wii Sports and the Wii Remote brought golf swings and tennis serves into people’s homes. Now Nintendo turns the living room into a fitness center for the whole family with Wii Fit and the Wii Balance Board. Family members will have fun getting a "core" workout, and talking about and comparing their results and progress on a new channel on the Wii Menu.

Lean to block soccer balls, swivel hips to power hoop twirls or balance to hold the perfect yoga pose. As users stand on the Wii Balance Board, included with Wii Fit, their body’s overall balance is tied to the game in a way they’ve never experienced before. Wii Fit also uses the Wii Balance Board for daily tests. These evaluate two key measures that a household can track via progress charts."

Sounds a bit bizarre huh? Those crazy Japanese!

Wii Fit Trailer

Will this kind of "gaming" go over here as well as it has in the land of the rising sun? I would be willing to bet that indeed it will given Nintendo's track record of reaching out to and capturing casuel gamers over the last year. Will this be a game and peripheral that I would purchase? Unsure; however, the prospect of leaning left and right on the Wii Balance Board heading down the ski slopes sounds promising.

Nintendo Wii in 2008 Part 1: SSB Brawl

Similar to what I did before the release of the Nintendo Wii last year I want to take a look ahead to the games of 2008. 2008 promises to be another banner "sold out" year for the Wii. It's hard to imagine that a new year can top the offerings of last with the likes of a Zelda game, a Metroid game, and a Mario game, not to mention countless other titles! We'll be discussing the projected major releases through the year in each post. First up, Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

Of course we have to start with what will be a monster release slated for March 9th. The third installment in the Smash Brothers series looks to be the biggest and best yet. If you're not familiar with the series it's basically a fighting game with a "king of the hill" mentality. Stay alive and deal as much punishment to your opponents to survive the round. Here's what IGN has to say about the title: "Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a brawling, battling, action-packed video game that features a varied roster of characters for four-player simultaneous melees! This Wii entry in the popular series features a number of new additions, including an Adventure Mode (with co-op play), a wealth of new characters and stages, and online combat for multiple players to face off against each other from anywhere!" So be prepared to round up some friends at home or online and duke it out using a completely customizable control scheme for your Wiimote, GameCube remote, or Wii classic controller.

You can brawl your way to victory with a wide assortment of Nintendo mascots including old favorites like Mario, Link, and Fox McCloud, as well as newly added brawlers like Pit from Kid Icarus who hasn't graced a Nintendo game in 15 years. What may be more exciting about the line up is the addition of characters not held by Nintendo, namely Solid Snake from the Metal Gear franchise and Sonic from the Sonic the Headgehog franchise.

The title has already released to long lines in Japan with an amazing sale through rate. The same should hold true here in the states where previous installments sold tremendously totaling over 10 million copies on the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube.

Super Smash Brothers Brawl Japanese Opening Cinematic

Super Smash Brothers Brawl Japanese Game Play

More information can be found here on the Wii Brawl page or here at the Smash Bros. Dojo.