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Wei Man takes a look at what Nintendo's first- & second-parties have to offer

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// DS Lite
// King Kong
// Electroplankton
// Kirby: Canvas Curse
// WarioWare: Touched!

// 1st/2nd Parties
// E3 Surprises
// DS to Wii
// Wii Reaction
// The Difference
Wii Titles to Anticipate
Part 1

Red...Steel? Oh, I get it!

The First Samurai Red Steel is a Wii-exclusive first-person action game from Ubisoft set in current day Japan, revolving around the Yakuza, also known as the Japanese mafia. Red Steel revolves around both gun and sword play, and players will be driven to master both as they progress. The Wii's controller brings an immersive and innovative experience to players. The player can control the aim of a gun by pointing directly with the controller, which also allows them to hold guns normally or side-armed, depending on its angle of inclination. The sword is controlled directly by mimicking the actual motions of the controller, with certain actions allowing players to perform combo attacks. Additionally, gamers will be able to dodge behind objects or peek around corners on the fly through mere flicks of the nunchaku attachment towards the appropriate direction. Red Steel is slated to be one of the major third-party launch titles.

"Red Steel does not look to be your typical first-person shooter experience. The game is placing far more emphasis on fluidity of control and sophisticated enemy AI routines than ever before in a FPS game. Furthermore, in the world of Red Steel, honor is more important than anything else. Because of this, there is a heavy importance being placed on sparing one’s enemies in battle. Mercy will go a long way as far as building up your reputation in the Japanese underworld goes. All of these new gameplay ideas will only be augmented through the use of the free-hand controller (FHC), which will bring unprecedented levels of control to a genre that has recently become stale. This is a 3rd party title to keep your eyes on."
- Micah

"The FPS genre is a definite no brainer for Wii. Finally, there's a console game where gamers won't have to wait for the analog stick to push the crosshair to the target; finally, there's a console game where the gun can move as fast as our hand; finally, there's a console game where auto-aim isn't needed. Oh, and to make this really a winner, how many games actually let you roll a grenade under hand? Indeed."
- Wei Man

"How many times have you played a first-person shooter on a console and felt frustrated at the painfully slow sensitivity/turning circle you’re given? Sure, as a developer you can try make it go quicker, but it often results in awkwardness in fiddling with the control sticks. Red Steel will do the same for the Wii as Metroid Prime Hunters has done for the DS (albeit without the wrist cramp). Pin-point precision shooting is entirely up to you. You control the gun, and isn’t that the reason why we play these types of games anyway? Evolution is coming!"
- Darren

Let's see the evidence here: Game Informer had hands-on, it's a Wii launch title, and Ubisoft already announced that it'll make its debut at E3. Need I go on?

Morpheus! Whoa.

Rayman Raving Rabbids Revolution Ready to Roar

Rayman Raving Rabbids is the fourth installment of the acclaimed Rayman series. In Raving Rabbids, Rayman's world has been invaded by hordes of crazed rabbits and it is up to Rayman to get them out. But the Rabbids are a crafty bunch and come in various forms, thus Rayman will need to don a variety of disguises and mount on various creatures to capture them all. Rayman creator Michel Ancel, whose work also includes Beyond Good & Evil and Peter Jackson's King Kong: Official Game of the Movie, seems excited about the prospects for his newest creation.

"Michel Ancel seems back for the limbless wonder's fourth adventure after a hiatus from his third, and fans will love it. Imagine the worlds that can be conjured with crazy creatures to hunt down and steeds to ride. Picture the charming character interactions that may result from the costumes and the various eerie Rabbid invaders, each featuring unique personalities. With such tools, and Ancel by their side, the team at Ubisoft Montpellier seem set to deliver gratifying worlds in the Rayman universe. Plus Wii owners need not fret, judging by that little piece of artwork with the Rabbid and the "Wii remote," this isn't going to be glanced over potential."
- Wei Man

"The Rayman games have always been incredible. The worlds are always lush and vibrant and the gameplay varied and engrossing. Needless to say, there is no reason to assume that this game will be any different. Additionally, Raving Rabbids is set to be a launch title for Wii which would really do a whole lot to round out the launch line-up. Despite the fact that the game is headed to other consoles in addition to Wii, I see no reason why the game shouldn’t end up being amazing. "
- Micah


It's supposed to be a launch title for Wii, and it's supposed to release across various platforms in time for the holidays. Guaranteed to show up, just the question on whether or not the Wii version will. But the pictures that Ubi sent out seem like a good sign.

Grasshopper Manufacture

Not much is known about this game, besides the fact that it will be headed to Wii and will be revealed at E3. This is the pet project of the man responsible for the dark, bizarre and stylish GCN/PS2 title Killer 7, Suda 51. The game will be built exclusively for Wii and promises to utilize the controller to its fullest, all the while featuring a complex, mature-oriented storyline.

SUDAWUDA "Despite the fact that nothing is known about this game, I am still majorly stoked. Killer 7 was an amazing experiment in gameplay and storytelling techniques, and it is exciting to think about the possibilities of a Wii game designed by the same team. The promise of a dark and deep experience is enough to keep me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what Suda 51 has in store."
- Micah

"Killer 7 placed story before gameplay, an odd direction to take in videogames. But Suda 51's style of simple and quick gameplay suits the Wii's controller, allowing him to create something intuitive yet fun to go along with his complex stories and themes. The off-the-wall game designer has already claimed that this game will take full advantage of the controller and exceed Killer 7. We don't know what it is yet, but I think it's safer for our minds to let him show us than to guess what he's doing."
- Wei Man

According to Advanced Media Networklink this game is confirmed to be there, but likely in video form only. Case closed.

Crystal Clear

Crystal...Shiny Despite being one of the first officially-announced Wii titles from all the way at E3 of last year, barely anything is known about this game. It is a sequel to the GameCube game of the same name and promises to offer Wi-Fi multiplayer. The original Crystal Chronicles allowed up to four players to adventure together in a large, open world, with hours of dungeon-crawling, co-operative environments and item-hoarding to be had. A DS sequel is also in the works, although there is no word as to whether the two games will connect to each other in any way.

"There were few party games on the Gamecube which were as addictive as Crystal Chronicles. Sure, the game may have turned off many die-hard Final Fantasy fans due to its hollow, empty single-player gameplay, but that did not take away from the depth and balance of the multiplayer mode. If the Wii sequel can improve upon the formula of the original and add some compelling content to the single-player mode, then this will be a game to look out for."
- Micah

"I actually played through the GCN version of this game in single-player mode, and liked it even then. Despite requiring multiple Game Boy Advance systems to access, I did get a little taste of its multiplayer mode. It did feel like a totally different experience, albeit also a positive one, and felt like what the game was specifically made for. With the Wii version, I highly look forward to playing online with three other people on Wi-Fi. Also, considering the GCN game looked stunning, I expect no less from the Wii version, and anticipate it to take full advantage of the system's undoubtly advanced effects engine."
- Farid

Iwata revealed that Square-Enix was working on it last E3, but the DS version was announced back in 2004 and there's still no sign of it. Really big question mark here.


Smashy Smashy

This sequel to Nintendo's immensely popular mascot brawler was one of the few games announced at E3 2005, then said to be arriving on Wii around the system's launch. The series' creator Masahiro Sakurai, who left Nintendo years ago, has also returned to take control of the helm for this highly-anticipated title. Online multiplayer has been confirmed, so all that is left to see is just how the game will make use of the Wii's unique controller.

"Super Smash Brothers: Melee was not only the best launch title for the Gamecube, but one of the greatest games released in the console's entire lifespan. This game will offer more of what made Melee so great, while also adding a whole lot of newness to the formula. No one knows anything about how the game will play, but there is a likelihood that Nintendo may forgo the traditional 2D gameplay in favor of 3D bouts. The ease of use of the FHC could allow for a 3D Smash Brothers game that retains the same frenetic pace of the originals. At any rate, this game is sure to be a scorcher."
- Micah

"I'm wondering whether what Micah mentioned will actually happen. I personally don't foresee just another upgrade of Super Smash Bros. For Melee, Nintendo took the N64 game and practically, and rather exponentially, upgraded every aspect of it. More characters, more levels, more moves, more unlockables, more reward. Basically more, and arguably better, everything. I don't expect the same for the Wii version.

Sure, we can have 50 characters, 37 levels and 500 trophies, but I figure Nintendo might indeed try and re-invent the franchise. This would be dangerous territory, however, as it could lead to being the biggest gamble of all their upcoming Wii games, considering the series' popularity. If they meddle around with the SSB formula too much, fans of the series might not take it too well, and the highly-anticipated Wi-Fi play would in part be ruined. Hopefully Nintendo can find a way to freshen the series while keeping the formula that makes it so damn fun.
- Farid

"Two words buzzing on everbody's mind: "on" and "line." This is without a doubt a showcase for Nintendo's Wii online service. Groups of four players, though hopefully even more, will connect and be battling it out across the globe. Whether or not Nintendo chose to use their "shell" to allow for familiar control is remained to be seen. They can either stick to the well-known button combination or test the players with certain physical gestures to perform the different array of moves. Having more characters is a possibility, but how many more can they feature without having a few of them be copies of each other like we saw in Melee? Despite that fact, I still hope for Wario and Waluigi to make an appearance. Who wouldn't want to see those scrap it out against rivals Mario and Luigi?"
- Darren


The studio where the game is being developed hadn't opened its doors until last October. But series creator Masahiro Sakurai has been at the helm since around E3 2005, and who knows when the preliminary team started actual work. Plus, Iwata seemed intent on getting the game out at or near launch at last year's E3 conference. It's going to be on the show floor, count on it.

PART 1 - PART 2 - PART 3

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