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Wii Entertainment Games

Are Third-Party Wii Games Finally Coming Into Their Own? 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the insert-generic-wii-pun-here dept.
Gravy Monkey writes "It's not too difficult to criticize the quality of many third-party Wii games — whether they're unique titles, bad licenses or lazy ports to the new system. However, will this change as more quality third-party games appear on the Wii? Recently, Wiiware title 'Lost Winds' picked up some great reviews, as did the Blastworks game. The recent review of a new game called Order Up on IGN caught my attention because they praised it as the way all casual games should be made. Is this the beginning of a new era for Wii games where quality casual games from third parties manage to grab the attention of both mainstream and hardcore gamers alike, instead of being a console where only first-party titles sell?"
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Are Third-Party Wii Games Finally Coming Into Their Own?

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  • by MrMage (1240674) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @12:02PM (#24626801)
    Yes! I didn't even Steven Spielberg could make games, though the combination of him and EA was remarkable.

    Creative gameplay, excellent controls, and terrific physics, it alone has given me hope for third party titles.
  • Lost Winds... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Saturday August 16, 2008 @12:17PM (#24626891)

    Lost Winds was fantastic, I can't wait for the sequels.

    If you haven't seen it, it makes great use of the Wii "wand," it's one of those games that'll only work on the Wii until the other companies start copying that functionality. I highly recommend it.

    It's was very short, but then that makes it a manageable download, and it was only $10.

  • half the time when doing the 'remove a block' game types, it isn't able to determine where you're pointing, so the cursor will flicker erratically across the screen.

    It sounds like you have a problem with your sensor bar. There are two common issues/fixes:

    1. The sensor bar is too far back on the television. When you move the remote in certain directions, it can no longer "see" the IR LEDs. Try moving the sensor bar such that the black "glass" (for lack of a better term) is protruding over the edge of your TV.

    2. There are other IR sources in your room. Some lightbulbs cause this problem, as do decorative lights like Christmas lights. (Dude, what are those still doing up in August?!?! :-P) Try turning off the lights in the room (especially decorative lights) and see if that helps. If it does, use the "Sensitivity" setting in the Wii settings menu to adjust how well the remotes "see" IR.

    Hope that helps! :-)

  • Good games for the Wii have been around for a while. They just don't get a lot of attention. Certainly, there are the first party games, but -- while they are high quality -- I actually find them to be less interesting than some of the third party titles.

    Let me pull a few examples from my shelf/drive:

    • Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection
    • Zack and Wiki
    • Toki Tori
    • Wild West Guns
    • Geometry Wars Galaxies
    • Ghost Squad
    • Metal Slug Anthology
    • Guitar Hero III
    • Defend Your Castle
    • Star Soldier R
    • Lost Winds
    • Red Steel (Yeah, I liked this, hated Raving Rabbids. Go figure.)

    That's just what I can remember off the top of my head. If you include second part titles, you can also throw in some great games like Excite Truck, Super Paper Mario, and several other strong contenders. A few other third party titles I'm excited about that I haven't gotten yet include:

    • Elebits
    • Blast Works
    • Boom Blox (of course)

    Though one interesting problem I've noticed is that third parties tend to price their games WAY too high. Games that cost $20 or less on the PS2 (e.g. The Star Trek game) cost $30 on the Wii. Almost no one values such budget titles that highly. I honestly think that's what happened to Boom Blox as well. Great game, but overpriced for the market. Everyone wants it, no one shells out the dough.

    That's probably why Majesco (smartly) slashed prices on Blast Works [wiimedia.com] and Taito decided to make Space Invaders: Get Even only 500 points [wiimedia.com]. Of course, the latter is actually a ripoff in disguise, so I imagine the market will get cautious and not buy even the good titles once they're affordable. (Thanks a lump, Taito.)

  • What happened was that most companies saw the Wii as an "also ran" once again. The XBox barely beat out the Gamecube lastgen (both getting their asses handed to them by the PS2). So, when Nintendo said "less power more immersive", the developers scratched their heads then "ooh"ed and "aah"ed over PS3 and 360 graphics. As with most of the market, they were thinking only of the core market (14-25 males) and what they would bring.

    (It should be noted that the DS was only coming into its own right leading up to the Wii's launch, so the whole "it prints money" thing hadn't connected yet.)

    Fast forward a year after release. 360's numbers are still looking alright, but Sony can't give away PS3 consoles (which were free with any HDTV purchase above a grand at many stores for a while). Wii, in the mean time, either has already surpassed the 360 in sales or is set to do so in a month or two's time, despite having a year's handicap. Suddenly, developers are going "oh shit" and want to jump on the money train. They see the success of games like Wii Sports (duh, as it's packaged with the Wii), Wii Play, and Rayman Raving Rabbids (which is quite fun) and think "We an pump out a bunch of minigame games". So we get isles of shovelware for Wii Year 2. In this time we get a bunch of good games as well, but it's starting to suffer the same way the PS2 did.

    But we're coming up on Year 3 and it seems that a lot of companies are announcing original properties or new titles for the console. We have MadWorld [sega.com], Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World [wikipedia.org], The Conduit [ign.com], and Fatal Frame (4): Mask of the Lunar Eclipse [ign.com]. For the casuals, there are plenty of other enticing options, such as Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party [gamespot.com], Wii Music [nintendo.com] (along with other Nintendo Wii titles), and Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 2 [gamespot.com]. At the same time, the Wii is becoming more than an afterthought. For instance, Rock Band 2 will not be crippled [wired.com] like the original Rock Band Wii was.

    I think, though, that Year 3 will not be the year of casuals, as that's more of an over-arching thing, partly because casual gamers are far more likely to buy older titles they haven't played or only rented/borrowed before, whereas "core" gamers are much more likely to stick with new releases. Instead, a trend that I see developing for late Year 3/early Year 4 is ports, either straight or enhanced. We've had Resident Evil 4 and Okami, as well as other titles like House of the Dead (2 & 3). Capcom has announced Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop [gamespot.com] and Sega has Samba de Amigo [gamespot.com]. Only two titles, sure, but as Wii sales continue on their steady pace (and stores continue to sell out), more and more developers are going to reach into their catalog of PS2, XBox, and Dreamcast games and grab some of the more popular titles to bring to the Wii. Because the expectations lower, they won't need to spend much time ramping up graphics, and by this point many studios have gotten good with applying the Wii controls. Throw in a bit of extra content here and there, price it at $30 or $40, and you have an easy seller.

    Nintendo did have a bad E3 (I mean, wow), but this allows 3rd parties to step up not just for casual gaming, but for the core market as well. Over time some of those casuals will come over to the dark side, spurring "core"

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson

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