ALTERNATIVE MUSINGS – 2010: Nintendo’s Striking Year

By Stewie Sutherland

nintendo-logo

Frequent readers of Alternative Magazine Online know that we do our best to cover all mediums when it comes to games. Duncan has put some of the Xbox 360’s best games under the microscope, while Matt researches hot portable and PC titles, and our editor and site owner Marty has reviewed some of the Playstation 3’s must-have titles this year. This usually leaves yours truly covering the Nintendo side of things (though now that Marty has gotten himself a brand new Wii, I might just convert him yet!) and it’s a job I enjoy quite a bit!

That said, we’ve only got a few short weeks until Christmas ’09, so most people already have their shopping lists sorted. Yep, it’s that magical time of the year where toy ad’s run around the clock, people meet with their strange elderly relatives they see once every two years and in my house, the electric bill soars from putting up too many lights. Still though, if you’re a fan of Nintendo’s stronger names, then 2010 will be a big year. (And not just because we can stop saying that really long “two thousand and…” biz).

tales-of-monkey-island

Tales of Monkey Island – WiiWare

All of us here at AMO are huge fans of TellTale Game’s episodic take on LucasArt’s Monkey Island world. We might be following the PC releases with Marty’s reviews and interviews, but I don’t mind admitting that I first played it after downloading it from the Wii Shop Channel. If you have too, you’ll be excited to know that the last chapter we’ve been building up to will be gracing our Wii game screens early next year.

Keep a look out for Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God! It’s sure to be a point and click masterpiece as plucky pirate hero Guybrush Threepwood takes on the biggest baddie the seven sea’s have ever seen!

Legend of Zelda Wii – Nintendo

zelda_link The still unnamed title aside, rumours have been flying about this one for months now. I’ve heard of plots including a steam punk city before leading to the great flood of Wind Waker, to stories of the game being split into two tales of two heroes (and only one of them being our long-eared Link).

There really aren’t a lot of details on it, except that creator Miyamoto is considering giving the title MotionPlus support and the team is experimenting with dungeon designs. Ever since Ocarina they’ve been getting trickier, smarter and deeper, so topping yourself each time has to take a lot of effort and it sounds like the Zelda Team are working on doing just that. 2010 is the earliest time it will appear, but exactly when hasn’t been said. Grab a copy of Zelda: Spirit Tracks from Santa this Christmas to help tide you over until then.

Metroid: Other M – Team Ninja

samus What to say about Team Ninja? There’s no way I’ll get away with saying this without copping some flak but I’m not much of a fan. They do put a lot of time and work into making their games some of the sharpest and most stunningly rendered on Earth, but they’re just as well known for having AI’s that can rob a game of it’s fun. (I’ve heard a few horror stories of people breaking controllers in a rage from Dead or Alive 4 and as funny as their female characters can be, Samus Aran with a giant balloon-like bust doesn’t work).

That said, Team Ninja are working closely with Nintendo to deliver an “unparalleled Metroid experience” and the first development screens are truly impressive. The info so far is that the game will feature both 2D and 3D elements, with the same acrobatic moves that Samus usually keeps for in game cut scenes.

Other M will also expand upon the Metroid’s back story and Samus’ own history and feature the first real dialogue from the space-suit clad bounty hunter (not counting her rather sexy taunts in Smash Bros. Brawl). I’ll be keen to hear more details about this project (if only to put my own fears to rest).

mario

Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Nintendo EAD

NOW we’re talking! No matter who you are or what you play there’s no denying it: Super Mario Galaxy is one of the best games around. Set against the space station / telescope of newcomer Princess Rosalina, Mario (and even Luigi) took to the stars in style, once again chasing down the brawny baddie Bowser.

A stunning 3D platformer, Galaxy had everything that made a Mario game great: zesty locations, characters, co-op and action. A traditional game, it made room for the Wii’s motion sensing and aiming smoothly and the entire soundtrack is stunningly performed by a full symphony orchestra. It’s no wonder that Mario’s coming back a second time.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 will feature the return of Nintendo’s lovable dinosaur Yoshi, and the game is said to have an amped up difficulty. New features and powers will be available, with a mere 5% being carried over from the previous game (such as the Bee Suit), but no returning galaxies. Miyamoto revealed in 09’s E3 expo that they’ve been working on this one for quite a while and it’s very far ahead. If you haven’t played the first one yet, go out now, buy it and enjoy one of the greatest games of the last few years. Then sit back and wait eagerly for the second. (The trailer never get’s old!)

Nintendo Wii 2?

wii Well, here’s an interesting story that’s gaining momentum. The Nintendo Wii is just above par with a PS2 and the original Xbox graphics-wise 99% of the time. It’s been built to focus solely on its motion sensing abilities and having a fun new interface than the power and graphics of the newer consoles.

But a few leaked stories on the internet say that Nintendo might have been working on a second machine the entire time. While it’s still unconfirmed, there’s been talk that the new Nintendo console will have full HD graphics and support Blu-ray games.

Again, this is speculation and rumours (on the internet, no less) and Nintendo have denied that they’re working on a new console just yet, though Miyamoto has admitted that “…because we found this [motion sensing] interface to be so interesting, I think it would be likely that we would try to make that same functionality perhaps more compact and perhaps even more cost-efficient”. (http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4334387.html)

So, there’s the pick of the hot crop, and it looks like Nintendo will be making 2010 a very good year indeed doesn’t it? (Plus, isn’t it fun to say twenty-ten! 😀 )

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “ALTERNATIVE MUSINGS – 2010: Nintendo’s Striking Year

  1. Lunar

    On the Wii2 rumours, i’ve heard that Nintendo will be releasing a HD version of the current console, with a cheap upgrade option for those who already have the common or garden version.

    Games wise i’d have to add Silent Hill: Shattered Memories to the mix. It looks superb and is hopefully going to be one of the games for the more hardcore audience that actually *sells*.
    If Konami’s title does to well, perhaps it will tip the hat to the likes of Capcom to try a new Resident Evil game beyond lightgun funs.

    • The rumours of that machine certainly are scarse. Owning a HD cable for the Wii I can promise, it doesn’t do alot to improve it, aside from letting me hook my TV to one of the 2 HD ports so I have a channel reserved just for that.

      I didn’t throw Silent Hill and the like into this short list either partly because it will be more of a Sony game, being released on the PS2 and PSP. Primarilly the reason though is when it comes to the spooky titles I’m really just not much of a fan. Capcom have cornered the market there between Resident Evil and they’re Zombie-filled Dead Rising games, and it’s certainly a market for many people. This coming year however I think I’ll skip those ones again.

      • Marty Mulrooney

        Resident Evil has sadly become a shadow of its former self. It was never about the gameplay for many people (hence readily putting aside the tank controls when for other games we wouldn’t have), it was more about the locations, atmosphere and characters. Resident Evil 4 and 5 are fun, I liked them… but they aren’t really Resident Evil. To get the old feeling back, I would have to replay the remake of the first on Gamecube (I plan to on my Wii soon) or even better, Resident Evil 2, which was just plain brilliant upon release (it arguably still is).

        Silent Hill on Wii does look fab though. I am unsure how much it will have changed from the original on PS1, but at least graphically, it looks like a huge, respectful step up. Good use of motion controls could easily elevate this above the PS2 and PSP versions as well. We shall see!

  2. Lunar

    Hi again gentlemen^-^

    Stewart, perhaps the rumours regarding the HD Wii are that they will up the resolution for that version of the console. I’m not massively tech-y, but remember seeing the games upscales on a PC in a few articles on N4G and maybe that is what could be on the cards?

    In all honesty I do think Silent Hill deserves being thought of as “More than a Sony game”. Whilst I can see that the game is getting a PS2 and PSP release, the Wii version is the lead development platform and the game itself designed primarily to be more because of the Wii-mote.

    Having a wander around the release dates it seems like the Wii is going to have a huge first quarter of 2010.
    The aforementioned horror title is joined by Monster Hunter 3. Certainly it’s never been as huge in the west as the sheer phenomenon that it is in Japan, but this really is a huge title to be snared for the Wii alone. I’ve played some of the last PSP game and enjoyed it for then most part, but can only imagine how much more intuitive the experience will be when actually whacking chunks out of the beasts in a much more ‘real’ time.
    Also, Final Fantasy: Crystal Bearers looks like a little treat. I really like the trailer, which suggests it will be a lot of fun and looks more like an actual FF game than it’s predecessors. The first time a Final fantasy game has been developed specifically for the Wii and from the looks of the game itself it seems to have ambitions above and beyond the common or garden Crystal Chronicles fare.

    The only ‘shame’ for me within these releases are that they will come around the same time as Final Fantasy 13 arrives on PS3/360 [depending which version I get], which I will play to pieces.
    For Wii owners it’s fabulous to have three big titles coming out so early in the year. And for game lovers as a whole, it’s rather delicious to be spoiled for choice at such a time when games releases usually dry up completely.

    Oh and Marty, I have Resident Evil 0,1,2,,3,4 on ‘Cube and was looking forward to going through those blighters on Wii as well.
    I have been a HUGE Resi fan in the past, but really hated the demo of 5, so never bought it. It just felt a world more cumbersome than 4 did on Cube and, well, not right. :/
    Has anyone played the tweak of 4 on Cube with the motion controls?

    Pleasure sharing ideas with you both ^-^

    • I used to own RE4 for the Wii, after a work friend had me play RE4 for the PS2. Now, I cannot stress enough how much I’m against anything to do with horror. I can understand that some people enjoy the being scared with the safety of of it being a movie or a game but it’s never sat well with me. that said, RE4 was actually pretty adrenalin-boosting, and I played it from start to finish. When I played the Wii version of it, the controls made it very difficult. (I mentioned in the Matroid Trillogy review that it can take awhile to train yourself to respond to some motion sensor controls.) I managed to get a few levels into it before I just stopped. The controls wern’t getting much easier and when I looked at it from a distance, I already knew what was going to happen in the story. “So why am I playing something that has shambling melting corpses moaning and stalking towards me?” I later gave the game to EB for store credit.

      Sorry to dissappoint but spooky/horror stuff just rubs me the wrong way. If Marty has played and enjoyed Silent Hill I do think he’d be better to talk to about it than me. As for FF13, I’ve heard there’s going to be a few differences between the different versions so I may just bite a $200 bullet and get both.

  3. Lunar

    No need to apologise Stewart, certain games and genres for certain people absolutely.
    Goodness knows there have been a few games that have been reviewed to the high heavens this year which i’ve really disliked.

    I agree that RE4 seemingly swapped horror for pure adrenalin – and even though it’s been a few years since i’ve played it there are still so many moments that I remember.
    My biggest Xmas memory of recent years was of having had *way* too much chocolate, playing the game on a complete sugar high way past the point i’d previously been stuck on, but .. oh my ‘Mike The Helicopter Guy. *sob*. We were going to have a beer! XD

    FF13 it seems interesting the amount of PS3 fans that are laying into the fact that the 360 version will come on a yet unspecified amount of dvds. Missing the point entirely that these dvds can be put to hard drive immediately and .. there have been some really memorable disc swap moments in the old PS1 games. Balam Garden lifting off in FF8 springs instantly to mind ^-^

    • Ah yes, at the moment Ive been playing Star Ocean 4, 3 discs to swap around for the 360. Im looking forward to FF13 purely because its a game that ENDS. For the better part of 5 years, my MMO of choice has been FF11, which is pretty much being remade for PS3 and PC as FF14 (so hard to keep up with it). It looks spectacular but it’s also a nail in number 11’s coffin. So much time and energy only to have to start over…

      As for my Christmas story, my favourite games of all time are Banjo Kazooie and Tooie. Last year, Rareware finally came back to release the next part, Nuts and Bolts. I played it for a solid week before completeing it fully – then I was just dissappointed that it hadn’t taken as long as I wanted, haha.

  4. Lunar

    What do you make of Star Ocean 4?
    I have it, haven’t played it beyond trying to do something on the training sequence which seemed like ‘a living impossibility’
    S.O. 1 & 2 I’m adoring on PSP however.

    • It’s very polished but it’s very, very slow at the start. The cast is over-all more enjoyable too than Til the End of Time, and the cutscene’s don’t go near as long either. (Having to endure 30 minutes story movies took alot from previous games). Welch Vineyard and her item creation is just too much fun to pass up though, this time around she’s completely hyperactive and her private action event’s are worth watching over and over again.

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