By Stewie Sutherland
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 – 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
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
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).
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?
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! 😀 )