Tiger Woods Makes a Boxer into a Golfer, Sega says no to M rated Wii titles, & The Return of NBA Jam? – Welcome to the column that was a smooth operator with Tom Gugliotta on his team known as Dare to Play the Game.
Another week with the Wii and I believe I have reached an understanding with the machine. Nintendo-made games & Virtual Console make me happy. Third party games to this point make me very sad. Puzzle Kingdoms remains one of the few games I have played and then promptly looked for the auction pile in hopes of never seeing that horrible interface for a game.
A harder Puzzle Quest by the same company should be a slam dunk. But unnecessarily using motion controls, making the text way too small to read correctly and confusing game mechanics make this a complete tragedy. All games should not feel obligated to use motion controls. Or at least if they do, also include the option to play with a classic controller.
I did try out another Wii game this week in the form of Super Mario Galaxy. This was the first time I really used the nun chuck. I actually liked the game a lot and will probably continue to play it. But the whole time I’m still thinking how much I would prefer to use the classic controller. At least with this game, the motion controls do not take away from the experience. Right now, I just finished the first couple of galaxies (yes I’m aware there are 40+ of them) and still taking time to get comfortable with the controls.
In tribute to Bayonetta coming out this week, I thought I would go find a picture of somebody dressing up as the witch with the beehive hair do. Supposedly that hair can do many things as transform into giant boots, fists or monsters that defeat the enemies. Interestingly enough, Maxim ran a contest not too long ago to find women who looked like the character. If this girl was a part of the proceedings, my guess is that she did very well.
Were you unenthused by the rumor that EA Sports new title would be an NFL-branded trainer for the Wii? You’ll like this one better. ESPN.com says the game will be an updated NBA Jam, for the Wii.
Citing “unnamed sources,” ESPN.com says EA Sports got the rights from the NBA to deliver an updated version of the arcade classic for retail release. The report adds that the game’s creator, Mark Turmell, has been hired on by EA Sports Canada to consult on the product.
NBA Jam was a wildly successful 2-on-2 basketball game first released by Midway to the arcades in 1993, and later ported by Acclaim to the Super Nintendo and Genesis. The success of EA Sports’ arcade-style titles for the NHL and NFL in the past year makes it a good bet they’d want to spin up an NBA offering sometime soon. The demise of Midway (and Acclaim back in 2004), also means the NBA Jam name is likely held by someone unlikely to develop it anytime soon, and probably happy to make a quick buck off the IP.
An EA Sports spokesperson told Kotaku the publisher wouldn’t comment on rumor or speculation – but did add the announcement is set for sometime next week.
I emailed contacts with EA Sports and the Vancouver studio to ask for comment. Anything they say will be updated here.
My fondest memory of NBA Jam is my first year of college and going into the student building (where they had the public cafeteria, p.o. boxes, bookstore, etc) and using my available quarters to play NBA Jam. I always posted some of the best scores since you could store your initials and your record in the game. I stuck to the Phoenix Suns (Charles Barkley) or Washington Bullets (Tom Gugliotta) primarily.
Of course those days faded and my last brush with the game was the Playstation 2 version that came out in 2004. I got to the last legends team but could never quite beat them since they scored on almost all possessions. I honestly can’t remember who I used without putting back in the game and finding the right memory card. You could easily say I’m something short of a NBA Jam aficionado.
So how do I feel about a new NBA Jam? If Electronic Arts does it right, it could be very awesome. Of course, only using the Wii platform is a cause for concern. Basketball in Wii Sports Resort is one of the most painful experiences I’ve encountered so far. Why? Cause I suck at basketball. I played one season of high school basketball. What was I good at? Rebounding and defense. That’s it.
That is one of the great things about NBA Jam or the 2k series both of which I played heavily. I didn’t have to be good in real life. But I was sure the heck good with a controller. However, I do have some decent hope with the game due to Mark Turmell being involved. He is certainly the boom shakalaka when it comes to the Jam franchise. Just no secret Obama character okay? Thanks.
One of the finishing screens from the original NBA Jam arcade game. It says that true NBA Jam Stars Stay Straight and Stay in School while showing two female cheerleaders. So how do you explain Kobe Bryant and Shaq O’Neal all these years? If that doesn’t say jilted lover’s quarrel between two men, I don’t know what does. (Yes, I went there)
The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports that an amateur boxer has become a promising golfer, and he owes some of that to a Tiger Woods<' video game. Usually, stories about people getting inspired by video games aren't this... positive. The newspaper tells the story of Joshua Anglin, who went 115-15 as an amateur boxer, but broke his hand five times. Boxing was not going to work out. Playing an unspecified version of Tiger Woods on an unspecified model of the Xbox, Anglin decided to trot down a new athletic avenue. From the paper: "I was a boxer my whole life," Anglin said. "I got hurt and played Tiger Woods golf one day on Xbox and thought it would be really fun. So I went out and played [on an actual course] and kind of got good at it quick." So good, in fact, that Anglin recently placed fifth in the annual Broward County Amateur Men's Golf Tournament at Jacaranda Golf Club in Plantation. His three-day 221 (74-72-75) was just four shots off the pace set by Fort Lauderdale's Jeffrey Walker. So, perhaps, games do inspire imitation in real life? Sometimes? Note to readers: The Jan. 3 Sentinel article does not appear to be on the newspaper's site yet.
I get a sprained ankle and I can hardly walk for several weeks. Nevermind a broken freaking hand. Chances are that he was very good at what he did, just not enough to break into the big time. But diversions, even in video game form can lead to other opportunities in the workplace. Anglin with his background as an athlete was able to successfully compete in a golfing tournament.
Does that mean I’ll be able to enter the PBA sometime soon due to my performance in Wii Bowling? Probably not. I do imagine that my normal game has picked up a few points in the process but not enough to where I can bowl professionally. Nor will I be fronting my own rock band anytime soon because of my impressive vocal scores in Rock Band 2. (though on a side note, I do dream about it *shrug*).
Basically, Anglin has a natural aptitude for golf and I do sincerely hope that his career as a golfer takes off. But it speaks some good volume that people do find things that are new but fun to do when they are off from their everyday job either due to injury or simply vacation. So the next time you are in a Gamestop, maybe you should pick up that CSI game. You never know…(heck all those spam emails can’t be wrong!)
Tiger at the Australian Open. My only question, is he playing the 9th or 18th ho? *dum dum dum* (What is with all of the sports jokes this week?)
Poor sales of MadWorld and House of the Dead: Overkill shook Sega’s resolve over mature titles for the Nintendo Wii, but it took an EA title to finally break the publisher’s enthusiasm for releasing adult Wii titles.
In late June of last year, Sega was fully prepared to continue gambling on mature Wii titles. In an August interview, comments from Sega West boss Mike Hayes suggested a wavering resolve, indicating that while “hardcore” titles were still a possibility, they wouldn’t necessarily be M for mature games. In the most recent edition of the 1UP podcast, Sega studio director Constantine Hantzopoulos says the publisher will “probably not” release further mature games for Nintendo’s platform, thanks to EA’s Dead Space Extraction.
“Look at Dead Space. We were stunned. That was my litmus test. Basically, it’s like, okay, you got EA, who can put all the marketing muscle behind this, an established franchise that scored quite well on 360 and PS3. They should be able to actually hit this out of the park, right? We get numbers, real numbers aside from NPD, and I’m like, ‘Woah’.”
And that pretty much puts the final nail in the coffin for mature Wii games. With Dead Space Extraction selling only 9000 copies in the first month of release, it seems the message is clear – the market just isn’t there.
Conception is everything. For a system like the PS3 or the 360, we have a tendency to see more M rated games, heck we almost expect it. If we wanted to play a kiddie game, we would then play the Wii. Hence the problem. Nobody that owns the Wii goes into a game store looking for a mature game.
If we see one like Dead Space Extraction, we simply ignore it and assume that it is an inferior port of the real thing. Think about it…I just purchased Dead Space for the 360 not too long ago for $15. Am I really going to tempt fate and pay $50 for what most of us would assume is a Wii port (it’s actually a prequel though)? Probably not.
For the original ips like Mad World, the audience is unfortunately not there. I have every intention to purchase it eventually but I’m certainly not actively seeking it out. The same could be said with the remake of Silent Hill aka Shattered Memories. It has received critical praise but hardly anybody knows it is out. Hopefully this changes in the future, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Besides earning the early reward for best game title in 2010, this game looks to show a lot of promise. This one will be a 2d side scroller and honestly looks a lot like Shadow Complex. Hazard will be going back in time and visiting his older games to prevent an evil corporation from destroying him. There will be several difficulty modes including Wussy, Damn This is Hard and F**k this S**t. I’m not kidding. The 1200 points are a little intimidating but might be well worth a try.
In what seems to be the week of 500 WiiWare point related games, the first one involves rubber duckies and a large steam engine. Odd fetishes (are there any fetishes that are straight ahead?) aside, there are four gauges which you will need to watch. When you connect the pipes, you will earn points and the pressure will be released a bit to keep the steam engine from overheating. Multiplayer co-op is also available to solve as many puzzles as you can.
Using the Wiimote and this game, you will be able to mimic classic dart throwing action and conquer this game. Included is several dart classic game formats like 501, Cricket, Around the Clock, Killers and Baseball. Multiplayer is a given and I would actually be interested in this as long as it was accurate. My only worry is that this doesn’t lead to any special accessories. The guaranteed hospital incident would only be 501 points away.
This could actually be called a VC game of sorts. It was released a long time ago in 1994 for a few of the console platforms. Later in 2004 it was released with mouse and light gun support and then updated for WiiWare release. The people behind it are the same people who did the Mad Dog McCree games. The point of the game is to defeat all of the foes which are a lot of corny Western stereotypical characters. At the end you will face a real fast draw champion in Wes Flowers. Probably worth the 500 points if you already have the right accessories.
One of the last SNES games to come out, this one has Guy and Haggar to battle the Skull Cross Gang (even tougher than the Mad Gear Gang). Detective Lucia Morgan and Dean Shepards will also join the fight as characters you can choose from. New abilities include dashing attacks and Street Fighter-esque combos. Six stages, each with their own boss and even choose your own branching paths are included in one of the last great beat-em-ups.
Divinity II: Ego Draconis
My Fitness Coach 2 Workout and Nutrition
Fast Food Panic
Dreamer: Zoo Keeper
I wouldn’t call it a return to normalcy but at least we have some games coming out this week in the form of Darksiders, Bayonetta, & Divinity II. Bayonetta looks slick and I actually have high hopes for the game since the director of the game also worked on Devil May Cry. The game uses melee and gun attacks similar to DMC (her guns are named Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme). It is oozing style and who doesn’t want to play as a hot witch who wears glasses?
In Darksiders, you take on the role of War; one of the four legendary Horsemen of the Apocalypse. For some reason the apocalypse has come a little early and War has to find out why. The final title, a 360 exclusive is interesting as it uses the same engine as Oblivion and Fallout 3. However, Divinity II needs to prove that they are simply more than a powerful engine.
So, in addition to trying out some Super Mario Galaxy, I went back and got some more achievements in WWE Smackdown vs Raw. I actually am only missing about 8 achievements but 460 points. But I did pick up a couple of 100 point achievements this week by gaining Hall of Fame Status with my created superstar and reversing a bunch of moves to gain another high point achievement. A thousand points is fairly unlikely but I will probably keep going at least until I get the remaining Road to Wrestlemania achievements.
At that point, I’m still looking at a bunch of 360 games on my plate including Dragon Age: Origins, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Wolfenstein and Grand Theft Auto IV. There are reasons to play all of them and honestly I don’t have a real clear favorite as to which one to go after next. On one hand, Grand Theft Auto IV calls to me because I have a gaping hole in my achievements and would like to see if the original is any better than the episodes.
Then there is Wolfenstein which in my opinion was very overlooked due to the release of Call of Duty MW2 & Halo 3: ODST around that time. Furthermore, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, I might actually be able to play with both Sarah and my friend Patrick. Finally, there is of course that little desire that I’ve wanted to at least try out Dragon Age: Origins for the last couple of month. So much that I have it as my wallpaper on my desktop at home and have read the prequel book.
Whatever I decide, I just hope to pick something I enjoy. Of course there is always World of Warcraft and I actually achieved a minor achievement in a level 61 dwarf priest (dual speced in Shadow and Discipline). Oh, btw…special shout out to my Sarah for making level 80 on her druid. It is her second eighty, but the first she leveled from 1-80. (her first 80 was a death knight). Congrats sweetie and enjoy the rest of the week kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)