Week: End Game: On 03.31.2012

Wii rules the weekend!

By Andrew Hsieh. Posted 03/31/2012 12:14 6 Comments     ShareThis

So there’s this new console coming out called Wii and apparently it’s got a bunch of games called Xenoblade Chronicles and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars, and people are playing them! It’s pretty cool and– hang on– okay, so, the rest of the staff is telling me that I’m a little confused. Apparently Wii has been out for a good five years now and people just think its games are still worth playing. Hey, I can live with that. Let’s find out what the staff is up to this weekend on Week: End Game: On!

Michael Contino

Two brand new Wii games have been sitting in my top drawer for weeks: GoldenEye 007 and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars. I bought the former once before and almost beat the single-player mode, never touching multiplayer. As for the latter, I wanted to pick this gem up two years ago but I never got around to doing so. This weekend I will sink my teeth into those and also start from scratch on New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Months have passed since I last played and I like to start fresh.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Pictured: a great reason to keep playing Wii.

Recently I bought the official Wii component cables. On top of that, I now have the Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Wii remote! Outside of Nintendo, I will be on Team Fortress 2. I am new to the game on PC as I used to play on Xbox 360. Most of all, I look forward to playing GoldenEye 007 again, this time with a Wii remote rather than a Classic Controller Pro. Allons-y!

Kyle England

I’ve been playing Kid Icarus: Uprising all week, and that’s what I’m gonna do this weekend as well! This game is simply superb, I don’t even know where to begin singing my praises for it. I could discuss how the action is some of the most intense I’ve ever seen in any game, let alone a portable title. Or I could mention how great all of the characters are, and how their back and forth banter has me laughing uproariously.

I’m still working on the main quest of Uprising, which is surprisingly long. I’m quite impressed with the scope and depth of the game’s story as well. I just expected it to be a silly little story that was an excuse for shooting stuff, but it’s quite interesting. Not that I’ll spoil it for anyone!

Katharine Byrne

I’ll be doing my best to resist playing more Xenoblade Chronicles this weekend, after briefly re-acquainting myself with it for an upcoming editorial. I just know that if I keep playing it I’ll be sucked into another five-odd months of non-stop Xenoblade, and while I’ll no doubt love every second of it, I’m getting increasingly concerned by my ever-growing back-log of games. I haven’t touched Half Life for weeks due to my prolonged second playthrough of The Last Story, I’ve still got a few stages left to go in Donkey Kong Country Returns, and I’ve got several more played and unplayed games still waiting in the wings. So many games, so little time!

If you haven’t played this game, just know that Katharine’s a masochist for playing.

Apart from Xenoblade though, what I have been playing this week is some more Bit.Trip Complete, and I’ve loved every second of it. Runner is still my favourite out of all six games, but I’m learning to love the others despite their ridiculous difficulty. Each one is just a single dose of pure, concentrated bliss, and they all take me back to a time where nothing but the pure joy of play really mattered. The music is the icing on the pixelated cake too, and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack sampler that came with it an awful lot recently at home.

I’m also trying to decide whether my next DS game should be Dragon Quest VI or Dragon Quest IX. Both of them are fairly recent acquisitions, but having never played a Dragon Quest game before I’m a bit stuck as to which one I should try first. Any thoughts?

Andrew Hsieh

I’ve been visiting my parents this past week, and was happy to note the presence of both their health (good) and my Wii console (fantastic). I normally live in an apartment devoid of both a television set and video game consoles, so I rarely get a chance to check out what’s new on Wii & Co.– though recently it hasn’t been too much of a problem because of all the stuff coming out on 3DS. In any case, this means that I finally got a chance to beat The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which I did indeed. What I’m happiest about though is that I can finally read all those interviews and editorials around that discuss spoilers in the game– which, all things considered, is one of my favorite parts of playing video games.

This is more relaxing than Delfino Isle ever could be.

While I’d love to stay in Skyloft to find some more Gratitude Crystals and Goddess Cubes, I’m probably going to play something this weekend that doesn’t involve me possibly getting carpal tunnel syndrome. (Another reason to hate you, Ghirahim!) Maybe I’ll try continuing my Hard Mode save in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Or maybe I’ll play some Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Actually, Katharine’s recent editorial really got me amped for playing My Life as a King again– and considering the sheer change of pace that’d be from Skyward Sword, that might just be what I’ll do.

Nicolas Vestre

After lots of fun and no small amount of frustration, I managed to score a gold crown above every microgame in WarioWare: Twisted! I don’t know if I ever achieved that back when I bought the game in 2005, but it’s said and done now. I’m a more than a little burned out from all the craziness, so I’m not going to try and get all the souvenirs.

Slowly but surely, I’m working my way through the time trials of Mario Kart 7 in the hopes of getting decent enough at every course to take my game online for some casual play. Using the Circle Pad is much easier for me than steering the Wii Wheel with Mario Kart Wii.

Hopefully I’ll make some progress in my Super Mario 64 file; currently I have just under fifty Power Stars. The most elusive one so far has been the 100-coin star in Hazy Maze Cave. I succeeded in getting 100 coins, but the star spawned above some wire mesh and I somehow fell into the giant hole below. I just about cried when that happened. Good news though– I found several blue coins that I was missing in the toxic maze! Now it should be relatively easy to get that star that’s been playing hard to get. Then I’ll go on to get several, much more easily obtainable, stars.

I started Donkey Kong Land 2 the other day, only to find out that the save battery had died! Now this was a copy I purchased off of eBay probably about two years ago, and it’s the last game of the Donkey Kong Country/Land trilogies that I have yet to complete. Interestingly my copy of Donkey Kong Land, which was the second Game Boy game I ever received back when I was seven, still holds a save to this day. Oh well– 3DS Virtual Console might have it some day, and I’ll be right there to download and conquer it.

Since my hopes of enjoying a Donkey Kong game this weekend went down the tubes, the next game in my queue is Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley for PSP. I’m only about six or seven game days in, and I can already tell that I’ll be hopelessly addicted to the farming life for weeks to come.

Kevin Knezevic

I’m still working my way through Kid Icarus: Uprising, trying to clear each stage on the highest intensity I can muster (which, admittedly, isn’t that high). I’m surprised by how long the game is; even some ten hours into it, it continues to introduce new characters and gameplay ideas to the mix. Not that I’m complaining, of course; this keeps the game consistently engaging, even if I routinely get my wings handed to me by some of the later stages. Still, I’m really enjoying my time with it thus far, and I look forward to continuing Pit’s adventure this weekend.

Beyond that, I also recently played through Journey on my PlayStation 3. To be honest, I was quite disappointed with it. After all of the praise it garnered, I was expecting the game to be near transcendent. In reality, it fell into the same pitfall so many other games of its ilk do: all style, no substance. Journey is gorgeous, to be sure, but you don’t really do anything in it besides walk. Even exploring the surrounding wastes offers no tangible rewards beyond increasing the length of the scarf, which you’ll quickly realize has no real bearing on the gameplay (sure, it increases the duration of your flight, allowing you to bypass certain platforms, but you’ll soon see– spoiler alert– that you automatically lose it in one of the stages, basically undermining your efforts to increase it). I’m still glad I got the chance to experience the game, but I can’t help but think it was a wasted opportunity.

What are you playing this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Responses to “Week: End Game: On 03.31.2012”

  • 276 points
    Nicolas Vestre says...

    My sister is a (really) huge Doctor Who fan, and she’d be so jealous that you have the Sonic Screwdriver Wii remote, Michael! :)

    Interesting thoughts on Journey, Kevin. I still feel somewhat compelled to download it some day though, even if it is all style and no substance. Actually I didn’t quite finish Flower yet, anyway.

    • 1 points
      Kevin Knezevic says...

      I can only recommend it if money is no object to you because it’s hard to justify spending $15 on something that short. There are a lot of neat ideas in the game (especially its approach to multiplayer), but it ultimately feels unfinished.

      I don’t know, maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t already played Dear Esther on my PC, which is conceptually similar to Journey (and, I’d argue, much more successful in realizing its vision). It’s probably because Dear Esther makes no pretense about what it is; while you can interact with the environment in Journey to solve some basic puzzles (giving you the impression that there’s a, you know, actual game beneath its stylized exterior), all you can do in Dear Esther is walk toward your destination (which is similarly looming in the horizon). This actually works to its benefit as you spend the entirety of the game exploring your surroundings, which are beautifully rendered and haunting in their mystique. The first-person perspective also adds a sense of intimacy to the experience, drawing you into the game in a way Journey simply isn’t able to. If you have a Steam account, I’d definitely recommend you purchase that one first.

      • 7 points
        Katharine Byrne says...

        Interesting comparison, Kevin. I haven’t played either yet (I doubt my laptop would be able handle Dear Esther) but really want to play both. I only had a quick glimpse at Journey at Eurogamer Expo last year– unfortunately didn’t have time to play it myself– but your thoughts intrigue me, especially as it seems like everyone is falling head over heels for Journey but being a lot more cautious about Dear Esther with all its “this isn’t really a game” warning signs… It will be interesting to see which one I prefer when I finally get round to them!

  • 1244 points
    lukas85 says...

    I’m playing the legend of zelda the minish cap, i have poured 21 hours into this game, trying to get every kinstone, figurine and piece of hearth before the end credits roll for the first time. this is my first 2d zelda game and i have to say that is just awesome, full of charm, complexity, amazing puzzles and cute artstyle. Now i get when someone says that the pinacle of zelda is a link to the past, theres some magic in those 2d sprites that you cannot feel in 3d, but my favorite zelda is ocarina of time, actually i dont think that any zelda , past or future will ever be as good as ocarina, but, thats just my opinion, of course.

    • 1332 points
      Andrew Hsieh says...

      Minish Cap is a great game that I still haven’t beaten on account of I Am Lazy. Same with Spirit Tracks. There’s just something about those portable Zeldas that never lets me finish them, I’m afraid :/

    • 7 points
      Katharine Byrne says...

      I replayed Minish Cap recently for the first time in several years, and I had forgotten just how great it is, so I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I think it’s actually more of the more difficult Zelda games, both in terms of its sidequests (finding all those kinstones is really quite tough!) and its main quest. I don’t often die in Zelda games, but Minish Cap got the best of me quite a few times…

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