Presented below is part one of the Wii Essentials, a guide for Wii gamers in their quest to sift through shovelware and below average titles and find the best games. Part one covers the best Platformer titles on the Wii.
Super Paper Mario
Super Paper Mario continues the Paper Mario saga, but this time around with more of an emphasis on platforming than an RPG affair. Players traverse as Mario across 32 levels broken down into eight chapters, making for a reasonably long game. Levels are left to right sidescrollers, similar to classic Mario titles. The new gameplay hook is Mario's ability to "flip" levels from 2D to 3D, which adds a z-axis and allows players to overcome dead ends and obstacles they couldn't get through in the 2D view. Super Paper Mario is also appealing graphically, with great "cartoonish" visuals. With unique platforming gameplay and some RPG elements in the game, Super Paper Mario is a platformer no Wii owner should miss.
Wario Land: Shake It!
The very first thing you'll notice about Wario Land: Shake It are the visuals -- everything is hand drawn, and looks excellent. In terms of gameplay, Wario Land: Shake It is very similar to Wario Land 4. It's a 2D platformer with an emphasis on combat and action instead of running and jumping. To progress through the game, Wario must collect various treasures and coins throughout levels to buy maps that unlock new levels and hidden areas. Enemies can be shaken for extra coins by giving a quick shake of the Wii Remote, which is where the game's namesake comes from.
LostWinds is a WiiWare platformer developed by Frontier. Players control a young boy named Toku as he tries to rid the land of evil with the help of Enril, a wind elemental. The graphics are all 3D and players progress through the world in 2D sidescrolling fashion with exploration like Super Metroid, but not nearly to that extent. The main pull to LostWinds is Toku's ability to control the wind. Players use IR to manipulate the wind, allowing Toku to breeze over gaps, move fire with gushes and much more as he gains powers from Enril as the game progresses. For being one of the first WiiWare titles and only $10, LostWinds is a steal.
LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias
LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias is the sequel to the original LostWinds, and is available on the WiiWare service at the same price point. The basic gameplay mechanics from the first game are present in LostWinds 2, except for the inclusion of seasons. Roughly similar to The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, LostWinds 2 allows players to change the seasons from summer/spring to winter. This adds a significant amount of difficulty and creative thinking in order to solve some of the game's puzzles.
The Best of the Best:
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy continues in the form of past 3D Mario titles. Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach and it's up to Mario to save the day -- but there's a twist; Bowser has gone into outer space! Mario must go through several galaxies and planets collecting Power Stars and coins, all on his way to Bowser. The amazing thing about Super Mario Galaxy, aside from the absolutely beautiful graphics and great musical score, is the gravity system. Mario can run all the way around planets, and the gravity will stay consistent throughout -- giving players the sheer atmosphere and presentation that they really are in outer space on these planets.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the sequel to the DS' New Super Mario Bros. This Wii sequel borrows heavily from the DS game's visuals, gameplay and level design. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, players once again take control of Mario on his adventure to rescue Princess Peach. This Mario title features classic 2D gameplay with a few added gameplay elements thrown in thanks to the Wii's motion sensing capabilities. New power-ups are also included to compliment the usual array of upgrades, one of them being the Penguin Suit. New Super Mario Bros. Wii's biggest selling point is the four player co-op: four players (on the same console) can play through levels together and can drop in and out at any time. The new element of cooperative play greatly adds to the fun factor of the game -- and makes it competitive as well.
Games on the radar:
- Cave Story
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Mega Man 10
Stay tuned for part 2! What are your favorite Wii platformers? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Check out Game Force Longmont for a great selection of used games.
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