WiiWare

Nintendo gets ready to unleash its downloadable games service, is your fridge ready?

     In just a couple of days Nintendo will finally release its long awaited addition to the Wii Shop channel, it’s called WiiWare. WiiWare is a downloadable games service which provides games made specifically for the Wii system, unlike the already established “Virtual Console” which offers games from classic consoles instead. With the launch of WiiWare Nintendo seems to be trying to change the tides of the downloadable game market as many independent developers have come out to sing the praises of the service in comparison to competitors offerings like “Xbox live Arcade” (XBLA) or the “Playstation Network Store”. This seems to be a direct result of Nintendo trying to make it as easy as possible for small developers to get a chance to put their game on the service. 

     Case in point, World of Goo. World of Goo is an intriguing looking construction, puzzle game that is coming from some incredibly humble roots. The game is being developed by 2D Boy and was designed by Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel and I’ve heard that the two aforementioned men are the bulk of the team developing the game. Despite this World of Goo seems to be on track in becoming a launch day title for WiiWare in the U.S. this Monday and to top it all off the game looks awesome! The whole concept seems very fun, you essentially use different types of “Goo” balls to build structures that allow you to progress through the level. It seems to be incredibly physics heavy as you may expect from a game based on construction. I think the best way to get an idea of what World of Goo is about is to see it in motion. So, check out the video below.

     But World of Goo isn’t the only thing that should have you excited about WiiWare. From Frontier Developments, creators of the Thrillville games, comes Lost Winds, one of the most anticipated WiiWare games yet. The premise is simple yet unique. You play Toku, “a young boy who is the only one who can help you release the curse placed upon the world of Mistralis by evil Balasar” and you also have the wind spirit Enril as your companion throughout the journey. Enril helps Toku by using his wind powers to attack enemies, effect the environment, and even help Toku jump higher and glide with his cape. The catch, You play as both Enril and Toku at the same time — controlling Enril with the Wii-Remote pointer and Toku with the nunchuck’s analog stick. I have to say this one has me the most pumped, as it reminds me of Kirby Canvas Curse from the DS combined with a style that feels reminiscent of, though notably different than Okami. The game seems to run at a slow pace from the look of early videos, but the combination of that and soothing japanese’esque music seems to make for an incredibly relaxing yet fun gaming experience. 

      And finally we have the big guns. One of the first, officially announced WiiWare games came from respected developer Square-Enix. When they revealed this game they put to rest a lot of the worries surrounding the service pre-launch that it would be home to stripped down mini-games with archaic graphics. The game, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, takes the action RPG setting of FFCC and turns it into a city building fantasy adventure. In the game you play the role of a young king who has recently taken over, for all intents and purposes, an empty kingdom. You must build up your kingdom from scratch by using your magic, building creation powers to attract citizens, whom you can send to do your bidding in dungeons. However you never really get in on the action and take on the dungeons yourself, rather you take a more administrative role in assuring that your warriors are well equipped and experienced enough to take on the threats to your kingdom. The whole thing just screams addictive. I can already anticipate myself spending hours on day one with this game — and many days to come for that matter.


 

      There’s a lot to look forward to Wii owners, with many notable WiiWare games on the horizon. Like High Voltage Software’s shooters “Gyrostar” and “Animales De La Muerte”, as well as Nintendo’s own “Dr. Mario”.  only one question remains, Is your fridge clean enough for all this great content? In other words, do you have enough memory left on your Wii to even get to play these games. Even with Nintendo’s 43MB file size limit, these games are going to put a strain on your systems meager 512MB of memory. I’ve already dumped my VC games in anticipation, and to bring you, the reader a Lost Winds review on Monday! I’ll see ya then.

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