Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gaming Overload, Part Two

Cici and Karen were asking me about what kinds of games were good on the Wii and DS. In general, if it's not developed and/or published by Nintendo, it's iffy. My work with Nintendo World Report and various other gaming websites have taught me this. However, two games are coming out today, in fact, which were neither published nor developed by Nintendo. They are both going to be great games, and I'm actively trying to get my editors at NWR to send me review copies.

You Wii fix can be satiated with Sega's House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return. You may remember the House games from your local arcade, when arcades were still around. Indeed, the first two games in the series were staples of the arcade scene. The second game found a new home on the Dreamcast, while the third was released exclusively on the original Xbox. As you might gather from the game's name, House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return is basically a port of 2 and 3, but on a single disk. If you liked last year's Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, then you should know that House of the Dead is its ancestor.

While very little (if anything) has been changed in this new port, Sega did make some improvements. For one thing, it's incredibly easy (and fun) to duel-wield Wii Remotes and essentially play a two-player game by your lonesome. Of course, having a friend over is also a lot of fun. More impressively, Sega managed to introduce, for the first time on the Wii, an IR calibration setting. Basically, you "shoot" at the corner of your screen, which allows the game to figure out what the middle is in proportion to the onscreen activities. Although you would think that such a setting would be commonplace in IR games, it is entirely absent in Link's Crossbow Training, Umbrella Chronicles and even Ghost Squad. They might not be very deep games, but House of the Dead is pretty much where it's at for zombie-shooting fun.

For your DS needs, Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword hits shelves today as well. Developed by Team Ninja and published by Tecmo, Dragon Sword is by the same people who did, predictably, the Ninja Gaiden games on Xbox and PS3. They bring the same visual flare to the DS, and have implimented a unique and fast-paced stylus-only control scheme. Slashing, tapping, and sliding the stylus around the touch screen results in a variety of ninja-esque motions from your onscreen avatar. I've heard the game is quite short, but unlockable content could give you reason to play through it multiple times.

Thankfully, I just finished Patapon, but I'm still playing it. I've only scratched the surface of Super Smash Bros. Brawl (how many trophies can there BE?), but happily I pretty much completed all of God of War (except for the frustrating Challenges of Hades). If I end up with the two games outlined above...yikes. I've gotta get some art show work done!!!

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