Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Q3 2010 gaming report - Nintendo Wii and DS

Nintendo continues to rollout a ton of games on both the Wii and DS and while there are a number of throw away type of titles there are quite a few gems mixed into the bunch. The secret is knowing which games rock and which should be avoided. For the third quarter of 2010 both the Wii and DS had strong showings. Just how strong and are they in line with prior quarters in the types of games released, let’s take a look. 

Nintendo Wii – Traditional games! An RPG, new Metroid and some side-scrolling action … yup it’s true, the Wii is getting titles that continue to be family friendly but will please the ‘hardcore’ gamer. A traditional J-RPG, LoTR adventure and some Great One sports action surround a new Samus adventure. 
  • Club Penguin Game Day! - Collections of mini-games on Wii are in no short supply but ones with the backing of a solid online franchise are. Club Penguin is fun for all ages (cliché but true) and offers up plenty of reason to play for fans of Club Penguin. 
  • The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest - Aragorn, keeping Middle-earth relevant with a solid action adventure game that looks and controls well on the Wii and will please franchise fans. The cartoony look works surprisingly well except for spiders, spiders are just gross. 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold - The Videogame - This side perspective 2D adventure feels more like a downloadable game but it delivers excellent gameplay, vivid graphics and great voice acting. For DC comic fans this is the Wii title to own with a large cast from the animated adventures. 
  • NHL Slapshot - Besides a great commercial, NHL Slapshot offers up fun arcade hockey with the Great One as its headliner. Perfect for the simpler style of play on the Wii. 
  • Metroid: Other M - Adding more to the history of Samus, Other M mixes in 3D gameplay and first-person shooting segments that are both brilliant and grand to play while also frustrating at times. Not to be missed by Metroid fans but also not on par with what Nintendo usually delivers on the Wii. 
  • Arc Rise Fantasia - A true J-RPG (Japanese role-playing game) on the Wii. Best played with the classic controller, Arc Rise Fantasia is a throwback to a genre that dominated the 16-bit scene and one sadly lacking on the Wii. 
  • Ivy the Kiwi - Love the visual storybook style that meshes well with platforming gaming perfect for kids and adults to share. 
Nintendo DS – Yes there are tons of puzzle games, nice mix of education games but it just seems the DS shines the best with RPG’s of all types. Three make the list below along with one of the most creative, unique puzzles series around. 
  • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City - It's more of the same which is a good thing. The DS is perfect for mapping out dungeons and while the story is shallow this title is all about the level grinding, exploration, time killing fun many gamers grew up with. Ah the days of grids and Bards Tale. 
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future - Mix a great art style with decent story and outstanding mixture of puzzles and gamers get a 'must-have' for owning the DS. Professor Layton has found its niche on the DS and future releases should be watched and played ... period. 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold - The Videogame - Old-school 2D DC Universe action set in the Brace and the Bold timeframe. Fun, great for fans, young, old ... anyone looking for a great distraction. Perfect for the Wii and one can hope this makes its way as a download on PS3 and Xbox 360. 
  • Monster Rancher DS - Innovative on PlayStation but feeling its age a bit. Anytime a game puts 'DS' on its name there's a good bet it's a direct port or slight update to the new system. Monster Rancher does have a solid following so it's worth checking out for fans but also for younger gamers who have never played before. 
  • Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies - Ninth installment in the storied franchise that just delivers the RPG goodness and beautiful Toriyama art style. Looking for a great RPG experience on DS, look no further.
Overall it was more of the same for both the Wii and DS. The Wii gets a B as it continues to rollout solid, traditional games in addition to its unique party and casual games. A better showing from Metroid would have warranted an A, but there is always Metroid: Other M+. The DS also checks in with a B. Solid titles but nothing truly game of the year worthy. Nintendo is consistent, keeps on rolling with great mixture of titles and rarely shows any drops. It’s a great time of year to be a gamer and the holidays are creeping closer.

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