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Posts Tagged ‘Wii’

Verdict: Final Fantasy meets Sim City meets the Sims, but without the Final Fantasy, Sim City, or Sims.

So I managed to get my hands on the WiiWare game, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King (whew…what a long title!) and despite what I’d thought would be a borefest, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that I was both right and wrong, but for all the wrong reasons on both counts. Allegedly,  FFCC:MLaaK (jeez, even an acronym it’s long!) is a sequel to a prior Crystal Chronicles game, but having never played Crystal Chronicles before, I found myself unfamiliar with the setting. “No matter,” I thought. “I’ll learn as I go along.”

In a nutshell, the game is a building and city management sim which puts you in the role of the young king of a new city. Well, when I say city, I mean a boundary wall and a castle. At the center of this empty space is a giant crystal that helps the new king build new structures using a magic call “architek”. Together with new advisor Chime and ex-guard Hugh Yurg, you start rebuilding the kingdom, building by building. What’s nice about the whole experience is that once you’ve decided that you want to build something, and where, and that you actually have the right amount of raw material (and there’s only one kind of raw material here), the building happens almost instantaneously, so no waiting however long for the building to be ready.

Once you have a few houses ready, career adventurers start knocking at the castle door, demanding to be employed, and here’s where the game becomes a lot more fun–despite the fact that you’re pretty much confined to the city walls (“a king can’t go out and do the fighting himself, you know!”), you can send bands of adventurers out on errands for you in return for pay. In fact, it’s imperative that you send them out, because they’ll hunt down the magical raw materials for you. There’s a fairly decent number of locations on the map, so you’ll be sending out parties of adventurers out for a long time. Some new locations also provide you with different buildings that you can create, enabling your adventurers to learns skills, change jobs, etc. Fun. In a weird, vicarious way. At the beginning of each day, Chime gives you a breakdown of what each adventurer did the previous day, and then the daily budget sheet, after which you can create behests—missions for the rest of you—for your adventurers to complete for their liege’s pleasure.

While your adventurers are off having all the fun (and pretty much the best part of any RPG, really), you’re pretty much confined to either building the city or chatting to the random inhabitants that show up with each house that you build. Chatting to the city residents builds “morale”, and you can eventually use the morale to develop the place—don’t ask me, I’m not sure how you use morale to develop. In my experience, it’s always taken money. Wadges of it, too.

In any event, this is where the whole thing becomes a bit boring; until you have enough in the way of money, building blueprints, or raw materials, you end up chatting to a few of the locals and then advancing the day just so you can get to the interesting bit again.

I know that the Wii’s internal memory is a huge limitation to what can sensibly be done with Wiiware games, so I don’t blame the game too much.

And yet…despite all this, the game is strangely addictive. Although each day takes ten minutes to get over with (give or take), those ten minute segments pass with surprising quickness, and you end up playing for long stretches at a time without realizing it.

And I suppose this is where the game is a winner, because despite everything, it’s very charming in its look and feel, and I’ll still recommend it rather highly.

Score: 8/10

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The Original AdventuresOkay, so I admit I was a bit skeptical about trying out this game. I mean, Lego? Isn’t that just for kids? But my husband’s a big Indy fan, and he wanted a change of pace in games (from first-person shoot ‘ems), so we bought it. And couldn’t stop playing it ’til 11 last night!

Like Crash Bandicoot, this platformer allows a second player to join the game at any time, and with no split screen! Of course, this does limit mobility a little, but it wasn’t a problem most times.

This game has got it right in so many ways. First off, you play the game through in Story Mode. That means that you play using the original characters for each section of the movie. Each section always has two characters – Indy and another.

Once you’ve completed a section, though, you unlock Free Play mode, which means you can play through it again, using any of the characters you’ve unlocked, each of which have some special ability or piece of equipment. Marion, for example, can jump to places Indy can’t reach. Then there are other characters who come with a spanner, for repairs, or a shovel, to dig up treasure.

Free Play mode gives the game great replay potential. You can play in this mode either immediately after you’ve completed Story Mode, or you can do it once you’ve completed the entire game in Story mode. Personally, I think the latter would be the more fun way to do it.

The only thing I can fault the game on is that sometimes some bits of the graphics go a bit wonky. Gameplay itself was unaffected by this, though. And for €50 (or R250 – R300, platform depending), I think it’s worth the price :)

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Here’s a list of 100 reasons to hate Nintendo, courtesy of Games Radar. If you feel that Nintendo doesn’t deserve the hate (or if you’re an equal-opportunity hater), here are lists of 100 reasons to hate Xbox, Playstation, and PC gaming. Some of the reasons are quite entertaining, such as “Same sh!t, different Zelda”, “Viva Pinata TV show”, “Kaz ‘Ridge Racer’ Hirai”, and “Quake 2 – Hope you like brown!”

Hit the comments and list your favorite reasons for being a hater.

[Link 1: 100 Reasons to hate Nintendo]
[Link 2: 100 Reasons to hate Xbox]
[Link 3: 100 Reasons to hate Playstation]
[Link 4: 100 Reasons to hate PC gaming]

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Hi

Yes, I know, I’m not into blogging much, but I did find a really interesting article. I’m doing a course called Competitive Strategy and we’re analysing Nintendo’s early dominance of the Video Game industry. Specifically we’re at how they were able to completely take over the market at the beginning by investing more in the games cartridges than in the actual console. By licensing game development, they were able to demand royalties on every title produced. Also by controlling the quality of the games, they came up Zelda and Super Mario Brothers and even licensed games like Street Fighter. They got their developers to create really great games, which feuled the consoles, which feuled more game development, and so on. Genius!!!

Then when the 16-bit revolution (lol!!) came around, they were very slow in moving over because they belive they could ‘extract’ more from the industry by selling more 8-bit titles. They wanted to re-market the original console to younger market. Instead Sega released their MegaDrive with superior technology (better graphics) and began to release games at record speeds. Unlike Nintendo they offered many more development licenses and a few years later game development on the Sega was outstripping Nintendo. Was was done to the point where Sega claimed that Sonic was more identifyable to kids than either Mario or Mickey mouse. Needless to say it’s been a very intresting case to study.

Anyway, so my reason for posting was an interesting article I found while doing reseach for my assignment by a guy who in 2006 declared that the ‘Nintendo Wii won’t sell’. It’s a really long article, but very funny. Pay particular attention to the paragraphs about why “women won’t play the wii” (classic explainations like: “I can see a girl sitting on her bed playing the DS, but I can’t imagine a girl sitting on her bed playing the Wii”) and why we “don’t need a gaming revolution” (about why graphics are more important; and that the wii has a limited life and appeal).

http://www.productwiki.com/nintendo-wii/article/why-the-wii-won-t-sell.html

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Driving with a Wii?

Whilst researching the Toyota Aygo, I came across an interesting little article about Kia doing research into using a Wii-like controller as a means of driving a car. So, for all you gamers out there who’ve wondered why there isn’t a PS/XBOX controller to steer and drive cars, perhaps you’ll get a chance to do so with the Wii :)

From Kia’s KEE-wii:

Say bye bye to the steering wheel as Korean firm Kia tests out a Nintendo Wii-style controller for steering cars!

The Peter Schreyer designed coupe concept from Kia called KEE-wii was first seen at the Frankfurt show and the technology exists to eliminate steering wheels and pedals altogether when it comes to getting a car to move.

According to Kia: “We have taken inspiration from current computer gaming technology to create a completely new steering and pedal system called Dynamic On-Road Kinetics. The traditional driving controls are replaced by a small ‘controller’ which fits comfortably into two hands. making steering motions with the small controller will turn the car in whichever direction the driver likes whilst accelerator and brakes are button operated. It is a very simple and intuitive system.”

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