Robert Wm. Gomez's

Nintendo Wii

A lot of folks poo-poo the Wii, but think it's a perfect living room gaming experience if you are primarily a PC gamer. Lots of casual games and the Wiimote is a decent replacement for a mouse in a first-person shooter game.

Red Steel on Nintendo Wii (5/10)

Red Steel Box ArtI think this was one of the earliest titles on the Wii, and one that was supposed to showcase the new fangled motion controls. If anything, it showcases just how infuriating the waggle controls can be. I actually like the first person shooting setup on a lot of Wii titles such as The ConduitGodleneye, and Metroid Prime. The shooting controls here a very wonky. You are required move the controller closer to the television to use gun sights and lock on to enemies. You have to waggle the nunchuck to interact with doors and objects. In both cases, just hitting a button would have probably been sufficient. To add to the problems, the game is just downright buggy with tracking aim. Often the cursor would jump to the center of the screen for now apparent reason, like it was losing connection with the wiimote. Terrible.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 on Nintendo Wii (8/10)

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Well, it took me about half a decade, but I finally finished Super Mario Galaxy 2. I really liked the first one and this is a lot more of the same. There's a bit of "been there, done that," in my opinion of the game. A few new additions have been added, like being able to ride on Yoshi and use his tongue like a grappling hook. But, for the most part, this is pure 3-D platforming at about the best it will ever get. Which is to say, yeah it's pretty good for a not-so-deep game.

Pandora's Tower on Nintendo Wii (8/10)

Pandora's Tower US Box ArtIt's been quite some time since I've played through a game on the Wii. Pandora's Tower is certainly one of the best looking games on the platform. It follows the standard console action/adventure game formula: a series of areas to explore, a new ability added in each area, and a boss at the end of the section that requires mastery of that ability to be defeated. Wrapped around this is a sappy story of the girl who has been cursed and must now be fed monster guts in order to cure herself. I'm really not one for the Japanese anime-style of story telling, but it wasn't as horrible and convoluted as the genre can be. I especially liked the scenes of Elena gobbling up gore... well, at least I did the first dozen times I watched that cut scene. The 39th time... not so much.

Okami on Nintendo Wii (8/10)

Okami - Wii

Okami follows much the same formula of a typical Zelda game. You proceed through the game by defeating the boss at the end of a dungeon only to gain a power that gives you access to the next dungeon. Between each dungeon there are overworld levels to explore, wandering enemies to battle, items to collect, fish to fish and characters to bore you with endless unskippable dialogue.

It all sounds very mediocre, right? But where Okami sets itself apart is in its Japanese woodblock inspired rendering and art design. It's not quite as sharp as the cover art would suggest, but it remains a colorful and playful world filled with tons of unique looking characters and enemies.

Metroid Other M on Nintendo Wii (6/10)

Metroid Other M Cover

I guess the best way to describe Other M would be "disappointing." Judging from  screenshots of the game you would assume that this was simply a return to the 2-D side-scrolling roots of the franchise. That would have been a good thing. Instead, this is a weird third-person/first-person hybrid game that has you constantly flipping the Wiimote around to change views. This is not quite as awful as it sounds, but the game would be much better if they had just chosen to go one way or the other. As it stands, the 2-D sections of the game, which could have emphasized platforming and twitch skills, are dumbed down to "press right and hit fire... the auto-aim will do the rest." The 3-D parts are equally disappointing. Unlike the Prime series, exploration and investigation don't really play a role here. The first-person perspective is mostly used to charge up your super-missiles and lock on to targets.

Metroid Prime Trilogy on Nintendo Wii (9/10)

Metroid Prime Trilogy Cover

After many months of playing I have finally finished all three of the games included in this excellent limited edition box-set. The game(s) come in a nice metal tin with a clear plastic outer sleeve. Normally, I don't care too much about this sort of thing, but it was a nice surprise when I first opened the package to find that they put a little thought into the design. Apparently, this is out-of-print and now fetches prices near $100 on Amazon (when I got it, it was $25, new).

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Nintendo Wii (9/10)

Twilight Princess CoverI have written about The Ocarina of Time on this Web site before. That game is considered one of the best games ever, and I don't dispute that assertion. Twilight Princess is nearly as good. In fact, it is practically the same game... or at least that's what it feels like. Now, lack of originality isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case. Nintendo has been able to play with the zany Zelda mechanics in their DS versions of the series, and quite frankly, they don't work quite as well as the tried and true format laid out back on the N64.