With the Wii launching in Europe in just over two weeks time, James Temperton takes a look at the full launch list so you know exactly what to pick up with your shiny new Wii...
Barnyard – THQ | UK Launch
Based on the film of the same name, this is license that is looking very much like one for the kids. You play through a number of levels that include racing, milking and all sorts of other cow related antics. It looks like it makes pretty good use of the Wii controller as well, but certainly not a ‘must have’ by any means...
Blazing Angels: Squadrons Of WWII – Ubisoft | UK Launch
A so-so game on the XBOX 360 makes the transition to the Wii. The premise is simple, you sit in the cock-pit of lots of different planes from World War II and blow lots of things up. Fun. Loads of missions to play through and of course full use of the Wii controller all await you in one of UbiSoft’s many Wii titles.
Call Of Duty 3 – Activision | UK Launch
Graphically this is a game that falls miles behind its fellow next-gen offerings on the PS3 and XBOX 360. A good established franchise is a very good thing for the Wii launch, but will the lack of an online mode count against it? Activision are promising us complete use of the Wii controller to deliver a more authentic experience and based on some of the foot-age floating around the internet it looks like damn good fun.
Disney/Pixar’s Cars – THQ | UK Launch
Cars on Wii is basically Cars on GameCube but ruined by a hideous control system. Steer-ing is just about impossible as the controller sensitivity is ignored in favour of big, over-exaggerated and somewhat pointless movements. Not much fun and basically the GameCube version with some very shoddy bits tagged on. Avoid.
Far Cry: Vengeance – THQ | UK Launch
UbiSoft strike again. Jack Carver has strange ‘feral powers’ allowing him to “Jump higher, run faster, and slash with more fury than all of your enemies combined”, so expect this game to make good fun use of the Wii controller. You can shoot, slash, swipe and throw your arms about in what is sure to be a frantic and enjoyable title. Developed exclusively with the Wii in mind, the game also features a multiplayer mode and perhaps best of all it is scattered with vehicles from ATVs to hovercrafts and pickup trucks to Jet Skis.
Gottlieb Pinball Classics – System 3 | UK Launch
Developer by System 3, this is one of a series of budget titles set to hit the Wii. Very little is known about this one, except for a boxart and game title, but we can safely assume that it will involve pinball in some respect and will probably have quite a simple premise: play pinball. Beyond that, we know nothing...
GT Pro Series – Ubisoft | UK Launch
When it was first announced the screens made it look worse than a PS1 game. High-Definition fans were ecstatic and spent weeks pointing out this very fact. We’re reliably in-formed it looks a lot better now though, so there is some hope. It comes bundled with a free steering wheel attachment which is meant to be quite good fun. A good bet for some racing fun on launch day in Europe, especially considering the absence of Excite Truck until 2007.
Happy Feet – Midway | UK Launch
The film involves a tap-dancing penguin and is delighting cinema goers all over the UK with its hilarious trailer. What will the game involve? Nobody knows. Well, penguins would be a pretty solid guess, so would some sort of dancing element, other than that, your guess is as good as ours. Probably one for the kids and will no doubt make fun fun fun use of the Wii controller. Just don’t expect it to be groundbreaking.
The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Nintendo | UK Launch
Need we say more? The true behemoth of the Wii launch line-up. This is the title that Nin-tendo believe will have every single gamer the world over chomping at the bit to get hold of a Wii so they can play it. Gorgeous visuals and a brilliant musical score accompany you through this GameCube-cum-Wii adventure as you swipe and slash your way through the biggest Zelda adventure to date. The motion sensing has improved greatly during the last development cycle and reports on the finished version are labelling it as one of the greatest videogames ever conceived. You simply have to buy it.
Madden NFL ‘07 – EA | UK Launch
EA step up to bat with a title that is sure to have a massive impact in the USA. With a dedicated Wii development team in-house, EA are taking Nintendo’s system very seriously indeed, and this title is a testament to that fact. A unique control system and totally re-vamped gameplay make this of the most playable and enjoyable Madden titles to date, and a really good option for anyone who enjoys sport. The Wii controller implementation is excellent allowing for very realistic gameplay. A real touchdown if you can get your head around this most confusing of sports...
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance – Activision | UK Launch
A great excuse to throw your arms around like a twit whilst pretending to be Spiderman, what could be better? M:UA gives you the chance to be your favourite superhero and kick the butts of other prominent superheros in what is basically an all out brawl, which is fine by us! A roaming level design allows for you to really experience an authentic fighting sys-tem. Physically injuries await you in this intriguing looking title.
Monster 4x4 World Circuit – Ubisoft | UK Launch
UbiSoft bring in another racing game, but this time it involves whopping great big MONSTER TRUCKS! To put things simply: big truck, even bigger wheels, big environments, big tricks and big damage. It looks like great fun and with a multiplayer mode thrown in and loads of mini-games for added value, this could be a real gem. Also benefiting from the steering wheel attachment, this is looking like very good fun indeed.
Need For Speed: Carbon – EA | UK Launch
Another version in the NFS series and another EA launch title as the Wii gets all mature. Again, not a whole lot is known about this title, but from what we have heard it is meant to make pretty decent use of the Wii controller and it looks excellent graphically too. Lots of challenging courses, skilled driving and some ‘pimping’ thrown in for good measure. In all honesty it is probably down to personal preference as to which racing game you chose come launch...
Open Season – Ubisoft | UK Launch
Based on the film of the same name, this is another title from UbiSoft (note: there are lots). If you want to shell out your money on this one you can expect lots of ‘critter’ action in the forest as you take control of Boog and Elliott and relive the movie adventure. You can throw skunk bombs, hurl rabbits, use acorn-firing squirrels and even pull ‘outrageous woodland pranks’, or so UbiSoft tell us. Basically a bit of an action platformer with lots of mini-adventures and side-shows thrown in for good measure. Again, one for the little-uns.
Rampage: Total Destruction – Midway | UK Launch
Graphically this one looks absolutely awful, and when we say awful we really mean it. Another update in the long-running franchise sees you take control of a big old monster and destroy enemies and buildings with your big monster fists. Loads of monsters, loads of things to smash and crash into, but probably little much else of worth. Unless it makes good use of the Wii controller, this could be a real ugly monster of a title.
Rayman Raving Rabbids – Ubisoft | UK Launch
The limbless wonder debuts on the Wii and is looking just as good as ever. A whacky platform adventure from French mastermind Michel Ancel. Originally a platformer this title has mutated into a series of wild and whacky mini-games involving...bunnies! Rayman has to battle against the evil little critters that have taken over his home-world in this Wii designed romp. It makes excellent use of the Wii controller and is on the same ‘odd-o-meter’ level as Nintendo’s very own Wario Ware. Well worth a look.
Red Steel – Ubisoft | UK Launch
Red Steel has attracted a whole lot of attention and is one of they key Wii launch titles. Featuring a whole plethora of unique features and gameplay elements Nintendo hope this will be the title that will sell the Wii to the more mature gamer. You play as an American man on a mission to avenge the death of your girlfriend’s father which involves you fighting the Yazuka to retrieve the aforementioned girlfriend from their clutches. Corny as it may sound, the clever combination of gun and sword gameplay could be a winning one. Use of the Wii control system is pretty extensive and graphically this game looks excellent. Chuck in a multiplayer mode so you can enjoy some shooting-’n’-slashing action with your mates and you have a very cool title indeed.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
THQ | UK Launch
And people say Nintendo is for kids. Everyone knows that adults LOVE Spongebob, so this might be the sort of title that will sell just as well with people over the age of 16 as it will to those under it. This game really mixes things up as you complete a number of different levels with a number of different characters
Super Fruit Fall – System 3 | UK Launch
More budget fun from System 3 as they bring you a lovely little puzzle game. Again, we know very little about this one, simply because nothing has been announced. What we do know is this (brace yourselves), you have to line up fruit to make them disappear. A bit like Zoo Keeper if you have played that lovely little DS title. Its the sort of game that has been about in different forms for ages, so expect this to be pretty good fun on the Wii.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz – Sega | UK Launch
Balls! Another exclusive simian offering from SEGA as the super little apes hit the Wii on launch day. Just as they did for the GameCube, SEGA have really come up trumps to deliver a fantastic title for launch. Its the same as before, insanely hard courses, monkeys, balls and a goal to reach. There are about 40 mini-games for you to get your teeth stuck into and the gameplay using the Wii controller is absolutely fantastic. We’d strongly recommend an investment.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent – Ubisoft | UK Launch
Clancy! Not quite as exciting as ‘Balls!’ but a whole lot more deadly. Once again you take control of Sam Fisher as you have to sleuth your way through a number of levels. Unfold secrets, hide in shadows and do everything with an air of style and pizzazz. Alas, this is a port of the current generation title, so it looks horrible and the motion sensing elements seem hideously tagged on. We could be wrong, but our crap-o-meter is going haywire on this one. Shame really...
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam – Activision | UK Launch
Less tricks, more racing. Start at the top of a hill and go down, fast. Makes great use of the Wii controller and certainly looks like it will be delivering some fast-paced, high-octane ‘boarding fun. There have been some mixed reports about it though and it does seem a bit like a stripped down version when compared to the Hawkster’s other adventures. Ap-proach with caution.
Wii Play – Nintendo | UK Launch
Comes with a free Wii remote chucked in for good measure, so that’s a pretty good reason to invest in it. Like Wii Sports this is a little collection of small games that come together to make one very entertaining package. There are nine different games all of which are designed very much with ‘training’ you to play the Wii in mind. But this doesn’t mean that they are not terrifically good fun. You’ve got fishing, laser hockey, ping-pong, billiards, a Mii hunting game, Duck Hunt-a-like shooting and a whole lot more besides. Its a very comprehensive little package and from what we’ve played a very enjoyable. Well worth your cash.
Wii Sports – Nintendo | UK Launch (Bundled with Wii Hardware)
The game Nintendo have been using to get the mainstream press on their side and the focus of numerous press events over the last year or so. Right out the box with your Wii you get boxing, bowling, tennis, golf and baseball and the best bit is they are all great fun! There is a surprising amount of depth in this simple looking little game and what is more you can use your very own Mii character in game! We don’t need to sell this one to you really as you’re going to get it if you buy a Wii, so just make sure it is the first thing you slot in that oh-so-sexy disk drive.
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