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Joseph Rositano
31 Aug, 2009

WiiWare Review Round-up

Wii Feature | Get a haircut while racing around the block.
It’s been about a month since our last WiiWare Review round-up. Nintendo seems to have been pushing for more content in the WiiWare as there has been a lack of Virtual Console releases. Regardless, there’s an impressive range of titles including the unique Bonsai Baber from Zoonami, the antics of Guybrush in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, and the old school racer Driift. Until our next round-up, happy gaming Wii owners.



QUICKLINKS:
WiiWare Reviews A - G | WiiWare Reviews H - R | WiiWare Reviews S - Z



Our WiiWare ratings system

We've given every game a 'buy' rating of 'Yes', 'Maybe', or 'No'.

Yes means this is a very high quality game, and we have no problem recommending it to anyone as long as they like the genre.

Maybe means we think the game is good, but not necessarily for everyone. If you know the game or like the sound of the description, go for it

No means that we don't recommend the title at all.



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Games listed in alphabetical order

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3-2-1, Rattle Battle!
Price: 500 points

  

Yet another mini-game compilation makes its way to the Wii. God knows we’ve had enough of the damn things to have nightmares for years! Regardless, the game features 12 mini-games which see players shake the Wii remote to have their character perform an action. Unfortunately that’s pretty much it - just simple waggles and sore arms aplenty for the cost of 500 points. Avoid at all costs.

Worth buying? No

Arkanoid Plus!
Price: 800 points

  

Taito has been on a roll with these WiiWare remakes - everything from Space Invaders and Rainbow Islands, to Puzzle Bobble and Bust-a-Move has been remade for Nintendo’s download service. Arkanoid Plus! is, of course, based on the arcade classic Arkanoid which sees players destroy all the blocks on their screen by rebounding a ball off a paddle. There isn’t really anything new or special about this latest version, but it should appeal to those who want some old school action-puzzler gameplay.

Worth buying? Maybe

Bit.Trip Core
Price: 600 points

  

Bit.Trip Core is the sequel to the rhythm game Bit.Trip Beat. Although the imagery is almost identical, the gameplay is different from its predecessor. Instead of bouncing blocks off of a panel players are positioned in the centre of the screen and fire a laser in four directions (up, down, left and right). The objective is to destroy different patterns of blocks, all the while being immersed in the upbeat soundtrack and dazzling visualisers. It’s certainly an additive little title, and at only 600 points its worth a look at by any rhythm, retro or Bit.Trip fan.

Worth buying? Yes

Bonsai Barber
Price: 1000 points

  

Have you ever been fascinated by the world of bonsai pruning? No? Come on, who doesn’t love spending an afternoon snipping away at leaves and making a living, breathing masterpiece? Well, perhaps Zoonami’s Bonsai Barber will inspire you to take up the hobby. The game sees you act as a hairdresser for plants, fruits and vegetables, who will come to your shop and ask that you style their foliage in a particular way. It’s a very relaxing and unique experience, and there’s a lot of humour as well with customers ranging from daredevil carrots to cactus cowboys. Definitely worth checking out if you’ve grown bored with the other offerings on the WiiWare service.

Worth buying? Yes

ColorZ
Price: 700 points

  

A quirky action-puzzle game that was inspired by the shooter Ikaruga. In the game players control up to three UFOs and must absorb orbs with the UFO of the corresponding colour. At times you’ll also have to merge the UFOs to create an all-new colour, such as combining yellow and blue UFOs to make a green one. Although it sounds intriguing on paper, sadly it isn’t implemented very well. It’s not so much the mechanics don’t work, it’s more to do with the fact that you’ll struggle to maintain focus on all three ships at once. Basically, levels scroll automatically and if you focus on one ship the other two will likely be destroyed in mere seconds. Fortunately there are multiplayer modes where each player is given a single ship to control, but it's really frustrating for solo sessions.

Worth buying? Maybe

Driift Mania
Price: 800 points

  

Driift Mania is a racing game that lets players view the whole track from a bird’s-eye perspective. It’s got an old-school feel due to this presentation and in many ways is a modern version of the classic Super Sprint arcade game. The game is fairly simple to pick up and play – you hold the Wii remote in the style of a NES controller and move left to right using the D-pad, braking and accelerating with the 1 and 2 buttons respectively. Race courses feature plenty of ramps, turns and intersections, which are all integrated nicely and cause plenty of mayhem via pile-ups and crashes if you’re not careful. Arguably the game’s main selling point is its multiplayer focus, although the single-player experience is certainly enjoyable and only has a few minor flaws.

Worth buying? Yes

Family Slot Car Racing
Price: 500 points

  

Another entry in Arc System Works’ Family series. As you can probably guess, this time the family battle each other in a game of slot car racing. The basic idea is to control the speed of your car by pressing the A button and ensure it doesn’t go flying off the track. There’s really nothing too exciting about this one, it’s a very simplistic racer which probably won’t hold your interest for more than two hours, if that.

Worth buying? No

Heracles: Chariot Racing
Price: 800 points

  

Heracles: Chariot Racing is actually a port of the PlayStation 2 game of the same name, and is essentially Mario Kart meets Greek mythology. Players assume the role of mythological characters including Medusa, Poseidon and of course Heracles himself, and race around on different tracks while hindering opponents using items such as Zeus’ lightning bolt. Although it doesn’t quite offer an engaging experience as other racing titles available on the Wii, its still a fun little title.

Worth buying? Maybe

Mr. Driller W
Price: 800 points

  

For those who don’t know, the Mr. Driller series is a spin-off franchise to the Dig Dug series. The game centres on players drilling through coloured blocks while maintaining their air supply and ensuring they don’t get squashed by debris falling from above. Simple enough, ‘eh? Well, it’s that simplicity that may deter a few people away as Mr. Driller W can potentially be completed in less than an hour. If you’re into going for high scores and continuously improving yourself then this game is for you, otherwise give it a miss.

Worth buying? Maybe

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal
Price: 1000 points
PALGN Review: 8.0

  

Launch of the Screaming Narwhal is the first chapter in the planned five-part episodic series Tales of Monkey Island. In Episode 1, the series’ hero Guybrush Threepwood is battling the pirate LeChuck and somehow manages to get marooned on a strange island. Players must help Guybrush escape, as well as investigate a mysterious voodoo pox which is spreading across the isles. This will immediately appeal to Monkey Island fans as it’s a chance to see their favourite characters in all-new wacky adventures. The game itself has a lot of brain-teasing puzzles and great humour, so it’s a must download if you’ve liked any of the previous projects from Telltale Games.

Worth buying? Yes

Texas Hold’em Poker
Price: 600 points

  

Texas Hold’em Poker marks the second time the popular card game has hit the WiiWare download service. Costing 100 points more than Texas Hold’em Tournament, it’s hard to find justification in purchasing what is otherwise the exact same game. Give it a miss.

Worth buying? No

The Three Musketeers: One for All!
Price: 500 points

  

The Three Musketeers: One for All! is actually a port of the 2005 PC platformer The Three Musketeers. In the game players assume the role of Porthos and go on an adventure to rescue his kidnapped companions. It’s a pretty decent platformer and has some very eye-catching 2D visuals to boot. Unfortunately the game has unresponsive controls, some uninspiring level design, and a few other hiccups which prevent it from truly standing out.

Worth buying? Maybe

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2 Comments
4 years ago
DriiftMania is awful, a maybe but purely for multiplayer. Controls are annoying as hell.
4 years ago
Mr driller is awesome, reminds me of the dreamcast version, a definite yes in my books!!
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