Nintendo Wii Price Drop: Is it Possible for 2009?

July 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

As of this article, the Nintendo Wii price is pegged at $249.99 SRP. Not bad at all, really, for a console that is dominating the sales charts and has the largest library of titles amongst the current generation of gaming consoles.

But many are still hoping for a Nintendo Wii price drop in time for Christmas of 2009. After all, the machine is in its 3rd retial year – which, in industry terms, equates to the system currently enjoying the peak of its expected 5 to 7 year life cycle – and now is the best time to own one.

Currently, Nintendo has not called any announcements, nor has it made any indications, that a price reduction for the Nintendo Wii console is forthcoming in the near future. Therefore, any take on the matter will merely be an opinion based on prevailing market factors at the moment.

Possible reasons why a Nintendo Wii price drop should not be expected this year:

- Excluding the Xbox 360 Arcade edition (naked version of the console, not ideal for first time owners), the Nintendo Wii is the most affordable current generation console in the market. Therefore, Nintendo don't even need a price drop to remain competitive in the market.

- The Nintendo Wii has always ruled the sales chart considerably. Hence, the company wouldn’t consider a Nintendo Wii price drop is necessary as the consumers obviously concur with the set price given the console’s dominance of the sales charts.

- It’s too soon. Normally, consoles offer price drops roughly halfway or to the tail end of the system’s market life. For the current generation of consoles, that period is pegged at 6 years.

Why a Nintendo Wii price drop is actually quite probable for 2009:

- Declining economy. Nintendo may benefit from making their flagship console more accessible to increasingly hard-off public. In a down economy, the ideal way to increase sales is to offer value at a cut price. The Nintendo Wii has proven that it packs value, but that may not be enough anymore.

- Nintendo already enjoys a massive base of users. It should be able to afford a Nintendo Wii price drop as vast majority of profit will now come from software sales, anyway.

- The public are asking for it, and Nintendo would do well to stay in public favor!

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Punch-Out Comes To Nintendo Wii

June 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Believe it or not, Punch-Out!! For the Wii has been a very highly anticipated game. The originals are considered boxing game classics, and some of the finest games of the NES generation. In reality, as shown by positive reviews of the NES version of Punch-out!! downloaded on the Wii, it's still as much of a blast to play as ever.

The graphics have an amazing cell-shaded look to them, like Windwaker only a little more realistic. They exhibit a very strange yet somehow familiar style. When you strike an opponent hard in the face, he's shocked for a second and small birds flutter around his head. Not just that, but had such a far-out visual style manifested itself in any other of today's fighting games it would have been shunned. This extends to the opponents themselves, all of which are pretty wacky ; from Disco Boy, a self-absorbed disco fanatic who enjoys doing a little dance in the ring before the match, to King Hippo, who...well, I'm really not quite sure what he is, except big, has almost no neck, and is maybe totally daft.

At first look, Punch-Out!!'s gameplay seems something similar to a far more stylized version of Wii Sports Boxing. While a NES-style form of play is available by turning the Wii remote on it's side, the standard practice is to use both the Wiimote and the nunchuk. Move them forward and backward to perform different punches, and move them both to the side to avoid. When knocked down, shake the mote and chuk to rise and re-enter the fight, at which point a new round begins.

As for the sound department, you can think how superior the sound is in comparison to how it was on the NES. The punch-induced smacks and taunts from opponents come across just realistically enough for you to engaged in what's happening.

The original look and feel of the game has been incredibly well re-imagined, Nintendo having clearly put a lot of care into rendering this game. Punch-Out!! may seem like an incredibly simplistic title, but then, that doesn't mean it isn't incredibly fun!

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Boom Blox: Bash Party

June 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Boom Blox was, in a number of ways, one of the biggest Wii games of 2008; not so much in terms of it's quality as a game, but rather it's popularity and hype. Of course, it was a game that, weirdly enough, Steven Spielberg himself had partnered with Electronic Arts to make. It was an intricate puzzle game drawing some inspiration from Jenga, and featuring almost 400 levels of gameplay and it's own advanced level editor. Now that it's time for the sequel, EA has been working hard to both expand what worked well and eliminate or solve what didn't.

Boom Blox is a game of "strategic destruction". Each explosion and crash should be clear and streamlined, and that is precisely what EA has been going for by fully overhauling the game's graphics engine. The bulk of the backround 2D characters and animations are now absolutely 3D, running smoothly and in better detail. There are all types of detailed stuff in the backround that can actually interact with the gameplay.

61GryN7i1gL. SL160  Boom Blox: Bash Party

This time around there should be between 400 and six hundred new and unique levels to play with. It's clear that often the blox are just set up like a game of Jenga, but other times there are all sorts of different kinds of formations and you have to solve ways to most effectively make them collapse. For example, some levels occur underwater, or even hovering in zero-g space. Elements like this, as well as others such as surroundings and characters, can bring a whole new twist to the game.

One interesting new mechanic is the item called the slingshot. With the slingshot you can pick up any item in the level, pull back, and "slingshot" it into the blox structure. There are numerous levels in the game that make use of this mechanic, and to great effect.

Boom Blox has proved to be great fun both as a singleplayer puzzler and a competitive multi player game in the past, so as the advent of it's sequel Boom Blox Bash Party approaches, it's little wonder folks are wild with excitement. Boom Blox isn't just some cheap, casual offering. It's a core game and deserves to be treated that way, and many folks who have considered themselves to be hardcore gamers have enjoyed it enormously. This time around, EA is to be applauded.

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Wii Ports Final Fantasy: Echoes of Time!

June 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nintendo Wii continues to bow to fan requests by porting popular games from the company's other consoles onto that system.The latest in this line is a fresh port of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, originally released on the DS. Owners of the Wii version will be able to play online alongside DS users in an impressive display of cross-console interactivity. One major downside is that the Wii port will not be making any graphics enhancements to the title. Echoes of Time plays like a classic RPG, bringing all elements of the genre to bear in a world-spanning adventure. Expect to level up, expand your party and train for new skills as your quest grows ever more perillous.

Both the single player and multiplayer versions of this game bring great playability. Those interested in focussing on the storyline are betest off sticking to the immersive and epic single player, whilst players wanting to pit their skills in the online arena will be catered for accordingly.

But one thing you may be curious about is how they solved the problem of the two screens that are required to play the DS version. There are still two screens in the Wii version, side by side. You can customize each screen's size, navigating the various options by using the pointer rather than a stylus; it's as simple as that. The Wii version also irons out a few creases in the general flow and gameplay areas, along with almost cutting out any load times.

Many thought that porting a dual screen, handheld game to a console would pose too many problems to be a success, but Square Enix have proved them wrong yet again. Despite a lack of graphical edge, Final Fantasy: Echoes of Time on the Wii brings the same great RPG experience from the handheld arena and offers it to the wider gaming community.

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NinjaBread Man: Just Say No!

May 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Here at Videogamenewsblog, we like to focus on the positive, bringing you reviews of the games we liked and exciting news of upcoming titles. However, from time to time we like to take the opportunity to warn you of certain gaming disasters, to spare you the anguish that a rubbish game can bring. This time around we have NinjaBread Man from developers Data Design, a game that has sold way more copies than it ever had the right to sell! Now, this is not a new game, so our warnings are a little too late, but hopefully we can deter any gamers from picking this up if they haven't already done so.

The game falls at the first hurdle with vastly miscalculating the gameplay. For a platformer, the controls in NinjaBread Man are frustratingly misjudged. But in NinjaBread Man, jumping is handled by shaking the Nunchuk, a task that requires coordination that I doubt many human beings consistently possess. Combat is also greatly frustrating, with the enemies you encounter being overly powerful. Normally this could be overcome with skill, but the Wii remote is so unresponsive in this game that most of your attacks go unregistered.

In NinjaBread Man, you either walk (which is excruciatingly slow) or you can run, which makes your character very hard to control. Losing your character off the edge of a platform is a common occurance due to the low quality controls. Story and plot are almost non existant, with the game lacking any cut scenes, although with only three stages, there's not a lot of time to get used to the game anyway.

All this would be almost forgiveable if Data Design were a young, up and coming producer with much to learn, but these guys have been around for years, and they really should know better. NinjaBread Man is another example of just how poor the Wii games can be - avoid it at all costs!

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Upcoming Wii Greats

May 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Word of mouth is stating that 2009 is going to be the year of the Wii. Developers are promising a range of impressive games that are going to push the console to its limits in terms of graphics and gameplay. Spring has already witnessed a steady stream of impressive games, such as Boom Blox Party, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Virtua Tennis 2009 and Puzzle Kingdom. All great games, but here we give a quick list of the three games we're most looking forward to;

Excitebots: This is the eagerly anticipated sequel to Excite Truck, one of the most popular launch titles for the Wii. This time around, players are promised an even quicker pace and a more technical reflection of high speed racing. Instead of racing a mere truck, players take control of mechanical bots that mimic both the abilities and attributes of specific animals and insects. While the turtle is slow, it's also heavy and steady, in contrast to the bat, who is extremely fast and can jump far, but lacks weight, and can be easily knocked aside. Also, an innovative addition has been added, allowing mini games to be played whilst driving, to give players an edge in the race proper. Sounds complicated, but the way it works is very impressive.

Klonoa: We've spoken of our excitement for Klonoa already over here, so we'll just say that this promises to be a highly innovative and successful game, if the original is anything to go by!

Punch-Out! is also a remake, and the first installment in the series in about 20 years. It's a style of boxing gameplay that has been revisioned in 3D by many developers, in games such as Ready 2 Rumble and Wii Sports Boxing. The series has always been a sure hit with fans and continues to deliver the goods, and so any further installment is always going to be a good thing!

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Dead Space: Wii Style

May 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Released last year on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Dead Space became an instant hit across the market, lauded for its suspenseful gameplay and stylised, immensely frightening setting. Taking control of Isaac Clarke, a deep space engineer, the player had to fight their way through claustrophobic corridors and blood spattered rooms whilst being attacked by monstrous alien hybrids known as Necromorphs. Implementing a Resident Evil style over-the-shoulder control system, Dead Space played smoothly and delivered the goods. The recent announcement of a Wii version, Dead Space: Extraction, has been met with heightened excitement.

However, Extraction will play a lot differently to the other Next gen Dead Space game. Specifically, the Wii version will be played on rails, meaning that the camera and actual movement of your character is controlled by the computer. All the player has to do is shoot out on-screen enemies, making for an arcade style gameplay. Now, this isn't exactly the news Wii owners were hoping for, but early footage of the game still reveals the same attention to detail and immersive atmosphere experienced in the original.
According to the developers, Extraction implements every mechanic the original was known for, not just the strategic dismemberment used to defeat the Necromorphs, but also stasis, telekinesis, and zero gravity. Simply aim and press the Stasis button to use that feature.

Extraction is actually a prequel, telling the stories of the dawning of the Necromorph contagion. Centering around a small mining colony, you follow a small group of survivors desperately trying to escape an outbreak. aswell as introducing a new female protagonist, there are said to be a number of new weapons found in Extraction, but the only one revealed so far is the Arc Welder, used to fire an electrical charge which arcs between enemies, therefore used to great effect whilst facing multiple enemies at once.

The jury is still out on this one. On the one hand, the original Dead Space was a tremendous hit, with a lot of love and care put into the game to create a perfect survival horror title. If the same effort has been put into Extraction, then the game should mirror the success of the original. On the other hand, on rail shooters are not very well-liked in the home gaming arena, often accused of being too simple and eschewing freedom and exploration by dumbing down the gameplay. How well will Dead Space Extraction be received? We can only wait and see as release is slated for this coming Autumn.

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Wii Want Spectrobes!

April 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Spectrobes was initially released to the Nintendo DSi to a rather nonplussed set of reviews. The game, which is simular enough to concepts such as Pokemon, sees a galaxy strewn with tiny fossilized creatures (the Spectrobes) which can be discovered and trained, their skills and abilities utilized in battle. This would sound like a dead cert to appeal to younger players and fans of RPGs alike, but the game has so far been viewed to be repetitive and uninspired in its gameplay. However, Nintendo are not ready to rule out this franchise just yet, and have further plans for the Spectrobes.

Spectrobes: Origins sees the first home release for the franchise, bringing it onto the Wii. Viewed as a reboot, or retelling of the beginning of the series; the titular "Origins" bringing us closer to the dawning of this saga. It's rather fitting that the new game is literally a new start for the series because, though it may be a little too soon to tell, it seems that Origins may completely surpass all other Specrobes installments before it.

Heading in the direction of other RPGs lately, random encounters have been dropped in favour of an open field of vision, allowing players to see their enemies and thus choose to attack or evade accordingly. The remote and nunchuk are used to perform a variety of on screen functions, with menus juggled with the C button. Spectrobes are discovered progressively throughout the game, and upto six can be carried at any given time.

Though the Spectrobes will largely attack independently, you can issue further commands to bring forward their devastating abilities. Suffice to say the further you progress along your quest the more impressive your Spectrobes will become. Main character Rallen is not pushover either, and can be commanded to atack using various weapons and skills at disposal.

Theres still a long way to go for Spectrobes, and though the visuals look original and inspired, a further polish is still required. Disney haven't stated a confirmed release date yet, although we're expecting to see it around the end of the year. Until then, lets just hope that the Wii version can bring this franchise, which has so far seen a lot of squandered potential, to the forefront of home gaming.

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Silent Hill Remake

April 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Konami have announced that Silent Hill, originally released on the PlayStation, will be remade for the Wii, PS2 and the PSP and will go under the new name of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

The Wii has had many remakes from previous generation consoles and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is another one to add to the ever growing list. Developers seem to believe that the Wii’s advanced control system can reinvigorate new life into previously released games that if remade on the PS3 or Xbox 360 would just look more prettier. Is it a good idea? Well it seems to be working for Nintendo and it allows people to pick up games they may have missed and play them with a more intuitive control system.

Back to Silent Hill, Shattered Memories is not a direct port of the original, with approachable characters that respond differently and can be found in different places, and new clues and game paths can be found and followed, almost leading to a new experience for players. The Wii version will make full use of the WiiMote in really novel ways – the WiiMote takes the role of playing both your phone and torch, as well as being used to pick up, manipulate and examine items to solve puzzles. The WiiMote being used as a torch in the game is a master stroke and will add a level of tension when you are exploring around with Harry Mason, the lead character, until something unexpected happens and you have to change to a weapon!

It may be another remake, but Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, looks like it may be one of the best remakes to date, more so the Wii version. Look out for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories this Autumn and will be available for the Wii, PS2 and PSP.

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Tiger Returns- PGA Golf Tour 10

April 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Developers EA Sports have been very consistent with their Tiger Woods games over the last few years, releasing them at a rate of roughly one each year. Their latest offering, PGA Tour 10, comes to the Wii this year. PGA Tour 10 is a title that promises to address the many complaints that have arisen over the last few games, varying from gameplay niggles concerning the swing meters and drive force, to an unambitious outlook on in game graphics. From what we've seen so for, EA look set to make good on their promises.

To address the lacklustre approach to graphics and realism, EA have gone for an almost complete overhaul of the previous system. The aim is to pay much more attaention to the little details which will all mount up to craft a visually appealing and life-like dynamic. Everything is being catered for, with trees and ponds being given their own set of animations, to act independantly and realistically in relation to the surrounding environment.

A brilliant new feature being added exclusively to the Wii title is a weather system that works in tandem with the Wii forecast channel itself. The game has been designed to mimic the information generated through the Wii forecast channel and reproduce it in-game. This means that the game you're playing will actually respond to the real weather outside, so if you're in the middle of a game and you begin to hear raindrops on your window, the game will follow suit and rain will begin to pour. This element is set to include all weather conditions, ranging from sunshine, wind, rain, sleet, fog- anything you would imagine. This is not just a flashy gimmick either, as the in-game weather will effect the way to game is played, with the ground become sleek with rain and winds affecting the course of the ball etc.

Graphics and features improvements are all well and good, but what Wii players are really concerned about is the Wii motion sensing, which has been notoriously poor in recent PGA games. The draw and fade elements have been quite inaccurate, with players complaining that the motion sensing was just too sloppy or unresponsive. Enter the new WiiMotionPlus peripheral, a vast improvement to the earlier motion sensing as it actually reads the players movements on a 3D level, mapping out the entire dynamic structure of the participant to generate a much more accurate reading. EA are confident enough to state that this feature allows for 100% accuracy, and hopefully that's what we'll get!

The PGA games have always been a hit with fans, the fact that it has reached such a high level of installments is testament to just how popular they are. As popular as they have been however, they have always been let down by small problems that frankly should have been fixed by now. PGA 10 promises to right the wrongs of the past, and hopefully EA can deliver the truly perfect game that fans have patiently waited for.

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