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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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Dante’s Inferno: Poem to Game

May 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

To be honest we're suprised this videogame hasnt been made sooner, but Dante's Inferno is finally coming to a console near you. Based on the epic literary classic of the same name, the idea of adapting a poem into a game initially seems a bit strange, but consider the structure of the poem; the hero must journey through the various circles of hell in order to win his way into heaven. Sounds almost perfect for a game, right?

As you may expect, adapting a classic for the modern day gaming audience requires a certain amount of re-jigging. The quest begins with the titular hero confronting and defeating Death himself, in order to take his scythe. It's with Death's scythe that Dante is later able to overcome demons and other monstrosities that bar his way. As with the poem, Dante is fighting to find his love Beatrice, who resides in Heaven awaiting his return.

The gameplay is drawing paralells to Devil May Cry, with frenetic action grounded in the use of combos. However, Dante's Inferno looks to play a little slower than its counterpart, with more of an emphasis on longer, more devastating combos. There's a wide range of low, mid and high level attacks to string together in order to combat the increasingly monstrous enemies you'll encounter throughout the adventure.

Dante's Inferno also implements two further game mechanics worthy of note. Firstly, it is possible to attack and break enemy beasts into submission, thus providing you with a mount. These monstrous mounts can be used to bolster your strength in combat, and also to cover large travelling distances. Secondly, throughout your travels you will encounter Lost Souls that plead for absolution from their sins. It is your choice as a player to either absolve or punish them, and either outcome can be used to earn a form of currency which can be used to level up, augment weapons etc. Absolving or punishing Lost souls triggers a mini mission which needs to be completed, and choosing to absolve a sin will often prompt a more difficult mission.

Dante's Inferno is scheduled for release on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 sometime early next year. Will it be another Devil May Cry/ God of War clone, or could this game actually offer something original? Time will tell....

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Pikmin Returns!

March 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Almost a decade ago, the Nintendo Gamecube played host to a charming little game called New Play Control! Pikmin. Following the misadventures of astronaught Olimar, our hero crash lands on a planet with only a month's life support to keep him going. However, all is not lost as Olimar meets the Pikmin; small, sprout-like, not-so-intelligent creatures which take a shine to Olimar and resolve to help him in any way they can.

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Nintendo Wii are due to port this classic game over to their console, renamed New Play Control:Pikmin, in a bid to bring the Pikmin franchise back into public popularity ahead of any sequel plans. This port is likely to appeal to both fans of the classic, revisiting an old favourite in a new context, and also to the new generation of Wii users who may have missed the game the first time around. The title certainly adheres to the cutesy image of the Nintendo Wii and so would probably be highly popular.

A distinct difference in the Wii version is the time limit set for the game. The original was played in a sort of real time basis; the aforementioned 30 days is all you have to complete your task of collecting the scattered wreckage of your ship. The player really had to make their time count as once a day was over, it was over; no turning back. In the Wii port, an in-game calendar can be accessed at any point to rewind time should you so wish. This addition does make the game more accessible to younger players and those who like to take their time, but also detracts from the urgency of the original, a feature that made the gameplay enjoyably tense and kept the player on edge.

New Play Control: Pikmin is released this month, and we urge all Wii players to check it out. The minor alterations made to the new game fit in with the new market, and the title retains all the cute charm and addictive fun that made the original so popular all those years ago.

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Klonoa Returns!

February 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A classic from the sepia hued days of playstation 1, Klanoa: Door to Phantomile is due to receive an ambitious remake at the hands of Nintedo Wii. The original game combined revolutionary 3D graphics with the classic side scrolling platform dynamic seen in Super Mario. Taking control of Klonoa, players utilized the character's magical ring to manipulate objects and blast enemies that barred your path. In addition, Klonoa could grab enemies and throw them downward in a way that gives him a boost when leaping through the air. Our plucky hero was also able to take advantage of wind tunnels and geysers to glide throughout the landscape using his sizeable pair of ears!

Set in the magical world of phantomile, born out of the dreams of its inhabitants, this makes for a diverse and magical adventure as Klonoa travels the land seeking to put an end to the misdeeds of arch nemesis Ghadius. The diverse and interesting visuals and gameplay that Klonoa: Door To Phantomile has to offer are still remembered by much of the gaming community. A sequel was released in 2001 on the PS2, titled Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, also heralded for it's tight controls and varied and engaging gameplay. Seven years later, Namco Bandai is developing a remake of the original classic for the Wii. Aswell as enjoying the obvious graphics and gameplay boost, the Wii remake benefits from the integration of motion control, set to make this cute and popular title even more fun to play. However, those that prefer the classic take on this videogame can still opt for the joypad method.

Many people may be wondering, "Why on earth are they developing a remake instead of a sequel?" Well, are a couple good reasons. Firstly, Door To Phantomile is a rare and revered classic that people are still talking about and is extremely tough and expensive to get ahold of. Namco Bandai wants to provide a loyal and quality remake of a classic game for way less than what people are lately charging for the original. Secondly, it's a good means of checking to see just how interested people still are with the game, as well as generate even more interest and popularity.

Hopefully the interest and success this remake could bring would prompt developers to think about a fully blown sequel to Klonoa 2, but all that remains to be seen when Wii's remake hits the shelves later this year.

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