Last time we were all gushy over five Wii games that have re-ignited our passion for games. Today we pick up that blog post, flip her over only to see the puss filled and warty fissures caused by the ingrowing hairs that is average Wiiware games.
Just in case you've been a fanboy of other formats up until this second, Wiiware is the Nintendo Wii's downloadable game service. It is a real mixed bag. There are gems and they are the likes of Lit, Maboshi's Arcade, Jet Rockett, Final Fantasy: Subtitle subtitle, Nyx's Quest, Sword and Soldiers, Lost Winds 1 and 2, World of Goo, Art of Balance... wow now that we start to list them there's quite a few good 'uns and many that put bigger box release games to shame. TO SHAME WITH YOU.
The problem in the past has been that Nintendo (Europe at least) has been fickle in the extreme. The ficklest in fact with allowing players to try Wiiware demos before they buy. Sometimes NoE releasing a dribble of Wiiware demos. Sometimes none for ages and then sometimes a boat load. Also, as with XBLA, Wiiware games and demos are buried, the menu for navigating them sucks and unlike XBLA download and transfer times can be painfully slow. The menu really does suck as well I can't understand why QQMoars like Trent Oster (who he?) don't whinge about this shit instead of the certification process boo hoo hoo. On the Nintendo shop home page there is a scrolling page that highlights what's new on virtual console, wiiware, what is highly rated and the latest demos. Download one of those demos from that page however and you have to completely quit the channel and go back in to get to the highlighted demos page. Otherwise, the only way to find them is to unintuitively search the Nintendo shop for 'demo'. Again having to repeat that whole process after each download. I'm shocked that anyone actually downloads demos, particularly as we will see it is rarely worth it.
Currently it seems that Nintendo are all in favour of Wiiware demos so after no less than a couple of hours of downloading and SD card juggling we tried out a bunch of demos for games we hadn't otherwise heard of. Here's some thoughts.
Anima Ark of Sinners
We don't have Game Development for Dummies but if we did, we reckon that quite near the top of the Golden Rules for Developing a Game would be the rule:
If your game has anything remotely female in it, give it a massive pair of tits and expose side, under and interboobal areas at all times.
We're no prudes, we happily talk about How's Your Father around the water cooler and we regularly watch instructional love making videos but check out these images we purely took for research purposes and no other reason, see we did use them in a blog post so get off our backs.
And that's just from the demo. Underboob, bird's eye boobs and basically vag. The game by the way is terrible. A remnant of the Net Yaroze days that somehow manages to look worse than some PlayStation games. The demo worked though, we were tempted to download it just to see how bad it could get. Common sense prevailed though.
AYA Cubes of Light
From the menu screen and the first five seconds of play it looked like it could be a cool game in the same vein as Kula World albeit fronted by a woman with some weird looking shirt potatoes. After that however it's clear that the game is wank. It might be better if the whole game didn't feel so heavy and slow, Aya runs like an asthmatic sloth wading through treacle whilst carrying heavy shopping. In a word: Paptastic.
Remember Echo the Dolphin? Now imagine that instead of a dolphin you play as a diver who moves like a scuba diving asthmatic sloth wading through treacle whilst carrying heavy shopping. Don't get us wrong, slow and steady can work, just look at Astro Lander. Slow and shit however turns us right off.
3D Pixel Racing
Hey you know Minecraft right? Now imagine that someone made the totally average PlayStation game Porsche Challenge in Minecraft. Now imagine that it was a dull racer like racing games used to be before developers realised that Sunday driving doesn't make for a good game and that they got the world's most honest programmer to design the tracks so that if you veer more than 12 inches off the track you're sent to the back of the pack. For only 500 Wii points this wonderful gaming experience can be all yours.
For those of us who remember when CurlyWurlys were 14ft long and when you used to be able to take a bus journey without every fucker in the world shouting down their phone at their dealer, there was a thing called the Net Yaroze PlayStation. For $50,000 anyone could buy a Net Yaroze PlayStation (it was black) and with some PC jiggery pokery they could make their own games. For a couple of glorious years, PlayStation mags back in the day would include tons of Net Yaroze games on demo discs so the player base could test the games made by the community. Haunted Maze, by Ed Federmeyer was amazing, the other 49,000 games were a total pile of shite. In fact in 1998, the collective noun for shite was suggested as "A Net Yaroze of shite" and was duly accepted by the OED. We've not deliberately gone back to PlayStation games for the references peppering this post, that is exactly how these games feel and play. We've been a harsh critic of poor games and the shabby games industry in the past but our recent experience with this selection of games has shown us that actually not just anyone can make a game and that developers have to try really hard to make average, boring, broken and glitchy games. At least shovelware has a valid niche, who needs rubbish games that are trying hard?