Friday, February 15, 2008
10 Potential Sleeper Hits for the Wii
Here's a list of some Wii games that you might want to keep an eye on. They may not be high profile releases, but they do show a lot of promise and have the potential to be sleeper hits. The pleasure of owning hidden gems offers unique satisfaction to true gamers.
Developer: Blue Tongue/Banana Games
One of a triumvirate of THQ games on this list, De Blob is probably the most promising. It started life as a free downloadable P.C. game created by 9 students studying at Utrecht University. It impressed THQ so much that they picked up the game and decided to turn it into a fully fledged Wii release. The core of the game centers around using the main character to turn a drab gray city-scape into a vibrant, psychedelic version of itself.
Blast Works: Build, Fuse and Destroy
Developer: Budcat Creations
On the surface Blast Works looks like a 2D Gradius style shooter, but delve a little deeper and it's the game's level/object editor that is really its defining feature. Previews suggest the editing tools are both flexible and relatively sophisticated, with the Wii pointer being put to great use. Users will be able to design, save and share their levels with other gamers, setting the stage for a dedicated online community.
Developer: EA Los Angeles
When Steven Spielberg first announced he was involved in making a Wii game, most gamers assumed the result would be a cinematic masterpiece. When a physics based block puzzler was subsequently revealed the disappointment was palpable. Boom Blox has since come on leaps and bounds, and has led to some proclaiming that its design and execution is Miyamoto-like. It also includes a level editor that allows users to generate their own content. If the game can live up to the industry buzz it has created, then EA will surely have a hit on their hands.
Developer: Rainbow Studios
Further evidence of THQ's increasing faith in the Wii is their recently announced title Deadly Creatures. Billed as an action/thriller, the game has you playing as realistic looking creepy-crawlies exploring a desert wasteland. The game clearly has a relatively large budget as the screens bugs that have been rendered with unnerving realism. Let's hope the press release stating the developer's intentions to push the hardware was more than marketing hype.
Battle of the Bands
Developer: Planet Moon Studios
It would be easy to dismiss this title as a an uninspired Boogie/Guitar Hero clone, but anyone who has had real hands-on time playing the title has come away impressed. While Boogie suffered because of its shallow and unstructured gameplay, Battle of the Bands takes its mechanics and bolts them onto a real game. The music announced so far also looks promising; this has the potential to appeal to Hardcore and Casual gamers alike.
Major Minor's Majestic March
From the makers of PaRappa the Rapper, Major Minor's Majestic March is sure to be a rhythm action game like no other. If Masaya Matsuura can imbue his Wii title with the personality and charm as he has his previous work, and also make good use of the Wii controllers, then this game has cult hit written all over it.
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Apparently in development for almost 2 years, Monster Lab appears to be truly unique; a turn based fighter with a huge focus on monster creation/customization. The game's visuals are also distinctive with heavy use of rim-lighting and bloom. Being able to fight online is also planned. The recent showing of the game at GDC confirmed that the game has a lot of potential.
Oboro Muramasa Youtouden
Publisher: Marvelous Entertainment
As very little is known about the game at this point, this title's appeal largely stems from Vanillaware's heritage of excellence. Billed as a 2D action RPG, the game is sure to feature a lush, beautifully stylized look much like Odin Sphere, and a control scheme that has been tailored for casual and hardcore gamers.
Developer: Red Fly Studios
Essentially a platformer, Mushroom Men places you in control of a diminutive fungi hero exploring the world from a 3-inch vantage point. The game's weapons are cobbled together every-day objects such as staple removers and paper clips; characters also have distinct abilities based on their designs. If the developer's execution matches their imagination, Mushroom Men could be worth keeping an eye on.
Rygar:The Battle of Argus
Rygar's appeal has fluctuated wildly since it was announced for the Wii. At first it was thought to be a genuine sequel to the excellent action/adventure on the PS2: Hype+1. It then came to light that the title was actually a port of the original with new controls and a new mode: Hype -1. The game has subsequently been delayed, and the signs are that the project's ambition has been increasing, with graphical upgrades and new character designs being announced. It seems that the Wii's popularity has lead Tecmo to invest some genuine effort on the title.
Posted by Zapp Brannigan at 4:39 PM