Posts Tagged ‘ Wii ’

Endless Ocean: Blue World

Everyone wants to live green and clean and the latest incarnation of Endless Ocean just does that. The Endless Ocean series is based on diving into the ocean and literally swimming with the fishes. You set out to discover the ocean and what it has to offer. But this blue ocean is bigger and has lots more to do. In my review of the first game, all you can explore was the immediate water and apparently every living thing in the sea is in that one spot. It’s kinda hard to swallow which made Aquanauts in the PS3 more acceptable to reality.

Jump to 2010 and here comes Blue World. There are now more realistic places to go. You now get to dive in the Artic or Antartic, the Amazon river and various tropical seas all over the world. All the underwater wildlife as well as amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Endless Ocean: Blue World – Trailer

The biggest difference with this game is that it also brings along the danger of diving. SHARKS!!

Endless Ocean 2: Blue World: Sharks part 2

I really hate sharks. Although the game tells you when danger is near, every hit you take saps more of your air. Once all your air is depleted, you automatically return back to the boat. This makes exploring very difficult and frustrating. In the first game, you get to explore all you want without any danger. Now, you have a pulsar gun to fend off every type of aggressive shark out there.

Endless Ocean 2 Danger Trailer

The pulsar has no effect on piranhas so you’ll need to feed them first in order for them to avoid feeding on you. The main game is as long as the first game and more. You now get to dive with new human diving partners as well as the dolphins you meet and train. Sometimes they may help you with some of the sharks.

There side quests are back such as guiding other divers and taking pictures of the fishes. They’ve added salvage requests along with the task of curating an aquarium. You can now decorate your island base or your coastal reef project. The side quests are actually longer than the main storyline and will certainly keep you busy. This game is about to be the longest game I’ve played on the Wii in a long time. If you missed out on the first game, this is a perfect opportunity to experience diving without getting your feet wet. The graphics are much improved from the last but sadly the music selection is not as free as before.

The first game gave you a chance to pick what music to dive with as the game loaded when you started diving. You also had the opportunity to load your own music into the game via the SD card slot on the Wii and swim to the tune of your choice. Now however, you dive to the preset music and will not get a chance to change the music until you’ve completed a number of side-quests to unlock that feature. Not to mention that the music changes from area to area and also when you are attacked. I wish they kept the music options of the first game. Instead this game has been more stressful.

Sure you get the heart pumping action of zapping sharks, crocs and whales. But the whole point of me buying this game was to relax and music is not helping. The improvements to the game such as the length of the game, storyline and areas to explore is great. The realism is good with “aggressive” aquatic life chasing you. But the only flaw I see here is that the music option should at least still have been optional and that there should be a way to experience it without being attacked. Much akin to the “no-fail” mode in Rock Band.

I doubt that this game will be ported to other consoles. As with all these aquatic games, I wish the characters talked. Bioware has poisoned my gaming experience that all onscreen main characters should have voices attached to them. I hope the creators of Aquanauts come up with a new game. And please, have someone talking, even if it is in Japanese.

 

Trauma Team

Atlus USA Trailer: Trauma Team

I did not go to medical school and for those who dream of being a surgeon, this is probably the closest thing most of us will ever get next to the classic game “Operation”

Operation Commercial from 1989

Trauma Team is the latest incarnation from Atlus. Currently the 5th in the series, two Nintendo DS games and two Wii games. I’ve played them all and this is the most polished one of them all. The first game came out for the DS on 2005 and it was hell to finish. At the easiest level, the game difficulty was set pretty high that once you reached a certain level, your patient will die. Frustration just came over me and I wanted to throw the DS right out the window. I gave up on the game until the Wii version was released.

The Wii version is a direct port of the DS game with some minor changes such an additional playable character and surgeries. The best part about is game is the lowered difficulty. Though it’s still challenging, it now allows you to reach until the last stage. The games focus on a terrorist organization using biochemical warfare to further their means. The first half of these trauma games is pretty straightforward with the usual tumors, gunshot wounds or pacemaker replacement. The second half is where the game starts to pull on reality. The terrorist pathogen does weird things to the patient with scenarios that doesn’t seem plausible. Add to the fact that you are gifted with the “healing touch”, this uncanny gift which slows down time and gives you extra time to work on the patient. But even with these unbelievable scenarios it’s still an enjoyable game.

Trauma Center: Healing Touch

Now comes Trauma Team. You don’t just play 2 characters. You now get to play five different characters with different specialties and brings a new angle to the world of videogame surgery. You get to work on different environments such as diagnostics, emergency, orthopedic surgery, endoscopy, investigation and of course general surgery. All the storylines will eventually unlock the final phase of the game and reveal the dark secret of the story. The wii remote is great especially for the endoscopic surgery due to the mapping of the controls. Orthopedics seems a bit too easy and the ER scenes are absolutely heart pounding where every second counts and patients keep coming. My favorite has to be the Dr. House situation in diagnosing the patients or the CSI situation where I find out what really happened as a forensic doctor. Come to think of it, it’s more Bones than CSI.

My diagnosis? This is the best Trauma Center game Atlus has every made. The story is believable. The surgical procedures is doable. I actually wish that the game was longer. Or at least could be extended with downloadable content. But since the Wii doesn’t have that. Maybe we can expect a port coming to the PlayStation Move? We can always wish for these things.

How crazy is it gong to be in the next few weeks?

Why can’t videogame publishers release their games in a more timely manner?

Here are the games to be released in the next few weeks.

January 25
MAG (PS3)
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (Wii)
Mass Effect 2 (Xbox360, PC)

February 1
White Knight Chronicles International Edition (PS3)

February 8
Bioshock 2 (PS3, Xbox360)
Dante’s Inferno (PS3, Xbox360)
Star Ocean 4 International Edition (PS3)

February 15
Aliens vs. Predator (PS3, Xbox360)
Dynasty Warriors (PS3, Xbox360)

February 22
Heavy Rain (PS3)
Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii)

March 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (PS3, Xbox360)

March 9
Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Xbox360)
Yakuza 3 (PS3)

March 16
Dragon Age Origins: Awakenings (PS3, Xbox360, PC)

March 31
God of War 3 (PS3)
Super Street Fighter IV (PS3, Xbox360)

What did we get right on TGS 2009?

Sony
– GT5 Demo – yes Release date -No
– FF13 No exact release date for North America, New demo yes
– No LBP or Assassin’s Creed demo for the PSP
– Demo and playable MGS: Peace Walker
– No dev kit announcement.
– No God of War 3 other than the demo will be part of the GOW PS3 bundle pack to be released in the coming weeks.
– No release date but more playable demo of White Knight Chronicles

Nintendo
– Yes – Wii price cut
– No – DS price cut
– No Wii Zelda Game
– No HD Wii
– No new controller
– Motion Plus technology not exactly a big thing for Nintendo

Xbox
– Still no handheld.

Pleasant surprises of the show:
Sony
– Playable MGS: Peace Walker PSP
– Playable Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep PSP
– Tekken 6 on the PSP
– Yakuza 4 PS3
– Lunar: Silver Star Harmony PSP
– Final Fantasy Agito XIII PSP
– Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday PSP
– Final Fantasy Versus XIII PS3
– Persona 3 Portable PSP
– Sony Wand device to be released in Spring 2010

Nintendo
– 4th! (Yes I did say 4th) Professor Layton game DS
– Final Fantasy Gaiden: Warriors of Light DS
– Phantasy Star Zero DS
– Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
– Okamiden DS

Xbox 360
– Forza Motorsport 3
– Nier Gestalt (Square-Enix action game)
– Alan Wake
– MGS 4 using Natal controllers

Multiplatform
– Resonance of Fate

From the list above I was surprised at the number of Square-Enix games that were shown. No sign of anything they acquired from Eidos yet. Maybe next year in the GDC. Sony showed a lot of games especially on the PSP. Nintendo was also focused on it’s own handheld as well. I only mentioned those that caught my eye. So the Bayonetta, Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Crackdown 2, Assassin’s Creed, I have a tendency to ignore since those games are covered to death by other gaming sites/ blogs and I don’t play them.

There was also Sony’s display of hardware including a 250 GB limited edition FF XIII PS3 bundle and a peek of all the accessories to be released for the PSP Go.

All in all this year was a pretty good show with nice surprises even if overall attendance was down by 10k.

For now…. please keep this quiet!

Wii price drop confirmed: $199 starting this weekend

More evidence surfaces that the Wii will drop to $199 as early as this weekend. According to Engadget, along with screenshot to boot that Best Buy will start selling the console at this new price on Sunday.

I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow or Friday for Nintendo to make a formal announcement in TGS.

One game, two versions, same price

Final Fantasy: Echoes of Time Gets A Release Date: News from 1UP.com

The latest money maker for Square-Enix, Final Fantasy: Echoes of Time has now been given a US release date of March 24 for the Wii and DS. Both will retail for $39.99. My next question is, “why?!?!”

I know “Final Fantasy” is a premium title. That’s one of the reasons why they’re charging so much but for two different platforms? It’s not as if one is coming out on the Wii and then on the PS3. It’s coming out on a home console and a handheld. Handheld!

This is such a pain. I guess we know now where SE is getting the money to pay off for Lara Croft.

Gamasutra – Square Enix Makes $117 Million Bid For Eidos

Aquanaut’s Holiday > Endless Ocean

Over the weekend I finally got myself into serious gaming and got to playing the Asian version of Aquanaut’s Holiday: Hidden Memories for the PS3. First of all, the game is highly importable. Just make sure you are getting the Asian version. The whole game is in english and if needed, you can switch to chinese.

The graphics are amazing. It really feels like you are cruising underwater with the sound encoded in DTS adding to the atmosphere of diving.

There’s a lot to see beneath the waters and a mystery to solve. My only gripe? There’s no evening diving. It’s like racing 24 hours in Gran Turismo, the sun is always up and doesn’t change or set. It is widely known that there are varieties of fish that only come out during the night.

You can’t use your own music while under water and the in-game music is something you wouldn’t want to listen to outside of the game. Which is realy weird for a game that relies heavily on “atmosphere”.

Getting around requires a skill since you can either navigate through all the tunnels and passageways to get around and then there’s the NaSu. It’s some sort of becon that you can set anywhere in any of your explored areas. You also need to buy batteries to supply the sonar buoys located all over in order to navigate properly. It’s a good way of controlling the progress of the story. Sort of leading you from one plot twist after another compared to the free flowing exploration of Endless Ocean which would lead you well…endless searching for the next chapter.

But this is a game that the PS3 really needs and it’s sad that there’s no release date for North America. If you’re looking for a really casual game on the PS3 then look no further. This is that game. Take a hint Sony.

AQUANAUT’S HOLIDAY opening

If you have the Wii, you’re stuck with Endless Ocean. The plot is not as mysterious or as “dark” as Aquanauts but it takes a more relaxing turn. Filled with Enya-esque music, which I believe is better here than on the PS3. Just load up your music on an SD card and play away. Endless Occean provides a relaxing environment for diving and it really is diving with you and your dolphin friend compared to the enclosed submersible that Aquanauts puts you in.

Endless Ocean Trailer E3 2007(Wii)

But then there are the last generation graphics and the weird poking around of sea creatures. Then again, they do have the concept of time and moving around the map via your boat. Much easier than Aquanauts. But then again, how do you know where to go? Using the Wii-mote is easy and painless. Just literally point and swim in that direction.

But once you’ve finished the main story, there’s hardly any motivation to pursue all the side quests. The only way to track your progress is to check your sea discoveries and aqua library. Aquanauts has the trophy integration thus providing us with a rough guide on what to complete next.

So if you have both consoles, I suggest you get Aquanauts for the real underwater adventure. If you want to relax, get Endless Ocean and just sit on the deck and watch the sunset. I’m not kidding, you can really do that.

But if you’re a big underwater fan, then by all means get both. There’s a lot to learn about the ocean and the secrets that it holds.