Category Archives: Wii

Seven Things You Should Know About Disney Infinity

What is it?

In a similar way to Skylanders, you place plastic toys on a docking station plugged into your console and those toys will appear on-screen allowing the player to use them in-game in specific Playsets.

Characters are linked to Playsets, specific stages based around famous Disney films or locations. John Day told us more at a recent hands-on event:

In a given Playset you experience a single universe in a really immersive way. So when you play in Cars, you play as a Cars character you do things that makes sense to Cars like racing or building up the town of radiator springs. And if you play in the Pirates of the Caribbean Playset you get a very different experience, you play as a Pirate’s character, you get a pirate ship you sail the high seas, you fight the Kraken, the Kraken eats you, that’s what happens in Pirates. The two never really cross over, Jack sparrow will never go into the Cars Playset and McQueen will never go into the Pirates Playset.”

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Disney Infinity (Hands-On Preview)

Skylanders makes millions. Serious millions. So it was only a matter of time before other companies decided to get into toy/video game hybrids and names don’t come much bigger than Disney. When we learned that the biggest name in animated movies was stepping into the fray, we knew things were about to get interesting in the war for a spot under Christmas trees.

Like SkylandersDisney Infinity is going to sell toys that are placed on a docking device (the Infinity Base) which makes them appear in-game. These characters will be sold in ‘Play Sets’ based around specific film franchises. These sets will include a couple of toy characters along with single-player stages/missions based around that film. Pirates of the CaribbeanMonster’s UniversityThe Incredibles, The Lone Ranger and so on.

Continue reading Disney Infinity (Hands-On Preview)

The Sunday Seven: Most Wanted Gaming Crossovers

After looking at the insane mashup that Sega, Namco and Capcom have put together for the upcoming Project X Zone on the 3DS, it got me thinking about other gaming brands I’d like to see pushed together. These could be games pitting legends against each other in a fight to the death or something involving them working together. Publishers and IP owners can be very protective over their brands, but here’s a selection I think would work well together given half a chance.

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Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Review)

Even Batman needs a little help from his friends, despite hating them all.

If going on a mad collecting splurge in Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 was too much of a guilty pleasure to indulge in, you might be more comfortable with Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Even in Lego form, comic/movie icons don’t come much cooler than the Dark Knight. Even if he is stubby and spends most of the time sulking.

As long as you’re not expecting any dark plot elements like Nolan’s films, the 90s animated series or Rocksteady’s recent games, you’ll be fine. This is for fans who don’t mind a bit of fun poked at Batman. If the Joker was going to make a Batman game it might be like this. Everyone is so happy and cheerful, except for Batman of course.

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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Review

If the Wii U makes it in time for next Christmas, this could be the original Wii’s last family outing. We’ve had some great times with Wii Sports, Resort, Play, Mario Kart and the last two Olympicstitles, so we were looking forward to a warm-up for next year’s London Games.

Thinking we’d start with some multiplayer games, we headed straight to the London Party mode. Instead of simply choosing a random mix of games or selecting specific ones from a list, we’re given something much worse.

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Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 (Review)

Ignore the messy Harry Potter titles that EA have been squeezing out over the last few years. If you’re after a game that will please Harry Potter fans, look no further than this Lego-flavoured compilation spanning the last four films.

For the most part, you’ll control the familiar trio, with other characters popping up occasionally. Harry has his cloak, Hermione unlocks swot boxes and Ron can access his brother’s Wesley boxes for destructive fireworks or wall-climbing shoes. As is standard with the Lego games, you can play local multiplayer. The screen will split when it feels it is appropriate. We found it to be a nightmare though. Splitting when it didn’t need to and giving one player loads of space and the other a corner. The divide also made a nasty habit of dizzyingly spinning around.

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WWE ’12 (Review)

With promises of rebuilding the aging gameplay for this year’s title, we’re expecting a lot of WWE ’12. The Smackdown name has been removed from the title as a statement of intent. But has enough changed to warrant the new name, or is it just another gimmick?

The most noticeable addition is the Predator system, which allows you to use the face buttons while locked in a grapple to target the arms, head or legs. Repeated manglings cause your opponent to move awkwardly and reduces their resilience to submission moves. It works well, although repeated use of a move to cause the injury can get boring and makes play feel mechanical, rather than fun.

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Disney Universe (Review)

Buying titles for the little gamer in your life can be a difficult task. Especially if they’re of the age that bright colours and fun take precedent over playing GTA. So you’ll want to get it right this Christmas.

Disney Universe is a good place to start in addition to De Blob 2 and the tougher Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. It’s cheery, inoffensive, impossible to hit a Game Over screen and has so many playable characters that kids might even still be playing it by New Year’s.

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Nintendo Launch Blue Wii for Final Christmas Assault

Console bundled with Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games on November 18th.

With Nintendo hoping the Wii U will be bringing in the cash next Christmas, the blue console will be the Wii’s last chance to shine at gaming’s busiest season. Backwards compatibility for GameCube games and controllers will no longer be supported though.

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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Hands-on Preview)

After a brief panic of thinking I’d spent a full year queuing for games at Gamescom I stirred myself awake to remember an early Olympics title would of course be released the Christmas before the event itself. Especially after the previous games on the Wii sold by the tonne. It’s still heart breaking to see Sonic standing next to archrival Mario with no signs of murderous intentions though.

Our hands-on session with some of our German cousins was in the form of a multiplayer party with laughs and smiles hiding the pride of wanting to win at all costs. Wiimotes at the ready then.

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WWE All-Stars (Review)

As the UFC games send the wrestling genre towards ever-duller reality the WWE universe gets a style overhaul as WWE All-Stars throws in the biggest, names past and present, into the squared circle. Expect to battle with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bret ‘Hit Man’ Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Stone Cold, The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, Shaemus and Rey Mysterio.

The emphasis is on setting everything to the extreme. The character models are beefed up to ridiculous proportions and their faces are amusing cartoonised charactertures of themselves. The first time you see two wrestlers standing toe-to-toe at the start of a match you’ll only be able to think ‘they’re effing huge!’. There are no Divas to oggle at, but considering the beefcake visuals, that’s probably a good thing.

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Ten Unannounced Sequels I Already Despise

We live in the world of the sequel, the remake, the annual release, the safe bet, the lazy rehash. Occasionally a new name might emerge, a new IP (Intellectual Property) that hopes to become the next big franchise, but they’re generally seen to be too risky in the world of the multi-million pound costs of developing and marketing a game.

Some sequels are essential though and 2011 will be no different with Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City already driving us nuts with the wait. Sometimes though, when we see an announcement for a sequel, our hearts sink, we question the sanity of developers/publishers and usually have a bit of a fight around the office to see which poor sod will have to review it.

So here’s a look at the sequels that haven’t been announced yet, but in all probability will be in the near future. Albeit with slightly more marketable titles. Continue reading Ten Unannounced Sequels I Already Despise

Stop Stress: A Day of Fury (WiiWare Review)

The ‘Day of Fury’ part of the title probably gave it away, but this isn’t part of the Wii Fit-style wave of games. So there’ll be no breathing games or dragging out the balance board, instead it’s good old-fashioned hit-things-with-a-stick gameplay.

Everything in the game seems to be enraging your guy, so in order to keep his stress levels (like a health bar) down you need to smash everything up and occasionally calm yourself down by finding money or a brew. Continue reading Stop Stress: A Day of Fury (WiiWare Review)

The Winners of the Game Hub Games of the Year Awards 2009

All your votes are in and counted. So who were the winners of the Game Hub Games of the Year Awards 2009? There are a few surprises amongst the obvious ones.  Fortunately for all the nominees, nobody got zero votes (somebody got one though). So here are the Top 3 for each of the 13 categories:*

*I wrote this article for game-hub.co.uk after I arranged the voting categories a few weeks earlier.

Follow this link to be taken to the article at Game Hub.

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The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest (Wii Preview)

This will be the first Lord of the Rings game since Warner Bros. Interactive obtained the license from EA. Warner are using this game to rekindle interest in the Tolkien franchise before the new Hobbit films and their inevitable film tie-ins in 2011. Continue reading The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest (Wii Preview)

Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Review)

Who would have thought one of the Wii’s most engrossing games of recent months would totally forgo any motion controls and be a 2D side-scrolling RPG slash-em-up? That’s right; you can sit and play this Wii game all afternoon without worrying about waking up the next day feeling that familiar tightness in every muscle. Well, your thumbs might take a slight pounding, but nothing the little brutes can’t handle. So dust off the pad for this one folks. Continue reading Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Review)

F1 2009: Formula 1

It’s been years since the last F1 game and it’s a little surprising to see Codemasters test their newly acquired license on the Wii first, but probably a wise decision seeing as Dirt 2 and Forza 3 are keeping the non-Wii crowd busy for now. While Codemasters’ modern classics of Dirt 2 and Grid were developed in-house, Sumo Digital are in the driving seat for this one. Sumo do have a history of racing titles, but admittedly nothing that comes close to Codemasters’ recent output. Continue reading F1 2009: Formula 1

Ju-On: The Grudge (Review)

This ‘fright simulator’ loosely borrows from the films to provide a few cheap jumps and puzzles. You control a girl that enters an abandoned warehouse to retrieve her wandering dog. Naturally it’s cursed, now you are too and you better start to work out how to appease the spirits of these spiteful child ghosts before they claims your soul, or something.

You navigate your way around the darkness in a first-person viewpoint with your wiimote controlled torch that works well when moving forwards but struggles to keep up if you try and turn too quickly. Poking around the chilling locations in the dark does feel quite immersive though as you are in direct control of what you aim the light at. Continue reading Ju-On: The Grudge (Review)

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Review)

The Winter Olympics might be a while off yet but Mario and Sonic have got an early assault planned for space under Christmas trees again after the massive success of their first Olympic Games title on the Wii.

It’s a more relaxed affair this time around with most of the games being about balance and leaning rather than frantic arm swinging. If any players have been glued to Wii Fit they might just have an edge here. Continue reading Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Review)