Friday, January 16, 2009

WiiWare games in 2009

If you missed my first article, about retail Wii games in 2009, check it out here; this one's about WiiWare. -Kyle

2009, in my mind, is going to be one of the better years for Wii, at least from what we know so far. But what about WiiWare? 2008 was an awesome year for WiiWare. We saw some of the best Wii games of the year launched on Nintendo's downloadable service, such as World of Goo, Mega Man 9, and LostWinds. We may not know too many WiiWare games being released in 2009. But the ones we do look to continue the quality.

Please note: release dates are for North America only. If you're from somewhere other than North America, such as Europe or Australia, check Google, Wikipedia, and/or IGN to be sure.

Cave Story
Developer: Studio Pixel
Release date: Early 2009

The original Cave Story for PC, that's free and still available here, earned a reputation as the best freeware game of all time. And now it's being brought over to WiiWare. With it come both technical and in-game additions. Tech junkies will be pleased to know the game is now has 480p and widescreen options. Plus both the graphic and sound departments have received a major overhaul. But if you're a fan of the original and this worries you you can always change back to retro graphics and classic music. Also, recently announced was new content via downloads. One of the best free downloadable games of all times may soon be joining the ranks of best WiiWare games.

Swords & Soldiers
Developer: Ronimo Games
Release date: Q1 2009

Second up on this feature is Swords & Soldiers. S&S is a 2D, sidescrolling real-time strategy game. In it you play as one of three factions, the Aztecs, the Vikings, and a third faction we don't know about yet. The art style is awesome and (partially quoting some article I can't remember) is a combination of the looks of XBLA's Castle Crashers and PSN's Fat Princess. The game will feature both local and online multiplayer, as well as single player campaigns for each of the factions. It looks like a lot of fun and is one of my most anticipated games.

Eduardo the Samurai Toaster
Developer: Semnat Studios
Release date: Q1 2009

Eduardo the Samurai Toaster. Yes, that's this game's name. Awesome, right? Eduardo was only recently announced, but it's already a looker. It's a run'n'gun game in the same vein as greats like Gunstar Heroes, Contra, and Metal Slug (which are favorites of the game developers). It sports co-op for up to four player and an awesome graphical style. Many games of this list have graphics that lean towards style rather than raw processing power. But Eduardo the Samurai Toaster may top them all with it's amazing and diverse style. Stages and levels will be made up of different kinds of art such as charcoal, pen and ink, and acrylic paint. Definitely one of the neater looking games on the horizon.

Developer: WayForward Technologies
Release date: TBA 2009

LIT is a game with a really unique premise: you can't wander into the darkness or evil creatures will get you. So to avoid darkness you'll have to follow paths that the light uncovers. This opens up tons of puzzles involving turning on lights to make paths, throwing rocks through windows to shine moonlight in, and using obtained items like flashlights and lanterns. While graphically the game looks to be really lacking, the puzzles look ingenious and awesome, so I can't wait for it.

Animales de la Muerte
Developer: High Voltage Software
Release date: TBA 2009

I'm almost hesitant to list this on here. The reason being we've heard so little of this game for a while. There was even talk of HVS putting out as a retail due to Nintendo's limited file size cap. But as for the game, it looks great. Supposedly all the animals in a Mexican zoo have gotten some kind of virus and are now rabid, zombie animals. So the zoo manager tasks you to put all his precious animals out of their misery. To do this you'll equip yourself with machine guns and take 'em down. The goal of each level is to survive for as long as possible. And after seeing the trailer with Mexican hat dance music playing while cartoony, zombie animals are uzied down, only two words will be on your mind (well at least they were on mine): hilarious and awesome.

Other WiiWare games

There's not a lot of WiiWare games that we know of that I didn't list. But three of them, Evasive Space, Last Flight, and Eternity's Child, look interesting though I'm not so sure of them yet. Also with not a lot of first-party support in 2008, we can only hope Nintendo has something up their sleeve for '09, preferably a revisit of a classic franchise. Perhaps a Mega Man 9-esque Link to the Past sequel with 16-bit graphics and all? Make it happen Nintendo! Or how about the long overdue New Super Mario Bros. 2 being released as a download. Pure awesome that would be. And finally we do know that Frontier is planning a LostWinds sequel. The first was excellent, albeit a bit short, so I'm definitely holding out for a LostWinds 2.

What about you? Any WiiWare games you looking forward to? Or would you rather stick to retail?

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