Friday, May 30, 2008

Next Week: WiiWare Week

Next week will be what I call WiiWare Week. Since the launch of WiiWare, I have purchased three game: LostWinds, Defend Your Castle, and Dr. Mario Online Rx. I will be reviewing each in that order.


EDIT: Please note that the WiiWare Week was postponed until June 9th through the 13th rather than the 2nd through the 6th. Enjoy!

Nintendo E3 Predictions

With no Nintendo news for the last month or so and E3 coming up, it's pretty safe to assume Nintendo has some big games they're planning to show off and the Expo. Some of the games are practically confirmed, whiles others I'm not so sure of. Read on to see my predictions for Nintendo at E3 '08

Kid Icarus

The crew at IGN have practically confirmed it in some of their latest podcasts. And rumors have been floated all over the web about the rebirth of Nintendo's classic franchise.

Pretty boy Pit from Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Seeing that only two games have ever been released in the series (the last one in 1991 for the GameBoy), this will have been around 17 years since a Kid Icarus game was released. He appeared in Brawl too. So it's safe to say I'm 99% sure he'll be at E3.

Animal Crossing Wii

Animal Crossing for the Wii has been pretty much confirmed by Nintendo when they were first showing off the abilities of the WiiConnect24 service. Think of it, sending letters to your friend's town and visiting their towns (maybe even while they're away!) And with Pay-to-Play recently announced from Nintendo, what better game to utilize that new service than Nintendo's own Animal Crossing? Just as they advertised when the Wii was first confirmed, think of waking up in the morning to find out you received something household item or piece of clothing from Nintendo. Animal Crossing is also very likely to be at E3.

Pikmin 3

There haven't been any rumors or news about a third Pikmin game, but as Miyamoto said in an interview with IGN, "I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Pikmin."

The Wii controls would fit the RTS elements of Pikmin pretty well; so it'd definitely work. Just like Pit, Captain Olimar starred in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so I bet we'll see Pikmin 3 in some form at E3. But I could be wrong on this one.

Disaster: Day of Crisis

Very little has been heard about this realistic survival game from Nintendo. For any of you who haven't heard of it, D:DoC was announced way back at the 2006 E3. And a year later at the next E3, the NOA's Beth Llewelyn said in an interview that it was still in development. With very little news since then, Nintendo fans such as myself hope that it doesn't turn into a Project H.A.M.M.E.R. and just fade away.

Besides the Wii Sports/Play/Fit franchise, Pikmin and Animal Crossing were the last original Nintendo series to be created. D:DoC could create a cool new universe for Nintendo to work with and expand. That's always good.

Wii Music

Imagine playing a classic Mario or Zelda tune...

And rounding up the Wii games is Wii Music! We've heard a little bit about this at previous E3's and other events. What is known about it is that Miis are used and you'll be able to conduct full orchestras. This will most likely be at E3 also.

Hard Drive/SD Card Support

This is a subject that has been hard pressed by fanboys and professional journalists alike. And it is a fact! The Wii needs some form of Hard Drive support! Whether its being able to load stuff off SD cards, USB hard drive support, or some other form of storage, it has too happen soon. With the recent launch of the downloadable WiiWare games, I found my self taking off almost all of my downloaded channels (yes even the Nintendo and Internet) and a couple of Virtual Console games to make enough room. Equal amounts of rumors have circulated the web of either a hard drive coming and it not. I desperately hope its the former and we'll see it at E3, but I really don't know.

Voice Chat

Voice chat is an aspect of online gaming that, while Microsoft and Sony have used in all of their online games, Nintendo shuns it. Especially in games like Smash Bros. and Mario Kart it seems idiotic not to have it. Nintendo wants people's online gaming to be safe. But if this is the case, why not just have parental controls like limiting or restricting online and voice chat? Come on! Nevertheless, I have a feeling we'll see Voice Chat in some shape or form at the Expo. Hopefully.

On the DS... (DS2?)

To finish off the article I'll talk about the Nintendo DS at E3. The only game I can really think of being announced their is New Super Mario Bros. 2. The first was one of my favorites for the DS. It would sell very well, so I can see Nintendo taking the same path and releasing another.

Fire Mario, what a bad ass

I bet they'll also announce some of the new DS colors that have been seen across the web. I've seen a new red, blue, and green DS Lite. Which brings me to my next topic... the next DS. Dubbed DS2 in the media, it'll be here sooner or later and what better time to announce it than E3? Though it's not too probable, it could happen.

Well that rounds it up for my E3 predictions. Sorry about the lack of DS stuff but I'm trying to lean this blog towards a more Wii-centered audience. Like my picks? Think
I forgot something? That's what the comments are for.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mario Kart Wii review

Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Date Released: April 27, 2008 (USA)
MSRP: $49.99
Players: 1-4 (up to 12 players online)
Kart Racing
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Seeing that both the super popular franchises of Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario have had their turn on the Wii, you may wonder where that other Mario series is... Mario Kart. Well, Mario Kart Wii is here. Is it worthy of the name Mario, or is it more shovelware doomed to the bargain bin?

Mario Kart Wii gets away with basically the some gameplay as all the past karts with a few minor additions. Haven't played since the N64? Not too much should be new. Basically, you choose a Mario character (or Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Funky Kong, or your Mii), choose a kart, and race around different Mario themed tracks in several different modes, including single- and multi-player, online and off.

It features 32 tracks in all. I have really come to love the tracks in Mario Kart Wii, especially the original ones. While it still features the super difficult Rainbow Road and Bowser Castles, new tracks such as Koopa Cape, Coconut Mall, and Wario's Gold Mine keep it fresh. Plus, along with the 16 new tracks, there's another 16 retro tracks, including favorites such as Sherbet Land (Nintendo 64), Waluigi Stadium (GameCube), and Delfino Square (Nintendo DS) to race on. Plus, now there's twelve racers on the track, rather than eight as in previous games, which ends up being even more hectic and random than before. And even more luck and randomness is not needed in Mario Kart.

And now not only do you have eight or so karts to choose from, you can also decide to race on motorcycles. Adding bikes to the series was a smart move on Nintendo's part. There's just the right balance between karts and bikes to insure that neither will have an advantage. The difference between the two are pretty noticeable; bikes are just a little bit faster, and can do wheelies, which will increase your speed but you won't really be able to turn. And bikes don't get as much of a boost off a powerslide as karts do. I enjoyed the bikes, but I still prefer karts any day.

There's also a few added items that will make this Mario Kart even more random than previous. The new items include: the POW Block, the Lightning Cloud, and the Mega Mushroom (from New Super Mario Bros.) I really like the Lightning Cloud, because it requires a lot of skill to get the most boost from it. When you get it, it'll speed you up, but if you keep it too long you'll spin out and shrink. The real skill in it is to use it for a boost, then bump into an opponent and give it to them (so they'll get shrunk). The Mega Mushrooms pretty cool too, turning you giant and letting you squish other player. Being my least favorite, I saved the POW Block for last; this item acts like a red shell to everyone in front of the user, spinning them out of control.

As in Smash Bros. there's four different ways to race. The Wii Wheel, Wii Remote and Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and Gamecube. All of the work, but my favorite is definitely the Wii Wheel. When I first heard of Mario Kart using motion controls, my reaction was skeptical. I decided I'd use the Classic Controller because I had recently bought one. But when Smash Bros. came out I got an old WaveBird out, so I decided I'd use that. But when the game came in the mail, I decided to try the motion controls to see if they worked, and I was hooked. Both the GameCube and Classic Controllers work fine, and I'd use one of those if you're into a more old-school style. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination also works especially since you get both the analog stick and motion controls for tricks.

Mario, sporting a snazzy new kart.

Wait, tricks? In a Mario Kart? Yes, folks, Nintendo has added tricks, too. Tricks are easy to pull off and rewarding. When you go off a jump just shake the Wii Wheel, shake the Wii Remote, or press a direction on the D-Pad (depending on which controller you're using) and your character will do a random trick and when you land, you'll get a short speed boost. Tricks are so addicting, I found myself shaking the Wheel wildly every time I got airborne. Like some of the new additions (bikes, etc.) to Mario Kart, tricks are a cool new mechanic but they don't change the game radically.

Another thing I should add is that snaking has been removed. No longer does the boost you gain after a powerslide have to do with you rapidly moving the analog stick back and forth. Now it matters how long you're in the powerslide. It's a dumbing down mechanic, but I feel it's a change for the better.

Just as in Smash Bros., you probably are going to play quite a bit of multiplayer in Mario Kart Wii. Sure, there's the (unfortunately) one-player only Grand Prix which will last you maybe a few days or even a week at most, but then you'll probably turn to multiplayer. Local multiplayer works great and up to four player can play on a single TV. But the real gem here in online multiplayer. Mario Kart Wii has one of the best multiplayer experience for the console. The Wi-Fi connection is pretty fast, Nintendo is actually has a lot of rules that will kick you out of a game (such as driving the course backwards and hit people with shells and stars), and it's actually pretty easy to navigate the slick menus. Another great thing is that two people can play on the same Wii online, further increasing the entertainment value of online play. The system that Nintendo devised for ranking is pretty genius in my opinion. Instead of Wins/Losses, you start out with 5000 points and how many points and whether you lose or gain them is determined by your placing.

Now while the multiplayer works, I have some gripes about it too. My main disappointment with the game is Battle Mode. This was one of the best modes in previous Karts, especially N64 and DS. This time around they limited it a lot. No longer is there every man for himself, and the last man standing wins. Mario Kart Wii, forces you into teams. Plus as in previous Karts you have three balloons which represent your lives. But that's where the similarities end. In previous games once you lost all three you were out of the game and could just watch it. Now when you lose, you're reborn a moment later with three more balloons! The only thing that matters for the team is your score. This definitely will turn a lot of people away from Battle Mode, as it did for me. About the only other bad thing about multiplayer has to do with 2-player online. The second player practically isn't there except in races. He/She will always be dubbed Guest and can't earn any points even if you have another save file on the game. Also if you're playing by yourself and a friend or family comes up and want to play they can't just drop in. You have to quit out of Nintendo Wi-Fi and select it again just with the 2-player option. But other than that, the multiplayer is the best way to go in Mario Kart Wii.

The graphics aren't nearly as good as some of the Wii's other great titles (Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3, etc.), but it has that polished, cartoonish feel of other games such as Wii Sports. And it's pleasing to look at, even if there's not a lot of texture details and it's not too realistic.

Another thing that isn't extraordinary but works is the audio. The music is fun and fast, and it sort of adds to the experience. But the character noise sure get on my nerves. Every time they did a trick, got ahead, or anything else good they make annoying sounds like "Wahoo!", "Alright", and "Yes." Especially certain characters like the Miis, which are by the way are playable and awesome.

Overall, Mario Kart Wii is a great game. And it'll last you a while, especially in the online areas. But it's not for everyone. If you didn't like the other Mario Karts or like more realistic, less random racing like F-Zero, then this isn't for you. But I liked it and what it brought to the Mario Kart table, such as bikes, tricks, Miis, and a great online.

Gameplay: 8.5/10 Very fun, and Miis, tricks, and bikes are great. But the battle mode definitely bumped this score down.

Multiplayer: 9.5/10 Some of the best online on Wii. Local multiplayer is great too.

Graphics: 7.5/10 Good but not great.

Sound: 7.5/10 God those Miis are annoying. Nice music though.

Lasting Value: 9/10 Online will keep you coming back for more.

Fun game, while it lacks in some areas, online is great.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Hello and welcome to my blog, World 1-1. Here I will post features, reviews and news stories about the video game industry. I will post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting with a review of Mario Kart Wii on Wednesday. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

World 1-1 Review Archive

Below is a compilation of every review published on World 1-1. They're sorted alphabetically and categorized by whichever platform they were released. The World 1-1 Review Archive will be updated every time a review is posted.


Boom Blox - 9/10 (published on April 3, 2008)
Deadly Creatures - 7/10 (published on March 11, 2009)
The House of the Dead: Overkill - 9/10 (published on March 19, 2009)
MadWorld - 9/10 (published on March 23, 2009)
Mario Kart Wii - 8/10 (published on May 28, 2008)
New Play Control! Pikmin - 8/10 (published on March 30, 2009)
No More Heroes - 8/10 (published on December 10, 2008)
Order Up! - 8/10 (published on September 15, 2008)
Wario Land: Shake It! - 8/10 (published on November 2, 2009)


Guitar Hero: On Tour
- 8/10 (published on July 23, 2008)
N+ - 8/10 (published on March 3, 2009)


Art Style: ORBIENT - 8/10 (published on October 23, 2008)
Bit.Trip Beat - 9/10 (published on April 21, 2009)
Defend Your Castle - 7/10 (published on June 11, 2008)
Dr. Mario Online Rx - 8/10 (published on June 14, 2008)
Gyrostarr - 7/10 (published on July 2, 2008)
LostWinds - 9/10 (published on June 9, 2008)
Mega Man 9 - 9/10 (published on October 20, 2009)
Tetris Party - 8/10 (published on November 12, 2008)
World of Goo - 10/10 (published on October 26, 2008)

Virtual Console

Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream (NES) - 9/10 (published on May 19, 2009)
Mega Man (NES) - 8/10 (published on September 23, 2008)
Mega Man 2 (NES) - 9/10 (published on September 27, 2008)