Sunday, May 23, 2010

The grand Wii conspiracy.

On Friday night I ventured out of the friendly confines of my corner of the basement and joined a friend for beers. Between rounds of Delirium Nocturne (this is a beer, not a game) he tried once more to turn my mood from anti-Wii to on of general complacence toward it. This time he pulled out a bit of Wii-ware that I had heard about but dismissed: Castlevania Remixed or Revisited or Rehashed, I can't remember which. After I got my hands around using the Wii-mote as an actual controller and not as an imaginary conductors baton I found a Castlevania game very much in the spirit of the original: unforgivingly difficult and full of things that will kill you just for not knowing they were coming. It was still a step behind Super Castlevania 4 (8 way whipping is not something easily forgotten), and it actually allowed you to change direction mid-jump, but I pushed my way through three very good levels before my lives ran out and it was time to play something else. As he was shutting the Wii down he browsed past a few of the 'channels,' intentionally pausing on each of the original Castlevania games, dangling them like bait in front of a reluctantly hungry animal. The Wii version of XBLA is full of these things: treasures from the past (some actually by Treasure) that have held up remarkably well. 2D Castlevania games are ageless, will always be playable, and seeing them has the same effect as mentioning Deus Ex to old school PC gamers.

For a few moments I was tempted; a black Wii would not stick out compared to my other consoles and would open the door for innumerable off color jokes. Then I realized exactly what these re-releases and updates were: a distraction. They are Nintendo's slick way of saying, 'sure, we only have a good new game every few months, but look at all the excellent old stuff we have! Who needs new technology and advancements in graphics and game play, you can live in the past!' I don't have time to replay recent games, much less ones that I haven't looked at for years, regardless of how good they still are. Nice try, Nintendo, but I see what you did there, and I don't have enough interest in Mario Kart Again, Super Mario Galaxy 2: Super Mario 64 3 or Shitty port of XB360 game to warrant the purchase.

It took about an hours worth of fooling around, but I snuck past the train vs sand worm level in Lost Planet 2 last night, and things moved along quite well after. I assumed that I would bring it to a close in short order, but the 'desert pirates with Cheech and Chong accents vs military transport and giant spider' levels took quite a while, and may be the best that the game has had to offer. There were relatively clear objective, an interesting level to run around in, and the game stopped taking itself so dreadfully seriously. I can see how Lost Planet 2 would be a lot of fun with human company, but they would have to be people competent enough to work together and communicate beyond tea bagging and laughing at each others pain. In other words, random people will not work, and would most likely be worse the shepherding the AI.

Dude, did you see that?

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