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Nintendo Summit 2008

Posted on Friday, May 2 @ 15:18:45 PST by Blake_Morse

A few weeks ago Joe(blow) Accorsi, the esteemed Chris Hudak and Blake Morse, had the opportunity to attend the Nintendo Games Summit in lovely downtown San Francisco. We had a chance to check out a veritable smorgasbord of upcoming games both for the Wii and DS. Unlike most game events, it was a lot less hectic and bump-and-shove. Everyone was bright and cheerful and eager to show off their latest digital offerings.

But you don’t care about how much fun we had, do you? You want to know how much fun you are going to have with these upcoming titles. Well, strap yourself in folks, because here comes a look at what’s new from everyone’s favorite plumber-loving game systems.


Samba De Amigo (Wii)

Today, everyone talks about Rock Band and Guitar Hero and how great they are. But many people forget that there was another rhythm game that let you live out your rock star fantasies before them; that is, if those rock fantasies involved being a Sombrero-Wearing Mariachi Monkey. I am, of course, talking about the fiery, Latin-rhythm-oriented, maracas-shaking free-for-all that is Samba De Amigo, a cult hit back in the days of the Sega Dreamcast. It was quirky and addictive, in a manner which was as of yet unseen. Now Gearbox readies itself to drop this game on the Wii.

While still in its early stages, the game is shaping up fairly well. Using a couple of Wii-motes or a Wii-mote and nunchuck, instead of the specifically designed maraca controllers makes perfect sense, and this is exactly the type of game that motion-sensing was made for. Keep your eyes peeled for it this spring, and be ready to shake what your mama gave you (there is no wrong way of misreading that). - Blake_Morse


Guitar Hero On Tour (DS)

It sounds like a cruel, teasing joke on the gaming masses, doesn’t it? But, no, rest assured--On Tour sports a peripheral controller-grip that jacks into your DS, providing the tiny equivalent of the colored fret-board on the larger-console iterations of Guitar Hero. You even get a "guitar pick" stylus to literally strum the virtual guitar strings on the touch-sensitive screen.

Mechanically, the gameplay is pretty much what you’d expect, but this version also offers a wireless Guitar Duel mode that features "battle item" power-ups unique to the DS, as well as some clever functionality. One battle item sets your opponent's guitar on fire, requiring him to put out the flames by blowing on the DS microphone. Another one temporarily blocks his screen with the posters and T-shirts proffered by clamoring ‘fans’—sign them quickly (by scrawling your signature with the DS stylus/pick) to get them out of the way as quickly as possible! All this, and the most diverse set-list of any Guitar Hero game to date? Hell yes! Guitar Hero On Tour will be available this summer. - Chris_Hudak


Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

Ever since the good old days of the Super Nintendo, Mario Kart has been a fan favorite and this newest addition to the famous franchise is no disappointment. Using the new Wii-Wheel peripheral to steer around your go-kart or the newly added bikes is just as much fun as it was when we didn’t have motion controls and had to walk uphill, both ways, naked, in the snow, to school.

New levels and vehicles aren’t the only good news, there’s also a ton of classic courses thrown in for all us old-timers out there. - Blake_Morse


Wii Fit (Wii)

If people start really taking all this business of balance-board aerobics, body-mass checks and other healthful forays into game-space seriously, we might have to ease up on the out-of-shape gamer-dweeb jokes. The Wii Fit Balance Board is an ingenious and surprisingly sturdy input device that gives players control in four main categories of games and activities–Strength Training, Yoga, Aerobics and Balance.

It’s neither as lame nor as easy as it appears, when you’re watching it from the relative comfort of a nearby bag of potato chips. Activities include simulated hula-hooping, virtual skiing/snowboarding, and the tip-the-game-world scheme that puts you in command of a game-space version of the real-world game Labyrinth. And just about anything a cute girl does with the balance board looks awesome (bonus awesomeness: there’s a penguin-based belly-slide game; how can you go wrong?). It smarts to admit it, but the Nintendo marketing-wonk hype is more true than not: This may well be the game that [shudder] brings the whole family together for a more healthful experience. - Chris_Hudak




Space Invaders Extreme (DS)

The label "extreme" gets passed around a lot these days (usually with a capital “X” or three in place of an “e”) and most things given said label are not deserving of such a title. But on the new Space Invaders Extreme for the DS, this does not seem the case. This is an eye-popping extravaganza that makes you feel like you're watching a seizure inducing intro to a brightly colored anime. It takes the cult classic and upgrades it for the 21st century, adding new swarms of enemies, including bosses and new weapons to blow them up with. Short little musical phrases echo with each hit as wild backgrounds scroll rapidly behind you. You may want to let this game abduct you. But watch out, it might try to probe you in the wrong places. - Blake_Morse

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