What would you have said if someone told you pre-E3 that Microsoft would do its best to mimic Nintendo, whereas Nintendo would act like Microsoft? It certainly seemed like the companies flip-flopped at their respective E3 press conferences. Though the 360 spent a great deal of focus on motion control and the Kinect, Nintendo didn't breathe a word about health, motion, or the Wii Fit at its E3 briefing on Tuesday.
Instead, the company's games were the real focus, especially retro franchises: those folks hoping for years for a taste of old Nintendo games certainly had a field day. StarFox, F-Zero, and Pikmin remain undisclosed (Update: Though not discussed at the press briefing, StarFox 64 3D was announced for the 3DS), but Nintendo did unveil new Kirby, Donkey Kong, and Kid Icarus titles, along with detailed gameplay from the next Wii Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Demonstrated for nearly half an hour, the Nintendo flagship sequel will feature Wii MotionPlus support for more-accurate weapon and item actions. The rest of the story remains a mystery, but the game has a more cel-shaded look than Twilight Princess. It arrives in 2011.
Wii Sports Mix: In a very smart move, Nintendo is creating a Mario compilation sports game with what appear to be soccer, hockey, dodgeball, basketball, and volleyball. This could be a real surprise hit, and it's a nicer idea than infinite "Mario X" sports games.
Wii Party: Nintendo's "bridge" game, the next in the "Wii" series, features Miis in a game that looks a lot like an updated Mario Party. Board games, minigames, and group casual play seem like the focus. … Read more
Super Mario Galaxy, the Wii's best-reviewed game, has sold 8.6 million copies to date since 2007. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a modern riff on 2D Mario games of old that came out just six months ago, has sold more than 14 million. Super Mario Galaxy 2 represents the second 3D mind-bending platforming he's gotten himself into since Super Mario 64, a game that is already looking at its 15th birthday.
The Wii has been slow to release many games, but incredibly busy at churning out Mario titles. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is Nintendo's fourth on the system, not counting Karts, Parties, and other spin-offs (we count Super Paper Mario). Is it overkill? Well, not when the gameplay and platforming are this satisfying and addictive. In fact, it would be great if Nintendo turned around franchise sequels this quickly a little more often.
Jeff: No matter how few triple-A titles come to the Wii, its games like Super Mario Galaxy 2 that make those droughts of quality software tolerable. Not only is Super Mario Galaxy 2 an absolute must-have for Wii owners, it's quite possibly Mario's best adventure yet.
Though there's a lot of what we loved in the original here, the game improves upon its predecessor most notably by introducing brand-new galaxies to explore and ramping up the difficulty. This time Mario also has his dino-companion Yoshi at his disposal, and with that comes new moves and controls. Also new is the World Map navigation that past Mario games have popularized.
Level design has to be the title's most impressive trait; it's something aspiring gamemakers should be forced to play early on in their careers. Galaxy 2 provides subtle moments of brilliance and overwhelming environments and boss battles. The clever use of gravity-based antics shine right from the get-go and come into play more than ever before.
There have been more Mario games on the Wii than any other franchise, and though that might seem overkill for any other franchise on any other platform, we'd be happy to see Nintendo continue to pop them out this regularly. Not only are these games high on production value and sheer entertainment, they are timeless and completely accessible, appealing to gamers of any age.
Scott: What's different from the universe-spanning, gravity-bending 3D puzzle-gaming in the first Galaxy? Not a whole lot, just more great levels and clever ideas. There is a subtle but clear shift, however, toward ideas that seem more like Mario games of old: the world map now looks like the classic Mario overhead maps, complete with boss castles.… Read more
In a run-up to Sunday's release of Super Mario Galaxy 2, Guinness World Records has published a list of the franchise's achievements.
According to the record-tracking organization, Mario has appeared in the most video games of any character in the industry's history. Based on the Guinness count, Mario has appeared in "207 distinct titles, including remakes and re-releases." Also, since he made his first appearance in 1981 as Jumpman in "Donkey Kong," Guinness said, Mario holds the title for the "longest-running computer game character."
Guinness likewise found that the Super Mario … Read more
This week on preGAME we rewind time, use the power of the elements, and take a ride on the first dinosaur in space as we demo two very special games. Tune in as we take a look at Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and Super Mario Galaxy 2.
There's a lot of gameplay on today's show, but first we take a look at trailers for two games hitting this summer. First, we screen the latest video for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Will this new Spidey game stand on its own, or will it fall into the bargain bin … Read more
Many gamers have fond memories of the original Super Mario Bros. In fact, I bet a good number of you even remember vividly each stage and where the secret boxes are. A clever programmer by the name of Jay Pavlina has created a tribute called Super Mario Crossover. In this version, you can choose to play not only as Mario, but also as characters from other games such as Metroid Prime, The Legend of Zelda, and Contra.
The best part is that these are not just skins that replace the original Mario character as they move, jump, and shoot just … Read more
You're not going to see Kordian Lewandowski's "Game Over" displayed in St. Peter's Basilica anytime soon, but that doesn't mean it can't count as a classic work of art in its own right.
The Polish artist has cleverly reimagined Michelangelo's dramatic sculpture La Pieta with a video game twist--instead of a grieving Mary cradling the body of Jesus, it's Princess Peach holding a dying Mario.
It's not exactly an expected effect, but with the princess' downcast eyes and poor Mario's limp body, Game Over somehow manages to evoke some … Read more
Imagine you are somewhat advanced in years. You still get your news from a physical newspaper. You still get your pleasure from a physical person.
Then along comes your wacky nephew, or just some distantly removed acquaintance, who decides that you have to work a little to get to their wedding. This may well be the dilemma facing the invitees to the wedding of a couple of German geeks, Darina and Niko.According to Offbeat Bride, a place where couples share their propensity to waft away from "beaten aisle," Darina explained in an entirely harmonious way: "We … Read more
This week on preGAME, hosts Jeff Bakalar and Mark Licea take a sneak peek at both Major League Baseball games releasing today! Live on the show, we'll play a full inning from each title as well as talk to some of the developers behind the games. It's two games in one show for the first time ever!
Today's headlines start off with some breaking news from developer Infinity Ward (Modern Warfare 2) about two high-level employees. Also, we'll chat about the NES game that just went for a cool $41,000 on eBay and how we … Read more
Mario & Friends Lite is a soundboard app--that is, a sound-effects player--featuring over a dozen sounds from popular, old-school Nintendo games like Super Mario and Legend of Zelda. Unfortunately, the App Store currently lists this app under Games, not Entertainment. Make no mistake: it is not a game.
This is the Lite version of the full Mario & Friends app (which has more than 60 sounds), so you get just a handful of sounds, some just a second or two long. Examples include fun, iconic effects like Street Fighter's classic "Hadouken!" or the bouncy Mario 1UP trill.… Read more