Well, this week is a bit odd regarding new releases. While there are plenty of releases this week, very few of them are actually brand new titles. So, I’ll bring up 2 of the new releases and then 3 of the older titles who are making a comeback this week.
– Game & Wario (Wii U)
– Project X Zone (3DS)
– Joe Danger (PC) & Joe Danger 2: The Movie (PC)
– Muramasa Rebirth (Vita)
– Ecco the Dolphin (3DS)
First up, we have Game & Wario on the Wii U! Now, I’ll admit that I’ve always been a fan of Nintendo’s various Wario Ware series. They strike a nice balance between actual games and tech demoes for various new concepts and input methods. Every time Nintendo seems to want to test the waters with some new concepts while not committing to actually making a game around them, they always seem to rely on a Wario Ware game. So, with the new Wii U hardware these days, we once again find ourselves with a new Wario Ware game showing off the various possible tablet games players may come across when playing on the console. However, this time around we find ourselves in a slightly different position than normal. While Game & Wario still has a number of small mini-games in it, it also has 12 longer mini-games in it to show off deeper gameplay. That said; reviewers seem to have mixed feelings on these 12 longer mini-games. Between it being a slightly different approach compared what’s been done historically with the series and sometimes having longer to spend with experimental gameplay shows its weaknesses, reviewers seem to find this part of the game to be the most distasteful. Overall it’s still getting good reviews though, just not as good as reviews as some folks want to give it. If you have a Wii U, I recommend picking it up. Wario Ware’s experiments can make for some fun times and the Wii U still needs all the games it can get this early in its lifetime.
Next, we have Project X Zone for the 3DS. The nerdier among you may recognize this game as the follow up to the 2005 Japan only title: Namco x Capcom. I must say, I actually have mixed feelings on this title. Mechanically, it seems similar to the various Tales of _____ games released by Namco, which aren’t bad RPG games by any measure. What I find odd though is that this game even came to the West. It’s not a bad thing, but many of the various characters that appear in this title are extremely niche and/or still Japanese only. I can’t help but feel that limits the appeal of the game. Still, I’m not one to turn down fan service and this game is full of it. If you like the various IPs of Sega, Namco, and Capcom, pick up this game if you’re a fan of RPGs.
Lastly, we have the various re-releases of older titles. We got the 2 Joe Danger titles finally making their way to the PC after quite a bit of time being console exclusive. Both games reviewed quite well and time has only lent itself to further polish in their mechanics thanks to patches and what not. They’re definitely 2 titles to pick up if you have a PC and missed getting them on consoles. Then there is Muramasa Rebirth on the Vita, remake of the 2009 Wii title: Muramasa: Demon Blade. I really enjoyed this game on the Wii and it is also by Vanillaware who does some fantastic art & animations. It can be a bit difficult at times, but I know the Vita re-release is seeing some translation and mechanical polish that may ease things up. You should really check out this title if you haven’t already. Rounding things up is Ecco the Dolphin on the 3DS, a slightly modified port of the classic Sega Genesis title by the same name. Ecco was a wonderful title in the 90s, albeit extremely difficult later in its late game. To balance this out, the re-release includes a new mode which basically makes the player invincible, allowing them to fully experience the game without all the frustrating deaths that come along with it. I know I may sound like a broken record here, but pick it up if you never got the chance to play Ecco back in the day. Even if you did, never hurts to relive certain games from yesteryear.