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LostWinds impressions

Posted on 16 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Features, Wii | 1 Comment


Although it took Nintendo more than a year to offer original, downloadable games for Wii owners, WiiWare has finally made its North American debut. LostWinds, the flagship title for Nintendo’s newest service, is by far the best available game to purchase on WiiWare.

While LostWinds does posses a story, understanding it isn’t important to the gameplay. The meat of LostWinds lies in the ability to control Toku, the hero, and his wind spirit companion. Players use the pointer on the Wiimote to aim at the screen, and assume the role of the wind to manipulate objects in the environment. At the same time, Toku can be controller with the nunchuck. Even though this may seem a bit complicated, the learning curve in LostWinds is basically nonexistent.

The set up of LostWinds can be best compared to New Super Mario Bros. Objects (and the environments) are rendered in beautiful 3D, but Toku can only sidescroll through the levels akin to Mario’s outing on the DS. While progressing through each level, there are a few puzzles thrown at the player, usually testing newfound abilities. The player will lift boulders and throw them in the air and force fire to travel in specific paths.


A personal undertaking of mine recently has been taking screenshots of Metroid Prime 3 and translating them into 3D. I began to wonder a few days ago, “What would Metroid Prime look like if Retro Studios developed the Prime so that the experience was similar to virtual reality?” To be honest, I do think that there is a possibility that one day, we will see games in a real 3D environment. How amazing would it be to see a Metroid coming out of the screen and leeching forward at you? Metroid Prime 3 is probably one of the better choices to view in 3D, as it is from the first-person perspective, and the game itself was superb. Of course, you will need 3D glasses to view the images, but they are not very expensive (I’m talking about the Red/Blue glasses) and often come packaged with DVDs and comic books. Also, if anyone has a request for a different series in 3D, or more Metroid Prime 3 images, let me know via the contact form and I’ll do my best to put them on Nintendo Everything (possibly a weekly/monthly feature?!) And hey…Perhaps Retro Studios could somehow include real 3D (head-tracking?) if they did decide to make a bundle of the Prime games while reworking the original two.


– 3D glasses necessary to view in 3D (Red/blue recommended)
– Give your eyes a minute to adjust to the 3D – I promise, it works!
– Some images work better in 3D than others
– Original images were not taken by myself
– In the future, I may try to investigate a way to make the images 3D without the need of 3D glasses.
























Okay, this might not have been the best way to analyze the winner for this console generation. As many may have assumed at this point, this data was collected by Google Fights. The Wii does, however, has the most pages on Google according to this service, followed by the PS3 and  Xbox 360 in that order. To be honest, I don’t think there will ever be a real way to declare a winner, especially with all of the arguments between each side, but hopefully things like this will lighten the situation for video gaming fans.

Charles Caleb once said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In this case, the Wii’s remarkable success has planted a seed in the minds of businesses and marketers who are hoping to catch on to the newest big hit. The Wii has certainly exceeded the expectations of many, and is currently the best selling video game system this generation. Because of this, businesses are cashing in on the Wii’s features and appearance. While not all rip-offs are noticeable, there are a few products that seem to be a clear copy of the Wii . Without further ado, here are the top 5 products that seem to have taken an apparent liking to Nintendo’s hot system.

Top 5 Wii related rip-offs


5. “Tilt” Games

Right off the bat, it’s clear that the Tilt Games Wiimote clone has some problems. The screen is much too small for any type of a real gaming experience and the screen doesn’t even have a backlight. Just imagine trying to play Zelda on a small piece of plastic. Yeah, not an engrossing experience. I want to know, how can anyone even see that thing? And haven’t we moved past the absent backlight age for items like these? Nonetheless, in spite of these obvious issues, the Tilt game manages to copy the Wii controller very well and even has the ability to turn on motion controls (then again, it’s not as if this thing is any good.) It’s worth mentioning that the Tilt gadgets come in a variety of flavors, of which include baseball and racing. The sad thing about this whole product however, is that I would not be surprised if a grandmother went into Walmart and bought this instead of a Wii controller, thinking that it was the real deal.

Retail price: $6.88, though honestly, I don’t think it’s worth even $.50.

4. 3D iJoy


Does slightly modifying an already established controller make something different? No, not really. The 3D IJoy was conspicuously attempting to mimic the Nintendo Wii, from the game controller to the games available on the product. Another slap in the face – and to round out iJoy’s parallelisms – is the iJoy’s wrist strap. Yes, a wrist strap. The copycat controller was bad enough, but by adding a wrist strap to the controller, it makes the rip-off much too explicit. Sure, I can understand that the company wouldn’t want people to damage their home appliances. However, is it truly necessary considering .01% of the population will actually be getting their game on this thing?

Retail price: unknown

3. Vii 2


Media attention and what I assume to be decent sales helped the Vii to come roaring back with a follow-up to its original as Vii 2. Vii 2 stepped up to the plate by introducing a variety of colors and completely reworked its model. The controller is still fairly reminiscent of the Wii remote, although the system itself looks more like a NES than a Wii. Apparently, the functionality of Vii 2 is almost identical to its predecessor, only allowing for add-ons, a “porwer button,” and additional expansion ports. Still, what you’re getting with the Vii 2 remains the same: A not-as-responsive and awkward control scheme when compared to Nintendo’s system.

Retail price: $140 – Pay another $90, and you’ll have yourself an actual Wii

2. La Foir’Fouille


Most products are generally assumed to originate in China, yet this unnamed Wii rip-off console was advertised to the French casual gamer. The company who developed this product seems to be trying to hop on the Wii Sports bandwagon by offering four out of the five games that can be found on Nintendo’s pick-up-and-play title, Wii Sports. This machine isn’t such a blatant Wii rip-off (as compared to other products on this list), but anyone who has seen a Wii before will pick up on the subtle differences between the two almost immediately.

Price: 39.99€

1. Vii


Vii. Does that look or sound familiar? It probably should, because this is the closest Wii replica you’ll find without it actually being the Wii. Arguably, the Vii initiated the entire Wii rip-off trend by taking nearly every aspect about the Wii, and only modified its characteristics slightly, right down to the name itself, Vii. More specifically, the build of the gaming machine looks identical to the Wii with a slight color change and the Vii comes with a very similar controller. For crying out loud, even the Vii’s marketing tactics are comparable. Surprisingly, the Vii does have a decent line-up of games to try out, but that’s not to say the games are any good. I’m certain that the gaming experience with the Vii does not come even remotely close to the enjoyment you’ll find on the real console.

Retail Price: 986 Chinese dollars (Estimated)


Game Info

System: Nintendo DS
Category: Puzzle Adventure
Players: 1
Release Date: February 10, 2008
Publisher: Nintendo

Over the past few months, gaming enthusiasts have come to understand that casual games are a dominant force in the market and that these types of games have the staying power that is needed in the video gaming industry. The incontrovertible success of casual games – much to the dismay of longtime videogame fans – has caused a heated debate. Will the videogame market eventually become dominated only with games that a player can pick up and play? As Zelda and Mario change from hardcore to “bridge” games, will they eventually be tweaked to the point at which no challenge will be presented to the player at all? And finally, as Japan continues to ignore traditional games such as Metroid, will developers try to cash in on simple titles?

Brain Age, Wii Sports, Wii Fit. These are titles that appear to be more “mainstream” and, therefore, can draw in a significant number of videogame newcomers. Professor Layton is another of these casual games, and, unsurprisingly, it has done remarkably well in the Japanese market. In fact, two games in the series have already been released in The Land of the Rising Sun, and one more is in development. As much as videogame loyalists appreciate hardcore games, Professor Layton deserves an equal chance, as it is a charming puzzle game, which suffers only from a few, but noticeable flaws.

The game begins with Professor Layton and his protégée, Luke, traveling to the village of St. Mystere after receiving a request to investigate a certain situation. Following the death of Baron Augustus Rheinhold, an extremely wealthy man, a mystery erupts. At the reading of Rheinhold’s will, a “Golden Apple” is mentioned. The person who discovers its hidden location will reap a huge reward – Rheinhold’s entire estate. The Golden Apple is an enigmatic item. No one quite knows exactly what this object is and ultimately, no one is able to find it. Professor Layton, in the meantime, believes that the Golden Apple possesses an underlying connection to a grander mystery. As a result, Professor Layton and Luke head off to St. Mystere, determined to unravel the entire mystery.


Professor Layton and the Curious Village is best described as a point-and-click puzzle adventure. Most of the time, you will be exploring the many European-like settings on the touch screen in search of hidden puzzles and hint coins that will aid you in your puzzle-solving bouts. The most surprising aspect about the whole game is how well the puzzles are interlaced into the storyline. Most developers usually follow a safe approach, thus it is both a surprise and a delight to see a game not falling victim to conformity. A tap of the stylus is needed to travel from place to place and to converse with the locals of St. Mystere – whom, by the way, always have some puzzle in store for you to attempt to solve. Only in a handful of situations will you be forced to solve certain puzzles in order to progress. This is probably the best approach, as some may find unraveling all of the puzzles in the game to be a bit challenging.

vs. Feature # 2

Posted on 16 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Features | 8 Comments

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