Tech News on G4
Nintendo fall preview
August 28, 2007
By John Powell - G4 Canada
An Italian plumber that never seems to do much plumbing, flesh-eating zombies, rock heroes and an ivory balance board were the stars of Nintendo's post-E3 preview event held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto.
After taking in the event, it clear that Nintendo firmly believes the old adage that if it ain't broke, you don't fix it. You wouldn't either if your quarterly operating profit more than tripled and forced you to raise your annual forecast well above market expectations.
Heading into fall and winter, Nintendo is bolstering its lucrative strategy of appealing to non-gamers with such releases as 'Wii Fit' and 'My Word Coach' but they also have learned from their mistakes with the GameCube and are steadily building a library of titles that will appeal to hardcore gamers as well.
Super Mario Galaxy
"The whole thing is that the game was made to bring families together," said Farjad Iravani, the marketing manager for Nintendo Canada, before introducing the true star of the show: 'Super Mario Galaxy'.
Due out this November, 'Galaxy' has everyone's favourite plumber on his own space odyssey as he swings, jumps and free falls though the stars defying gravity and physics. While 'Galaxy' can be played as single player, Nintendo was quick to show off the co-op mode in which casual gamers can assist hardcore players by using the Wiimote to stop or stun enemies.
In the Star Dust Galaxy level that was previewed, Mario traveled from space station to space station, platform to platform, collecting stars and climbing up a giant floating mushroom to rescue a kidnapped captain. Well, what did you expect? It is a Mario game. Someone had to get kidnapped sooner or later.
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
Heads do more than roll in this simplistic and gory rail shooter from Capcom. Think 'House of the Dead' and you are on the right track.
Armed with Nintendo's new plastic gun peripheral - sorry, I mean "Zapper" - you wander through scene after scene blasting away at zombies as they snack on humans. The game even allows for explosive headshots but there is just the usual blood spatters and streams for body shots. That's right, folks. You read correctly. Heads explode in a Nintendo game. Imagine that.
Get your orders in now, gentle gamers. The "Zapper" will be the next must-have Wii accessory as I am sure many a first-person shooter will adopt its control scheme. To ready the "Zapper" you simply put the Wiimote in the gun barrel and the Nunchuk in the handle. It works surprisingly well once you make allowances for where the Wiimote is situated in the peripheral itself.
My Word Coach
If you are a fan of the ingenious and seamless way the DS and Wii communicate such as they do in the newest Pokemon titles, you are going to welcome 'My Word Coach'. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, the made-in-Canada title claims it can increase your vocabulary and spelling skills through its series of educational games. The games include hangman type deals and definition puzzles.
My Word Coach contains 16,000 words and will be available in six languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch. Surprisingly, there is no Japanese version.
The cool thing about the title is that like Pokemon Revolution for the Wii, you can use your DS as a secondary controller instead of drawing letters in thin air with the Wiimote.
Another Nintendo accessory that has mucho potential to be applied to a wide variety of titles is the Wii balance board. You can bet Tony Hawk and the gang have already been eyeing the ivory platform for all the skating goodness it could provide.
Wii Fit is supposed to include 40 activities to test your balance and help you exercise. At the event, games involving balancing, dodging and hula hooping were on display alongside yoga exercises.
Bring on the kick boxing or ultimate fighting games! Now, yer talking.
Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock
Playing 'Guitar Hero' with a wireless controller makes all the difference in the world. Put the Wiimote inside the controller like a battery pack and you are ready to rock. Some of the songs include Foghat's "Slow Ride", Alice Cooper's "School's Out', 'Sabotage' by the Beastie Boys and Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me".
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.