I already wrote a review of the Japanese version of this game, but I’ve been wanting a PAL release for a long time. It’s partially because I felt I wasn’t quite getting the tournament structure due to the language barrier, partially because I was hoping someone would translate the Story Mode (sadly that’s been cut from the PAL as well as the North American release), partially because online is dead at the times I’m online (or just dead generally in Japan), but mainly because my Balance Board is synced to my PAL Wii and switching that peripheral over just to play one game occasionally is a big pain in the ass. Thank you Gamebridge for gifting Nintendo Life a copy and thanks to the NL guys for steering it to me.
It’s a great game for fans of mecha fighting games and the Balance Board control is awesome – it adds a new and intuitive dimension to the gameplay and is the kind of interface more developers should be pushing on us. Best of all I even had my first online match (just one-on-one) with a fellow from Germany (sorry I mopped up the floor with you dude, but I had prior experience so don’t feel too bad). Unfortunately you only appear to be able to play online against other players in your territory (there’s a little note to that effect displayed in the online lobby) and past experiments in swapping Japanese and North American Overturn friend codes have ended in failure – probably a result of the game being originally designed without any thought to export it.
We can all hope that people will form clans and partake of online matches from time to time, but the solo game is still a blast and the price is right so I definitely recommend taking the plunge on this one.
Rabbids Go Home
I’ve skipped all previous Rabbids games because I’m not the biggest fan of slapstick or goofy mini-game collections. I got this on the back of James Newton’s excellent review and the news on Wii Folder that the virtual rabbid figurines you can create in the “Rabbid in your Remote” bonus part of the game can actually be ordered as physical items(!!!) – how cool is that?
At first I thought it was a bit boring just moving your little shopping cart around collecting rubbish with bits of grade-school humour (think Jerry Lewis, not Farrelly Bros.) interspersed. After the intro level the claws were definitely in and the combination of great analogue control, attention to detail and that fantastic rabbid customisation bit (which also allows you to swap out the in-game rabbids for your own) make this a game that even a miserable, old bastard like me can enjoy. I had it crash at the end of the 3rd “bubble bed” level which kinda sucked, but I couldn’t make it crash again so I won’t hold it against you too much, Ubisoft.
It’s lots of fun and features a surprising amount of licensed music from the 70s that older players like me will be tickled to death by. After finishing the game you can build new rabbids figurines and then install the Rabbids Channel where you can submit your custom Rabbids to contests a la the Mii Contest/Check Mii Out Channel and view the creations of others. This is the kind of 3rd party effort we really want guys, so support it!
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
Back when dinosaurs walked the earth there was a game that pretty much defined the fighting game genre: Street Fighter II. My mates and I played the heck out of that on the Genesis in Hyper Fighting, Championship Edition or whatever other iteration Capcom released in an effort to drive the franchise into the ground as quickly as possible. It was a great game with funny taglines for the characters and great ending sequences – genre-defining indeed. Later they released the Alpha series, SF3 and the Vs. series all bearing the venerable Street Fighter name.
I’ve played all of them in the arcades, but whilst the graphics were better the games just didn’t feel right to me. More characters and more special moves were being added, and with crazy combos and jacked-up difficulty it just stopped being fun for me. The newer games were targeted at the hardcore players who would live-breathe-eat the games learn all the moves and jump in on your game to force you off the machine in a quick 30 sec. match.
As a consequence I had determined to give this game a pass back when it was released in Japan as “Cross Generation of Heroes,” figuring it would be more of the same. Still, I loved the promotional film for the Japanese release and seeing characters from Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets really piqued my interest. Zavvi was doing pre-orders for only £17.95 and again the Nintendo Life review pushed me over the edge and I decided to give it a go. Since I got it in the post it’s been a rare day that I’ve not played it, it’s so good. The controls are accessible, the moves work like the old SFII moves, the hypers are brilliantly over the top and the Tatsunoko characters have me looking at buying some anime for the first time in years.
The final boss is crap, but with a little persistence and some “let’s play” videos you can be its master. Hopefully a sequel is in the offing that will do a proper boss (Bison and Zoltan maybe?) and expand the roster. I’ve still got a lot of stuff to unlock and then I need to get in more online matches – it’s a game that will keep you coming back for more, including that movie I mentioned earlier (hopefully I’ll get to see it again soon)! If you’re someone who fondly remembers the old Street Fighter II games and joined the Wii generation you owe it to yourself to bask in the memories and get this game!