Gaming highlights of 2009
With the curtain about to come down on 2009, what better time to cast an eye over the year that was and consider some of the great games that made their way to Wii and Nintendo DS in the past 12 months?
Take a look at our list of just some of the notable titles released for Nintendo systems this year, and see if there’s any you may have missed!
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In November, Mario returned to the Mushroom Kingdom for some classic platform-hopping action in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, inviting four players to enjoy a Mario adventure together for the first time. Speaking about the latest instalment in the series, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto said the game’s multiplayer mode represented the culmination of more than 20 years of ideas.
Wii Fit Plus
Building on the features of the original Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus was released in October to offer Wii owners new ways to work out with the Wii Balance Board and monitor their fitness progress. To fine-tune the software’s MET calorie counting system, researchers at the Japanese National Institute of Health and Nutrition spent two months measuring the physical intensity of exercises in Wii Fit Plus by using a ground-breaking piece of apparatus known as a “metabolic chamber”.
Wii Sports Resort
Wuhu Island was the place to be this summer, as Wii Sports Resort landed to provide players with more of the fun-filled sports action they’d become accustomed to in Wii Sports. This time, however, there was a new way to control the action thanks to Wii MotionPlus. Much in the same way the first swing of the Wii Remote in Wii Sports Tennis opened gamers’ eyes to a new era of gaming, the first slicing shot to the corner of the table in Wii Sports Resort Table Tennis ushered in the next level of precision in motion-controlled games.
Little King’s Story
The critically-acclaimed Little King’s Story seemed to be a long time in the making before it finally arrived in April, but it’s easy to see why. This beautiful, cartoon-style strategy game casts you as a diminutive royal tasked with turning a one-horse town into a sprawling realm by merit of your excellent leadership. With Wii Remote in hand, directing your people is a charming, amusing and addictive experience that saw the game quickly force its way into the hearts of both Wii owners and the gaming press at large upon its release.
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits
Innovation and mythology combine in WiiWare title NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, a platform-based adventure that puts the power of the gods in your hands via the Wii Remote. Whether playing alone or sharing the burden with a friend, NyxQuest transports you to the sun-scorched world of ancient Greece as you attempt to retrieve your missing friend Icarus. The stylish visuals, innovative control scheme and ingenious puzzles all make for a captivating experience. But don’t take our word for it, download a free demo of the game from the Wii Shop Channel and see for yourself!
Tales of Monkey Island
Almost 20 years after the series first appeared, Monkey Island made a comeback on Wii in the form of brand new episodic WiiWare title Tales of Monkey Island. Fans of the series from years gone by were delighted to see the return of unlikely hero Guybrush Threepwood, while newcomers to the Monkey Island franchise found a world crammed with humour, zombie pirates, unconventional puzzles and mystery on the high seas. Two decades had done nothing to diminish the appeal of one of videogaming’s most unique franchises.
Nintendo presents: Style Boutique
Fashion got its own makeover in November with the appearance of a stylish title designed to appeal to budding catwalk queens everywhere. Nintendo presents: Style Boutique put you in the shoes of a lowly boutique stylist aiming for the top of the fashion ladder, and with a combination of charm, business sense and hard work, that dream came true for fledgling fashionistas all across Europe. Want to see what life with the fashion pack is all about? Download a free demo of the game from the Nintendo Channel on a Wii console to your Nintendo DS while you still can!
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Hilarious, challenging and visually arresting, the third instalment of the Mario & Luigi RPG series broke boundaries by sending the brothers to the belly of the beast – literally! Released to global critical acclaim, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story saw the duo trapped inside the body of their arch-enemy Bowser. The game combined familiar elements from the Mario universe in never before seen ways, digging deep into the possibilities offered by the features of the Nintendo DS, resulting in a title uniquely tailored to its host platform.
Tapping and sliding your stylus to the beat was possibly the coolest pastime on the planet following Rhythm Paradise’s release in May this year. Quirky presentation and catchy beats had players bobbing their heads as they attempted to keep time on the Touch Screen; an act that became all the more difficult as the game’s unique sense of humour left you laughing when you should have been paying attention!
Write anything, solve everything was the apt tagline attached to Scribblenauts when it was first revealed for Nintendo DS. Upon its release in October, players were able to discover first hand exactly what that meant. The groundbreaking title invited you to let your imagination run wild as you wrote anything that came to mind on the DS Touch Screen then watch as it came to life and helped (or hindered) you in solving whatever puzzle you were faced with. Thankfully, Scribblenauts was much more than just a novel idea, garnering widespread praise for its utterly original gameplay.
Animation sensation Flipnote Studio arrived as a free Nintendo DSiWare application in August, and soon had the continent’s creative juices flowing. The simple concept allowed users to scribble ideas onto virtual pages on the Nintendo DSi Touch Screen before watching them come to life in the shape of short animations. As with all the best things in life, Flipnote Studio encouraged sharing via the Flipnote Hatena website, where users from all over the world can post their animations and even some world famous animators provided some of their work with Flipnote Studio.
Known for their straightforward but highly addictive gameplay, titles in the ArtStyle series are an audio and visual treat for the senses. In Nintendo DSiWare download ArtStyle: PiCOPiCT, all those elements are there in abundance, coupled with a chirpy Nintendo charm that quickly had Nintendo DSi owners hooked. The clever spin on the falling blocks puzzle teamed with the aim of creating images of classic Nintendo characters on the top screen to the sound of 8-bit beats provided a trip down memory lane and a surprising challenge perfectly suited for gaming on the go.
All titles listed above are in stores now for Nintendo DS and Wii. Nintendo DSiWare and WiiWare titles are available for download from the Nintendo DSi Shop and the Wii Shop Channel.