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WiiWare's Second Anniversary

Day Two

by Neal Ronaghan - May 13, 2010, 7:08 am PDT

Mega Man 9

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Inti Creates

Cost: 1000 Points

Players: 1

Release Date: September 22, 2008

The original Blue Bomber is back and blasting Wily’s robots all over your Wii. Mega Man 9 was, and still is, kind of a big deal for WiiWare. Capcom took an existing property – the old NES Mega Man games – and gave them a real sequel, building the games in the style of the NES entries from the ground up. The studio had the dedication to add bugs that appeared in the first six games: slowdown, broken pixels, etc. Apart from the obvious graphical appeal, Mega Man 9 is an homage to the series greats, such as Mega Man 2 and 3, and to a lesser extent, 4. The level design is second to none, the twitch gameplay is as fresh as ever, and the music is still incredibly good. Just like those NES games, Mega Man 9 is very challenging, comparing quite well to the earlier NES titles. Still, it’s a fantastic game that old-school fans and Mega Man fanboys alike will love. Also, of some note, it features the one and only female robot master: Splash Woman.

- Zachary Miller

Mega Man 9


Art Style: ORBIENT

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Skip

Cost: 600 Points

Players: 1

Release Date: September 29, 2008

Like other games in the Art Style series, Orbient shows us that just because a game is simple doesn't mean it isn't immensely challenging. As a white star, the goal of the game is to absorb blue stars to increase your size and to grab gray stars with your gravitational pull. To move around a level, you can press A to pull yourself towards the nearest large mass, or you can press B to push away from one. Once you've gotten large big enough, you move on to the next level. What starts out as a quick and casual experience soon becomes a difficult addiction, and you'll love every minute of it.

- Karl Castaneda

ORBIENT


World of Goo

Publisher: 2D Boy

Developer: 2D Boy

Cost: 1500 Points

Players: 1-4

Release Date: October 13, 2008

World of Goo was released five months after the launch of the WiiWare platform, but in many ways it was the first "must-buy" game on the service. A console exclusive (the game was also released on PC), World of Goo featured the creative machinations of industry veterans Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel. The game was a simple physics puzzler, with anything but a simple storyline. The story was told by a narrator who only referred to himself as "The Sign Painter," and as the levels played themselves out, a sinister tale of failed civilizations and sentient computers played out, with overtones that touched on the dangers of commercialism. The game was beautiful, dark, and incredibly clever. If the storyline wasn't enough to draw you in, the fantastic puzzles were just frustrating enough to leave you coming back for more. World of Goo remains one of the best games on the service, and still stands today as an experience every WiiWare fan should not go without.

- Andy Goergen

World of Goo


Maboshi's Arcade

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Mindware

Cost: 800 Points

Players: 1-3

Release Date: December 29, 2008

Maboshi's Arcade is a peculiar game that features three different gameplay modes based on shapes. Circle has you rotate a ball around circular environments while fending off enemies, Square has you navigating a snake through different gridded areas, and Stick has you trying to fend off enemies and move a tough-to-control stick through levels. Each game is driven by high scores, but the unique thing about Maboshi's Arcade is that you can play three separate games at once (with the computer or two friends) and influence each other. For example, you can hit an enemy from Circle into one on Stick and help out your friend. You can also play against replays as well. Overall, it's an addictive and challenge game that has layers of depth in each weird game.

- Neal Ronaghan

Maboshi's Arcade


LIT

Publisher: WayForward

Developer: WayForward

Cost: 800 Points

Players: 1

Release Date: February 9, 2009

LIT, from A Boy and His Blob developers WayForward, is single-room puzzle game with a focus on light and dark. You play as a high school student who is trapped in his high school, which has been overcome by darkness and evil creatures. Using a flashlight, lamps, and a slingshot, you maneuver through several single-room puzzles and try to get to the other side. Throw in some interesting boss fights and unlockables, and you have a very solid WiiWare title.

- Neal Ronaghan

LIT


BIT.TRIP BEAT

Publisher: Aksys

Developer: Gaijin Games

Cost: 600 Points

Players: 1-4

Release Date: March 16, 2009

What happens when you combine the Atari, Pong, and a modern-retro sensibility? You get BIT.TRIP BEAT, a highly addictive arcade title that pays homage to gaming's early years. You control a paddle and the objective is to hit the flying dots. This is more challenging than it sounds since the beats are launched according to the rhythm of the music, so your skills must be finely tuned if you wish to complete the game. This is the start of a series of WiiWare-exclusive games created by Gaijin Games, all of them created with the modern retro ideals. The first title is fantastic, and is the beginning of one of the most praised new franchises this generation.

- Pedro Hernandez

BIT.TRIP BEAT

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