Sunday, September 24, 2006

Monkey Ballz

I need something to write about tonight, so I decided to write about two games from the recent Tokyo Game Show that interest me. I'll have my thoughts on the new Legion of Superheroes cartoon that debuted on Saturday by tomorrow night(I'm also submitting it to the paper), double-pinky heart-crossing swear. Jesus, what have I got myself into.

The first of the games is Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, which will be a Wii launch title. Now, I joined the Monkey Ball phenom early, it was the first Gamecube game I played, actually(not the first I owned, though, that was Super Smash Bros. Melee). It provided bountiful hours of multiplayer fun for all. The sequel came, but I still haven't purchased it(blame it on the low number of copies available now that I have the cash to waste.) It's basically a Nintendo console staple, so it surprised no one when a Wii MB was announced.

What DID take me by surprise, thugh, was when they announced that the game would include around 50 mini-games this time around. Considering there was like, 12 before, that's a major leap. And having been paying attention to IGN's daily Banana Blitz updates, I've grown increasingly excited about this new one, even moreso than someone at my age should anticipate a game about Monkeys in Balls.

There's plenty of variety in there, with some basic stuff like baseball, bowling, and racing joined by crazier stuff like boxing, fencing, snowboarding, first-person shooting(!), and meteor blasting, and even downright insane games like bug balancing, spearing fish, and sumo wrestling with paper cutouts. All of which use the Wiimote in a variety of ways. Some people call this a glorified tech demo, but I call it simple fun. As long as past favorites(among my peers, atleast) like Monkey Fight and Monkey Billiards make their way back, all should be good in the land of Monkeys and Balls.

The second game I will talk about is SNK vs. Capcom: Cardfighter's Clash DS. I have interest in both crossover battles and card games, so this one's just a double-whammy. I heard of the goodness of the first Cardfighter's Clash, which appeared on the obscure Neo Geo Pocket Color back in 1999, and played it via emulator. So, having played the predecessor as well as enjoying the predecessor, that's a triple whammy.

For fans of the original, there are a few major overhauls to the game system. One, they are adding a resource system called 'Force', using a number of colored beads to pay for costs of cards(Before, character cards were free and special support cards used SP which was generated by your characters). Speaking of the cards, they now have a HP and a BP number(in the original, BP represented both). The arena now holds up to 8 characters, a jump from the original's 3. Everything else seems to be the same(Newbie note: the basic combat is like Magic: The Gathering, although there are a few tweaks. If you desire to learn more about the rules of the game, go look it up at GameFAQS), I noticed the square/circle/triangle abilities are returning, if that's any consolation.

Of course, while the game mechanics are important, so are which classic Capcom and SNK characters will show up. The company promised over 400 cards(which is what the Japan-only NGPC sequel had, so maybe over over 400 cards), and the screens I saw showed off a couple of characters that haven't been in CC before, namely Mega Man villain Dr. Wily and King of the Monsters 2's(one of my favorite SNES guilty pleasures) Atomic Guy. I've also seen art for Dante from Devil May Cry and had an article mention that Phoenix Wright characters show up too(which is just TOO awesome).

CC, which was said to come out in early November this year by all the EB release books, will apparently now be coming out in Februrary 2007. Fine by me, November has enough gaming-related goodness for me to buy anyway. This one will likely still pass everyone's radar, but I'm looking forward to it.

Edit: I've alo been playing Okami lately. I just want to say that this game is awesome so far. More later.

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