The Wii U is out and I have to say it has exceeded all my expectations, which should have been nearly impossible with the amount of excitement I experienced while waiting to wrap my arms around it on November 18th. While this isn’t actually a review of the system, it is a bit of interesting information that I discovered this week. The Wii U appears to have a better lineup of launch games than any console. This is clearly my opinion, but one based on research and nostalgia. I won’t start too far back, I figured Fifth Generation and on would suffice for this demonstration.
Starting with the misunderstood Sega Saturn, our lineup on May 11th 1995:
• Virtua Fighter
• Panzer Dragoon
• Clockwork Knight
• Daytona USA
Out of these four games the only game I would have gotten immediately would have been the imaginative Panzer Dragoon, a fantastic on-rails shooter that really needs a reboot.
September 9th 1995 gave way for the Sony Playstation which launched with:
• Air Combat
• Battle Arena Toshinden
• ESPN Extreme Games
• Kileak – The DNA Imperative
• NBA Jam Tournament Edition
• Power Serve 3D Tennis
• Ridge Racer
• Street Fighter: The Movie
• The Raiden Project
• Total Eclipse Turbo
As you can see, there were many more options, but was there anything that really enticed me back then? I really don’t think I was excited about the Playstation with these titles. Battle Arena Toshinden looked neat, but it definitely didn’t sell me on the system.
Finally on September 29th 1996 Nintendo came back swinging with the N64. With the only launch titles being Pilotwings 64 and Mario 64, the choice was easy. Mario 64 was certainly a system seller. I remember being so delighted to see Mario PUNCH THINGS! Percentage wise Nintendo can literally say that half their N64 launch titles were must buys. Still, the fact remains is they only released with two of them.
The Sixth Generation is certainly an interesting one that starts off with a bang. On September 9th 1999 the Sega Dreamcast launches. The system launched:
• Sonic Adventure
• AirForce Delta
• Blue Stinger
• Flag to Flag
• The House of the Dead 2
• Hydro Thunder
• Monaco Grand Prix
• Mortal Kombat Gold
• NFL 2K
• NFL Blitz 2000
• Pen Pen TriIcelon
• Power Stone
• Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
• TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat
• Tokyo Xtreme Racer
That’s a lot to choose from, but I wasn’t excited about many of them. Of course, I HAD to have Sonic Adventure, that was a given. Power Stone looked pretty awesome, so I had to have that. SoulCalibur could also be seen as a must buy. So there were at least three decent launch title choices.
On October 26th 2000, Sony repeated greatness with the Playstation 2. No doubt, this was one amazing console, but how did it fair on launch?
• Armored Core 2
• DOA2: Hardcore
• Dynasty Warriors 2
• ESPN International Track & Field
• ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding
• Eternal Ring
• Gungriffon Blaze
• Madden NFL 2001
• Midnight Club: Street Racing
• NHL 2001
• Orphen: Scion of Sorcery
• Q-Ball: Billiards Master
• Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
• Ridge Racer V
• Silent Scope
• Smuggler’s Run
• Street Fighter EX3
• Surfing H3O
• Swing Away Golf
• Tekken Tag Tournament
• Unreal Tournament
• Wild Wild Racing
Wow! I look at that list and I think about each game and what I was into back then. Honestly I can’t come up with many choices that would have enticed me. Dynasty Warriors 2 could have been on my list for sure. Incredible, I am drawing a blank as I stare at them. At the time I wanted Kessen, but I remember hours into the game I turned it off forever. Thinking back, that’s kind of depressing. Interesting.
Nintendo wasn’t going to go quietly and on September 14th 2001 the GameCube was released with this lineup:
• All-Star Baseball 2002
• Batman: Vengeance
• Crazy Taxi
• Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
• Disney’s Tarzan Untamed
• Luigi’s Mansion
• Madden NFL 2002
• NHL Hitz 20-02
• SSX Tricky
• Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
• Super Monkey Ball
• Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
• Wave Race: Blue Storm
A modest list of choices, but a couple of gems can be found. Luigi’s Mansion is definitely one because hey, who doesn’t want to fight ghosts as Luigi? Then the biggest no brainer was purchasing Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. That game was so freaking amazing. It was the number one reason I bought a Gamecube.
A challenger approaches on November 15th 2001, as Microsoft launches the Xbox with these games:
• Halo: Combat Evolved
• Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
• Dead or Alive 3
• Project Gotham Racing
• NFL Fever 2002
• AirForce Delta Storm
• Mad Dash Racing
• Cel Damage
• Arctic Thunder
• Fuzion Frenzy
• Jet Set Radio Future (Japan launch)
• Double S.T.E.A.L. (Japan launch)
• Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2#Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2XTony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2X
• 4×4 EVO 2
Top of the list is really all that matters. Halo was a system seller for sure.
The Seventh Generation starts off on November 22nd 2005 with the release of one the most popular consoles, the Xbox 360. It launched with the following titles:
• Amped 3
• Call of Duty 2
• Condemned: Criminal Origins
• FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup
• Kameo: Elements of Power
• Madden NFL 06
• NBA 2K6
• NBA Live 06
• Need for Speed: Most Wanted
• NHL 2K6
• Perfect Dark Zero
• Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
• Project Gotham Racing 3
• Quake 4
• Ridge Racer 6
• Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06
• Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland
Here’s a fun fact, my roommate at the time and I were discussing whether or not to go halfsies on one. The biggest drawback each time we talked about it was the lack of games we were interested in. Looking at that list, nothing captures my imagination.
November 17th, 2006, the launch of the Sony Playstation 3 gave way to these titles:
• Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
• Call of Duty 3
• Genji: Days of the Blade
• Madden NFL 07
• Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
• Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire
• NBA 2K7
• NHL 2K7
• Resistance: Fall of Man
• Ridge Racer 7
• Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
• Tony Hawk’s Project 8
• Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
Another underwhelming list, except for maybe Resistance: Fall of Man. That was a pretty great game. That list is just as unimpressive as the Xbox 360’s.
Nintendo let us play with our Wii on November 19th 2006, and had these games as launch titles:
• Avatar: The Last Airbender
• Call of Duty 3
• Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
• Excite Truck
• The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
• GT Pro Series
• Happy Feet
• The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
• Madden NFL 07
• Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
• Monster 4×4: World Circuit
• Need for Speed: Carbon
• Rampage: Total Destruction
• Rayman Raving Rabbids
• Red Steel
• SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
• Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
• Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
• Trauma Center: Second Opinion
• Wii Sports (bundled with the Wii console)
This selection seemed a little more promising, and comparatively it was. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was for sure a must buy. I was also pretty pumped to get Red Steel which was a small display of what the Wii could do.
I find it interesting that in the seventh generation, the three consoles had unimpressive launch titles as a whole. Perhaps they were going for “Look what our system can do!” Perhaps these are tastes of things to come.
Bringing us back to the present, on November 18th 2012, Nintendo made history with the Wii U.
• Assassin’s Creed III
• Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
• Ben 10: Omniverse
• Call of Duty: Black Ops II
• Chasing Aurora
• Darksiders II
• Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
• ESPN Sports Connection
• FIFA Soccer 13
• Funky Barn
• Game Party Champions
• Just Dance 4
• Little Inferno
• Madden NFL 13
• Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
• Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition
• Nano Assault Neo
• NBA 2K13
• New Super Mario Bros. U
• Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
• Nintendo Land
• Rabbids Land
• Scribblenauts Unlimited
• Sing Party
• Skylanders: Giants
• Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
• Tank! Tank! Tank!
• Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
• Transformers: Prime – The Game
• Trine 2: Director’s Cut
• Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
• Wipeout 3
• Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
That’s a big list, but is it any good? Currently I have five of these titles. Nintendo Land came with the system, but you had to buy the deluxe version so I think it still counts partially. The other ones include New Super Mario Bros U, Scribblenauts unlimited, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. These are all fantastic games. So much so that when I want to play my Wii U its difficult for me to decide what to play. The other thing is, I don’t have a whole lot of money so there are still launch titles I absolutely need like ZombiU, TANK! TANK! TANK!, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, and Assassin’s Creed III. That’s four more titles. All together that’s NINE Launch titles that I consider must haves. That is more than half of the other systems’ launch titles all together. Granted, this is just about launch titles. What really matters is how they hold up in the long run and that’s still a way off, but at this point, from this perspective, the Wii U is kicking some serious butt.
You’ve seen the games launched on each system over the years, which games did you buy at launch and how did you feel about them? Let us know in the comments below.
Another year. Another E3 I DIDN’T get to go to. Oh well. There’s always next year…maybe…possibly…
See you next week.
Here are some of the highlights of what Microsoft has revealed so far. Enjoy!
Gears of War: Judgment
Resident Evil 6
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Fable: The Journey
The Splatters is a wonderful little Xbox 360 Arcade game from SpikySnail. Initially, it’s hard to find a genre to associate with this slime-slinging simulator. However, if you’ve ever wondered how to bust out some tricks with a goober, look no further!
The Splatters puts you in charge of a handful of colored globs of goo with the sole intent on making as much of a well-spread disaster as you can. Your multicolored phlegm friends are used to make bombs explode of a similar color. If, for instance, there’s a pile of red bombs on the floor and above them is a handful of spikes, the ideal solution is to coerce one of the wads of goo into shattering its frail life on the stalactites, raining its leftovers all over the bombs to get them to blow up. However, in this game, “ideal” does not always mean “most points.” And trust me—this is a game about points.
As you toss your way through the courses of The Splatters, there’s definitely signs of influences from other games. Sure, you could make another Angry Birds clone. No one’s ever done that before. But SpikySnail took the “throw organism, break things” genre in a new direction by incorporating physics and the most baffling mechanic of them all: time. Yes, you can rewind time. I can’t begin to tell you how confusing this is initially to try to figure out. You basically undo whatever was going on to reverse physics and fling yourself to extraordinary speeds and lengths in addition to using your new-found ignorance of Isaac Newton’s laws to dislodge bombs from inconvenient locations around the screen. The more events you can chain together, the larger your multiplier bonus, and the more points you score. Scores are conveniently uploaded to a main scorecard where you can gawk and feel terrible about yourself.
My personal favorite part of this Live title is the addition of replays. You can hop on the leader boards, see who did the best, and hopefully that poor chap uploaded his replay to the server, which you can then download and watch immediately to see just how dumb you can feel in a short period of time.
I’ll admit: The Splatters is not a game for everyone. I can’t quite pin who it’s right for, though. It’s too complex for casual gaming, and way too simple for the CoD smack-addicts in the audience. Even I felt a little dumb at first. When you’re still trying to get the hang of combos and beating the level without feeling stupid, the game can be frustrating. I had to quit and leave my house at one point, but the entire time I was out of the house, my mind was on those grinning sloshes and the fireworks that surrounded their very demise.
|Pros||Puzzle, skill, and physics, all rolled up into a little ball of slime!|
|Cons||If you aren't a fan of Doctor Who, you may want to steer clear. Time is kind of confusing.|
|Verdict||If you hate having free time and self-respect, sign onto Xbox Live right now and purchase this.|
On February 22nd, Remedy Games in conjunction with Microsoft Game Studio will release Alan Wake’s American Nightmare exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade. This stand-alone title pits Alan Wake against his evil doppelganger, known as Mr. Scratch. Check out the teaser trailer below for a look at the game’s villain.
Be sure to keep your eye on RoboAwesome for more coverage of Alan Wake’s American NIghtmare, and check it out when it hit’s Xbox Live Arcade.
Imagine a story of alien invasion so intensely real, that when an adaptation of it was read on a radio show, many people thought Earth was actually being taken over by Martians. That sort of hysteria may not occur today in 2011, but it did in 1938 thanks to a reading of an adaptation of HG Wells’s The War of the Worlds. The story, which is supposedly one of the earliest points in literature when the aliens vs. mankind motif is explored, tells the tale of an unnamed man as he travels through London while it is being invaded by Martians. The story has been the basis of countless movies, TV shows, and video games. Now a new video game from the creative team at Other Ocean Interactive has materialized on the scene, hoping to invade our homes with this classic tale once again.
We’ve been waiting awhile for this news to break, just about a year in fact, with a slight teaser back in May. At long last, the FragFX™ Shark controller system has breached the Microsoft® line releasing today for Xbox 360®.
Likely being unveiled at E3 2012 if it happens the next generation of Microsofts gaming console would be the third system from Microsoft.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see this especially given the recent announcement of Halo 4 being “a new trilogy” in the Halo franchise and with Halo Anniversary coming at the end of this year that would certainly be a good milestone of celebration for the original XBOX and XBOX 360 consoles life cycle. When it comes to XBOX and Halo you’ve got a pretty sentimental thing on your hands.
Not to mention now that the WiiU has been revealed and all these next-gen handhelds are also on the way or have been released it would make sense that Microsoft is going to want to stay in the competition. My only concern is that the XBOX 360 redesign has only been out a year or so and they have Kinect that they’re trying to promote. How will that affect Microsoft’s “movement control” efforts if they begin marketing a new console so soon after everyone laid down cash for a Kinect? Or will they abandon Kinect all together and just go with XBOX 3 complete with integrated motion control?
My guess is no console reveal in 2012. These rumors are just that.
If you’ve ever been the victim of an RROD that you suspect was caused by your XBox 360 overheating, you’re going to want to pay attention. Microsoft has developed technology that combines the GPU, which handles graphics processes, CPU, I/O logic and memory on a single chip, instead of separate ones. The System-On Chip not only cuts the cost of manufacturing consoles, but will use less power and is expected to provide better heat management. Microsoft plans to implement the SoC into new 250GB slim models of the XBox 360, although they have not yet provided a definitive date for when consoles containing the SoC will be available for purchase.