Every Monday, Wii Fanboy brings you the Top 5. Inspired by sages such as David Letterman and John Cusack, the Top 5 will give us a chance to share our opinions on the numerous facets of a vast video game culture. And after all, who doesn't like reading these kinds of lists (and then bitching about them afterwards)? So jump right in, agree or disagree, and maybe leave a comment with your own personal Top 5.
The first batch of WiiWare was released awhile ago, and there have been high-profile releases, as well as a few future cult-classics. Despite the plentiful start, there are still many more titles on the horizon. Here's a look at what we are anticipating the most.
5. Bomberman - Since 1983, not much has changed in the Bomberman universe. This has its pros and cons. It's good because the basic Bomberman formula is not one that needs tinkering with. It's bad because, well, it's a little ridiculous to shell out full retail price for the same game generation after generation. Then along comes Bomberman for WiiWare. Nintendo's downloadable service is the perfect platform for a game such as this. With online multiplayer for 2 - 8 players, this release should be everything we need out of Bomberman: simple, classic gameplay for a reasonable price. The reduced cost should be wonderful news for wallets that were unfortunate enough to weather Bomberman, Super Bomberman, Bomberman 64, and Bomberman Generation.
4. Shantae - Often the period of overlap between a console and its successor sees titles released on the older of the two systems ignored by the gaming public at large. Once the GameBoy Advance launched in 2001, not much attention was paid to the remaining GameBoy Color releases. Along with Toki Tori (which was also resurrected via WiiWare), Shantae is a victim of this phenomenon. Featuring charming retro-style gameplay backed up by impressive graphics and tight controls, developer WayForward added their title to the ever-growing list of under-appreciated games. Gamers were teased by an unconsummated GBA demo and mild rumblings about a potential GCN, DS or PSP sequel. Thankfully, it appears that they are attempting to give Shantae new life. WayForward has proven their development chops with both Shantae on GBC and last year's obscenely awesome Contra 4. Maybe if they're feeling generous, they'll satisfy our information thirst at E3. If and when Shantae on WiiWare comes to fruition, hopefully gamers will give it the attention it deserves this time around.
3. Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Homestar Runner may be so 2004, but we have to admit that the episodic point-and-click adventure based on the popular web cartoon looks awfully appealing. Channeling LucasArts adventure games such as Maniac Mansion and the Monkey Island series, pseudo-developer Videlectrix is preparing to take us on a journey with the colorful characters and 80's pop-culture inspirations of the Homestar Runner universe. The Brothers Chaps are known for creating environments oozing with attention to detail, as evidenced by the sheer amount of content available on homestarrunner.com. The Flash games currently available on their site won't change your life, but they are undeniable testaments to the creators' appreciation of video games as a medium. With the help of Sam & Max developer Telltale Games, SBCG4AP should prove to be worthy of your Wii points.
2. World of Goo - This distinctive title appears to embody all that is great about WiiWare. Developed by a team of only three people and published independently, World of Goo employs brilliant gameplay, inspired vision, and attractive presentation. It's a shame that these traits aren't common. The primary objective has the player transporting "goo balls" to the exit by creating various structures and enacting them in large, elaborate plots. Using a strong reliance on physics-based gameplay, users will create bridges, towers and other nondescript structures in hopes of depositing the requisite amount of goo balls to proceed. It's a difficult concept in text and do it justice; one would be much better off seeing the game in motion. Fans of unique puzzle gaming such as Toki Tori and LocoRoco should find much to enjoy in World of Goo.
1. Mega Man 9 - Nearly every gamer over 20 holds a soft spot for 2D gaming. Sure, we love Super Mario Galaxy, and we try to keep up with our friends in Halo 3 deathmatches. Despite our embrace of the third dimension, we all know where we came from. And for those of us who used to clutch NES controllers with Ecto Cooler and graham cracker infested little fingers, it doesn't get any sweeter than this. For the 9th iteration in the classic franchise, Capcom has decided to return Mega Man to his roots, and that is meant in the most authentic way possible. As early screens and information indicate, the blue bomber's latest escapade is being designed to emulate his earliest 8-bit NES adventures. In terms of graphics, sound, and gameplay, this is looking more like a Virtual Console release than a WiiWare game, and that won't ellicit any complaints from this blogger. Capcom has chosen Inti Creates, the developers of the well-received Mega Man Zero & ZX series, to revisit the sacred ground of the original series. Even at this very early stage, Mega Man 9 sounds extremely promising. Let's hope that it delivers on the foundations of a good Mega Man game: solid level design, challenging enemies, and copious amounts of fun.