WiiHD is your one-stop shop for hardcore gaming on the Wii.
Hardcore gamers frequently belittle the Wii for its low-power CPU, small storage space and gimicky casual games. Nintendo didn't keep their promise to focus on both hardcore AND casual games, but they did design a control system that is truly next-gen. Rumors of similar controls for PS3 and the 360 tell that tale. Sure, you can accurately control a 3D game with dual analog. You can also communicate in binary, but why would you want to? The Wii Remote rivals the PC keyboard and mouse as a control mechanism for 3D worlds, and it leaves dual-analog as a relic of the past. It can change the way games are played. Hardcore gaming isn't just about distracting ADD patients with shiny gfx, it's about delivering a whole new way of playing.
The Wii's FPS controls have finally been perfected with the release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. In November of 2007, Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 brought the first taste of online FPS to the system, and the most customizable controls we've seen so far. Nintendo's focus may be elsewhere, but if you buy, the games will come. The most exciting game on the menu now is The Conduit, a new original IP from High Voltage that promises the whole package for the first time. The Wii has overtaken the xbox 360's 1 year lead and has the largest install base of any console. Talk of most of them being casual gamers is a misnomer—the new casual gamers mostly live in the same household as a hardcore gamers. If developers will finally stop phoning in Wii development and give us complete games, they'll see incredible returns.
This site will follow, document, review, compare and contrast the Wii's hardcore games with your help. There's good news on the horizon. Be a part of it at WiiHD. And leave your casual games at the door.
WiiHD is a huge fan of online gaming, but not just any online gaming. Core gaming in genres like racing, fighting, and shooters. So now we want to do our part to help the core Clan community on Wii make themselves known and increase their membership. We will begin listing notable clans that actively engage in clan wars in games like Medal of Honor: Heroes 2. We will however keep the gates, so not just any clan listing will be accepted. A clan needs to demonstrate viability to be listed
WiiHD is now unveiling a gallery of user created videos from Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 (MoHH2), currently the best FPS on Wii, and the only one with online multiplayer. We'll be doing this for a number of similar games as they come out. If you want your video included, just hit the link above and use the submission form.
No, not the blog, the next generation of Wii. What They Play is reporting that multiple reluctant sources have confirmed that Ninty is presenting the new console to game developers under the moniker "Wii HD". Nice name. What They Play Also points to R&D costs as consistent with a new a console being just around the corner.
Supposedly this is more than just a refresh (Wii 1.1 or what not), but the sources weren't very specific on features other than HD visuals, an assumption of serious drive space, and backwards compatibility.
Due date? 2011. Hopefully we can get some on-the-record confirmation before that.
If you were keeping an eye on the page we gave you last time, you already know the site is live. If you weren't, hurry and sign up. Those who sign up on October 1st get special permissions as founding members. Those who sign up tomorrow or later start at the bottom and have to work their way up.
The other day, WiiHD called WiiUnite "the next big thing on the horizon of core Wii gaming." Big words, no? Well, we mean them.
WiiUnite is the culmination of more than a year of core competitive community building by a large group of core Wii gamers. They searched and searched, but found no where that truly catered to the needs of their community. Some forums discriminated against competitive activities, others buried great content with crap, some forced burdensome structure that met that forum's needs, but not the needs of the community. They were outcasts, skewered by gamers from other systems for loving Wii, skewered by Wii users for being core gamers.
But now, core Wii gamers have a place they can call their own. Wii Unite was designed by the community, for the community. Once migration is complete, WiiHD expects it to be one of the most unique Wii Communities in the world.
We unite in the face of criticism from core gamers that don't get the potential the Wii has for core competitive gaming. We unite in the face of Nintendo's obstinate and screwed up view of how online gaming should be structured. We unite in the face of forums that have to cater to every little piece of crap title and bury the good stuff. We unite in the face of criticism of the Wii as a kiddie machine. We unite in the face of forums that punish core competitive gaming. WiiUnite.
What are you waiting for? This IS your engraved invitation.
Since the announcement that the Capcom franchise Monster Hunter, loyal to Sony for so long, would bring it's newest iteration as an exclusive to Wii, WiiHD has been ecstatic about the game. Traditionally, MH has had a lot more of an eastern appeal than western, but looking at what's out so far, WiiHD has no idea why. This game looks gorgeous.
In advance of the Tokyo Game Show, where Monster Hunter 3 will be playable, Capcom has opened the official Monster Hunter 3 website. After the break, we've put up a Monster Hunter 3 gallery. Hopefully this is the first volley in a lot of media and information about the game. We certainly can't wait to see more.
Starting at midnight Pacific, Friday the 19th (less than two hours from the time of this post), Amazon is going to have a day chock full of Wii deals. We won't know what kind until they're posted, but this amazon widget will keep you posted.
One of WiiHD's VERY first posts was about Timesplitters 4 and Wii. Nowadays, prospects for shooters on Wii are slightly better than they were about this time last year, but the thought still sends chills down the spine.
As it turns out, Free Radical is looking for feedback about what platforms you want to play TS4 on. Wii is on the list to vote for, so what are you waiting for? VOTE FOR IT.
Then pass that link along to any other Wii fan you know. Or any other person you who you can nag into casting a vote for you. You might well be able to find a way to vote multiple times, but your time is far better spent getting a larger number of people to vote for Wii.
Is there really such a thing as Too Much Information (TMI)? Well every so often, especially during review cycles, WiiHD tries to cram too many quotes into a single post, so we use our TMI format to make things a little easier. Below the review scores are collapsible links (+ View So-and-so's Quotes). When you click them, they pop open with that outfit's most important quotes on the game.
Today is the day many have been waiting for, the release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. So what sort of impressions did it unleash on the critics?
Force Unleashed was a product that was refreshing to see excel over what we expected it to be. Krome could have easily phoned this one in, sloppily adding some waggle here, a quick IR aspect there, and calling it a day, but when ripping through the game's six hour single player campaign it was obvious that the team wanted this to be a truly entertaining Star Wars game, and if it wasn't for a few random bugs and flaws within the execution, we would have rated it even higher, as Force Unleashed delivers a level of satisfaction that we don't find often on Wii.
Where Force Unleashed for Wii really drops the ball though, is in the overall lack of polish found throughout the game. The camera is extremely touchy, the lock-on mode often creates more problems than it's worth, the AI can be extremely buggy, running in place or getting hung up on collision, and some of the boss battles are downright broken, being so unbalanced that you're dying and respawning over and over to complete them, rather than finding a weakness and exploiting it in typical boss fashion. Most of the Jedi battles end up being the highest points of the game, as they can be extremely cinematic and immersive. At the same time, you'll often be battling camera problems and the seldom lock-on issue as you try to use parts of the world to your advantage, or dodge and block incoming force attacks from your enemies.
Controlling the Apprentice is performed done with the Wii remote and Nunchuk. For instance, Force Push is done by pushing forward with the Nunchuk. To execute lightsaber swings, you move the remote in multiple directions. There's also a more effective lock-on system, which you activate by pressing down on the d-pad. For the most part, these controls work reasonably well, although your wrists may ache after an hour or two of play. We're just wondering why developer Krome Studios included a first-person view option. It's mostly useless, because you're able to take damage without getting a good look around.
For the boss battles, you twist around the Wii remote and then push it upward. It's all right at first but becomes tiring after the third or fourth time, as some motions don't read correctly. As a result, the boss removes a chunk of your energy. It should also be noted that the conclusion of boss fights are diluted, made up of button presses and quick jerks of the Nunchuk and Wii remote..
At least there are some "guilty pleasure" moments. You're able to play as Darth Vader in the beginning of the game, ripping through Wookies like they were nothing. There's also something immensely satisfying in taking out a field of Stormtroopers with one big Repulse attack, followed by a little Lightning deep fry. Using the Force powers does use up your energy. Fortunately, each kill replenishes your health.
Seeing as how the vast majority of "Star Wars" games have us playing as some goody-goody hero character, it's not too often that we get to bust some heads with the cool Force powers. That's a problem that The Force Unleashed sets out to fix.
This time around, the story takes place in the timeframe between Episodes III and IV (i.e. the new movies and the old ones). The main character is Galen Marek, a young man who goes by the name Starkiller. The son of two Jedi, Starkiller was kidnapped/adopted by Darth Vader after the dark lord cut down the boy's father during the Jedi purge. Vader intends to train his secret apprentice in the ways of the Sith in the hopes of destroying Emperor Palpatine and taking over control of the galaxy. This setup allows Starkiller to treat both the "good guys" and the "bad guys" as enemies, allowing you to dish out unfiltered destruction.
Despite the solid controls, there's one annoying feature to the combat system. There's no denying that TFU feels inspired by Sony's God of War series. That's all fine and good, but it unfortunately picked up one of GoW's more annoying aspects: quick timer events. You know, those obnoxious "interactive cinemas" where the game developers came up with a very cool sequence but couldn't figure how to implement it into the gameplay proper. Their clever solution is to simply play the canned sequence while forcing you to press random buttons on the controller (or perform specific waggles here). This sort of thing was just super in Dragon's Lair and Space Ace, but it isn't 1984 anymore.
Not the greatest Star Wars game ever, if you believe the reviews. But still a potentially fun romp where you get Jedi powers without all the Jedi moralizing, and a sweet multiplayer mode exclusive to Wii. As always, there's a gallery after the break.
We at WiiHD have made no secret about how much we love The Conduit. We have also done our best to argue against the use of Friend Codes, both here, and in missives sent to the developers. With each day that passes, however, the odds of The Conduit shipping without Friend Codes, as the PSP port Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 has already done, decrease. Today's blow to our hopes and dreams comes from Nintendo Radio. And it's a pretty harsh blow.
Below is a transcript of an excerpt of a Nintendo Radio Podcast (Episode 50 58:40ish to 1:00:40ish). Two developers from High Voltage Software participated, Rob Nichols (lead designer) and Tony Mecca (Animator), however, they neglected to to identify themselves so I can't be 100% sure which voice belonged to which developer. Based on the last quote below, I've assigned the associated voice as Rob Nichols, because that just makes the most sense (he's the guy he has to be the most concerned about not pissing off Nintendo), and the other voice to Tony Mecca. But it's just a guess.
----Begin Transcript---- Probably Rob Nichols:
Ahhh, the infamous friend codes. Ummm, what I can announce on that is we are working very closely with Nintendo. Ummm, we're looking at some possiblilities and some options. If we have to use Friend Codes, which, you know we probably will, I will just say that and make that admission right now, but we're going to make it as streamlined and as fast as.. <audio glitch> Give Nintendo its credit, every time they've come out with a new multiplayer game, which you'll notice, other than EA, Nintendo… first-party games are the only ones that have multiplayer. Every time they've done that, there have been small improvements to the system, and we're going to, you know, try to build up on that as well and work with them to make it even more improved than it has been in the past.
Probably Tony Mecca:
We definitely want gamers to know that we're not all completely hyped up about Friend Codes, especially in the first generation of games that it was used in, you know. And we are definitely interested in getting the best online experience you can get. And we're not, by any means, fans of Friend Codes. <unintelligible> We're looking at every possible option we can possibly have to get you guys online and playing games with friends as fast as possible.
Probably Rob Nichols:
But I mean, folks have to realistically understand, it's Nintendo's system. It's their console, which we have to have their permission and their sign-off for whatever we put into the game. And if Friend Codes are what is, <unintelligible> is gonna be.
Interviewer:I think Nintendo is the only one who enjoys Friend Codes
Probably Rob Nichols:
Well, they, they have their concerns. The play base, there's a lot of hardcore guys who have Wii, of course. Um, but overall, the play base for the Wii tends to skew younger and they're justifiably concerned about that. So….
Elsewhere, they confirmed there will be no DLC.
Now that doesn't confirm that the game will use Friend Codes. However, it is the most pessimistic outlook on Friend Codes thus far. If you're willing to read between the lines, it's everything BUT a confirmation. They're saying this now so that when they finally confirm it, it won't be as much of a disappointment. Notice also the rather strained excuses for the Friend Code system, and the oft-heard refrain about how closely they are working with Nintendo. That seems to reinforce rumors about Nintendo as a likely publisher.
It's still a cool game. It can still succeed. But it's fallen from possibly being the greatest 3rd party game on the system, forever. Now it'll probably be the best game on the system until the next game finds a way to avoid Friend Codes. The Single player obviously won't be affected, and if that's why you're buying the game, there's no cause for discouragement. But the single player campaign on Normal is around 8 hours. How much time could you get from the game on multiplayer? Hundreds of hours. How much fun is sucked out of online play by Friend codes? Tons.
We'll doubtless see details about the online system in the near future. As we've explained before, the publisher choice will likely affect the online feature set. So in 2-3 weeks, the full picture will begin to reveal itself.
Is it possible that Animales de le Muerte, everyone's favorite Mexican Zoo Zombie Shooter, will go retail instead of WiiWare? According to Eric Nofsinger, High Voltage hasn't decided.
We are still working on Animales but aren't sure whether to make this another WiiWare game or maybe a full blown Wii title.
This is news to WiiHD. We thought Animales was already done and just waiting for Nintendo to choose a release date.
From the same interview, Eric says HVS is looking into Co-op mode options for The Conduit, but splitscreen isn't going to happen. The excuse? The same as WaWii's. Too much graphical fidelity. I'm guessing no one tipped them off that they could crank down the graphics for splitscreen. (Thanks to Gamefaqs user CatsBall for the heads-up on Conduit Multiplayer)