For those times when, due to sudden illness, you can't follow through on a trip you've been looking forward to taking -- say, the premiere of a new film -- it's great when you have friends who can tell you all about what you missed. It may not make the disappointment go away entirely, but it does help matters to be able to live vicariously through them (and the photographs they've taken). Only, for some, this is a daily reality, but with much more serious connotations.
Whether completely bed-ridden or otherwise hampered in mobility and strength, there are scores of children who presently suffer from life-threatening sicknesses and are facing the scariest of unknowns, a truth that the hospitals under the Children's Miracle Network bracket know all too well. And yet, as the many caretakers and volunteers can testify to, it is in these environments that you will also find strong-willed fighters who exhibit remarkable courage in doing all they can to maintain a positive spirit in spite of the ever-real temptation to buy into sorrow and hopelessness. Motivated by these and other realizations, it is with great pleasure that I will once again be participating in Extra Life.
Extra Life is an initiative put in place to support local hospitals, whereby participants can get involved by playing games of their choosing over a period of 24 hours while raising money for local kids. What they don't mention -- just speaking from my own experience with last year's marathon -- is how uplifting it is to take part in such an inclusive, charitable endeavour. Make no mistake, though: This is absolutely a joint effort, and it is my hope that I can count on your support by whatever means possible -- encouraging words are very much welcome and appreciated! -- as I play for SickKids Foundation and all the children under its wing.
It all takes place on Saturday, October 20th, beginning at 8:00 A.M. I'm in the process of working out the logistics as far as what games I'll be playing this year as well as how I'll be approaching the streaming situation (which, if you'll recall from last year, left me trying to offset some rather problematic technical difficulties). You can expect more details on my personal marathon in the days ahead, as well as live tweets on the day of.
Thank you for taking the time to consider making a donation
and for sharing this experience with me! Let's contribute to a brighter future for these kids, one game at a time.
When the eShop first opened for business, I was thrilled over the prospect of some of my favourite DSiWare games getting the attention they so rightly deserved and at times failed to get
under their original home on the DSi Shop. But in the updates that followed, I saw the same games week in and week out getting more exposure than I felt was warranted. Slowly but surely, I started to see one or two deserving games get advertised and before long, the obscure offerings available on the service were getting dedicated bumpers.
You may have already noticed this if you've visited the eShop in the past couple days, but Nintendo has allowed some of the focus to be given to the G.G Series, a collection of small arcade-style games that, like what is seen under the GO Series umbrella, fit well within the obscurity I was hoping would reach inches closer to the spotlight (versus being behind the curtain as was the case previously). Much to my pleasure, Nintendo no longer has selective memory and has since realized the need to pull back on the regulars they've been using since day one. But now it's my turn to do my part.
This week, you'll see reviews of several of the games hailing from the G.G Series that I did not get around to when they originally released. As you prepare for these upcoming verdicts, catch up on the existing review for SUPER HERO OGRE
, one of the better ones this line of games has to offer. If you've already exposed yourself to every single one of these titles, then don't you worry. We'll still have our regular content to entertain and inform throughout the week.
Back in February, we announced that we were expanding the Wiiloveit team to include a sixth member. We have since concluded the recruitment process and today, we are prepared to announce the successful candidate. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Maxwell
to the Wiiloveit team as our new Contributor
As a big fan of games that create meaningful player interactivity, Maxwell appreciates games with an artistic approach and loves sharing his views with other like-minded gamers. Also a fan of less serious yet still memorable departures, he is known to get insanely addicted to casual games. Moving forward, you can look forward to seeing a variety of editorial pieces from him. You won't have to wait too long, though, as we just published his very first piece! It's a very timely consideration of how Masahiro Sakurai had such a great impact on his gaming background. Give it a read and please join me in making him feel welcome!
Rhythm games sure have come a long way. Starting from one of the first pioneers of rhythm-based gaming, Dance Dance Revolution -- which is still growing and very much relevant today -- this sector of the industry has grown to include such explosive hits as Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Just Dance. Most current platforms have had their own iconic rhythm game sit in the saddle, as it were, and especially recently we've seen just how far developers can stretch these titles to the point that they wear them out completely. Thankfully, while we're still very much in the phase of dance-focused titles and are currently contending with all the backlash that has come with that, the incessant milking that was once led by Activision in particular has now ceased for the most part.
In the midst of all this hoopla, we've had some pretty interesting experiments come to Nintendo platforms over the past decade. One of these is Donkey Konga (pictured above), a game I regretfully never had the opportunity to play. The use of an additional peripheral in this case (the DK Bongos) was completely warranted and it offered a style of play that really hadn't been attempted before. That allure is likely what led Nintendo to developing a whole series out of it.
Along with that, there have also been some innovative one-off's as well, with the easiest example to point to being Elite Beat Agents. Just stemming off that, you could say that the DS in general sure had its healthy share of games for the musically inclined, from frenetic and addictive mix-ups in Rhythm Heaven; to the classical, more obscure themes of Maestro! Green Groove; and the more avant-garde style present in the likes of Electroplankton. Some of these have grown to become well-regarded, positive spins on the genre, which is great to see considering this genre isn't nearly as flocked to as it once was. I'm happy to report that thus far, we've been seeing this spirit of innovation carry forward moving over to the 3DS, with SEGA offering us a new face to inspect with Rhythm Thief R. We'll get into more detail on that subject later on this week, though.
For now, all things considered, I think you'll agree that it's time for rhythm-based gaming (and its sub-categories of music and dance) to step it up once more. With this becoming more of a need now that we're on the brink of moving past these trendy projects, we're looking to get you to think about rhythm games all week here at Wiiloveit. In analyzing where rhythm games are moving (if they are), do you think the Wii U will breathe new life into this challenged area of gaming? Could we see something as innovative as the likes of Wii Music, but without the controversy? Consider these and other topics as you explore the different reviews and articles we've prepared for you this week. Hopefully this initiative will give you something to think about for the upcoming year.
2011 was a great year for Wiiloveit with plenty for us to get excited about, and we're looking to continue building that momentum as we move deeper into 2012. We have some big plans ahead but first we need to ensure that we're delivering content to satisfy our current audience before we implement initiatives to expand our reach. To help facilitate that, it is with eager anticipation that we announce our search for a new Contributor
to join our five-person team.
The ideal candidate for this volunteer position will be a self-motivated individual who has a place in their heart for Nintendo that they can't keep to themselves, but can still look at the gaming scene from a critical perspective when called upon to do so. In keeping with what we do here, an appreciation for niche titles is also very much valued. The new addition to the team will be responsible for submitting editorial as assigned and reporting to the site's Editor for consultation, but we're also looking for someone who is very much comfortable with pitching their own ideas without necessarily being told to do so. Other responsibilities include collaborating to create entertaining, team-based features, attending occasional meetings, and assisting with the up-keep of the Team Blog. When it comes down to it, we're looking for someone who is confident in their ability to create engaging and well-written content, which in turn would mesh well with what we already do as a team.
While we admire ambition, it is important to note that we are not a big site. Therefore, we are not offering anything in the way of monetary compensation. Each and every one of us are volunteers with a drive to see this site grow, and we're looking for someone who fits the same bill. What we do offer is an environment where you can grow as you receive useful feedback on your submissions that you can take with you moving forward. Not everything has to be all serious, though. We have a lot of fun behind the scenes too!
Does this sound like something you'd like to be a part of? If you've got a good feeling this would be a good fit, please do get in touch
! If you need more information on logistics or anything else, don't hesitate to ask. We look forward to hearing from any and all applicants, but please remember to do so before February 13th, 2012
. Thanks for your co-operation and we look forward to hearing from you!
UPDATE: Thank you to all who expressed interest in this position. Submissions are now closed. We'll be in touch!
I'd like to start this blog post by apologising for the awful pun in the title. The name "Wii" was first revealed in April of 2006, over five and a half years ago, but I still manage to make awful little jokes based on the name. I'm aware of how childish said habit really is, but now that I've written it, I don't want to change it.
However, the point of the title isn't the "joke" (if it can be called that). No, surprisingly enough, the point of the title is to briefly explain what this post is actually about. Which is our rii- sorry, redesigned site. If you're a frequent visitor of Wiiloveit, you'll no doubt remember our previous background, with the vivid blue design embedded with large flowing Wii-style rings. Well, after sticking by that design for a while now, we've decided it's time for a change.
The new site design, which we're officially launching today, incorporates a new, slimmed down logo and eyecatching Nintendo-style Wii and DS icons, and keeps the focus on the content. We've also got new style banner images and the inclusion of a footer across every page, which incorporates links to our social networking profiles and later this week, the introduction of advertising banners.
Despite being active for almost three and a half years now, we've stayed away from featuring ads on the site, because we know how annoying they can be, and we've had no interest in profiting from the site (we already get paid in the currency of love from our readers), but we've decided to give ads a trial run to see how well they work on the site, and to make sure we don't encounter a time where we are no longer able to continue running the site due to costs. For everyone's benefit though, they'll be out of the way at the bottom of the page, and won't intrude upon content, so if you're not a fan of ads, you can easily browse the site without such distractions spoiling your browse.
Back to the background, the new style has been designed with a couple of other things in mind - mainly speed, and compatability. The old background wasn't very effective for those with lower resolution screens, and was distracting and had weird cut off points for those with larger ones. This one has been kept slim and should suit any size screen, and due to its size, should also keep bandwith usage and loading times down to a minimum!
We hope you appreciate the changes we've made to the site, and if you have any comments at all, feel free to contact us here. We'll continue tweaking a few other aspects of the site design over the next few days, so any thoughts that can help us on our way are always appreciated!
Remember back in the day when licenses were given proper attention in video game form? Even now, titles like Ducktales
and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
are often referenced as great examples of the kind of effort we have seen in the past and really should be seeing now. Other titles like Cool Spot
(shown here) have created their own groups of followers who either clamor for a second helping or reminisce on how enjoyable the games were. Sadly, I think most will agree that the overall quality of licensed games has dropped significantly as we've moved further and further away from systems of past generations, to the point where quality licensed games are becoming more and more of a rarity.
All this week, we'll be doing something out of the ordinary here at Wiiloveit. Patrick and I have prepared a week-long schedule consisting of game reviews of various licensed material that will culminate in a special two-person feature. As a community, we all harp on this sector of gaming at length -- justifiably in the eyes of some -- but it's unfair to write off all licensed games completely. As you may very well find out, there are some (yes, even recent ones) that are actually worth your time. As you check out our content this week, give thought to the experiences you've had over the years and reflect on what changes you feel are needed with licensed games moving forward.
If you've always felt Luigi is the better half of the two brothers, listen up! Torontonians will be happy to know that tomorrow there will be an art show focused entirely on the green man himself!
From 3:00 to 10:00PM, attendees will have the chance to gawk at unique (even creepy-looking) renditions of Luigi in action based on his adventures in the various games he's appeared in (and even ones that he hasn't). There are a total of nine different artists who will be putting artwork on display with Luigi as the central figure. If that isn't enough of an incentive for you to head out, parking and admission are both free and food will be provided.
This is a one-day event, so if you can make the time for it and it's within your area, then be sure to stop by! I'm sure the organizers will appreciate your support. To get a sneak peek at the artwork that will be showcased at the event or to learn more about attending, check out the Tumblr page
of the persons responsible for hosting the show. Let us know if you get to make it out to the event!
First off, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone
for their support this past Saturday. Participating in the 24-hour Extra Life charity event was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in recent memory. More than that, though, the amount of donations I received surprised me tenfold. I didn't expect to reach such a large sum at all!
For those of you that made a donation, thank you so much for taking the time to do that. This is a wonderful cause -- one that I will most definitely be supporting next year as well -- and I'm so thrilled to see Children's Miracle Network will be receiving over $300 just from my list of supporters alone. In total, though, Extra Life raised over $1,000,000 which is totally amazing. If you didn't have an opportunity to check out the livestream on Saturday, here's a summary of that day's activities! (Even if you did, please keep reading. There is some important news below.)
After fixing a technical problem I ran into right off the bat, the first game I started off with was Art Style: light trax, a game I have been meaning to get back into for quite some time. As I was playing, there was some discussion going on as to which of the Art Style games is the best, which was nice to see. I was so happy that I started off with this game in particular, because not only did I have some good fun in Freeway mode, but I also was able to finally clear the Brillia Tour and unlock Hyperlight Tours mode! I was able to accomplished a goal right up front, which turned out to be a positive encouragement for the other games that followed.
After that, I played a bit of Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast, which was nice to get into again after a long hiatus. Shortly after that, I booted up Sonic Riders, and was quickly reminded of how superior the original is to the sequel on the Wii. Next, I started a campaign in Star Fox 64, which not only turned out to be a lot of fun, but this was the point in the marathon where we had the most viewers (20 if I'm not mistaken). I had some embarrassing moments like when I took longer than usual to clear an early boss (which resulted in Falco's departure from the team). Plus, at one point, someone challenged me to play only in first-person mode but I didn't feel up to it. All in all, it was a fun run-through.
At around Noon, I headed to Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing to see if I could get some online matches going. Although there weren't a lot of players at the time, I was able to get a few short matches in so that was kind of nice. After that, I played Sonic the Hedgehog for a bit, but I lost interest in continuing to play by the time I reached Spring Yard Zone. (Remind me again why people hold this game so near and dear to their heart when better experiences have come along?) Much more enjoyable was the time I spent playing Magnetis. I didn't beat any high scores or anything, but it was just fun to play as usual.
As per request, I hosted a Mario Kart Wii session next, with Billy & Jack signing themselves up for this part of the program. At one point, Billy challenged me to beat him on the next level to receive another donation. Thankfully, the level that was chosen was Daisy Circuit -- a level I'm somewhat good at -- and I ended up winning! Score! Appropriately, I closed off our fun session by playing the Credits tune.
After that, I played chick chick BOOM for quite some time, trying to attempt some custom challenges created by the tons of bits team as they watched and provided commentary. They were kind enough to provide me with the tunes for the three arenas so I didn't have to worry about playing unrelated music. I felt proud to be able to clear two of the challenges they invented for me. One where I was able to shoot just about all of Corncobman's corns off (I'eve never seen him stick around that long before!) and the second where I used only special attacks to eliminate the opposing team! Although I didn't succeed at their third challenge (defeating 50 chicks in Pro Mode), I did set a new personal best so that was good enough for me.
Once the developers called it a day, I decided to begin my Super Monkey Ball marathon. I started off with the original Super Monkey Ball on the Gamecube, clearing the Beginner stages easily, except I didn't like the fact that I had to use a Continue to do it so I went at it again. I moved on to the Advanced stages after that and cleared it somewhat quickly (despite the guitar level slowing me down a bit), and that's when I lost interest in continuing to play. As I moved on to Super Monkey Ball 2, I was a bit unsure what to attempt, but in the end, I decided to take a stab at the Master stages. Although one of the viewers we had at the time taunted me for my failed attempts, I managed to clear some of the difficult stages. Advancing to Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, I played some levels here and there and a few mini-games. I didn't play it for very long as I was more interested in playing Step & Roll with the Balance Board. That was pretty fun as well.
Following that, I played Mario Super Sluggers by request, and followed up with Sonic Heroes -- something I had been looking forward to all day. Then, for the first of two times that day, I played Bomberman Hero for a while and made some progress in the game. Patrick and I then had a few tense matches in Tetris Party; I was surprised I actually won a few! (I knew he was going easy on me though -- his way of making me a charity case, I guess.)
As fun as it was to face Patrick, playing Excitebots: Trick Racing with Wiiloveit reader Odnetnin was even more enjoyable, especially since I haven't played in the longest time. By the time we finished with that, it was around midnight and I decided to stream me playing the last level in Portal. I was really into the game for about an hour I believe, but it was at this point that I started to feel sleepy. It wasn't until I heard GLaDOS' death threats over the intercom that I became less interested in taking a nap and more focused on escaping with my life! In the interim, Patrick hosted a giveaway of Back to the Future for PC.
As the early hours of the morning started to hit home, I migrated back to Bomberman Hero and made even more progress. I was having a lot of fun but I actually started to doze off for a while. At the time, Jack came back to the stream and even made fun of me as he watched me defeat a boss in my sleep -- literally! After some more nodding off and a bit of playtime, I concluded with some online dodgeball matches in Mario Sports Mix. By the time I was finished, it was 8:00 AM. I called it quits and headed to my bed for a well-deserved rest.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to play all of the games I wanted to. I was disappointed that I didn't get to play Tower of Druaga, Elebits, escapeVektor: Chapter One, MotoHeroz, Mario Party 2, Super Smash Bros. and Jett Rocket. I was really looking forward to playing all of those. Overall, though, I had a blast and I can't say "Thank You!" enough to the many supporters I had throughout this ride.
At this point and time, I would like to officially announce that my experience with Extra Life 2011 is not over. Due to the overwhelming support that Extra Life received this year, it was recently announced that not only is this Saturday an official Extra Life "make up" day, but donations will be accepted until mid-November. In light of this, I have decided to continue streaming in support of Extra Life on Friday's and Saturday's until donations are closed. Which means, in the coming days and weeks ahead, you can look forward to more streams, more footage, more surprises, and hopefully direct audio! See below for a tentative schedule of times where streams will likely begin:
Fri. Oct. 21 - 4:30
Sat. Oct. 22 - 7:00
Fri. Oct. 28 - 4:30
Sat. Oct. 29 - 1:00
Fri. Nov. 4 - 4:30
As this list isn't final, please stay tuned to our Twitter account for announcements on these events! Please email me at anytime at email@example.com
if you have challenges that you'd like me to attempt, games you'd like to see me play, or any other ideas that you have with the event. If you weren't able to make it this Saturday, I really hope you'll be able to find time to attend one of the other streams I'll be hosting for the next few weeks.
edit: Please be advised that due to technical difficulties, these streams will not continue. There is a possibility that the technical difficulties I'm experiencing will be resolved before Extra Life officially closes for the year, but until you hear otherwise, consider them cancelled. I apologize for any inconvenience and wish I could have followed through on this as planned.
Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast
Mario Super Sluggers
escapeVektor: Chapter One
Art Style: light trax
chick chick BOOM
Tower of Druaga
Star Fox 64
Super Smash Bros.
Sonic & Knuckles
Mario Party 2
Kirby’s Air Ride
Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball 2
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Sports Mix
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
Diddy Kong Racing
Dragon Quest Wars