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Desert Island Downloads - KS8's Picks

Feature
15th May 2011; By KnucklesSonic8

If you knew in advance that you would be stranded on a desert island, what games would you take to keep yourself entertained while you awaited rescue? Throughout this week, some of us will be answering that very question. Instead of a set number of games, each team member has been given 5000 Wii Points to spend on any combination of titles from the Wii Shop Channel, as well as the chance to nominate one game they just couldn't quite fit into their budget. What games will we choose to help pass the days, weeks and months isolated from civilization? Read on to find out!

Today, I close off our special feature by taking you through what I would spend my 5000 Wii Points on. I’ll be using a North American Wii for my choices and I successfully spent all of the allotted Wii Points.


Magnetis

500 Wii Points / WiiWare / Yullaby

This game has held a soft spot in my heart for a long time now and till this day I have a deep amount of appreciation for it. For one, the game makes use of an inspired concept that see players combining magnetic conductors together with bars of energy. This is one of those games that give off an impression of simplicity from the outset, but the more you get into it, you begin to discover that the game has additional layers of depth. The music is just excellent, too. In fact, I still listen to two of the in-game songs on a fairly regular basis. They’re just so soothing and catchy. It’s an excellent arcade experience that I simply can’t do without!


Mario Party 2

1000 Wii Points / N64 / Nintendo

I’ve been privileged to grow up with the Mario Party franchise from the very beginning. With the exception of Mario Party 3 (yes, I do realize many think it’s the best one), I’ve played all the games in the series. It’s only a given that I would pick a Mario Party game to help me pass time on the island. After all, despite the recurring flaws that existed in future iterations, it’s still one of my favourite series. 

My exposure with Mario Party 2, in particular, was never extensive way back when it was available on the N64. But what I did play, I still hold dear to my heart. Some of the situations I encountered when playing the VC release -- like getting hit by the large laser in Space Land or experiencing the tensity in mini-games like Hexagon Heat -- all brought back memories for me. I can also recall having lots of fun with the Mini-Game Coaster, something I still haven’t unlocked in the VC version I currently own, so surely that’s something else that would keep me busy. I still think it’s amazing that I can still play through boards on my own without getting easily bored, and while I admit not all share my view, I am pleased that I can still see great contentment in playing by myself.


HoopWorld

1000 Wii Points / WiiWare / Virtual Toys S.L.

HoopWorld was definitely one of my favourite WiiWare games from 2010, and given how much I really enjoyed myself with the game, I knew I just had to add this to my list. Simply put, HoopWorld is tons of fun, carrying much of what makes Mario sports games so enjoyable but still adding its own sense of strategy and originality. It truly is exhilarating to play, especially on the Hard and Crazy settings. My heart was pounding with excitement as I tried clearing the final Tournaments, and although the challenge factor did get me frustrated sometimes, the fact that the game was just so enjoyable motivated me to keep playing. And for that reason, I can see myself getting much replay value of the game. Plus, with the incorporation of online leaderboards, I’ll have even more motivation to keep playing.


Mappy

500 Wii Points / Arcade / Namco

Thanks to Namco Museum Remix, I was able to discover an arcade game that had previously alluded me for so many years. In recent times, Mappy has become one of my new favourite arcade games from the 80’s because of how timelessly enjoyable the gameplay is. Come on, slamming doors in the faces of mischievous bandits? How is that not full of win! At the same time, you’re also bouncing off trampolines, recovering stolen treasures and trying to avoid capture from the gang of thieves. It’s a clever approach to the cat and mouse rivalry that simply never gets old for me!


Art Style: light trax

600 Wii Points / WiiWare / Nintendo

As much as I adore CUBELLO, I can safely say that Art Style: light trax is my favourite of the bunch. The racing aspect is taken to new heights with a musical flair that keeps you going, simple yet multi-faceted level designs and visuals that make you smile from to time to time. One thing I love about this game is that it always stays fresh. Even though you may play some levels over and over again, there are new shortcuts to discover in how you make good use of your extra heart containers. Plus, much like Let’s Catch, it’s a great way to relax! I would happily forsake all of my current progress and start again in this new less-than-desirable setting. The different Tours are always fun to visit and exploring the Freeway with all of its branching paths and cool psychedelic animations is such a joy to experience. This was an easy pick!


Sonic & Knuckles

800 Wii Points / Genesis / SEGA

Out of all the classic Sonic games, I’ve spent the least time with Sonic & Knuckles. From what I can recall, I didn’t get very far beyond Flying Battery Zone. Or, if I did, Mushroom Hill and the one I just mentioned are the only areas that I can still fondly remember. Imagine my excitement when the game did end up releasing for North America’s VC catalogue! This game me the opportunity to have a mostly-fresh experience with a game belonging to one of my most treasured video game franchises. I still haven’t had much time to get through the game, so naturally, bringing this along with me to the desert island would be something that would excite me very much. Besides, I get to play the Blue Sphere stages! I love those!


BIT.TRIP VOID

600 Wii Points / WiiWare / Aksys Games

For those that are unaware, I am a huge fan of the Music/Rhythm genre of games. To not have a robust music-based title in my collection would be a real disservice to me because I know how much I’d long for one after some time. Deciding between VOID and CORE was difficult because I truly do love them both for very different reasons. But in the end, thinking more about the long-term benefits, I’m sure choosing VOID would be something I wouldn’t regret. 

One of the reasons why I appreciate the game so much is because of the controls. The freedom you have in this title compared to other the other games in the series really lend themselves to a good focus on replayability. Here, you’re not set to a small timing window when you need to press buttons. Instead, you can choose when to grab bits that make their way onto the screen. You can grab them right away, in tune with the background music or even on the downbeat. The music in this game is great because of how much it pulls you in, and that’s important to a guy like me. But really, it’s the fact that you have room for creativity that especially draws me to the game, and I can definitely see myself replaying it again and again (as I have already been doing from time to time).



The One That Got Away


Flowerworks
1000 Wii Points / WiiWare / Nocturnal

Choosing one last game for this category was not easy by any means. I kept fighting between the likes of Donkey Kong Country and Water Warfare, just to name a few. But in the end, this extremely satisfying WiiWare release won out. 

Flowerworks has still left a mark on me since I played through it over a year ago. Its gameplay mechanics are, more or less, unseen in the mass market and the level of depth that the system affords is incredible. To see the concept get so fleshed out the way it did really impressed me. What’s more, Flowerworks still remains one of the most content-heavy WiiWare games ever released, which would allow me to maintain the same level of enjoyment as I wade out the time for my impending rescue. If I had 1,000 Points more, there’s no doubt that Flowerworks would actually serve me the best out of the options I was wrestling with. It’s too bad I couldn’t add it to the actual list, but I’m still happy I was nonetheless able to represent it in some fashion.



Read what Jack, Billy, and Patrick would pick if they were stranded on a desert island!

Feature by KnucklesSonic8
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