31st December 2010; By KnucklesSonic8
The year 2010 was filled with a number of surprises, one of which was the return of WiiWare's demo system. With an even stronger promise for potential and success amongst deserving developers, it's been off to a great start so far, wouldn't you say? As we move into the new year, I thought now would be a good time to bring this up. The following is a list of 15 released titles that I think would really benefit from jumping on the demo bandwagon. Here are my picks:
I think a lot of people slept on this title, and even now I rarely ever see it being spoken of at all. Helix just needed more marketing and it could've been even more successful, especially amongst fitness-focused Wii owners. Just having two songs would be a nice way to show off this great game and get people into the mood of what this release is all about.
14. Spaceball: Revolution
The simple premise is just one of many endearing features to this addicting puzzler, and I think if people were exposed to just one chapter of the game's Challenge Mode, they would come to this realization. Although having just one chapter might seem small, since it consists of multiple levels, this should give inquiring gamers a general idea of what to expect.
Bonsai Barber experienced some popularity not long after it came out, but even still, some didn't see what the big fuss was all about. In fact, when it first released, a lot of people didn't think it would even come close to where it is today. Personally, I would like to see a demo that would give allow one day in the Barber Shop with limited access to certain features.
12. Groovin' Blocks
I've said it before and I'll say it again: this music-based puzzler got lost in the pack. In fact, I myself only discovered it months after it released and regretted passing it off as something not worth my time. I think if people got to try just one song (Bobblehead track, for the win!), they'd be much more inclined to spend the reasonable asking price.
Without adding the price into the equation, Tecmo's weird simulation title is very intimidating to pick up and yet, I keep hearing good things about it. The whole game seems a bit silly, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who would welcome the chance to try this oddball out if only to see how humorous the fighting aspect is.
10. You, Me and the Cubes
This is definitely a game that would benefit from a demo. 1,000 Points can be off-putting for a game like this, especially if you're not totally sure of whether or not the game is right for you. If a demo were to be created for this game, I think it would be good to have the first level in both 1-Player and 2-Player play. That way, people can check out the co-op (the game's strongest feature), and decide whether or not it's a good fit if they don't always have someone else to play with.
I don't think this game gets enough love. Regardless of the reason why some have chosen to leave this one alone - whether it be preconceived expectations, or a dislike towards the lack of multiplayer - I really think more people need to give this a shot and see just how much fun it is. One race won't be enough to really enjoy all this game has to offer, but I think it'll be enough to arouse curiousity in the full game.
8. Water Warfare
The kiddy visuals might have left some undecided on this game, which is a shame because this game is a lot of fun. I think a demo would be extremely beneficial for encouraging people to pick up this game especially for the online component - which has been lacking as of late. The way I see it, the demo would allow you to play on the Playground Map against Easy, Normal or Hard computers under the Single Battle Royal setting. Including all of the Tutorial missions might be a cause for irritation if a person decided to get the full game, so maybe just having one or two of the main ones would suffice.
Because this game came out close to NBA Jam's slated release, some probably decided to skip out on it, figuring it wouldn't come close to matching the retail sports title. If that's the case, I think people need to adjust their expectations with HoopWorld. At the end of the day, it's an exciting title that's definitely worth the asking price. Those who love the intensity of the Mario sports titles would get a kick out of this, and a demo would definitely help market this title more. I think just allowing players to test out a standard exhibition match with Easy/Normal computers would be sufficient.
6. Gods vs. Humans
I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to give this a try, if only because of how good the game looks. But with such a hefty price tag, even big fans of the tower defense genre will find 1,200 Points (1,500 in EU) to be a big turn-off. Needless to say, a demo would do Zallag well in this scenario.
Nocturnal's WiiWare release is one of the lengthiest games on the service. It's also lots of fun to play especially mid-way through when the mechanics pick up and new twists are added. With this in mind, doing a demo for this game would be tricky. However, I think just having one available would be good for drawing more attention to this game - which I feel it deserves. Perhaps the demo could include the beginning stages of the full-length adventure up to the first three levels or so. They won't get to see the game during its best moments of course, but I think the curious types will be intrigued enough to do additional research and discover what makes this so great.
4. A Monsteca Corral: Monsters vs. Robots
Yes, the visuals in this game could use a significant amount of polish, but the game itself is totally unique and a lot of fun to play. I think the presentation is what really hurt this title, but if more people just gave it a chance, they'd see that this game is more enjoyable than it might look.
In my opinion, GAME ARTS' debut WiiWare title hasn't been given enough credit or attention. It's one of the strongest 500-Point titles available on the service, and yet, most probably don't even know it exists or the fun mechanics that are contained within. It's a bit depressing to see such a good game fall into this sort of situation. But I think a demo consisting of two or three stages would do a lot for this game's success.
2. Tales of Bearsworth Manor (Chaotic Conflicts / Puzzling Pages)
Take a quick look at the reviews for this game and you'll see there's a large mix of opinions on these two SQUARE ENIX titles. Not to mention the childish-like appearance in amongst the eerie presentation and storyline. The last time they did a demo (for FFCC: My Life as a Darklord), things turned out pretty well! I'm sure things would turn out to be the same case if they came out with a demo for these two titles.
Okay, let's face it: this game has a mesmerizing effect when you first see it in action. And no, I'd rather not get into a discussion about why that is - mostly because I barely know why myself. Sure the concept is unique (albeit a tad ridiculous), but the whole execution would lead any self-respecting gamer to be at least a bit apprehensive about trying it. And yet, there's something oddly-alluring about it that makes you want to anyway. I mean, have you heard the wacky music in this game? Despite the obvious reasons that may put someone off from giving it a shot, something tells me that even skeptics who were previously repulsed by the game's look would still give it a shot just for the heck of it.
As we head into the new year, I'm looking forward to seeing how things pan out with future WiiWare demos. Even though I still don't understand why Nintendo won't just keep the demos a permanent feature of the service, I think it's very interesting the way they've been using the Nintendo Channel's recommendation feature to judge interest. With that said, if you've tried out a demo in the last little while, don't forget to rate it on the Nintendo Channel!
What demos would you like to see?