For this week's quick reviews, we've taken a look at just a couple of the WiiWare highlights from the past year: Bit.Trip BEAT and NyxQuest, both of which are great titles, and now also part of the new, free, WiiWare Demo service. Read on for our full impressions...
WiiWare | Rhythm Action | Gaijin Games / Aksys | 1-4 Player co-op | Out Now - 600 Nintendo Points (Demo available)
To enhance play, you must control your paddle by twisting your Wii remote towards and away from yourself, a method which may sound daunting and unnecessary at first, but manages to work wonderfully, allowing for more control over speed and accuracy. Up to four player co-op play is also available, and even though the bat size is compromised due to the extra help, it provides some great fun with friends. Adding to the experience even further, the beats that fly towards you all make a "bleep" sound when they come into contact with your paddle, forming a fantastically catchy tune as you progress through each of the three levels. Some of them also move in imaginative ways just to fool you, but whilst this may be a tad confusing from time to time, it also manages to add much more personality and difficulty to the gameplay.
All in all, BEAT is a great start to the new Bit.Trip series, with great gameplay to accompany the fantastic aesthetic style, although sometimes the background imagery (which vaguely displays a story if you pay close attention) can distract you. With the levels clocking up around fifteen to twenty minutes each time, it can also be a pain when you constantly fail at a difficult section and have to start over again, but for hardcore gamers, it's well worth a download at just 600 points. Billy White
Gameplay 8/10 - Presentation 9/10 - Enjoyment 4/5 - Other 3/5
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits
WiiWare | Platform / Adventure | Over the Top Games | 1-2 Player co-op | Out Now - 1000 Nintendo Points (Demo available)
Sadly, the game lacks from several glitches in the gameplay, sometimes causing premature and unfortunate deaths, and other times leaving you with no way of moving. These can be overlooked, but do provide for some very annoying scenarios at times. In addition to this, the graphics also feel a bit lacking as well. Sure, their cel-shaded style fits really well with the Ancient Greek theme, but sadly some of the set pieces can begin to look really samey as you progress, and some background set-pieces can sometimes be easily confused with items in the foreground. This isn't to say that the game loses out to LostWinds in every possible way, though, since fans looking for more excitement or action in this than that of LostWinds will not be left disappointed, with plenty of quick thinking often required.
The game also features co-op functionality, allowing an extra player to participate in trickier moments, something that proves to be a great advantage during certain sections. Overall, if you're looking for a new platformer on WiiWare, this will not leave you disappointed, although the style won't be for everyone.
Gameplay 9/10 - Presentation 8/10 - Enjoyment 4/5 - Other 4/5