Hey, it’s that rarest of release weeks – a triple A Wii title comes out! I kid, of course, but Nintendo’s waggle box has been bereft of good games for some time now, so the release of a new Super Mario Brothers is cause for celebration. Throw in a new Resident Evil, a high-profile sequel, and a few other good-looking games and this is a pretty hot seven days to be a digital entertainment enthusiast. Let’s get right on down to the games, my droogies.
New Super Mario Brothers Wii – After being somewhat disappointed by Super Mario Galaxy (loved the idea of it, hated all of the handholding and talking), this return to old-school sidescrolling Mario action is a welcome thing indeed. This baby sticks to all the classic Mario tropes – eight worlds divided into a number of levels, a battle with Bowser at the end, and a steadily increasing level of difficulty that may overwhelm the casual player. The big new change is multiplayer – four players can cooperate (or compete) on-screen at the same time, adding an element of hilarious chaos to the proceedings.
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles – I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Wii is the perfect platform for the Resident Evil games – the nunchuk and Wiimote just lend themselves perfectly to the series’ design sense. The rail shooter spinoffs are also a heap of fun, subtracting the tense ammo management and adding in more undead to compensate. This game brings us back to Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica, expanding on those games with new scenes as well as some familiar recreations.
Assassin’s Creed 2 – The first game was an interesting, if flawed, experiment in a new control scheme marred by inordinate amounts of repetition and sameness in the story missions – get intelligence, find target, kill him, wash rinse repeat with an occasional detour to grab a flag. The sequel transports the action to the Italian Renaissance and promises revamped controls and a lot more to do, including optional dungeon areas.
Left 4 Dead 2 – Obviously pretty psyched for Valve’s zombie-wasting sequel, having spent some serious time with the demo. If you’ve been under a rock for the last few months: new Infected, new weapons, and a new Director that can throw all sorts of things at you, from timed gauntlets to intense mazes. Transplant the action to New Orleans and you’ve got a must-play sequel.
LittleBigPlanet – The PS3’s killer app comes to the PSP with full functionality intact – build your own levels and let your friends run rampant in this physics-based platformer with all kinds of social sharing features. We start with multiplayer platforming and we end with multiplayer platforming – that’s some delicate symmetry there.