Tag Archives: Wii

Top 10 Nintendo Wii Games

Since the NES years, Nintendo wanted to revolutionize the way we play our video games. Since its success with A, B, Start, and Select button and the D-pad, Nintendo wanted to give more variety to our controls. The Wii is not the first console that utilizes motion controls, the NES was the first with peripherals such as the Power Glove, Laser Scope, Roll & Rocker, U-Force, etc. were the first attempt to play games differently than the standard NES controls, but they were ideas so bad that Nintendo had to no longer continue this trend. The problem was that it was too early for such technology to work, so we had to wait many console generations till this trend was to return. On the 6th Generation of consoles, the Gamecube was losing in the console market competing with the successful Xbox and the Playstation 2. The Gamecube was cursed with a marketing appeal aimed towards children, no DVD player, and mediocre third-party support. It was looked as if the Gamecube was much of a failure to the Dreamcast, so to not make the same mistake again, Nintendo needed to sell more units than the upcoming Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, but they needed to have a gimmick that not only makes it different than any console experience ever. Once called the “Nintendo Revolution,” this system was made to revolutionize gaming instead of making another disc based console with better graphics. Nintendo used its old motion peripherals and made motion gaming popular. For that they accomplished it. Not only did it work, but the Wii Remote (and Nunchucks) read the player’s precise movements that it brought interactivity into a whole new level. The gimmick worked so well that even people who never played a video game in their life began buying a Nintendo Wii, making it the best selling console in the 7th Generation; beating the 360 and PS3. All of the sudden, Nintendo was having their own renaissance since the NES days because millions bought many of their games and peripherals, their library grew so rapidly, and Nintendo has gained a lot of third-party support that they’ve strived for since the Nintendo 64.

You might think that because of all the success that Nintendo have made with the Wii, you might as well should call it one of the greatest consoles of all time, but unfortunately with all the stagnation piling up on the Nintendo Wii, it created a bunch of problems. You see, people get bored with the console so Nintendo and their developers were sent out to create some of the unique games out of the 7th generation, but unfortunately with every good game released for the Wii there are a ton of shuffleware tossed in the Wii’s library. It goes back to the Nintendo’s issue with the Gamecube where there were too many kiddy appeal that it alienate many hardcore fans for the Wii. These shuffleware ware rushed out there to make a quick buck that turned out the most gimmicky if not the worst ever. Throughout the Wii’s lifespan, shuffleware was plagued the Wii that makes it so hard to find a good game in an ocean filled with crap. It’s because the system was so easy to make games out of it that it shows the Wii’s obsolete technology such as poor online gaming community that uses friend codes, usage of internal flash memory,  SD cards are secondary memory, and no HD graphics that the 360 and PS3 are providing. It’s the reason why people either had to sell their Wii because they got bored with it or the had to purchase another system to go with it that fill that void that the Wii can’t. But at the same time, the 360 and PS3 wanted to make the same success as the Wii by copying their motion gimmick by using the Kinnect and the Playstation Move. Neither one of those peripherals could match up to the Wii’s success because they were copy-cats instead of original ideas. Even though the Wii may not be the greatest system of all time, it is however the most unique console ever created. For a long time Nintendo wanted to make a system that reads motion and the Wii did it, finally. And though people today still preferred to use the standard controls, Wii showed that it is possible to make an alternative to how we interact with our video games and these are the ten of the best games on the system that proved it!

Number 10.  –  Wii Sports Resort

Although the Nintendo Wii was quite the revolutionary console when it was released, the downside of this console was the limited accuracy of its wireless controllers. This is not to say that the games were poor but rather, it limited the player to what could be achieved in the grand scheme of gaming… until now! With some clever marketing on behalf of Nintendo, it comes bundled with Wii Resort and Impulse Gamer was ready to test the hype with Nintendo’s official sequel to Wii Sports. So if you loved Wii Sports, than get ready for another party game experience! Before embarking on our Wii Resort adventure, we needed to install the new Wii MotionPlus controller which is basically an attachment that neatly plugs into the bottom of the Wiimote. Thankfully it also comes with a new handgrip, ensuring that nothing or no one gets damaged in play. Once we configured the controller and sat through the introduction video of the new MotionPlus attachment (this went for too long), we were ready to start playing some sport and Wii Resort includes the following games; Swordplay, Wakeboarding, Frisbee, Archery, Basketball, Table Tennis, Golf, Bowling (best ever), Power Cruising, Canoeing, Cycling, and Air Sports which includes parachuting and piloting.  With 12 sporting games included in Wii Resort, there’s definitely something for everyone and although the game will eventually get quite boring in single-player, where this game does shine besides it’s party-game atmosphere is through the new Wii MotionPlus attachment that takes Wii gaming to its next evolution.

Number 9.  –  New Super Mario Bros Wii

Nintendo has been making Super Mario Bros. games for as long as they’ve been making game consoles, and after the mammoth success of New Super Mario Bros. on DS, it comes as no real surprise to see them continuing that tradition on the Wii. And while Nintendo have made it clear that the unique multiplayer aspects are the selling point of the game, when you sit down with this little gem the one thing that becomes abundantly clear is that no matter what Nintendo say, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is clearly designed as a single-player Super Mario Bros. experience with a few extremely fun multiplayer modes thrown in for good measure. Not only is New Super Mario Bros. Wii chock-full of classic Super Mario Bros. influences from start to finish, but it takes many of those ideas far beyond what they originally were in past releases. Not only is the game extremely challenging, but there’s so much to do in each world that you’ll find yourself coming back to the game time and time again in an effort to see all the game has to offer. The multiplayer modes make the game an experience anyone can get together and enjoy and adds an even more enjoyable layer to what is already a brilliant platforming experience. New Super Mario Bros. brings all of the classic fun from past Super Mario Bros. releases together in one amazing greatest hits-style gameplay experience and does so in a way that only Nintendo themselves can do. If you only buy one game for your Wii console for the rest of your life, make sure it’s this one.

Number 8.  –  Donkey Kong Country Returns

When Rare created the original Donkey Kong Countrytitles for the Super Nintendo console, the games basically took the system’s visuals capabilities to new heights and also offered up one of the best platforming experiences the console had to offer. Now, having spent the past few years resurrecting the Metroid series on Nintendo’s home consoles, Retro Studios has turned its attention to bringing back the Donkey Kong Country experience after its rather lengthy hiatus. And while long time fans of the classic 16-bit series will find a wealth of familiar musical, visual and gameplay touches throughout the game, they’ll also find a staggering number of new ones to go along with them. Donkey Kong Country Returns is almost the perfect continuation of the series in many ways. It manages to offer the perfect balance of old and new elements to form what has to be one of the Wii console’s finest platforming experiences and a game that should challenge even seasoned fans of the genre. The main game itself is easily enough to make the package worth your time and money, but figuring in the massive amount of replay value the game offers up makes it an even more appealing package. It might have been a long wait for a new Donkey Kong Country title, but after a few minutes of playing Retro’s new rumble in the jungle, you’ll realise it was more than worth it.

Number 7.  –  Xenoblade Chronicles

The creativity Monolith has employed in producing the world of Xenoblade Chronicles is staggering. In terms of presentation, the immense landscapes are a delight to traverse and include some memorable enemies to battle. While some close-up camera angles expose graphical limitations, the art design more than compensates. Story cut-scenes use the in-game engine, your characters appearing in the customised outfits that you’ve assigned them, giving a wonderful sense of continuity. Although some of the voice acting is hit-and-miss, the soundtrack is superb, genuinely enhancing the experience. With a well-written plot, this carries out the magic that this game holds. Xenoblade Chronicles perfectly reaffirms the quality of experience possible from the JRPG genre. Epic in scale and setting, the story mode alone will consume over 50 hours of your gaming life. This isn’t a title to rush through, however; you’ll spend many more hours making the most of its incredible complexity, enhancing a range of abilities and exploring the world’s ecosystem. Although the developers have done a terrific job of incorporating daunting detail with intuitive controls, this title is still best suited to gamers with the capability, diligence and passion to see it through.

Number 6.  –  No More Heroes 2:
Desperate Struggle

What do you want from a video game? Fun? What if it makes you laugh? And smile? What if it can surprise you? What if it’s a sequel that removes the bad parts from its predecessor and replaces them with…. wait a minute… what if it replaces them with other un-fun stuff? No More Heroes 2 remains propelled by its own bratty enthusiasm for the good first half of its run-time, though it does start to run out of steam somewhat as it approaches the grand finale. There are some sequences where you play as characters other than Travis Touchdown that suffer from ill-conceived controls. The game never gets too heavy though; the simple-but-fun beat-em-up combat and ridiculous boss scenarios rise above any minor remaining issues with No More Heroes 2. A few of the later boss battles and levels that attempt to mix things up contain some of the frustrations that dragged the first game down, but for the most part this is yet another third-party Wii exclusive of which Nintendo faithful can be proud. Suda51 delivers a game that almost anyone can appreciate. In every way, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is a better game than No More Heroes. Almost every design flaw and every fan complaint has been addressed. While the original No More Heroes was fun to play if you could get past all of Suda 51’s weird meta-joke gameplay designs and awkward segments, No More Heroes 2 is fun to play without any reservation. Perhaps the only real complaint one can make is that a few of the levels and bosses are lackluster, and the game doesn’t quite have the same charm as the first, but in almost every way, this is a far superior game to the original, and Wii owners should definitely give it a shot.

Number 5.  –  Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Before launch time, the Wii looked to have a slew of launch titles that would blow away the competition. As Wiis hit the shelves, people began to find out that fully using the Wii’s functionality would take a little longer than wii’d expected (I know, that pun got old last year). Also, people drooled over the idea of having an FPS that controlled like a mouse using the Wii’s controls but at launch we were given Red Steel and Call of Duty 3, two games that just felt a bit sluggish and certainly didn’t give you the control of a PC shooter. While the game’s intuitive control scheme is obviously the biggest improvement to the series, this game also sports some other notable enhancements. For one, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous. It’s easy to see the difference in graphical power between a GameCube and a Wii if you compare Corruption to either of the first two installments in the series. Also, the environments are as scenic as ever from tribal planets to futuristic sky towns to abandoned space stations. If you were looking for a nominee for current best graphics on the Wii, Corruption would take the cake with its detailed art and pop-in absence. With all of the impressive graphics and environments, it’s amazing that this game still runs at 60 frames per second. I never experienced an ounce of slowdown in my entire session of gameplay, even amongst some highly intense battles. However, all of these graphical triumphs do come at a price: a few times throughout my journey I was forced to wait for extended periods of time just for a door to open between rooms. It is nice that these doors encompass any load times throughout your journey but when you’re forced to wait as much as 20 seconds, it can ruin the flow of the game and even be a further nuisance if you’re attempting to escape a room without fighting the enemies within.

Number 4.  –  Red Steel 2

Ever since we first laid eyes on the Wii we’ve been crying out for a decent sword-fighting simulator – something that delivers the hectic clash of blade meeting blade and leaves you feeling that your swash has well and truly been buckled. The first Red Steel game was one of the worst games on the Wii, but Ubisoft’s sequel uses Nintendo’s MotionPlus adaptor to offer much more control to your swings and parries. The result is a game that’s brilliant fun. Combat is divided between guns and swords, and while you can trick out a series of repeaters and tommyguns with some handy upgrades, most of the fun is to be had with mastering your katana skills. The addition of the MotionPlus device – it can either be bought in a bundle, or separately – allows for a wide range of different swings, parries, and lunges, and you should prepare yourself for a real workout as you swipe away at brutal enemies with your remote.  This is one of those games where you’ll definitely want to get a safe distance away from the telly, and if you’ve got much Ming china lying around, you should probably shift it into the next room before playing. The swordplay is mostly excellent, but there are still rare occasions where the remote can’t quite figure out what you’re trying to do. When things get really busy, you can expect the game to lose track of a few of your moves, which is hardly a problem when you’re taking on standard enemies, but can be really annoying in the middle of a boss-fight. Red Steel 2 is brilliant fun, bringing a real blast of action to the Wii, and reminding you that MotionPlus can be about more than just throwing Frisbees and going waterskiing.

Number 3.  –  Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins perfectly embodies what made many of us fall in love with gaming in the first place. It’s a nigh-on flawlessly executed romp through intricately designed levels that boast the most gorgeously detailed and vibrant visuals you’ll see this generation. Tight controls, a perfectly judged difficulty curve, fantastically surreal boss fights and tons of replayability go that extra mile to make sure that after years of being relegated to countless remakes of Rayman 2 and having those pesky Rabbids stealing his thunder, Rayman is back on form and back in the spotlight where he belongs. Drop-in/drop-out cooperative play for up to four players is the icing on an already sumptuously sweet cake. If you have any love for 2D platformers — and the idea of getting your friends together for an encore of New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s four-player action appeals to you — you’ll pick up Rayman Origins straight away. It represents the very pinnacle of 2D platforming and is undoubtedly one of the Wii’s very best games. Truly unmissable.

Number 2.  –  Super Smash Bros. Project M

I don’t need to tell you what Super Smash Bros. is but I can easily say that Brawl will always be inferior to Melee because of it’s unbalanced gameplay, missing characters, uninspired levels, and slow gameplay. It’s too bad that Nintendo focused on the casual aspect with Brawl instead of the competitiveness of Melee. That’s why MODs are a savior to gaming with Project M takes the graphics and presentation of Brawl and the speed and gameplay from Melee mixed into one. The biggest addition to Project M is the addition of Melee veterans Mewtwo and Roy. Both characters bring updated versions of their Melee movesets, as well as some new techniques. Roy’s Double-Edge Dance has been greatly expanded upon, and Mewtwo can now hover in any direction after a single jump by holding the jump button, and can attack out of Teleport. Both characters are even given Final Smashes, Mewtwo’s being a clone of Lucario‘s while Roy’s is completely new. Mewtwo and Roy do not replace any characters from Brawl. hile some might not find Project M to be their cup of tea, there’s absolutely no reason not to try it for yourself. The mod is completely free and a lot of hard work was put into it. It’s a great way to make the wait for Smash 4 more bearable. I’ve had a ton of fun with it over the last couple days, and I feel confident other people who give it a try will too. This is one of those rare cases where the mod is actually better than the original game!

If you want to know how to download this mod and transfer it to your Wii click here!

Number 1.  –  Super Mario Galaxy

I must admit that Super Mario Sunshine is not that great follow up to the like of Super Mario 64 because it wasn’t revolutionary and the setting was unimpressive. However, it would take 11 years since Mario 64 to have a game that feels like the Mario series can be revolutionary once again. If Wii Sports didn’t get you into buying the Nintendo Wii, Super Mario Galaxy will!  Super Mario Galaxy doesn’t have a particularly deep or involved story, but what stands out from the rest of the Mario games is the adventure through outer space and the many creative level designs that looks like Nintendo’s best effort without having to use HD graphics. This is the most uplifting experience since going to Disneyland and you can simple feel it from the presentation, scale, creative level designs, and musical orchestra. The likeness factor is throughout the roof, but the objective of Mario is all the same. Once again, Bowser has stolen 120 stars and kidnapped Princess Peach, this time in an attempt to conquer the entire galaxy. Mario, of course, sets out to foil the dastardly lizard’s plans once again, this time with the help of a princess from the stars named Rosalina and her army of adorable sentient mini-stars called Lumas. The real charm here is in the nostalgia. Super Mario Galaxy is packed to the brim with callbacks and cameos from other Mario titles and even an occasional reference to other Nintendo titles. One moment you’re ice-skating in outer space; the next, you’re bouncing on a conveyor belt made of Battenberg. Such is its energy and thirst to explore new frontiers that even the emergence of all Mario games fails to make this any less than essential!  It has everything. Great bosses, great power-ups, great levels, a great concept, great innovation, great design, great graphics, a great musical score and most of all it is brilliantly good fun. It makes you think, it makes you smile and it compels you to play just one more level. Flat out, the most addictive platform game ever created, if not one of the most addictive games ever created. The perfect demonstration of how to ‘do Wii’ and what’s more, a game that matches, almost inch for inch, the genre defining heights of Mario 64. To play Galaxy, is to fall in love all over again.

The Top Listed Wii Games

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7)      6)      5)   

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Top 10 Video Games of 2006

2006 SUCKED! It was not only one of the worst years in gaming, it was one of the worst years ever! After a wonderful time from 2002-2005, somehow we just came to an immediate stop of boredom, nonsensical headline news, and no good releases from any media (movies, music, video games, comics, etc.). In the gaming world in 2006, we were jump shifting to 7th Generation of Consoles where they were acting like PC Gaming making it a multimedia machine, not just gaming. Sure the hardware is outstanding with motion gaming and HD graphics, but the software (games) were piss poor! Nobody today would ever say “2006! That was a great year!” It was perhaps the most static year ever. Nothing significant has happened, nothing advanced, and nothing good was even made. Fuck 2006… but here are the 10 best games that came from that year.

Number 10.  –  Daxter

It’s nice to a Jak & Daxter game that takes place before Jak 2. Everything about this title is well done, from character development to lighting, from vehicle implementation to voice acting. It told a nice story that stay incredibly consistent with the timeline of the series, exterminating bugs is reminiscent to Ghostbusters, and even the mini games and features in Daxter is worth playing! Even the simple mini-games that revolve around Daxter’s dreams end up being enjoyable, in addition to upgrading his health bar and giving him new abilities. This is probably one of the strongest debuts I’ve ever seen, and the fact that PSP owners get an exclusive chance to try it out is just awesome. Daxter is currently in the Greatest Hits lineup for $19.99. If you have a PSP, you owe it to yourself to buy this game. This really is the last good game from the Jak & Daxter trilogy before Naughty Dog fully abandoned the series and Sony handed license to other developers who have no idea what to do with series.

Number 9.  –  Bully

 Rockstar has gone from the gritty streets of Liberty City to the opulent buildings in Bullworth Academy. As insane as it may sound, this game centered around an under-appreciated child named Jimmy Hopkins and his adventures in a boarding school run by lackwits is exactly what sandbox games needed – its a huge departure from the usual urban setting and does a good job representing every style of gameplay contained within it.  One thing that impressed me most of all with Bully was how polished the mini-games were. In past efforts, the controls would be clunky, or there just wouldn’t be enough substance to make them worth playing after their required time. Things that I expected to be shallow, like the boxing, arcade racing, and go kart racing areas had more depth than I was anticipating, and in the case of the go kart racing, it fared much better than the similar Motor Kombat from MK: Armageddon. Here, the controls for the mini-game are sharp, which makes them more fun to play time after time.  With so much improvement being shown in regards to the environments actually looking and feeling like real places, I’m disappointed that a lot of character animations are still shoddy. Fighting animations are fine, as punches and kicks actually look realistic, and people react to them as if they’re being hit with a hard punch. Running and walking animations didn’t fare so well though , as they lack fluidity. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a major problem, but it did jump out at me here given how many things were improved upon the GTA norm. I’m surprised by just how much controversy there was behind Bully, since it’s so tame compared to the stuff you’d see in a GTA. Bully is definitely deserving of every accolade it gets, but many of the complaints against its content seem absurd after playing it. There’s no graphic violence, and much of the fighting is done out of either self defense or in defense of someone weaker than their attacker. Needless violence is punished in the game, so there’s even a moral lesson to be learned from it. Hopefully time allows people to forget about the pre-release complaints, and instead focus on the enjoyable gaming experience Bully provides.

Number 8.  –  Dead Rising

Even though Resident Evil forgotten about how to handle genres, at least there’s another Capcom series that executes it well.  Despite spawning countless imitators in the Survival Horror subgenre it wasn’t until the release of Dead Rising in 2006 on the Xbox 360 that a video game had seriously attempted to approach the interpretation of zombies offered by the “Godfather” himself, filmmaker George A. Romero, nor his satirical takes and social commentaries seen in Night of the Living Dead. Forget creepy mansions with giant snake and Venus Fly Trap bosses or ominously-named Hunter creatures ready to decapitate you with one swipe out in the moonlit gardens; in order for the zombie genre to have its truly representative game equivalent, it needed to be set in the most recognizable and classic setting of them all: the American Shopping Mall. Humourous violence via ordinary retail items notwithstanding, the true achievement of Dead Rising was that unlike anything before it, it nailed (probably with a nail gun, too) one of the key principles of Romero’sDead series in making human survivors – not the zombies – the main threat to the protagonists. Whether it be the crazed Psychopath boss characters featuring a supermarket manager wheeling a Carmageddon-style trolley down the fruit and vegetable aisles or the especially memorable dual-chainsaw wielding and poisonous gas balloon-popping clown known simply as ‘Adam’, through to the more docile survivors with frustrating AI (purposely programmed that way for effect, too, I would argue) helplessly littered around the complex and in need of rescue, the game was brimming with personality and madness in equal measure. Add to the mix an overall story arc involving the gathering of these survivors for a dramatic helicopter rescue, all their internal squabblings and betrayals, and with an ever-present theme of the pointlessness and fickle nature of consumerism as Frank tested every item he found as a viable weapon, snack, or outfit, the long-awaited and faithful homage to Romero was perhaps too successful. Sure enough, despite the disclaimer “THIS GAME WAS NOT DEVELOPED, APPROVED OR LICENSED BY THE OWNERS OR CREATORS OF GEORGE A. ROMERO’S DAWN OF THE DEAD™” being placed prominently on the game’s packaging, the copyright infringement lawsuit duly arrived soon after the game’s release, ultimately ending in Capcom’s favour. 

Number 7.  –   Company of Heroes

I have played a lot of World War 2 RTS games over the past few years, which has meant that I’ve had to deal with a lot of frustration and disappointment. Things had gotten so bad that I was beginning to wonder if anyone would be able to find a way to translate the action from that war into an RTS game that would be both challenging and entertaining. It’s a good thing that I hadn’t completely given up hope though, as my patience has been rewarded by Company of Heroes. Not only is it an excellent World War II RTS game, it is an excellent RTS game that ranks right up there with some of the legends in the genre. Yes, it is that good. I The game’s campaign is centered on the exploits of Able Company as they partake in the Normandy Campaign, from the storming of the beaches to the final blow that breaks the back of the German defenses. After the initial beach landing, you’ll face battles in both the countryside and cities of Normandy in which you’ll be faced with a variety of missions and challenges. However, the basics of the gameplay are always focused on acquiring and maintaining supply. Key locations on the maps are designated as manpower, munitions, or fuel points. Capture these locations and you’ll get a steady stream of the associated resources with which to create and upgrade units. If you thought the Ai presented you with a challenge in the game, wait until you go up against other players. The 15 mission campaign is challenging enough to give veteran strategy gamers a run for their money, but when the dust settles and you emerge victorious you have the skirmish and multiplayer modes awaiting you.

Number 6.  –  Paraworld

What? You never heard of Paraworld? I don’t blame you because 2006 is so forgettable that not even the Wikipedia site can provide information about the game and its creators. RTS game that gets maligned at every turn for having formulaic gameplay and a silly premise, but you know what? I had fun playing this for several days straight, and I plan to go back for more. You begin your adventure with three heroes sent to check out a scientific anomaly and wind up thrust into a world where dinosaurs, Norsemen, nomads, pirates, and ninjas co-exist and electricity does not. This parallel world might be mistaken for a dumping ground of ancient game clichés. Remember when all those things were cool individually? ParaWorld are basically on par with what you’d expect from a modern RTS. They don’t reinvent the wheel, and camera control is fairly free, allowing you to zoom, rotate, and drag the world with the mouse. The one camera quirk that I despised was the one-way zooming. You can’t place it just anywhere; you have to zoom in at some predefined angle each step of the zoom. Company of Heroes and several other RTSes lately have done this better, so I don’t know what led SEK to do it this way. Just don’t zoom in, and you’ll be fine. ParaWorld is a joy to look at and play! Definitely one of the most biggest miss outs for many games of the decade! The twist of dinosaurs going head-to-head with modern-day human heroes is reminiscent of Ash bringing his shotgun and Cadillac to medieval Europe in Army of Darkness. It sticks closely to the RTS formula, making it instantly familiar and accessible to RTS vets, but the peculiar universe and potential of the Army Controller interface could spark some interest in a well-worn genre.

 Number 5.  –  The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

It may be hard to believe but there was a time when Obivion was one of the best looking games anyone had ever seen. The detailed character creator let you shape your hero into whatever you wanted; the amazing looking world was filled with people who kept their own schedules and went about their lives even while you were off questing; and those quests were something else. While the main quest was fun but forgettable, people still talk about quest lines like The Dark Brotherhood today. But while Oblivion is an outstanding game in many respects, its relatively dull setting of Cyrodiil and mostly boring, melodramatic story leave it somewhat below the other games for me. It may have polished the template set forth in Morrowind, but too much of the game felt like a soulless grind through a generic fantasy setting. I threw hundreds of hours intoOblivion, managed to level my main character until he could pick any lock, defeat any foe, and jump over most small hills. I sprinted into dozens of Oblivion gates, booking it past enemies and exploiting the glitch that let you quicksave, grab the Sigil Stone and warp out, then check the power granted by the stone and if need be, reload until you got something good. Man, did I have some mighty enchanted weapons in Oblivion. The Shivering Isles expansion went a long way towards addressing some of Oblivion‘s personality deficits, even if Sheogorath was insufferable most of the time. But as enjoyable as it all was, something about the game just felt hollow to me. I think it was partly that I played it on Xbox 360—this was when I’d traded my gaming PC for a mac, and was just getting back into gaming after taking a few years off. As a result, I wasn’t able to mod the game to the extent that so many others could, and past a certain point, I simply stopped playing. The only drawback is the horrible voice acting and the mediocre main quest the draws it back from becoming one of the best game of 2006.

Number 4.  –  The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess

There are so many Nintendo fans out there that despise the Zelda series going for the cartoony direction in Wind Waker, and after so many backlash from the fans, Nintendo went back to the series old look with the best graphics at the time. Unfortunately, this is the only thing that this game in the Zelda series. I feel that this game didn’t add much than just be another Ocarina of Time with a different world and shinier visuals. One of the more unusual features of Twilight Princess is that, early in the game, Link will gain the ability to transform into a wolf. As a wolf, Link’s senses are heightened, meaning that he can follow scent trails, locate buried treasure, and even listen to disembodied spirits. Combat as a wolf is even more basic than swordplay. In his lupine form, Link has a quick attack that can be linked into a combo, and a lunging attack which corresponds to his human form’s jumping sword attack. His Spin Attack becomes a series of lunges, with targeting help from Midna. Link’s wolf form plays a more important part early in the game, as the later parts focus far more on swordplay and the use of Link’s many tools. This isn’t a huge loss, seeing as how Link’s tools make for more intriguing puzzles than the fixed abilities of the wolf, but it does feel as though something more could have been done with this alternate form. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a game that does what Zelda games do best. Swordplay, cunning puzzles, overworld exploration, and dungeon spelunking. This entry in the series distinguishes itself mainly through its stronger-than-average plot and sophisticated visuals, but it isn’t really a title to go into expecting revolutionary developments in the genre, which may be a disappointment for some. Twilight Princess offers a very solid experience, and will most likely appeal to those who have followed the series faithfully, and to gamers who are looking for an elegant puzzler.

Number 3.  –   Fight Night Round 3

I never thought that there would ever be a boxing game that would ever top Mike Tyson’s Punch out, not to mention an EA Sports game would ever make it this high on the list (shows how bad 2006 was as a year in gaming). The futility of the controls is the smoothest ever when using the right analog stick for jabs, hooks, and uppercuts that not only beat pushing buttons, but also redefined how we play sports games.  All of these changes and upgrades lead to a multitude of decisions on which boxer you should choose, since they are no longer simply player models and facemaps who happen to be able to punch. It’s this very reason alone that made all of us wanna play this game again and again nonstop! The career mode can go as long as you want and you can decide if you want to retire to end your boxer’s legacy. Even the impact you cause on your fighter is effective to play and each time someone gets KO’ed it always gives us a big reaction, if not total satisfaction. Why do I need to tell you why this boxing game is so good? Go ahead of pick this game up and see all the fun that you’re missing!  Fight Night Round 3 on the PS2 may not contain all of the graphical style of its next-generation brother, but rest assured that it has all of its substance. No matter which system you buy this game for, you’ll come out a winner. Congrats to the Fight Night team for putting this together; for the time being, this is as real as video boxing is going to get.

Number 2.  –  Mother 3

And speaking of unfinished stories, there’s one long awaited video game series that finally hasn’t had a new installment since the SNES by the end of the GBA lifespan. I have to admit that I’m not that much of a fan of Mother orEarthbound but to finally play a game that is this well crafted and passionated, I can say that this is one of Nintendo’s best games they’ve ever made. Mother 3 had a very long development cycle; it began development in 1994 as a Super Famicom title, but development transitioned to the 64DD, then to the Nintendo 64, and finally to the Game Boy Advance… unfortunately it’s never released in North America. Thankfully, there are fan made translations for ROM that actually given it’s Nintendo fans what they’ve waited for. For a game that uses 16-bit graphics at it’s fullest somehow is more impressive than the best graphics in the console department. After so many years, this game lived up to its hype.

More than anything else, Mother 3 is an exploration about the loss of a mother and how that one act topples the lives of all those connected like a series of dominoes. The young boy Claus ventures into the wild to kill the T-Rex-like creatures he feels are responsible for killing his mother; and then he disappears. With the loss of a wife and son, Flint spends his days in the wild looking for his missing son. And the remaining son, Lucas, grows up shy and alone—yet self-sufficient. Mother 3 is an excellent RPG. It has a deep emotional plot, crazy comedic aspects, and an excellent battle system. The exploration of the “loss of a mother” theme is handled amazingly well, though the plot twists and humor can serve to somewhat undercut the game’s more serious aspects. Mother 3 is a game that looks like it could have come out in the early ’90s, yet it sits high at the top of a list of the best games that came out in the new millennium. Despite all the advanced technology, it just goes to show you that, as long as a videogame has a strong story and great gameplay, it doesn’t matter how many polygons can be displayed on the screen at one time. Mother 3 may be the last game of its kind to ever be released. It truly is something special.

Number 1.  –  Metal Gear Sold 3: Subsistence

If there was just one game that need an upgrade overhaul to reach perfection, there is no better pick than Metal Gear Solid 3. This isn’t the first time Kojima has re-released a Metal Gear Solid title with extra content, as both the original Metal Gear Solid and its sequel, Sons of Liberty, received the same treatment with new features such as virtual reality missions, demo theaters, etc. Subsistence, however, is a far more ambitious update, as it not only offers much of the same content that Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance did, but also a totally revamped single player campaign in addition to a very in-depth online mode.The original Snake Eater used the same top-down, fixed angle camera as the previous two titles, and while the game was still widely praised, many fans felt the camera angle to be obsolete and counterproductive. Apparently Kojima agreed, as Subsistence now features a completely user-controlled 3D camera in addition to the default angle. The result is a single player experience that feels remarkably different as it not only changes the way players tackle the game, but the level to which they can appreciate it. One of the major flaws in Snake Eater’s camera was that players would often be spotted by enemies who, while off camera, were still very close by, forcing players to either slow their progress through the game to a crawl (by constantly stopping to scope out upcoming areas through the first person camera), or put up with an inordinate amount of alarms and dangerous situations that often weren’t their fault. Subsistence’s new camera angle completely fixes this problem by giving you any view of the terrain you desire at any time, simply by rotating the right analog stick (though it should be noted that certain boss fights do not allow players to use the new camera angle). This provides a single player campaign that is not only far more flexible in terms of stealth, but also the myriad survival aspects of the game, and while the new camera was the only real update to the single player mode, it’s arguably a big enough change to justify playing through the entire game again, even for those who’ve beaten Snake Eater more than once.  In the end, it’s hard not to recommend a game that packs so much content on to only two discs, and for a budget price to boot. Even for those who have played and beaten the original Snake Eater, there is enough completely original content in Subsistence to provide several dozen hours of offline entertainment, not to mention an online multiplayer feature with massive replay value. Anyone looking for a great online action game for their PS2, or just a great stealth action game in general, would most certainly be remiss in not picking up a copy of Subsistence.

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