Read-a-long with Nintendo Power #250 (January 2010)
It’s one huge retrospective this month, as Nintendo Power celebrates 250 issues. They’re so into it, they even broke their rule about not tarting up the subscriber covers… note the tacky “250th ISSUE!” callout wrecking my awfabulous Mega Man 10 cover. It’s mega-time to mega-read-a-long!
Issue #250, January 2010
featuring Mega Man 10 (WiiWare), No More Heroes 2 (Wii), Shin Megami Tensai: Strange Journey (DS)
The thing about the “250 Reasons to Love Nintendo” article is that it’s just nostalgic fluff. It’s not a reasonable list in any way, so there’s no point in waging fanboy war over the lack of enough Kid Icarus mentions.
The big 250 kicks off with the Top 20 heroes. Naturally, Mario-Link-Samus make the top three, and just about the entire Smash Bros cast is scattered throughout. Some of the inclusions seem hinged entirely upon 2009 releases across the Nintendoverse, like Little Mac and Earthworm Jim. About half the list is third-party characters, which is either a nice showing or desperate pandering, depending on which side of the snark fence you sit. Viewtiful Joe? Really?
The top 10 villain list hilariously kicks off with misspelling the word “villain.” Featuring pretty much the bad guys paired with the heroes on the preceding list, the only surprise is that Donkey Kong made both sections. THAT’S TWO COUNTS OF DONKEY KONG IN THE 250, AND WE’RE ONLY THREE PAGES IN.
The section showcasing various controller innovations – like the first d-pad, shoulder buttons, analog stick and rumble – does the poor GameCube no favors. It only gets a single nod, for having the first two-click shoulder buttons. Nintendo Power’s hatred of the Cube continues! They could have thrown out a Wavebird mention (although they are listing only firsts, and the Wavebird wasn’t the first wireless controller… just the first that freaking worked), or they could have brought up using the GBA as a GameCube controller.
Just to prove the mag isn’t serious about actually listing 250 separate bits of Nintendo coolness, note that they include the seven Tetris shapes, the three parts of the Triforce, the seven Koopa Kids, and each Ninja Turtle as part of the count.
Here’s a rundown of some nice mentions that maybe you would not have expected:
- Henry Hatsworth in the “Moustaches” section
- The Elite Beat Agents given individual credit
- Rainbow Road and the Blue Shell listed under “Things We Love to Hate”
- Mega Man’s Rush making the “Sweet Rides” list
- Two drops of Final Fight, one for Mayor Haggar’s ‘stache and one for the meat power-up
- Final Fantasy VI‘s opera scene
- Klonoa and Astro Boy: Omega Factor on the “Grand Finales” best-of
What’s the best part of the Mega Man 10 poster image?
Is it the super-casual way he’s blasting that robot skull?
Is it the gun-filled robot dragon?
Is it that MM artwork has officially and purposefully crossed over into Strong Bad-esque parody?
Coming to WiiWare this March, Mega Man 10 will continue the series in retro-NES style. Proto Man will be a playable character from the start, and Capcom has a secret third character in the roster. Old time fans wmay like the return of the Yashichi healing item. MM10 will again feature in-game achievements (NINTENDO: MAKE THIS STANDARD) and DLC.
MM10 will also have an Easy mode, no doubt pointed directly at gamers like me who have no patience for the franchise’s punishing, frustrating difficulty. Easy mode amps Mega Man’s attack and defense, slows down enemies and even provides extra platforms in certain areas. NP likens Easy mode to Mega Man 2 and 3, but notes that the game will retain Mega Man 9‘s level of play for those who want it.
Here’s your next quirky-ass WiiWare game to track.
Not into Bonsai Barber? Not interested in Muscle March? Not hip enough for the BIT.TRIP series? How’s this screenshot montage grab you…
It’s Tomena Sanner, a side-scroller that combines a simplistic look with ridiculous goals. It reminds me a lot of the DS Feel the Magic games, put on a full Katamari rager. In this WiiWare game, you play as average Japanese salaryman Hitoshi Susumu. Hitoshi just wants to get to his after-office dance party. The captions you see in the black boxes are part of the actual game.
Tomena Sanner features four-player splitscreen and is expected sometime in early 2010.
Follow along as I read about Calling…
Please start paying attention to No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle now.
I know, I know, they’re remaking the first NMH for PS3/360 and it will be all shiny and beautiful. But that’s no reason to skip the (as yet) Wii-exclusive sequel, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle. To wit:
- The empty-GTA overworld is gone, making this game No More Running.
- The minigames are all done in NES-style graphics.
- It features a fake anime called Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly.
- There’s a sidegame where you help your pet cat lose weight.
- One boss fight features giant monster Power Rangers-style 2D fighting.
- The stylized graphics of the original game have been upgraded.
Between all the easy tosses to nerd culture (girl anime! giant robots! lightsabers! masked wrestlers! NES graphics! sarcastic script!) and the satisfying hardcore violence, No More Heroes is doing everything it can to earn your purchase and bust up the family-friendly Wii paradigm. The game is booked for January 2010.
Download Staff Picks: Tales of Monkey Island 3 (WiiWare), Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES, Virtual Console)
Top scoring Wii review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers and Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, tied at 8.0 (all scores out of 10)
Top scoring DS review: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, 9.5
Lowest rated Wii review: Jambo! Safari, 3.5
Lowest rated DS review: Avatar: The Game, 5.0
O RLY? – Despite Nintendo Power’s big puff piece on the Wii version of Avatar: The Game back in October, the final review received a tepid 5.0. The final sentiment: “yet another middling licensed game.”
Blowing the Crystal curve. – Note that NP’s 8.0 for Crystal Bearers is way out of line with other reviews. According to the mag, the graphics are great, there’s a ton of optional sidequests/minigames, and the telekinesis hook “works like a charm.”
It really IS big! – NP has a life-size image of the upcoming DSi XL, and it’s almost as big as the entire magazine page. Just remember, kids, a bigger screen means crap if it doesn’t come with a better resolution.
Another go at Blue Dragon. – Blue Dragon Plus was lousy. The next DS installment in the franchise, Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadows will ditch the SRPG style for an action RPG where you get to create your own character.
Mega Man 9 could have been a ReBirth. – Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune reveals that Mega Man 9 could have had two graphics options, one the pure NES vision but also a choice for a more modern redesign.
Another long-running Japanese franchise is readying a Western debut. – Nintendo has opened the doors an another only-in-Japan series (remember when we finally got our first Advance Wars?), and it’s Glory of Heracles for DS. As “new” first-party IP, expect Heracles to get a lot of talk in the new year.
It’s time to vote in the 2009 Nintendo Power awards! – Head to the online entry form and vote in over 20 categories of the Year in Nintendo. Maybe you can be the one that gets Dead Space Extraction that Best Story win!
Next month in Nintendo Power… issue #251 promises a look ahead at 2010, including Metroid: Other M, Mario Galaxy 2, Monster Hunter Tri, and the new Pokemon Gold/Silver.
Tags: Calling, dsi, mega man 10, Nintendo, nintendo power, No More Heroes desperate struggle, Read-a-Long, Tomena Sanner, wii