Nintendo's best-selling Legend of Zelda franchise returns to Wii with enhanced sword fighting controls and a new setting that takes place high above the clouds. Set before the events chronicled in 1998's Ocarina of Time, the elfin hero known as Link will alternate between two disparate worlds -- a chain of floating islands in the air and a network of dungeons far below -- by using the ancient powers of the titular blade.
While previous games featured riding and sailing, Skyward Sword has Link flying. Link will be able to use a large bird to glide, dive, and climb to explore his surroundings. On land, Link must defend himself against an assortment of creatures with his sword, which now takes advantage of the enhanced motion detection found in the Wii Remote Plus. Each thrust, slice, and parry by the player will be carried out by Link at the same time. Other motion-sensitive controls allow players to roll bombs, shoot arrows, and steer flying objects toward their targets.
Initial runs of Skyward Sword include as a special bonus, a compact disc with selected music from "The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony." Once supplies have run out, the disc will no longer be included with the game. A limited edition bundle is also available for purchase, which includes the music CD, the game, and a gold-colored Wii Remote Plus controller emblazoned with the Hylian Crest. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Arc Rise Fantasia is a turn-based fantasy role-playing game released exclusively for Wii. You control a 17-year-old mercenary named L'arc as he joins forces with several young friends to confront deadly creatures invading the Meridian Empire. Combat involves managing a shared pool of action points with members of your three-person party. Once you have assigned all of your available moves, the enemy will begin its attack sequence, and the process will repeat until one side is defeated. The battle phase is structured similarly to games in the Final Fantasy series; both your party and the enemy are viewed from a third-person perspective, while a dynamic camera zooms and pans during attacks. Summoned creatures can be called forth to assist in battle, and you can initiate various team-based moves with specific character combinations. As you investigate the source of the enemy invasion, your travels will take you across forests, canyons, arctic regions, dungeons, and more. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Capcom's original creature-stalking role-playing series makes its anticipated Wii debut with Monster Hunter Tri. You are cast in the role of a hunter, whose mission is to seek out and defeat an assortment of large beasts in action-oriented combat. For the first time in the franchise, you will be able to explore a new "sub-aqua" environment in addition to dry land. The game's core design will otherwise be familiar to fans of the two previous installments on PSP. You'll begin your adventures in a single village, where you'll return after each hunting expedition to purchase items, forge weapons and armor, and even manage a farm. Out in the wild, you can develop skills in mining, gathering, and carving to craft items that will assist your character.
Items found in your journeys can also be used to improve the earthquake-ravaged town's appearance over time. One of the key features in Monster Hunter Tri is the ability to join forces with up to three fellow hunters to battle the giant creatures. The Wii version features a split-screen option for two-player quests as well as online support for four-player quests. The game's online features will not include a monthly fee in the U.S. and European markets. Those who'd prefer to go hunting alone can enlist the aid of an AI partner for some of the more challenging quests. Three controller configurations are available, from the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo to the standalone Classic Controller. The Wii Speak accessory is also supported for voice communication during online adventures. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love is a console-style strategy role-playing game for single players, the fifth in the Japanese Sakura Wars series and the first to be released in North America. The game is set in an alternate-reality New York City during the 1920s. The storyline follows a band of six secret warriors, who are in the city undercover as performing musicians, but who were actually sent to defeat a supernatural villain who is attempting to take over America with a legion of demons. The game is played in two modes, Adventure and Battle, each having significant influence over the development of the plot and the conclusion of the game. In Adventure mode, the heroes explore the city and interact with other characters. Decisions the player makes in dealing with other characters influence how well the heroes are trusted by those around them, and which options become available as the story progresses. As do earlier games in the Sakura Wars series, So Long, My Love uses the "Live & Interactive Picture System" (or LIPS), which has players making situational decisions in character, with a limited amount of time for consideration. Battle mode includes ground and air combat, both using the series' "Active and Real-time Machine System" (or ARMS). Heroes fight in customized 'mechs that stomp across the land and jet through the sky. Each turn, players choose the actions for each character in their squad, according to unique special abilities and the amount of time and energy each action requires. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Starring the original ronin hero of Chunsoft's Mystery Dungeon, Shiren the Wanderer is a classically styled combat adventure that spans a millennium. From a slightly angled top-down perspective, players guide the hero and his companions on dungeon-crawls through the mythology of feudal Japan. Along with his faithful ferret companion, Koppa, Shiren can be accompanied into dungeons by up to two companions, including other distinctly gifted heroes and rogues who join the adventure along the way. Players can take direct control of each character in the party, or focus on Shiren while the computer controls the others. Dungeons are stocked with monsters, traps, and treasure. Combat plays out in a turn-based fashion. Characters gain strength as they adventure and gain new equipment. Special items, such as the mysterious Dragon Orbs discovered in dungeons, can be used to imbue items with new powers and abilities. Unlike earlier games in the series, the Wii edition of Shiren the Wanderer offers two difficulty settings, allowing new players to learn the game in "Easy" mode while Mystery Dungeon veterans can quest for greater rewards in the more challenging "Normal" mode. The adventure begins as Shiren, once a dedicated samurai warrior, receives a mysterious key from his uncle and former master, known as Sensei. He is told that the key unlocks the fabled Karakuri Mansion, a labyrinthine place, where adventurers have been known to become lost in time, as well as in its twisting corridors. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
The Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles series receives a complete makeover for its second appearance on Wii. Set one thousand years after the first title, the game's world is populated by hordes of monsters as well as competing tribes that are experimenting with science and technology. While magic has been outlawed throughout the realm, a few select individuals have shattered crystals in their bodies, imbuing them with mystical powers. You are cast in the role of one such crystal bearer, a young mercenary named Layle, whose mission is to see that the airship Alexis arrives to its destination in one piece. This kicks off an adventure that will have Layle journeying across outdoor regions and within trap-filled dungeons. The motion-sensing controls make use of Layle's crystal-enhanced powers, allowing him to solve puzzles, battle creatures, and explore his surroundings by grabbing and manipulating items or characters with the Wii Remote's infrared pointer. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Based on the trading card game and inspired by the animated television series, the first Chaotic video game is designed to bring the supernatural mugic spells, fantastic battle gear, and amazing heroes and creatures to life, in strategic turn-based battle. Set on the world of Perim, the game's plays through an ongoing struggle for survival and supremacy between the forces of the heroic OverWorlders and the dark UnderWorlders, along with the ant-like Danians, the reptilian Mipedians, and the spooky, mind-controlling M'arrillians. Gamers can take on the role of any of 40 playable characters, making use of tactical combinations of dozens devastating spells and empowered pieces of battle gear, in eight winner-take-all fighting arenas. Battles are fought in the Chaotic realm, following the rules of the card game, with onscreen creatures acting out each strike and counter-strike in colorful, 3D animations. Victory unlocks new cards, representing additional gear and mugic powers. Two players can match their card-battle skills in head-to-head play, or a single player can face an RPG-style "Story" mode campaign against computer-controlled opponents. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
The superhero universe is embroiled in civil war, and it's time for players to choose sides in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. The game is a mission-driven action-adventure with a focus on small-squad combat, viewed from an isometric perspective. As in Marvel's earlier 3D action games (such as titles in the X-Men Legends series, as well as the original Marvel: Ultimate Alliance), role-playing aspects also influence the adventure, with gamers choosing which heroes to control, and how to improve their various superpowers and abilities as they gain experience by defeating enemies and accomplishing goals.
In most scenarios, a team of four Marvel heroes battles a path through areas teeming with high-tech defenses, heavily armed thugs, and rival superhero and supervillian enemies. Players can switch control between the characters, while the computer takes control of additional teammates. Co-operative multiplayer modes for up to four are available. While all the heroes and villains can perform basic maneuvers such as leaps and melee attacks, each also has a distinct superpower. Over two dozen heroes and villains are available for play, and the special powers of any two super-beings can be combined into a new, even more powerful "fusion" ability. A team with a good mix of special abilities is better prepared for the diverse dangers and challenges that wait in each mission.
The story of the Ultimate Alliance 2 is taken from the Civil War saga, the major crossover event that was first revealed in the pages of multiple Marvel comics in 2006 and early 2007. The U.S. government is calling on all super-powered humans to reveal themselves and register with an official agency, for the safety and protection of the population at large. Heroes and villains now reevaluate past loyalties and regroup according to their stance toward this conflict, which pits the security of the people against the liberties of the individual. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Disney Interactive Studios' original series that combines fossil excavation with a Pokémon-like RPG battle mechanic makes its Wii debut in Spectrobes: Origins. Gamers once again join protagonists Rallen and Jeena as they travel to exotic lands to excavate, train, and command a variety of elemental creatures known as Spectrobes. The baby Spectrobes must then be sent to an incubator so they can grow strong enough to help Rallen and Jeena battle the vicious "Krawl" creatures that have been terrorizing the galaxy.
Excavation takes on the form of a Trauma Center-esque mini-game where players use their Wii Remote and Nunchuk to carve, blast, and chip the fossilized creatures out of their rocky encasements, with quicker and more precise cuts resulting in more powerful Spectrobes. Gamers can then enlist juvenile Spectrobes to help locate hidden items and fossils, while the "Adult" and "Evolved Form" Spectrobes hone their battle skills by engaging in real-time combat. Rallen and Jeena can bring as many as six Spectrobes with them into combat, while multiplayer fans can join a friend (in the form of a Spectrobe) for co-op battles. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Little King's Story tells the tale of an unremarkable young boy named Corobo, who becomes the King of Alpoko after stumbling upon a magical crown in the forest. Players guide this mini monarch on a series of quests to grow his tiny hamlet into a mighty kingdom, conquering neighboring lands and ousting their quirky yet belligerent royalty. But he can't reach his goal of world domination alone, and there are many dangerous umas (unidentified mysterious animals) in the wilderness, so he must use his powers of persuasion to recruit his subjects into a variety of helpful jobs.
Each villager has a unique personality with strong opinions, but all the citizens of Alpoko can be persuaded to dig for treasure, break through environmental obstacles, plow fields, build new structures, or head off into battle. However, citizens expect reciprocity, and performing sub-quests for them serves both as a means to foster good will and as a way to accumulate the currency needed for expansion. Battles take place in real-time, with the King guiding subjects into the action through a series of commands, but though Corobo is a fighter, he is also a lover, and players must help him find the perfect female companion as he travels across the land rescuing a variety of princesses. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide