PsychoWikiWare

Another Wii-centric week.

I spent most of the week hammering WarioWare: Smooth Moves – unlocking all the microgames, collecting all the Pose Cards, and generally just exploring the extent of the game. The Pose Cards were interesting; it appears that, far from being “randomly” awarded, certain cards are awarded for getting through Level 1, 2, and 3 Boss Battles – for example, the last four Cards seem to be gained by getting past (not necessarily defeating) the Level 3 Orbulon Boss. Regardless, everything’s unlocked, everything’s been played – Smooth Moves is off The List. A bright start to the month – especially taking into account the grinningly good fun to be found in the Block Star and Pyoro S minigames :)

I also managed to finish (not complete) Psychonauts. Fantastic game, marred by some stupid design choices resulting in some immensely frustrating sections in the final couple of levels. Lots of work to do to 100% that one though, and another play-through is required. And imagine my surprise when, after sitting through the credits (on my PAL copy that I felt privileged to find by proxy in a secondhand bin), I saw reference to the Double Fine Shop, where Psychonauts is still available in all flavours.

Lastly, I also started playing the game that WarioWare came free with – Zack & Wiki: Franchise with a Long Subtitle. And it’s great fun – point and click adventure goodness, gorgeous graphics, somewhat annoying character vocalisations, and some wonderfully realised levels. Nothings too big to get lost in, and it all feels lovely so far (I’ve just moved onto the second Treasure Map). Really looking forward to the rest of this :)

As a bit of an aside, I also had a look at a couple of PC-based free-or-shareware games this week. Execution is a really… ummm… interesting idea. Well worth the tiny download, but don’t read any of the comments in the forum thread beforehand. Make sure you play it twice to experience the full game… it’s a really nice bit of headspace gameplay. A spectacular little Japanese shmup with some awesome object counts – and massive CPU & GPU requirements – is Exception; go here to download a demo, and here for some english-language instructions if you wish to purchase. And, last but not least, I snaffled a demo of Go Beryllium! – but can’t provide a link, because I’ve completely forgotten where it came from. You’ll just have to make do with a video :)

I still haven’t turned on my 360 lately. I’m harbouring resentment towards Microsoft because of the XBLA mangling mentioned last week. Normally, I would’ve forgotten about things by now, but there was an interview with Aaron Greenberg on Major Nelson’s last podcast, and there was something about his smug (self-) rationalisation of the XBLA de-listing that really, really, really pissed me off. Sony-E3-2006 levels of pissed-offedness. And, given my Wii-focus the last couple of weeks, I’m more than happy to start supporting WiiWare instead.

Until WiiWare management start doing something stupid, too.

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