Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll promised to be one of the more exciting and challenging games in the Monkey Ball franchise. The vibrancy of the colors are still there creating for very attractive features as well as the music that is to be expected and the classic monkey in a ball challenges.
The Wii version, however, was lacking in the features that fans and Monkey Ball diehards take for granted. The game has to be played using a balance board which does nothing but frustrate the gamer. The minigames are fun but do not respond to the controls. In short, this is a step down from the high quality and much beloved game franchise.
The game sticks to the old plot of the monkey in the ball where the monkey go from one stage to the next and several levels through many themed worlds. But where the previous games made it effortless to jump and gain momentum, this is removed from the Wii version. Instead there is a balance board support which does nothing in terms of easy control and gaining momentum to go from one area to the next. There are minigames here which are not found in some of the earlier games but the lack of originality does nothing in terms of challenge.
There are also none of the challenging puzzles to solve which was the core of the Monkey Ball games; instead the worlds are split into 10 different levels, two of which are bonus rounds. Once the 10th level get completed the gamer is forced to watch the credits. At first it is okay but when one has to go through 70 levels it gets kind of boring and frustrating. Fast forward should have been an added feature but was not.
The only great thing about the Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Wii version is the presentation. The visuals are stunning and makes for a solid visual candy. Simply watching the monkey going through the motions makes it fun by itself, unfortunately it is not enough.
If one were to play this game for the first time with no history of the previous games, one would think that this is the first ever game in the franchise. There are fewer features, less minigames and there are no boss fights. The challenging puzzles are no longer there either. So even with the balance board feature addition, there is no way that this can improve the disappointment of what should have been a fairly great game.
If you’re a fan of the series on the previous consoles, it’s likely that you’ll be disappointed by what this game fails to offer. The list of things that are missing from other similar wrestling games is staggering, and is one of the hardest things to accept about this version. These types of games have been in situations before where they were missing features though, and did just fine because of the gameplay.
The gameplay in this version actually makes everything about the game worse. It is based on using the Wii Remote to execute moves by manipulating the motion of it. Theoretically, it’s a good idea that allows players to get the feel of the actions occurring on screen, as they grab an opponent and then lift them, as the Wii Remote lifts, and then throw them, as you throw the Wii Remote. Now that the theory session is over, the actual execution is miserable. The actions that you have to perform to execute moves in the game don’t come across the same way that you move the remote, so you’re continually not doing the moves that you wanted to do, throwing your wrestler’s timing completely off.
The game has a mix of striking moves, and grapple moves, and you’ll find yourself unable to execute either successfully against the AI. Once you get into a match, the opportunity to strike at your opponent will come, and be quickly reversed against you. The AI relies upon these reverses, and will punish you bringing your strikes, even if you start to get somewhere with them. Other than that, grappling opponents and pulling off the same combo five or six times in a row, since it doesn’t register your different moves that you try to pull off, is nearly the only way to win a match against the AI. That doesn’t mean it’s smart, because it will still get stuck on corners and fight essentially brainlessly, it just knows how to reverse really, really well.
There are a couple of good things that can be said about the game. For one thing, you get the capability to create your own wrestler and your own move set, and both options are implemented well. In addition, the graphics are very good, considering this is a game on the Wii and not the Xbox 360, and character models, despite not being as updated as they could be to reflect current wrestlers, still are obviously the wrestlers they are appearing to be.
There are lots of things in WWE Smackdown! Vs. RAW 2008 that were done better in previous versions of the game. That means, it’s likely that they’ll be done better again, hopefully in the next version.
Nights: Journey of Dreams can be likened to an Oreo with a great chocolate cookie with soft and chewy vanilla centers. This is a wholesome game which can make the player smile when playing. Fortunately it is not uber sweet that it becomes too rich, it is just right!
Just as the title implies, the dreamy quality of the visuals is great despite its simplicity. There are some disappointing things which can distract the gaming, although so far no player who has gotten involved did not get to enjoy it.
Just like the previous games, there are two children whose individual stories intersect with one another. The kids, Will and Helen, have some issues with their parents that they need to settle, and they go into the dream world called Nightopia when they are asleep. In this world, Nightopia is attacked by the Nitmaren who are evil followers Wizeman. It is up to the two children to merge themselves to become Nights, an androgynous jester who is designed to defeat the evil Wizeman.
There are five different levels in the dream world. In the first, this is where the basic Nights gameplay can be played. Nights must be freed from imprisonment which can be achieved by chasing after the Nightmaren guards. They hold the keys which can unlock three cages and Nights must unlock them within a limited time allowed. DonÂ’t ask why they need to be unlocked, it has never been explained. But nevertheless, know that they need to be unlocked for this will be the only way to go to the next level.
The control used is the Wii Remote or any Wii-supported controller. There are Nunchucks schemes but they are different from the remote controlled game. The stick on the controller will allow the flying. Nights also has some astounding moves on this version which is really enjoyable. There are also the boss fights to enjoy. The game is not great, but it offers enough of a challenge to keep the fun going.
Journey of Dreams is not difficult, neither is it overly exacting or great. But it offers a good challenge that keeps the players focused. Some of the issues that persist in the game are: some cut scenes cannot be skipped; if you lose at the dream level the game cannot be started at the boss fight, it has to be started from the very beginning. There are others, but strangely, they donÂ’t really matter. The game is just pure and simple fun.
To those who played the first version they will be glad to know that the main character remains which is Dr. Derek Stiles. HeÂ’s character in the story is a young surgeon who had just finished his residency. There are also other wonderful characters involved. The game is still using text dialogues and still pictures. It has a simple storyline but still it can capture the attention of every player. Common hospital situations are surprisingly engaging such as euthanasia.
Dr. Stiles has an ancient ability of healing. The intriguing issues of biological terrorism are also featured in the game. The animation of the game has no much change from the first but it still turn out to be nice to look at. But the bad thing is it cannot be displayed in wide screens not like what most wii games main features, though the 3D animation of the surgery part is just right. The surgery sequence can stir and capture anybodyÂ’s attention but not to the point of becoming repugnant and distressing.
Its audio and sound effects are just right heightening during surgical operations ninja like sounds for the medical knives in use. Even though there is limited speech by the characters but it only added to the personality effects. During the surgery mode the player can view it as a first person. The typical surgical procedures involve opening a body part, fixing it inside then close the incision.
The Wii mode allows the player to use the nunchuck analog attachment for selecting surgical equipments while the other hand of the player can focus in the entire procedure. This mode is one of the greatest features of the game. The wii allows players to hold equipments such as forceps as if holding the real thing. But in terms of incisions the player will find it hard to make a straight incision because of the sensitiveness of the wiimote and turns out to be unrealistic.
There are several difficulty levels in the game to choose from which will just balance the attention of the player. Earning ranks or leveling up depends on how fast or accurate the player can finish an operation. The latest storylines of different hospital adventures can really engage a certain player. Truly, the Trauma Center: Second Opinion is not one of the very best Wii games but it has a unique game play and surprisingly fresh ideas and methods that will surely entice a player.