This week on the Wii Shop Channel, it’s a whole lot of surprises, with two things in particular. First of all, this week’s Virtual Console release is rather unexpected because the game is technically on Nintendo’s digital download service already. Second, I had no idea either game on this week’s WiiWare releases even existed. Both sound like they could have some promise, though.
This week’s games are:
Bruiser and Scratch (Steel Penny Games, Inc., 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): Bruiser and Scratch are stranded in a strange world with a dark secret. Their only hope in finding a path home is to unravel the mystery of this place, one oversized puzzle at a time. Along the way, they make new friends and meet up with old adversaries, each of whom plays a role in their journey. Bruiser and Scratch offers a number of tutorial levels to bring the player up to speed gradually. The story unfolds over 48 puzzles and six landscapes. And for players who can’t get enough, Challenge mode offers 75 additional puzzles that range from child’s play to mind-bogglingly difficult.
Hockey Allstar Shootout (Big Blue Bubble Inc., 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Use the Wii Remote controller as a stick and take the shot as you compete in three exciting Hockey Skills Challenges. In Head 2 Head, it’s just you versus the best goalies in the world in a five-puck shootout. Race against the clock to post the most goals in the fastest time. The three difficulty levels will place you against three increasingly talented goalies, each donning the jersey of their home country. In two-player mode, each player will take a turn as shooter and as goalie, and the player who scores the most goals in five shots is the winner. In Sharp Shooter, you post a high score in one of three difficulty levels by breaking as many targets as you can. Each time a shot fails to break a target, an X will appear in the upper left corner. Three misses and the game is over. Power Shot has you take your best shot and watch the Shot-Speed Clock light up. You have three attempts to blast the fastest shot you can, and only the best speeds will grace the high score list.
It’s always hard to find info on WiiWare titles, because a lot of developers don’t really make a lot of noise about their games. That’s the case this week, as we get two games I haven’t heard of before. Given their descriptions and prices, though, both look like safe bets. Bruiser and Scratch seems to be a Zack and Wiki-style adventure/puzzler, with a decent amount of content and hopefully a decent control scheme. Hockey Allstar Shootout could be a lot of fun if the controls are done right on this game, and at 500 Wii Points, it could also be quite a steal. Unfortunately, since this is he first time I’ve heard of either game and the Wii Shop Channel does not have demos, it’s hard to give a recommendation at this time other than both games have promise.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Sega Master System, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Play the popular Sonic The Hedgehog sequel, made specifically for the Sega Master System. Sonic returns home to his island just in time to see Dr. Eggman (a.k.a. Dr. Robotnik) run off with Tails. In fact, Dr. Eggman has kidnapped all of Sonic’s animal friends and placed them in robotic mind-controlling suits. He demands the six Chaos Emeralds, hidden on the island, in exchange for their safe return. Explore underground mine shafts, dash through underwater tunnels and hang glide through the clouds in Sonic’s search for the Chaos Emeralds. Once Sonic’s found them all, he must face off with the evil Dr. Eggman and thwart his plan for global domination.
Now this, I’m not sure about. The Genesis version is already out there and it’s far superior to the Master System version because, well, it was the newer of the two consoles. On top of that, more people are familiar with the Genesis version, since the Sonic franchise was one of the Genesis’ big selling points on the software side. I definitely could think of a few better Master System games to pick than Sonic 2, preferably something that never made it to a Genesis-specific version.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 debuted on the Japanese Virtual Console in November. It, along with Bruiser and Scratch and Hockey Allstar Shootout, is currently available for download off the Wii Shop Channel.
Check back next week for the latest round of releases for the Wii. Until then, happy gaming!