Ever since the Wii U was announced in 2011, Nintendo has made a point to show off at least one game for the console that shows of their disconnection with the gaming enthusiast community. At E3 2011, it was Measure Up, a game where you use the Wii U's capacity for HD graphics to... draw lines on a white screen. At E3 2012 it was Panoramaview, a "game" where you look at people, and also, at things. There are definitely people that would love these Wii U applications. It's just that very few of them work in the videogame press.
At Thursday's Wii U event in New York City, the game that didn't seem to gel with the crowd was Nintendo Land: Balloon Trip Breeze. Thankfully, it wasn't shunned to the same degree that Panoramaview and Measure Up were. Part of that is because Balloon Trip Breeze has beautiful, LittleBigPlanet style graphics (which sadly aren't entirely clear in this video) and shares ties to one of Nintendo's oldest arcade titles.
The problem is, even old jerks like myself have trouble getting really excited about Balloon Fight. It's a great little game, with the emphasis on little. There are shades of 3D Classics: Urban Champion here. Balloon Trip Breeze is another example of the bare bones re-activation of a series that Nintendo is clearly excited about, but the rest of the human race may not care about. Nintendo must think that enthusiasm for Balloon Fight will be contagious, but it takes enthusiasm and new ideas to get consumers today to really take interest.
You wont find too many new ideas in Balloon Trip Breeze. It feels like a direct sequel to the original game's campaign mode. The only difference I saw were a few new pick-ups, the HD graphics, and the use of touch-screen controls. For those who have never played Balloon Fight: Balloon Trip, it's simple side-scrolling, flight-based obstacle-course game. The goal is to grab as many pick-ups as you can without getting taken out by an enemy or an obstacle. That's pretty much it. It's good clean fun, but sitting next to ZombiU, Pikmin Adventure, Metroid Blast, and CoD: Black Ops II, it's not exactly attention grabbing.
Balloon Trip Breeze feels like a great $.99 iOS game, which would be fine if the game didn't require use of the TV and the Wii U GamePad screens. It's hard to think of a time when Balloon Trip Breeze is going to be the best possible way for me to use both of those displays. that said, if Balloon Trip Breeze ends up having "off TV" play and a good amount of content, I'll have a good time trying to beat it the next time my TV gets monopolized by other members of the family for a Porky's movie marathon.
Damn you, Porky's.
|1:00 PM on 02.02.2013|
Storm's Adventure with Wii U and Nintendo Land
Next in line for "Playing Catch Up to the Catch Up" is my Wii U premiere video. True be told, it isn't the really the premiere video, that honor belongs to this live stream (I brand them as "Live Boredom"). Click that to wat...more
|4:00 PM on 01.24.2013|
An aural tour with the composer of Nintendo Land, part 3
This is our third and final entry in our series featuring composer Ryo Nagamatsu as he walks us through the attractions in Nintendo Land one-by-one, giving us an inside look at what he was thinking about when he wrote the gam...more
|4:00 PM on 01.23.2013|
An aural tour with the composer of Nintendo Land, part 2
We're back with part two of our audio walkthrough of Nintendo Land with composer Ryo Nagamatsu. This time we visit Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Mario Chase, Metroid Blast, and Octopus Dance. And be sure to read part one of our feature which covered four other Nintendo Land attractions.more
|4:00 PM on 01.22.2013|
An aural tour with the composer of Nintendo Land, part 1
I have to admit that I was secretly looking forward to Nintendo Land a great deal. While I wasn't sold after Nintendo's E3 press conference last year, seeing the title in action really got the nostalgia flowing for me in all ...more
|8:00 PM on 11.20.2012|
Nintendo Land pack-ins will be eligible for Club Nintendo
If you are like me and furiously register your new Nintendo games for the Club Nintendo coins as soon as you open the package, you were probably surprised to discover that the copy of Nintendo Land bundled with the Wii U Delu...more
|10:00 PM on 11.17.2012|
Review: Nintendo Land
The Wii U GamePad is a lot more versatile than it looks. Some potential consumers have not been quite as inspired by the system as they were by the immediate uniqueness of the Wii and its remote controller. After all, tablets...more
|6:00 PM on 10.29.2012|
Nintendo Land: Last three attractions detailed
Nintendo has decided to fully detail the last three Nintendo Land attractions that we told you about earlier this month. These last three round out the list of 12 attractions coming to the Wii U launch title, both of which dr...more
|11:00 AM on 10.18.2012|
Nintendo Land: details on Octopus Dance and 2 other games
GoNintendo has an image of a list of details for some of the Nintendo Land minigames, giving us details on Yoshi's Fruit Cart, Captain Falcon's Twister Race, and Octopus Dance. Octopus Dance is the greatest name ever g...more
|12:00 PM on 10.17.2012|
Quick hands-on with Nintendo Land's Metroid Blast
With only a few more months to go for the Wii U launch, we recently got a chance to check out the latest addition to the Nintendo Land lineup. A basic arena shooter, Metroid Blast doesn't really capture the fun in simplicity ...more
|10:00 AM on 10.17.2012|
Quick hands-on with Nintendo Land's Mario Chase
Since its announcement, we seen a small trickling of the new game types in Nintendo Land. The latest is Mario Chase, a Mario themed game of tag where players have to chase after Mario. Player one is Mario, and with a ten seco...more
|9:29 AM on 05.17.2013|
New Super Luigi U release date, standalone ver. revealed
Luigi is rockin' it hardcore! The upcoming New Super Mario Bros. U expansion, New Super Luigi U, is ready to drop on eShop on June 20 for $19.99. Not only that, there will be a special standalone disc, which doesn't require y...more
|9:13 AM on 05.17.2013|
Nintendo Direct: Wii U Mario & Sonic at the Olympics
Uggggh... a new Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympics is coming to the Wii U. Why am I not surprised? The game will take place in Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and will use a combination of Wii ...more
|8:00 AM on 05.17.2013|
Wii U owners don't know how to play Super Metroid
If you're a jaded hardcore gamer, and if you've ever complained that the new generation of "dumbed down" console gamers are the bane of life, prepare to feel justified. The arrival of Super Metroid on Wii U demonstrates the d...more