What They Say: Link, a young man raised as a wrangler in a small, rural village, is ordered by the mayor to attend the Hyrule Summit. He sets off, oblivious to the dark fate that has descended upon the kingdom. When he enters the Twilight Realm that has covered Hyrule, he transforms into a wolf and is captured. A mysterious figure named Midna helps him break free. With the aid of her magic, they set off to free the land from the shadows.
Characters: Link, Zelda, Midna and many other characters, both new and old. How to progress through the game: Link must explore the vast land of Hyrule and uncover the mystery behind its plunge into darkness. As he does, he’ll have to enlist the aid of friendly folk, solve puzzles and battle his way through dangerous dungeons. In the Twilight Realm, he’ll have to use his wolf abilities and Midna’s magic to bring light to the land.
Special powers/weapons/moves/features: Besides his trusty sword and shield, Link will use his bow and arrows, fight while on horseback and use a wealth of other items, both new and old. Players can use the Wii Remote as a fishing pole, while a spin of the Nunchuk controller executes a spin attack.
What We Say: Here's some math for you: New Zelda game at launch + new Nintendo system = fuggedaboutit. I mean, you don't get a bigger combo than that. Admittedly we're a tad concerned about the Wii controls interfering with our Zelda experience, but we're hoping that Nintendo has really tweaked things since E3 and that our worry is nothing more than fear of the unknown. Of course, if for some bizarre reason the Wiimote just doesn't cut it for this Zelda, we wouldn't even hesitate to purchase the Cube version (due in December) even if it meant owning two copies of essentially the same game.
Surprisingly there are a number of new Link fans who were introduced to the series courtesy of 2003's Wind Waker, and they aren't too sure about this "more mature" looking hero. That's a new wrinkle. Anyway, trust us when we say you've got nothing to worry about - except maybe the odd nightmare if you're under 10. Twilight Princess looks to be the darkest, edgiest Zelda yet and after the sweetness and light of Wind Waker, we say it's about darn time. Not that we're dissing WW (we're chomping at the bit for Phantom Hourglass on DS), it's just that the earlier trailer of Twilight Princess looked so darn creepy in places that we can't wait to hear the horrifying shriek of the re-deads in this awesome adventure.
Simply put, if you're not picking up a copy of Twilight Princess with your new Wii system, just what the heck is wrong with you?
What They Say: With the exclusive video game license of the NFL and PLAYERS INC., Madden NFL 07 continues to be the #1 football franchise in history. With the launch on the Nintendo Wii, Madden NFL 07 takes advantage of the revolutionary controller design and all-new Madden FreeMotion controls to create a new controller-focused experience, bringing Madden’s gameplay depth alive in a whole new and immersive way.
What We Say: We know Madden 07 ain't exclusive to the Wii, but we feel it deserves mention since the game has been created to take advantage of the Wii's unique control system. The guys at CCC had a chance to play Madden on the Wii at E3 and it was definitely a scene. If you've been waiting to actually get "in" to Madden, the Wii version promises a level of immersion and interaction never before realized. Madden as a series has been evolving and has reached a level of sophistication that may be out of the grasp of non-gamers, and we suspect that the Wii controls might not bridge the gap. Sure we think it's cool that you can pass with a flick of the Wii-mote, but will grandpa or your drunken uncle be able to understand that? That being said, EA has included an in-game tutorial to help you out and we're pretty sure we're ALL going to be using it. Madden 07 on the other consoles earned high honors from us and we're very optimistic that EA can deliver a truly unique football experience for Wii owners. Even if you've played Madden 07 already, we'd say this one's worthy of a closer look.
What They Say: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is an all-new action/RPG where players create their Marvel dream team from the largest roster of Super Heroes ever in an epic quest that will determine the fate of Earth and the Marvel universe. For decades, Earth’s Super Heroes have opposed evil in their own cities, and on their own terms. But now, Dr. Doom and a newly reformed Masters of Evil – the greatest collection of Super Villains ever assembled – have plans for world domination, and the heroes must band together to defeat them. Playing as some of the most revered Marvel characters, gamers will embark on a dangerous journey across exotic terrain and well-known comic book locations like Atlantis, the Shield Heli-Carrier and the Skrull home world in an attempt to defy the world’s most notorious Super Villains. Created by Raven Software, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance lets players control the most powerful Super Hero alliance the world has ever known.
What We Say: Like Madden 07, MUA isn't exclusive to the Wii, but it does feature a control scheme unique to this version. Unlike other console versions of MUA, the Wii version allows movement-specific attacks and specials based upon the motion of the wii-mote. Players will also have access to all of a heroes gained moves and supermoves at any given time which is not available in any other version.
Having had some hands on time with all of the versions of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, we're going to go on record now saying that comic book fans have a lot to look forward to. Don't expect the deepest game ever created, just expect a plethora of your favorite Marvel heroes and villans fighting it out in one place. Hey, any game that features the Watcher, is tops in my book. If the Watcher made the cut, you can bet some of your favorites will be making an appearance.
The only fly in the ointment is the actual control method, which we found to be not quite as efficient as the regular console versions. Missed moves and other little things brought upon by the motion-sensing, could be something that brings down the overall fun factor of the Wii version. We'll reserve judgement for our final review next month.