|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Hudson Soft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Hudson Soft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 29, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Well, it isnt a first for WiiWare, but with Water Warfare, Hudson certainly steps outside the box of your typical casual fare, offering younger Wii owners a portal to online fragging. With our water guns locked and loaded, we run this first-person shooter (FPS) through its paces.
The very first thing youll notice about this $8 download is its playful style. MySims comes immediately to mind, and youll even get to customize your playable character to some extent. The first order of business is to pick a gender, hairstyle, size, weight, name, etc. for your chibi shooter, and there are also additional options unlocked as you play through the game. Its a fun element you wouldnt necessarily expect to find in a WiiWare title.
As its namesake might suggest, Water Warfare is a fragfest that arms you with water guns no blood, no gore, no decaps. Say what you will about the system, but by now its common knowledge that the age of the average Wii gamer skews younger than the other two consoles. With that in mind, it was a nice move by Hudson to present an FPS premise that wont deter most moms from handing over their credit cards to download this title.
The game comes complete with quite a selection of options. Theres a single-player section, which offers missions, as well as an option to play against bots, but the online component is sure to be the big winner here.
Missions range from shooting down a set of targets within a certain time limit, to whats called Battle Royal, Water Warfares version of Last Man Standing. You can basically think of the missions as the games way of preparing you for online competition. Youll run through the gamut of modes, and by the time youve gotten past just a few of the single-player levels, you should be comfortable with the games controls.
The controls for Water Warfare are mostly competent, and youll even be able to assign buttons however you like. You can play with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in traditional Wii FPS fashion, or you can add the Wii Zapper to the equation. Theres even an option to use the Classic Controller, but unfortunately, the customization stops there. You cannot adjust the sensitivity of look movement, nor tinker with the bounding box, which feels quite large. Movement of your character is also a bit on the slow side, but you do get true analog control. You can also jump by pressing the Z button, or dodge roll left or right with the analog stick while pressing the Z button.
Water Warfare is not a first-person adventure, so theres no story here. What you will get, however,is a nice selection of levels to play around in, along with some really cool guns and environmental elements that enhance the gameplay. Guns range from single-shot handguns and grenade launchers, to machineguns and bazookas. Each weapon performs in a unique way, allowing players to form their own strategies and approach each match differently. Since youre using water instead of bullets, there are no ammo pick-ups. Instead, there are water fountains, ponds, and beaches where you can refill your weapon by simply standing near a water source. It takes a bit of time for your weapon to refill, but we found it to be a welcome gameplay element that forces players to stay sharp.