|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Capcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 23, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
August 24, 2007 - It's undeniable that pirates have become a pop culture phenomenon over the past few years. From One Piece to Pirates of the Caribbean to Sid Meyer's Pirates!, there's been a mass overload of all things pirate in recent memory. And because the market has been so flooded with all of these different buccaneer variations, it's difficult to separate what has pirate potential and what is just leftover plunder. And though you may have been privy to your share of pirate media, the new Wii title, Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, looks like it might represent the pirate sub-genre well.
At its heart, Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure is a simple game that encourages you to take on the role of young Zack (who is assisted by flying monkey-friend Wiki) as he strives to discover the secret of Barbaros' treasure and the riches it is said to provide. And how exactly do you take on this task? By solving environmental puzzles, of course! Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure looks to follow the same gameplay pattern set forth by some of the more recent Kirby games with an engaging yet accessible adventure-puzzle experience. However, it also promises to include more complex and engaging play as the play goes on with more dynamic battle scenarios and brain teasing puzzles.
One of the first things you'll notice about Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure is its visual style. While it could be said that it draws some inspiration from anime-stylized characters, I think Zack and Wiki has a style all its own. From the trademark Japanese-inspired eyes to the oversized limbs, the characters that comprise this game really speak to its uniqueness. Environments also have a certain trademark style all their own. The game is comprised of seven different themed worlds, and each one has its own set of creatures and scenery. Each area also features a distinct color palate, which admittedly is nothing new, but is nonetheless an extra detail that adds visual credibility to the game. And since the game featured graphics that show in up to 480p resolution (the highest yet for a Wii game), you can bet that the visuals will really stand out among other Wii titles.
So now that you are totally impressed by Zack and Wiki's overall look, what about the gameplay? Since the theme of the game is all about exploration, the control scheme tries to mirror that. You'll use your Wii-mote to move your character around, and utilize an onscreen cursor to interact with items on-screen. And while this is a somewhat simplistic "point-and-click" type of control scheme, it best facilitates the overall aim of the game. You'll have to be very observant and pay attention to detail to achieve success in this game. And though the control scheme is not the most revolutionary thing you've ever seen, it's the idea behind the controls that is the real driving force behind this game.
But fear not, action junkies! Even though a good amount of this game will be utilizing your keen powers of observation and problem solving, there will be a good amount of action involved. Each stage will feature different enemies to defeat, as well as final bosses that test your brawn in addition to your brain! And you'll have special Wii-tailored moves at your disposal to help you get rid of those who would stand in your way.
Overall, Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure looks like the first true pirate hit for the Wii. It seems to have all the right moves for anyone who appreciates a good adventure or a thoughtful puzzle-type game. And when you also consider the fact the game looks absolutely brilliant, it looks like you can't lose! So get ready for a new pirate adventure to set sail this fall on your Wii!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer