While the Wii promises to be one of the most unique gaming experiences to ever hit the mainstream, the euphoria that accompanies any new system launch is well documented. It's easy to get caught up in what I call "new system" frenzy. You know what I'm talking about: you buy anything and everything for your brand new toy and wake up the next day with a swollen credit card and a case of buyer's remorse that can only be removed via surgery, while the cashier's words echo in your ears "Sir, are you sure you want two copies of Strawberry Shortcake's Sweet Candy Adventure?" Trust me, I speak from experience.
The Wii launch list is by far the beefiest collection of day one titles Nintendo has EVER offered, so this is going to require some homework on your part. Luckily for you, CCC is here to take the guesswork out of some of it. Without further ado, let's dive head first into one of the most exciting periods in Nintendo's 100 year history. Please note that while most of the games on this list will be available on November 19th in North America, a few will be released just shortly after.
What They Say: In the grand racing tradition of Excitebike, get ready for a big-air experience like no other! Players rocket their trucks across dynamically changing terrain in this nitrous-injected, high-flying racer for speed junkies. Showing the Wii Remote controller's versatility, players tilt the controller on its side to turn it into a wireless steering wheel!
What We Say: Excite Truck is sure to be a gas, but it's hard to say whether or not this new iteration of an old classic will be "must have" or "cute novelty" between Zelda sessions. We like the idea of steering with the wii-mote since we tend to move all over the place when we race anyway, and the scaled down controls should ensure everyone from your kid brother to grampa will take the wheel for a spin. If Nintendo hadn't already tried to resurrect the Excitebike franchise on the N64 with mixed results, we'd probably be a little more pumped. That being said, perhaps they learned a few lessons along the way. If you're looking for a fast-paced racing title that requires little more than accelerate and steer, Excite Truck could be just the thing your mechanic ordered. As for us, we'll reserve final judgement when Nintendo gives us the keys to this baby on November 19th.
What They Say: As Jack Carver, use the Wii Remote to drive, shoot, slash, jump and climb your way through a rebel-infested tropical hell. The Wii entry in the franchise includes elements from Far Cry Instincts Evolution, in addition to a fresh storyline, new maps, characters and equipment. The gameplay is designed completely around the Wii remote, with gunplay aiming as well as more unique maneuvers such as vehicle steering, balancing on precarious ledges, and throwing grenades.
What We Say: Far Cry might not be the 1000 lb gorilla it was when it debuted on the PC, but this Wii-enhanced version might be just the ticket to get those gamers to part with their cash, who prefer their gaming a little more on the M-rated side of life. For a game that is due out in less than a month, Ubisoft has kept this one extremely close to their chest. Far Cry Vengeance is an entirely new storyline, created exclusively for the Wii and that has us pretty excited about the possibilities, especially when you factor in the unique control scheme. Visually the game looks like it packs a punch and easily rivals that of the Xbox Far Cry port - if not beating it slightly. We're going to say if you're a Jack Carver fan and you've got a Wii reserved for launch, you might want to take a closer look at this one. You should also note that FCV is the only launch title that has received an M (as in mature) rating.
What They Say: Immerse yourself in the fast-paced action of this exclusive Wii car-racing game and take full advantage of the Wii Remote. The game features than 80 licensed cars, tons of tuning options and fluid drift-style controls and physics.
What We Say: Cel-shaded racers remind us of Automodelista and make us nervous. While the visuals haven't even come close to blowing us away, we can't honestly say that we've had any hands on experience with GT Pro. The most exciting aspect of GT Pro thus far is the fact that it comes with the steering wheel peripheral, which we are excited about getting our hands on. Ubisoft announced major support for the Wii at launch and beyond and we have a feeling that this is the red-headed stephild of all of their other little Wii-babies. No offense to those of you who just happen to be red-headed stepchildren. Remember, we don't make up the cliches, we just use them. Anyway, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and videogames are no different. We suggest approaching this one with caution until you know exactly if its going to take you for a ride or...take you for a ride.