Tatsunoko vs Capcom
The quick sell: Lightning-fast fighting on par with Marvel vs Capcom
We love TvC – we really do. Even though half of the characters come from Japanese cartoons that range from obscure to hopelessly obscure (though we have a guide for that), the energetic, tag-team battle system makes TvC a kaleidoscope of irresistible chaos. Who cares if you can’t tell Tekkaman from Ippatsuman when they’re corkscrew suplexing each other through a volcano?
The downside? Wii’s online structure has never been the best, and even though TvC does an admirable job of working around Friend Codes, the fact remains that most online gamers have moved on, leaving a fairly slim number of internet duelers. However, if you prefer playing with someone sitting right next to you, there’s no goddamn reason to pass this up.
Tatsunoko vs Capcom review – 9/10
Monster Hunter Tri
The quick sell: A mini-World of Warcraft with an emphasis on building-sized baddies
Japanese players have been rightly losing their shit over Monster Hunter for years now. The idea of grabbing three friends and tearing ass through an overworld filled with towering, ferocious beasts is immediately captivating, and the added bonus of random item drops and tons of hidden goodies mean near-infinite replayability. So why then, has Monster Hunter never quite taken hold of the US and UK?
The usual answer is “because it’s not online,” as prior Monster Hunter games required you to be in the same room, connected locally through PSPs. Monster Hunter Tri, on the other hand, is fully online and one of the most thorough and rewarding multiplayer experiences you could hope for – assuming you’ve got friends who equally devoted to the game’s time-devouring powers. It’s also one of (of not THE) prettiest game on the system, so that counts for something.
Monster Hunter Tri review – 9/10
The quick sell: A roughed up remake of one of the most popular and successful shooters of all time.
There’s no need to explain GoldenEye – odds are every single person reading this article spend dozens upon dozens of hours fragging friends in four-player splitscreen deathmatches. But as fun as the original may be, it’s certainly not aging gracefully, and lugging out an N64 just for one game isn’t as practical as it once was. Thus, a modern-day remake that replaces Brosnan with Craig, adds (so-so) motion controls and fuses the classic GoldenEye multiplayer with Modern Warfare-style ranks.
But like Tatsunoko, GoldenEye has to contend with Wii’s lacking online capabilities. Yes, it works. And yes, the multiplayer matches are a blast (especially when you ditch the Wii Remote and opt for the Classic Controller instead), but can even a good GoldenEye remake topple the pervasive idea that Wii online is dead? Judging by the sales numbers available to me, probably not. But that’s why we’re trying to call attention to it – if Wii is your only option, grab some friends and re-live some of the best moments of 1997.
GoldenEye review – 7/10
The quick sell: Hyperactive 2-on-2 basketball that once dominated arcades and home consoles alike.
During the SNES/Genesis days, there was nary a franchise with more multiplayer star power than NBA Jam. Instead of crowded courts, Jam reduced each team to two players, offering a lot more mobility and opportunities for elaborate passing and shooting techniques with your teammate. Toss in exaggerated dunks and announcers screaming “HE’S ON FIRE!” and you’ve got a perfect recipe for same-screen multiplayer.
That’s right – this is same-screen only. No online multiplayer to be found. But that’s kind of the point in this case, as arcade-style games like NBA Jam almost demand pushing, shoving and in-your-face trash talking, not muffled expletives over a crappy headset. Wii Jam is also a rare case of a retro revival completely living up to its legacy, offering the same level of intensity, silliness and fun that captivated us all more than a decade ago.
NBA Jam review – 9/10