We've lived with the Wii for more than a year now, so there's really no reason to belabor this opening point: Yes, the Wii plays host to an inordinate amount of minigame collections. Furthermore, most of them are insipid, although some few are actually worth your time, whether you're flying solo or waggling with companions. Furu Furu Park unfortunately does not fall into that worthwhile category, but it's hard to tell if it just misses the mark or if it truly falls into the category of soulless casual cash-ins. We're not even sure that the developers knew what they were aiming for.
Thirty minigames populate the lineup in Furu Furu Park, most utilizing the motion controls of the Wii Remote to perform simple actions. While the majority are original bits concocted specifically for this release, a handful of the minigames are patterned as bite-sized versions of Taito classics, including Pocky & Rocky and Arkanoid. But we're using only a miniscule amount of hyperbole when we say there's nothing to these games. Case in point: Arkanoid and Bubble Bobble each feature only a single stage.
Even the new segments, such as Skateboarding, Rev the Engine and Super Karate, may last 30 seconds or less and require minimal player interaction, such as holding the Wii Remote in one of three predetermined positions. We're not decrying simplicity as a general design element, but too many of the included games feel tossed together, while the few notable ones offer only seconds of unique play.
A dating sim story mode from the Japanese release was axed during localization, which helps explain why the single-player lineup feels notably incomplete. You can choose to play individual minigames or pick five for a cumulative point total, but that's all. The two-player offerings fare slightly better, with a Love Challenge compatibility test and a 16-match Panel Attack mode in which each player attempts to gain control of a game board, but it's primarily window dressing atop the same tired set of minigames.
Some will undoubtedly find pleasure in the quirky nature of the content, with its fondness for large afro-adorned men and anime girls - but something is off about Furu Furu Park. Maybe it's the nine-month layoff since the import release, or the neutered localization (Unwrap the Mummy was originally about stripping geishas, and we would have preferred that), but the end result is a boring, bland affair that sadly smudges the names of a few true classics.
Jan 25, 2008