What is the best thing that can happen on a slow rainy day in New York City? How about a charity event, decked out with the latest upcoming games for the Wii and the Nintendo DS at the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center? That is exactly what happened on Friday September 12th, when Nintendo hosted a party for the Starlight Foundation a charity group determined to help lift the spirits of seriously ill children who are dealing with debilitating and depressing long term hospital stays.
Hit the jump for game impressions, pictures, and more information about the event.
The event was about raising money for the fundation through a silent auction of some somewhat rare Nitnendo accesories, as well as some bags, some rings, a signed copy of Nintendo Power and a 1,500$ electric guitar. In all the event raised a few thousand dollars and also recieved some very generous donations of special gaming centers that would be given to a hospitals around the area. Each center was fitted with a Nintendo Wii and a high definition flat screen for the kids to play with in their hospital rooms. The centers were donated by Nintendo Power, Gamecock, Konami, Ubisoft, CDV, and EA and were presented to the Starlight foundation by the publicist of Nintendo Power in sort of an impromptu press gathering during the middle of the party on the top floor of Nintendo World Store.
After all the donation and press pictures and photos the party returned back to full swing and people went back to playing some of the upcoming games for the Wii and the DS. The games featured at the event were Mushroom Men, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, My Sims Kingdom, SimCity Creator, Elebits DS, Rock Revolution, Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 and Castlevania Judgment. Some of which I had to wait in line to play and or navigate through the party goers, like Cory from Cory in the House and Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Saved By The Bell. Enough about them though let us get straight to the games.
Rock Revolution – Konami
For a game that is suppose to be the response to Guitar Hero, and Rock Band the first thing that I noticed was odd was the game did not feature any sort of guitar peripheral nor any special add on at all. It was just a WiiMote and Nunchuck which could be used for Drums, Bass, and Guitar, which was the only instruments that I happened to notice while playing. The game features a basic streaming note GUI except it isn’t like Guitar Hero, or Rock Bands at all. The notes fall from the top of the screen down to the bottom and line up with a graphical bar. It is there that you either shake the remote the way it shows on the screen if you are playing drums, or hold down a certain button and waggle the WiiMote for it to register. Something that was actually interesting was the fact that you could jump in and join someone playing during the middle of the song, and not wait for a new song or have someone quit to a main menu. It should be noted that I couldn’t hear any of the music due to the DJ blasting a mixture of Rap and Rock throughout the party, so I don’t even know if the soundtrack was good.
Castlevania Judgment – Konami
As a hard core Castlevania fan and collector of the franchise I have to say I was very disappointed with the game play of the game. The game tries to be a fighting game but it comes off like it has no clue as to what it is actually doing. As you don’t even press buttons to attack and half to rely on waggling the remote and holding different buttons to pull of special attacks. Which seems to direcltly go against what Iga was trying to avoid as your arm will get more tired trying to flail it around to pull off a combo then actually do a normal whip combo in a game. The game was only playable with three characters Simon Belmont, Young Maria Renard, and Alucard. Each character when selected starts out with a selection of power and what sub weapon [Axe, Knife, Holy Water, and Cross] they would like to use.Â The main problem with this game is the free roaming arena as you run around to avoid attacks and try to run up to your enemy to strike you seem to miss a lot. Since the game doesn’t have any type of automatically lock on which makes for frustraiting misses when trying to attack someone giving them an opening to attack you. I have to actually say that I hope Konami actually fixes this game up and that this will not be the final product otherwise I would suggest to avoid it. I’m sorry Iga, a fighting game a Castlevania does not make.
Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 – Konami
Dance Dance Revolution with Wii controls seems like a good idea until you hit the person next to you when you flail your arm to the right or left. When playing this game I accidently knocked into a server who was trying to sneak by me on the side. Lets just say it was a good thing that they were not carrying food, otherwise it would have been a mess. The game is your basic DDR game except it throws in some random steps or movements for you to do with your arms or legs. As they slowly pop up during the song in random intervals, which really tripped me up since I was used to just normal notes flying across the screen. However, if you have enough space this game could be really fun and challenging, although I can’t comment on the soundtrack since I couldn’t hear it, Thanks DJ!
Mushroom Men the Spore Wars – Gamecock
This was by far the best game at the event as a lot of people I talked to seemed to have liked it. However, the game is fun yet flawed as the camera has some very weird movement problems with the envirnment. After talking to the developer Shaun Norton about the game he said that there were a few problems with the camera due to the unique landscapes, but they were working on fixing it. Which I hope they due since this is a really fun game. Although, the Demo seemed to play pretty well with only a few problems here and there. The game plays almost like Zelda yet it really isn’t as it is more focused on jumping from place to place and collecting items to build new weapons. The story surrounding this series is split up into two game titles the first part of the story being released on the DS, and the second part on the Wii. As for connectivity between the two games I didn’t get a word on that, but I would have to say this was my favorite game out of the entire event.
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party – Ubisoft
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party continues with the same wacky mini games as the first one, however it is more focused around television and the themes of the channels. The Rabbids have advanced a little further in their conquest of the world and have taken over various Television channels like the MTV, Sports, or the News. So each set of mini game is set up to be played in certain ways do to this especially the sports channel. Where you can use the Wii Balance Board to actually play some of the games. Having playing the original game I would say that this one is a lot of fun to play but requires a lot more peripherals, so if you plan to get this you might as well go get Wii Fit.
My Sims Kingdom – EA
From what I saw when people were playing the game was that it seemed to be more of an Animal Crossing clone with various Sims features. Anything you did in your land/town would directly effect the people around you. That’s all I can really say about this game, as I really did not get a good enough chance to actually play with it.
As for SimCity Creator, or Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero, I didn’t get a chance to play them. Although, from what I heard about SimCity Creator, you can do a lot of weird things especially getting some monsters to fight each other in the city you created. As for Elebits, I can’t comment much on it but you can expect a lot of stylus controls.
[Donate or find out more about the Starlight Foundation]
Pictures of the Event below.
Developers presenting the Fun Centers to the Starlight Orginization
This Developer won the most awesome hair award.
Someone really, really, loves Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party.
I was trying to talk to Link, and get a picture, but he seemed a little shy without his masks.
Mushroom Men, woo!
Mushroom Men for the DS putting the “fun” back into Fungus.
Developement Nintendo Wii belonging to Konami, if only I had a screwdriver…
Castlevania Judgement, why Iga… why?!
Myself in Black and my Partner in Crime Chris owning up some Hottest Party.
Mother Fans waiting to get into the Nintendo World Store for the Sunday event. They were waiting since 6pm Thursday, they truly are the most dedicated fans out there.
Douglas B. PK Thundered himself into the party! Go Lucas!
The Infamous DJ who drowned out all the sounds and music of the games, did a good job I would have to say.