New info on WiiWare

A while back, Nintendo announced a new feature called WiiWare, which would allow game developers to create simple games and sell them on the Wii Shop Channel. After that statement, WiiWare wasn’t heard from again.

Today at GDC, WiiWare was finally given a date of launch, May 12th. On that day, the first games for the service will start to show up in the Wii Shop Channel (you’ll notice there is a section for WiiWare already). According to Nintendo, new games will appear regularly from developers both big and small.

Final Fantasy My Life as a KingAlso some games mentioned in the press release. The two that were mentioned are FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King and a game called LostWinds.

My Life as a King builds upon the old GameCube game and features some pretty spiffy graphics (click the image for more images) for a downloadable game. All of the game prices are determined by the developer of the game. I would expect some reasonably high prices for most games, unless Nintendo sets a price limit later on.

Lost Winds The other game, LostWinds, looks a bit more cartoony and less serious. Nintendo didn’t provide a description for LostWinds, but rather just gave out screenshots. From the shots, I can conclude that you obviously control the wind using the WiiMote, and the person who appears to be the main character reacts to the wind.

We expect to hear more about the details of these titles near the launching of of the WiiWare system.

Ninjas and Numans jump onto the Wii Virtual Console

Two new games are on the Wii Virtual Console and they are Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom and Phantasy Star II.

And here are the descriptions from Nintendo:

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom: (NES, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone – Mild Violence, 500 Wii Points): Join master ninja Ryu Hayabusa, last member of the famous Dragon Clan, in the third and final chapter of the legendary Ninja Gaiden saga. Ryu is framed for FBI agent Irene Lew’s murder, and it’s up to him to clear his name. Defeating superior life-forms created out of “life energy” called BIO-NOIDs and avoiding enemy ambushes are among the many obstacles which Ryu faces in this unpredictable adventure of mystery, deceit and destruction. Noticeable changes to the game-play mechanics include Ryu’s ability to grab on to horizontal surfaces, his reduced falling speed and altered jumping maneuvers, and visible power-ups. Help Ryu defeat the forces of evil once more and discover the real culprit behind Irene’s death as one of the most loved trilogies in video-game history comes to a close.

Phantasy Star II: (Sega Genesis, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone – Mild Animated Violence, 800 Wii Points): Hailed as one of the greatest games of all time by fans and media alike, Phantasy Star II is an RPG that features an epic story line and turn-based battles. Play as Rolf, Nei, Rudo or several other characters as you navigate through the Algol star system battling the evil Dark Force. Build your characters, select the right weapons and armor, and take on the forces of evil through various missions as you find the right combination of characters to complete each objective. Experience the magic once again in this great sequel.

Harvest fun with this week’s Wii Virtual Console Titles

Today, Nintendo released two new games to the ever-growing list of Virtual Console Titles. The two new titles are Harvest Moon from the SNES and Lords of Thunder from the TurboGrafx-16. Harvest Moon is quite a surprise. I didn’t think Natsume was going to putting any old titles onto the Virtual console and Natsume is normally a rare name to hear in the news (with the exception of Omega Five).

Harvest Moon I am not a big fan of Simulation games, but Harvest Moon is one game that I think is pretty good. For people who have never played it, it’s a lot like Animal Crossing (except you can get married and you work on a farm [and more realistic events can happen]). Though the one main difference gamers will see (other than the difference in graphics) is the fact it doesn’t use a real time clock.

Lords of ThunderThe other game, Lords of Thunder, is a sidescrolling shooter which was pretty advanced for its time (which you can tell just by looking at it). I’ve never gotten to play it before, so I really can’t say much.

Nintendo describes it as:

A side-scrolling shooter that has you take on the role of a legendary warrior, blasting enemies to heavy-metal tunes. Your enemies are plotting to revive Zaggart, “The Dark One,” who was sealed beneath the six continents of Mistral. It’s up to Landis, descendant of the heroic Dyu, to stop them. Choose the order in which to attack the six stages. Before each stage, select one of four magic armors and use crystals you’ve collected during your battles to buy items. Selecting the right armor for each stage is the key to your ultimate victory. Then get ready to face awesome enemies like a fire-spewing sea serpent or a giant insect. Whether it’s the fast-paced shooting or breaking into the fortress of a stage boss, you’ll be blown away by the intensity of Lords of Thunder.

Both games are rated E for Everyone and are priced at 800 Points.

This Week’s Virtual Titles: ADVENTURES OF LOLO 2 and SUPER STREET FIGHTER II

This week’s Virtual Titles include the ADVENTURES OF LOLO 2 and SUPER STREET FIGHTER II: THE NEW CHALLENGERS. The Adventures of Lolo? I hope you saved the receipt.

Anyways, here is Nintendo’s descriptions of the games:

ADVENTURES OF LOLO 2 (NES, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Lolo and Lala are back in this sequel to the popular puzzle game THE ADVENTURES OF LOLO. On their return from the Haunted Castle, the Great Devil kidnaps Lala and challenges Lolo to rescue her again. Now he must take on the challenge of the Great Devil’s Tower and Castle mazes. Fortunately, Lala was able to analyze each of the mazes as she was taken to the tower and left clues in the Jewel Boxes in each room. Each Jewel that Lolo collects contains information that will help him in the next room. In order to succeed, he’ll also have to push tiles, pick up Heart Framers, temporarily turn enemies into Eggs with his Magic Shots and ward off enemy attacks by moving Emerald Framers. With your help, Lolo and Lala will work together to escape the Great Devil’s clutches and defeat him.

SUPER STREET FIGHTER II: THE NEW CHALLENGERS (Super NES, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen – Violence, 800 Wii Points): When SUPER STREET FIGHTER II: THE NEW CHALLENGERS debuted, the fighting-game genre was forever changed. Along with a revolutionary combo system, the game introduced a new set of challengers to fight alongside the original Street Fighter II cast. In addition to the classic characters of Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Blanka, E. Honda, Zangief, Dhalsim, Balrog, Vega, Sagat and M. Bison, take control of four brand-new characters in exciting head-to-head fighting game play. Choose T. Hawk and his unmatched strength to crush your opponents, use Deejay’s unrivaled kickboxing ability to defeat your opponents, unleash your inner dragon with the furious kung fu of Fei Long and drill your rivals with the deadly beauty of Cammy. Get ready for the Street Fighter tournament and the fight of your life.