Topic: One Year Later: Protöthea and Toki Tori

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Hey all. Erm...this is a week late, I know, but E3 took me out of my game, and I have been focused on other things, alas. I will have the newest OYL stuff up later today (Wednesday) or tomorrow. So, without further delay:

One Year Later 004: (6/02/08) Protöthea and Toki Tori

11) Protöthea (Digital Builders [Ubisoft], 1000pts)
In the releases of WiiWare titles, there are games that appear out of nowhere and catch our attention. Then there are titles that come out of nowhere and garner nothing more than surprised looks (and not in a good way). To be honest, there is little understanding as to WHY Ubisoft decided to bring this game to WiiWare, but here is the little information I have found regarding Protöthea. The title was originally a PC title developed by Independent studio Digital Builders and released in 2005. It even won an award in the 2005 IGF ceremony. Ubisoft, seeing its size and controls, probably found it to be a viable title to bring to WiiWare for little cost. The rest is easy to see before us. Protöthea is a top-down shooter in which players control the ship with the nunchuk and shoot in the direction of the Wii Remote’s pointer. There are four locales and ten missions to endure, and one attempt at innovation is the need to bomb certain enemies below rather than spam shots everywhere to destroy everything. Add in some oddly-placed bullet-time effects, and you have Protöthea in a nutshell.
Reception: Nobody expected this release, even IGN which called it “random” for Ubisoft to do. Both IGN and NintendoLife found the controls to be unintuitive and the music and locations to be quite generic in style. Furthermore, enemy locations were hard to gauge, and with so many similar enemy types, figuring out whether they were attacking below or on the same level as the ship was a chore. Both websites gave it a 5.0, a truly mediocre experience on WiiWare. As for sales, the game originally outdid Toki Tori, but after the first week, it remained below that title and disappeared in a similar trend line to that of its release-partner.
Outlook: I laugh at the prospects. Digital Builders never developed anything other than Protöthea, and Ubisoft is not a company I align with digital releases. Without a doubt, no WiiWare titles will come through this game, but while there are some really annoying games coming from Ubisoft recently in retail, Rabbids Go Home and Red Steel 2 look like welcome titles in the library.

12) Toki Tori (Two Tribes, 1000pts)
The arrival of this title was desired by a number of gamers, but some are not aware of the history behind its development. Toki Tori was based off of an MSX2 title Eggbert, developed by Fony in the mid-1990s. Members of Fony would come together in 2000 and create Two Tribes. The first "Toki Tori" game was developed for the GameBoy Color and published by Capcom. However, on its release, it faced both the sudden loss of sales due to 9/11 and the release of the GameBoy Advance. It was an ill-fated release, but Two Tribes survived through Mobile Phone releases and, later, the Nintendo DS. Some seven years later, Toki Tori was developed for WiiWare, complete with levels modified from the GBC original and new levels in the mix. The goal of the game is to direct young Toki Tori through each level and free every egg in the process. However, Toki Tori cannot jump, and while he has a large arsenal of items to help him, most are only available for a limited number of uses. There is an ability to skip a level if it is too hard, and if that cannot help, Two Tribes has a help forum on their site for assistance. A second player can even come in and help with his or her own Wii Remote pointer. There are ten levels for each world (Jungle, Castle, Sewers, and Underwater), and following those are a number of hard levels for added game length. And let’s not forget Toki Tori himself: he is so darned cute!
Reception: Toki Tori, upon its release, was seen by multiple sources as one of the best WiiWare titles available and most entertaining puzzle platformers around. NintendoLife called it a “steal” of a purchase, citing that it delivered far beyond just porting the GBC original (9). IGN agreed with those sentiments, but it gave a slightly lower 8.0. Regardless, the overall impression was positive by critics. Unfortunately, it was not accepted that well by the masses. While it lifted up well in the Top 20, it never was able to break into the high sales that the launch titles had developed, and coming between TWO Nintendo-published titles, it had little leverage in its release. It dropped quickly out of the list, but not without surpassing Protothea’s sales in the process, thankfully.
Outlook: Two Tribes has not given up on Wii nor on Toki Tori, but WiiWare releases seem to be a no show, one year later. Toki Tori has gone to IPhone, though it is not developed entirely by Two Tribes. There is potential for a DSiWare version of the game to arrive, but I will not push it. As for Two Tribes on Wii in general, the company published Rubik’s World at the end of 2008, and I am sure there is more to come eventually.

So there's LAST WEEK's OYL segment. I'll probably get to playing Toki Tori again. Meanwhile, the rest of you reminisce over the good or bad purchase you made with either of those titles.

EDIT Thanks to accc for pointing out a missing tidbit in Toki Tori's history.

Edited on by 0-Watt


Personally I'm convinced that Toki Tori is in fact doing kind of OK "behind the scenes" so to speak. Judging by it's behavior on the Swedish charts it seems to be one of those titles you just can't seem to get rid of completely and that at semi-regular intervals keeps popping back onto the charts. If the US chart was expanded to 40 games I'm sure we'd see it around 30-35th place at all times with sales trickling in slowly but consistently.


Toki Tori actually originated on the MSX home computer as "Eggbert".



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