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Topic: One Year Later: Star Soldier R and Critter Round-Up

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0-Watt

1. Posted:

Hey all, it's 0-Watt here again with the next installment of OYL. I got enough of a response that I'll keep at it, seeing as it allows me to further examine titles that have long been released and what is coming out through the same people. Anyways, no chart this time (I'll be doing those for each month of releases for easier comparisons later on). Otherwise, here we go!


One Year Later 002: (5/19/08) Star Soldier R and Critter Round-Up

7) Star Soldier R (Hudson, 800pts)
When WiiWare was launched in Japan, Hudson debuted with a new title in its famous vertical space shooter, Star Soldier. The game had been shown off on small Hudson events to “test” interest in the market, and when all was said and done, the title was released to the public through WiiWare. Oddly enough, the game missed the launch in the US, much to our surprise (and annoyance, for some). It did come out the week following launch, however, and the backlash ensued. While a number of full games in the series were available for a similar price, this title only provided two levels at most. The game asks players to go in two or five minute spurts (through one and two levels, respectively), and the goal is to obtain the highest score possible. There is a third non-game mode involving rapid button pressing, but the big thing is the ability to put your scores online against people in your region or around the globe.
Reception: For some Star Soldier fans, this game was a welcome entry into the series and a great start for WiiWare titles from Hudson. For others, however, the game was bashed for its miniscule game length (although replayability was seen as the big thing of the game). NintendoLife saw some decency behind the title (7) whereas IGN could not find it in its heart to forgive the “eight minute game” (6.0). Perhaps as a result of the length backlash, the game became the first to disappear from the WiiWare Top 20. Clearly it would be best not to try a caravan mode-only game again.
Outlook: The future for Star Soldier is unknown (I’m still waiting for the N64 game, myself), but Hudson took it upon itself to release more WiiWare titles over the course of the year (including My Aquarium, Alien Crush Returns, and soon-for-US-release Adventure Island: The Beginning). Seems WiiWare has proven to be a good place for rebirthing old Hudson IPs. I wonder what Hudson franchises will be reborn again? I’m crossing my fingers for another Bonk.

8) Critter Round-Up (Epicenter [Konami], 1000pts)
When WiiWare launched in Japan, this title was the first Western-developed game from a western development team to reach the land of the rising sun. In it, players assume the role of a farmer who must round-up (or divide, rather) critters using a seemingly infinite amount of fencing in his backpack (the title of the game is quite self-explanatory). However, touching animals is lethal, and certain carnivores find it in their best interest to eat smaller animals if the farmer does not do something quick! The first-player mode traverses through five worlds (a farm, a forest, outback, savanna, and arctic), and it can even be played cooperatively. On top of that, there are a number of multiplayer modes, including a soccer game and a mode that is much like Tron.
Reception: Despite the large package, people immediately showed negativity for it for its larger price. It may have suffered some undeserved negativity from NintendoLife (a 4/10), but even IGN seemed to find it slow to control and overall lacking the BANG of the more recent launch titles for WiiWare (6.1). Mostly due to this backlash and perhaps somewhat due to the post-launch lack of purchasing, the game fell flat on WiiWare’s Top 20. It still managed to outpace Star Soldier R, but it was still the second WiiWare title to vanish from the Top 20. To make matters worse, a member of Epicenter Studios has made a candid comment that Nintendo had not paid them for their poor sales, some months later. It seems the game was not well received at all, sales-wise.
Outlook: Konami has published and will continue publish a number of titles on WiiWare (including January’s Sandy Beach). It should be noted that Konami owns part of Hudson, if that means anything to you readers. As for Epicenter, the team has been putting work on a first person quencher for Wii retail: Real Heroes: Firefighter. Do not let the fact that Conspiracy Entertainment is publishing push you away; according to IGN, it is shaping up to be an interesting twist on the FPS genre, and for a low cost, too. I doubt Epicenter will go back to WiiWare, however, after the reception it got from this game.


Well there you have it. Next week is the first year anniversary for Nintendo's first published title but also the first Family game. For now, go play Star Soldier R and Critter Round-Up again if you have em. Drop comments on what you feel of them today or what you thought of em when they first came out. The more the better!

Edited on by 0-Watt

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Corbs

2. Posted:

I love Star Soldier R and I've long thought it was unfairly ignored. But then again shooters just don't do well, probably the reason an amazing game like Deathsmiles isn't being localized for Xbox 360 when it's selling like hotcakes in Japan. :)

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Ricardo91

3. Posted:

I just couldn't ever bring myself to buy Star Soldier R. $8 was just too much to pay for a game that lasts only 5 minutes. 500 or 600 points would've been the perfect price. Hopefully Hudson makes a follow-up that has some more longevity.

Anyway, I love these "looking back at Wiiware" articles, keep 'em up, 0-watt! :)

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KnucklesSonic8

4. Posted:

"To make matters worse, a member of Epicenter Studios has made a candid comment that Nintendo had not paid them for their poor sales, some months later." - Now that I didn't know!

Critter Round-Up wasn't that bad. Multiplayer can be good for laughs at times. I've played worse.

I love Star Soldier R also. Was so worth it. I'm still in the Top 30 in Canada last time I checked! Such a great game.

KnucklesSonic8

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Philip_J_Reed

5. Posted:

Wow, I feel bad for Critter Roundup's developers. To not be paid at all is a fate I wouldn't wish on any WiiWare developer. (At least, not yet.)

Even the worst games have had SOME redeeming quality, and I appreciate the work put into every one of them, even if it's nothing something I'd want to buy myself.

:(

Edited on by Philip_J_Reed

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0-Watt

6. Posted:

@KnucklesSonic8: The comment was made on a forum I visit. Funnily enough it was months before we found out about the game limit. I figure it may have passed that sooner or later (and being published by Konami, they probably were semi-financed to begin with). But still.

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SwerdMurd

7. Posted:

I love Star Soldier R...don't know where I stand anymore, but I recall clearing a mil...I'd play it, but it's one of those wii games that decided not to incorporate gamecube control, even though it would work just fine. Due to this, I can't play it using my shiny new arcade stick, which tends to rank it behind all the shoot-em-ups I can control with it.

-Swerd Murd

Owner of VINTAGE Games. Link to follow once I resurrect my dead website. - www.facebook.com/vintgames

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Corbs

8. Posted:

Can I see your stick? I got a new stick for my Xbox 360 the other day. It has a Seimitsu stick in it, which I love for shooters, but I did replace the Seimitsu buttons with the softer Sanwa models. Now it matches the setup on my Egret 2 cabinet.

Edited on by Corbs

Retro Editor, Nintendo Life
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thewiirocks

9. Posted:

Star Soldier R was one of those games that could grow on you, but only if you had some friends to compete against. (Corbie, myself, and a few other users had a blast trying to out-do each other on the scoreboard.)

The problem is that the game gives a mixed first impression. On one hand, it feels like an awesome shmup. On the other hand, it feels like it ends just as you're getting into it. So unless you get into a competition with friends, you're going to feel royally gypped by Star Soldier R. Which is too bad because it really was a good game.

I wish it had sold well enough to result in a "real" follow-up. Maybe Hudson will learn from their success with Alien Crush and Konami's decent success with Gradius Rebirth? One can hope...

0-Watt wrote:

Clearly it would be best not to try a carnival mode-only game again.

Minor Nitpick: I believe it's called "Caravan Mode". Just don't ask me why it's called that because I have no idea. :P

thewiirocks

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0-Watt

10. Posted:

thewiirocks wrote:

I wish it had sold well enough to result in a "real" follow-up. Maybe Hudson will learn from their success with Alien Crush and Konami's decent success with Gradius Rebirth? One can hope...
...
Minor Nitpick: I believe it's called "Caravan Mode". Just don't ask me why it's called that because I have no idea. :P

Ah, thanks. Edited for reduction of nitpicks XD

And to be honest, I'm not sure how well Gradius Rebirth or Alien Crush Return did, looking at how quickly they appeared and vanished from the Top 20. Hopefully you are right, though.

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Corbs

11. Posted:

I agree with thewiirocks completely. We did have a good time competing, and that's really what the caravan mode is all about. It was created for shooter competitions in Japan originally. I do wish the game had sold better, so that Hudson might consider building an entire game around it, but I doubt that will happen at this point.

Retro Editor, Nintendo Life
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KDR_11k

12. Posted:

KnucklesSonic8 wrote:

"To make matters worse, a member of Epicenter Studios has made a candid comment that Nintendo had not paid them for their poor sales, some months later." - Now that I didn't know!

And people said that policy did nothing against the shovelware...

Raincoat whore!

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LEGEND_MARIOID

13. Posted:

Star Soldier R is a solid wiiware title even if it only 2 levels.

"They say video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock n' roll."

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Dawnclaude

14. Posted:

Thats a great report, hope you will do it again and again and again. :)
So it seems that hardcore gamers read the reviews before they buy a game, bad for star soldier, good for companies which create higher quality games.
Critter Round up had big problems to reach the right target group. Animals should be much more sweeter and i think kids / girls / moms want to do other things with animals then round them up with fences ^^

A new Fantasy Tactical RPG will be announced for WiiWare this month.

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KnucklesSonic8

15. Posted:

We should really pick up that SSR competition again. ;) I'd love to participate.

KnucklesSonic8

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Adam

16. Posted:

I'd probably download it if that happened, though I think I would be pretty poor competition. Still, sounds fun.

Come on, friends,
To the bear arcades again.

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thewiirocks

17. Posted:

weirdadam wrote:

I'd probably download it if that happened, though I think I would be pretty poor competition. Still, sounds fun.

I wouldn't be so sure. I generally suck at shmups, regardless of how much I like them. Yet I was able to hold my own against Corbie and others. Methinks that Caravan mode gives one a solid opportunity to practice. ;)

(Plus it helps to watch some Youtube vids of how people got 1 million points. Some great tips there...)

thewiirocks

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0-Watt

18. Posted:

Thanks for all the compliments, guys. More will come, trust me. X3

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