News Article

USA WiiWare Update: Midnight Bowling And MadStone

Posted by Darren Calvert

There is something for everyone today on the Wii Shop. First up is Midnight Bowling, another successful Gameloft cellphone game now brought lovingly to WiiWare. When we reviewed Midnight Pool back in August we quite liked it so there is every chance this might be worth a look too if you have grown tired of Wii Sports bowling.

If puzzlers are your bag then you might want to check out MadStone. We got hands on last week with a trial of the game and posted some quite favourable first impressions. There is no shortage of puzzlers on WiiWare but this certainly appears to be one of the better ones at first glance.

Watch out for our full review for both games over the next couple of days. Here’s the press release to tide you over:

Midnight Bowling (Gameloft, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 800 Wii Points): Plunge directly into the trendy and electric atmosphere of Midnight Bowling. With awesome playing sensations, prepare for ultra-fun gaming thanks to a new physics engine that lets you control your throws precisely and easily with your Wii Remote controller and make spectacular spins that will impress your opponents. Face up to three friends in the fun party mode, where your playing abilities will be put to the test. Whatever your experience level, launch yourself into the immersive career mode, where you will play in the trendiest bowling spots on the planet against charismatic characters that will give you a run for your money.

MadStone (Riverman Media, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 800 Wii Points): Time is short. Earth trembles as the forces of nature stir and grow restless. Can you turn the tide? In this dynamic puzzle game, you must clear the path for your elemental MadStones to reach the bottom of the screen. Blocks can be broken by striking them directly or by the force of falling objects. The novice tries frantically to break enough blocks, while the master sets up cascading collapses with only a handful of direct strikes. As two sides struggle for domination, titanic forces build, only to be unleashed in an earth-shaking final confrontation. Experience the mystical single-player journey, or challenge a friend in competitive two-player mode.

As if all this wasn't enough there is a stunning RPG on the Virtual Console today in the shape of Shining Force II from the Sega Genesis which we think is worth a look for fans of the genre. Mario Golf on the N64 is also out which is still great fun after all these years. Go check em out!

Don't forget that two of the Mega Man 9 content packs are available today also.

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User Comments (55)



Ben__Harlan said:

You have a very nice week in WiiWare and VC amrecians. Hope this week we have a good one too.



DDR_Paladin356 said:

I wonder if the bowling is any more in depth than Wii Bowling....

I Love Shining Force II. Its ranked as one of my top 1o RPGs of all time. AWESOME! And its also good that we get another N64 game. We havent had one since Pokemon Puzzle League I believe.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

FINALLY!!! MARIO GOLF!!! WE FINALLY GET AN N64 GAME!!! THANK YOU NINTENDO!!! Sorry, I've just been dying for an N64 Game!

Madstone may be worth a look if I can make room for it. I still need to make room for Orbient.



Cipher said:

The Euro Nintendo Channel seemingly confirms we're getting Midnight Bowling on Friday, so at least that's something. Very much looking forward to the review.



danik said:

Yep im pretty sure were getting midnight bownling on friday according to nintendo. Not sure i will get it with having wii sports but well see.



samus2008 said:

just warning you guys now, midnight bowling is nothing but crap! controls are horrible!



Ren said:

Yeah, I'm not sure I understand everyones warm welcome to the Gameloft stuff. All of it seems to just take very basic games, already done, keep them really basic and easy, while adding that ridiculous neon "clubbing" theme to them. They're like bad freeware puzzles featuring desktop strippers, except without the nudity, or challenge. Great week, otherwise.
I agree on the N64 front, N64 had some of the best games, some of them really obscure. What better way to give them new life but on WW.
Madstone looks great, Can't wait for a review - from anyone. Any rip off "Tetris Attack" is a more than welcome time waster.



Objection said:

Supah-fine update! Very interested in Midnight Bowling and Mario Golf and somewhat interested in Shining Force II and Madstone. Everyone please give your impressions on the wiiware ASAP!



Yasume said:

So MadStone, Midnight Bowling and Art Style: Orbient for Europe Friday?



Ricardo91 said:

Thanks for the heads up, Samus2008. I was thinking about getting that.

I might get Madstone though, if it does well.



Djungelurban said:

So Midnight Bowling finally got released... Where's Gradius Rebirth then? I mean, that's the one we want right? sigh



Twilight_Crow said:

I join in to the joy of finally getting another N64 game, but Mario Golf would have to wait for the "solution of the storage problem".
Anyway, I'm not getting any wiipoints till next week.
I'll check the reviews on Madstone before adding it to my DL list.



Wiiloveit said:

Both sound good, and it's great to hear that at least Nintendo haven't forgotten about the N64. I thought Midnight Bowling would be coming soon though, since the Gameloft website had it listed as one of their current WiiWare games when I checked their 'site recently. I must say that they both look quite good, though I can only see myself getting Midnight Bowling (though it does puzzle me why games companies think that replicating Wii Sports' success will sell really well - on the same console as Wii Sports, which everyone has)



Gitaroo_Dude said:

Man, I really dislike Gameloft's approach to Wiiware, and the fact that their stuff sells well in comparison to games like Toki Tori.

Meh, oh well.



samus2008 said:

yeah i was really looking forward to midnight bowling, i love block breaker and midnight pool, but midnight bowling is just awful =/



Serpent said:

i might get MadStone if it gets a positive review. I don't care much for that bowling game.



Mayhem said:

Anyone who hasn't got/played the Mario Golf on N64, get it now! Better imo than the Cube version... and even better in multiplayer putting everyone off hah hah...



Wiiloveit said:

I think that Gameloft have done pretty well so far, with even TV Show King being one of my favourite WiiWare games. I'm definitely getting the retail sequel next year.



AlexSays said:

Man, I really dislike Gameloft's approach to Wiiware, and the fact that their stuff sells well in comparison to games like Toki Tori.

So you dislike good games, that sell well too?
That's crazy!



BlueFlameBat said:

Aside from playing as a hot chick, I'm not sure there is much Midnight Bowling can do for me that Wii Sports Bowling couldn't.



Corbs said:

Although I'm not what you would call a big puzzler fan, I have to say, MadStone is my favorite WiiWare puzzler to date. Great music and really enjoyable game play. This has easily been the biggest surprise on WiiWare for me personally so far.



SilentJ said:

Ok, I'll get it then. I've been wanting to download Madstone all day but I wanted to wait for someone to say something positive about it. I'm going to the Wii shop channel as soon as I post this comment.



Kenji510 said:

Alright!! Getting Madstone for the download, my type of games i like and maybe bowling too prolly... gonna go and download these games now and play them!



Corbs said:

I'm normally pretty close to IGN when I score a game, but I found this one a lot better than a 4. It's unique and has a nice feel to it. I especially like the 2-player game. Very intense when you get someone of the same skill level to go up against. It's also a game you have to put some time in to really learn to play in order to master the cascades. I noticed that Daemon Hatfield actually liked it in his "Another Take" below the review. To each his own, I guess.



Riverman_Jacob said:

I'm definitely bummed about IGN's score. It's really cool that IGN's Daemon added his more positive take. I'd never claim that MadStone is for everyone, so here's my (clearly biased) checklist for whether or not you'll be into it:

1. You like old-school puzzlers that are easy to pick up but tough to master. (Tetris attack, meteos)

2. You don't mind a retro look-and-feel. MadStone doesn't have a single polygon

3. You don't mind if a game doesn't make use of every single Wii Remote feature.

4. You're interested in learning a new game mechanic. It might take awhile before you really get into the groove.

That's the most honest, straightforward way I can characterize if you might like MadStone. I'm sure Corbie will have other opinions. I can't wait to hear what he has to say.




Gitaroo_Dude said:

Jacob seems like a stand-up guys, taking criticism well while still promoting his game in a humble fashion.

I think I'll pick up Madstone later this week. Both Corbie and Daemon from IGN seem to enjoy it, and Daemon is one of the most critical reviewers out there (Helix got 4.0d). Frantic stuff like Madstone and Meteos is right up my alley.



Corbs said:

Spencer's reviewing MadStone as I'm down for World of Goo next Monday. I personally found MadStone to be of very high production quality and loaded with personality and charm. It does remind me a lot of the 16-bit era puzzlers but brings enough new ideas and Wii Remote shaking goodness to create a package that's well worth the 800 Wii Points it costs. That's just my personal take on it. You'll just have to wait and see what Spencer thinks of it in his upcoming review of the game.



Corbs said:

MadStone runs in 16 x 9, I'm sitting here playing it right now. I'm not sure why IGN said that.



Mario64DStyle said:

I might get Madstone, I was really looking forward to it, and I'm a big fan of multiplayer puzzlers...
I see how the review goes..

Also@ "1. You like old-school puzzlers that are easy to pick up but tough to master. (Tetris attack, meteos)"
When is Tetris attack coming to America on VC? >_<



Gavin_Rozee said:

Oh. It's definitely 16:9 and it's not just stretching the picture to fill the screen, right?

Whilst running the game, check the HOME menu and see whether the Wii Menu/Reset buttons look stretched.

If it's proper 16:9 I may get it if it's out Friday.



AlexSays said:

The very awesomeness of how the game looks on Corbie's TV is enough to make me want the game.



Gavin_Rozee said:

Okay, cool.

It's just that I was pissed when I downloaded DYC and Pirates when they were released only to find they were 4:3/Stretched to fit a 16:9 TV. I'm not overly obsessed with resolutions and ratios etc, I just find it lazy (In most circumstances) when developers don't include widescreen support.

Nice TV, and PS3. You got WipEout HD?



Corbs said:

Yeah I have Wipeout HD. I've long been a fan of the Wipeout games. And I too prefer the true widescreen games, although I normally play my VC games in 4:3. I finally got my Xbox 360 console back from the repair shop today so I've got to hook it back up when I get time.



Gavin_Rozee said:


Sweet. I may rebuy a 360 if these new "Jasper" chipsets are more reliable.

For those who don't have a PS3 to experience the awesomeness of WipEout HD, maybe we'll get F Zero.... uh... SD for WiiWare lol.

Anyway, if we do get Madstone here before Tetris Party, I'll probably DL it : )



WarioFan63 said:

When is Tetris attack coming to America on VC? >_<
Probably never unless they alter it to say Yoshi's Puzzle League.

Or maybe they think that because Pokemon Puzzle League has more stuff in it, they dont think people would like a version with less stuff.

Or maybe they'll end up paying whatever money to use the Tetris name after all. Or however it works these days.

Also, I love how white Corbie's setup is. It's like he has a Wii White HD TV.! Which reminds me of the Wii White GC Controller I just imported.

Now I have to import Corbie's Room....



Objection said:

@Corbie--Very nice set-up! That screenshot makes me want Madstone more. I keep saying I want this game and that for the last month without buying anything. I think it's time to buy a card or two!



Gabbo said:


Hey, glad it wasn't just me then. I even put in the review that I got a distinct, intentional, old-school vibe out of the game. Kind of like what was done with Mega Man 9, I suppose.



A bowling game and a puzzle game. How absolutely thrilling (joking). I like games like Mega Man 9 or Bomberman Blast. Developers need to make more franchise-based games. For example, if they were to make a new Sonic game in the classic style, then put it on WiiWare, that would be awesome, and I'm positive a lot of people would download it. But I did purchase the Proto Man download, without a doubt.



bboy2970 said:

Wow! its been a while since I wanted more than 1 game in a single update! I downloaded Madstone and Midnight Bowling. Both are great! And despite ign's horrid review of Midnight Bowling, and Samus2008's unfavorable comments on the game, for 8 bucks its a pretty fun, "full" feeling game and the controls arent THAT bad, you just need to get use to them. Also, Madstone is awesome!!



blackknight77 said:

@ Supermario X and Corbie
Ign can be tough on game reviews. Take a look at how Family Table Tennis fared. Honestly I did not think it was that bad.



Ricardo91 said:

@Tony. IGN reviews can be pretty harsh sometimes. Take their Helixand My Aquarium reviews for example. But no site is harsher on Wiiware than Gamespot. They gave 5s to both Lostwinds and MLaaK.

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