News Article

USA WiiWare Update: Bonsai Barber

Posted by Damien McFerran

Horticultural fanatics will be jumping for joy when they see what’s in store on the US WiiWare service this week.

Bonsai Barber involves giving haircuts to various fruit and vegetable characters to ensure they remain the very height of fashion in their respective part of the garden.

Coded by Martin Hollis’ Zoonami studio (of Goldeneye N64 fame), this is certainly something of a departure for the man involved with one of the greatest console FPS titles ever, but it looks like a simple concept that could prove to be devilishly addictive. It’s retailing for a robust 1000 Wii points though, so as always we’d advise that you wait until our review is live before downloading.

Here’s the full press release:

Bonsai Barber (Nintendo, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone-Comic Mischief, 1,000 Wii Points): The village residents are hungry for the latest in foliage fashion, and it's up to you, the new barber, to fix them up. Use the tools of your trade: scissors, clippers, spray can, and more in this humorous, first-of-its-kind "first-person-groomer" game. Bonsai Barber features a colorful cast of 12 intriguing customers, including a temperamental shallot starlet (don't call her an onion), an oddball strawberry boffin, a cactus cowboy, a daredevil carrot, and a suave banana with top-secret clearance. Each day, five customers arrive to test your stylistic skill. If the customer requests a specific style, you'll plow that furrow, or you can rely on your expertise to pick from more than 30 popular fashions. Or, why not turn over a new leaf? Be creative and see how they react. They're a demanding bunch, so if you miss an appointment, you'll hear about it-on your Wii Message Board. If you do a good job, you may receive a gift or even a postcard from an exotic destination as your happy customers travel to distant lands and show off their exquisite coifs.

Over on the Virtual Console we have some pugilistic fun with Super Punch Out!!, which is the SNES sequel to the NES boxing classic. Still no Mike Tyson though.

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User Comments (108)

DazzaAdmin

#2

Dazza said:

... and hello 'Nintendo Download' update :-p

So who will be downloading this fine game later today then?

Adam

#3

Adam said:

OK, so this is looks like a really lame update, but at least we get to see Damien's awesome new avatar. That makes up for it.

KnucklesSonic8

#4

KnucklesSonic8 said:

I find this update disappointing but that's just me. It's probably my own fault for hoping Nintendo would have more than one WW game and have more VC releases... At least next week looks more hopeful.

Even I would suggest waiting on a review for this one. But I'm as curious as Dazza is to find out who will be downloading it...

longtimegamer

#5

longtimegamer said:

Well this sucks hamsters!

I can't believe this is all we got out of wiiware and vc. This really annoys me after seeing Japan get all that extra stuff. I hope this is halfway decent. Don't like the price.|{

@Knucklesonic - You know something about next week that i don't ?

KDR_11k

#6

KDR_11k said:

Well, the daily play stuff sounds epic fail, especially missing appointments because you didn't play the game.

Adam

#7

Adam said:

Maybe Knucklesonic just means he is excited about the DSiWare update next week.
My guess is that WW/VC will be low on titles again next week so as not to interfere with DSiWare's first week of sales. I'd love to be wrong though. :)

KnucklesSonic8

#8

KnucklesSonic8 said:

@Adam: Well that too but that's not why I was hopeful for this update...

@longtimegamer: Well, this update was no surprise for me for both VC and WW. Some didn't know that the VC Game was already confirmed last week Friday. But you see, here's the thing.

  • With the new release of the VCA, you would think they'd release at least one new title. Plus, they still have to release Space Harrier and Solvalou in NA - both of which I plan on getting, not to mention the other titles JP got such as Emeraldia (could care less about).
  • The Commodore 64 still only has like 5 games... You would think they'd support it again sooner rather than later. I expected at least one C64 game.
  • N64 Releases could become more common know with the release of the SD Card Update in addition to the announcement that MM would appear in Japan next month. This also opens up the possibility for games using the Expansion Pak to be added (e.g., DK64 - a game I'm absolutely dying for).
  • Some other systems such as the NEO GEO, SEGA Master System and SNES desperately need new releases. N64 is the most important, though. This isn't as strong of a point/reason to be anticipating VC releases IMO because the above reasons are more pressing.

I got a feeling that with this "Farewell edition", this could mark a needed change with VC releases. I'm sure they wouldn't have a big DSi update and only have like one less-than-great game on each side for Wii. At least you should hope so especially after, as you mentioned, Japan getting all that stuff....

Also, this may be worth something [extracted from IGN's talk with Denise]:

""You guys have put out only a handful of N64 games so far and I have to think it has something to do with that previously limited storage, but that's just pure speculation on my part," I say.

"I do think this opens up a lot of interesting possibilities," she says. "We will look and see how this impacts our schedule, but we're excited about it as well."

Nintendo seems to have acknowledged this with the release of Majora's Mask next month in Japan.

Also, still playing online in Snowboard Riot, man? :)

timp29

#9

timp29 said:

Can you cut their faces off? I think I've been playing too much Madworld :(

longtimegamer

#10

longtimegamer said:

@KnucklesSonic8- Hadn't played it for while. Are you? Have to re-download it again (at least I'll have more room for it when I get an SD card). By the way, thanks for the info.:)

Farewell edition? I guess I missed something.

AbbyVampire

#12

AbbyVampire said:

lol yall must not be looking to hard. Its goodbye to Wiikly Updates and hello to Nintendo Downloads since the DSi is coming.

I got 6000 DSiPoints ready to go D:

I might use some of it on WiiPoints. But besides wheat I got money will be scarce for a few weeks so I think I'll wait. Both games this week look pretty good tho. Will deffinitly get SPO sooner or later and Bonsai Barber to if the reveiw is good.

hhmm...so I wonder if Nintendo is gonna release anything on the DSiShop on the 5th or wait until the 6th. It would be odd for them not to have anything ready to go day 1. maybe 1-3 titles on the 5th and another 1 or 2 apps on the 6th?

EDIT: Or maybe just the DSi Browser on the 5th then 1-3 games on the 6th?

To bad they did'nt reveal the launch lineup before the actual day it comes out : Well Theres a small chance they'll show the launch lineup on today's Nintendo Channel update..probally not tho lol

EDIT2: Looking at this post I noticed that I really need to change my avatar. :P

Starwolf_UK

#13

Starwolf_UK said:

Good riddene Wiikly update...I'll forgive Nintendo Download for having one VC game, 1 DSi and 1 WiiWare because the name is so bad and it never was better (remember those Wiikly update weeks when you got like 3 or 4 VC games :( )

Anyway, Bonsai Barber is one review I look forward to reading. It sounds like the kind of game that is either My Aquarium 2 (only nobody will buy it as its too expensive) or a complete and utter disaster.

longtimegamer

#15

longtimegamer said:

@Starwolf_UK - It's got to be better than MA. Does seem to be that sort of game, though. I do agree that it seems to cost a bit more than some (or many) would think this type of game would be worth.

WarioFan63

#16

WarioFan63 said:

This is being called the "Farewell Edition" since the Wii-kly Update is getting a name change to "Nintendo Download" next week to blanket the DSiWare games in there.

Ren

#17

Ren said:

I think this Barber has potential to be really fun, but it's a huge gamble at 1000 points. Should have been at least 800 to play it safe since it's an odd concept. It'll be a shame if it's a fun novelty that doesn't sell because they priced it too high.

Ricardo91

#19

Ricardo91 said:

Seriously!? This is a real, full game!? This looks like a microgame from Warioware! :|

Unless there's an option to boil the veggies and cut them into stew, I'll kindly pass.

WarioFan63

#21

WarioFan63 said:

I think the promo video for Bonsai Barber makes it cooler then you think it would be. I shouldn't really be spending any money when I'm unemployed but I'm so tempted....

CorbsAdmin

#22

Corbs said:

Well I just downloaded Bonsai Barber. I can't wait to give it a go. Looks like loads and loads of never-ending fun! :P

WOW! This game uses 29 blocks to save. I've never had to clear out a game to make room for a save file before.

Wiiloveit

#24

Wiiloveit said:

@longtimegamer: KS8 knows e v e r y t h i n g !

Wow - I can't wait to give this a try! I mean, come on - a plant barber? I'm highly anticipating the UK release.

And no, that wasn't all sarcasm.

@Damien Mcfarren: NO! You've always had the same avatar as long as I remember - why did you go and change it?! Let's just hope this doesn't catch on...

-TR

#26

-TR said:

Heh, never thought fo thsi as the last-ever WiiWare/VC Only Update.

DSi FTW! I'm getting mine on Friday!

CorbsAdmin

#27

Corbs said:

I did download the game and if you like trimming plants with barber tools, you're going to be head over heels for Bonsai Barber. Matthew will be reviewing the game and I'm sure he'll have plenty to say on the subject.

I think I'll change my avatar as well. :P

CorbsAdmin

#29

Corbs said:

Well everyone knows that after shooters, my favorite genre of game is the plant trimmers. :P

odd69

#32

odd69 said:

whats next doing wii nails? or giving your mii a bath? or how about flushing the toliet with motion controls?

WarioFan63

#35

WarioFan63 said:

Oh sure none of those sound fun when you simplify it like that. A lot of people I know still don't want to give Katamari a chance because "what could possibly be fun about rolling stuff up?" And look how well those turned out.

I'm just hoping this game doesn't get some sort of "Everybody avoid this, there is no fun in here. We looked, there were no survivors." summary. I'm really pulling for at least a "Yeah whatever, its alright."

odd69

#37

odd69 said:

i was actually being serious. well i love noby noby boy(ps3) so mabey i should enjoy games like this,but noby noby just has more to it than cutting veggie hair.

WarioFan63

#38

WarioFan63 said:

Hmmm, I'm pretty bad at reviewing myself but you could probably beat Katamari in a weekend or less if all you do is just play it normally. But thats where the replay value kicks in! Its fun to try and go back and beat your previous "score" and at the same time trying to impress your father. As you'd expect from something like this there is a lot of junk to find like other playable characters or presents to decorate yourself with, most of which, by the way, look different on each of the playable characters.

Theres no way that half-excuse for a blurb can do the game justice though.

Link79

#39

Link79 said:

I just know this Is going to suck sooo bad. When I first heard about this game I immediately thought of the Karate kid. The scene when daniel and mister Miyagi were trimming the Bonsai trees popped right in my mind. This concept can't possibly translate well to a videogame. Sounds like the guy involved with Goldeneye has lowered his standards to be making crap like what this will surely be. If I'm wrong I'll be pretty shocked.

WarioFan63

#40

WarioFan63 said:

Ah Noby Noby Boy. The novelty of being able to eat your own butt will never wear off.

CorbsAdmin

#41

Corbs said:

Sure I'll probably buy Gardening Mama. And I'd be all over a Toilet Cleaning sim. Now that's hardcore gaming right there. Can you imagine playing a toilet sim while actually being on the toilet? It baffles the mind. :P

In truth I'm wondering why no developer has come up with a Wii Knitting or Wii Shuffle Board game yet? Bring in the older crowd. :D

odd69

#42

odd69 said:

LOL noby is just plain funny. to bad its exclusive because i think nintendo fans would like this game and would fit in with wiiware games

odd69

#44

odd69 said:

@ longtimegamer: just watch a video of noby noby boy, you'll understand. this is off topic but why doesnt wiiware world have a forum? wouldnt that be cool? or is there one already?

KnucklesSonic8

#46

KnucklesSonic8 said:

@Corbie: Actually, there was a Wii knitting kit a while back.
And if you're so anxious, you can get your toilet fixes in Pit Crew Panic I imagine. :P

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#47

Philip_J_Reed said:

@Corbie:
"In truth I'm wondering why no developer has come up with a Wii Knitting or Wii Shuffle Board game yet?"

The creatively named Game Party has shuffleboard! Your prayers have been answered!

KeeperBvK

#49

KeeperBvK said:

I'm dying to see some video footage of this. It sounds promising despite (or rather because of) its quirkiness.

CorbsAdmin

#50

Corbs said:

The creatively named Game Party has shuffleboard! Your prayers have been answered!

I can die a happy man now. It can't get any better than this! :D

IAmNotWill

#52

IAmNotWill said:

Pretty good week. Don't know what to expect from Bonsai Barber, but atleast we got Super Punch Out!!

CorbsAdmin

#54

Corbs said:

How much play time do you think you might get out of this daily, judging by whatvyou played?

It only takes a few minutes to clip all 5 plants for each day, so not much. You can then practice on a flower pot that will re-grow how ever many times you want to practice on it.

And Matthew (Evasive Space) is reviewing Bonsai Barber. Matthew and I are currently not on speaking terms since he beat me to the Legendary Starfy review on NintendoLife. :D

WarioFan63

#55

WarioFan63 said:

Judging by the Operations Manual it sounds like they packed it with a lot more rewards or collectibles or whatever then you'd expect from a game like this. Awards? Gifts? Photographs? Newspaper Clippings? Wow!

longtimegamer

#56

longtimegamer said:

@Corbie - Thanks. I hope it's decent in the longrun. I know you get extra things and such. Wish it didn't have such short playtime ( 5 haircuts each day.)

CorbsAdmin

#57

Corbs said:

Yes, it's like Wariofan63 stated. There are plenty of collectibles to get and other things you can do besides just clipping the actual plants.

KDR_11k

#58

KDR_11k said:

Hm, with a game that imposes a daily limit, won't it be hard to get a review out fast?

CorbsAdmin

#60

Corbs said:

Hm, with a game that imposes a daily limit, won't it be hard to get a review out fast?

We'll have a review out in 3-4 months. Keep checking back. :P

timp29

#61

timp29 said:

Sounds like this game is aimed at the female market or the closet homosexual future hairdresser market. What was that adam sandler movie...

Anyway, Wii Janitor would be the ultimate game, with sub games involving the ever popular toilet cleaning, floor mopping and toilet roll and hand towel replacing mission. Actually if such a game was made, it would probably have some level of success from joke gifting to people.

Objection

#64

Objection said:

Somebody was joking about a toilet sim? That's more of a DSi game huh? Anyway, I hope this game is weirdly cool (like Katamri and Captain Rainbow) and not just weirdly stupid.

CorbsAdmin

#66

Corbs said:

well, i took the uncertain plunge and downloaded Bonsai Barber. my thoughts on it are as

Awesome! A fill-in-the-blanks review! Who wants to start? :D

ATRUEZELDAFAN

#67

ATRUEZELDAFAN said:

ummmmm. I think i will pass on this one unless it gets like an 8 or better and there is something i am missing.

Twilight_Crow

#68

Twilight_Crow said:

So goodbye wiikly updates, I really don't care about Dsiware so, whatever, still I will get a Dsi someday.
Well, BB is definitely not for me, but that's fine I got myself some wiipoints and I'll finally DL Bit.trip Beat, :) yay for me.

A toilet game.... LOL :D

Crazed

#69

Crazed said:

I'm certainly not going to buy this game, no matter what the review says. Pardon my arrogance, but their is one main thing keeping me away from this game. BB has no audience in America, since even the garden lovers in America would be more intrested in My Aquarium (since you can arrange the flora in your tank) than this.

I know this is not so in Europe, where many people there (especially in England) are die-hard gardening nuts, and would probably love this game (and I'm not being sarcastic.) My official opinion of the game is this; I don't think this game will crack the top 20, but I won't be surprised if I see this on the European charts.

Oh, and for Crazynoodle, they said on their blog that a "special treat" is going to appear on their blog next week. It could very well be a release date, but it might be about something else as well.

bboy2970

#70

bboy2970 said:

well, i took the uncertain plunge and downloaded Bonsai Barber. My thoughts on it are as follows: BB is not as bad as you might think it is. Even i was guilty of pre-judging the game after seeing its reveal a few days ago. After seeing the video for it on the nintendo channel, i changed my mind. Basically the gameplay in BB consists of giving haircuts to various plants and vegetables based on their specifications(i promise its better than how this description sounds). You are judged on your haircut based on how closely you followed the outline of what the plant wants. Your tools consist of scissors, buzz cutters, a spray bottle, a paintbrush, and a gong. the scissors are the main tool and do what you would think, you point at the screen and press a or b to snip. They're a little more complex than that though, some of the hairstyles get a little intricut so the scissors would require some twisting and turning, the turning action of the wrist translates surprisingly well and precisely on screen and are comfortable to use. The buzz cutters have all the same controls as the scissors except they only cut away leaves, not branches. The spray bottle comes in when you make a bad mistake cutting up the leaves and twigs. You point and spray it on a spot to grow the leaves and twigs back that were cut off. The paintbrush does nothing condusive to the game or getting a high rank. All it does is allow you to color the leaves however you want. While pointles, it is also fun. The gong is the tool you use when you want to finish the haircut. The games graphics are okay, nothing amazing but it is clean and well done. The music is not bad and goes with the theme. Take the gameplay and add it into an achievements-esque system, the ability to take photos of your work, and a good amount of unlockable gifts, and you have an enjoyably wierd game that in my opinion is worth the 10 dollars it costs. I believe this game deserves a 7-8/10

bboy2970

#71

bboy2970 said:

@ corbie:
whoops! didnt mean to post that small snipit! my full thoughts on BB are posted above.

Crazed

#72

Crazed said:

@bboy2970- Hmm, maybe I was too harsh on BB. I'll keep my current opinion, but I'm glad to see that some people like it. As much as I may not like a game, I never want any game to fail (and when I mean by fail, I mean that the game is an absolute bomb and it ruins the company that made it.) So it's good to see that it attracts some people.

bboy2970

#74

bboy2970 said:

@crazed:
well everyone is entitled to their opinion. I hope that wiiware world scores this game at least a 7 because honestly, going on screenshots and game description, BB sounds pretty terrible and people who share your viewpoint will never take the gamble on buying it.

Starwolf_UK

#76

Starwolf_UK said:

What this "Good Bye Wii-kly update " thiny?
The name of the Press release telling poeple what VC and WiiWare was out this week was called Wii-kly update. With the introduction on the DSi Nintendo of America decided to rename the whole thing Nintendo Download (since it'll also tell us what DSiWare is out)

Crazed

#77

Crazed said:

@bboy2970- I do hope that this game is given good reviews as well, and I'm glad you respect my opinion, as I do yours. Also, as I've said before (on the game's forum), I would love to be wrong. At the time, I called it highly unlikely, but it makes me happy when a game like BB ends up being successful when I say otherwise. Probably because I'm a sucker for an underdog.

@Bahamut ZERO- I'm confused as well. Is this a scenario similar to "I'm on Setanta Sports" just changing its name to "Special One TV" and nothing else changing except the name?

Edit- Thanks for the info, Starwolf_UK.

nintendan

#78

nintendan said:

any game that allows sending pics to the wii menu, i buy. ill DL this tonight. i'll probably give it an hour, tops. but my 5 year old daughter will get the most out of it. this game looks to weird to pass up.

bboy2970

#79

bboy2970 said:

I noticed that nintendo was the publisher of BB. Does that mean that they had a hand in its developement? Because that might explain why it doesnt completely suck.........

WarioFan63

#80

WarioFan63 said:

The Operations Guide does give credit to Nintendo crew members, like Iwata, so I imagine they did more then just greenlight the title.

longtimegamer

#81

longtimegamer said:

I hope this is better than HSH. I'd like creativity and style to count for something in this, because HSH didn't seem to have that to me.

Edit:Nintendo published this? What exactly is the duty of a videogame publisher?

longtimegamer

#83

longtimegamer said:

@KnucklesSonic8 - Yea... Might get this sometime myself. Haven't decide to do it yet. I keep checking back here for more info on it.

So to anybody who's played this, I take it that these characters actualy talk? It doesn't just have the dialogue written?

bboy2970

#85

bboy2970 said:

@longtimegamer:
You would be correct about the characters all talking. There is unfortunately no voice acting to be found, just dialogue boxes. It's not too bad though, they dont talk that much, would be nice though................

KnucklesSonic8

#86

KnucklesSonic8 said:

So how well are the achievements incorporated?
Do you think there's enough on display to make it worth 1,000 Points or would you have thought it better to be priced at say 800 or even 500 Points?

Is this a game like My Aquarium where you play a bit each day? If so, have you tried MA? Do you think it's better value/more substantial than MA?

AbbyVampire

#87

AbbyVampire said:

@18. Chicken Brutus: Sorry for late reply.

Anywayz: The DSiWare Launch lineup is NOT confirmed. IGN updated their article to say that they were'nt launch titles.

Not to mention its not on any of Nintendo's Official websites. :P If its not on any of their websites (Nintendo.com or nintendodsi.com or press.nintendo.com) then the titles are'nt confirmed.

nintendan

#88

nintendan said:

just DL the game, and played through the first day (5 customers). its actually better than i thought. its great for relaxing. which is exactlty what i needed after this dude disconnected from our PES 2009 match (i was winning 6-2 thirty minutes in).

anyway the game is very well done. the controls work great. working through 5 customers only takes about 10-30 minutes depending on how quickly (or OCD) you play through. but you do get a practice vegetable to play with after you finished the first day. music is alright; doesn't get annoying at all. no voice for the vegetables but that doesn't really matter nor did i expect.

it is definitely one of the more original titles i have ever played. something you will only find on a nintendo system. the replay value will be high from what i expect. five new customers everyday. if you miss an appointment, the vegetables will send you a complaint to your wii message board.

i would rate higher if it were cheaper, say 800 points. 7/10

bboy2970

#89

bboy2970 said:

@KnucklesSonic8:
wow, so many questions! i'll try my best to answer them. Obviously even having bought the game, i am not all to educated on the entire achievements system having only given the 5 haircut limit for today. From what i could see, there is a good amount of achievements for various things such as different photograph awards or totally random things that you can do during a haircut. for example, some of the plants have apples attached. You can knock the apples back and forth with the scissors and if you hot the apple 5 times a rainbow appears, if you take a picture of the finished cut you will get an achievement for taking a pic with a rainbow in it. All in all the achievements seem to be well done. I do think there is enough content and enjoyability in BB to be worth 1000 points. obviously a lower price point like 800 or 500 points would always be preferable but again, 1000 points isn't too ridiculous. As for the My Aquarium questions, yes, i have purchased MA some time ago. BB is absolutely more enjoyable to me than MA. even at half the price, i would probably chose BB over MA any day. BB is similar to MA in that you only can give 5 cuts a day and then you're basically done until the next day. That is however where the similarities end. I believe there is more to do in BB while in MA, you set up your tank and thats pretty much it. To sum up, BB has well incorporated achievements, it's worth 1000 points, and it trumps MA. Hope this helps!

bengyenah

#90

bengyenah said:

So where is our official review already? We value your opinions, so please hurry! Thanks to bboy for his help.

bboy2970

#91

bboy2970 said:

@nintendan:
Great to here someone else has given this enjoyable little title a chance. Hopefully more people will buy it and kick it into the top 20! It really is the kind of title that you just have to let go and trust that it won't suck.

bengyenah

#93

bengyenah said:

I took the gamble and dl'd this game. It is really fun and worth the $10 and I only have played for 20 minutes or so. Strangely addictive, it is basically cutting the hair of the root vegetables from Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA). Cutesy, funny, tongue-in-cheek and altogether what Nintendo does best.

KnucklesSonic8

#100

KnucklesSonic8 said:

@longtimegamer: How dare you question Professor Layton, famous detective! :P I almost said inventor for a sec. Ha ha.

I'm glad to hear many of you are enjoying this game. I may end up picking this up after all but not anytime soon as I'm tight on points and with the DSi's release coming in a couple days, I need all the points I can get. lol.

bboy2970

#102

bboy2970 said:

YIKES!! I just served my 5 customers for today and spent 1 hour and 10 minutes getting 5 stars on all of them. Those hairstyles get pretty hard. I'm a little scared to know what is waiting for me tomorrow.......I did get a new award for all my 5 star cuts though!

WolfRamHeart

#105

WolfRamHeart said:

Wow, there are quite a few people commenting on this game! I'm surprised that this game is getting so much attention. I too am eagerly awaiting the forthcoming review but seeing that IGN gave it an 8 is making me want to get this game. Thanks to those who bought it already and posted their impressions! I wouldn't have given this game another look if I didn't see the interesting trailer on the Nintendo Channel. I hope it turns out to be as good as everyone says!

Flaviohmg

#108

Flaviohmg said:

I downloaded today and just loved! Another WiiWare game that i'm addictive (HV Rod Road and Onslaught too).

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