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First Impressions: WarioWare DIY, FlingSmash and Photo Dojo

Posted by James Newton

Hands-on with three very different titles

You've already heard what we thought of Metroid: Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Sin and Punishment 2, and we got to play Monster Hunter 3 a few weeks ago, but there's still plenty to tell about the other titles available to play throughout the summit.

One title we made a beeline for was WarioWare: Do It Yourself, the upcoming retail DS title that allows you to create your own bizarre minigames. Showcased on the DSi XL (did we mention it’s huge? Oh, we did), there’s a surprising amount of depth to the minigame creation tools, letting you draw, animate, record sounds and set the win conditions, giving you a pretty broad range of possible games. We saw some user creations including ladybird-poking, bird-scattering and nose-rocketing, so there’s clearly plenty of room for imaginative new games. We didn’t get chance to create our own game as the process is too long for such a setting, but there’s a very in-depth tutorial that introduces the game’s tools to you.

By now you’ve probably read that accompanying the DS game will be a WiiWare download that lets you share and rate your games online. Called the Do It Yourself Showcase, the WiiWare programme connects with the DS to allow uploads and downloads of minigames direct to other users: there’s no Nintendo-controlled central hub here, just peer-to-peer game sharing, which should be great and completely unruly. We asked about the pricing of Showcase and were told it is currently undecided, but we do know that there. We’d hope that WarioWare: DIY will come with a download token for the Showcase, but time will tell on that one.

After the mental minigames we moved across to FlingSmash, a side-scrolling platformer that uses MotionPlus to give total control over your character. Combining classic titles such as Wizball with pinball, you swing the Remote to aim your ball into blocks along the levels, collecting medals, cherries, gold stars and all the usual platforming paraphernalia. It handles very smoothly and you do feel in control of your bouncy ball, with a full range of movement available and some nice physics on the ball itself. In its first stages it feels very simplistic however, and it’ll be interesting to see how the difficulty ramps up to justify this one being a retail disc release – at the moment it’s not too far in advance of some of the titles we’ve seen on WiiWare.

Back to the handheld space, we spent a decent length of time with Photo Dojo, a new one-on-one fighting game for DSiWare that puts you into the combat. When starting you create a new fighter and have to take photos of yourself pulling off the moves – uppercuts, kicks, jumps, the whole lot. You can also record sound effects to shout out during certain moves and taunts, meaning you have almost total control over your fighter in-game. In all honesty, the creation of your fighter is much more fun than the game itself, with thirteen funny poses to pull off; it's even funnier for the person snapping away, of course.

We set about putting the Bald Bouncer (our very own Dazza!) against the Spanish Ogre, with two players sharing the DS – one uses L to attack and the D-Pad to move, the other uses R to fight and the buttons to manoeuvre. Playing on the DSi XL was very comfortable and gave us plenty of space, but it’s easy to see that playing this on a regular DSi might leave things a little cramped. The game itself isn’t enormously skillful – there are special moves but they’re tricky to pull off, so it’s mainly just a kicking contest, but it is chaotic fun and reminiscent of the classic Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots for the 21st Century. We certainly had a great time kicking virtual lumps out of Pandora, one of Nintendo's lovely reps, as well as each other, and just as much fun taking pictures and recording phrases to breathe life into the onscreen action. Photo Dojo is an interesting proposition and could be great social fun when it’s released this Spring.

Lastly, but by no means least, we got to sit down with Monster Hunter 3, played as a four-player local game, although Nintendo confirmed there will be no local support in the finished game. There will be free online play for all, but the bad news is that the online mode is region-locked, meaning European and North American gamers cannot hunt together, a real shame considering its sizable potential. That was the only real fly in the Monster Hunter ointment though, the game easily deserving its reputation as one of the Wii's greatest graphical showcases, a performance it matched with some outstanding audio too: beneath each seat was a booming subwoofer than shook when the enormous beasts roared.

Our reactions to the game were very different - whilst Dazza was put off by the lack of introduction by the staff, our resident Monster Hunter expert James quickly set to work taking down the Rathian. In the right hands the game is very impressive, with each player taking different roles for the good of the team: we fought against the underwater boss Lagicrus, with one team member playing Shock Traps whilst the other acted as a decoy to draw the monster's attention. Wii Speak is obviously going to be important for serious players, but even without the microphone you can communicate using simple customisable phrases.

We enquired about the release of a demo disc in Europe and were told the decision had not been made yet, so it remains to be seen if the demo will make it out of North America, although the Wii Speak and Classic Controller Pro bundles will be available in Europe. It may not be to everyone's liking, but if you're after the Wii's first must-have online game in years and are up to a serious challenge, Monster Hunter 3 could well be the game for you. If you haven't already done so, you can check out our Monster Hunter 3 first impressions from a few weeks ago.

If you've missed any of our European Media Summit 2010 coverage, be sure to check out our round-up of the day as well as previews of Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: Other M and Sin and Punishment 2.

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User Comments (20)



Corbs said:

I love the Wario Ware games so D.I.Y. is definitely one I'm looking forward to personally.



JayArr said:

D.I.Y is going to be killer, I can't wait to make insane games and try out others' as well.

Fling Smash looks pretty promosing as well. I'll keep an eye on that one.



zezhyrule said:

I like the idea of WarioWare DIY(and like Corbie, I love the games), but there are so many other games coming out this year that I can't get this title yet. Maybe if it ever goes down in price, then I'll get it.



Namo said:

So, is MotionPlus absolutely needed for FlingSmash?

Photo Dojo seems interesting to say the least, and I'm not sure how I feel about WarioWare DIY. Lets hope there's some censorship from nintendo. Don't want any phallus games do we?



James said:

@Namo - The fact sheet says it's required.

Interesting side-fact - it's being developed by Artoon.



Dazza said:

FlingSmash was actually quite good fun and made good use of the increased accuracy of MotionPlus. If it's priced sensibly as a budget title I would be quite happy to buy this. It kind of felt like a Kirby title in some ways.

It was really hard to get a feeling for WarioWare DIY as it would take time to get used to using the editor to create your own WarioWare levels. What I saw of this seemed pretty powerful though. Sharing your creations with the world is a great idea, this could be a massive hit for Nintendo.

Photo Dojo is as shallow as a puddle, but creating the 13 frames of movement and recording your own voice for the special moves, etc was hilarious. It's pretty social playing the game too because you have to sit so close to your opponent, one player using d-pad and the other the 4 buttons on the right. It's certainly a laugh, even though there didn't appear to be much depth to the proceedings.

Last but not least, Monster Hunter Tri. I was a little perplexed by what to do initially, the Nintendo rep who sat me down to play didn't hang around to give me any much-needed pointers to get me started (unlike other games where we were given a lot more one-to-one help). The controls seemed a bit awkward and it took some time to figure out what all the actions were and how to use items, etc. Once it all clicked into place I was happily slaying dinos with my fellow players. I have to say I came away feeling a bit indifferent about this one, but admittedly it’s not really the sort of game I’m into generally.



Donatello said:

WarioWare DIYand FlingSmash please
And I don't have the DSi, just the DSLite...So that Dsi game Photo Dojo is out of the question. And is it just me, or am I the only one here who just doesn't really give a damn about DSiWare?



Namo said:

@9 so far the only thing on DSiWare I really want is the port of the original Rayman.



irken004 said:

Photo Dojo and Monster Hunter 3 for me

Too bad about the separate region zones for MH3



Raylax said:

Monster Hunter 3 and WarioWare: DIY are the big ones on my list here. Can't wait to make some microgames. Maybe it'll get me back into making actual games again, too.



Xkhaoz said:

What? no X-scape, or Metal Torrent? Well, at least you did Photo Dojo.



Token_Girl said:

I don't see why they need to sell a WW title just to access WarioWare's online content. Seems like needless DLC for what could have been accessed just over the DSi's Wifi connection. If it comes as a free download with the game, that's cool, but if you need it to access the online and you have to pay for it, that's just a rip-off.



Dazza said:

@Token Girl Nintendo's staff couldn't confirm if WarioWare Showcase was a free WiiWare download or not. I guess that decision hasn't been made yet. I agree, if you buy the cart then the download should be complementary.



bboy2970 said:

@Token Girl and Dazza: Well I heard there actually is some kind of Warioware game built in the WiiWare version that has microgames completely seperate from the DS version. If you look at it that way, I think it's fair if they make us pay like 10 bucks.



Ark said:

The game is 800 points in Japan so you've got to assume they'll charge for it (hopefully with a similar price tag) in Europe/Australia/North America as well.



Meffaliss said:

i have been wait for DIY for such a loooong time now... Please Nintendo, please release it soooooon here... I NEED TO MAKE MICROGAMES GAH HA HA!

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