News Article

Exclusive: Shin'en Multimedia Bringing Art of Balance to the Wii U eShop

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Including a host of brand new features

Earlier this week Shin'en Multimedia teased a reveal for a new Wii U game, one beyond the already highly-anticipated FAST Racing NEO, and we're delighted to exclusively confirm that this Wii U eShop title is Art of Balance.

This is a series that has already been popular on the WiiWare service and as an expanded release on the 3DS. This new entry has all of the levels that have come before, but has been overhauled with an extensive range of new game modes:

  • Off-TV play, as well as multiple control schemes supporting analogue, touch screen and Wii Remote options.
  • Multiple online and local multiplayer modes that incorporate either competitive or co-operative play. Up to five players can take part in the various modes at once — one on GamePad, four on Wii Remotes — while up to 10 people can play across two Wii U systems in online matches.
  • Online Leaderboards are included.
  • HD visuals that incorporate all new graphics, designs and locations.
  • More accurate physics that are processed at 240 frames-per-second (on 3DS the equivalent was often 30 frames-per-second.

Shin'en Multimedia is currently aiming to release this title during Q2 (April to June). Be sure to check back later today for a full interview with the developer in which the various modes, particularly the local and online multiplayer, will be explained in full detail.

Have you enjoyed the Art of Balance titles on WiiWare and 3DS, and are you looking forward to the new version on the Wii U eShop? Let us know in the comments below.

From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (75)



SuperCharlie78 said:

"This new entry has all of the levels that have come before"

What about some new levels next time?



DarkCoolEdge said:


I have it for 3DS and I like it but some puzzles are nearly impossible thanks to its physics.



6ch6ris6 said:

what a disappointment. porting a game for the second time in recent years. i was hoping for something new



alLabouTandroiD said:

The multiplayer modes sound interesting but it'd have to be quite cheap to make me interested in buying my third version of that game.
Also: Kudos for leaving Wii Remote controls in there. If i ever get that game on the Wii U i'll definitely try it that way first.



Spoony_Tech said:

Not enough to make me double dip! Good title but not great. Wish it was a new reveal.



ToniK said:

Well okay. I have it on 3DS and it's great if not challenging to the point it almost gets unfair.



element187 said:

Physics being calculated at 240fps, intrigued.

Knowing Shin'en, this game will look beautiful and run at a flawless 60fps.



Shiryu said:

Ah, I was hoping it was an all new shmup in the Nano series. But this is also neat, so power to them!



ricklongo said:

Never played it before, but it doesn't really seem like the kind of game I'd like too much, especially on the Wii U (it looks more like a handheld experience).



uximal said:

I love this series, would love to get this version....I hope I will own a WiiU by then.



Emblem said:

I'll likley double dip for the local co-op, though I'm more intrested in the racer.



Goginho said:

I love the 3DS game. Still haven't completed all the challenges though, but it's a nice relaxing little game I whip out every once in a while (although it can go from relaxing to frustrating pretty quickly lol)
This is a nice addition to the Wii U, and it's bound to look amazing with the crisp HD visuals.



TruenoGT said:

I passed on the original two, but really enjoyed the WiiWare demo, so I may finally bite this time. The multiplayer sounds like it could be crazy. Looking forward to the interview!



Kolzig said:

Good game, but not that interesting to me. I'm more waiting for their "Wipeout" game Fast Racing Neo which looks to be quite nice one.



WiiLovePeace said:

I enjoyed but never finished either the WiiWare or 3DS ones. Online multiplayer greatly intrigues me, I'm quite excited for that feature haha. Sounds fun!



Einherjar said:

Funny to see all these complaints. If its a one off game = we want sequels, if its a series = we dont want more games.
Since its stated that it uses a completely different physics engine, even old puzzles will play considerably different.
It is as if you say "i wont buy another Tetris game, ive got the gameboy one, i wont double dip"
I will definitly get this day one and i bet my GF will be excited too



Pod said:

I never got to play this on the Wii, so this just might be the best reason yet to pick it up.



thehappyjack said:

Just nitpicking, but is it really 240 'frames-per-second' for physics processing, when the graphical 'frame' hasn't actually updated?



Pod said:

That's how it's usually described, as the physics are calculated forwards based on what went on in the last frame, even if this frame wasn't sent to the renderer. Don't know if this explains it.



rjejr said:

@Einherjar - I'ld agree w/ you whole heartedly, IF it were a sequel, but it's not, its a port, new physics engine or not it's still just a pretty port. And everybody expected a new game from the tease. If there were no tease it would have been received better. Kind of like the DKCTF unveil, good game, but everybody wanted a different one. Every kid growing up wants a new toy for Christmas, but if you get the same toy 2 years in a row, you are going to be disappointed the 2nd time.

Is there a gameplay video somewhere? The photo looks real nice but hard to tell if that's what the game looks like or it's just promotional. I'ld consider getting it if it was photorealistic like that - we never got the first 2.



MikeLove said:

Really? All these guys do is just re-release/remake/tweak the same game over and over again.



Kifa said:

Next thing we know Fast Racing Neo is a HD-upgraded direct port of Fast from Wii Ware, only sold at twice the price. Seriously Shin'En, all that teasing, secrecy and we get THIS?! And you needed to write a new engine for it (bragged about that a few times as I recall)? Fantastic, another thing off my "to buy list" (I have AoB on Wii, and can buy Fast there as well)...

@thehappyjack - in almost every game physics are calculated at a greater rate than graphics. It's a matter of precision - you can't accurately track quickly moving objects at only 30 samples a second. You need at least 60, and 120 is preferable. Most engines use even greater resolution, so 240 is not an unheard of number. Bottom line - it will only reduce the jitter in collisions and hopefully elliminate spontaneous object flinching.



Ducutzu said:

I finished the 3DS game and it was a wonderful experience. One of the best eShop games, for me. I also played some of it together with my girlfriend, taking turns on my 3DS, and it was a blast.

I'm very happy to hear about the Wii U version. This will be fun to play with my girlfriend.



sinalefa said:


If I bought Tetris a year or so ago, I won't double dip. It is like buying Street Fighter IV, then Super, then Arcade Edition and looking forward to fourth dip with Ultra SFIV.

Not enough sequels/tweaks or too many are both bad. I guess it is a matter of well, balance.



thehappyjack said:

I was just wondering why it was called 'frames' per second, rather than samples or whatever else you may call it. Hopefully the NEO in the FAST title means that it's a proper new game, I'm really looking forward to it.



Einherjar said:

@rjejr The thing is, we are not talking about a full price title here. This is a cheap eShop game on a console, where it is not yet present.
In a physics puzzler, the engine used IS a big deal and very well a game changer. Lets say capcom would announce that they would rerelease Monster Hunter 3U, but this time with an auto target battle system. A change couldnt be smaller, but it would turn the game completely on its head.

@thehappyjack A "Frame" is the update of the game in a second. 30fps (30 frames per second) would mean, that the game screen is refreshed 30 times per second. So, the 3DS version would calculate physics 30 times per second while this game will do it 240 times, making it much much more precise. An in game second can be a lot of time, even though it doesnt seem to be that much. If any action, like a colission etc would happen in between these calculation frames, the engine would give out results like jittering tiles etc. Having a more frequent update, these issues are eliminated.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

Not the most exciting announcement, but great nonetheless. I never got around to buying the 3DS one, so maybe I'll pick up this version instead.



thehappyjack said:

@Einherjar Thanks. I understood the concept, I just didn't realise that the individual calculations were still referred to as 'frames', as I thought a frame was an individual rendered image.



DreamOn said:

This is The version to get if u got none so far sounds like. Still savoring the 3DS release but being a Nintendo fan I'm certainly no stranger to double dipping oh me oh my!



Eldoon said:

This is exactly what I've wanted and I'm so glad it's actually happening. Hopefully if this does well enough, a sequel or downloadable content will be in order.

Why I loved Art of Balance on 3DS is because of the fantastic music. With a new, ambient song to accompany you in each new world really showed where their hearts were with the game, and it was only $7. $7 got you just about 200 levels.

What I also loved was the loose/forgiving fail-state. If your perilously stacked tower of terror is wibbling and wobbling and in the midst of falling down, you can still win as long as the countdown hits three and none of it hits the water. I've gotten a "Level Cleared!" with my pieces barely an inch away from the surface. It's hilarious and satisfying and makes me wish Miiverse existed then so I could screencap that stuff.

Now that I think about it, a level creator would be friggin' amazing and would provide everlasting replay value.



MadAdam81 said:

@thehappyjack frame is supposed to mean still frame, but it is such a commonly used term that it has started to spread to other non-graphical terms.



Zyph said:

@JohnRedcorn In their defense those "games" are always pretty darn good if not good great. That's where Shinen is very good at and I don't see anything wrong with it. IMO they also make the most visually stunning games even in the Wii/DS era. You can almost compare this game's (Wii U ver.) graphics and Nano Assault NEO to next-gen visuals and I'm pretty sure FRL NEO is as well.



MadAdam81 said:

@Einherjar While the physics engine is more advanced, it's not going to play any differently, it's just going to be smoother.
I don't know of anyone who has bought more than one version of Tetris, and except for those who really enjoyed it and are looking forward to replying it with new modes and multiplayer, not many people will buy it again.
Of course, just because they don't specifically say there are no new levels doesn't necessarily mean that's the case.



ScorpionMG said:

" while up to 10 people can play across two Wii U systems in online matches "
Now that is insane, looks like shinen has mastered the wii u's full power
I'll give this a try as i only downloaded the demo of art arcademy on my wii.



Zach777 said:

Dearest Shinen- if you were to update Jett Rocket that was on WiiWare and make it Hd for the Wii U eShop, I'd buy it. Just saying.



CaPPa said:

I called it that it'd be AOB, it just made sense for it to be an 'easier' port given all the work that's going on for FRN.

I didn't get the WiiWare or 3DS versions but I enjoyed the demo so I think that I'll pick it up on the Wii U.



Ryno said:

Looks nice, though I already have plenty of puzzle games I never play.



the_beaver said:

I'll probably give it a shot, as I've never played any other version before. Don't know if this is my type of game, though.
Anyway, I'm really exited about the racing game they are developing. Hope they will show us some footage soon, now this other project has been announced!



james_squared said:

It was a great game on the Wii and I hope it'll be fantastic on the Wii U. I will definitely pick this one up.



Platypus101 said:

@JohnRedcorn not true... Only 3 games like that from their catalog. also, they make games exclusively for nintendo, we ought to support them (as long as it's not double dipping... ) not like many folk are nintendo friendly these days



andreoni79 said:

Never played before, so I'll give it a chance. But I understand the disappointment of those who have other versions. However local competitive multiplayer sounds good: 5 people screaming and hitting each other for such a Zen game...



lewizardmecha said:

I played this game first on 3DS and thinking of getting the Wii U version for the online play. I'm proud to say that I completed the game 100%!



cusman said:

Art of Balance sounds good. As long as it is $10 or so, I will get it.



creepingdeth21 said:

Hey! I'm pleasantly surprised! I love this game on the 3DS and having those extra features makes me want to love it even more! A definite buy for me!



eichs22 said:

240 fps physics??? Whoah...
I...I think that's gonna make it feel like I'm peeking through a window at real life balancing as opposed to looking at tv screen.



Tony_342 said:

Called it! I knew it was going to be Art of Balance, and I'm very happy with this. I've had "Art of Balance HD" on my own personal wishlist for months now. Those screenshots look absolutely gorgeous. I'm pleased to hear that it includes both touchscreen and Wii remote controls, and local multi-player should be fun.

I would like to point out that, "Ugh, another remake" isn't really a fair thing to say. Art of Balance Touch! on 3DS included all the puzzles from the WiiWare original, plus an entire game's worth of new puzzles - it doubled the content of the original, essentially making it more like a sequel than a remake. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the new physics engine makes this game feel.

Also, I completely agree with @Zach777.



JaxonH said:

Personally, since I have never played this game, I couldn't me more thrilled about it. But for those who are disappointed, do keep in mind this is on top of a new game. This is in addition to Fast Neo. So they are bringing a new game, and a little something extra on the side. Compile that on top of the already excellent Nano Assault Neo, and we have quite the compilation of digital Wii U gems from this company, and still many more years for them to bring even more.



larry_koopa said:

I've had a lot of fun with this on my 3DS XL, so I don't really feel the need to double-dip. Still, I bet it's sure going to look nice in HD.



ThreadShadow said:

I desperately want an AR mode for the 3DS version or a sequel. Is Wii U capable of doing AR? It has no forward facing camera on the Gamepad.



element187 said:

@6ch6ris6 uhh so more games are disappointing ?? Crazy.

See this being a port, almost all of the dev work is done, all they have to do is port it and optimize it. I say good for them to get more games out there. Creating a totally new title takes time, so why not port a game on the side to get more releases out there while waiting for their main game, Fast Neo Racinng?



Einherjar said:

@MadAdam81 Then explain the success of pretty much any major franchise at the moment: Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Battlefield and who knows what else. Its basicly the same deal: Its the same gameplay, over ad over and over again, just with new visuals. And dont argue that the story is new, especially call of dutys story is written by a 5 year old... But whatever.

@thehappyjack Its basicly both. In the debate about "30 vs. 60 fps" people are mosty referring to the refresh rate of the screen, giving out a smoother picture with double the amount of rendered "frames" per second while fighting game players mostly refer to the amount of time you are able to input a command. With 60fps compared to 30, the game has twice the amount of time to register a button press. Thats why capcom was so keen about getting their games to run on 60fps almost all the time. That was also the reason why people made such a big hassle about the fact, that the recent (crappy) Devil May Cry didnt run on capcoms self made MT Frameworks engine, but on the Unreal Engine 3. The UE3 was known to only being able to achieve 30fps tops on consoles.



MadAdam81 said:

@Einherjar Each yearly installment of those games have new levels (even if they're not well designed and just rail shooters). It's not the same maps and content with just some new modes, which Art of Balance seems to be. This is more like buying Angry Birds on every single platform.



Einherjar said:

@MadAdam81 Yeah...but its a puzzle game...what did everyone expect ? Car based escort missions with space ship shooting and survival horror elements ?
Everyone is making a fuzz as if they are asked to pay up to 70€/$ for a game, that merely changed the backgrounds but kept everything else inta...wait a second, i already mentioned Call of Duty.
Also, tell me why Dr.Luigi exists then. We already had a Dr.Mario...TWICE on the 3DS. No need to "tripple dip" for just a few new modes right ?
Its the same deal. If you want to play Dr.Mario on WiiU, youll get it, if your fine with the WiiWare / 3DS version, good. But why make such a big deal out of it ?
The same goes with Art of Ballance. Its a cheap, little eShop game, that is vastly improved over the WiiWare version. It wont blow a hole in your wallet and it offers new modes like a 10 players online mode. What else, other than new modes, could have been changed about "stacking blocks on top of each other" ? Its as simple as it can be.



MadAdam81 said:

@Einherjar Imagine if each Angry Birds game only reused the old levels, or if Fruit Ninja only had the same levels - just as with this, people who have already played it will have less of a challenge.



Einherjar said:

@MadAdam81 I wouldnt count fruit ninja as a game per se, its more a minigame, but thats besides the point.
Fruit Ninja aside, if Angry Birds would have used a drasticly different engine, it WOULD make it a new experience, even with old levels. because all of your old strategies wont work anymore.
And i think that "challenge" isnt really a valid point here. If thats an argument, there would be NO point in ever releasing another tetris, bomberman and whatnot, because the core gameplay never changed. And it certainly wasnt the game boards that got people excited about, say, bomberman.
It was the multiplayer options and customizations.
Also, there are people who baught Wario Ware on the GameCube and NOT by accident. Why you ask ? It was the exact game as the first GBA one ?
Simple answer: Big screen + multiplayer.
Thats the deal here: A compilation of all previous levels + a completely overhauled engine + local, online AND mixed Multiplayer. Something, you do not have with the previous installments

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