What They Say: For the first time ever, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam lets players experience the breakneck speed of downhill skateboard racing as they tear up the steepest terrains in the world while performing tricks and outmaneuvering opponents in locations such as the crowded streets of San Francisco and rocky terrain of Machu Picchu. Developed for the Nintendo Wii, gamers utilize an innovative and intuitive control system as they take on the role of Tony Hawk or one of nine characters and compete in specific time-based challenges in one of three gameplay modes including race, trick and slalom. Gamers can also challenge friends in head-to-head competitions as they pull off a variety of high-velocity stunts and crashes in living, populated environments filled with cars, pedestrians and buildings.
What We Say: Players eager to play a game that more resembles the golden age Tony Hawk games (ahem...1999), will be sure to get a kick out of Downhill Jam. Part THPS, part mad-racer, Downhill Jam looks like it will deliver on its promise of extreme entertainment. We had a chance to test out THDJ this past month and we have to say that we're itching to get our hands back on the wiimote and our feet back on the board. If you've ever played a Tony Hawk game, trust us when we say you've never played one like this. Toys For Bob has created a skateboarding game where literally anyone can pick up the controller and play. Using the face buttons for various stunts, gamers actually tilt the wiimote to move throughout the game world. At the Activision event even journalists who hadn't played Tony Hawk before (Who are these guys anyway and how did they get a job in the gaming industry?) could easily pick up and play the game and actually compete without feeling like complete noobs. Translated that means that everyone can get in on the action. Hey, if a game reviewer can play it, you KNOW it's got to be easy.
We're jazzed at what we consider to be a return of the classic Hawk game with a twist of that SSX-style extremism. Bring it on!
What They Say: This robust “Wii-make” of Under the Knife features new graphics and animation; new and remixed musical themes; new surgical implements and operation types; a second playable character with all-new missions; multiple difficulty modes for gamers of all skill levels; and a revised control system that takes full advantage of the revolutionary Wii Remote.
What We Say: Atlus's Trauma Center on the DS turned a lot of heads with its unique gameplay and we're confident the Wii-make of Under The Knife will thrill both fans and new recruits to the series. While performing surgery doesn't seem all that interesting, when you factor in the interactive control of the wii-mote for such procedures as stitching, cutting and liposuction (that would be cool, but it's probably not in the game) Trauma Center could be just the thing your new Wii system is crying out for. We're definitely down with TC and can't wait to get back into the operating room with Dr. Stiles and company. Let the malpractice suits begin!
What They Say: Wii Sports offers five distinct sports experiences, each using the Wii Remote to provide a natural, intuitive and realistic feel. Players can use their own Mii caricatures in the game and play them against their friends’ Miis for a more personalized experience. As players improve, their Miis’ skill levels will increase, so that they can see exactly how much better they’ve become.
What We Say: All hail the return of the pack in game! That's right. Wii Sports will be packaged with every Wii system sold. You won't have to buy the "Premium Pack" to get it. There is NO Premium Pack. Buy a Wii system, get Wii Sports! That's it. I know it's hard to understand after all these years of getting screwed over by game companies too cheap to put in a free game, but Nintendo has made things right again. Of course, it would have been nicer had they put in, oh, I don't know, maybe Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but perhaps we shouldn't complain.
Wii Sports might not look like much, it might feature graphics that would look more at home on the N64, but trust us when we say that anyone who sees it in action will want to pick up the wii-mote and play it. Considering you don't have much choice in the matter - everyone gets a copy - there's no point in recommending it; you're going to get it whether you like it or not. Will you enjoy it? Yes, but you're sure to get extremely annoyed with your parents who will want to keep playing it, while you want to continue exploring Twilight Princess.