PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Games

TWiG 2009-05-18: Something Old, Something New

New releases for the week of 2009-05-18!!

Are you the type of gamer who needs to have things that other people don't have? Are you the type for whom "console exclusive" is the magic pair of words which inspires either immense pride or extreme jealousy? Well then, for this generation, the Wii is your console. This week demonstrates as much as well as any -- look at the release lists, and you'll see the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 each with the four same releases, while the Wii? Seven console-exclusive releases, with the only cross-platform release being the Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack. Given the similarity of the Xbox 360 and PS3 processors, it simply doesn't make sense from a financial standpoint for a third party to release exclusives on one or the other. The Wii, as a machine with a completely different reason for being (not to mention a far weaker set of specs), almost demands exclusives, given its emphasis on control and limited graphical capabilities; even when games aren't exclusives, parts of them are far different than versions put out for the other systems.

Of course, a look at this week's releases also demonstrates the drawback of such a philosophy -- wow, does the Wii ever attract some shovelware.

In this space, we'd rather focus on the games that aren't shovelware, and thankfully, there are plenty of those this week as well. At the top of the list is the Wiimake -- oh...oh my...did I just write "Wiimake"? I'm kind of ashamed, actually. It's the Wii remake of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (or the exponentially less cool Punch Out!! featuring Mr. Dream, if you got to it late), whose most promising announced feature so far is the return of the classic controls with the updated graphics. Sure, those controls won't beat the visceral thrill of flailing about with the Wii remote and nunchuck while you try in vain to knock down the likes of Glass Joe, but we have Wii Sports' boxing for that anyway, right? In any case, the art style of the new Punch-Out!! is pretty appealing, and old-school nintendo fans are almost guaranteed to have a good time with it!!

If you could care less about old-time gaming, Boom Blox Bash Party is a good way to support one of the new Wii franchises. The first Boom Blox, highly touted as Steven Spielberg's entry into the gaming arena, was at first a victim of widespread disinterest, and it sold terribly out of the box. That said, it's apparently been a consistent seller for the Wii, given that it's almost hit seven-figure sales since that slow start. Bash Party tweaks the formula a bit with underwater and outer space levels (and all the gravity changes such environments would imply), and adds the ability to download new levels at no extra cost, which could potentially push the replay value of the game into the stratosphere. Here's hoping the second entry in the series doesn't take quite so long to catch on.

As for all of those non-exclusives on the other big consoles, I would be remiss to not mention Bionic Commando. As the modern-day update to what remains my favorite Nintendo game of all time, I'm excited and utterly skeptical at the same time. My skepticism is mostly borne from descriptions that compare the Bionic Commando swing mechanic to the modern Spider-Man games, but I'm hoping against hope that there's more to it than that. If nothing else, it looks to be a fun hi-def adventure game, which is fine and all, but the Bionic Commando name deserves more.

...and how could I forget Imagine: Makeup Artist? Oh, right.

What are you playing this week? Is anyone else dreading the release of Bionic Commando just a little bit? Do you know anyone who you can hold at gunpoint and force to buy Boom Blox Bash Party? Let us know in the comments, and enjoy the atypically busy release week!!

Wii:

Punch-Out!! (18 May)

Boom Blox Bash Party (19 May)

EA Sports Active (19 May)

Party Pigs: FarmYard Games (19 May)

Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack (19 May)

Space Camp (19 May)

Tournament Pool (19 May)

Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's Wheelie Breakers (19 May)

Xbox 360:

Bionic Commando (18 May)

Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack (19 May)

Terminator Salvation (19 May)

UFC 2009 Undisputed (19 May)

PS3:

Bionic Commando (18 May)

Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack (19 May)

Terminator Salvation (19 May)

UFC 2009 Undisputed (19 May)

DS:

I Love Beauty: Hollywood Makeover (19 May)

Jagged Alliance (19 May)

Puchi Puchi Virus (19 May)

Space Camp (19 May)

Steal Princess (19 May)

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Stardust Accelerator: World Championship 2009 (19 May)

Imagine: Makeup Artist (20 May)

PS2:

Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack (19 May)

PC:

Hannah Montana: The Movie (19 May)

Terminator Salvation (19 May)

PSP:

NO!

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Music

Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.

Music

Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.

Music

Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.

Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.