Thursday, September 13, 2007

Below the radar: Volume 2

Another late start, huh? I gotta work on turning this trend around...

The Wii is popular, there's no doubt about that. Due to this insane popularity, more and more developers are moving resources over to this cultural phenomenon. It pretty much goes without saying that a few great titles are going to get lost in the shuffle. Here is a game I believe isn't getting the attention it deserves.

King Story

King Story (Previously known as "Project O") has so much amazing potential behind it, I honestly find it incredibly hard to believe how little recognition it's getting. In King Story, you play as a boy by the name of Corobo Bread (Bread? Seriously? Anyways...). Corobo is inflicted with some sort of illness, and while stumbling around aimlessly one day, he finds a magical crown that turns him into a king. This crown gives Corobo a sense of authority, and thusly other villagers will follow his commands.

As the game begins, the town consists of nothing more than your house and a bunch of fields. Using your newfound authority, you can direct villagers to build houses, stores, roads and more. At certain points in your city's growth, you may gain the ability to build new types of buildings (A developer even hinted at the possibility of "specialty stores").

You may be thinking "Well, that's sounds pretty boring!" or "What's so great about it?". I can see why you'd think such things. However, there is still more to this game! In addition to town building, you will also come across various types of monsters. Some monsters are small and weak, while others may be absolutely huge and incredibly tough. When encountering such a beast, you can command your followers to attack the creature. Casualties may be gained, and this is where another interesting aspect comes into play: The villagers all have distinct personalities and families.

Say a woman's son dies in battle. She'll be sad for a while, and possibly retreat to her home and not emerge again for quite some time. There may be a funeral or something to that effect, causing the morale of the entire town to drop. Your villagers are more than mere pawns in this game. They act and behave like real, living beings. They also have unique routines and responsibilities. One villager could be a farmer, and another could work at a store. Unlike many games, characters don't simply live at their occupations. They have private lives, secrets and emotions. I'm completely amazed at how much detail is being put into this title!

The only thing that amazes me more is how little attention it's getting. Do you have any idea who's working on this game? Key contributors to games such as Dragon Quest VIII, Final Fantasy XII, Harvest Moon, and even Super Mario RPG are lending their immense talent to this title. It's completely mind-boggling that a development team with such amazing credentials is getting ignored like this. King Story has the potential to be one of the greatest titles ever on the Wii!


Nitrobike is another prime example of brilliant developers not getting the recognition they deserve. The developer behind this game, Left Field Productions, is the company responsible for the amazing piece of work that is Excitebike 64. If that's not star power, well... Okay, they aren't famous, but dammit, they're talented!

Think of Nitrobike as Excite Truck, but with BIKES. That's, uh, pretty much it, really. You hold the controller the same way, you do tricks, and you race. But unlike Excite Truck, Nitrobike is sporting one very important mode: Online multiplayer. If the developers and online don't get you excited for this, you're pretty much a lost cause. It's like Excitebike, for the new millennium! Now then, Nintendo, let's see a little Excitebike 64 on the Virtual Console, hm?

Those are two games that really aren't getting the attention they so rightly deserve. Nitro Bike and King Story are surely going to be taking up a good chunk of my time at their respective releases! What are some games you think aren't getting the exposure they deserve?

The Duck Has Spoken.

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