Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mario Kart JPN + Freeloader News Update

NCS heard news about Mario Kart Wii [JP] working and then not working on USA consoles from different sources. Since second-hand information can never be trusted 100%, we tested the game ourselves this morning on a USA Wii with v3.0U firmware and the Freeloader boot disc.

1) Powered up the USA Wii and loaded the Freeloader. Waited for the two color bars to appear and then inserted Mario Kart Wii. The game appears on the Wii Channel but upon choosing it, the screen goes black and the system locks up. We suspected newer firmware was needed.

2) Inserted Smash Bros Brawl into the USA Wii and upgraded the firmware to 3.1U. Reset the system and then inserted the Freeloader. The color bars appear and we plugged Mario Kart Wii into the drive once again. Mario Kart showed up on the Wii Channel and we booted it. This time:


3) As usual, we have to test everything for ourselves instead of relying on wonky third party information but here it is again:

If you have a USA Wii with 3.1U firmware and the Freeloader, you will be able to play Japanese Mario Kart Wii. Our MK Game Notes linked below were taken on a USA Wii running the game this morning.

Mario Kart - New Import, In Stock

Mario and friends ride again in the Wii version of Mario Kart which is bundled with a driving wheel called the Wii Handle. Please note the Wii Handle isn't actually a working controller but rather an ornamental accessory in which the Wiimote is slotted into for tactile driving action. Once the Wiimote is bolted onto the front slot of the Wii Handle, grab the wheel and twist and turn it in mid-air like a steering wheel. Welcome to the magical versatility of the Wii. Despite the magic however, we still prefer playing the game with the nunchuk and Wiimote for better accuracy.

In addition to standard karts, players may also ride upon motorbikes for added variety to the racing action. The Wi-Fi online mode allows up to 12 racers to compete against each other.
«NCS Game-Notes»

Battle of Sunrise + Bonus - New Import, In Stock

When it comes to the robot gaming realm, Sunrise has been nipping at Banpresto's heels for nearly a decade now. The original Tales of the Sunrise Heroes was released on the Dreamcast in late 1999 and proved to be a humble challenger to the Super Robot Wars throne. Sunrise went on to release four sequels on the Playstation 2 and the fifth game makes it to market today. The eight Sunrise animation series featured in Battle of Sunrise should be familiar to anyone who's played the previous releases but one new franchise is featured in the game: Panzer World Galient.

Battle of Sunrise
is a tactical-strategy game where robots are marshaled against other robots on grid-laced maps. Unlike previous entries in the series, the battles are shown in fluid 3D sequences where robots dash and shoot at their targets while taking return fire. Robots may be seen flying, taking aim, and firing at their enemy targets in 3D arenas. This new style of presentation is in stark contrast to the 2D engagements found in the SRW games. Some attacks are made up of only a single strike but others can go on for multiple rounds. «NCS Game Notes»

Milestone Shooting Collection: Karous Wii - New, In Stock

Milestone gathers together three of their Dreamcast/Naomi titles and stamps them onto a single disc for the Wii as follows:

» Chaos Field
» Rajirugi
» Karous

All three games are vertical shooters with similar play mechanics where the ships are capable of shooting, shielding, and slashing. In the case of Karous, Milestone adds Wiimote waving functionality to the action so that swishing the Wiimote activates the slashing action so you're like a real live swashbuckler... without the swagger.

Although the three games are listed on the title selection menu, please note that only Karous is playable at the outset. Chaos Field becomes selectable after playing a few rounds of Karous followed by the availability of Rajirugi when you've got a round or three of Chaos Field under your belt. Think of it as Milestone's tactic to get gamers to play Karous first. NCS Game Notes

Neo Geo Stick 2 - New Import, Restock Soon

With a wave of Neo Geo classics winding their way to the Wii, there was only one thing SNK had to do to make sure the games played right: Release the original Neo Geo controller for the Wii and ensure that it works with the Virtual Console as well.

The dimensions of the Wii Neo Geo Joystick match the original at
270×65 ×190mm (10.62 x 2.55 x 7.48") so old school players can relive the golden years of the Neo Geo in style. Preorders are welcome to ship on April 10, 2008 at US$68.90 per joystick.