Show Some Love

Posted on Feb 23rd 2011 at 02:09:27 PM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Zack and Wiki, Unloved, Wii, Point and Click, Puzzle

Time to show some more love to the Wii.

Zack & Wiki, at first glance & possibly play, seems very child oriented experience. If you can get past the appearance and give it a real chance it turns out to be a very deep, challenging, and most importantly fun game. Its also one of the few Wii games that I've felt really use the Wii Remote's potential and do something that couldn't (until the Move was released) be replicated on any other current console.

Zack & Wiki is in essence a Point & Click adventure. You'll move Zack around the bright, vibrant levels to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. The things that really help set Zack & Wiki above any run of the mill Point & Click game are the challenge, variety, use of the controller and its replayability.

The challenge gets fairly intense after the first world. Some of the puzzles are downright frustrating (until you solve them and feel silly of course). Even though the game only plays as a single player game, I felt having a second pair of eyes (and another brain didn't hurt) to help find/think up new methods of tackling the levels really helped. Near the end of the game the puzzles can be extremely challenging and take a lot of creativity to finish.

Now the Wii Remote is used for many, many different puzzles throughout the game such as: Pulling ropes, sawing trees down, grabbing out of reach items, sword fights, fishing, teasing dragons, cannon, etc. The main method of movement is using it as a pointer and clicking Zack where to go or what to interact with. It does have some waggle, but they at least justified it with an appropriate mechanic. Wiki is not only a monkey, he doubles as a bell. By shaking the Wii Remote Wiki's bell sounds and can turn enemies into items. Those items are then used to help solve problems.

Replayability is not often a strong suit when it comes to Point & Click and/or puzzle games such as this. Zack & Wiki gets around this using a few different methods. For the completionist in you there are a tons of secret items scattered throughout the game. This not only strikes at the completionists, but at long time gamers since most of the secret things are throwbacks to older capcom titles such as Mega Man, Bionic Commando, 1942 and many more obscure Capcom games as well. The other approach to deal with replay-ability, and the one I find much more compelling, is the mix of Hi-Score and alternate methods of completion. Each level has a set score to match and many of the levels have multiple ways to finish them. It really takes a lot of brain power to figure out ANOTHER way of finishing a level you found difficult the first time around and to figure out which combination of the different methods will nail that hi-score.

Obviously puzzle games like this are a niche genre to begin with, but if you have even the slightest interest in puzzling, you'd be doing yourself a huge favor by bringing home a copy of Zack & Wiki. It can easily be found for around $10 shipped on ebay so if your on the fence about picking it up, it wont cost much to give it a chance.

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Stay away from the sequel, Zack And Wiki Make A Porno though... it's weird.
Always look forward to these reviews of games I've never heard of.  I've bought several, especially for the Wii and have always been pleased.  It seems I'll be picking up a copy of this as well.
@noise - I'd get it. Beastiality with cameos from Mega Man and Bionic Commando. That sounds like a winning combination.

@Banana - Its very flattering to hear someone actually using these reviews to purchase games. What did you think of Spyborgs and The Munchables?
@Crabmaster2000: I don't have many games for my Wii, because I don't really stay up to date on new games that come out.  However, I've bought both games based on these reviews and I've really enjoyed playing them.
Indeed. Crabmaster has led me to some great discoveries like Chaos Field and PN03.
I've always been curious about this game.  I think I'll buy it now if I can find it cheap enough.  Thanks Crabmaster!
Zack & Wiki, at first glance & possibly play, seems very child oriented experience.

At my first glance, I thought maybe one of Captain Harlock's crew managed to get a franchise of his own goin'...

Seriously, though, I'm not sure if I'm fully sold on this particular offering like I have been with many of your previous "unloved" selections. None the less, I'll definitely keep an eye out for this one, and will give it a whirl if the price is right...
@Zagnorch - I know it looks silly, but this game would probably just eke into my top 10 Wii games. As long as the art direction doesnt bother you (I actually like it) its a very deep, challenging and time consuming game. And even though its 1 player, its still fun with 2 or 3.

Also just so you dont have to take my word for it, IGN did a lot of hyping for it right after it launched and tried to boost sales since they also felt it was an underappreciated game.

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