You might remember forma.8 as one of the Wii U demos in the Nindie promotion from 2015. It was one of the games that impressed me most at the time, and has stayed in my mind ever since. Every time the demo icon showed up on the eShop scrolling puzzle, I wondered when it would come out. The full game was finally released this month, and I have to give the team props for not cancelling the Wii U version like other devs have been doing. I’m glad I finally got to play it before Switch comes out. Before getting deep into this review however, I have to get one thing off my chest.
Shin’en have crafted a finely balanced library on the Wii U. To offset the speed and destruction of FAST Racing Neo, Art of Balance is a game about being as slow as possible. I held off buying this game for a long time for that reason, it just looked boring. A bunch of shapes on a plain background. I finally downloaded the game and assembled my own opinion of it.
Nihilumbra is a story-driven platformer with puzzle elements controlled by the touch screen. The goal is to “find yourself” by escaping the void, and proving to the game that you are good enough to exist. I knew I had no hope of finding myself, but at the very least I wanted find out if this was a good game.
I faced a moral dilemma when buying this game on my Wii U. It’s a Castlevania clone that directly re-uses assets from Circle of the Moon and the NES games, with the most simple graphics possible. Alright, sounds cheap and dirty, but those games are a lot of fun. Even if this game is a bit of fun, it’ll be a good night. If I didn’t buy it I’d be thinking about it all night, so here we are. Making dreams reality.
It was a lonely Sunday night as the Brazilian GP faced a rain delay. Harsh weather had flooded the track, and the already late 3am start would be pushed back even further to an undisclosed time. From the other side of the world, I faced an existential crisis as I turned off the coverage and stared at my Wii U. My headphones still on, I started browsing the eShop. It was meant to be playing Mario Kart 8 music, but for some reason it was generic eShop music from 2012. What kind of night was this? Could anything go right? I browsed the new releases and saw Grand Prix Rock ‘N Racing. It was a top-down racer, boasting real F1 tracks with a colourful presentation. I like all those things. Wow, a sunny Brazil. After watching the trailer I was sold. To quote the commentator’s thick vocabulary “LET’S GO!“.
The fastest download ever has hit the Wii U. I’m not joking, the Future Pack DLC for FAST Racing NEO clocks in at 13mb on the eShop, then somehow turns into a 2mb download on the HOME menu, then installs itself before you can even read the track list. What’s happening? Too late, we’re off.
We’ve all done it. You’re playing your favourite legendary videogame with a very important quest to do. Traveling across a field to your next destination, your mind is heavy with responsibility. If only there was something to ease the tension. Swaying in the wind, something catches your eye… fresh grass. Thick, luscious, green, just begging to be cut. A few slashes can’t hurt, right? HYAH! CHOP! Health and money fly out but you don’t even care. The sound effect is rewarding enough. The grass disintegrates into the air along with your troubles. The leafy smell comes through the screen and you start to feel connected to nature. The objective of saving the world fades into the background as you seek out more grass to cut. HYAH! More! MORE! MOOOORE!