It seems like most every time I pick up a Wii game these days I wind up getting slightly freaked out about the whole thing and trying desperately to pin down where the hell the logic is in these things any more. I’ve seen them make some truly baffling games so far, and frankly, the weirdness only continues.
Today I venture into the depths of Kororinpa Marble Mania for the Nintendo Wii, a game that left me asking the question, is anything so simple and mundane that they WON’T translate it into a Wii game? I’ve played Wii games around cooking and cleaning and washing things…it’s like there’s no activity so pedestrian that Nintendo or one of its many tentacles (Hudson, I’m looking RIGHT AT YOU) won’t convert it to a game. I’m eagerly awaiting Super Mario Scratch Your Own Ass, or perhaps Donkey Kong’s Throw Your Feces At Passersby.
Kororinpa Marble Mania, for example, is a game that revolves around rolling a marble down a series of passageways until you manage to roll the ball into a hole marking the end of the course. Along the way, you’ll be required to roll your marble over red crystals and challenged to roll your marble over green crystals, thus adding a bit of admittedly rather tedious and pointless challenge to your marble rolling agenda. You’ll roll over a variety of different courses, including courses with walls, courses without walls, courses with slopes and steps and even some traps. You don’t want to try rolling your marble through honey. It’s just not pleasant.
I admit that, on certain levels, Kororinpa Marble Mania is actually a mildly fun sort of puzzle chill game that doesn’t require you to do a whole lot, nor does it ratchet your adrenaline levels through the roof. The best word, for example, to describe the background music is “soothing”. Indeed, when it’s just you and your marble and rails on the track, the game is downright relaxing. Take off the rails, however, and things can get a little dicey. This is really only a problem, of course, because the Wii controls are not well suited to this one. See, rather than, for example, holding your Wiimote in the eight-bit-game format, or using the nunchuk’s joystick, you’re going to do your track manipulation by pointing your Wiimote straight at the screen, remote control style, and then twisting it from side to side. Setting up the controls in this way requires you to twist your wrist left and right to twist the controls, and any kind of fine movement in that fashion is pretty much impossible. This means that you’ll essentially be rolling your marble around by sheer brute force, which is all fine and well if rails are in place, otherwise, it’s an open invitation to repeated failure.
I admit that I liked the idea behind Kororinpa Marble Mania, and enjoyed the game to a certain extent. However, some very serious flaws in execution kept this game from being all that it truly could have been. A few minor tweaks would’ve served this one well, and hopefully, the next installment will learn from its mistakes.