What kind of Mickey Mouse game is this? Oh, wait …

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This morning, Disney announced that they were creating Disney Epic Mickey, an action platformer for the Wii that’s looking to give the vaunted mouse some new life. Mickey travels to a place called the Cartoon Wasteland — a place for Disney creations that have either retired or faded into obscurity. The caretaker of the wasteland is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was Walt Disney’s first star … until Mickey came along. Naturally, this leads to issues when Mickey stumbles into the wasteland and ruins the land’s sense of balance. Now, it’s up to Mickey to provide damage control.

Here’s a snippet about gameplay from Disney:

Players use the Wii Remote to wield magical paint and thinner to re-shape the world around them. Paint’s creativity and thinner’s damaging effect give the player robust tools and empowers them to make choices about how they move through the world. Each player’s decisions to use paint, thinner or both dynamically changes the world with consequences that affect the environment, interactions with other characters, and even Mickey’s appearance and abilities.

The painting concept immediately brings me right to Okami, an outstanding game from Capcom where you had the ability to “paint” items into the scenery and watch them spring to life — for instance, if you painted a sun at night, you would immediately make it daytime.

Disney sent over some screens and art for the game, so you can see it after the jump. The game’s slated to drop in the fall of 2010.
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Is the Death of the Controller Coming?

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Ever since the Wii appeared on the gaming scene it appears that the other 2 console giants are looking to emulate the success of Nintendo’s oddly named white box with their own tentative forays into the world of motion control.

Sony showed more of it’s light up, wand like controller at TGS, demonstrating that it wasn’t just a dubiously shaped sword analogue, but that it could be used to manipulate environments in titles like Little Big Planet and thus add another level of play to such games. Whereas Microsoft is being slightly more adventurous with it’s Project Natal which promises to open players up to a whole new dimension of gaming by doing away with the controller completely, allowing players to use there bodies to interact with the gaming world.

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Review: Muramasa – The Demon Blade

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Muramasa: The Demon Blade is an art lesson disguised as an action game. If most of my schooling was this enjoyable and simple, I’d probably be more cultured.

The Nintendo Wii has become something of the local art house for video games, as designers compensate for the system’s lack of obnoxious graphic horsepower by putting out titles with a unique visual spin. Before Muramasa came MadWorld and No More Heroes, a pair of games that stood out as much for their creative look as much as the gameplay. Okami also earned a lot of praise for its artsy vibe.

Muramasa bobs and floats along the same artistic river, making the player feel as if they are performing within the confines of Japanese paintings rather than the standard levels one would see in most action games. Adding to the mystique is the fact that Muramasa functions as a classic side-scroller, which makes it instantly accessible to practically anyone who plays it. This approach also enables the player to immerse himself or herself in other elements, such as story.

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Getting into Wiihab

We’ve all read, seen, or heard the reports about the Wii, albeit indirectly, breaking televisions and turning living rooms into obstacle courses. That strap on the control isn’t just a gray tassel that you can hang your keys on while boxing Wii avatars, after all.

But what not a lot people may know is that it has also helped others as a part of their physical rehabilitation. The Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Nebraska is using the Wii as a part of their program in helping brain injury patients get back onto their feet as you can watch in this clip below:

They’re not the only ones doing this, either, as a rehabilitation center in Norfolk has also incorporated it into their program. “Wiihab” seems to be catching on as hospitals and other medical centers are using Nintendo’s console to help their patients.

Seeing the Wii used for something more than simple gaming is a refreshing twist to the stereotype that games are just for fun and with Microsoft’s own full motion system for the Xbox 360, Natal, on its way, it will be interesting to see just how it might be put to similar use. Peripheral interfaces have come a long way since R.O.B. and the Lightgun for the NES, and so have the ideas that people have come up with in using them to heal as well as entertain.

Review: Ghostbusters – The Video Game

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Don’t cross the streams. Go get her, Ray! Back off man … I’m a scientist.

If you remember those lines, then you might be ready to believe “Ghostbusters: The Video Game” is the perfect title for you. But if not … the experience will haunt you.
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Majesco: Cooking Mama is multi-platinum

Majesco announced today that the ridiculously cute Cooking Mama game franchise has sold more that 4 million units in the United States. You shouldn’t be surprised — a lovable character that asks you to “cook” stuff via the Wii Remote or DS touch-screen? Complete with actual recipes? Pseudo-teaching tool for the kitchen impaired? Makes sense, especially for all of the aspiring culinary wizards out there.

G.I. Joe the movie is coming out and you know what that means…

I’ll admit it: I was something of a G.I. Joe freak in the eighties and I have a box filled with figures and dossier card cutouts to prove it. Sorry collector-type people, no more unbroken blister packs. And now that a movie is on its way, it was only inevitable that a game would follow suit but looking at the trailer, I might prefer the NES versions instead.
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Catching up … Gradius ReBirth is out

Sorry. I’ve been preoccupied with Resident Evil 5, so I’ve been delinquent. I’m throwing some day-old Wii news at you. Konami released Gradius ReBirth on WiiWare, and you can download it for 1000 Wii points. It’s rated E for Everyone. Old-school Nintendo Entertainment System gamers will rejoice, as Gradius was one of the more memorable side-to-side pure shooters ever. Ah, the days when I remember my older brother throwing cartridges at the wall whenever he died at a boss for the 10th time — games were harder back then.

Anyway, I got shots, and now, so do you: Enjoy. Remember, it’s retro homage stuff.

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