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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
GENRE: Compilation
January 15, 2008
 Written by Matt Swider  on January 25, 2008

Review: I played all 30 mini-games so you wouldn't have to.

Classic game compilations from Capcom, Midway, Namco, Activision and Atari have always gotten a lot of attention, but Taito has a couple of quality retro titles, too. Furu Furu Park features the company's lesser known arcade originals, slimmed-down versions of its newer releases and fresh casual experiences in a 30 mini-game collection for Wii. Not all of them are hits; however, there are a couple of gems that deserve being rediscovered. Here's a breakdown of what's included and how each of them play.

Skateboard sets you up on a half pipe where you perform tricks by tilting the Wii remote upright, left and right based on the order the game gives you. Quickly pulling off the string of remote-tilting moves pleases the crowd and increases your score. The fact that there are only three patterns isn't so pleasing.
Grade: C

Unwrap the Mummy has you move the Wii remote forward and backward in an effort to pull the bandages off of mummies who spin till they're linenless. Unless you're into seeing Egyptian Pharaohs in the buff, the fun in this mini-game is shorter than King Tut's reign.
Grade: D

Pinch Hitter puts into in a potentially clutch baseball situation: It's the bottom of the 9th, there are two outs and your team needs a grand slam to win. Just like Wii Sports' baseball game, batting here is performed by swinging the remote at the correct time. But, this walk-off grand slam is a short-lived thrill compared to Wii Sports' seven-inning affair.
Grade: F

Swan Runner is a lot like Taito's System Rush, the company's standout, but still underappreciated N-Gage game. In this version, you steer your ship by holding the remote upright and tilting it right and left. While the acceleration is handled automatically, there are speed and extra point pick-ups littered throughout the 360 degree tunnel that you're traveling down. There are also path-blocking walls with only one spot where your ship can easily fit through. Because these breaks in the walls aren't lined up for your convenience, shifting your ship to safety makes for a fun 95 second mini-game that requires fast reflexes.
Grade: A

Sushi is a mini-game in which you serve impatient customers via conveyor belt. With endless platters lined up on the belt, you have to tilt the Wii remote right and left until you place the meal they've ordered in front of them. It can be difficult to line up the correct food with the order image above their head simply because of the undetailed graphics; some of the food choices look too similar. Aside from that, this is an enjoyable, fast-paced challenge.
Grade: B

Submarine Escape has you being chased by an underwater beast. By shaking the remote ?vigorously? in this side-scrolling game on rails, you rise to avoid low barriers and by pointing the remote down, you float above low ones. Spikes and bubbles also get in the way to slow you down, but speed-up collectables help you escape a watery-grave in this entertaining mini-game.
Grade: A

The Hammer Throw is set up like the Olympic event inside of a stadium, only, instead of throwing a metal weight as far as possible, you're spinning and tossing three ?Afro Brothers? at once. These 70s era athletes are locked onto each other for some reason that I don't know and, no, I also don't know why they had to be ?Afro Brothers.? In any event, you see how far they can fly, hoping to reach the farther out higher scores to add up to 200 points. Maybe it has to do with MC Hammer?
Grade: C

Super Karate has you, a Karate Android, square off against a Karate Robot, which you kick and punch by tilting the Wii remote left right and upright, as the game specifies. If this sounds a lot like the Skateboard mini-game, it technically is. Only now, it's set inside a dojo and move requests happen one at a time and are faster than the long-string tilting requests that appeared in Skateboard. Sadly, it's not much more fun.
Grade: C

Treasure Hunter puts you on a platform where gold coins appear along with exploding bombs. Obviously, you want to go around collecting the coins while avoiding the impact of the bombs by using the D-Pad to move and 1 or 2 to jump. As time goes on, platform's tiles begin to fall making things harder and harder. This NES-style mini-game would be solid gold if it wasn't so easy.
Grade: B

Swan Shooter sees the return of the Swan Runner spaceship, but now it's out of the tunnel and the camera view is top down instead of following behind. As its name suggests, Swan Shooter is an old-school overhead shooter with little bogies to shoot in the beginning and a big boss to overcome at the end. The colorful graphics can make the intense shooting action a little too chaotic at times, but it's a decent mini-game beyond that.
Grade: B

Camel Maze places a ball inside of a labyrinth and you need to tilt the maze so that the ball reaches the goal. Explanations don't get any simpler than that, and the mini-games don't get much more fun. Too bad it's too short.
Grade: B

Robo Clash equips you with a large hammer in order to defeat an ever larger robot. You swing the Wii remote like you would a real hammer and, even though it's the opposite motion of the Unwrap the Mummy mini-game, it's more of the same. Too easy and too redundant.
Grade: D

Bird Man is another one-motion mini-game, but one that puts your pedaling power to the test. Your character pilots a pedal-powered plane and you have to keep it in the air as long as possible. Robo Clash and Unwrap the Mummy aren't too different, but at least this one doesn't feature a nauseating up and down or side to side motion.
Grade: C

Safe Cracker incorporates tilting and memorization. You're given a three to six digit password and you must tilt a safe dial in order to open it up. Tilting the Wii remote is the easy part. Memorizing the number sequence may be a fun challenge for kids. At the same time, adults will think they're smart by mastering this mini-game in a single try.
Grade: A

Takoyaki must be the kitchen of the Sushi restaurant. As the cook, you must pour batter on a four-by-three grill, add sushi and flip the mix before it burns. This mini-game is not quite Cooking Mama (another game from Taito and Majesco), but considering it's one of 30, it's worth checking out.
Grade: B

Snow Cone incorporates cranking out crushed ice and The Arsenio Hall Show. Where does the early 90s late night talk show fit into this mini-game? The motion that you make with the Wii remote is the same as the "Whoof, whoof, whoof" fist pumping motion his audience always did. While moving the remote circularly to churn out larger and larger snow cone quantities, you rack up more and more points in this easy, one-motion mini-game. It's only fun if you obnoxiously do the "Whoof, whoof, whoof" chant, though.
Grade: C

Arkanoid is the classic arcade game where you keep a block-destroying ball in the air by bouncing it off of a paddle until all of the blocks are gone. Oddly, the paddle bar in this version is controlled by tilting the Wii remote left and right, which is much less precise than if the D-Pad were used. Additionally, Arkanoid's use of half of the screen is a major letdown.
Grade: F

Puzzle Kids II wants you to arrange three circular puzzle pieces in order. While the outermost ring is always done for you, you have to match up the inner middle ring and the innermost circle piece to make images like sundaes and cho-cho trains. Yes, cho-cho trains; it has Kids in its name for a reason.
Grade: C

Puzzle Expert is much more challenging than Puzzle Kids II. It still gives you the outermost ring as a guide, but now you have to line up five inner circle puzzle pieces instead of just two. Sometimes the Wii tilt controls that you use to get the Puzzle rings in order aren't fast enough, but at least this version is more challenging for adults.
Grade: B

Dragonfly Hunter has to be the most bizarre mini-game in Furu Furu Park. In it, players spin the Wii remote to move a human arm and the extended arm's motion makes dragonflies fall off a tree stump. Supposedly, the spinning movement causes their eyes to spin, too. In addition to inexplicably knocking dragonflies unconscious, you have to flick imposter dragonflies if they appear on the stump. It gets even stranger when you realize that the imposters are really Dragonfly dressed Afro Men from The Hammer Throw mini-game.
Grade: C

Bubble Bobble is a one-level port of the classic Taito arcade platform game. Like the 1986 original, you control Bub, a green dragon, and trap monsters in bubbles before popping them. In addition to scoring points when you pop the entrapped monsters, you also increase your total by collecting the fruit and sweets that they leave behind. Although this 20-year-old platform game doesn't sound too hard, lasting 99 seconds in a small environment with five respawning monsters can be daunting.
Grade: B

Pocky & Rocky is another old-school Taito game in which you hold the Wii remote NES-style. Because the original is actually from the early SNES days, it's slightly more advanced than many of Furu Furu Park's other games. For one, that game's 2D level, seen from an overhead perspective, boasts a lot of enemy ghosts within its artfully-created glommy environment. There's also a boss battle in which you do more than just run up to him and press the A button. You have to avoid his projectile attacks and hit them back in his direction. It didn't get much more advanced than that in 1993.
Grade: A

Sudden Death's setup is a lot like Pinch Hitter in that you're kicking an all-important penalty shot in a soccer game. The game goes as far as saying that it's ?The penalty kick competition of the century.? While Pinch Hitter was an utter letdown, Sudden Death doesn't meet the same fate. Here, you spin the remote to kick the ball, which is caught by the goalie, and keep spinning it to force him into the net. I don't know how you're driving the ball into the net with additional power AFTER you already kicked it, but it's pretty fun (and it's a one-arm workout).
Grade: B

Rev the Engine tries to be the Dance Dance Revolution game built for bikers. Surrounded by a crowd that looks like anything but biker owners, you're a motorcyclist revving your engine. To please your audience, though, you have to do it at the right time; whenever the scrolling ?accelerate? icons appear underneath of the indicator. Unfortunately, this easy rider is also a dull rider.
Grade: D

Sonic Blastman 20XX brings the arcade and SNES hero into the 20th century to save Earth from falling meteors. You grip the Wii remote by holding it sideways and punch toward your TV to send the meteors back into space. Since they fall from different directions, it's important to use the D-Pad to look around and keep an eye on the provided radar in this rock solid mini-game.
Grade: B

Skateboard Extreme is like the first mini-game in which you hold the Wii remote upright, right and left, but now there are anywhere from eight to ten tilting patterns per trick. Like the new name suggests, the difficulty is a little more extreme, but the fun isn't ratcheted up at the same time.
Grade: C

Sushi Fever isn't one of the symptoms of eating bad sushi, but rather the second serving of sushi game in Furu Furu Park. This version doesn't seem much harder than the first. The main difference is that lucky number sevens on the platters of your impatient customers. When they all ask for sevens instead of meals and you deliver, the game goes into a psychedelic bonus state. Suddenly, and for whatever reason, sevens appear on all of the conveyer belt's plates. Thus, Sushi Fever isn't much different, it's just weirder.
Grade: B

Swan Shooter: Night Strike fixes the color-blending chaotic action in the first Swan Shooter game thanks to darker backdrops. However, this version has its own share of problems. Even when you destroy enemy ships, the bullets that they sprayed at you remain. That's acceptable in some games, but when the bullets are half your ships size and everywhere, it seems a little unfair.
Grade: C

Puzzle Girl is not as hot as it sounds; it's not one of those ?Can you spot the differences between these two pictures of nearly identical semi-clad women? coin-op games seen in bars. It's actually hard. Like Puzzle Expert, Puzzle Girl requires you to move inner circles to match the outermost ring. Additionally, puzzles pieces you move are blotchy until they're in the right place, further increasing the difficulty level. Oh, and in the end, they form anime pictures, in case you're wondering.
Grade: B

Rev It Up More is the last mini-game in Furu Furu Park, and it's a little better than Rev the Engine. This version works like a DDR game, too, but now you also have to press B to honk ever now and then. That addition alone isn't enough to keep this mini-game from seeming dull.
Grade: C

Bottom Line
Furu Furu Park's 30 mini-games are hit and miss with only a couple that are grade-A material. First, I'd suggest spending your money on Nintendo's own WareWare: Smooth Moves, but if you're interested in playing any of these quirky Japanese one-shots or are worn out on WarioWare, this collection is only $20.

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