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Platform: Nintendo Wii
Despite Nintendo selling enough Wii consoles to guarantee a near permanent worldwide shortage, even Wii owners such as myself maintain a semi-conscious wariness about the console. It's easy to appreciate the revolutionary controls, the elegant design and sheer chutzpah of Nintendo to create such a thing. But, since its release, the widely predicted post-launch games shortage has come to fruition. A combination of caution and intransigence from many publishers and developers has meant that only now, with the Wii confirmed as a resounding retail success, has meaningful development begun.
In which case, with the sporadic exception of Nintendo, quality Wii titles have been hard to come by. It doesn't help that Nintendo of Europe has instigated a drip feed policy, holding back potential classics such as Trauma Center: Second Opinion that launched with the console in North America. Thankfully, though pickings are slim there's fun to be to be found if you look hard enough. Mercury Meltdown Revolution is a case in point, and if you need a Wii fix then you could a lot worse.
Follwoing in the footsteps of the likes of the classic Marble Madness, and modern day take Super Monkey Ball, the Mercury Meltdown series started out on the PSP, but has since made its way to the PS2 and now to Nintendo's Wii. Considering the gameplay mechanism this seems a logical progression, a fact that quickly becomes apparent when you begin to play the game.
In the game you steer a large blob of mercury around hazard filled environments, using the motion sensing of the Wii Remote to tilt the environment and move your blob. You hold the remote horizontally, using the D-pad to rotate your view when necessary, and pressing 1 and 2 to zoom in and out.
Upon loading the game there's a quick and very informative tutorial. It introduces you to the many obstacles and challenges you'll have to deal with to complete each stage. Starting from the beginning of any stage you have a number of things to consider. Since Mercury is a liquid metal, it can be split, spilt and ultimately lost. Most levels are open and suspended, meaning there are no barriers and the primary challenge of the game is simply to reach the end of any stage with as much of your original blob of mercury intact. On the left is a bar which shows how much of your blob remains, and more you maintain the higher your finishing score will be.
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