One Button Japanese Goodness
In terms of sheer Japanese craziness, it doesn’t get much better than Tomena Sanner and ranks right up there next to Katamari Damacy. With an overall aesthetic reminiscent of Feel The Magic but with straight forward and simple gameplay as DDR, Tomena Sanner offers a solid experience on WiiWare especially with the low cost of 500 Nintendo Points ($5).
Gameplay could not be simpler. The player controls a suit-wearing business man who constantly runs from the left side of the screen to the right. When something gets in his way, the player must tap the “A” button at the right time to avoid penalty and to reach the goal quicker. The faster you reach the goal and the more coins you collect along the way will result in a higher score. And since this game takes full advance of online Leaderboards, there is a constant incentive to keep practicing.
Like DDR, the player will either get a “Great,” “Good,” or “Miss” depending on the exact moment that the “A” button is tapped. Tap too early or too late and you will miss while hitting the button at the right time will award bonus time and usually a cooler animation. Usually hitting the “A” button will cause the businessman to jump, but when faced against humanoid-giraffes, for example, he will perform a karate kick that would impress even Ryu Hayabusa. However, if you don’t kick these giraffes in the face, they will fart on your head and laugh at you – no joke. It is really something only a Japanese developer can conjure.
The objects that this businessman will run into are completely off-the-wall crazy. Beside the deadly farting giraffes, you can expect to jump over T-Rexs, dance with cheerleads, trampoline off awnings, roll between the legs of cooking housewives, swing around light poles, leap over piles of neon pink poo, tip-toe over eggs, dodge manholes, and even triple jump through the air. Tomena Sanner’s Feel The Magic style of cel-shading really marries the game’s unique gameplay and sense of humor perfectly.
After you complete each stage, the game will ask if you want to upload your high score to the WiFi Leaderboards. After a quick moment, you can instantly see where your score ranks against all other players for that specific stage. For a $5 WiiWare title, having any type of WiFi option is virtually unheard of but really makes the purchase of Tomena Sanner a no brainer.
Decent players can probably finish all of the game’s stages in less than one hour. But once completed, the player can go back and play all the levels continuously and compete for a really high score. Also, Turbo Mode then becomes unlocked which is basically a sped up version of the Normal Mode and will really separate the men from the boys. Although there is no online multiplayer option, up to four local players can also compete in a race to the finish.
Tomena Sanner on WiiWare is a perfect platform for this user friendly/cheap thrills style of quirky gameplay. For the low cost of 500 Nintendo Points, you should have to think twice about downloading it. The gameplay is addicting and simple, and the inclusion of online WiFi Leaderboards will keep you entertained for quite awhile even though the game can be played through in a short amount of time. This more experimental style of gameplay works very well on the Wii and isn’t a downloadable game that should not be overlooked.
Better Than: Feel the Magic (DS)
Also Try: the iPhone version
Wait for it: a DSiWare version
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