Wii “Marble Saga: Kororinpa” First Impressions

Yesterday, I received a demo disc for the upcoming Nintendo Wii title, Marble Saga: Kororinpa. The game is set to be released March 17th, 2009. The game is a sequel to the previous Wii title, Kororinpa: Marble Madness.

So what is Marble Saga?

The game revolves around the adventure of Anthony the Ant on his quest for the Golden Sunflower.  Help guide Anthony’s marble around the Ant World to gather essential items along the way in the ultimate goal to reach the Golden Sunflower and save his colony.  Face treacherous mazes, use awesome gadgets and balance the world (literally) with fun and intuitive controls only available on Wii.

There are 150 levels with 3 difficulties and no level is the same. Marble Saga also supports the Balance Board, Miis, wi-fi, and displays intuitive controls. You can also design your ball. Use upgrades to help you navigate through stages, place your Mii inside of the marble and watch him or her roll, or select preset fun avatars including rolling aliens, cats, dogs, and other interesting designs.

If playing through the developer levels was not enough, you can also customize your own levels and have them uploaded for others to play. Roll through the levels by yourself or have three of your friends join you.

The game also has the mechanics of 40 different widgets to help guide your marble including magnets, cannon vaults, shrinking machines, acceleration tubes, movable bridges, and much more.

So how is the demo?

The demo gave me the chance to play the first 5 levels. The controls are very simple with the Wii Remote, needing only to tilt it on its side, front, or back. You do not control the marble, but the map your marble moves around on. Depending on how much you tilt the controller makes the map move. The goal of each level is to collect the needed amount of gems in order to release the goal to cross. Race against your personal best times as each level has its own set of time trials to beat. These can also be uploaded to Leaderboards.

The first couple of stages were simple. The controls were responsive and the degree of tilt I applied to the controller seemed accurate. The only thing I wished I could have done was move the camera to look to where I needed to go next. At this point, the camera stays at one view and if you need to move your marble to the left or right to continue, you cannot turn the camera to the desired direction.

The three remaining levels offered more of a challenge and i fell off the map more than a couple times. Luckily there aren’t a specific amount of lives to pass the level. You only have to worry about damaging your time for level completion.

I didn’t get to see any of the widgets in the game in the first five levels, but the challenges were fun while traversing through an ice world and moving wood carts with the controller to advance to the next platform.

I got the feeling it had a bit of Mario Galaxy in its style of graphics and mechanics.

If Marble Saga: Kororinpa has a nice price when it comes out, this could be a must-have title for the Wii in 2009.

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