Nintendo: From Japan, with love

“Zelda” is Pixar-quality good.

If you believe everything you read on the Internet, Nintendo has had a pretty rough year. The 3DS didn’t quite meet initial sales expectations and the Wii is about to waggle on up to that great Balance Board in the sky. The haters have forgotten one important thing, though. The company makes better games than just about anybody. Here are reviews of two new classics.

‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’
Console: Wii
Grade: 5
Remember back when the Wii was announced and we couldn’t help but imagine all of the cool things we were going to do with it? “Skyward Sword” finally fulfills that dream. The game was built from the ground up for MotionPlus technology, and it shows in just about everything you do. The controls will rarely falter as you swing your sword any way you want to, shoot arrows, bowl bombs and conduct any of the game’s dozens of actions.

There’s also a stellar game wrapped around the innovative controls. The graphics are charming. The characters and story have the spit shine of a Pixar film. The puzzles are satisfyingly devious. This all combines to make a package that is sure to make you jealous of kids who will be opening this on Christmas morning. Sigh. Childhood.

‘Super Mario 3D Land’
Console: Nintendo 3DS
Grade: 5

People have often wondered if 3-D could be implemented as an actual gameplay device and not just a headachy gimmick. We now have our answer. “Super Mario 3D Land” uses the technology to create a moving, living diorama that tests your jumping and stomping skills more than any game since the days of the SNES.

The game must be played in 3-D to be believed. Trailers and screenshots do not do it justice. You won’t be able to wipe the grin off of your face as you blast through its many, many levels to once again rescue the hapless Princess Peach. The level design is amazing, and the cool use of 3-D makes it the perfect game to recapture that “one time” you did acid in college.



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