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Nintendo Wii Video Game Review: Furu Furu Park

What could have been a fun Wii game with interesting and cute mini games gets lost in translation with the removal of two key single player modes for the US release.

VIDEO GAME: Furu Furu Park (ふるふるぱーく)

COMPANY: TAITO / Distributed by Majesco

RATING: E (Everyone) – Cartoon Violence

Spin It! Shake It! Swing It! Even Rev it? Your Wii Remote is your golden ticket to the Furu Furu Park from retro Taito classics to quirky new experiences, this collection of ultra fun mini-games features outrageous characters and unique gameplay challenges that will keep you oving!

30 Mini-Games in All!

Arkanoid, Bubble Bobble, Sonic Blastman, Pocky & Rocky, Pinch Hitter, Super Karate, Safe Cracker, Rev the Engine, Skateboarding, Camel Maze, Swan Runner and many more.

Compete against a friend in 3 different multiplayer modes, including the Love Challenge that lets you test your compatibility

I am typically fond of video games with a Tokyo flavor. The more Japanese games-style games that are over-the-top, I certainly welcome them. One such game that we had such high hopes for is “Furu Furu Park” a Wii spin-off of a Japanese arcade game titled “Mawasunda”.

“Mawasunda” was released on the Nintendo DS as “Turn It Around” and now we have “Furu Furu Park”, the US release to feature 30-mini games and for Taito fans, there are some classics that get the mini-game spin that we can’t help but be excited.

Unfortunately, our enthusiasm started to wane when we found out the “Ikemen Challenge” which was part of single mode in the Japanese version, where you had to wow a girl (ala dating sim) and win mini-games to win the girls affection. Of course, possibly to make things more politically correct, Majesco chose to remove that part of the game from the American version of “Furu Furu Park”.

For Okonomi mode in the Japanese version, you had 24-mini games which you would challenge yourself to open up the locked mini-games but for some reason, Majesco chose to remove that and just give you all 30-mini games to play.

So, all mini-games are opened up in single player mode (called “Free Play”) and what is left is you choosing a game and play for a minute or two and then go on to the next mini-game.

One thing we do like about the mini-games is that they are challenging and some games are so wacky and over-the-top, you can’t help but laugh or smile about it. Also, for Japanese pop culture fans, there is the inclusion of Japanese-style games such as the two sushi games, takoyaki game and more.

Another thing that I liked is the price point. $19.99 is pretty low for a Nintendo Wii game and also, some games are easy enough for toddlers and young children to learn and play.

There are some games that utilize the wii-mote and nunchuk really well but some games that you really want to play (especially games such as “Arkanoid”) are really hampered by terrible controls that the games are simply just not fun to play.

Now, of course there are other modes in single player such as “Challenge Mode” which you choose five games and impress the judge who will rate your style of gameplay.

For dual play mode, there are three choices. There is “Free Battle” (competing with another friend in playing any of the 30 mini games. “Love Challenge” is where you battle against a friend and play mini-games to test your compatibility in the eyes of Afro Love. “Panel Attack” where you face off against your opponent in split screen and turn-based competition.

So, there is somewhat a party game mentality with this game (although only two players) which is not bad. But I’m quite bummed that they really changed things with the first player mode.

J!-FACTOR:

Japanese pop culture fans will love the Japanese style of gaming and wackiness such as the sushi games which three people eating at a Zaiten-sushi (conveyor belt) want a certain sushi (sushi shows up on top of their head) and with the wii, you try to rotate the conveyor belt to give them what they want.

The Takoyaki cooking game is something that seems so “Cooking Mama” like but yet cool to play because it’s so easy and fun.

A wacky game titled “Hammer Throw” features three men with afro’s and your character must swing the afro men in a javelin-like competition and wherever the afro-sporting guys land, you get points. Get 200 points, you win.

Another game titled “Snow Cone” is where you motion your wiimote like a lever to make a lot of variations of shaved ice.

“Pocky and Rocky” features a NES style of game where you shoot enemies. “Bubble Bobble” is like the classic and “Dragonfly Hunter” features dragonflys which you use the Wiimote to make them dizzy and Afro dragonfly’s that you flick off.

And there are many other games that find a use for the Wiimote.

For me, the price point was low, the mini-games interesting and fun but some games just hampered by the janky control.

Also, the removal of the challenges and other single player modes that were on the Japanese version but removed from the US version is just not cool at all!

But you take what you can get and “Furu Furu Park” is not horrible. For it’s price, it’s a game with a lot of mini-games but the potential just lost because Majesco just removed the other single player modes. Why? Who knows…

Another thing that I didn’t like was that on free play, if you lost and want to retry, you are taken back to the main screen, selecting the game all over again and having to repeat each time you complete or lose a game. Why not just give an option to retry. For me, the time you waste having to go back to the main menu after each game, just to replay a game just totally blows.

But for those who enjoy games with Japanese culture elements, like we do…then the game can really be fun and at the price point it is right now, it is one of the cheaper WII games out there that utilizes the Wii mote in a variety of ways.

POSITIVES:

+ 30 cute, wacky and Japanese style mini-games with some Taito classics included

+ One of the cheaper Wii games at $19.99

+ Mini-games utilize the Wiimote in a variety of ways

CONS:

– Removal of the Single Player Modes that were on the Japanese version, but eliminated for the US version.

– Bad controls for a number of the mini-games

– Other issues in the game that made us want to shut our Nintendo Wii off

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