As promising as Capcom's upcoming Wii game Spyborgs is, it runs the risk of suffering the fate of the company's last Wii original. But Capcom thinks it figured out what went wrong last time.
Spyborgs, the impressively-rendered co-op brawler created by Bionic Games for the Wii, gives a good first impression. It looks better than most Wii games and plays well.
The same things could have been said about 2007's puzzle-based treasure-hunting game, Zack & Wiki. It looked great. It played well. It wasn't a hit.
How to avoid that history repeating itself?
Just hours ago, as we wrapped up a two-person co-op run through the same levels Kotaku chief Crecente played in Monte Carlo, the game's senior producer, Daryl Allison told me what lesson Capcom had learned:
The struggle for Zack & Wiki, Allison said, was that "the art style made the game come across as a kids' game, but it played like more of an adult's game." The graphics were silly; the gameplay complex.
Spyborgs is going for a teen market (but I enjoyed it, ok?) and therefore pushing a more all-ages Pixar style.
If this is already more than you're used to reading about graphics for a Wii game, that's no accident. Graphics are important to this Wii game. Allison said the team's philosophy is that: "If we can be compared with the God of Wars and Devil May Crys then we have to look that good. There's no excuses."
Spyborgs will be out for the Wii later this year. And, if all goes well, it will look not just like it plays, but as good as it's supposed to play. That, perhaps, is doing a Wii game right.