With Kororinpa Marble Mania, Hudson surprised Wii gamers with a unique puzzle adventure game. Its sequel, Marble Saga Kororinpa, adds a bunch of new modes, puzzles, and abilities. NintendoSpin got a chance to play the demo version of Marble Saga, and it certainly seems like Hudson will deliver another winner when the game releases in March.
Marble Saga Kororinpa is a simple concept where your guide a round object (you select between different objects such as a marble or football) to a goal, collecting crystals along the way. You control the level itself, not the marble, similar to the Super Monkey Ball games. The twist (literally) is that you control the game entirely using the Wii’s motion control. The level reacts to how you hold the controller, which is both fresh and remarkably intuitive. You can hold the controller vertically or horizontally, depending on which orientation allows you to most comfortably twist and turn the controllers in sync with what you need to do to guide the marble.
The real star of Marble Saga Kororinpa are the levels themselves. They are unique, creative, and fun. The levels are set up according to themes, such as fire and ice, and vary in difficulty, but all of the levels in the demo were a blast to play through. The pacing within the levels provide variety, because while you can barrel through some sections of the game full speed, other sections require a very soft touch to navigate.
The game allows for up to four player split-screen multiplayer matches. The matches are basically a race to the finish, but since the level designs call for finesse in some areas, it can get tense. Whether you are playing single player or multiplayer, you can upload your fastest times to an online leaderboard, where you compare your times against other players around the world.
The visuals in Marble Saga Kororinpa resemble those found in the Super Monkey Ball games, where you have a game board floating in space, which is what you manipulate. The boards in the demo version looked good, with relatively sharp textures that hold up well no matter how close the camera zooms in. The overall art direction calls for a simplistic look, which is fine for this type of game. The effects during the moments where you’re being launched or hanging on to a magnetic rail all look good as well.
The final version of the game calls for over 150 levels, spread out over 7 worlds, and it will allow you to insert Miis into the marbles. If the demo levels are any indication, expect a ton of variety and creativity. The final version will also have some levels specifically created for the Wii balance board, as well as the ability to download additional levels from Hudson. Finally, the retail version will allow you to create your own level and upload it for your friends to play. In all, it seems like Marble Saga Kororinpa will be a feature packed sequel with plenty of content.