Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
The spirit of adventure.
Capcom gets double-extra-super bonus points for this one. Not only is Zack & Wiki one of the rare games made specifically for the Wii (rather than, you know, a cheap port), Capcom is continuing its stealthy campaign of taking the adventure genre to new and interesting places. Consider us sold.
As soon as Nintendo came up with the Wii, it was pretty evident that the long-neglected point-and-click adventure was a genre that stood to benefit from the Wii's control system - and so it has proven in this delightful, brain-teasing, puzzle-strewn title.
Previously revealed at Capcom's Gamer's Day back in April as Project Treasure Island Z, it definitely looked 'alright' at the time, but wasn't wowing anyone, put it that way. With most of us caught up with Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and Devil May Cry 4, it simply wasn't the right kind of environment to debut such an unusual title. Sure, the quirky cartoon visuals and a slick art style marked it out as a title to keep an eye on, but no-one had a chance to play more than the exceptionally basic opening tutorial stage. With no more than a fleeting grasp of the control mechanics, we knew we'd have to revisit this another time.
Fast forward three months and Capcom was understandably keen for us to see the game in an environment more suited to the game's trial-and-error requirements. Armed with a near-complete build, we had had a chance to take our time over four of the game's early sections, which left us in no doubt that Capcom has a title of immense quality - and happy to find a game that uses the Wii controllers in new and interesting ways.
As the name of the game adequately spells out, the two characters at the heart of the adventure are Zack and Wiki - the former being yet another of gaming's wannabe pirates (someone call Ron Gilbert), and the latter being his pet monkey (look behind you!). And, brace yourself, they're on a quest to get hold of Barbaros' treasure - Barbaros just so happening to be a dead pirate that you need to resurrect in order to get hold of said riches. Piece by piece, as you discover various parts of his body, more treasure becomes available to you and the story progresses in semi-linear fashion.
From what we saw, the game is essentially a third-person action-adventure with a difference - innovative and unique use of the Wii remote and Nunchuk. Broken down into a series of self-contained little quests, you have several available to you at any one time via the archetypal mission-selection map. Within each of these are a sequence of missions which collectively contribute to your overarching goal of finding more body parts - but as contrasting as the scenarios are on the surface, there's a common theme within each: to manipulate the environment any which way you can to get somewhere seemingly inaccessible.