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Kororinpa: Marble Mania Review

Developer: Hudson Soft Publisher: Hudson Soft
Release Date: March 27, 2007 Also On: None

Konami (Hudson was bought by Konami) was almost entirely absent from the Wii launch in America. Aside from Elebits in December 2006, the Japanese powerhouse left little evidence that it ever even competed for consumer’s attention. Meanwhile, over in Japan, Wii owners were met with an oddly named and equally difficult to pronounce puzzle/maze game. While America got Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, Japan got Kororinpa: Marble Mania. Which of these maze games is more worth your buck? Keep reading to find out.

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The single player in Kororinpa: Marble Mania consists of rolling a marble around a maze collecting all of the crystals until you reach a goal. Overall, there are 50 courses to unlock across five unique worlds. These worlds include a Park, Candyland, Night Town, Toy Land and Outer Space. The mechanics are simple yet satisfying. The simplicity of gameplay combined with the more complex nature of the maze create a rewarding experience.

Much like Super Monkey Ball, Kororinpa takes full advantage of the Wii’s unique controls. Kororinpa may be the first game that I have ever played on any system that requires no buttons at all. Whereas Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz at least had a jump button, Kororinpa is solely reliant on the Wiimote’s motion sensing capabilities. All you do is tilt and twist the Wiimote in any given direction to guide the marble. Along the way are hazards that will need avoided such as scissors, magnifying glasses and holes in the maze.

One of the few points of interest that may draw interest at replaying the mazes are the 20 different marbles that can be unlocked from playing the game. Each of them have a distinct look, sound that they make and feel. Some of them are faster than others, some are bouncy and others are slippery. This can create interesting gameplay situations, definitely changing the way that a maze may be played out. Some of the marbles in Kororinpa include a dog, penguin, basketball, soccer ball, watermelon, alien and several more.

Kororinpa: Marble Mania is officially a two player game, though it might as well be a single player game. The two player multi-player is nothing except the single player. You race your opponent to the goal, needing to collect all of the crystals along the way just as you would normally. Nothing flashy, no mini-games to speak of, just the single player game where you race a friend against the clock. I would say it’s almost a useless mode, except for the fact that it is relatively enjoyable. Also, you can unlock mazes with a friend and replay them in single player, avoiding the need to unlock them again.

While all told Kororinpa is an interesting and delightful game to play, I would honestly take Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz’ more mazes and the plethora of multi-player mini-games that it offers over this any day. Kororinpa is a short affair, taking the average gamer just five hours at most, but many could finish well under that. The multi-player is nothing to brag about and there is little redeeming replay value. Kororinpa is a game that makes a good rental, but it can’t pass as a purchase.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6.5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 6.5
Written by Kyle Review Guide