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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 48.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Paper
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Enjoyably idiotic Wii games
Excitebots: Trick Racing, (Rated Everyone), Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, (Rated Everyone 10+), Klonoa (Rated Everyone 10+)
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Just the other week, I was ripping into the Nintendo Wii for putting out a bunch of stupid games that are no fun. This week, I'm whipping out a bunch of stupid Wii games that are fun.

In Excitebots: Trick Racing, you drive cars and trucks shaped like forest green beetles and fuschia frogs. You win races to earn money to buy new bug-looking cars.

You speed your four-wheel frog rapidly across jungle floors and up dirt ramps. Occasionally, you have to pull off stunts while driving, like throwing a dart from your car at a dartboard on the side of the road.

Despite such lunacy, Trick Racing is a pretty entertaining distraction. The driving feels natural, and the zippy courses zoom by as an adrenalin rush, almost like the Wipeout driving games, but far sillier.

That's why Trick Racing is a deceptive little bugger. At first you think it's merely idiotic. But it's enjoyably idiotic and comes with head-to-head racing among gamers, which is always good times.

In Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, you shake your two Wii wands hard and fast to make Donkey Kong slap evil giant hogs and evil rival apes, and to pick up bananas, which feed you the potassium strength to beat up big meanies. Apparently, all bodily energy comes from potassium. Who knew?

Jungle Beat is a glorified side-scroller. You move left to right on the TV screen, and up and down - scaling mountain faces and sliding down ravines.

As ludicrous as Jungle Beat is, it's designed very creatively. It moves fast. The action is compelling.

And finally, we've got Klonoa, another glorified side-scroller, starring the title character, a dream-traveling cartoon kid who grabs villains shaped like person-sized balls with feet (imagine a walking bubblegum bubble that could punch you).

Then you throw those bubblegum creatures at other bubblegum creatures. There's much more to it than that, fortunately. You race across platforms in jungles and other locales.

The game moves by with cool precision and makes you feel like you're accomplishing something, when actually you're just a goofball in a cartoon world lousy with flute music and "bonky" sound effects.

Hardcore gamers who dig shooting Nazi zombies in the kidneys probably would not be attracted to these childlike Wii adventures. But the Wii's target audience is casual gamers, kids and females. And it's hard to imagine most Wii gamers wouldn't go ga-ga over these preposterous nonsense games that, I have to say, kind of make me peeved that I like them.

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