Sorry about the lack up updates recently. With longer working hours and the annual Christmas games rush well and truly underway, I've had little chance to update the old blog.
Anyway, I've been going through this year's releases trying to pick my top 20 games of the year - so far. All the usual suspects are included, but I thought I'd take time to highlight a few crackers which might have escaped people's attention, so let's start with the Wiimake of Pikmin 2.
Initially available on Gamecube, this year Nintendo decided to release a few old classics on Wii, adding motion control support. The 480p option also means that these old timers are looking better than ever.
Created by Mario's dad, Shigeru Miyamoto, the Pikmin series takes the form of a fun and light-hearted real-time strategy game.
You control Captain Olimar and his sidekick Louie, and are tasked with revisiting the Pikmin's home world in a bid to raise funds for their ailing freight company back home. To do this, everyday objects such as fruit, batteries and crushed cans must be collected, which add to your company's funds.
Of course, the two intrepid explorers can't do this alone, so they employ the services of the planet's Pikmin - strange plant-like creatures who are only too happy to lend Olimar and Louie a hand.
These flower-topped creatures come in five different flavours: red, yellow, blue, purple and white, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Pikmin can be thrown at objects, which they will then carry to Olimar's spaceship, while throwing them at enemies causes the Pikmin to start fighting. Thrown en masse, they can also destroy most obstacles blocking your path.
To help manage the different coloured Pikmin, the player can switch between Olimar and Louie to command different armies, which helps things from getting too chaotic.
It might all seem a bit complicated, but with Miyamoto pulling the strings, Pikmin 2 is incredibly easy to pick up and a wonderful experience.
The added Wiimote controls add a great deal to the title, and commanding your Pikmin army is now far easier than it was using the old Gamecube pad.
For those who love collecting in-game items, Pikmin 2 has plenty to keep you occupied. The Piklopedia catalogues all the flora, fauna and creatures you come across on your travels - each one accompanied by a beautiful videoclip.
You can also keep track of all your treasures, each one featuring an excerpt from Olimar's diary. The attention to detail throughout is typical of Miyamoto-san and makes for an excellent all-round package.
With hundreds of objects to be collected above and below ground, lush and beautiful locations to explore, surprises around every corner, and two-player support Pikmin 2 feels as fresh today as it did back in 2004.
For those who played through the original back in the day, there's not a great deal more here to tempt you back. But for newcomers to the series, Miyamoto's masterpiece is an essential purchase and one of the finest games out on the Wii.