By Eric T. Baker

If you have children, there is a good chance that you also have a Wii. And if you have a Wii, you’ve probably played tennis on it, and maybe even gone fishing, but you probably have not played a war game on the console, or if you have, it may have been Medal of Honor Vanguard, previously the best war game available on the Wii. Which is really saying very little. Now, however, Electronic Arts has released a new MoH game for the Wii, and this one clearly had more time and care taken with it.

The game is Medal of Honor Heroes 2 and evidence that the game has been built for the Wiimote is on display right from the start. The player gets his missions by tuning to the proper band on a radio, which is done by twisting the Wiimote in the air like a dial. The sound then comes out of the Wiimote speaker, which gives it the quality of WWII radio. The shotgun is reloaded by jerking the nunchuk up and down in a cocking motion. The mine detector is used by waving the Wiimote back and forth and the rocket launcher is used by putting it face down on the shoulder.

The two other things that MoHH2 has that are improvements on other Wii WWII games are a shooting gallery arcade mode and a 32- player multiplayer death match mode. The arcade mode isn’t as smooth as a dedicated rail shooter like the Time Crisis games, but it is fun and immersive to just have to concentrate on aiming and shooting. The multiplayer is remarkably smooth and very fast paced on a full server. The lack of voice chat makes for less cooperation than in a more high-powered system, but it is definitely the best that has ever been done on the Wii.

Another option for players to shoot their way through War II from a first-person perspective is The History Channel the Battle for the Pacific which can also be played on the Wii … and every other system on the market including the PC. Given the choice, it is a better PC game than it is on any of the other systems. Certainly it is not optimized to make use of the Wiimote the way that MoHH2 is. HCtBftP presents a more of historical tour of the era, along with a baseline of combat action.

As with the other games that have the History Channel imprint, HCtBftP starts at the beginning of the era and takes the player through the time period, WWII in this case, filling in the space between the scenarios with cuts from various History Channel programs that include real combat footage, discussion of the battle, and facts about how it really happened. This concern for the real history carries over into the game itself where everything from the maps to the weapons, uniforms, and vehicles are true to the actual war.

As a first-person shooter, HCtBftP has the player supported by computer-controlled squad mates just as in MoHH2. There are fewer minigames in HCtBftP, however, so the battles are both faster and more streamlined. From Henderson Field to Mount Suribachi the player fights through recreations of real missions from the war. There is also an online multiplayer that lets the players choose to be either Americans or Japanese to fight it out on historical maps.

The third game is on another platform that you probably have if you have kids: Nintendo’s DS hand held. Panzer Tactics DS from Sproing is a turn-based tactical game set in WWII that contains 150 units: infantry, ships, aircraft, paratroops, commandos, and of course, tanks. Each unit has full stats and the ones that survive a mission carry over to the next battle, leveling up and becoming tougher and having higher morale. All of this is tracked and played on two tiny LCD screens and managed with a stylus.

There is nothing in PTDS that hasn’t been done better on a desktop computer. But it is hard to bring your desktop to the kids’ soccer practice. PTDS is like the dancing bear; the point isn’t its shortcomings as a war game. The point is how well it includes all the entertaining and challenging elements of a desktop game in such a small package. Weather. Fog of war. Purchasing new units. Supply. Entrenchment. Two-player hot seat games on the same DS. Four- player battles over Wifi. In the single-player version there are three campaigns each with about 12 battles loosely based on historical offensives. In each campaign the player is either Germany, Russia, or the US and Britain and is always the attacking side.

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