- [You may remember that we sometimes publish 'GameSetPlaying' round-ups, discussing what games we've been checking out. Well, new GSW columnist Mister Raroo takes the helm in the newest GameSetPlaying to discuss what he's found the time to play lately. It looks like someone's got Nintendo Fever!]

Wii Fit (Nintendo, Wii)

I’m glad I preordered this a couple months ago because it is hard to find. My coworker Raquel told me she’s so tired of trying to find a copy that she might just buckle and pay the absurd asking prices it’s currently going for online. I had initially thought the $90 price tag was too high, but after seeing the quality of the Balance Board, not to mention the substantial amount of content on the disc, the cost seems very fair.

Wii Fit has actually kept me very motivated to use it since release day, mainly because when all is said and done, it’s a lot of fun! I surprised how much I like the Yoga exercises, though my balance and leg strength are still terrible at this point. The Balance Games are excellent and I can’t get enough of them. They make me hope the rumors of a Wario Ware game that uses the Balance Board become a reality.

The World Ends With You (Square-Enix/Jupiter, DS)

My long-time message board pal Brandon Sheffield said this game is “Pretentious self-indulgent Nipponophile wankery.” Though in many ways that’s very true, I’m still having a great time with it. I’ve been playing The World Ends With You daily on my lunch breaks and trolley commutes and it’s got a hold on me.

What I find so appealing about the game is how every element comes together to provide an experience unlike anything I’ve really played before. While at its core it's an action-RPG, the dual-screen battles and overall flavor make it feel very fresh. I could do without some of the eye-rolling angst in the dialogue, but I can look past that and enjoy everything else this bizarre game has to offer.

Rhythm Tengoku (Nintendo, GBA)

With the announcement of Rhythm Tengoku Gold, I was inspired to dig this game out of my GBA collection and play it anew. I loved Rhythm Tengoku when it hit in Summer 2006, and I still love it today. In many ways, the game is like an interactive music album and I’ve been having a great time replaying my favorite minigames/tracks.

I particularly like the Bon Odori stages as they make me think of all the fun times I’ve had participating in the annual Obon celebration at my wife’s Buddhist temple. Last year’s Obon was especially fun because it was my son Kazuo's first time. I had him strapped to my chest in a Baby Bjorn and he smiled and laughed as we (clumsily) danced to the music. I can’t wait for this year’s Obon!

Beautiful Katamari (Namco-Bandai, Xbox 360)

This may be the weakest of the console Katamari games, but I still think it’s a pretty good time. It’s a shame that some of the content is tucked away on the disc until you pay to unlock it (including my favorite stage—the Mechanical one!), but that’s life in the microtransaction era, I suppose. That said, I still have been having plenty of fun with Beautiful Katamari, mainly because games like this just never get old to me.

I’m wary of playing my 360 these days because I don’t want to get yet another Red Ring of Death, but when I do turn it on, it’s usually to play this game. Beautiful Katamari is actually one of Kaz’s favorite games, and he’ll sometimes walk over to sit in my lap and watch the vibrant colors when I play it. Of course, it doesn’t take long before he starts trying to “help” by reaching out and pushing random buttons on the controller.

Endless Ocean (Nintendo/Arika, Wii)

I’ve had a fear of sharks since I was a little kid, probably because my sister somehow convinced me that Jaws could eat me if whenever my feet were on the carpet (logic be damned!) and she wouldn’t let me up onto the bed or couch so as to be safely out of the reach of those imaginary shark teeth. Thus, games with underwater sections have always given me the willies. Heck, even the sharks in Ape Escape creeped me out!

Endless Ocean has helped to ease my fears, if just a little bit. The sharks in the game won’t attack you and, ridiculously enough, you can even pet and feed them. I really like the open nature of the game—just dive where you want and see all the aquatic life you can. There are some small missions you can partake in if you want, but it’s all up to you. I mainly play this game with Kaz at night right before bed. Endless Ocean has a calming effect and as Kaz sits next to me and watches me play the game, he starts to fall asleep before too long.

Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo, Wii)

I sure am playing a lot of Nintendo games lately, it seems! I do own other systems, but nothing coming out on those platforms has really seemed too exciting to me. Mario Kart Wii has received somewhat of a mixed response from both reviewers and gamers, but I’m having a wonderful time with it.

I scoffed at the Gamestop clerk when she asked if I wanted to buy a second wheel, stating, “Pfff, I’m not even going to use the first one.” Surprise! I love the Wii Wheel! And, even bigger surprise! My wife loves Mario Kart Wii! Within a day we had purchased a second Wii Wheel.

The best part of Mario Kart Wii has been playing online against my brother-in-law Thomas and his son Mario. Mario talks a lot of trash when he plays games, especially Mario Kart. Therefore, it was especially satisfying when one time while playing a team match against Thomas and Mario, their connection was “accidentally” disconnected. I guess it was too much for Mario that Team Raroo was crushing him in every race!

So how about it, dear GameSetWatch readers - what have you been checking out recently, video game-wise, and what did you think of it?