It's been five days since I entered Wii-World. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride
of ups and downs, but I've managed to survive to tell the suited for ages 12 and under
tale. So, here's a bit of a rundown of my wiimpressions thus far.
All screenshots linked below are from a Composite input which is why they're blurry. I don't
have component/S-Video for my Wii.
The Console Itself
Sexy, compact, and shiny. About all you really need to amuse me these days. It's basically just a little white shiny brick that I've placed
in my entertainment center horizontally (not a big fan of vertical console stands.) It looks
good with everything else there and it's lightweight and easy to transport aside from that
humgoid power brick. The channels menu is slick and easy to navigate, though I can't really
think of many reasons I'd need to use most of them.
Playing GameCube games is a cinch, just plug in the controllers to the little ports hidden under
a little detachable door, a memory card, slip the game in and you're good to go. It looks a little
sloppy from a cosmetic standpoint, but the Wii is likely to replace my GameCube in the entertainment
center, since it's smaller and handles everything a GC can do besides the GBA Player.
The Wiimote/Nunchuck combo feels just fine in my hands and is as responsive as I think it could
be. I ended up with a dud combo at first which led to much frustration while playing Zelda.
Once I replaced it (and Nintendo's sending me a replacement for the one that came with the
console as well) everything was gravy.
Channels, Internet, and Virtual Console
As mentioned in the previous section, I can't find much reason to use most of the channels that
are default on the console. The forecast channel is okay, I suppose, and it's got a nice bright
presentation that's very appealing to the eyes. The News channel is also nicely done, featuring
full-length stories from the latest national and international headlines and has a pretty slick
global view that you can drag around with thumbnails for the most recent stories. While they're
done nicely, it's mostly just novelty though, as these are things that can be done easier
and faster on a PC. The Vote channel is a neat little idea that I hope spawns channels
with more interactivity and features. The Pictures channel just seems kinda worthless.
Wii Main Channels Menu
Wii Forecast Channel 5-Day Forecast
Wii News Channel Global View
Wii News Channel Story View
The Internet channel (currently in beta) is pretty bad, and when it goes final, I can't see
anybody paying for a browser like this. It renders pages fine for the most part, but it's just
a pain in the ass to use all around and is slow, clunky and ugly. Since it'll be free for 2-3
months once it's released, I'll give it another look as it does promise to fix a lot of the
gripes I have with it. But once again, this is something I can do on my PC MUCH easier and
ends up being a neat little parlor trick.
Internet Channel Powered by Opera
The Virtual Console setup is done about as simple and straight forward as you can get. Buying
Wii Points with a credit card or redeeming them from a Wii Points card is easy, peasy, Japanesy.
Buying and downloading games is a snap as games are categorized by their console and in
Alphabetical order so you can easily navigate to the title you're interested in. Selection's
just a tiny bit dull right now, and I honestly wish they'd use bigger and more screenshots for
each game. Emulation on the games I've played thus far has been pretty spot on, though I've only
dinked around with one N64 game and a couple NES games. The only reason I really see myself using
this is for games I don't have (TurboGrafx games), or times when I don't feel like dragging
another console out. I really don't care much for the prices either.
Virtual Console Start Page
Virtual Console Catalog Page
Virtual Console Game Page
I only have a couple games right now, and I won't be writing up Virtual Console games, so
let's have a look.
It's probably the best damn tech demo I've ever played. It's fun and it'll give you a workout
if you get into it. There's a good bit to do here, and stat tracking for individual Miis is
pretty neat too. some quick impressions on the included games in the package:
: I had loads of fun with it. It's
responsive, cute, and gets pretty challenging. Killed my arm the first day I had it.
: Shitty and boring.
: Much cooler than I thought it'd be. I really like how the sensitivity in
"motion sensitivity" is utilized here. I'm getting better, but still can't finish the
advanced course under par.
: It'll give you a hell of a workout...it's just not very responsive. So while
you may be there dancing around and throwing punches and burning calories, you may not be winning
since the motion sensitivity seems really off.
: I DARE you to try and not have fun with Bowling and the various little mini-games
associated with it. I DARE you!
As I said, best damn tech demo I've ever played and for a free game, I don't think there's much
room to argue.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
It's not a big secret to those that know me that I've never enjoyed a 3D Zelda game. They usually
just frustrate the shit out of me with their shitty controls and camera. This game managed to turn
the tide after a replaced Wiimote/Nunchuck. I'm finding myself enjoying it quite a bit, though
it's not without its faults.
Nintendo is just like EA only they wait five years to release the same game. I've played through a
good bit of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Windwaker enough to know that this game is just
following the same formula it's been following since 1997. The Wiimote functionality sadly feels
tacked on most of the time. It's fun, but Nintendo needs to stop relying on old habits and
recreating old games or they're gonna have a very disgruntled Wii owner on their hands.
I'm enjoying everything about it so far. Even with the nitpicky faults I can't say I'm all that
turned off. If I were to make one suggestion, it would be this:
An article I 100% agree with
For those who don't like reading much (byron)
With the Wiimote, you've given us "new ways" to enjoy our games. The problem is, almost nothing
you've shown me thus far has proven all that new. Substituting wiggling a wiimote for pressing
the A button isn't going to cut it. I still feel like I'm using a game controller. Excitetruck,
SSX Blur, and Trauma Center are great examples of what you should be doing. Know how you
make me thrust the nunchuck in Zelda to do a shield ram? That's cool! The character is
actually mimicing the motion I'm doing, so for a second, I feel like I'm bashing someone
with a shield.
And that's about it. Thank you for playing!