Wii're Off To Get A Wii-fund!
April 6th, 2007

Soooo...not even a day after I write up that little article for the frontpage, and about an hour into Zelda'ing today... My Wii decides to shut itself off for no reason whatsoever. It refused to turn back on...ever again. I called Nintendo and was pretty much told to send it in but it's likely that nothing could be rescued in terms of data and Wii points.

At this juncture, I just returned it to Wal-Mart and got my money back. So much for that adventure.


Wii're Off To See The Wiizard
April 5th, 2007

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

The Games
I only have a couple games right now, and I won't be writing up Virtual Console games, so let's have a look.

Wii Sports
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:

Tennis: I had loads of fun with it. It's responsive, cute, and gets pretty challenging. Killed my arm the first day I had it.

Baseball: Shitty and boring.

Golf: 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.

Boxing: 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.

Bowling: 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.

The Result?
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!


Oh Yeah!
April 4th, 2007

It's not April 1st anymore is it? Okay, I turned it back right side up so decoy can quit whining! Not like anything new's going up until Pat finishes his Final Fantasy IV Article anyway! I sure do love my site!

I have a Wii now. Currently playing Legend of Fetch Ques... err.. Zelda: Twilight Princess. That is all.


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