Nintendo Wii: Hands-on

January 3, 2007

The Nintendo Wii: is it all that we here at SHSIBAE have been hyping it up to be? Yes. Do you need to get one? Yes. I could really leave this post at that, but I’ll indulge everyone by giving my impressions of it.

The setup of the Wii is extremely easy. I probably had mine up and running in about 10 minutes. Of course, this will vary for each individual due to accessbility of electrical sockets/RCA jacks and level of inebriation at the time of setup, etc. The stand the system itself sits on has a sleek look to it, and holds the Wii at a slight angle to show off its sexy CD slot which glows blue when you have new messages from Nintendo (this is assuming you get the Wii online on your home router) or when you first turn the system on. Even turning the system on can be impressive, as there is a handy on button on the Wii remote. I’ve always wanted a game console that I could turn on from a-far. This now leads me to the revolutionary remote/nunchuk controller.

Wireless, pearl white, and simple, the controller system is really what makes the Wii. It can sense what angle you’re holding it at, how fast you are moving it, and probably even how much fun you’re having while using it. If you’ve read other reviews/previews of the controller, it is true that you really need to use full ranges of motion when you use it to get the maximum amount of fun out of it. When you see Link do a full 360 sword swipe, you feel kind of lame just slightly moving the nunchuk attachment slightly back and forth. It is possible to do small motions with the controller and still get the same effects, but it’s not nearly as fun as pretending like you’re actually wielding a sword.

The games available for the Wii at the moment, I will admit, don’t present many exciting options (at least for me). However, this really doesn’t matter so much, as I have bought the last two Nintendo consoles solely for playing the newest Zelda game. The best games out for the Wii right now are Zelda: Twilight Princess, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, and Call of Duty 3. I’m a huge fan of the Zelda and Splinter Cell franchises and I must say, the Wii controller really changes things for these games. You really just have to play them for yourself to see.

The online features of the Wii, for the moment, are kind of lack-luster. Yes, it may be convenient to get your local weather forecast, but that’s why I have my computer. The “Mii” social networking component has the possiblity of getting interesting, but for the moment it’s kind of lame. I think that the crown jewel of the Wii’s online capabilities is the virtual console downloadable games. While there’s not many games available right now, the possibilites for expansion in this area are pretty big.

The trick to master before playing the Wii, of course, is to find one that you can purchase… availability is slim.

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Gears of War Exclusive Update

December 14, 2006

Our crack squad of spies have revealed to us an exclusive screenshot of the upcoming Gears of War update.  It looks like it will be a third race, of dorky clowns.  Watch out Dom, the clown has the spritzer bottle!

Ok, you got us. It is a fake, a dream of sorts. What would you add to this wonderful game full of holes?


Decision!

December 7, 2006

-l


What to ask for?

December 6, 2006

Bout to ask for a game for a XMAS present and I have narrowed my choices down to these three, based on my current mood and interests:

Caesar 4
Sid Meier’s Pirates!
Star Trek: Legacy

And as alternates I also am considering:

Neverwinter Nights 2
Elder Scrolls 4

All for the PC. Tune in tomorrow to find out which game I select!


Buy a Wii. Or die.

November 17, 2006

We at SHSIBAE have been talking about the recent PS3 assassination attempts and have been talking about possible root causes for this new pandemic. It has become clear to us that the Wii is simply the cheaper, safer alternative and officially endorse the Wii in its bid to become one of only two game consoles in 2007. Sony, we appreciate your achievements in video gaming over the years and hope your company does not go fully bankrupt in its doomed efforts to produce and sell the PS3. However, the signs of your inevitable failure are obvious, including but not limited to a hefty price tag, unrealistic hardware requirements, dependency on a dubious and uncertain digital video technology, and probably most important, the fact that trying to buy one at your local store will cost you a few bullets in your ass.

We salute you, Wii. We really do.


WoW, we hardly knew ye

November 9, 2006

After a lengthy debate with myself, I decided to leave the World of Warcraft.  Detailed reasons why are noted in my treatise from a few weeks ago.  It was a really tough thing to do, to delete my characters that I worked on for over a year, but I knew it was for the best.  I finally had two level 60s to show for all of my hard work, but I threw it away.  But, oddly enough, I actually feel better.  There’s no more “farming” for reputation with in-game factions for specialty potion recipes or armorsmithing plans, no more 5 hour raids, and no more money being racked up on my credit card.  And, when all is said and done, I really just deleted some data.
Honestly, the worst thing about leaving was that I wouldn’t be able to show off all of my tier 1 raiding armor anymore and/or get better armor (and weapons)  to show off at another time.  That’s honestly all the game boils down to, in the end, and that’s really why I left.  Hours of my life wasted, maybe, but it was a good learning experience — or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Anyway, I’m sure I will miss playing, and it’s going to be pretty different for my girlfriend and I until I adjust to not being able to play when she’s playing.  The only worthwhile benefit of WoW is the friendships you can make.  Maybe I’ll spend more time with friendships in the real world now.

Good bye, WoW.  What a long, strange trip it’s been.


Gaming Industry News & Rumors

November 2, 2006

PS3 Online Launch Woes
As if Sony needed any more negative press, rumor has it that most launch titles for the PS3 will have very little online content or gameplay. Developers are frustrated at the lack of support they have thus far received from Sony in this area, and many have supposedly decided to entirely drop the online component from their titles. There is still time for some of these issues to be addressed, but that time is quickly running out.

Considering a) these new online issues, b) expected unit shortages at launch, and c) a very high price-point, Sony seems to be relying heavily on consumer brand recognition to help carry the PS3 through the early stages of the its lifespan. Only time will tell if that strategy works, but Microsoft and Nintendo must be quietly (or loudly) excited.

Nintendo Announces Wii Launch Titles
Yesterday, Nintendo announced their complete list of launch titles. This list includes both next-gen titles for the Wii and downloadable Virtual Console titles, all of which are expected to be available by the end of December.

Next Gen Titles
Excite Truck
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Wii Sports (bundled with the Wii console)
Call of Duty 3
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Rapala Tournament Fishing
Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
World Series of Poker
Dragon Ball Z Budokai: Tenkaichi 2
Trauma Center : Second Opinion
Madden NFL 07
Need for Speed: Carbon
Elebits
The Ant Bully
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
Happy Feet
Rampage: Total Destruction
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Metal Slug Anthology
Super Swing Golf
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Barnyard
Cars
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab
Far Cry: Vengeance
GT Pro Series
Monster 4×4: World Circuit
Open Season
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Red Steel – This & Zelda are the hottest launch titles.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

Virtual Console Titles
Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Jr.
Ice Hockey
Pinball
Soccer
Tennis
Urban Champion
Wario’s Woods
Baseball
Solomon’s Key
F-Zero
SimCity
Super Mario 64
Sonic the Hedgehog
Altered Beast
Golden Axe
Columns
Ecco the Dolphin
Gunstar Heroes
Space Harrier II
Toe Jam & Earl
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine