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honeymoon // gaming review - Lograh — LiveJournal

Monday, 27.Nov.2006

9:45 - honeymoon // gaming review

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damn I'm sore!

So, I managed to score a Wii on Friday. From Friday 1PM (when I finally got it set up) to Sunday 9PM (when I went to bed last night) I have played with my Wii (I love that phrase, it's so wonderfully immature) for just about 26 hours (it keeps an internal playtime log, broken down by number of minutes on which game per day, in order). Unlike some other, more "hardcore" people, I took time out to sleep and go get coffee and whatnot.

The list of what on me is sore:
back of neck (right and left)
both shoulders (top and back sides)
both sides of chest
lower back (left and right sides)
right thigh
left upper arm (front only)
right upper arm (front and back)
both forearms
both elbows
both index fingers (the left one confuses me -- don't know how that happened)
right big toe (not at all sure how that happened)

I don't think I've had that much activity in a weekend in ages!

Some observations on the games:

I had read previously about the guy who had his 60" TV broken when his buddy let go of the Wiimote (the common name for the controller, officially called the "Wii Remote") during a game of bowling, and I was curious how that could actually happen. When I saw the Wiimote I noticed it is smoothe sleek plastic. Very easily made slippery by a slight bit of sweat and with no knob or finger grips or anything that could make it easily held on to. I was still wondering how hard he had to have been tossing the thing to make it break the wrist strap (which is admittedly too flimsy) and still crack the screen. After playing Wii Bowling (part of the Wii sports 5-pack of games that comes with the system) I can now see that it is entirely too easy. The game does sense how hard you are throwing and does modify the speed of your ball based on that. Your hands do get very sweaty sometimes playing that game and I also had the Wiimote slip out twice (though the strap didn't break). Thankfully, it doesn't care if you are throwing towards the TV or not, so I was able to aim my throws to the side of the tv by angling my body (just in case the strap did break) and it worked fine.

I have played Wii Golf (another of the free games) so many times I've just about memorized the pathetically limited 9 holes that are in it. And though it is still fun, it's not sophisticated enough. The Wii Bowling knows how you spin your hand as you throw, it knows speed/strength of throw as well. The golf seems to only have the code for the strength of hit. It ignores the twisting, which while certainly helpful for those of us who can't seem to keep it straight no matter what we try, is somewhat annoying to not even have the option. And some sort of limited course creator or randomizer would certainly help to remove the monotony of playing on the same 9 holes over and over. Even with all that, though, it's quite fun and addicting to keep trying to get better. At least it does keep track of your skill level and adjusts the wind to attempt to present you with a constant challenge each time you play. If/when Tiger PGA comes out for the Wii (rumoured for march '07), I may just have to call in sick to work the next day. :)

Wii Bowling is by far the most enjoyable for me of the Wii Sports package. Very full featured in the controls, very natural. I was able to hold the Wiimote with both hands and do a granny shot between my legs and my character dutifully gave the ball the slightest touch of push and let go very early, just like it should have. My spins are coming back too much or not enough, in keeping with my inability to stick just the right amount of twist in my wrist. The pins have very believable physics, with the perfect strikes happening in exactly the way you would expect. A buddy of mine who was bowling with me complained that the pins seemed slightly fatter and closer together than real pins would be, and he also suspected they were coated in rubber since they were a tad bouncier than he expected. He did, however, admit to having a total blast playing the bowling and lamented the future lost work days if they happened to release a pro-bowling game for the Wii (he's a more serious bowler than I'll ever be, plays in a league and has even gotten an almost perfect game).

The Wii Boxing game is unarguably the most serious workout in the bunch. It uses both the Wiimote and the nunchuk (the official name for the second controller that plugs in to the main one) and does an admirable job of mimicking your movements. You have to punch slightly awkwardly, but it's close enough to proper that people who've had some experience (even a little bit of training will suffice) do notably better at the start than people who have no fighting experience at all. Eventually, through the training, you figure out how it wants you to throw the punches and you discover how it's interpreting the angles and movements of your hands, and after about the 7th fight or so everyone has adjusted and can fight on equal footing. You can control anything from low to high blocks, left and right dodges (including degrees of left and right) lean in or out, and can punch from low to high, straight in or roundhouses, or anything in-between. It gets your heart pumping, your whole body sweating, and it doesn't take long before you're dancing around the whole room making your geekiest attempt to float like the proverbial butterfly. A quick 3-minute match (three rounds per match (assuming you don't KO the opponent before that), one minute per round) gets the heart rate up, two of them in a row and you're panting and wanting to collapse (yes, we geeks are not the most athletically orientated), and string five or six of them together and you're looking at a halfway decent 15 minutes cardio workout!

The other two sports games, Wii Tennis and Wii Baseball, left me wanting and wondering if they were projects that got canceled half-way through. I was unimpressed, and I actually like playing Tennis in real life. But then, I didn't really have a chance to give them a fair try yet as I'm having too much fun bowling and boxing (and, of course, playing Zelda)!

So yeah, I'm totally loving the Wii. Very fun console with plenty of room for game developers to grow in the coming years. I gotta admit, I think Nintendo may have out-smarted everyone. Microsoft thought they had the next-gen thing in the bag with their year earlier launch. Sony arrogantly stated that next-gen didn't start till they said it did. But with the Wii, and it's different approach to gaming, I think Nintendo may be the only company offering a truly "next-gen" system. The Xbox360 is just last-gen with better graphics, the PS3 is only slightly better (if at all, I'll leave that debate to gamers who care). The Wii is the only one where you walk away from it thinking you've just experienced what video gaming should be and it will eventually become. With golf on the other systems (the Xbox360, at least), you'll sit there and twiddle your analogue sticks back and forth. On the Wii I stand up and swing a friggin' club! I even got to experimenting with adjusting my footing, it's that immersive! Nintendo wanted to make a gaming console that is so natural that anyone can play games. I think they've just about hit the nail on the head.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:ox_number_10
Date:23:04 27.Nov.2006 (UTC)
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As a person fairly enamored by video game culture, I have to say that I am more interested in the Wii than the PS3, price aside. While the PS3 will eventually release games that I am looking forward to, the Wii has the potential, as you said, to just be amazing.
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[User Picture]
From:lograh
Date:0:36 28.Nov.2006 (UTC)
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I'll have to bring it by for some golf and bowling some night (it's damn small and easy to transport), once I get an extra controller (passing the same controller is lame) if you don't have one yet by then. Drunken video gaming is all the better when your drunkenness makes you swing like shit! :)
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[User Picture]
From:pleckos
Date:6:59 28.Nov.2006 (UTC)
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hey! i'm so glad i checked my flist today--you got a wii! i'm loving mine and am glad that nintendo simplified video games instead of complicating them further. anyway, i LOVE wii tennis, that and boxing are my favorite. not a fan of the golf--isn't the putting sensitivity a bit off?

have you tried connecting to your wifi? i downloaded the updates but i'm getting some sort of error code. perhaps i should call nintendo. anyway, glad you're enjoying yours! what game are you getting next?
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[User Picture]
From:lograh
Date:18:04 28.Nov.2006 (UTC)
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See, I haven't really enjoyed the Tennis yet. Is there a way to get it off doubles? I think I might like it more if it were playing singles instead.

Yes, the putting sensitivity seems a tad off, but not so much that it bothers me. I'm more annoyed that it only has those nine holes and nothing more. I'm really looking forward to Tiger on it.

As for going online, I do not yet have internet connectivity at home so that's not an option at the moment. Once I get it online I'll let you know how it goes. I'll also be posting my Wii number online so people can mail me and find me online for multiplayer with the games that support it.
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[User Picture]
From:lograh
Date:18:12 28.Nov.2006 (UTC)
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I've only had problems with the cord getting tangled up if I have lots of crap on my belt and I swing it around too much. It's plenty long enough for the punches and whatnot. It is about a meter in length.

The high demand for the Wii is not fake. These things are selling out within an hour after shipments arrive so far. If you don't want to line up an hour before the game store opens or have to deal with a big crowd to get one you'll be waiting another few weeks at least, possibly into January, before they are sitting on the shelves for over a day. Nintendo is doing a great job of keeping the supplies coming (I know people locally who are still trying to get one and they are informing me of when shipments are arriving around town) but the demand is so high they just aren't spending any real time unsold.

I've heard some disheartening reviews about RedSteel; can't recall exactly what, though, as it didn't particularly interest me. If a more advanced sword fighting game (like a kendo simulator or similar) comes out I may get it. The sword fighting in RedSteel just seems to me somewhat simplified.
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From:jesstersmasque
Date:10:14 28.Nov.2006 (UTC)
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Hey Ryan, thaks for this review here. I was already interested in the Wii but now I know for sure I want one :)
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[User Picture]
From:lograh
Date:18:12 28.Nov.2006 (UTC)
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no problem. if you have any questions feel free to ask and I'll answer to the best of my ability.
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