Game Enthusiast III: Wii Edition

Extreme yo...
Extreme yo...

While going through and doing a reduntant console hook up on my entertainment center. in preparation for St Patricks Day.(Where multiple systems are hooked up 2 different ways to the TV, to allow 2 consoles to play at the same time on a TV that supports picture-in-picture.) I Kinda felt like doing another Gaming blog.  I don’t care if you read them or not, ’cause I enjoy writing them   =p

Little warning, This is only about games, and it’s kindof a long read.. so.. if your not a gamer, turn away.. if you are a gamer, even a mild gamer.. you might find some of this stuff relevent, useful, and maybe entertaining.. *shrug* who knows.

Anyways, I’m gonna write this exclusively about the Wii.. I know many people, and probably everybody reading my blogs don’t own a Wii, is it because you don’t want one?.. well thats cool, I “guess”.. but if it’s because you can’t find one, I’m gonna help you with that.

TIPS FOR FINDING A WII:—————————————————-

1st, Location Location Location.

Try the least popular stores 1st and foremost.  Like Shopko, Fred Meyer perhaps, maybe Circuit City.  Always try the least popular stores first.  why?. Because they get everything the other stores get, they just don’t have a hundred people looking, smaller number of  “Competitors”.  but also try ALL stores that sell electronics. Such as Best Buy, Wal-mart, Toys R Us, CompUSA, Fry’s, Gamestop, EB Games. Here’s why you try the least popular.  Although Wal-mart is getting 21 (which is an average number of systems) and Shopko is probably only getting 5-6.  there may only be 10 people waiting at the Shopko, while there are over 50 waiting at the Wal-mart.  Statistics show that your more likely to get one at a less popular store.

2nd, Timing is Everything.

I got lucky, I knew the release date and showed up at the right time… Well, Chrissy showed up at the right time while I looked for other prospective locations. hehe. Finding after the launch frenzy may actually be harder because alot of stores don’t know there shipments.  If you get the info of when there last ones where shipped though, you can built a sketchy schedule.  Typically, games are shipped on mondays or sundays along side DVD shipments. but, there always put on shelves on tuesdays, now, that’s the Games and movies, systems are different.. Wal-mart before midnight is a good time to start asking (if it’s a 24/7 store)  Best Buy puts there stock out on sundays I believe.

3rd, Don’t be an ASS!.

Simple as that, Don’t bother asking “You got any?” in a bitchy tone, because they won’t. also don’t bother asking “When you gonna get them?” because they usually don’t know. Much better questions are “When was your last shipment?” and “Do you know what time that arrived?” this may not be a set date or time, but it helps.  Also, be nice to the people, don’t be an ass, realize that they probably get these questions several, SEVERAL times a day.  So, be courteous.

Ok, with that done.. I’m gonna go into some reviews of Wii games and recommended purchases when you find your Wii.

Wii Sports  ——- 8.0 (Comes with Console)

The Wii system comes with Wii Sports, which is very simple, easy to get into, but all the games can be mastered which adds that element to it, when a game is easy to get into but there is no chance of advancing it loses it’s longevity.  Wii sports is STILL the game I play with friends… the controls are smooth, responsive, slight tweaks in your wrist, how you move your arm or body will effect alot of what happens in the game, it’s just perfect… the ONLY problem is there isn’t enough!.  You have a choice of Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Golf, and Boxing, there isn’t enough depth in the games, they end too quickly, and more sports would have been great!.  Can’t complain too much though, Nintendo did people a HUGE service to including a FREE game in there Wii system that demonstrates the capabilites of the Wii.  Which is basically what Wii Sports does, it’s a tech demo of what the Wii and it’s full motion controls are capable of.  Graphics are very cartoony.. as you can see below, there not bad though, they get the job done, and you didn’t buy this system for it’s powerhouse graphics..

Wii Sports

Wii Play —————- 5.2 (Recommended Purchase)

This game is kindof an addition to Wii Sports, has the same style, uses the “Mii” characters and includes 9 new games!… problem is, none really have the same subtle control style as Wii Sports, and a couple are kinda finicky with there responsiveness.. there even shorter than the Wii sports games, and they just don’t have that same appeal… for the most part they miss there mark just a little bit, There all still fun by all means!.. just all around not as good as Wii Sports.  What makes this game a MOST buy though, is it’s basically 10 bucks!.  while the package is 49.99 it comes with a Wii-mote!.. so, your paying 40 for the Wii-mote basically, and 10 for the game!.. that’s a steal right there.

Wii Play

SSX Blur —————— 7.6 (Rent First)

I just started playing this one.  and so far, I really kinda dig it.  I’ll start with the good.  The game looks pretty damn good on the little Wii.  Light blooming, snow falling, when you really get going fast there is a nice, subtle blur effect, sound effects are nice, music needs work.  When you bail or stop, the music stops.. cool lil’ effect right?.. well, the music completely starts over when you get going again, gets repetitive and annoying.  Controls are a mixed bag.  WARNING, there EXTREMELY complex.  I’ll explain best I can, to “Carve” (turn left and right) you use a combination of the Analog stick on the nunchuk, and the actual nunchuk, you tilt the nunchukleft and right to care deeper to turn more.. sounds tough but it’s fairly natural and it feels good, it’s fun to just carve down the mountain.  to jump you can either just press “A”. or physically pull the nunchuk up.  To do a spin or flip trick, twitch the Wii-mote left, right, up or down.  to do a grab, Hold “Z” on the nunchuk, and lean the nunchuk either up, down, left, or right.  Ok,  sounds iffy right?.. now do ALL that within a 2 second window ALL at the same time, and remember to press “A” at the end so you can land the trick.. Yeah, HOLY SHIT is exactly what I think too.  Don’t even get me started on the “almost” broken “Ubertrick” system they decided to go with, in theory it’s cool.  you basically draw a lil’ picture on the screen REALLY quick and you’ll pull off a SUPER trick.  heres the problems, you have to be pretty accurate, there is NO on screen cursor to show your doing it right, you only have maybe 3 seconds to pull it off, and some of the tricks are pretty complicated to draw in only 3 seconds.  Like an Ambersan…. You try and draw a “&” with an invisible cursor in 3 seconds!!… JESUS CHRIST!!.

But here is the thing.. as hard is this game is, and as frustarating as it can be, every fleeding once in a while it brings back a feeling I haven’t felt in gaming since the O.G. nintendo system… a Sense that only Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox was able to re-instill fully.  a sense of accomplishment.  It’s really hard, but when you get it done you feel like “HEY, I was able to get that.. I don’t think everybody could do that!”.  3D games lost that, there really LONG, but there too easy!.

Other problems?.. Well, the courses aren’t spetacular, I don’t really like the art style they went with.. not really at all, should have stuck with the style from SSX3. Also, be ready to fight this game, if your a veteran of the other SSX games, throw that logic out the window, don’t settle down to think your going to pull off several tricks in one jump, it’s not a smooth ride, it’s bumpy.. be prepared to fail… alot.

I recommend a rental because the controls, although deep, and usable, have a REALLY hard learning curve.. you’ve been warned!!

SSX Blur

Excite Truck —————- 7.9 (Definately at least rent!)

This isn’t a sequel really, it’s a continuation of the “Excite” label.  While Excite Bike for the NES is a great classic, and Excite Bike 64 was an overlooked gem!. this is more of a “Hey, I’m pretty cool,too” distraction.  Controls?. very quick and responsive, maybe a little too much, but still extremely usable.You hold the Wii-mote sideways, which is the common configuration for racing games for obvious reasons.  Tilt left and right to turn in said direction, but you can also tilt forward and backwards while in the air to gain more speed and distance or land quicker in case you over shot your landing spot. Graphics?. there pretty good, this isn’t a Gran Turismo competitor by any means, but it looks really good, plays at a constant 60fps, and there are alot of nice effects.  The draw distance is REALLY good, you can see for miles, lots of trees and nice rain and snow effects.. it’s kinda pretty, one of the best looking Wii games so far I believe.  Sound?.. well, music sucks, but it can use your own music!.  put it on an SD Card and load it up, great feature.  Sound effects are pretty good, not enough gut thumping bass, or throttling sounds, but not bad.  All around a solid game, gets a little redundant though, not enough variety as you progress…. There are only like 8 courses I believe, not nearly enough, not that long either.  The dynamically morphable terrain is a nice addition though, sense of speed is really good, like your really blazing through the course..

Excite Truck

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess ————- 9.3 (Must Buy)

Not even if it’s worth going through and explaining way this game is great, for one, Nintendo made it.. that is a testament to it’s quality.  It follows the same structure as past 3D Zelda games, I don’t want to say it’s the same ol’ thing.. even though it is for the most part.  The Zelda franchise hasn’t been reinvented since it’s 3D itteration, which is totally fine, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!.  the fact that toe story is unique makes it a good game, Zelda has always been the game that you pay attention to the story, this is far is the same, actually pay attention because it’s good!.

The ONLY different between the Wii and Gamecube versions are obviously the control schemes, other subtle differences include; Link is left handed in the Wii version, right handed in the gamecube.  Also, the wii version supports 16:9 widescreen and the gamecube does not.  Graphically, Zelda looks pretty good!. it’s obvious that it was a port of a Gamecube game though, textures could be a higher resolution, and the poly count could have been higher.  But, the lighting effects are very nice, the game is by no means ugly, it’s a very nice looking game.

Controls work well, not “OOh my god this is so immersive”.. they get the job done well.  I can see a traditional controller maybe being a little easier to use, but using the nunchuk and wii-mote is more fun.   I can see this being a pivot point for gamers.  should I sacrifice some functionality for more fun?.. is the fact that I can’t pull “this and this” off quicker, less entertaining to me?.. Me personally, I know I’m a great gamer, so I’m willing to lose some points to play the game in a new way.

Sound effects are pretty good, there very typical of a Zelda game, you’ll instantly recognize that it’s a Zelda game without even seeing the screen, the music is there, the sword swing is there, and the grunt that Zelda makes…

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

———————–REVIEWS ENDED!——————————

Ok, with that.. I’m gonna go off on my final thoughts about the Wii and my predictions for the system and the console wars that are going on right now.

The Xbox360, all around.. is extremely solid, has a greater support for 3rd party developers, and is evolving into a great console, perfect online support, download demos, movies, TV shows, music videos, pictures, it’s really the system to beat.  It’s delivering the WHOLE package, and although 400 bucks seems like alot, it really is worthwhile.

The Wii is awesome, it’s not my favorite….yet, Nintendo is in a really pivotal situation right now and sadly, the ball isn’t even in there court!.  The N64, while literally reinventing the industry and directing the scene into the direction of free moving 3D gaming was a disappointment, it had some of the highest praised games of ALL TIME but, it didn’t have enough, there was only a hand full of great games, everything else was subpar or truly horrible.  And while the gamecube had a solid line of games as well, it to was a disappointment.  This exact same thing happened to Sega 10 years ago.  There 32x was a big flop, and then there Saturn system was a flop, Then Sega released a truly amazing console, which is STILL my favorite console called the Dreamcast, but people where still bitter about the last 2 failures and the consensus wouldn’t give the Dreamcast a chance to flourish. Both developers and the public saw it already as a failure before even giving it a solid chance.. which is sad.  what’s worse, is I can see that happening with the Wii already and it’s scary.  The Wii is a fantastic system, and the public, is on it’s side!.. everybody loves this thing.  But the developers are NOT taking it seriously. companies like EA, Ubisoft, Activision, and more notoriously. Metro 3D who is shoveling 13 ‘new” games onto the Wii this year, ALL are just ports from the Playstation 2 from a few years ago.  It’s shit like that, that could kill the Wii dead in the water.  Nintendo will relase outstanding games because thats what they do, there nintendo and they have Shigari Miyamoto who is the Creator/Father of Gaming.  But the 3rd party developers really need to release some new, polished, and addictive games for the Wii to thrive.

The PS3 is still dead in my opinion, It’s losing it’s exclusive titles to the 360, too expensive, It still is not fully functional, cross-platform releases look better on the 360.. it’s still fumbling about.  Everytime I walk into ANY store, there are at least 4 PS3’s avaiable…. Shit, I think I saw one at Safeway for God’s sake.

But, here is my….sad prediction for gaming in a couple years.  The PS3 will prevail.. ONLY because.. it’s the “Most powerful” in a couple ways.  Because it is the most poweful system, and Sony has a powerful name.  People will be drawn to it to prove that they have money.  “Look, I have a PS3, because I can blow money away like that.”  Even though the games will suck, doesn’t matter.

The 360 will be RIGHT beside if not above the PS3 in terms of sales because Microsoft did everything right on the 360 this time.  aside from the painfully slow release frame, it picked up speed and is now a great system with some fantastic games, Hell, I’ve played through Gears of War 2 times now, and am going to do it again!.

What of my cute, hopeful Nintendo Wii?… I don’t know.. can go either way, I honestly don’t think it’ll be a flabbergasting success, as it’s best it will be 3rd to the other 2 systems, but will get more games, will be played more.. but still won’t be at the peak of gaming like the PS2 was.. and actually still is.  At the worst, it could be dead in the water.

I commend Nintendo, and I love them for being so loyal to there fans and customers, The only bad they do is re-re-release there handhelds a dozen times.. haha. (Gameboy, Gameboy Pocket, Gameboy Light, Gameboy Color) Nintendo is really trying something brand new here, just like the way they standardized the “D-pad”, analog stick, multiple face buttons.. everything.  There trying to do it now, I saw that the industry was going stagnant and decided to go a different direction to avoid another crash.  There is only so realistic a game can look before they all look the same… isn’t there?..  I really want the Wii to succeed in a Grande fashion and take over the Gaming community.. and I will gladly eat my words if that does happen… sadly, I don’t see it happening… The industry is fighting Nintendo on this one… again.

Catch you on the Flip-side.

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