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The Quixotic Engineer

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Exploring the Wii

Made with

Unlike the thousands of disappointed children this year, for Christmas I received a Wii (found in an HMV in late November.) It being Christmas, I was also presented with a unique opportunity to christen my new console with a real litmus test: entertaining my gaming averse aunts, uncles and cousins.

We started with the easygoing Wii bowling, but that proved to be a bit too slow to be entertaining. Furthermore, they blamed every missed strike on either controller detection error or programmed randomness. Next up was Wii boxing, which was a big hit with my father. To most, however, it was too chaotic for them to tell what was going on and therefore their successes and failures felt like pure luck.

Wii tennis, however, was loved by all. They really got into the game, jumping around much more than necessary in their attempts to return the ball. Watching my mother and aunt laughing and playing against each other just warmed the cockles of my heart. It took some serious prompting to get them to leave the system when dinner was ready.

When I had time on boxing day to finally explore the system for myself, I had fun making Miis with my sister. She in particular enjoyed the process, and insisted that I had her eyes/face/hair/etc wrong and grabbed the remote to correct them herself. I ended up with the handsome fellow you see at the top of this post, lacking only my trademark sideburns to be complete.

The rest of today was spent exploring the world of Super Mario Galaxy. I've completed the first galaxy, and what has really struck me so far is the sheer variety of gameplay. So far I have seen concave planets, convex planets, Mario 64 style areas, 2D platformer areas, and the manta races from Mario Sunshine. The boss of the first galaxy, Megaleg, was a terrific monstrosity twice as large as the planet it stood on and was lots of fun to fight (check out a video of the battle).

Beyond that, I was deeply impressed by the selection of titles available for the Wii Virtual console. While the arcade titles available on Xbox Live might make some older gamers nostalgic, it's the NES and SNES games that have made me reflect fondly on my younger days. Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart 64 and Paper Mario all look extremely tempting.

While I'm a little new to how exactly this friend code system works, drop me a comment or an e-mail if you'd like to be Wii friends. My beast of a code is: 4831 9046 9295 2783.



  • "Furthermore, they blamed every missed strike on either controller detection error or programmed randomness."

    Hey, that's MY excuse and I stuck with it faithfully going through CoD4 on Veteran. Also, when an invisible mob kills me in WoW, that's not user error.

    That's a goddamn bug. =)

    Glad you have a system to enjoy. I was one of the many (big) kids disappointed Christmas morning. Such is it, though, that that's me on a daily basis.

    By Blogger Dave, At December 27, 2007 at 12:55 PM  

  • Friend request on the way from me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 27, 2007 at 1:23 PM  

  • @dave:
    It's actually amazing how precise the Wiimote is, you can even aim your shots based on the speed and timing of your swings.

    COD4 on Veteran is madness, I still can't believe you beat it (especially "One Shot One Kill")

    Terrific! I still can't figure out what the friends list is for though, other than sending Miis and messages across. Is it used for online games too?

    By Blogger Matthew Gallant, At December 28, 2007 at 2:18 AM  

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