(Untitled Post)
November 19, 2006

Well, I finally have a Wii. I know most of you couldn't care less, but I'm pretty excited. I have seven games (not counting Wii Sports):

Excite Truck
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Rampage: Total Destruction
Rayman: Raving Rabbids
Red Steel
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Of those seven, I've currently played two: Excite Truck and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. I have to say that so far, I prefer the former.

Super Monkey Ball is definitely fun at times, but it's also very frustrating at times. It doesn't wait long at all before it gets hard, which I could handle, only there are boss encounters. Sucky, cheap boss encounters. The levels themselves aren't bad, though. I'll have to try multi-player and see how that goes, since it's apparently half the game.

Excite Truck I like a lot. It feels purely like an arcade racer. It does force you to go through a quarter of its tutorial mode before you can even race, but that's perhaps for the best. The tutorial takes about two minutes to finish and really acquaints you with how things work. And how is it that they work? You hold the controller horizontally and move it left or right to steer, forward and back to control your vehicle when it's airborne (which happens a lot). The graphics really look a lot better than I anticipated from screenshots and the action is pretty frantic. This is definitely an exciting experience. It feels very fresh, which is weird because really, all that's new is the control scheme.

As for the Wii itself, the controller feels a bit cheap when held in its horizontal position, and in fact most of the time, yet it's not what I would call uncomfortable. It leaves you a lot of freedom of movement and I've found myself adapting to its quirks more quickly than I expected. There are times when it feels absolutely natural and you forget you're holding a controller at all. Other times, you have to force yourself to remember that when you're at a tricky part. It's quite nice.

Setting up the Wii wasn't as nice, though. I had to sit through two updates before I played any games. I suspect this is just early release software fixes, but it took 2 or 3 minutes. Creating my Mii character was a bit more fun, though I haven't played Wii Sports yet so I'm not sure how well that's integrated. I downloaded Sim City which went by without a hitch, though there were only about six titles on the list to download. It looks to me like it's in early stages and hopefully it will become more streamlined in the future. I can't imagine the interface working well for more than a week or two, if ten new games come out each Monday.

Overall, my impressions are that this is a great system. It doesn't look a whole lot like a gaming machine, yet the experience so far has been completely about games and having a good time. It's a shame my body requires sleep...

Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...

janus janus - November 19, 2006 (07:29 AM)
how much/little does it rip off Xbox Live?
jiggs jiggs - November 19, 2006 (09:09 AM)
how much/little does it rip off Sega Channel?

glad you're having a good time with your Wii, Jason. ExciteTruck is fun with two players, but steering seems a little erratic and out of control. crashing once too often got a bit annoying.
zigfried zigfried - November 19, 2006 (10:46 AM)
Two questions:

1) Is an internet connection required to use the Wii?

2) Is it broadband-only like the others?

honestgamer honestgamer - November 19, 2006 (11:07 AM)
The Internet interface doesn't really remind me of Xbox Live too terribly much. One might argue that the channels interface is a lot like the blade set-up on the Xbox 360, but I believe Nintendo was trying harder to mimic the notion of flipping through channels on a television. You have this wall of channels with little screens, and you go to the channel that relates to whatever interests you (like the shopping channel to buy Virtual Console titles, or the Mii channel to create little avatars for games that make use of them).

As far as Internet goes, you don't have to have an Internet connection to play the Wii that I'm aware of, but you definitely do to make use of the channels. Also, I'd say that trying to use it without broadband would be kind of pointless. I have a wireless connection set up in my home, and I was able to set up my Wii with that in a matter of minutes. It's always online now, and will run its own updates as necessary. Very nice.
Genj Genj - November 19, 2006 (07:19 PM)
You know, the first guy to buy a Wii in the US was named something like Triforce Johnson and came wearing a Power Glove.
jeeeehad jeeeehad - November 19, 2006 (10:25 PM)
Was that the guy who got his from Reggie in Rockefeller Center?
Genj Genj - November 20, 2006 (09:19 AM)
goldenvortex goldenvortex - November 21, 2006 (10:07 AM)
haha, I'm going to change my name to Triforce Wilson.
silverishness silverishness - November 29, 2006 (06:58 AM)
I want a power glove... ;_;

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