- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
Next Gen War: Part 2
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A picture of what a Mii character looks like
The NextGen War Rages on right HURR
Welcome to the second edition of my “Next Gen” War hub series, this is part 2 of 3 and now we will review the Nintendo Wii and see what it has over the competition and also what it lacks. In our past hub we covered the Xbox 360 and learned about its great games, online play, graphics, functionality and so forth. Check it out if you missed it.
The Nintendo Wii is Nintendo’s fifth console in the U.S. Now you may be wondering what a “Wii” is or means or even how you say it, you say it “We”. Nintendo developed this name because when you say it in different languages it is the same, also because the two “I’s in the name look like two people standing together. Basically Nintendo’s plan is to make a gaming system for all people that people can come together and play. Now I’m sure you have probably already heard how the Wii plays, but, if you have not here it is. Wii is a motion activated system where you hold a remote looking controller and swing, shuffle, put on top of your head, flick, pull on, and so many of things to make the game do what you want to do. For example, while playing the game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, you hold the remote in your right hand, and a little extension piece called the nun chuck in the left, and swing the remote like a sword to cut down your foes. I’ll go over more of how this game play works later on but for now I’ll just keep going with a brief overview. The Wii also supports wireless networking where you can download old school games directly onto the Wii’s hard drive, meaning if you have a dire desire to play Super Mario Bros on the SNES, then you can download it for less than 10 dollars strait onto your Wii and play it in a very short time. The Networking also supports you to download Wii channels such as weather, news, voting, web browsing, shopping, photos, Mii creator, and others as time goes on. The Wii supports up to 4 players as long as you have 4 remotes which are wireless by the way. The Wii itself is about the size of 3 or 4 DVD cases stacked on top of each other, basically thick enough for a disk to go in and for it to stick in a battery and a few other things which you wonder how they made it fit. So that is a brief overview, let’s go into each category and see if it’s worth your money.
Firstly, you want to know about the game play and the Wii motion sensing. Basically, the Wii comes with a little sensor bar that plugs in on a I’d say 20 ft extension cord that is not very thick at all so it’s very easy to hide which is nice (replacement WIRELESS sensor bars are available for 20$). This little bar transmit infrared signals to your Wiimote (Wii+Remote=Wiimote) and then the Wiimote then sends signals back to the Wii itself so if you lose your sensor bar, you can make your own from candles or anything that puts out some sort of infrared signal. None the less, that is how it works in a nutshell, very basic. Having this motion sensing for games makes the Wii very original and fresh to play. While playing Zelda you swing the Wiimote to slay your enemies, then when the going gets tuff you spin your nun chuck attachment that then Link into a spinning frenzy with his sword also eliminating anyone in his path. One game that takes full advantage of putting you in odd positions is a game called WarioWare. This game is a bunch of I’d say 5 second mini games that are really fun and random. The fun thing about the game is that there are forms in which you have to do, and forms are essentially just positions for you to put the Wiimote in. For example, there is the Mohawk where you put the Wiimote on your head and then certain actions from that position, there is then the Big Cheese form where you put the Wiimote on your hip and in some mini games you then have to spin your hips like you are using a Hula Hoop. Another game that takes good advantage of the Wiimote capabilities are Rayman Raving Rabbids. In this game it’s a bunch of mini games but they last longer and don’t always have a form. For example, there is cow tossing where you must swing the nun chuck over your head like you’re swinging something then push a button to release the cow sending it flying the farthest. The Wiimote sensing technology gives the Wii a unique way to play and is very accessible to anyone, my parents play it and they hate video games and suck at them. But they are able to play Wii Sports, which comes free WITH the Wii. In this game you get to play Tennis, Bowling, Baseball, Golf, and Boxing. These are some of the best games for the Wii because they are easy to play and fun, in tennis you swing the remote like a tennis racket, bowling you do the same motions as you do in real life, and then I’ll let you imagine the other games. Basically I give the game play of the Wii an A-, and only the minus because they have yet to really have that many smash hits, a lot of good solid games, but nothing that is really like holy chit Batman this is sweet.
Next we’ll go over graphics. The graphics for the Wii are good despite not being able to do HD. You can buy HD cables which do boost up the resolution and make it look a little better but it’s nothing compared to HD. This is probably the main setback for the Wii because it doesn’t look as good as the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360. That doesn’t mean they are bad though, everything looks good for what it can put out and by doing this there isn’t really any frame lag issues that you may see in hi graphical games for the other systems. For graphics I give it a B for good but not HD.
Now we can get to the networking of the Wii. The Wii comes with a built in wireless card which will connect to any open wireless connection available. So as long as you have a wireless router, or if your neighbor has one that you can steal their internet from, you can connect to the internet and take advantage of the Wii’s online capabilities. You may be wondering which capabilities these might be, well simmer down, I’ll let you know right now. Firstly, you can connect to the Wii Shop Channel (I’ll go over the available channels shortly) where you can download games for the NES, SNES, Sega Genius/Master System, Turbo GFX, and Nintendo 64. They do not have the full library yet of all the games, but they have a lot of the games that everyone expects to be on their right away, the ones that you played often. They are usually adding 3 a week to the list so it’s updating quickly. Second on the shop channel you can get the Opera Web Browser (free until July of 07). That means you can surf the web from the comfort of your couch by pointing with the Wiimote, you can input letters and words via a display keyboard. You can even go further with the online networking with the weather channel which allows you to look at your weather and weather around the world with a sweet display and the ability to look at the globe and spin it and see things, sort of like Google Earth. There is a voting channel which basically people just go on, make questions and vote, kind of boring but then again it can be fun to see what people vote for and it’s free. You can also download a news channel which allows you to look at news around the world. You may think…..sweet…….the news, but the way they do it, it can actually be a lot of fun. Then there is the ability to send your Miis (which are virtual copies of what you look like ) to your friends on their Wii systems. You can also send messages to friends via the network. So there is what the networking does. The down side of this is that there is no Online play……….yet. It is currently in development and should be out by late 07. So at the current time you can’t beat up on your friends. I give the networking a B+ for the lack of online play but the nice abilities of what it does have.
Lastly, the Wii comes which “channels” which are basically areas where you can go and do different things. I’ll go over the complete list as of April 21, 2007. First there is the Game channel which shows which game is currently in your system, you click it and you start playing, pretty basic. Next we have a photo channel where you can upload photos via a SD card slot or get them from a friend and create a slideshow, or you can just add effects and doodle on them. You can even create a Jigsaw puzzle from pictures where you can try to rearrange the images to create the original image just like those annoying sliding tile things you used to do as a kid where you would just end up tearing out the pieces and putting them together. Next is the Shop channel which I already went over, it’s just a hub for you to download things, some which cost. Then there is the News channel where you can browse news articles from all over the world. It has a really nice interface which you can spin the world around and see little like newspaper things where big news is happening. You can also turn on the slideshow and it will start a slideshow of news clips that you can read briefly before it goes onto the next one, kind of nice just to see what’s going on. Next is the weather channel where you can input your zip code then it saves that location and will tell you the current weather, then you can look at upcoming weather and look at a global view of the world and see where it’s raining, snowing, etc. It’s fun to look at random places like Easter Island, and places you never really think about looking but you see them on the globe. Next is the Everyone Votes channel which is a way for people to make up questions and vote. You get to vote on whatever, then see results for things. Some of the questions are fun, some aren’t all that great but it’s still enjoyable to check out. Second is Mii channel which is probably one of the most fun channels you get. It lets you create a little character for yourself by picking a nose, eyes, hair, face, body size, lips, colors, everything to create some funny representations of yourself. Some of them are right on, others are exaggerated views of the person but are still fun to have. Then when you play some games you get to use your character and see them in action. You can even make some replicas of celebs such as Arnold, Star Wars characters, Hitler, Aliens, and a TON of other people. So that’s pretty fun, Lastly, every time you download a old school game, it gets its own channel where you click it and go. So there you have it with the channels.
So there you have it on the info on the Wii, here are some final notes and my thoughts on how to spend your bucks. The Wii supports pretty solid games with a very unique way of game play. They took nextgen and pushed it into a new way of gaming, rather than a new look. I think Nintendo did a smart move on this one because no matter how good a game looks, if it’s not fun to play, then what’s the point right? It adds a whole new way to play which is accessible to everyone because honestly, anyone who picks up a Wiimote and bowls will be in front of it for hours, the nice thing is that you can actually get a work out doing it. There was a scientific study on it and someone actually lost weight playing the Wii because it requires you to move, pretty cool huh. Also, there was a old folks home somewhere, I forget where, who had a bought a Wii for the residents and now the residents (keep in mind they are 60 and older) are playing Wii every day, having fun, keeping active, having tourneys, and calling their families to come play who regularly wouldn’t visit them because let’s be honest, who likes those places, they are scary. The only drawbacks for the Wii are that they don’t support HD, the batteries in the Wii aren’t researchable UNLESS you buy the rechargeable packs for them which aren’t that much and are worth it. In the end I give the Wii a Solid A and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who likes having fun. You don’t have to be a super nerd to love it. Best part is that it’s only 250 dollars which is least expensive then the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Now if only you can find one because they are in such high demand, but if you do find one, I recommend you buying if, if you don’t want it, I bet someone else will buy it off you, no joke. Anyways, run out and buy one, you won’t regret it, I promise.
Be sure to check out my other hubs listed and buy some accessories from here, it helps support HubPages bringing you free info all the time. Also, if you have any questions or request, hit me on a comment.
The next part of this war will be my review of the PlayStation 3 and my final thoughts. I just need to buy a PS3....hey, im always down for donations :)
I just remembered a few things. If you have a gamecube and love some of the old games, have no fear, you can play them on the Wii and you can even plug in your old Gamecube controllers directly into the Wii. This is nice because you can then play Super Smash Bros and Resident Evil 4, although a Wii version of RE4 will be out later this year, just an fyi. Ill update more as i remember.