Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wii: First Impressions

I received my Nintedo Wii yesterday. I was lucky enough to have ordered one from Circuit City during the few minutes that they took preorders on Friday. They shipped it out Monday, and it was here Tuesday(yesterday). Anyways, here are my first impressions of some different aspects about the Wii.

The Wii Itself
I must say the thing is even smaller than I could have imagined. It is slightly slimmer than a Mac Mini, a little longer, and just a tad wider. The thing feels absolutely solid. The controllers(Wiimote and Nunchuck) are also very solid. The Wiimote even comes with a wrist strap, so you don't have to worry about flinging the thing out of your hand. When I first heard it would have a strap, I figured I wouldn't use it, since it would probably be annoying. That is nowhere near the case. You can barely even notice it is on, yet it gives you that extra security that you don't have to worry about dropping your brand new 30 dollar Wiimote on the floor.

Setup was an absolute breeze. Just plug in the power, A/V cables, and the Wii sensor bar, and you are on your way. The initial screen just asks you to specify a name for your box and the date. From there setting up the wireless is just as easy by going to the options. There is a system information section that tells you what your MAC address is if you do MAC filtering. Also, the wireless gives you all the major choices for WEP and WPA encryption if you have those enabled on your router. After that, it goes through an update. The update took me about 5 minutes, I am guessing because the server is probably a little bogged down at the moment, but nothing too bad.

Game Play - Wii Sports
I of course started by playing Wii Sports Baseball! Both my girlfriend and I had an absolute blast. The pitching and batting is very intuitive and fun. You even kind of get a workout if you don't cheat and really go through all the motions. It actually feels like you are playing baseball(at least way more so than any other baseball game I have played). In case you are wondering how you run the bases, don't worry about it, you can't! When you hit the ball, the computer basically estimates if you would have been out, or if not, how many bases you would have got.

From there we went to Tennis. Again, and absolutely fun experience. You hold the remote just as if you would the handle of a tennis racket and swing away! The remote even seems to account for what your racket angle would be an applies the appropiate spin and aim on the ball.

After that we played boxing. This was probably my least favorite of the Wii Sports games. It was fun, but it seemed kind of clunky feeling, and not all of your punches would always be registered. It could just be that I need to get more used to it.

Next was Golf. Again very inuitive, and very fun. Just like tennis, except you are swinging at the ground, the game registers the angle and spin off your club, as well as the velocity of your club to determine the speed of the ball of the club. Putting was a little challenging at first, but then again, it is challenging for me in real life too.

Finally there was bowling. This was also tons of fun. I imagine this game will be the game to play when you have friends over, as you don't need 4 remotes to have 4 people play, just hand the remote over. The game is addicting and really does require that you aim your shot, and bowl the ball with the right power and angle.

Game Play - Red Steel
I haven't gotten too far into Red Steel, but so far it has been fun. It is a little tricking getting used to using the Wiimote to turn yourself around and look up and down while using the Nunchuck to actually move. Also, sometimes it seems like the Wiimote gets a little confused and has you staring at the sky for a couple of seconds before it figures out what you want. Other than that, the game is alot of fun, and I think shooting people in the game with the Wiimote is easier then even using a mouse on a computer. You also get to do sword fighting with the Wiimote which actually follows your moves fairly well and seems pretty accurate.

Overall I would say that the Wii is the best system I have ever played. You can really tell it is made for anyone, even non-gamers. Nintendo seems to have this down to a science. Whenever you start thinking to yourself, "Well, how do I do that!" it seems at that moment Nintendo always has a little message bar telling you what you need to know. Along with these well placed helpful hints, the gameplay is simple and intuitive enough that the playing field for everyone is even. My GF beat me in Bowling and Baseball, and I beat her in Tennis and Golf. It really does not depend on how much of a gamer you are, but rather just doing it and trying to have some fun!

No comments: