After One Week - My Wii Impressions

Diskeater

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So the Wii has been out for a little more than a week now and I figured it is time to write some “expanded impressions” of the system.

Initially, I was bummed that the Wii didn’t have any sort of start-up screen like the other consoles have, but the fast boot-up time into the main menu screen more than makes up for that. The menu screen with its 3x4 channel button interface is very clean and easy to navigate. The pointer tilts if you tilt the wiimote and it also rumbles slightly when you point at a channel, which is just fantastic.

I have used the Virtual Console to buy Wii Points and Mario 64. I didn’t connect my Wii to the internet until a day or so after launch, so I didn’t experience any problems whatsoever updating the console. Both the update and Mario 64 dowloaded very fast. The ststus bar for Virtual Console downloads showed a Mario grabbing coins and hitting blocks – a really nice touch.

The classic controller is a perfect mix of a retro feel with a modern control. Once I figured out what buttons did what, playing Mario 64 was perfect. Without realizing it, my friends and I sank about three hours into that game.

When I downloaded Mario 64, it appeared as its own channel in the main menu. This is nice as it allows easy access to the game, but I can see the main menu getting cluttered if you download a bunch of games. In the future, I would like to have more control over what goes onto the main menu. Maybe a “Downloads Channel” with the ability to sort by name, system, year released, etc?

Entering information with the wiimote using the onscreen keyboard is ok. I found it to be much easier than on any other console, but nothing can compare to having a real keyboard. There is an option to use a QWERTY style or a “cellphone” style. Both worked fine but I couldn’t figure out how to space over with the cellphone style.

WiiConnect24 / Wii Message Board is really neat. The system sends you a message that lets you know how long you played a certain game and if you’ve beaten a personal best in Wii Sports. Obviously, this feature isn’t really being used by any games but Wii Sports right now but it is still nice to have around.

You are notified with how many messages you have, but there is no way to mark messages as being ‘read’. I would like to be notified if I receive a new message instead of the total messages received.

The Wii Friend codes are completely stupid. If I want to add another Wii console to my address book, I have to already know their 16(?) digit number and they have to already know mine in order for us to exchange messages. I should be able to add a friend and the Wii should be able to send that friend a message that says, “hey, Wii console #whatever wants to add you as a friend. Do you accept?” and I should have the ability to accept, deny, or block that person. The ability to add a personal message to a request would also be great.

The thing is, if you add an email address to your Wii address book, the Wii will email that person and request confirmation…so the ability is there and it should be used for console-to-console communication as well.

The Miis are really fantastic. I really hope they are used in more games in the future but they are a lot of fun to make and to send to people. Also, while I haven’t used it, the concept of the Mii Parade is great. If you set your Miis to travel and ‘mingle’, they will go to other Wii consoles that you’ve friended and appear in the Mii Parade.

Now, what about that wiimote? The wiimote, like anything new, has a bit of a learning curve to it. When I first plugged in the console, I had trouble navigating the menus. Now, I can type entire messages with no trouble at all. I’ve had very, very few issues with the console not being able to ‘see’ the pointer and the wireless has NEVER cut out on me. The controller also has a nice heft to it, thanks to the batteries.

The rumble is better than I thought it was going to be. I am not the biggest fan of rumble, but the wiimotes rumble is almost perfect. Adjustable sensitivity would’ve been nice (you can turn it on or off but that is it).

The speaker, sadly, is not that great. The sound is very thin and it crackles a lot. I turned the volume down to three which made it better, but it is still disappointing. I think it is neat in Wii Sports but it is overused in Zelda. Not a super big deal but still, I was a little bummed.

As for the games, I own three: Wii Sports, Zelda, and Red Steel. I’ve also played Excite Truck in Gamestop.

Excite Truck is pretty cool. You can get powerups that morph the terrain and the framerate is solid. The sense of speed is fantastic. The controls took me about four races to master, but once you get them, they make the game almost too fun to play. However, I played the game for about an hour and I did start to get bored with it. I’m not the biggest fan of racers, but I don’t think this game is worth $50. Pick it up used for $20.

I had a very negative opinion of Red Steel when I first played it. I couldn’t control my guy without spinning around like a retard and the graphics looked like total ass. However, I stuck it out and my opinion is starting to come around. I did get the hang of the controls and they really aren’t that bad once you get used to them. Having to move the pointer all the way to the left or right in order to turn isn’t the greatest but you do eventually compensate for that and it works in the end.

The graphics really are a mixed bag. Some stuff, like explosions, reflections, lighting, etc, look pretty damn good. But then you’ll have some really low res texture thrown into the mix for some odd reason. The models also don’t look that great either. And voice acting? Forget about it. The A.I. reminds me of Goldeneye where sometimes, the enemy won’t react to whatever you are doing and sometimes they react with pinpoint accuracy.

But the game does feel like an over-the-top, campy, low budget action movie and it is kind of a neat feel.

I also got my component cables in and Red Steel is, so far, the only game I’ve tried with the new cables. You can definitely see a difference and the game really benefits from the cables. The blurriness is gone and the graphics (especially all the special effects) are shaper. The models also seem to blend better with the game.

Wii Sports is a fun collection of sports games. We’ve spent the most time with Bowling, with Tennis coming in at a close second and Boxing coming in at a distant third. Baseball is useless and Golf is pretty boring. This is the game to play with any non-gamers that are curious. I got my dad completely hooked on bowling and he hates video games. Tennis was a complete blast at a party I had.

Zelda is Zelda. I mean…seriously! I’m at hour 15 or so and I’m just into the third dungeon. One of my other friends is at hour 13 and he is a full dungeon behind me. This is one deep ass game and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I describe the graphics as “great for a Gamecube game”, which is true. The game does look really good but I feel that the Wii can do better. We’ll see how it looks with the component cables.

Phew….2.5 pages later and I think I am done. After a week and some change, what do y’all think of your Wiis?
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Wii console code - 7551377053011860</P>
 
I agree with you on pretty much every point. The only thing you didn't talk much about was the VC and GameCube. I'll try and fill that in...

I didn't think I'd buy any VC games, but now I have four! I got Sonic, Bonk, Mario64, and F-Zero. I play all with a GameCube stick (no Classic Controller as of yet), and the emulation is VERY good. It feels exactly like they did on the old consoles. I've emulated extensively on the PC, but there's something more fun about playing these classics on a real TV. It's better. Plain and simple.

As for GameCube, every game I tried worked flawlessly. So much so, that I feel like I can get rid of my GameCube system, and play all my games on Wii. I plan on testing every game before doing this, but I have to say. The ability to play all those old games on VC, GameCube and Wii makes this a system I probably won't get bored with.
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> I agree with you on pretty much every point. The only thing
> you didn't talk much about was the VC and GameCube. I'll
> try and fill that in...

Sure I did! I talked about downloading Mario 64 and the CC.

But yes, I don't see myself buying a lot of these games. I wanted to try it out and I've never actually owned Mario 64, so I didn't feel too bad spending $10. I will buy ToeJam and Earl and maybe Sonic 2 when it comes out. I am anxious to see what brand new games will be available from the service.

As for GC emulation, I sold all my GC stuff a long time ago so I can't really comment on that. All I can say is that we plan on playing some Double Dash over here this weekend and it is nice to not need someone to bring over a GC.
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Wii console code - 7551377053011860</P>
 
> As for GC emulation, I sold all my GC stuff a long time ago
> so I can't really comment on that. All I can say is that we
> plan on playing some Double Dash over here this weekend and
> it is nice to not need someone to bring over a GC.

It's not actually emulation is it? Then again, I guess the graphics hardware at the least is different, or maybe somewhat more beefy...
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Well, there's only one negative to playing GameCube games on the Wii. You have to reset the machine every time you want to swap titles. Hopefully Nintendo will address this in a firmware update. When playing VC and Wii games on the console, hitting Home on the Wii Remote will give you the option to get your ass back to the Wii main menu. When you hit that button playing GCN, the controller simply flashes its four lights. Totally lame, and makes playing GameCube games feel like it's not really supposed to be part of the Wii experience.
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> Well, there's only one negative to playing GameCube games on the Wii. You have to reset the machine every time you want to swap titles.

Makes sense as a hacking deterrent, though.
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> Argh...I still don't have one. I really really want one of
> these.
>

Me too man. Playing some games with the Wiimote sounds like fun

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