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Posted by moonhead on Dec 2, 2007
Festive Console Buyers Round Up Part 2 The Nintendo Wii

Festive Console Buyers Round Up Part 2 The Nintendo Wii

In an effort to try and help you people out there make an informed choice when buying a games console this Christmas we here at Game4Anything thought we would try to help out. So having already rounded up all that is good and bad with the Xbox 360, next up is Nintendo’s little white sleek thing of beauty the Wii.

 

 

Whilst everybody else in the games industry is happy to ape and mimic each other Nintendo has always cut it’s very on creative swathe through it all. And the Wii is no different whilst Microsoft and Sony argue amongst themselves with “High Def” this and Blu-Ray that, the Wii is thankfully a very different beast. This sleek white little beauty of a console has its very own arsenal of tricks up its sleeve and is at the moment sales wise beating its more powerful competitors hands down.

 

Nintendo made their minds up that they wanted to change the way we played our games and get more people than ever playing games and they have done this by changing the way we control the games. So ladies and gentleman I introduce you to the Wii-Remote or as it has been nicknamed the Wii-mote. This games controller looks like a bog standard TV remote but inside this little box of tricks lies a full motion sensing wonder of a controller. The remote can understand 3 different directions of motion thanks to its accelerometer and also acts as a pointer which thanks to the “sensor bar” that goes directly above or below your TV is incredibly accurate. The sensor bar also reads the distance between the remote and TV so can allow you to push and pull objects backwards and forwards on the screen. The remote itself has 7 buttons, a D-Pad used for various game commands, a speaker for various spot game sounds and a wrist strap to keep the remote from flying off whilst you are waving it around. The remote is connected to the Wii wirelessly via Blu-Tooth and you can connect 4 of them to the console.

 

The expansion port at the bottom of the remote allows you to expand the controller, the most notable of these add on’s is the Nunchuck add on which fits snugly in your left hand. The Nunchuck has a standard analogue thumb stick, 2 buttons and the same accelerometer motion sensing technology as the remote. Add all of these ingredients together and you have one very versatile and complete control package that is completely different to anything else out there.

 

The console itself is a tiny sleek thing of beauty it has 2 USB ports on the back and a front loading disk slot. The machine is completely backwards compatible with the Gamecube so hidden on top of the Wii are 4 Gamecube Joypad and 2 Gamecube memory card ports. As for memory it has 512mb of on board flash memory and hidden on the front of the machine there is a SD card slot that accepts up to 2gb SD flash cards. As for the Wii’s graphical ability it does not have the raw power and “High Def” abilities of the Xbox 360 and PS3 but is more powerful than last generations most powerful console the Xbox. And is definitely still more than capable of producing some jaw dropping graphics just look at Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3. It is also wireless ready out of the box and although it does not have the same level of on-line features and abilities as the Xbox 360 it all works more than competently and even has a few tricks of its own such as weather and news channels, an internet browser and the fabulous Wii avatars called Mii’s. The console comes with 1 Wii-Remote, 1 Nunchuck and the awesome game Wii Sports and retails at £179.99.

Now for the pros and cons so lets start with the positives. The unique control scheme means the Wii is usable by gamers of all abilities. This is no word of a lie set your Wii up in a room of complete novices and people who hate games stick on Wii Sports and I will guarantee within 10 minutes they will be biting each others hands off for the next go. My lovely wife hates games and cannot understand my fixation of them whatsoever but since I got my Wii (as well as my Xbox 360) and I struggle to get her off of Wii Sports tennis and bowling for a go myself. In fact I have had people of either sex and all kinds age groups play Wii Sports and nearly all of them have gone onto purchase a Wii for themselves. It truly is a machine for all. I have also heard it said that the Wii is not a hardcore gamers machine but that is just a load of fanboy rubbish for hardcore games read Resident Evil 4 the Wii Edition, Metroid Prime 3 and The Legend Of Zelda The Twilight Princess.

Secondly there is the Wii’s game download service the Virtual Console. This works in a very similar way to the Xbox Live Arcade where you can download games to your machine the difference here is that these games are all retro games from games machines of yesteryear. All of Nintendos home consoles have games available on the Virtual Console except the Gamecube. There also there are games from Sega’s old Mega Drive, the PC Engine (better known as the TurboGrafix in the west) and the just added Neo Geo. The list of games is added to weekly and although Europe does get stuck with some of the old shoddy letterbox PAL conversions of yesteryear there really is some gaming gold such as the never before released in Europe, Paper Mario(N64) and Sin And Punishment(N64). The games are brought by purchasing Nintendo Wii points and games cost from between £2.50 and £8.00 depending what machine they were originally released on.

Thirdly it is a Nintendo console meaning you get Nintendo developed games. As a first party publisher Nintendo have no equal both Sony and Microsoft have released some good games for their respective machines but they just cannot match Nintendo for the number of bonafide classics they have made over the years.

Another thing to note is because it is easier to develop for means that game development costs less meaning games are cheaper to buy. The average price for a Wii game is around £30 compared to £40 for games on the Xbox 360 and PS3. When you take into account the console itself is cheaper than its competitors it makes it the cheapest option on the market.

Now for the cons, first up availability. You would have thought that in the run up to Christmas, Nintendo would have made sure there would be enough Wii’s on stores shelves to go round. But now with just over three weeks to the big day and it is nigh impossible to walk into store and get a Wii. In fact every leading retailer has stopped taking pre orders for a machine that has already been out for a year now this is far from good. But on the other hand i’m sure all the publicity over stock shortages is doing Nintendo no harm. You can get a Wii if you want to pay through the nose for it either on Ebay or Amazon Market Place but prices start at around £250.

Secondly seems a strange one to be whingeing on about but its third party support. The Wii is being backed in a big way by third party publishers which is a good thing and is all important when it comes to winning the console war. But the problem here is quality which apart from a handfull of games has been woeful. So far it has all been PS2 ports and mini games compilations and bad ones at that. This is starting to change but a lot of the third party original IP’s have not been very good either (I am looking at EA’s Boogie and Playground here).

Now we come to the big sticking point for many gamers, the graphics tarts out there especially. Although it is significantly more powerful than the Gamecube, compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3 it is significantly underpowered. This problem is one that is going to get worse as developers get better at working with the much more powerful Xbox 360 and PS3 their graphics will improve and although the same could be said for the Wii it will always lag behind. Add in the Wii’s lack of “High Definition” output and it suffers even more. If you look at the graphics Nintendo have managed to push out of the Wii so far though and it looks like it should do just fine and that third party developers need to get their act together.

Lastly is memory or lack of. The on board 512mb of of flash memory just is not big enough what with all the games saves and Virtual Console games you will be downloading. Although you can save stuff to SD cards the functionality is not very good. You can only copy stuff to your SD cards via the menus and onced saved there if you need it again you will have to copy it back to your Wii’s on board memory. Nintendo have flatly refused so far to make some sort of mass storage device but surely it cannot be long before they cave in to their consumers demands.

10 Of The Best Wii Games

1. Wii Sports – This game may come bundled with the Wii but come Christmas afternoon this is the game the whole family will be playing. With 5 sports, including Tennis, Boxing, Golf, Bowling and Baseball this game covers all bases. It is simple to pick up and play and difficult to put down.

 

2. Wii Play – This collection of 9 mini games is all designed around teaching you how to use your Wii-Remote. Add in the fact that you get a Wii – Remote in the box for around £35 makes this a must have title (the remote retails at £30 on its own). The tanks mini game is the real stand out for me, harking all the way back to the old Atari VCS 2600’s Combat. The Table Tennis game is very good to.

3. Wario Ware Smooth Moves – The king of mini games returns in fine form. With more uses for the Wii – Remote than any other game from skipping to hula hooping, to putting old peoples teeth in and picking noses. This game is absolutely barking mad and in multiplayer is a complete hoot.

 

4. The Legend Of Zelda: The Twilight Princess – Link is back and in top form. This is the best Zelda game since the Ocarina Of Time and while this does not scale those giddy heights it is still an exceptional game. The controls are tight with the Wii-Mote put to good use especially when shacking it about for your sword strikes. A good top action game with good looks and plenty of play time.

5. Mario Strikers Charged –This is a fun crazy football action game. Strikers Charged was the first Wii on-line game and it plays a blinder. All the usual Mario madness with the full cast of characters and special moves. Do not look here for a serious football sim but do look here if you want a good fun multiplayer title.

 

6. Resident Evil 4 The Wii Edition – In my opinion the best game of the last generation and one of the best ever made. This Wii makeover is the definitive version of the game, the new controls are an absolute triumph making the game more immediate and even more playable than before. This is a total must buy if you own a Wii even if you played it before on the Gamecube or the PS2 a complete bonifide classic.

7. Excite Truck – If the Wii is short of one thing it is good racers. Excite Truck is full throttle thrill ride of a arcade racing game where you spend as much time in the air as you do on the ground. The controls take some getting used to as you a hold and tilt the Wii-Mote like a steering wheel. Once you get used to it though this offers some top arcade thrills.

 

8. Super Paper Mario. The paper mario series of games have been up to this point have been RPG’s. This title does away with some of the RPG elements and brings back the 2D platforming of old with the ability to spin the world into 3D to solve puzzles. The script is up to the usual high standards of the other Paper Mario titles and is geniunely laugh out loud in places. Cute, fun and playable everything a good platform should be.

9. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – Since the Wii was released people have said that the Wii-Mote should be ideal for FPS’s. Well up until now all of the FPS’s on the Wii have been poor. Well Samus’s first outing on the Wii delivers big style the controls are spot on and prove what most people thought to be right, FPS’s on the Wii should work perfectly. So here’s hoping that other developers have been paying attention.

 

10. Super Mario Galaxy – Mario is back with a bang, in the best game of the year. I cannot praise this stunning game enough, full of invention and ideas. If you want to find out more you can read my review right here. If you don’t believe me go and play this game yourself.

 

 

Again can I just add this is not our top 10 list of games,  just a list of to show the quality and variety of games availble for the Wii. If you want to add your own list please do so in the comments box below.

So to summarise the Wii is a games console for all. With a unique control system that is a true next generation step, rather than just better graphics. If you are looking to buy a games console for a young family this definitley is the machine to choose. Alternatively if you are a serious gamer looking for something a little different or a 2nd machine this is again the machine to plump for. Plus if you want to play one of the finest games ever made in Super Mario Galaxy you will have to buy one. Just remember though you are unlikely to find one this side of Christmas unless you are willing to pay through the nose for one.

Happy Christmas Shopping.

Moonhead.

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3 Responses to “Festive Console Buyers Round Up Part 2 The Nintendo Wii”

  1. […] Festive Console Buyers Round Up Part 2 The Nintendo WiiWhilst everybody else in the games industry is happy to ape and mimic each other Nintendo has always cut it’s very on creative swathe through it all. And the Wii is no different whilst Microsoft and Sony argue amongst themselves with … […]

  2. Nitin Patel says:

    A very good blog, I really liked it

  3. Ali Reza says:

    nnice seeing nintendo wii getting popular…=)

  4. I have PSP and will buy Wiii this month.

    David

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