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Rizzy on the Wii

My pledge bro Craig “Rizzy” Rohe also has a Wii, and he sent me some mini-reviews on some games. Since he has no online presence (yet), I thought I’d post them. But before I do that, here’s what he has to say about getting online with the thing:

First, some bitching about Wii:

Up until 10 minutes ago, all I’ve ever done with the Wii is played games. Very easy, very fun. However, trying to use the internet connectivity and adding friends made me want to punch a little Japanese person in the face. Do they actually expect average people to be able to do this? I’m an embedded systems designer, and I was frustrated with it. Other than letting our Mii’s travel back and forth, is there even any benefit to doing it? Shame on you Nintendo.

Second, games only save to the internal Wii memory. If you want them on the SD card, you have to copy it over manually. Of course, you’d have to do that each time you play the game in order to keep the SD card up to date. It pretty much makes the $50 1G memory card I bought completely useless.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Wii online setup is pretty bad. I’m really surprised people are getting it to work without wanting to gouge their own eyes out with a spoon. As for me, I am still using it on my neighbor’s wireless because it won’t work on mine. And yes, I have changed to channels 1/11 on the router. Yes, I have followed all stupid suggestions in the forums and on the support site. Nintendo could take a few pointers from Microsoft in this particular part of the experience.

The SD thing seems strange. I haven’t tried to use an SD card yet, but it does seem odd that you can’t save games directly to it. This does seem like something Nintendo could change with a firmware update though.

Wii Sports – It’s ok. Fun little games to showcase the controller abilities. I’ve found tennis to be pretty fun with multiple people, and you can avoid the dreaded Wii tennis elbow once you learn that a skilled flick of the wrist will do just as much as a full blown swing. I brought my Wii home for Christmas, and since I have a zillion siblings we had continuously rotating doubles matches which were a blast.

Super Monkey Ball – I usually only play the mini games. Not as much fun as the versions for GameCube. I think they tried too hard to incorporate the motion control into the games, and many of them are just too touchy, or they should have put more time into making it fun. I guess they were pressed for time trying to get that one out for launch. There are a few that are pretty entertaining though.

Zelda: Twilight Princess – This game rocks. It’s hella fun to play. They used the motion sensors in moderation, which is good. The game itself is really fun - plenty of puzzles and tangent adventures to try out. I haven’t played any Zelda games since the one for 8-bit Nintendo, but I can still blindly say this is probably the best to date.

Excite Truck – So much fun my head almost exploded. It’s a very fast paced, physics defying game. There’s actually a lot of strategy needed for the more advanced tracks, but at the same time you can just pick a level and have fun doing 720’s at 1000 ft in the air and smashing through trees with power- ups. Definitely one of the best games I own.

Red Steel – I haven’t played this game very much. The reason? My damn arm gets tired. Another example of how not to design a game interface. I think it would be much better if I could play for more than 20 mins at a time, so my review may be biased. Basically, you are required to use the Wii-mote pointer continuously to aim and steer in the game. That’s not even too bad because you could rest your arm on your knee; then they thought up the great idea of requiring you to extend your arm towards the TV to zoom in/out. Combine all of that movement and you have to hold your arm straight out for extended periods of time during game play. Very annoying. Maybe I need to hit the gym.

Haven’t gotten into Twilight Princess yet myself. Elebits should be here from Gamefly this week, though in retrospect maybe I should have put Excite Truck at the top of my queue instead. Oh well, way too many awesome games these days to get to. I still work occasionally, you know.