Jay's Internet Log

Tag: Wii

Initial Impressions – Metroid: Other M

by on Sep.01, 2010, under Gaming, General

I can’t remember the last game I played on Wii.  For at least the last year, the only disc that’s been in the console has been Wii Fit, and that’s just been to weigh myself over time and graph it out.  I’m a longtime fan of the Metroid series, so I decided to give this game a try.  One of my favorite games of all time is Metroid Prime, which was a game that dealt with exploration in first person and developed in Texas.  Other M takes Metroid back to the 2-D realm and was developed in conjunction with two Japanese developers, so it’s easy to assume that the general gameplay will be vastly different, and boy is it ever!  I’ve put about 3 hours into it so far and am probably about a third of the way through the story.  The game largely plays as a two-dimensional sidescroller with depth, meaning that you can move back and forth on the screen, but also into the room and down hallways that lead back and away from you.  You can also aim the Wii remote towards the TV and go into first person mode.

I’ll start off with some of the annoyances I have with the game.    Switching between first and third person isn’t perfect and many times I’ll aim the Wii remote at the TV and not really know where I’m looking at first.  This was incredibly difficult in the first hour of play, but is getting a little easier with experience.  Sometimes, during story moments, you are locked into third person mode, can not fire, jump, or walk fast, and you have to walk around searching for a person.  This is just boring in my opinion, and I’m not sure why this mechanic was brought into the game at all.  Other times you get put into first person mode and can’t leave it until you scan something, but the game never really gives you hints as you to what you’re supposed to be scanning.  I’ll give an example here.  This morning I played for 30 minutes before work.  I killed a boss and then the game put me into first person mode looking at 4 guys who are looking at a downed friend on the ground.  I could scan all four guys, but not the guy on the ground.  I had no idea what I was supposed to do.  I turned all around looking for what I was supposed to scan, feeling useless because I knew it was probably something stupid.  Sure enough, there was a small patch of green blood on the green grass behind me that I had to scan.  I found that quite annoying.  The last thing that’s thrown me off a bit is that some enemies can only die from a single type of attack.  I found some snake creatures that wouldn’t die even though I pumped them full of missiles, but as soon as I ran over to them and did a melee move, they died instantly.  It’s definitely the game trying to get you to use a powerup that was recently given to you, but it doesn’t make much sense.

Other than the few gripes I have that feel to me that beta testing was done by people who actually knew what to look for, the game is fantastic, and I can’t seem to stop wanting to play it.  The graphics are very good for a Wii title, the puzzles have been challenging so far, and overall the title is very fun.  I am especially loving the need for liberal use of the morph ball as there seem to be many morph ball tracks and routes to take.  The voice acting is for the most part well-done, but it could be better.  The backstory and CGI scenes are excellent, and whenever I see an energy tank of missile expansion, I find myself staring at it trying to figure out how to get it, and sometimes I’ll be able to, but more often I realize that I’ll have to come back later with another powerup.

Metroid: Other M seems to be a great addition to the franchise, but I doubt it can closely compare to the awesomeness of the Prime series in terms of depth and immersion.  Even in the first few hours, I have died many times to enemy bosses as the game is very challenging, but I haven’t gotten terribly upset when dying, and the only thing that stopped me from playing was that I had to go to bed, and I had to go to work.  I look forward to completing this game, and hopefully trying to 100% it.  If you like Metroid and own a Wii, you should definitely check this title out.
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Initial Impressions – Wii Sports Resort

by on Jul.27, 2009, under Gaming

Let me start this with saying that the Wii hasn’t gotten much attention as of late. When thinking about the Wii in general, the happiest times with it were actually picking the thing up on release day (night?) and then playing Zelda for the next week as I had taken an entire week off of work to hang out with this thing.

It was an awesome feeling and one that waned a bit until the following August…when I bought an Xbox 360. Now the Wii gets minimal use, mostly in the form of weighing ourselves in on Wii Fit or a random pickup game of Wii Bowling. I’m very much into gadgets so when Nintendo decided to release the Wii Motion Plus, a device that enhances the movements of the Wii remote, I was instantly sold. Wii Sports Resort, which could basically be called Wii Sports 2, comes with and uses this new Wii Motion Plus device, and it includes 12 games as compared to the original’s 5. The number of games somewhat scared me as Wii Play included more games but they were all pretty crappy (sans Tanks). Wii Sports Resort has Archery however, so I didn’t care what the other games were packed in. I went and picked up my copy yesterday at 11:15 AM and promptly brought it home and unpacked it. I told myself that I would just play through 1 game of each single player game type in order to give me a few “Impressions” for this writeup. As you turn the game on, it throws you out of a plane and you skydive to the island. One of the first things that I noticed was Matt Goetz’s Mii also freefalling so I flew towards him and we linked up…it was very cool. I then saw other Miis that I recognized so I flew towards them and we were all freefalling together until our parachutes deployed and the camera panned into the top of the chutes showing the Wii Sports Resort logo; Pretty cool into to the game. I won’t go into gruesome detail of each minigame, but I’ll talk about a few highlights, including the first one I tried; Swordplay. This minigame works exactly how it sounds. You hold the Wii remote like a sword and battle against a computer swordsman. Like in Wii Sports, the opponents start off really easy but I assume they will get much harder as you advance through the levels. You can block by hitting a button and swing by, well, swinging the remote. This is one that I wanted to later go back to, and will, but wasn’t able to yesterday. Basketball is hard. I didn’t score so well, but the game did have me jumping in place, so I think Nintendo succeeded. The only unlocked Basketball game in the beginning is a free throw shoot, where you just aim the Wii remote down to pick up a ball, then jump and pretend you’re shooting. It works really well, but maybe the fact that I suck at basketball in general came into play here. Other games are unlocked as you do well in the first one, but I didn’t see any of those. This is the case with many of the minigames. They give you one to start with and then you can unlock different variations of them. Canoeing was fun, though reading some forums show me that others dislike it. I’m a huge fan of canoeing in real life so that might help its cause with me. Cycling feels just like jogging in Wii Fit, but you’re on a bike and moving faster. You can choose what time of day it is and where you want to bike to. I chose to bike around the island, so I started biking (move the Nunchuk and Wii Remote up and down like pedals while leaning left or right to steer, though you are on some sort of rails for the most part) and ended up in first place. That was really cool. Another highlight is Frisbee. You throw the Wii Remote like a frisbee and a dog goes and picks it up. It’s both very fun and incredibly cute all in one. I had some problems when they put balloons in as they give you a target on the right and a balloon on the left, so you have to throw it to the left to hit the balloon but angle it so it lands to the right. This is another game where practice will pay off I’m sure. You can also play frisbee golf which I tried briefly, but I’m just not a big fan of golf in Wii Sports. It just takes too long I think, even for 3 holes. One of the best new minigames that I found in this package and subsequently spent most of my time with is Table Tennis. It is similar to Tennis in Wii Sports, but it’s just one on one and it’s ping pong. I haven’t found a way to do a power serve like in Tennis, but you can do power shots, which I think are even better. It’s so fun to watch the opponent Mii run and do a cartwheel to get to the ball just to flop on the ground and miss it. Also, if you hit the ball just right with a power shot, you can hit the opponent Mii right in the face!! It’s awesome. There are other things to do on this island, and I had fun flying a plane casually around and learning about some of the landmarks. You can wakeboard and catch some air, though it seems like that’s about all you can do with that. You can drive a water sled thing that makes your arms burn…pretty fun but I couldn’t get the controls down at first. Have I mentioned Archery? I don’t think I have. Archery is what I was looking forward to in this game and it doesn’t disappoint. It does however take a LOT of getting used to. For a right-handed person, you hold the Wii Remote in your left hand, and the Nunchuk in your right. You aim with the left hand, hold A down, then hold Z to pull the string back. You then aim towards the target and release Z, though I was randomly releasing A as well which messes everything up. After you get the hang of it, it is really fun. I only played the beginner course, but each round has the target moving further away and the wind picking up a bit. Heather is better at it than I am which I learned last night. She also likes that the Mii’s shirts have flowers on them, but I digress. The best thing however in this game, at least for me, is what the best thing in Wii Sports was: Bowling. Nintendo decided to put an updated version of Bowling in this game, and I couldn’t be happier. It was easily my favorite game in Wii Sports, and is almost identical to that version, though it uses the Wii Motion Plus, so the accuracy is drastically improved. You can put some mad spin on these balls now, which are cosmetically designed differently than in the old game. So after putting a few hours into Wii Sports Resort, I have to recommend it. It’s an improvement in every way to Wii Sports, and a whole lot of fun!

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