Tag: Wii (page 1 of 2)

E3 2012: what we know now

Insights and opinions with Anotherdae, Verdeberg and Zoidberger:
Had to hold off and let E3 2012 sit in before starting a recap post for this year. My gut reaction (which you can find examples of on Twitter) was disappointment. I knew going in we weren’t getting any new consoles, that we hadn’t previously seen, so there was a lackluster ambiance to the whole event. You could almost see the strain in the G4 and Spike on air staff desperately looking for a story to latch onto that they could use as the headliner. Instead, we saw a lot of cool new games and a few new tech demos that are all very cool but either too expected or lackluster.

I felt a lot like this E3 was a summer movie announcement where 85% of the new movies were sequels. I didn’t see a lot of innovation or anything else I’ve come to expect from an E3.

I agree with Verdeberg, this E3 felt like a summer of movie sequels. The annual tour of Modern Warfare, Halo 4, Dance Central 3 and others just shows how safe the game industry is being with their funds for game development. Innovation carries the risk of failure where as past success bring with it the customer base and community support. With that being said games like Beyond: Two Souls and the new Tomb Raider reboot really stood out to me.

Dead Space 3 is yet another sequel in the works

I’m starting to wonder if there will even be next gen consoles at all. With the advent of browser gaming and streaming services like Onlive it only makes sense to me to remove the costly hardware the video game industry is a custom to. Cloud gaming is already serving to store our game saves removing the hard drive necessity. Though storage space will be a major issue. 
I predicted in the Microsoft keynote recap that we wouldn’t see the next generation console war start until next years E3. The other big two (Nintendo already announced the Wii U last year) wouldn’t risk unveiling their systems only to lose interest when the last of the two steals the spotlight at next years E3. You always want that momentum on your side the closer you are to release, which is why, releasing it this year would have made no sense for either Sony or Microsoft.
I agree that Cloud systems will play a part in the next generation of games. I cringe at the thought of web browsers on my video game console. The game controller doesn’t allow for easy browser navigation. I turn on my game system to play games not to browse the web. With the growth of tablets in the last two years I see the need for a browser diminishing in our game systems. I am also curious as to how far the processor and graphical envelope can be pushed by these new consoles.
I’d expect that there will always be a need for a console gaming system, other than processor speed, I just don’t know where the big leaps and bounds will be. Where graphics are now, I wouldn’t expect much of a huge development there. I’d really hope that loading screens will be a thing of the past also hoping that “casual/mobile gaming” or touchscreen controls don’t take up too much of developer’s time. Much like how the Wii sparked a scramble for motion controlled gaming, I’d hate to see another gimmick take focus.
I also hope that with stronger processors, larger and longer, more involved games will become more standard. Stronger processors are the one big advantage PC gaming has over console gaming.
One big disappointment I’ve experienced with the new crop of action adventure games has been that game time in main campaign story modes has been sacrificed in lieu of an involved multiplayer experience. I would really like to see a better balance between the two. 
This E3 has reminded me of a fun fact: I don’t like waiting for new games to release. I hate hearing about and seeing teasers for games a year-plus from release. Yes, I like to know everything, so this issue won’t change, but I wish they would take a more queues from companies like Apple and release games and hardware the same day as an announcement. 
I agree with the “hate to wait” but as we have seen with blockbuster movie sequels you need the “hype” to move units. You need your fan base to get excited and you also need to give time for people new to a genre or series to familiarize themselves with the product. I to also hate to wait, but I understand the marketing strategy behind it. 
100% agree. Don’t tout a game as the next big step in gaming and then reveal that the release is another year away. That is basically saying that the games I buy in the meantime are totally not worth it. If a car maker made a mass consumer announcement that their next breed of cars would require two thirds less gas as the current crop, people would wait to buy.
Metal Gear Rising Revengance, along with a host of other
announced titles, will not be released until 2013

Looking forward to the new Need For Speed game from Criterion. I know Verde’ and Zoid were both big fans of Criterion’s Burn Out Paradise too. If this is anything close to what a sequel to Burn Out would look like, I’m on board. 
Beyond: Two Souls looks rad. I’ll be watching for that. I’ve really grown to love games that play like really good movies with a strong focus on story and characters. Also the new game from Naughty Dog, The Last of Us. Naughty Dog won my allegiance with the Uncharted franchise. 
I need to do one of two things, either punch Verdeberg in the face for taking the two games I was going to mention or check my room for hidden cameras. Apart from Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us, I am genuinely excited about the Tomb Raider reboot. It looks very gritty and much darker than the previous Tomb Raider installments. Looks like a complete remake in the game engine with a more Uncharted feel to it. 

The Tomb Raider (2012) reboot is looking to have a very different Lara Croft
Picking an E3 winner is a moot point, however, in my opinion Sony has their house in order the best. Lots of new offerings on many different platforms from them and Jack Tretton speaks very well. I was hoping to hear something new from them related to their cloud gaming deals. Either a new streaming way of playing games off your XMB or maybe the next “iteration” of Playstation. 
I think Sony came out as the winner this year but for a different reason, last year was a PR nightmare for Sony with the hacking of the PSN. This year was all about setting themselves up for next years presumed console unveiling. I think they did a great job last year PR wise and this year was to remind everyone of just how great the lineup of games the Playstation can have.
They were also less about the Playstation: Move compared to the amount of focus that Microsoft put into The Kinect. In my mind, the less they talk about those gaming peripherals the better. Sony also had the 2 games that came out of nowhere to really get me excited, Beyond: Two Souls and The Last Of Us. I feel that Sony was really humbled by what happened last year and this year they put their fans first with a slew of solid titles and a reminder of just how good Sony can be. 
2011 was a rough year for them as far as customer concerns go. With the hacking of PSN and the subsequent month-long outage. With this year’s lackluster PS Vita release they recorded a huge financial loss. To me its not about winners and losers, it’s about companies that are as loyal to me as a consumer as I am to them. The Sony E3 address was all about thanking their customers and I appreciate that. As a Playstation 3 owner I want to feel good about not having to buy another game system right away. As long as Playstation continues to keep me happy, I’ll keep buying Playstations. 
Sounds like we all have high hopes for E3 2013. With a year lacking in surprises expectations will be compounded. I expect a year of speculation and “leaked photos” ahead of us, so in other words, life as usual.

E3 2012: nintendo all-access

It’s day two of E3 coverage (the first day of the actual expo) at the Nokia Theater in LA, Nintendo is taking the stage with their (hopefully) game changing new system the Wii U.
Nintendo actually started this years E3 on Sunday night. With a surprise live feed straight from HQ in Japan, by Mr. Iwata, the President of Sony Japan. He went over the recently named “Wii U Gamepad” and “Miiverse” and more that we can expect from today’s media briefing. This surprise was, of course, welcome with all the anticipation going into E3 this week. I have to wonder though, were the big wigs at Nintendo Japan worried about Reggie’s ability to present the new system? There was a lot of confusion coming out of last years E3 Media Briefing.
Hit the jump for the full Media Briefing.

We begin today’s Media Briefing with a intro video of Miyamoto backstage in a green room that is littered with CG Pikmin. He is getting ready to come on stage and the cute little Pikmin are following him out. In real-time on the stage now, Miyamoto jokes about the Pikmin being with the audience in the theater, overlayed graphics, show the Pikmin among the crowd. Enter stage left is Miyamoto’s translator.
Miyamoto describes the new mission for Nintendo. To break the console’s dependance on the television. Video game consoles (proper not handheld) have never worked without the TV and Nintendo feels that is something they can change with the Wii U. Wii U brings unique, new game experiences to the two screen experience. In fact, someone can use the TV while you continue your game on the Gamepad.
The first game they are announcing is (duh) Pikmin 3. It’s been 10 years since the last Pikmin game. Managing your Pikmin will still be the focus in this game as it was in the last. The enhance resolution of the Wii U will bring the game into focus like never before. In-game materials will look more realistic than ever. A new Rock Pikmin will be able to break hard objects. Motion controls in the gamepad will allow precise targeting. The Gamepad will always display the game map, bringing deeper strategy to your game. Multiple Pikmin leaders will allow you to cover more of the game map simultaneously.
Reggie Fils-Aime, President and CEO of Nintendo America, takes the stage exclaiming he feels just like a purple Pikmin. Reggie welcomes viewers around the world via the internet and television. They are claiming 23 Wii U titles are on display at the expo. Nintendo is ready to describe what Wii U means to gamers and non gamers alike and how it will change your life. “Wii U does three different things: It changes your gaming, changes how you interact with your gaming friends and changes the way you enjoy your TV.” Wii U will revolutionize your living room however the focus today will be strictly on gaming.
Wii U will support two wireless Wii U Gamepads. The controller itself, offers several intuitive controls: a front facing touch screen that can be used with a finger or an included stylus, a plus control pad (D-pad) and A, B, X and Y buttons, left and right analog sticks each with a push down function, the back side hosts dual trigger buttons (ZR and ZL) as well as L & R buttons in the top corners. Wii U Gamepad features motion control through a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope. Kinda surprising, is the built-in rumble feature. Also included, is a front facing camera and microphone, Stereo speakers and a headphone jack. The volume controller adjust not only the Gamepad but your television as well. Finally, an illuminated Home button will alert you to incoming messages.
Reggie is back talking about Miiverse. “Think of it as main street, a place where people congregate and mingle”. Miiverse also acts as the home screen navigation for the Wii U. ON screen we see the return of the Miis. Floating tiles, within the Miiverse, will represent games and applications. Miis in the Miiverse will be able to congregate around these tiles and swap messages. Wii U will allow you to share screen images from games you are playing. Eventually you will be able to access Miiverse from your 3DS, smart phone or PC.
Wii U is launching with a Mario game: New Super Mario Bros. U. Connect with Miiverse directly through the game. Get notes and images from friends while you play in real-time. It’s Mario, just like it has always been only better and “new”. Four players can play with Wiimotes with a fifth playing on a Wii U Gamepad. Nice to see that all the peripherals purchased for Wii won’t go to waste
Batman Arkham City Armored Edition is the first 3rd party title they are showing. Martin Tremblay, President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, comes to stage to talk about the enhanced gameplay utilizing the Wii U system. He is introduced by Harley Quinn’s voice as “Marty baby”. New features shown involve using the second screen to investigate your surroundings and for quick access to your armament. The accelerometer is shown guiding a remote control Batarang through a first person view. Batman can strategically place explosives and use the Gamepad to detonate them one at a time or all at once. New to the game is BAT-mode where you can fill a power meter to unleash a powerful new attack.
“Something for every type of player” Reggie moves on to say. He introduces Jeremiah Slachca from 5th Cell to announce Scribblenauts Unlimited for the Wii U. The definitive version of Scribblenauts. Scribblenauts is a kidie-graphics, drawing based game. New to this version is Multiplayer. Players can share drawings and work together to explore the game.
A montage of more 3rd party games follows: Darksiders 2, Mass Effect 3, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Team Tournament 2, Trine 2 Director’s Cut and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge are shown. The montage ends with a glimpse of Aliens Colonial Marines.
Time to change focus to WiiFit. There are 43 million users of WiiFit. Reggie calls the Wii Balance Board a “bathroom scale”. WiiFit was an easy access point for new gamers. WiiFit U is announced with a new peripheral called a Fit Meter, which is some kind of calorie counter that can keep track of your stats and goals. In a simulated experience on screen, the Balance Board is shown working with the Wii U.
Now Reggie is talking about dance games. A new game tentatively called SiNG. SiNG is a music game with a new play style. Player who’s singing uses the mic & the Wii U GamePad so they don’t have to face the TV. Not sure what we are seeing here in the video, if I had to guess it is a karaoke machine with a dancing element. Touted as a party game.
3DS news! Scott Moffitt, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nintendo America, comes out to describe some new games coming to the handheld. Due to limited time he explains that 3DS games will be addressed in their own show online, Wednesday at 6:00 at e3.nintendo.com. Three new first party titles: A new, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is launching Aug 19th, Paper Mario Sticker Star a new entry in that series with a 3D twist and finally the return of Luigi in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon.
Lego City Undercover is another family title coming to Wii U. Shown is Lego characters exploring an Lego built, sandbox style city. Players will assume a detective role and use various tools to solve crimes. Looks like the wit and charm we expect form Lego titles will be included. A portable version is in-the-works for 3DS.
Ubisoft joins Reggie on stage (they have been to every event so far!). Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and CEO of Ubisoft, is presenting Rayman Legends an all new Rayman game developed specifically for the Wii U and Zombi U a survival horror game. He begins by underscoring Nintendo’s commitment to bringing new gamers into the fold. All together Ubisoft is bringing 8 titles to Wii U including Just Dance 3. Zombi U, includes gameplay like sniping and hacking which we’ve become accustom to in such titles. As a bonus, Zombi U has a zombify mode that allows you to become a zombie yourself with the Gamepad’s camera; Reggie demonstrates this on himself.
Wrapping up, Reggie has “one more thing” to show for Nintendo. Nintendoland is a new game that brings together various Nintendo titles in a virtual theme park. He compares it to Wii Sports as a game that will help you understand the new console. Katsuya Eguchi, Wii U Software Producer and Jonathan Yeckley of Treehouse, give us a walkthrough of Nintendoland. It capitalizes on the most popular Nintendo franchises. There are 12 “attractions” included in the game: Zelda Battle Quest, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion are among the multiplayer attractions. Donkey Kong Crash Course, Takamaru’s Ninja Castle are examples of the single player attractions. As expected, these seem to be shorter, party games to get players used to the new Wii U Gamepad. Fully integrated into Miiverse. They end the conference with some in-game fireworks from Nintendoland.
Wii U and Nintendoland will be ready for the Holiday season.

E3 2012: home viewing guide

Once again, it’s that time of year to gaze upon the oracle of gaming-to-come, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). My NeverEnding Story of trying to get inside is still being written. The gatekeepers to the kingdom of gaming (the E3 committee Sphinxes’) have thwarted even my most “Atreyuian” moves towards the gates.
Nevertheless, E3 2012 is happening June 5-7th with major keynote addresses starting on Monday, June 4th. You’re viewing choices have grown (slightly) this year over last, with more network choices and dedicated streams over the Internet. Televised on Spike TV and sister Viacom Media Networks, including MTV2; MTVU; VH1; Tr3s: Música y Másand will all air the coverage simultaneously. Check your local listings for their correct channels. The Microsoft keynote will be airing for the first time on XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360. I’m starting to wonder if by attending E3 you actually risk not seeing everything; and the best move may be getting all the information in one massive media download.

It’s interesting to ponder what’s in store and its affect on how the industry is fairing. E3 has high expectations associated with it, namely first look at new consoles. While I personally don’t think we will be seeing any new hardware besides the Wii U, there are some highly anticipated games we can expect to hear about.

The Gamedae E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide is below.

GAMEDAE E3 2012: Home Viewing Guide
A Guide to Where and When to get the most of E3 from your Couch.

FRIDAY JUNE 1st (Weekend before the expo)

10:30 PST / 1:30am EST || Konami Pre-E3 Show

 || Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 2012

MONDAY JUNE 4th (day before the expo opens)

9:30am PST / 12:30pm EST || XBox: Entertainment Evolved
  • Expectations: Halo 4, Fable: The Journey, the newest Call of Duty and a Spotify-like Music Service
  • On XBox Live through an app called: Playbook 360.
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || Electronic Arts: The Download at the Orpheum Theater in LA
  • Announced Featured Content: SimCity, Crysis 3, Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13 and other unannounced projects
  • TV: Spike TV and sister networks
  • WEB: http://www.ea.com/e3 & GameTrailers.com
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || Ubisoft
5:30pm preview, 6pm PST / 8:30pm preview, 9pm EST || Sony

TUESDAY JUNE 5th (First day of Expo)

9am PST/ 12pm EST || Nintendo All-Access
  • Expectations: New Mario Launch game, Wii U redesigns, release date and price
  • TV: Spike TV or MTV2 networks, watch the presentation live with no commercial interruptions
  • WEB: the Nintendo All-Access @ E3 2012 website at http://e3.nintendo.com
1pm PST/ 4pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6th (Second day of Expo)
3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage
  • TV: E3 2012 LIVE continues on G4
6pm PST/9pm EST || Nintendo Software Showcase
    •  WEB: http://e3.nintendo.com/

THURSDAY JUNE 7th (Third day of Expo)

3pm PST/ 6pm EST || E3 Conference Coverage

E3 2011: nintendo keynote recap by zoidberger

Entering this E3 the consensus in the industry was that it was Nintendo show to lose. They were the only one of the “Big 3” to debut a new system and they had all the buzz going into this E3. The next generation console war is about to begin and Nintendo is about to fire the first shot. I came away from the Nintendo Keynotes with more questions than answers. Was this an actual system or the most expensive game peripheral since the Steel Battalion controller? Why would Nintendo announce a new console but not show the actual console? Is this the new console or is the controller? Is this just a new controller for the existing Wii?

I feel like Nintendo had a golden opportunity to absolutely crush this E3. They had a chance to take back some of their core audience. I felt like this was no different then when the Wii balance board and the Wii motion plus were announced. This felt more like an extension of the Wii, than the next chapter in Nintendo’s console. Is the future of gaming an iPad controller with joysticks?

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The conference starts with Nintendo trivia, as well as a Zelda retrospective. It was nice to see a full orchestra bring the sounds of Zelda to life. The first speaker of the keynote is….

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Zelda. Interesting choice to start with a game developer rather than someone directly involved with Nintendo.

Miyamoto talks about the 25-year anniversary of Zelda. Also talks about the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time. Announces that a Zelda game will be hitting each of the 3 consoles for Nintendo (DSi, 3DS, and Wii). Skyward Sword will be on the Wii and not the next generation system. It seems Miyamoto has learned from last year, he spares us from an awkward game demonstration of Skyward Sword.

Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, comes on stage to announce a “New Home Platform” and that full details will be coming later this morning.

3DS game trailers, Mario Kart, Starfox, Mario, Kid Icarus, Luigi’s Mansion. That is the kind of lineup the 3DS should have used at launch rather than six to eight months into its life cycle.

Reggie File-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo America, comes out and starts with the new Nintendo eShop. Free version of 3D Excitebike for download as well as a Pokemon Pokedex.

New console is announced, the Nintendo Wii U. The controller has a 6.2’ touch screen as well as 2 analog sticks and a + D pad. It’s backwards compatible, and compatible with other Nintendo devices. It also has a microphone, gyroscope, forward and backward facing cameras. The Wii U controller also features an accelerometer, a rumble feature and speakers.

Super Smash Bros. is announced for both the Wii U and the 3DS, no game footage is shown.

John Riccitiello CEO of EA comes out to announce they would bring their titles to the new Wii U.

Photo of Iwata from @NintendoAmerica on Twitter
They play a tech demo demonstrating the graphical power of the new console. They also announce ONE exclusive title for the new system, Lego City Stories, its a little disappointing to see that the Lego franchise is the only 3rd party company willing to extend exclusivity to the Nintendo Wii U so far.

On the surface it seemed that the controller was some sort of Wii peripheral, since they didn’t show us the physical console. It was later released that this is indeed the controller to the new system, but Nintendo did not release a price point or specs of the new console. At this point all we know is that the controller will be playable with and without your television. It also works in conjunction with your 3DS, but this wouldn’t be the first time a company has tried to integrate home gaming and mobile gaming. I have a few concerns with the new console, since we didn’t get specs on the system it can be assumed that it is still graphically inferior to both the PS3 and Xbox 360, otherwise the specs would have been released. The new controller works with the Wii, but was made unclear if the Wii remotes will be required to play on the new console. If that is the case then a game requiring the Wii remote, Wii nun chuck, and the new Wii U controller seems like a little much to play a single game. The price on the new controller is a big concern; I can’t imagine the controller being less than $100, which is a bit much just for a controller.

I’m not exactly sure how this was suppose to resonate with “core gamers” as well as no developer presence makes me wary of 3rd party developer support for the new system. Nintendo is trying to combine casual gaming and core gaming with this new system, whether they succeed remains to be seen.

ea active: more workouts


Progress: Again and again
EA Active: More Workouts is one of the best home workout video games.

It is a step up from the Wii’s first work out game, WiiFit. The workouts feel more legit and the Wii motion controls are more engaging and intuitive. This is the second release in the EA Active line. The music is pretty good – just the right amount of motivation, the island paradise setting is nice – they did a decent job with the graphics. Decent, not incredible, and very “Wii looking.” The game comes with a small set of peripherals, specifically a leg strap and a resistance band. You can take on a 6 week workout challenge, or just complete preset or custom workouts (basically different combinations of various exercises) and you can even workout with a friend.

I decided to start a 6 week challenge to get fit and shed a few pounds. Before getting started, I realized I needed a base so I could measure my results. I had to weigh myself in Wii Fit; I have to say I find it strange that EA didn’t include a scale option in EA Active: More Workouts. Anyway, according to Wii Fit my ideal weight is 157.2 lbs (22 BMI) for my age and height. My actual weight is 180.5 lbs (25.28 BMI) which Wii Fit considers overweight! Obviously no one wants to be overweight (despite Wii Fit being known to be a bit harsh) so I set a goal: lose 5 lbs in 2 weeks (shortest period of time allowed by the software). Let’s go.

Day One (Monday)
Calories Burned: 159.3
Workout time: 28:35 minutes
Exercises: 13 of 13
I had fun on Sunday night staying up late (drinking) and finishing off the campaign mode of Transformers. So when I woke up on Monday morning, I was tired but I got started setting up the Wii for my virtually assisted workout. Had to replace the batteries in the Wii mote and Balance Board. Started up the Wii (its been a little while) and I was greeted with a system update. Finally, I booted up EA Active.
The first workout of my 6 week challenge, referred to as Full Body in the game, is a set of foundation exercises consisting of single arm rows, raised knees, skipping, double bicep curls and a short obstacle course. I must have really needed the exercise as I was super sweaty and needed a break with 5 exercises left to go but I finished and felt proud.
Day Two (Tuesday)
Rest day – Yes it tells you to take rest days in the game. Those are the best days….

Day Three (Wednesday)
Calories Burned: 101.8
Workout time: 22:01 minutes
Exercises: 13 of 13
My second workout had a focus on lower body and cardio. I felt a lot more ready for this workout and it seemed easier to me. The exercises consisted of crossover lunges, stride jumps, water skiing, push ups, double shoulder presses, squash and, of course, crunches. Some of the exercises such as water skiing and squash are pretty special as you would probably not have those in a regular gym and the game play is actually fun – you sort of feel like your really playing…sort of.

Day Four (Thursday)
Rest day
Day Five (Friday)
I skipped this workout. I blame the previously mentioned Transformers multiplayer game and their x5 experience weekend! (And the drinking)
Day Six (Saturday)
Rest Day

Day Seven (Sunday)
Calories Burned: 158.7
Workout time: 29:52 minutes
Exercises: 13 of 13

This workout had a focus on the upper body and in my opinion it was the best workout yet. Exercises consisted of: one arm reverse flys, single arm rows, sparring, double bicep curls, straight arm triceps extensions, short obstacle course, island outrun, leg raises and the cool down stretches. I should mention that all of the routines begin with warm up moves and end cool down stretches.

So overall I’m feeling good about exercising and can easily see why people get obsessed with working out. Personally I’m still waiting for my “runner’s high” but some exercise is better than none.

  • During workouts the game releases you from straining to look at the TV with verbal ques. 
  • Live video tutorials explain all the exercises in detail
    • Graphics leave a little more to be desired, especially cause they are repeated so often
    • The resistance band will have to be replaced sooner rather than later
    • Obviously, the nunchuk wire sucks. Looks like EA is looking to go wireless for the next iteration of EA Active
    One week results: 1.5 lb weight loss!


    RELEASE DATE: 10/2008


    Progress: 100%

    I have found that I actually enjoy playing Monopoly. It’s something that just works: on family trips, during a black out or when attempting to ease tension after fighting with your girlfriend.

    I was quite excited to find Monopoly for the Wii and bought it without hesitation.  My main motivation being my ongoing mission to persuade my disenchanted friends (and said girlfriend) into playing the Wii with me. It worked like a charm. Despite some major problems I had with the game; it brought hours of fun, routy competition and some long nights.

    There is little to no change to the traditional game play. Roll the dice by shaking the Wiimote. Move ahead, purchase or pay rent on the properties, land on chance or go to jail. Some key differences from playing the board game include no corrupt bankers, no paper money or missing game pieces. The graphics on the Wii are about NGC quality, which I consider pretty good but not great.

    Need a break from a long game? Feel free to pause, watch some TV, run an errand and get back to the game when you’re ready. The game remembers the last game being played and you can pick up where you left off. There is something to be said for going for the marathon match and playing until one person has won it all.

    The problems begin with the game navigation. I have a feeling this was a port from another system (Either XBox or PS) and the developers never actually played a game through on the Wii version. Instead of activating the D pad controls and/or motion controls. You are forced to point the Wiimote and click A for each action you take.  It is very tedious to move from menu to menu or choose the small button options in front of you. Some of the “Press OK” menus, to confirm certain selections, are just plain stupid and get irritating pretty quickly.

    In addition to the navigation, the games’ fatal flaws include not taking advantage of camera angles, poor character design, and not even attempting a real 3D environment. Your left thinking, “Wouldn’t it have been cool if they had done________?” At best, the level designs, which are different versions of your standard Monopoly board, are fun and cute but not especially rewarding as you unlock the levels.

    All in all, Monopoly is just like the board game; and what I mean is, it is what you make of it. The friends you bring with you, the moments you share and winning is always nice. So give it a shot if your looking for a change of pace or to get your girlfriend to play video games with you. Monopoly is a timeless game but this version for the Wii seriously missed the mark.

    Pay poor tax of $15

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