The Wii is now out (and
sold out) in Japan. This makes the second part done on
Nintendo's new usual goal of launching consoles worldwide. They did
it with the DS, and it's going on again with the Wii. It is great to
see at least one console launch going according to plan...no matter
how much it makes it hard to find one for those who didn't pre-order
On that note, I'm still
fully enjoying Zelda: Twilight Princess. Despite how Zelda games in
the past have usually lasted about 20 hours, even with some
searching for the hidden heart pieces, this one is a nice long game.
I'm getting ready to finish the fourth real dungeon, and I've topped
20 hours...and then some.
So far, I'd have to say
the Wii controls are awesome for this game. While I have some issues
with the nunchuk's sensor telling what I intend to do (a wave will
do a spin attack and a forward thrust gives a special ability you
unlock if you know how). I've found myself doing a good number of
spin attacks when I intended to do this other ability (no spoilers).
Besides that small issue, the Wii controls for Zelda are amazing and
fun...even if they make you look like you're having a seizure as you
More than that, however,
I am very impressed with the plot this time around. I think this is
the first time when a Zelda game has had a plot more advanced than
"Zelda in trouble...teh save her!" In fact, there's a good real
story with some nice elements of betrayal and sacrifice (unlike past
Zelda games when there was only the clearest and most obvious of
Anyway, I've given up on
playing anything else until I've finished Zelda. FFV Advance? Nope.
Haven't touched it for over a week. Trauma Center? Not for about six
days. Monkeyball? Not until I get another Wii-mote. Wii Sports?
Ok...this one is fun for small bursts so I've given some love to it.
Afterall, it's hard to turn down a small and quick game like Wii
Sports when one's attention span is not up to what's needed for
Anyway, I don't have
much else to say except for this; Go Seahawks! Yesterday the
Seahawks put on one hell of an awkward and confusing game. Luckily
for Seattle, Denver had an even more inexplicable and confusing game
plan. Nothing like the plan of putting your kicker in severe danger,
and then watching him mess up his hamstring. Brilliant...? All so
you could turn a fourth down with a very possible field goal into a
first down and very possible field goal as the quarter expired.
Maybe Denver needs a cue
from Seattle. We have our kicker (who is easily Seattle's MVP for
the season after kicking his fourth game winning field goal with
less than a minute left!) pulling off some awesome plays (like his
tackle that led to a fumble from a kick off), without our coach
telling him to risk himself.
Anyway, this win keeps
the Seahawks on par to possible be seeded number 2 for the NFC,
assuming we don't lose anymore games this season. Of course that's
assuming we can survive an assault by San Diego (as they possible
help to destroy Shaun Alexander's single season TD record) in a
couple weeks. That's also assuming we stop losing players to long
injuries, like we may have to deal with after Mack Strong's problem
Now if Holmgren can only
figure a way to get the Seahawks to play a good game the whole game
and not just in one half or the other, like we've been doing all
I don't know if it's
continuing by the time this post is online, but Microsoft has/had
their sign up session for being part of the
Halo 3 beta test. I honestly don't care. It's not that I don't
care that much for Halo (which is partly true...Halo rocked my
world, but Halo 2 left me feeling a bit down), but rather that I'm
just getting sick of FPS.
It seems, to me,
that FPS is the direction that console gaming will continue to take.
Unfortunately, this is, to me, the single worst part of the
evolution of console gaming. When the PSX or even the PS2 were king
(before the XBox launched), FPS seemed impossible to enjoy on a
console. Therefore, the majority of FPS titles were on the
PC...where I still had plenty of other options from RTS (another
genre which still cannot really handle the console lifestyle) to
RPGs (of the PC variety). However, with the proof that XBox gave us
via Halo that FPS could be handled by a controller, the climate
change was not bad, in and of itself. However, the part that made it
bad or intolerable was that Halo was a massive success. Bungie made
some serious bank off of the Halo franchise, and in the modern
console publishing world, success is something to be feared...as it
will inevitably lead to imitators. For example, we now have each new
console pushing a majority of it's advertising budget on the "must
have" FPS launch titles. PS3 has Resistance and Wii even has some
over abundant love for Red Steel (despite it's many short comings).
While one or two
FPS titles are a great thing, it's when we see a shit ton of them
that I start to feel a little...annoyed. The same goes for almost
ant genre or franchise, but FPS is especially obvious when it's been
over produced. While some genres will just spawn dozens of half
assed games that offer minimal entertainment, a bad FPS breeds
frustration. What I mean is this; if any game genre is to suffer
from over production, it will be the one with the most delicate
needs for controls. FPS fits that bill since it's the genre that
needs the most responsive, yet controllable, of control schemes. A
bad run speed, a bad level of aiming sensitivity, too much
sensitivity, poorly mapped buttons, or too blurry of visuals and a
half assed FPS will not just be unplayable...it's will be a burden
upon everyone who associates themselves with the game.
True, Halo 3 will
probably be a pretty good game...however, I still cannot care less.
It will undoubtedly have awesome controls and wonderful visuals.
However, I've just seen too many FPS games, and far too few games
representing the other genres as of late. Where are the hyped RPGs,
strategy titles, platformers, puzzle games, or any of the countless
other neglected genres that don't see any love (besides the
occasional bastardization from EA)? They simple fall off the radar
and possible they don't even see the developmental pathway.
Anyway, I'm still
playing Zelda and loving every second of it...well, nearly every
second. A few new abilities are pretty annoying and frustrating. The
first time you face jousting, any time you have a difficult puzzle
with the new spinner item (imagine riding a top...the spinning toy),
or any time you simple want to solve a few of the side quests in a
hurry (none can be solved in a hurry...at all)...now those are all
huge pains in the ass. However, the rest of the game is beyond
I guess my one
other complaint is that the game uses a few too many of the obvious
plot extenders. *This is a slight spoiler, so feel free to go to the
next paragraph about now*. You first have to solve three dungeons to
find the three pieces of "fused shadows". That's fine. However, once
you solve them and start the dungeon to find the "twilight mirror"
you find that the mirror is broken...into four pieces...and you have
to beat three additional dungeons to re-assemble it. Maybe something
unique would be better than feeling like I'm stuck in a constant
the plot can be, at least the game play is solid enough to keep me
always coming back for more. Best of all, whenever I feel a bit
jaded on dungeon crawling, the minigames of Twilight Princess are
all fun enough to kill some time with. There's fishing, which is
hella sweet with the Wii motion sensitive controls. The raft riding
game to shoot down targets while riding a canoe of sorts down some
rapids is great. There's even scoring money by jumping off a cliff
while holding on to a chicken to slow your fall, as you pick up
money icons. Even the rewards for most of these exercises are great
(more bomb types to play with, larger quiver for your arrows, bigger
bomb bags, opening new stores with new items). It's all fun on it's
own, but the prizes just make it go from fun to rewarding and fun.
It's one of those days
in which there is almost nothing to talk about. I mean, maybe if the
thought of a
Bob Ross video game being canceled is news, then there's
something. Think of those damned happy little trees.
Other than that,
there's nothing major in terms of news. I'm still waiting for the
Wii Channels to actually have content. In fact, I feel a bit
disappointed in one part of the Wii...those nonexistent channels.
The weather Wii channel is still not online (at least the last time
I checked...yesterday), the news channel is also in the same state,
and there's no sign of the Opera browser promised by Nintendo
several months ago.
While the Wii has,
arguably, the best launch of any console this generation, Nintendo
is doing like everyone else; making promises and not delivering.
Friend Codes are jokes since the only thing it can give you is more
Miis on your Wii. The channels are all empty and waiting for an
"update". The browser, which is supposed to be free to download
until July is still not found. Wiimotes and nunchuks are almost
impossible to find. The classic controller seems to be more of an
urban myth than anything. Even the component video cables don't
really exist, unless you ordered from Nintendo directly about a
I guess the only
bright side of Nintendo's launch is the obvious; there are more
enjoyable games at the Wii launch and fewer system errors than found
with the PS3 or the 360. I guess that is something. Still, promises
being delivered upon would be even better.
Ok...my head is
not in the geek side of things today. I'm getting ready to look for
a home loan, and therefore I'm a bit more focused on damned "grown
up" things...like finances. So, I'll just keep this all short today.
Very short post today.
I'm just short on time and patience.
Anyway, to make up
for a lack of content, here's some good advise from Nintendo on
how to care for your Wii (courtesy of Kotaku posting parts of
the Japanese Wii instructions). Some of this stuff is damned
It's now over. Nintendo
has finished their world wide launch of the Wii, in a matter of
about three weeks. It's nice to see one company (well, two if you
count the 360 from Microsoft) pull off it's promises in one way or
another. However, we still have two issues waiting for Nintendo's
First off, there
are still not enough Wii (I never know if it's "Wii" or "Wiis" for
the pleural form...?) to go around. This will probably be fixed
sometime after the New Year. However, my bet is that the Wii will be
available for purchase without camping or a major price inflation
(auction) sometime around the end of February or start of March.
That's as opposed to my PS3 guess of around May. This will also be
around the time when a Wii owner can actually buy a second Wiimote
or nunchuk without putting in excessive effort.
The other issue is
that the Wii Channels are still devoid of content. There's no online
games, no online content (besides classic Virtual Console games),
and it has not been directly addressed by Nintendo. I bet it will be
around the end of December when we see the first Wii Channel
content, and it won't be until around February that we see all of
the previously announced launch content (weather, news, and Opera
browser) all online and running.
I guess it could
be worse for Nintendo. They are being adored by the masses, even
when promises are ignored or delayed. It's the best selling console
this holiday season and it's going to help keep Nintendo profitable
and strong for the next year.
On the other hand,
things could be better for Microsoft. When the Fall Update was
released, it caused a small amount of 360s (less than 1%) to become
piles of shit. That is, the update bricked a few systems (and by a
few, I mean a few thousand). It was fixed the next day by Microsoft,
however, they still demanded their usual $140 repair service for
consoles not under warrantee.
not good enough for one person who decided to file a class
action lawsuit against Microsoft for this action. In fact, while I
normally am annoyed by excessive lawsuits, I can fully agree with
one as Microsoft did violate the Washington State Consumer
Protection Act. This lawsuit filer is asking for upto $5 million to
repay the people who were effected by this problem and an additional
$5 million as a penalty for Microsoft violating the Consumer
This is just the
type of lawsuit I think normally should never happen, but the way
Microsoft handled the initial situation shows that they do need some
action taken against them. If you track down an old message board
post about the Fall Update, you will find numerous people who
suffered the bricking syndrome and had Microsoft flat out tell them
it wasn't their (Microsoft's) fault. In fact, many people were left
with the option of either paying for a new console or paying
Microsoft to repair their brick.
In this modern
console age in which every console will not receive firmware updates
and upgrades, this is the type of situation that cannot happen. No
single entity forced console makers to require updates. While
updates can be good fun (although the Fall Update in question did
nothing important for the majority of 360 owners...except change
some icon designs on the dash board...yippee?), they are now
required by at least the 360 for online play and access. So, no
matter what you may feel about the update (being for or against the
"improvements") you must download it...and face the potential for
your system being trashed.
I think what I'm
trying to say is this; if consoles are now all going to have
updates, and if not all updates are going to be voluntary, then they
better be quality controlled and quality assured like nothing else
on the market. That, and the console makers better be ready to stand
behind their product when it works, but really to admit fault when
it fails. If Microsoft is going to force an update without any easy
to find explanation on what it will do, and if it fails, then
Microsoft better be ready from the start to repair/replace
ruined/bricked consoles without first denying all guilt.
In fact, this
applies to everyone and everything. If you're making a product and
you're counting on an update or patch to make it good, then you
better be damned ready to make up for faults in the initial release
(or better yet, don't release until it's ready) and to be ready to
offer customer support all through the products life. I've just seen
too much with firmware updates bricking systems, games that don't
work until the first patch, and patches that render a game
unplayable on some systems or PCs (Battlefield 2 for the PC comes to
mind more than anything on that one). If you, as a company, cannot
do this, then be prepared for litigation since their are Consumer
Protection Acts in many states for a damned good reason...or you
could always just sell your product in only the states without such
protective laws...and watch your sales be cut drastically.
Anyway, to end on
a brighter note...supposedly the
new trailer for Mass Effect should be on Live today. Considering
how much hype there is for this game, I know I'm not alone in
waiting for each little morsel of data to be consumed by my
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