Friday, July 3, 2009
The first one that comes to for me is Rock Band. For those of you who don’t know, Rock Band is a popular game that comes with a set of plastic instruments that allow you and 3 others to emulate the experience of playing in a band. Rock Band has great mileage because of the online music store which is updated weekly. So every week I check in to see what new songs are for sale, maybe buy a few, then invite my friends over to play them. It’s a very addictive, enjoyable, and seamless process that ensures Rock Band is one of the games with the most mileage on Wii.
But, Ok, let’s say you don’t have the luxury of being able to invite friends over on a weekly basis or don’t have the money, or what have you. There are still many other great games that offer a ton of mileage on Wii. A great example is Animal Crossing: City Folk, a game which allows you to move into a virtual town of animals, and create your own life there. It’s kind of a “Second life” deal. But Animal Crossing has great mileage because things in the town change daily, so every day you can hope on, explore what’s new, get a little bit of money, and chat up your neighbours. It’s a very cool and inventive game that is difficult to explain through text, but trust me, once you get your second life established in the world of Animal Crossing you won’t want to leave.
Ok so maybe playing plastic instruments and living in a virtual town full of animals isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re a little more... aggressive shall we say. Then there are still options for you. The one that comes to mind for me is the newly released Conduit. This Great looking and controlling first person shooter supports a fantastic online mode, which lets you throw down with up to 11 other people. Not only that, but The Conduit supports a variety of modes, maps, guns, and best of all, voice chat support through Wii Speak. It should also be noted that the Conduit also has an experience system, so as you play more, you level up, gaining rank and prestige.
But I can go on forever about great games on the Wii with great mileage, Boom Bloxs: Bash Party, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Medal of Honour Heroes, My Sims etc. The list goes on, but, for now, I hope these three suggestions will tide you over, and encourage you to drag your Wii out of the closet.
Till next time.
Wii Informant Out.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
One of the two EA Sports titles to be using Wii Motion Plus is Grand Slam Tennis, and I am going to tell you why this game covered in a sugar glossed cartoonish look is actually one of the most engaging and addicting experiences I have had while playing my Wii.
The name should be able to tell you what Grand Slam Tennis is all about, playing Tennis. You open up Grand Slam Tennis to a simple interface laced with your basic assortment of modes and play styles. There is of course quick play, which lets you pick up a racket right off the bat and take to your preferred court with your preferred player and opponent.
Next you will see there are practice and fitness modes. Practice mode has you learning and timing your swings to get the most accurate shots possible and fitness mode has you taking on fitness based challenges in order to burn the most calories. While I do believe this mode inflates its numbers because I can’t see how five minutes of waving your arm around results in the loss of 20 calories, but, it is a nice touch none the less.
Moving along there is a party mode for multiple people. This mode allows you to take on your friends in your simple singles or doubles matches, or in several nice variants of basic tennis - such king of the court, where only the player at the top of the court can score points, or tag team which has you and your partner swapping places after ever shot.
Before I get to the meat of the game I was to talk about my favorite mode which is the online mode. The online mode is among the smoothest and easiest to use I have seen on the Wii before. Each match pairs you up with an opponent of similar skill in seconds, and every win you earn not only increases your rank, but your countries rank as well. That’s right; Grand Slam Tennis has a world leader board that takes into account the wins and losses from everyone in their country and uses it to create a worldwide leader board. Right now America is at the top of the list and I say we Canadians have to Jump online and dethrone them! One final note about online before I move on, not only is playing for your country’s honor a great incentive to keep coming back, but you can have your friend jump on with you using a second Wiimote and play together against other doubles couples around the world! What more can you ask for?
All that praise being said about the online and I haven’t even gotten the meat of the game which is the “Grand Slam” mode, which I will just call career mode. Career mode has you creating a player, choosing their play styles and gear, and then hitting the courts at the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments. Things won’t be easy to start off though, as the game pits you against some of the world’s best tennis players right off the bat! And let me say they will grind you into the dust pretty fast. Don’t worry though, it may take some time, but once you get some wins under your belt and get some better skills and gear, you’ll be ready to come back and kick some sweet, pompous, pro tennis player ass. To sum up this mode, it’s hard at first, but addicting once you start unlocking skills and gear for your player. Then once you have the kick ass tennis player you built from the ground up, the game is ultimately satisfying.
Grand Slam Tennis supports a myriad of control options, but, your gunna wanna throw all those options out and play with the Wii Motion Plus. Let me state right here that if you don’t own the Wii Motion Plus then stick to Wii Sports Tennis. But provided you own Wii Motion Plus, you are in for the most realistic controlling tennis game ever.
While we are on the topic of Wii Sports Tennis, let me state that if you play Grand Slam Tennis with the Wii Motion Plus as you would play Wii Sports Tennis, then you will fail miserably. Meaning, that you can’t randomly waggle the Wiimote anymore, you must completely unlearn that control scheme. All motions you make are very accurately represented and displayed on screen. Swing from up to down across your body, and your gunna hit that ball cross court with some top spin. Swing straight in front of you with your hand open and you will hit it right down the line. It’s very accurate, and once you get it, it feels very good. Let me pause here and stress the “once you get it”, because you aren’t going to be able to pick up this game and play with the best of them right away. Tennis is hard, and as a result the learning curve for the game is steep. It took me several hours to figure out the controls, and another to master them. However, once you do, the game is unbelievably satisfying and addicting. So all I can say is don’t give up, and you will be well rewarded.
The presentation is easily the worst part of Grand Slam Tennis. While I have to give props for the fluid animation of the players and solid announcers, everything else ranges from bland to just plain ugly. The characters are bizarre deformations of human beings, which, in all honesty, creep me out. The pros look nothing like their real life counter parts, and your created player will probably look nothing like you either. The crowd looks like they’re made of cardboard and looks worse than in NHL 1998. All that being said I can give credit to the engine being stable at least. You won’t experience any hitches in performance, even online. However that is all the good that can be said about the graphics and hopefully next year EA will ramp things up for the squeal.
Grand Slam Tennis is a fine example of the ways Wii Motion Plus can change game play. Despite its terrible presentation and steep learning curve, Grand Slam Tennis is a great game that I think everyone should try out. Not to mention, with a long addicting campaign, and an equal opponent just a stone’s throw away with the excellent online, I can assure that, once you get over that learning curve, you’ll be swinging for weeks to come.
A buy for everyone.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
There is now no better time to own a Wii, because of the arrival of the new Wii Motion Plus. This 20$ one inch add-on simply clicks into the back of your Wiimote and makes the Wiimote exponentially more accurate, precise and fluid. Already, there are three great games that all use Motion Plus to its fullest and become top games in their genres because of it. Best of all, anyone can enjoy them. Stay tooned and I will give you the full details on all them so that you know how to get the most bang for your buck.
Wii Informant out.
Hi all, my name is Spencer Downing, but while I write these blogs I will just call myself the Wii Informant.
When I set out to write this blog I wanted to right a wrong I saw with Wii coverage in the popular video game media. Most big press sites seem to treat Nintendo's console as if it is the same as other consoles, mainly the PS3 and Xbox 360. On top of that, these other sites want to compare and demand the Wii stand up on the same playing field as these other consoles. In my eyes, this should not be the case. The Wii is something very different from the consoles we have been used to in the past, and deserves to be evaluated on its own merits. So, one of the things that I wish to achieve with this blog is evaluation of Wii games, accessories, and other products, on their own standards, for people who might exclusively be Wii owners or gamers.
The beauty of The Wii is that there is something for everyone on the console. It doesn't matter if you have been playing games for 19 years of your life, as I have, or, The Wii is your first console. If you fit in this range, then there is something that you can play and enjoy on Nintendo's console. So, my goal is to keep your Wii Disk's spinning, and make sure you are turning on your console no matter what level of gamer you happen to be.
So from that description I hope you know what you're going to see from the Wii Informant, news and reviews. I will constantly keep you posted on the latest games to pick up, who can enjoy them, and why they can enjoy them. I will make sure you are informed of the lasted news and developments in the Nintendo world, and I even want you to help me explore the myriad of titles that have already come out so I can help you build a collection of Wii games that everyone can enjoy.
Finally I would like to state that I do not need to tell you go buy a Wii, we all know it is the newest and hottest technology, and it has been for almost 3 years now. What I want to tell you is how you can get the most out of your console, its games and applications, so that you can keep your Wii's disk drive spinning and that blue light on.
Until next time, this is the Wii Informant signing out.