Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wee! A Wii!

I have no idea what made me buy a Nintendo Wii.

It started out with my brother asking the price for a Wii (after I bugged him) when we went there to check if the new PSP was out. The man said it was RM 970, which surprised me because most of the next-gen consoles are above the 1000 Ringgit mark. When mom finished her shopping and we were about to go back, I saw another game shop and ask my mom (don’t need to bug) to check the price for a Wii there, and found out it was RM 950. Whoa! Even cheaper than before.

After that day, whenever my mom goes shopping for groceries at our friendly neighborhood shopping centre Endah Parade, I would ask my mom to inquire about the Wii from the first shop we went as mentioned, since most of the time we buy our Playstation stuff there and get really good deals, telling my mom to see how much price cut she could get from there and what deals are there in the package.

I was kind of surprised actually that my mom didn’t object me from buying it, as most of the time if I were to buy something that isn’t clothes or educational thingy’s she would object and ask me to get it as a birthday/Christmas present some other time. Last Wednesday though, when she wanted to change my younger brother’s school uniform from Carrefour, she just asked me: “Eh, so you want to buy the Wii or not?”

“No, don’t want.”

As if I would say that! Instead, I was more like: “Thank God! It’s a miracle!”

Since I already did my research and all about the product I finally decided to follow mom and go buy the Wii. I am sure that the shop owner must be really frustrated as mom just kept asking so many times and did not buy anything at all. The price of the Japanese version of the Wii which the man was willing to sell cost RM 900 from RM 950 after many price cuts, but after some research I wanted the US version as the menus would be in English, while the Japanese version would be in Japanese and I don’t understand a single word of it. Though in the long run it would be better to have the US version, it cost a whopping RM 1370 (manage to get a RM 30 discount though), goodness… and just because the language is in English and they give one free original game…

And that’s not all, apparently since the voltage system of the Americans are different than us Malaysians, I need to get an adapter, which cost RM 80; and not to forget another Wii controller and Nunchuk, which cost RM 280 a set… arghH! All together it became RM 1700 plus RM 30 for the credit card charge… ouch!

Went home, immediately open the Wii box and started playing the free original game which was “Wii sport”. The first thing I realized was how true when they say: “It’s a whole new gaming experience that attracts the whole family”, as my mom was actually enjoying a game of virtual tennis and not complaining about which buttons she should press, etc. The Wii controller that has a motion sensor really lures people who aren’t hardcore gamers to play the Wii as playing for example, sport games, is so much easier when you could just follow the exact movements to hit the tennis/golf ball while holding the controller, no more complicated button pressing or joystick moving anymore that hinders the older generation. It was also relatively easy and smooth to point at things on the screen with the motion sensor controller. And there I was at first, worrying about the difficulties I might face just to point and press a button, of course though, you can’t compare it to the pixel perfect accuracy of the computer mouse.

I was kind of dumb struck as this is my first time playing a next-gen console. Having no wires connected to the controller from the console, able to hook up to the internet to receive news and weather reports from its inbuilt wi-fi system, heck, even loading the games seems pretty cool (there’s a channel and all to load games). I still remember that even though the Playstation 2 announced that it has the capability to go online with a network card, nobody really bothered over here as it’s a big hassle and it seems really unstable at that time with not many game companies developing this feature. And now in front of me this console has an inbuilt wi-fi that isn’t much of a prototype but very usable (you can send messages to another person with a Wii, too). How time flies, eh?

So, after playing it what do I think about this gaming console?

Well, one thing about this machine is its ability to play party games (4 or more player games), which I guess Nintendo is good at doing. Most of the games on the list for Wii seem to be party games; even the Sonic game I bought has a Party Mode built in it. As if have said, the fact that you don’t need to press buttons to activate a complicated move, do a combo or super attack or just run around helps those who aren’t so good in gaming to have a fair advantage over those hardcore gamers and thus puts the fun factor in.

The Wii is also especially interesting when it comes to sport and action games, as you could use the Wii remote to be any sport equipment or any weapon, giving you a different and more realistic way to play those games. And it really “is” sports as it makes you sweat with the workout (believe me, it’s enough to make my joints ache).

Unfortunately, as an RPG fan, the downside of the Wii would be its lack of well… RPG games. I guess it’s nothing to be amaze of as if you play RPG, the only thing you need would be just to mash buttons and it gets the things done. Then again, I might be wrong and somehow RPG developers may start venturing into the Wii console to create a whole new way of playing RPG games. The other thing would be that many Wii users are overrating the old console games (SNES, Gamecube, etc). They are really fun to play, yes I admit that, but shouldn’t those games be left to their old consoles and just be a plus that the Wii is able to play it instead? Oh, and not to forget, the Wii isn’t much fun when you just want to lay back and enjoy a game without moving any muscle except your fingers as most of the time, you need to position yourself and at the very least use your whole arm for most of the games.

Hmm… thinking about it, I guess the other reason I bought the Wii besides the lower price was because I was more certain that the Wii is completely different than the X-Box 360 or the Playstation 3. Let’s just say I saw the Wii as neutral when it comes to the console wars which created sides in the gamer’s community (Playstation, X-Box, the Wii, and those crazy people that buy all 3, all predicting/claiming which console would be one to reign supreme, though I am pretty sure which one will through my observation). Though if possible I would love to get a PS 3 as I am sure most of the Japanese developers prefer that console and I don’t really enjoy the games out in X-Box as of now. Then again I maybe wrong, perhaps there’ll be something that’ll attract me there? Who knows?

All in all, thank God for my parents that I was able to buy the Wii, shouldn’t be complaining about other console or stuff now, ha-ha!

Alright, a few pictures of my Wii, forgive me for the poor quality pictures as the best camera I have at home is the 1st 3G phone out for Sony-Ericson.

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