What do wii think?
November 20, 2006 10:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm considering getting a Nintendo Wii and was wondering if any new owners would care to share there experiences.
posted by brevator to Technology (35 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's awesome. More awesome than you expect, even after seeing demos and commercials and whatnot. The Wii remote feels like a HUGE leap forward in gaming; it's intuitive, easy, and incredibly immersive.

When we fired up the tennis game first, we couldn't figure out which button would swing the racquet. Then mr. junkbox realized, "Just swing your controller!" All it takes is that one "Aha!" realization, and using the controller (and the nunchuck attachment) becomes totally natural.

It feels like the FUTURE, like a system you've only seen in sci-fi movies. And it's wonderful.
posted by junkbox at 10:26 AM on November 20, 2006

It is fantastic, get Zelda.
posted by BobbyDigital at 10:26 AM on November 20, 2006

A friend of mine got one on Friday and had a party for people to come over and check it out. Needless to say, it was a huge hit among everybody there (25-35 year old urbanites) but the surprising thing was seeing how much the non-gamers (i.e. girls) loved it. They played game after drunken game of tennis (make sure to put that wrist strap on) which became funnier and funnier as the night progressed.

I was on the fence before playing it but am now definitely gonna have to pick one up.
posted by phixed at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2006

What are the upcoming options to get one? I showed up at 7am at a local target and was 35th in line (26 available). Are stores going to start having more of them soon? Should I jus canvas local stores daily? Is there anywhere online that talks about this in as much detail as the pre-launch stuff?
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:34 AM on November 20, 2006

It is so much fun, you should buy two. It is a completely new way to interact with video games, and provides both new kinds of fun and new challenges. I have only played Wii Sports, the new Zelda, and Trauma Center (which I understand is basically a port of the DS version, but I have no DS, so it's new to me), but I am already giddy as a schoolgirl about Wii. The aiming and swordighting mechanism in Zelda makes that game much more interesting than just another slog through Hyrule (like junkbox, I found myself forgetting to just "swing" my sword!), and Trauma Center is really neat, and takes me back to Life or Death on the original Mac. Then there is Wii Sports, and while these games are not really fleshed out as much as they could be, they point to the potential in the system. Learning to play Wii Sports is more like learning to play an actual sport than a video game -- there are physical skills and techniques, and rhythms to learn, not just button pushing.

The real test is whether or not Nintendo and other developers will continue to come up with new and fun ways to use the new controller, which we may not know for some time. The potential is really great, but even if the innovations don't advance much beyond the launch lineup (Madden, Rayman, Red Steel and the racing games are also pushing the control envelope) it is still worth the relatively (compared to the other new systems) modest investment in my mind.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:37 AM on November 20, 2006

It's really great. If you're not a big gamer, I'd say don't get Zelda, actually (sorry, BobbyDigital)--gamers love it, but non-gamers seem to find it confusing and overcomplicated. Non-gamers LOVE the Wii Sports game though (as does pretty much everyone).
posted by LGCNo6 at 10:37 AM on November 20, 2006

I love it more than I expected.
posted by Cool Alex at 10:40 AM on November 20, 2006

>non-gamers (i.e. girls)

Oh, I forgot this. This is huge. The women in my life have responded to Wii like no other video game I've ever tried them on (including Katamari Damacy, but maybe excluding Karaoke Revolution). My wife is already developing a workout routine built around Wii Boxing.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:41 AM on November 20, 2006

Can I be the devil's advocate? I would wait until more titles are out. Do not get the system just for the sake of getting the system. I did not think the controller was that revolutionary, the sheer novelty wears out after about 6 hours of play (I saw this in complete muscle pain, and I a fairly physical person otherwise).

I have only played with large groups of friends, I cannot imagine playing it by yourself. A lot of the fun is seeing everyone look silly waving around a little remote control. Zelda never really interested me and Red Steel was fairly difficult to control. I had some friends who absolutely forced themselves to get used to Red Steel's mechanics and seemed to get it down better, but it is unlike anything you've ever played.

Might I also be a little angry over the responsiveness of the controls? As someone who played golf, Wii golf was nothing like the real thing, except you make the same general motion. I didn't think it picked up the swing very well and was way, way too simple. It played more like a tech demo than even a basic golf game. Boxing was the same way.

Really the only thing I liked was Wii tennis and to a less extent, baseball. Everything seemed more based on timing than actual swing. Do not get me wrong, we had a real blast, but once we became more aware that running around the room and doing an actual backhand mattered less than moving the stick at the right time, the fun sort of disappeared a bit.

That said, the fanboys really loved it. Like they couldn't stop talking about how amazing it was. It is cool, but play it at a friend's house and see how some of the other non-launch titles use the new controls. I have a feeling there's still quite a bit of refining the programmers have to do. A ton of fun, but it did play like a kid's game. I hope they launch some sports titles that are a bit more difficult and are more in depth. I can see this replacing Madden 06 as the game everyone plays before the night gets going, but I cannot see myself addicted to it just yet. Sorry to be so pessimistic.
posted by geoff. at 10:49 AM on November 20, 2006

Oh it does level the playing field, so to speak. I have a feeling this to be more about the controls being so new, no one has had time to spend hours on hours getting a hang of it. Expect this to disappear very quickly. It was fun being as good at Red Steel as my hardcore gamer friends.
posted by geoff. at 10:51 AM on November 20, 2006

To back RustyBrooks' question, when are the next shipments supposed to be arriving? Is everyone without one right now going to be forced to wait until after the holidays? A friend told me Microcenter's website had them in stock mid-day yesterday, but when I checked later in the evening they were OOS.

(Not to derail too much, but I think it's relevant for anyone who is interested in picking one up now)
posted by chimmyc at 10:58 AM on November 20, 2006

I just want to second what everyone here is saying. I don't own one, but rather was at a party much like the one phixed was at. I had a tremendously great time with Bowling and Boxing in Wii Sports (the latter likely because I was the only martial artist there and was seriously kicking ass). Monkey Ball was also fun, although I was disappointed at how short the single player game was (they're clearly selling the party game aspect). Zelda was there, but I'm not a Zelda fan, so I didn't play it. I wanted to buy one today at the Target across the street from my work, but their shipment people (UPS?) fucked up and now they don't think they'll be getting any until after Christmas (which seems like a ludicrous amount of time to me).
posted by Xoder at 10:59 AM on November 20, 2006

Response by poster: I wanted to buy one today at the Target across the street from my work, but their shipment people (UPS?) fucked up and now they don't think they'll be getting any until after Christmas (which seems like a ludicrous amount of time to me).

Have you considered freezing yourself to make the time go by quicker?
posted by brevator at 11:25 AM on November 20, 2006 [3 favorites]

I have, but I realized that by the time suitable de-freezing technologies exist, the Wii will have already been a blip on the radar of history.

I actually meant that it seems absurd to me that such a hot item that is supposed to be getting "weekly" re-shipments (or so the Wii rumor mill states) would be getting that badly delayed at one Target. (i.e., why not just ship 2-3 from each of 5 stores nearby and bam, 10-15 units magically appear at this one store...)
posted by Xoder at 11:32 AM on November 20, 2006

I am another (geek but) non-gamer who loves the Wii. My tennis arm is killing me today. I'm not generally big on shooting things all day for entertainment, so my husband got Trauma Center, which I enjoyed during breaks in Sports.

Now, though, I kind of think I'd like to experiment with shooting things. The Wii controllers are so much more comfortable than our PS2 controllers, I might actually be good enough at it to want to keep playing.

I will sit and hope quietly that there will be a Katamari Damacy for the Wii one day, and in the meantime I too am planning to incorporate fake tennis and boxing into my workout routine.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:03 PM on November 20, 2006

I've been a PC gamer for nearly thirty years (I started as a young boy on an Apple II). In recent years, though, I've grown away from gaming (except for World of Warcraft). With that as background, I bought a Wii yesterday morning and got to play a bit on a few games. My favorites are in this order:
  • The included Wii Sports — As others have mentioned, the games are simplistic and the control rudimentary, but the game is surprisinly fun with multiple players. What's more, gamers don't have any advantage. I am immensely frustrated this morning, and my wife smug with satisfaction, because she beat me at every single game we played yesterday. In our final bowling game, she won 180-88. I keep hooking the ball and don't know why. Tennis is a blast. As somebody else mentioned, I am interested in the possible exercise aspects of the Wii. Seriously. A couple round of boxing really gets your heart rate up. I can't wait for dedicated Wii fitness titles.
  • Monkey Ball — I only played this in single-player mode. I've never played other monkey ball games before. Unlike a previous commenter, I didn't blaze throuogh this. In fact, I had trouble with level 8 (or 9) of the first world. I must be getting old. It was certainly fun, though, and I look forward to playing more, and to trying the multiplayer mode.
  • Zelda — This game intrigues me, but it's a little overwhelming. It's almost too freeform for me. (Remember: I've played a lot of World of Warcraft.) I'm taking it in bite-size chunks, but I'm worried that it's not going to be as fun as Zeldas of former years.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance — The only true dud so far, and maybe I need to give it more of a chance. This is the only game where the Wii controls feel tacked on and not integral to the play. I can't find a "training" mode, so I'm left to fumble around during gameplay trying to discover how things work. It sucks. I like the idea of playing Marvel superheroes, but the game asks you to control a party of four, rotating actual control between the group members. I have no idea what I'm doing to make Thor fight or the Human Torch shoot fire. And my presence seems superluous except for moving the characters around the screen. They all fight (and win) without me. I want to trade this on craigslist for something else.
Basically, I'm quite happy with the Wii, especially Wii Sports. I cannot wait for other games that take advantage of the unique control system. It's a lot of fun. I'm taking mine to Thanksgiving where I hope others will get a kick out of it, too.
posted by jdroth at 12:24 PM on November 20, 2006

The boyfriend and I got one yesterday and we spent most of the day trying it out. I think it's really fun, and I usually don't play video or computer games.

We had a blast with Rayman - it is really wacky but very fun to play with people. I tried Zelda, but I've never had the patience for games that are long and require you to invest a lot of time in it. My boyfriend was up late last night playing, though.

What I like best is that it's physical and gets players off the couch. I don't always get enough physical activity in my day and if I can move about while also playing a fun game, I'm up for it.
posted by sutel at 12:25 PM on November 20, 2006

chimmyc and RustyBrooks: I believe the word from Nintendo is weekly shipments, but I bet that at least until Christmas those shipments will disappear just as fast as the launch shipments (within minutes). Best advice, speak to the staff at your local retailer until you can find someone who is willing to call you the minute new Wii (Wiis?) come in and be prepared to drop what you are doing and head to the store.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:29 PM on November 20, 2006

>I keep hooking the ball and don't know why.

To me this is the most interesting feature. In pre-Wii gaming, it was pretty clear what you were doing wrong (I didn't hit X fast enough, I can't remember to block, I don't have enough HP), but Wii Sports is more like... sports, in which you can be doing the right thing, but because of the inexact connection between body and mind, you're not doing it exactly right.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:35 PM on November 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

The scary thing is that I hook the ball when bowling in real life, too. Something about my mechanics is the same in real bowling and Wii bowling. It's eerie.
posted by jdroth at 12:43 PM on November 20, 2006

I strolled into Target at 6:30am and ended up being #67 out of 69. Only bought the Wii and Zelda. The setup for the system was really easy. All the plugs are shaped differently so there's really no need to consult the manual.

As I'm not a morning person and wanted a nap, so I let my Wii update online and went back to bed. Two hour later, it's stuck 75%. It took more 4 tries and a bit of moving the Wii around before the update completed. My wireless network is a little crazy so YMMV. There didn't seem to be a way to cancel the updating except by turning it off. And even then, the updating would start all over again.

Didn't have any of the rumored problems with bright lights messing up the sensor bar. My TV room is lit with halogen floodlights.

A friend and I played with Wii sport for about 15 minutes. In our opinion, regular gamers would see of it as a tech demo while non-gamers might think of it as a fun game. We played baseball and tennis for a few minutes. IMO, it's not even at the level of a party game, like a Mario Party or Monkeyball. We were turned off the fact that you could only "swing" the respective sports equipment but had no control over the characters movements.

We played with Zelda for about an hour and I'm still within the "training" portion in the starting village. The controls are intuitive to use. No real opinion about the game really since I've only played for 1 hour.

Blew $10 on the Virtual Console points. There wasn't a game that I wanted though. Should have looked before buying points but I got caught in the excitement.

Overall, I think it's a good system and can't wait for all its features to be up and running.
posted by Cog at 12:50 PM on November 20, 2006

This thing might can put an end to fat kids.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 12:55 PM on November 20, 2006

Many, many stores around here are getting their second shipment this week and will be holding onto it for Black Friday. In fact, the local EB got their shipment today. Nintendo will restock stores on a weekly basis, so the chances of buying one before Christmas are pretty good.

I got my system on launch with Zelda and Red Steel. Both games, and the system in general, take a while to get used to. It really is a new way to control your games so it takes a minute to remember that you have to shake the remote to get your sword out as opposed to hitting the A button.

Everything about the system, from the packaging to the way the remote rumbles just a lil but when you roll over the icons in the main menu, screams style. If you can, pop by your local game store and see if they have a demo unit. Hold a remote - it feels absolutely perfect. The nunchuk is also fantastic to hold.

I don't remember anyone mentioning the Mii system yet. You can create little cartoon representations of yourself, your friends, Jesus, or anyone. Right now, these characters are only used in Wii Sports, but it is a fantastic addition and it will probably be used in future games. My girlfriend (almost a complete nongamer), asked to make her own Mii so she could use it while we play tennis and bowling. She did and she loves it.

So yes....the system is a complete must buy at only $250 w/ Wii Sports included. Even if you just buy the system without any additional games.
posted by Diskeater at 12:58 PM on November 20, 2006

Best answer: I'll approach this from a different angle, and present a timeline of my girlfriend's reactions to my Wii plans, over the course of a couple weeks. For reference, she's computer savvy, and a casual gamer, but has never owned a console of her own.

A month ago:

"You're planning on spending *how much* on it?"

Two weeks ago:

"I'll wait in line with you if you try to get a PS3 for us to sell with me."

Sunday morning:

"I've been in this line for 10 hours. I deserve one as much as anyone. I'm going to buy one, too."

Sunday afternoon, 4PM:

"I want to play Zelda."

Sunday afternoon, 4:30 PM:

"Wow. It's pretty intuitive."

Sunday evening, 6PM:

"I'm sorry I'm hogging this thing."

Sunday evening, 6:30PM:

"I'm going to stop in a minute."

Sunday evening, 7PM:

"Ok, that's enough. I'm glad you wanted one of these. I had no idea it would be so entertaining."

This thing is even more awesome than I thought it would be, and is going to win people over in scads.
posted by jammer at 1:27 PM on November 20, 2006

I love mine! The games that I bought for it seem to be some of the better reviewed launch titles (Rayman Raving Rabbids, Zelda, Monkey Ball), so I'm sure that makes some difference. I'm a gamer, while my roommate isn't, and we spent about 8 hours playing yesterday and enjoyed every minute.

If you're still on the fence it can't hurt to wait until you get a chance to try one, and can actually find one on store shelves. But if this is starting to sound like your kind of thing, I'd advise you to pick one up as soon as you can hunt one down.
posted by adamk at 1:40 PM on November 20, 2006

Can these things be hooked up to computers? I don't have a tv. Is it possible to connect to a 20" iMac?
posted by dobbs at 1:49 PM on November 20, 2006

Dobbs, you can get composite, component, or svideo off of of the Wii, so if you have a monitor that will display one of those, yes, you can display the video on it.

Your iMac, IIRC, doesn't have any of these, though, so I'm afraid you'd be out of luck there.
posted by jammer at 1:58 PM on November 20, 2006

You can get a little Mac compatible tuner/video-in dongle from Elgato Systems, dobbs. And as an added benefit you get their DVR software, too, I think.
posted by bcwinters at 2:25 PM on November 20, 2006

Just adding the chorus of people here who are very happy so far. This has been a hotly anticipated item for me for quite some time, and it's exceeded my expectations. I didn't buy any extra games yet and I haven't taken it online so my experience is confined to Wii Sports and the Mii Channel. The only disappointment for me so far is that Mii do not have ears, severely hampering the production values on my Alfred E. Newman model.

To the poster above who's struggling with a hook in bowling, if you play the through the bowling training modes it tells you on one of them exactly how to manipulate that aspect of your game.
posted by moift at 2:47 PM on November 20, 2006

Training modes? The game has training modes? I missed that somehow. I'll have to find them.

One downside that I keep forgetting to mention is that the Wii is not as cheap as it would appear if you want to have multiple players. Each remote/nunchuk set sets you back $60. So, to have four players, you need to shell out $430 instead of $250. These may be normal controller prices, I don't know -- I'm not a console gamer. They seem expensive to me...
posted by jdroth at 2:52 PM on November 20, 2006

I am not a gamer, and I absolutely love it so far. My roommate [also a non-gamer] and I were battling it out in tennis within minutes. The video of people playing give no indication how fun it is. When you serve your first tennis game you'll be thrilled.
posted by yeti at 3:00 PM on November 20, 2006

You guys are making me excited! (It doesn't come out in Australia for a few more weeks.) One question: Do you need to buy extra controllers to play two player games?
posted by web-goddess at 3:56 PM on November 20, 2006

Yes. The system only comes with one set of controllers.

There are three controllers available in the U.S.:
  • The remote, which costs $40.
  • The nunchuk, which attaches to the remote, costs $20.
  • The "classic controller" for Gamecube games, which also attaches to the remote, also costs $20.
You pretty much need the first two to have a complete set of controls for each person. For example, with Wii Sports, you could play tennis with just the remotes, but you'd need the nunchuk to do boxing.
posted by jdroth at 4:08 PM on November 20, 2006

You can get a little Mac compatible tuner/video-in dongle from Elgato Systems, dobbs.

I've often seen reports that the lag on these things makes use with a console a pain, so check it out before you go ahead and buy one. (For the price of one of those Elgato jobs you can probably pick up a cheap LCD screen anyway.)
posted by chrismear at 4:21 PM on November 20, 2006

I will admit - my roommate and I are gamer geeks. We're Zelda fangirls. So opinions may be a bit... er... colored by that.

We got our Wii at the Midnight Madness Sunday at the local EBGames. Roomie hooked it up in the time it took for me to go to the bathroom and change into my jammies. Zelda, of course, was the first thing we fired up.

If you like roleplaying games - Oblivion instantly comes to mind - you're going to enjoy Twilight Princess. Open world, cohesive storyline, with enough action to keep you from getting bored in any way. The controls were intuitive enough that we picked them up easily-- except for the fishing bit in the beginning. BIG frustration there, until we realized that you have to actually snap the remote/wand up to... well, anyway. 3:30 came around rather quickly!

I had the Wii all to myself Sunday afternoon while she was at work, and played around with Wii Sports. No, they aren't highly detailed sport simulation games, but they're fun nonetheless. I particularly enjoyed baseball, which can be rather subtle about timing your swing correctly when at bat, and speed and angle when you're pitching. There are trial modes to each sport game that gives you a taste of the mechanincs, letting you work yourself up to each "full" game, and even a Workout mode that tests you similar to how Brainage does. Oh, and sweat? You betcha! Boxing in particular is a great work out, as it incorporates the punching motion with dodge/weaving from left to right.

Building the Mii was a lot of fun, not only for me but for my 8-year old daughter too. And the games itself... last night I came home from a doctor's appointment, and found her duking it out in Wii Boxing. My husband enjoyed the Baseball, too, and he used to play baseball.

The Virtual Console is still in its beginning stages, but already there are several games I'm dying to get my hands on -- the original SimCity being number one on that list. Be aware, however, that for many of the games you need either the seperately-sold "Classic Controller" or a wireless Gamecube controller (Wavebird). Still, games from every generation of Nintendo, plus select Sega games? Our first 2k shopping points are going to go FAST.

My coworkers all either have one, or are excited about getting a Wii in the near future... and unlike Sony, who sent only about 400k units to the US, Nintendo is planning on making sure we have around 4million!

Okay, that's enough gushing. Really. Back to, uh, work!
posted by Adelwolf at 12:03 PM on November 21, 2006

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