All 13 entries tagged Review

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April 18, 2007

Power Station

Follow-up to Heatseeker: Blackhand Edition from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Having now used the Power Station (more specifically the batteries), I can now confirm that the batteries have as much life as the normal AAs; the bonus being they're rechargeable, of course. It's just a shame it's only "supports" two Wiimotes; still, it's enough for me for the moment.

April 12, 2007

Oh, yes. One other thing…

Follow-up to Wii Internet Channel from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Scrolling is a lot better, too. In the trial version, Up and Down cycled through links, but now they scroll. There are also B+Direction shortcuts to Favourites, Refresh, etc. And they've added built-in Google and Yahoo! searching.

I also really love the Automatic zoom option - point at a large box and it will zoom appropriately for the large box; point at a small box and it will zoom in further. I can't remember if this is an update, but it's still good either way...

Heatseeker: Blackhand Edition

While I'm on the subject of New Things and the Wii, I recently bought The Godfather: Blackhand Edition and Heatseeker.

The Godfather: Blackhand Edition is fantastic. It's a heck of a lot of fun (I can spend hours extorting businesses, taking over rackets, and strangling rival mobsters) and it's a fantastic way to get my GTA fix, although I think I prefer it to San Andreas (the only GTA I've actually played). While I can't summon Harrier Jump Jets (Triangle, Triangle, Square, Circle, X, L1, L1, Down, Up) in Godfather, I don't believe you can strangle people in GTA:SA and it certainly doesn't have motion-controlled hand-to-hand...

Speaking of jets... Heatseeker's good, too. Not that any jets (I believe) have VTOL; it's just a useful segue. I quite like their idea of the Impact Cam - as the guy in a preview video said, it makes it just that little bit more interesting that Lock Onto Radar Blip, Destroy Radar Blip.

Ah yes, one other thing: I also bought Joytech's "Power Station", which is very good. The battery life seems decent enough (considering the Wiimote eats batteries for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tiffin, dinner, supper, and any other meals it can squeeze in), but since it's rechargeable (which is the point) it doesn't matter too much. It would have been better if it could have housed 4 Wiimotes, since that's how many the Wii can take, but still; one improvement, however, is it's now powered by a dongle placed inline with the power supply - rather than by the USB port as it was when I first heard about it.

Wii Internet Channel

Nintendo and Opera have just released the full version of the Wii Internet Channel, and it is a huge improvement over the trial version. Aside from the fact that it seems to load quicker, one of the best things about it is that you can hide the toolbar; it had always annoyed me that the damned toolbar was cutting down on the usable space, and now it doesn't!

So, now all Nintendo need to do (in relation to web browsing) is release a keyboard attachment for the Wiimote...

March 15, 2007

Sonic and the Secret Rings

Follow-up to Excite Truck from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Sonic and the Secret Rings arrived a couple of days after my last post, and I've got sufficiently far though it now to give more than first impressions:

  • The stages are beatuiful and the graphics are very impressive for a console that didn't set out to have amazing graphics.
  • The voice acting is, as you'd probably expect, aweful.
  • The "worlds most dramatic pinky swear"* scene is painful.
  • It's annoying that it's an RPG - Sonic starts out with an acceleration of 0ms-2 and you have to gain experience to unlock skills and increase his speed.
  • Constantly running forwards automatically makes it harder to deal with sudden enemies.
  • The Wiimote-thrust for dashing is awkward - a button would be better.
  • The "steering" is only just responsive enough to cope with quick movements (and then only after you get the add-on to make side-to-side better) so you're likely to hit things if you're timing is off by less than with normal controls.
  • Apparently the Red-Steel-esq cut scenes are styled that way to show it's technically a book, unfortunately it makes it seem like they were lazy...
  • On a positive note, it's certainly a step in the right direction - the primary goal of the 2D games of getting to the end in as little time with as many rings is certainly present, but there's still a long way to go.
  • And finally: HOW YOU JUMP IS ONE OF THE WORST IDEAS IN THE WHOLE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES. Seriously. The person who though of it should be dragged out into the street and hit with something; possibly a Wiimote, since they're suprisingly sturdy and it would be appropriate...
* Gametrailers' video review, if I remember correctly

March 03, 2007

Excite Truck

I've just bought Excite Truck (well, I say just; it was a few days ago) for the Wii. I don't know how much replay value it'll have once I complete it, but it's a lot of fun - certainly enough to justify buying it.

I haven't had a chance to try the two-player mode, but single-player is certainly entretaining; plus, I like steering with the Wiimote - for years I've been leaning into the corners on racing games, and it's nice that it's finally achieving something...

Speaking of steering with the Wiimote: Sonic and the Secret Rings should be here from in a few days. Apparently it's a step in the right direction, but still disappointing; so hopefully low expectations will make it more fun...

January 20, 2007

WarioWare: Ultimate Alliance

I've just bought WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. I've only had a chance to play on them for a few hours, but they both seem like a lot of fun.

For some reason I'm quite taken by Smooth Moves' drinking mini game; I don't know why. I also love the names for the "forms" - The Umbrella, The Mohawk, and The Elephant to name but a few - as well as their short introduction scenes...

Ultimate Alliance is also a lot of fun. The Human Torch is definitely my favourite character so far (there are unlockable characters) mainly because he uses fire (and who doesn't love fire) but also because he uses fire and can fly; although limited (there's an invisible ceiling) flying is still quite entertaining. I've found flying and spamming his flamethrower seems to take care of most enemies (although admittedly I am on Easy to get a feel for the game - it may not be so effective on harder dificulties); on that note, a tip for the first boss: when the dragon thing (can't remember its name) is standing around attacking, have the human torch fly close but off to one side and use the flamethrower; that seemed to finish him off quite quickly as the boss' attackes miss...

If anyone's interested, my team in Ultimate Alliance is (in no particular order): The Human Torch, Iron Man, Spiderman, and Wolverine; although I tend just to play as the Human Torch - switching purely for variety; I don't know if there will be any necessary changes later, but I haven't encountered any yet...

December 20, 2006

Wii Played

Follow-up to Wii Play from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Wii Play is a lot of fun, especially since I can now have two players…

“Find Mii” is a bit tedious, and I’m just crap at “Pose Mii”, but the Duck Hunt and the cow racing ones are lots of fun. The fishing was a bit awkward – I need some practice on that one. The tank one is quite good and, although possible with just a Remote, it’s definitely easier with a Nunchuk. “Table Tennis” is fun, too. The pool game is great, and makes a nice relaxing game because it’s pace is very much set by you and not the game. I also quite like “Laser Hockey”, even though I’m crap at it…

So, in conclusion, and in no particular order:

Mini Game What I think How I do
Table Tennis Good Decent
Laser Hockey Good Crap
Fishing Awkward OK
Find Mii Simple, but not always easy… OK
Pose Mii OK With the speed, I keep changing the wrong way…
Shooting Very Good Very Well
Billiards Very Good Decent
Charge! Fantastic Who cares how well you do? It’s hilarious!
Tanks Good I keep getting killed, but it’s fun

Basically, if you don’t have Wii Play and you want another Wiimote, buy it; it’s only a little more expensive than just a Remote, but it’s a decent amount of fun for your trouble…

December 19, 2006

Wii Forecast Channel

I woke up this morning (well, this afternoon technically…) to find my Wii pulsing blue with a message from Nintendo announcing the launch of the Forecast Channel.

The update worked fine, and the Forecast Channel itself is brilliant. I haven’t read much about it, but I assume it uses the Wii’s 24-hour Internet access to download details as they become available, rather than the Shop which downloads them as you request them.

I’ve just spent a few minutes playing around and it’s a brilliant interface; nice clear layouts and other such factors you’d expect from a Wii Channel. The globe is a lot of fun; it’s surprisingly smooth; you grab it and drag, and it just glides beautifully – no jerks and no thinking.

One minor annoyance is the menus at the top and bottom; you hover over them to stop them being transparent and get them in a state where you can use them (although many of the features can be performed with Wiimote buttons (zooming, for example, using the obvious buttons). This can get a little annoying if you’re wildly dragging the globe around, enjoying just how damn well it works, and accidentally clicking on things….
This wouldn’t be that much of a problem with gentle, measured use, but since I don’t recall the B trigger being used, holding it to bring up the menus would solve this.

One thing I was really impressed with is that I can actually set my location to Durham. Durham very rarely seems to appear of wider-area maps despite being both a County and it’s “capital”, which is annoying, and it’s great that it’s available here.

Finally, I think I’ve been doing physics for too long, because I was looking in the settings and I was disappointed that the temperature doesn’t have an option for Kelvin; although, to be fair the them, Kelvin rarely seems to appear in weather forecasts, so I think I can let them off…

December 11, 2006

Steel Rabbids, or something like that…

Follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

I’ve mainly been playing Zelda and Wii Sports (the former because it’s so bloody awesome, the latter because it’s damn good fun) but I did manage to have a quick look at Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids. They both seem quite good (I have only had a quick look); shooting bunnies with plungers is a lot of fun, as is the Pulp Fiction Dance-Dance-Revolution-a-like.

The controls (well, mainly the turning) in Red Steel took a bit of getting used to, but I found combining strafing with turning makes the turn a bit more predictable; without the sidestep I find I often turn too much because I don’t get the cursor centered fast enough. I haven’t got as far as any swordplay, but the guns seem to work well; I quite like the way you can hold the gun on it’s side by rotating the Wiimote – it’s the little touches…

However, Red Steel’s graphics are a little iffy; a lot of the characters have a definite aura and loot a little 2D at close range. Still, it seems a fun game…

Finally, speaking of guns, aiming with the Wiimote in Zelda is brilliant; it’s very accurate and is much easier than with an analogue stick…

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