Review by Fin_Obelius
What an a-wii-some console!
The Nintendo Wii, formerly known as the Revolution, is a system which has gained quite a bit of love from casual gamers probably as a result of its innovative controls. Indeed, the Wii is a prime example of Nintendo's efforts to draw in casual gamers as well as keep their ever loyal fans. Most noticeably would be the Wii Remote, more popularly known as the 'Wiimote', and its motion sensitive controls and wireless play. This is the closest to virtual reality in a gaming console any gaming company has ever been able to achieve-not counting the Virtual Boy, of course. This makes the Wii the ideal console to emulate sports-another reason why it was a genius idea on Nintendo's part to bundle in the Wii with Wii Sports.
There is a connector on the back of the Wiimote where you can plug in various additions-such as the Wii Nunchuck and Classic Controller to make up for the lack of buttons on the Wiimote. Again, that was a good move. Despite the transition from wired controllers to motion sensing controllers, game designers have still not truly comprehended the potential for games that motion sensitivity enables. Even so, the change from traditional controllers is welcome and will be appealing to people-but it can actually tire people out.
Another area in where Nintendo did well. Each feature the Wii offers is divided into what are called 'channels'. Unlike its predecessors, the Wii offers functions other than just playing a game. You are capable of checking the news, finding what the weather is in your area as well as all over the world, and a Photo Channel where you can store your pictures you took with a SD memory card (the best part is that you have a built in Photoshop type of technology which enables you to add gaudy symbols and draw stuff on your pictures and other types of modifications). One can never forget the Shop Channel where you can buy games released by Nintendo from the olden days of pre-GameCube as well as download other channels and previews (there's even a Internet Channel!).
And of course, the most important channel to gamers, the Game Channel, where you play the game that you've inserted in the Wii. Among others would be the Message Board where you can write memos to yourself or letters to send to friends whose Friend Code you have registered on the Wii, a calendar, and the Mii Channel which lets you create your own Mii-avatars of yourself and whoever else you want to create/parody/make fun of. Those Miis will then walk around on a 'Plaza' and interact with each others or simply sleep. Those Miis can also be used to represent yourself in Wii Sports.
The Wii has a dozen of features presented on a clear white background that is easy on the eyes. The console obviously offers a varied selection of channels to indulge in. This fact is especially strengthened by the 48 channels available to use up with new previews/channels/games. This is an area where I doubt you will be disappointed with. You could easily spend hours using this system without playing a single game. Ironic, isn't it?
The online play is a feature Nintendo only recently started to take advantage of with the Nintendo DS portable system. Ever since, hardcore gamers have been demanding for more online play in games. The Wii DOES have online. Outside of games, the said console allows you to write letters to your friends as was said previously. However, the Wii relies on Wi-Fi connections to achieve whatever online functions a game offers. So those with Ethernet cables and no Wi-Fi hookups will be out of luck, unfortunately.
The visuals that the Wii offers are not up to par with the other next-gen. consoles, regretfully. Innovativeness over visuals, I suppose, is Nintendo's goal. The graphics are comparable to the PlayStation 2. They are far from being terrible, but could do some more work. As a result, this is the only reason why the immersion the controls offer isn't as complete as it could have been.
Games it offers
When you first purchase the Wii, Wii Sports also comes with it. I attribute the craze for the said console with the populace's desire to emulate sports...without actually going outside and playing the actual sports. Hardcore gamers will get the Wii mainly for it's exclusives, because, if you've not noticed yet, Mario, Zelda, and Metroid are incredibly popular with gamers everywhere. This combined with the catchy controls, make for your favorite characters seen in a nearly whole new light, gameplay-wise. Even so, I would like to see some new faces pop up into the iconic crowd of gaming fame. Even so, the number of games it offers is sizable (including the games from the Virtual Console) and continues to grow.
The VC is part of the Shop Channel in which you can purchase games that are no longer available for sale as a result of their age. Since Nintendo has been around MUCH longer than Microsoft and Sony, their collection blows anything the X360 and PS3 has to offer out of the water. You purchase those gems with currency known as Wii Points. You can buy those points for 10.00 per 1000 points, which is a good deal if I may say so myself, as most N64 games are 1000 points, but are also the most sophisticated games on the VC (Think pioneer of 3-D graphics). Nintendo has been around for five generations of games consoles and three of them are available on the VC (NES, SNES, N64), as well as other consoles by other companies.
This channel gets updated with a few games every Monday. This significant part of the Wii is what the Classic Controller is for, you insert the CC in the Wiimote to play these games with a controller that resembles a generic controller. I love this feature as I got to play several classics I have heard so much about such as Super Metroid, Paper Mario, Star Fox 64, and the such. The graphics and gameplay might be so old that it is difficult for younger players to really enjoy it, but it is my most favorite feature of the Wii, nevertheless.
It is my belief that there is still so much more potential to be unlocked for the Wii by game developers especially FPS. Unfortunately, Nintendo isn't known for its FPS. The trove of retro games available for purchase and download is expansive. Although rare, it is cheap and addicting. The graphics are sub-par but nothing indistinguishable. The multiplayer connectivity is great but only if you have a Wi-Fi connection. The selection of features available to you is appealing as well. I also liked the fact that the Wii was able to play GameCube games. You have to purchase GameCube controllers, though. This console is totally worth your money, if just to see what the hype is all about. If nothing else, hype is something this game has in **** loads. Just in its first year(according to Next Gen. Wars.com), it milked thirteen million from the populous of the world. How could the Wii not catch the eye of even the most casual gamers? It's a sexy piece of hardware sure to be around for quite a long time.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Wii Hardware (US, 11/19/06)
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