A little over a week ago I managed to pick up a Wii from a local Target store. Since then I have purchased a few virtual console games as well as some Wii games. This is just going to be a brief overview article covering my Wii experience.
The Mii Channel -> Mii's are an awesome, yet limited, way to customize your gaming experience. Using the Wii system you are able to make avatars for use in some Wii games. Notably Wii Sports, Wii Play and Wario Ware all include some level of Mii support.
Miis also have the ability to travel to your friend's Wii console via the magic of mingling and Wi-Fi. No Wi-Fi? you can also copy your Mii to your Wii-mote and bring them with you to a friend's house.
The Wii Shopping Channel -> This is where you go to spend your Wii points. Now, before you purchase a Wii Points card at a store please understand that you can but points directly from the Shopping Channel using a credit card. The cards that you buy at a store often charge more for the points than if you buy them through the shopping channel.
Currently, you can buy old games from the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Turbo Graphix 16 and N64 consoles. Some games are good (The Legend of Zelda, Ice Hockey) and some are not so good (NES Baseball). You spend Wii points to buy these games and once purchased they are downloaded to the Wiis memory. Please note, you are not buying the games as much as licensing them to run on that particular Wii.
The Weather Channel -> Launched in December, the Weather Channel provides you with some (not so up to date) local weather information. Well, not so much local either. The nearest weather report to me is about 30 miles away.
When you do select a location you can see the UV rating, Current, Today, Tomorrow, and 5-Day Forecasts. You can also use the Globe function to check out weather conditions around the world.
The News Channel -> Added only a few days ago this channel offers up news from the AP. You can view the news by category, slide show or globe views. Using the zoom in and zoom out features makes this news channel easily readable by those with failing eyesight.
1) Wii Sports: This is the game that came with the American release of the Wii and has had a lot of play in my house. My favorite is still the bowling game but I also like to get in a workout or two by playing the boxing game.
2) Excite Truck: Who knew that tilting a controller to turn could be so addictive? What also makes Excite Truck so different than other racing games is that it is not about who wins the race. You can only beat a course by gaining enough stars and coming in first only gets you 50 stars. Nope, in this game you need to do tricks while driving. These tricks can be as simple as drifting and grabbing big air to as difficult as spinning while in the air and making tree runs. If only the two-player mode was any good... The only problem with the two-player mode is that the screen is cut in half in a side-by-side fashion rather than a top and bottom system. I don't know about you but, I like to have a wide field of view when I drive.
3) Rayman Raving Rabbids: This game is a game of mini-games. The story mode must be completed in order to unlock all of the mini-games but, once you complete a mini-game it unlocks. The multi-player options for this game are great. If you just want to pick up a fun game that is not heavy then get this one.
4) Wario Ware Smooth Moves: I was never a player of the Wario Ware titles until this one came out. Wario Ware is a collection of micro-games. Each game lasts about 5 seconds and follows a simple one word command. Game play consists of holding the wii-mote (form baton) in a certain manner and then following a one word instruction. After you beat story mode the game's multi-player functions will unlock.
5) Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess: I have just started playing this one but I like it. Swinging the Wii-mote around to swing your sword is just great. If you have problems with motion sickness you might want to avoid this one. I have this problem and I'm only able to play it for about an hour at a time. Either way, this game has been reported to contain about 90+ hours of game play time!!!
Virtual Console Games:
1) Super Mario Brothers: Yep, I plunked down some Wii points to buy the old classic that came with my original NES. I have not tried testing out all of the original special areas (minus world) but the game is as good as I remember it.
2) The Legend of Zelda: This is the game that made me buy an NES in the first place. Some things have changed a bit though. You can still use the name "Zelda" to advance to the second quest but the old trick of saving the game while at a fairy pool no longer works. Why does it not work? It no longer works because you can no longer press the select button to save the game. Instead, there is an "on the fly" type of save system on all of the VC games. It is a better system as you no longer sit there saying, "as soon as I defeat this dungeon I can save!"
3) Dungeon Explorers: This game I purchased solely to try out it's five player option. I have not played it enough to talk about it though.
4) Mario 64: My daughter wanted this game. I can't play it without getting nauseas in a matter of minutes due to motion sickness issues.
We play for about an hour on weeknights (longer on weekends) and we still love this system. Coupled with our existing library of GC games we are all set for a while. I do need to purchase a few more Wii-motes (one will come with Wii Play) to round out the system.
We are currently looking forward to the following games: Mario Party 8, Pokemon and Wii Play.
Full reviews of the games I have purchassed will be published shortly.