Mario Kart Wii

I blame Matt. If he hadn’t taken his Nintendo Wii to Stinson Beach last year I might never have known the delight of waving a remote control at random angles through the air. I jest of course. The Wii has had so much press that even I couldn’t not have become aware of it. Add to that my brother and sister bought machines for their homes and it was only a matter of time before I bought one.

I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Well, there is one thing. If it was somehow able to freeze time, or add an extra 4 hours on to a day then I’d be over the moon, but let’s not quibble with fantasies of free time. I bought Super Mario Galaxy with the machine and I’ve been bowled over. Graphics, gameplay, sound are amazing. I love how Mario zooms from one moon or planet to another. So far it’s been fairly easy but then I’ve only had an hour or two of play at it and it’s early days yet.

Today, with much excitement on Twitter and elsewhere, Mario Kart Wii was released in Europe. I bought my copy after the Cork OpenCoffee (must post pics!) this morning and managed a quick play of it. I see from the Wikipedia page on the game that it will be released later this month in Australia and North America. When it does, run to the shop and buy it.
The Wii remote fits into the plastic wheel that comes with the game and works pretty well. It’s not required though as you can just as easily hold the Wii remote without the wheel. Extra steering wheels are reasonably priced at around €10, even if it probably cost Nintendo a fraction of that to make ’em…

I’m still getting the hang of it though and did atrociously badly at the 100cc races. Please note: if you try playing the game without glancing at the instructions and turning the wheel makes your character go the opposite way, you’re holding the wheel back to front. Not that that happened to me, no, I’m just saying, like. My brother Donal and his fiancee are calling over tomorrow with their Wii remotes so we’ll have some fun in the afternoon!

Now, where did I leave the free time. I just can’t find it anywhere.

PS. Here’s a Mario Kart Wii review video, haven’t watched it all yet but it’ll give you a feel for the game:

Addictive Online Games

These games should come with a health warning. Really. They should. I was happily going about my business, when up they pop and literally assault me with their great playability and gameplay. My wife heard the scream from downstairs but thought it was the baby. Before she looked into the office it was too late. I was hooked. So, don’t tell me you weren’t warned and take a peek at the following online games.

  • A month ago Frank blogged about Boomshine, a fiendish game where you have to start a chain reaction that destroys all the balls on the screen. It’s fiendish because I managed to get to the very last level but could get no further.
  • A week after that, he blogged about another game. Does Frank have any conscience? Does he not realise his visitors will lay waste to the zombies in an orgy of blood and violence? Yes, I’m talking about Boxhead. I spent a good few minutes happily mowing down the zombies with all sorts of weaponry until in a daze I emerged tired and weary from my desk.
  • Finally today, I stumbled upon Robert Scoble’s post about Kongregate, a company that hosts online games. They are the ultimate in evil. They have (almost?) 1000 games ready to be played. I’ll be there for days! My first port of call there was The Fancy Pants Adventure. It’s a mix of Super Mario, with bits of that Sega hedgehog, Sonic, thrown in for good measure. Add a not half bad soundtrack and special effects and it keeps on trucking. You’ll have to pry my dead fingers from the keyboard..

As previously mentioned, I sort of like Desktop Tower Defense. If you’re a fan too, check out the new version on their site. New graphics, updated sound effects and a few gameplay enhancements too. Best of all, Paul and Dave who created the game have their blog on WordPress.com! They announced the new version a while back.

Now, I don’t think many people will get as far as this, but do you have a favourite online game? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Fourth of July to all my US readers, you’ll have something to keep yourselves busy with today!

Desktop Tower Defense should be banned

Desktop Tower Defense could be the most addictive game I’ve played in a while, which is why you should not play it. Never, really, don’t go there. Or if you do, play it now and get it out of your system before you go back to work on Monday.

It’s rather good. I’d write more but I’m in the middle of a game…

desktoptower.png

Later .. Two days later Michael Arrington says exactly the same as me. Thanks Donal for the heads up! I’d like to think that he read it here but I suspect the only thing we share are our sentiments about this addictive game.

Is this living?

Is this living?

I spotted this on a large advertising hoarding on the Western Road in Cork this afternoon and snapped it to remind myself to look it up. It’s right by UCC and in the perfect spot to attract the attention of webs savvy students. URLs on hoardings are like honey to a bee with me. I will snap off a few shots of the sign as a reminder and visit later. When I did visit thisisliving.ie I was presented with the following page.

thisisliving-ie.jpg

I have to ask, if I’m visiting thisisliving.ie what country do you think I’m in?

After selecting Ireland and hitting “Enter” I was brought into a nice animation of a resort or hotel which built up and zoomed away again, and then repeated with another 2 locations before being brought to a hotel reception. I signed in and clicked around for about 5 minutes before getting bored of all the loading. It reminded me of the days spent loading C64 games from datasette. At least then I had the cool Ocean or Thalamus loading music to entertain me..

The copyright notice at the bottom of page identifies “Sony Computer” and a quick search took me to this post which has the following tv ad for the Playstation 3. Apparently this advertising campaign has been running all over Europe since January. I’m sure I would have come across a games console somewhere if I had persisted!

Game footage in the above trailer does look pretty. Anyone bought a PS3 yet? Someone told me they’re going for about €600 or so. That correct? You could buy a reasonably specced “home PC” for that much! Supposedly Ireland has a less than healthy obsession with everything Playstation so I’m sure they’re selling like hotcakes!

TuxKart 3D racer!

apt-cache search racing returns a number of interesting looking games, one of which is TuxKart by Steve and Oliver Baker. A quick “apt-get install” and I was up and racing!

The game itself is simple, and if you’ve played any of the other kart games around it’ll be familiar. I laughed when Tux first ran over a fish and heard a big gulp sound but it might get annoying to those around you, so turn the volume down!

Check out the homepage linked above for screen shots!

The Ninja Game

This game is making the rounds on delicious right now. In this Flash game you play a ninja who must dodge various nasties and collect the gold.
It didn’t run too well on my machine, probably because I had too many FF tabs open but the demos are fun to watch although quite disturbing to see a small matchstick figure blown to bits or fall to earth with a big crunch!