Categories
Games

Babysitting Mama

Wii owners rejoice! News just in that a new title, “Babysitting Mama” will be released this holiday season.

The game promises to bring all the joys and challenges of taking care of a newborn baby to your Nintendo Wii. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? For the most realistic experience of course you have to leave your Wii and TV on all night so it can wake you up from your slumber at 1am, 3am and 5am for feeding. I doubt they’ll have that.

Does this sound fun to anyone? I’m a work-at-home dad; during the day I’m writing and editing stories while parenting our ten-month-old son. On a good day I get to use the bathroom when I need to. On a bad day my eyes glaze over with a thousand-yard stare. I love my kids, but having a baby is a job with no days off, no pause button, and no cheat codes. Turning that experience into a game where the child will never grow up, go to college, and allow you to have a single dinner out with your wife sounds like… fun?

Categories
Games

Super Mario Galaxy 2 Trailer

I loved Super Mario Galaxy. It’s the best game I’ve played on the Nintendo Wii (ok, maybe COD WAW was better, I loved that game too!) and even though I got stuck in the level where you have to do some serious jumping I’m really looking forward to the sequel. Looks like more of the same but that’s a good thing when it comes to this game!

Categories
Games

Wireless Nunchuck Adapter Review

My latest gaming purchase last week was MadWorld for the Nintendo Wii Console. It’s a horribly violent and bloody beat-em-up and saw-em-up and gauge-em-up and .. you get the idea.
Everyone’s raving about it but after playing it for an hour or two I feared I’d snap my Nunchuck and Wiimote cable because one of the actions in the game calls for the player to err, snap the controls apart and something indescribable happens on screen. Someone loses their head, and they’re not angry! It certainly deserves the 18 cert,

Gameware Wireless Nunchuck Adapter Last weekend I popped into Game for a look around and spotted the Gameware Wireless Nunchuck Adapter for a reasonable €12.99. Not bad. I also bought a Wiimote charger but I’ll blog about that at a later stage. Can’t have too much excitement in one post now can we?

The box contained simple instructions, the adapter itself, and a small square transmitter/receiver you place on the end of the Wiimote (requiring a good tug to remove again!) It doesn’t include the Nunchuck. The adapter takes 2 AAA batteries. The Nunchuck fits snugly into the top, plugs in at the bottom, and the the cable is wound up at the back neatly. Press the little transmit button to connect it to the Wiimote and a little red light flashes on both.

Gameware Wireless Nunchucck Adapter

The first game I tried with it was Call of Duty, World at War (Get it! It’s a great game!) For the most part it’s fine and it’s neat not having the cable knocking against you as you play. If I can fault the adapter, I found that sometimes when pulling back on the Nunchuck joystick, the Nunchuck slid back slightly. It’s a snug fit, but could have done with some restraining plastic to hold things in place better.
Also, it you have overly large or small hands it might cause problems too but that’s a minor niggle.

MadWorld was more fun with the Wireless Adapter fitted to the Nunchuck. No worries about breaking cables any more! I still can’t recommend buying the game though. It got repetitive quickly, I spent my time bashing buttons desperately and wondering how I killed the end-of-level bosses.

MadWorld gets a thumbs down from me, but the Wireless Nunchuck Adapter from Game gets a thumbs up! 🙂

Categories
Games Wii

Metal Slug Anthology

Metal SlugThe Metal Slug series of games is over 10 years old now but I only came across them for the first time last year through MAME, the arcade emulator. The games are run and gun shoot em ups with great hand drawn graphics, and frenetic gameplay. You can read about the first game on Wikipedia.

Metal Slug is a series of run and gun video games first released on Neo-Geo arcade machines and game consoles created by SNK. It was also ported to other consoles, such as the Sega Saturn, the PlayStation, the Neo-Geo Pocket Color and more recently, the Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS. There is also an anthology of the first 7 games in the main series (including Metal Slug X) available for the Wii, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2.

They’re great fun to play, and with an Xbox 360 controller hooked up to my computer the experience in SDLMame was as close to perfect as it could be. When I saw Metal Slug Anthology for the Wii in Gamestop and for only 25 Euro last weekend I had to buy it! All those games in one package, on one CD? How could I resist? Unfortunately I should have checked the reviews first. Metacritic gave it 73%, but the first user review points out the huge flaw that makes all the games totally unplayable.
Metal Slug

Once you’re in a game, the default control has grenades set to motion control. If you’ve ever played a metal slug, you’d know that these games are hard, and require split second reactions. There isn’t time to shake the controller up and down. Fortunately there’s 1 control setup that uses the gamecube controller. But with just 3 buttons, it’s baffling why they couldn’t have used 3 buttons on the wiimote.

There are a number of different control configurations, but all are just as hopelessly bad as each other and I don’t have a Gamecube controller. A shame really because they’re arcade perfect conversions. As they should be. Credits for the game include M68k emulation so I presume the exact same code is running on the Wii. Why oh why did they screw it up with a crap control system?

If you really must play Metal Slug, the first game in the series was also released on the Wii virtual console and supports the classic controller. There’s also SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 but besides Metal Slug it doesn’t seem to be a good value compilation.

Even though the control system is all messed up in the Wii version of Metal Slug Anthology, I’m glad I could support SNK in some small way. Back to SDLMame for me though.

Update! This morning I played Metal Slug on the Wii using a knock off Gamecube controller and it rocks. Sure, you still have the lengthy loading times at the start but otherwise the controllers are fine. Here’s the controller screen and a shot of my “Gameexpert” Gamecube controller. Bought that in Zavvi at a knock down price!

metal-slug-wii-controls

gamecube-controller

Categories
Games Wii

You're looking so silly Wii Fit!

Judging by the reaction on Twitter, Wii Fit hasn’t been a big hit with my friends there. When Mario Kart Wii came out there was much excitement. I happily twittered when I bought my copy, others replied asking what the game was like, or that they were going to buy it the next day “for their family”. Lots of fans there.

So, you’ve bought Wii Fit. Have you filmed yourself and put it on Youtube yet? Are you brave enough to? 🙂

Of course, Wii Fit has sold over a million units. There must be a Wii Fit user reading this. Is it really fun? Will it last?

Categories
Games

Geometry Wars Galaxies

Geometry Wars Galaxies review
First impressions of this much anticipated 2D shooter for the Nintendo Wii are not good. I played with the Wii remote and the nunchuck and from what I’ve just read on an Amazon review it’s much better with the classic controller.

With the Wiimote and Nunchuck it sucks, you have a cursor on the screen and you aim that where you want to shoot and fly with the Nunchuck joystick. With the Wii Classic Controller it Rocks, you fly in any direction with the right joystick and simultaneously you shoot in any direction with the left joystick. Which as you can imagine makes for some teh sweet maneuvering as you pwn alien space noobs.

Then again, another reviewer says the remote+nunchuck are better. Anyone care to share their experiences?

You can use the classic controller if you’re that inept, but the controls with the remote are one of the best things about this game.

Maybe it reflects the old school shooter idea behind the game, but I found the main menu and name entry systems unnecessarily difficult to use. Instead of pointing and clicking with the Wii remote like you’d expect, you use the Wii remote control pad to move through options. Scrolling through the alphabet to spell “Donncha” is no fun.

How does it play? in a word, hectic. You control a small ship and a drone that fires at wave upon wave of incoming baddies, all set on a flat 2D grid. The Wii remote controls where you shoot, while the nunchuck joystick moves your ship around. When enemies die they leave behind geoms which you collect for power ups and for unlocking extra bits and pieces. As expected it starts off slowly but even the trainer planet quickly becomes cluttered with pixels and flying debris as you shoot every enemy bearing down on you. Power ups increase the firing width of your main gun and upgrade your drone. There is a certain satisfaction to be got when you’re doing well, when your weapons are upgraded and you’re laying into the swarms of approaching shapes. Unfortunately it’s short lived and I quickly succumb to the deluge as I try to figure out where to look next.

Recommended? I’m not going to give it the thumbs up just yet. Every single review I’ve read of this game has been positive and I did enjoy the intense gameplay so check the comments on this post in a few days time when I’ve played it a little more! Play.com have this game for 20.99 Euro so it won’t break the bank to buy it either if you’re a shoot’em up fan!

I had hoped for a shooter I could pick up and play for 5 minute stints and it’s proved to be such a game. I rarely lasted longer than that amount of time on any level. Yeah, I suck don’t I? 🙂

Categories
Games

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: