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Ramblings from the Marginalized » Wii


Wii September 11th, 2010 by HMTKSteve

Metroid: Other M

Format: Wii™
Launch Date: 08/31/10
ESRB: T (Teen): Animated Blood, Violence
Game Type: Action Adventure
Players: 1
Developer: Nintendo and Team Ninja

For decades, Samus Aran has been known as one of the first female protagonists in video games, and one of the most enigmatic. Having traded her haunted past for the solitary life of a bounty hunter, Samus™ finally tells her own tale in this revealing, personal story of her failings, her flaws and ultimately her motivation. Metroid: Other M is an unprecedented collaboration that blends the slick, action-packed production of the world-renowned Team Ninja development team with the game design talents of the creators of the original Metroid. Metroid: Other M is a dramatic new direction for a legendary franchise and a bold new blend between cinematics, storytelling and the best in interactive entertainment.

At least that is how Nintendo is billing this new game in the Metroid franchise. What do I think? Well, my feelings are not even close to what you will find on other game review sites. I spent my hard-earned coin on this game and I expect a certain amount of enjoyment from a game that I pay real money for. This is even more true when the game comes from such a classic Nintendo franchise.

What's the same?

I have some good news in this department, between the soundtrack and the creatures you fight this is a Metroid game. While the music is new it does incorporate classic Metroid musical patterns within it. When enemies are nearby the music does change to reflect this. Unfortunately the game will sometimes play music that indicates nearby enemies when no enemies are nearby. For gamers who pay attention to video and audio cues this can be a bit of a problem.

Most of the basic enemies are classic Metroid fare. You have Zoomers, Skree, Reo, and many others. While the Space Pirates are dead the original stock that they evolved from does exist on the Bottle Ship so don't be surprised when something that looks like a Space Pirate shows up.

Unlike previous games there are no rewards for killing enemies. Instead enemies are nothing more than speed bumps on your way to the next healing/recharge/save point. There is also a "concentration" option where you stand still and hold a button down to refill missiles and, if hurt bad enough, recharge some of your health. It's all about thinking those happy thoughts! This change makes boss battles very hard if you have the misfortune of stumbling upon one while in a low health status.

All of the classic weapons exist in the game and unlike previous versions there is no big event that strips Samus of all of her gear. Well, unless you count the storyline reason as to why Samus can not use her gear right away.

Daddy can I use my gun yet?

Metroid Other M

In previous Metroid games there was always a reason as to why you were searching all over the place for power-ups and weapons. While it gave you something to strive for it also didn't exactly feel right that Samus could go to an alien planet and find the exact part to upgrade her suit. This time around Samus does not lose her stuff, she just has to ask permission from dad Adam, the commander of the Galactic Federation Strike Team that Samus encounters on the Bottle Ship.

What we find out is that Samus used to work for this guy when she was a whiny, wimpy, tweenager with daddy issues Galactic Federation Soldier. Who knew, eh? So, in exchange for letting Samus help the Strike Team, Adam allows her to search the ship. The only caveat is that she has to follow orders and she can't use her gear unless Adam OKs it an all. 'Cause, you know, setting off Supper Missiles and Power Bombs might have a negative impact on the hull integrity of a space station.

While this does make more sense than her finding gear all over the ship it is mildly annoying when you are trying to do something and the gear has not yet been unlocked. In earlier games it was not that uncommon for high level players to figure out ways to access weapon upgrades early, not so in this game. While I can understand the weapon lock-downs what I can not understand is why her suit upgrades require permission. When I'm taking damage from heat why do I need Adam's permission to activate the heat-dampening effects of my Varia Suit?

There is also the issue of Adam unlocking doors for you (and his troops). Which is kind of weird because you will encounter a locked door and shortly after you pass through it you find troopers on the other side. How did they get through the door? Did Adam lock it behind them just to force you into fighting some weird beast?


General gameplay consists of using the D-pad to move and a fire and jump button. The game has an auto-aim feature so you pretty much just run around the screen mashing the fire button. There are also some special moved Samus can do, the most common being sensemove.

By holding down the fire button and using the D-pad to dodge an attack your gun instantly reaches a max charge and you can fire on the enemy. Rinse and repeat. Yes, this is how most battle goes. Do a whole lot of sensemoves until you figure out the guys rhythm. Once you do add in the charged blasts between sensemoves. This strategy works on every boss in the game with only a few minor exceptions where launching a missile speeds up the battle.

Metroid Other M

There is also a Killing Blow maneuver that requires running towards a downed enemy and hitting the fire button to kill them.

Personally, I feel that Metroid Prime: Corruption has the best controls for a Metroid game (if not FPS in general). Why they went with the 'simplified' control scheme from the NES days is beyond me.

The game switches between third person platforming and first person standing still all throughout the game. While in platforming you often suffer from a terrible camera angle problem that is reminiscent of the horrible Star Wars Clone Wars game. Yes, jumping is near impossible in some areas of the game.

Another problem is that some rooms behave not as a typical room but as if you were running on a circular track while at other times circular rooms behave as normal. Some corridors look great when you run down them but when you turn around and run back the viewpoint does not change so rather than running towards things you can see in the distance everything in the distance moves further away and you run straight into darkness, often getting hurt by an unseen enemy.

In order to scan or shoot missiles you must be in first-person mode, also known as 'shoot me cause I can't move' mode. The only good thing is that most enemies can be defeated without using missiles so you don't *have* to bounce between modes in most fights. There is also a short second or two of slow-time during the transition. Be warned though, when you enter first-person mode you will be looking in the same direction as Samus is facing.

Metroid Other M

Why am I staring at a wall?

One thing that was added to the game (or broken, depending on your point of view) is scanning. There are several "puzzles" where you are dropped into first-person view and have to play "find the pixel" on the screen. Once you find the mysterious pixel you scan it and the story continues.

Some of these scan events are trivial, "look, a huge corpse!" While others are extremely tedious, "find the black door in the black room with the light outs."

Traditional scanning form the Prime games, where you collected lore cool things like lore, are gone. You can scan bosses but all that does is give you their HP gauge. You can not scan the environment for story elements. Which may be a good thing because the included CGI rendered story is loooooooong.

Who put this story in my shooty game?

The storyline of Metroid Other M is long and tedious if not more than a little sexist. Why take one of the coolest and toughest female characters in all of video game land and turn her into a whiny bitch with daddy issues? I can't help but wonder if Samus would be the right person for the job if Metroids were controlled by Father Brain rather than Mother Brain.

We are talking about a chick so tough she can kill Space Pirates with a pistol in just her Zero Suit! Now that mystique is gone. What's the deal Nintendo? You had no problem beefing up Princess Zelda over the years with her Sheik alter ego so what happened? What?

    The Good

  • Feels like Metroid
    The Bad

  • Samus is a whiny bitch
  • Can be beaten in under ten hours
  • Scanning for pixels
  • No strategy beyond button mashing
  • Killing enemies provides no reward
    The Ugly

  • Graphics not as good as previous game (Corruption)
  • Controls are very limited
  • Story
  • Lack of visual feedback during mini-boss battles

Wii May 10th, 2010 by HMTKSteve
Black Nintendo Wii

A few months back I reported on the Black Wii hitting European shores. Those of us in North America can now rejoice for not only has the black Wii come to the Americas but it has arrived with extra goodies!

While keeping with the $199 price point Nintendo has increaded the value of the base system by adding in Wii Sports Resort and a Motion Plus accessory. This equates to about a $50 value.

The add-ons are available with all new Wii systems, both black and white. While some fans may be disappointed that the Wii has not moved on from 480P most new buyers will be happy for the increased amount of loot available with the console.

With global sales of over 70 million units sold (topped only my the Nintendo DS at 130 million) I just don't know how many new buyers Nintendo is going to get for their hardware. For comparison the Xbox 360 has not even broke 40 million units sold and it came out a year before the Wii. Then again, the long-lived PS2 sold over 140 million units so who knows?

To quickly recap the new Nintendo Wii bundle includes a black or white Wii unit, one controller, one nunchuk, one motion plus, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort all for only $199. Expect the previous bundle to drop about $20 or more as retailers attempt to move them off of their shelves.

Wii October 22nd, 2009 by HMTKSteve

Black Wii
Yes, you read the title correctly, a black Wii is coming to Europe (Well UK and Ireland at least). No news on when it comes to America.

The Wii console is about to get an exciting new look as it launches across Europe in sleek black.

The black Wii will be available to buy in UK and Republic of Ireland from 6 November and mainland Europe on 20 November, and will come as a “Limited Edition” bundled with a Wii Remote, Wii MotionPlus and Nunchuk – all in black – as well as the exhilarating new Wii Sports Resort game and the original Wii Sports. The Wii Sports Resort black bundle will offer a total of 15 different sports and activities to enjoy.

Also launching in Europe as part of the black range of accessories will be the new black Classic Controller Pro – an enhanced version of the Classic Controller. Additional black Wii Remote controllers, Wii MotionPlus accessories and Nunchuk controllers will also be available to purchase separately across Europe from November 20 onwards.

Wii Sports Resort, which is bundled with the new black Wii, has already sold well over one million copies across Europe, and brings an entire island, along with 12 exciting sports and activities, to your living room for all your friends and family to enjoy. Each of the sports featured in Wii Sports Resort is modelled with incredible accuracy thanks to the Wii MotionPlus accessory, included with this new package.

If black is your colour then prepare to get your hands on this popular console and accessories in their new look, launching across UK and Republic of Ireland from 6 November and mainland Europe on 20 November.

So this is coming with:-

A Black Wii
1 Black Nunchuck + Wiimote
Wii sports
Wii Sports resort + Black MotionPlus

Lauching November 20th.

h/t pikadude609
Nintendo UK

video games and Wii March 10th, 2008 by HMTKSteve
Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Sunday morning my daughter and I waited in line in front of our local GameStop store to pickup our reserved copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There were a few high school kids in the line but the line was not very long. In fact there were only about 10 kids when we got there half an hour before opening time. By the time the store opened 20 people were waiting in line. A few kids were saying they had not pre-ordered the game but still expected to buy a copy.

While inside the store, waiting to make our purchase, my daughter asked me to buy the guide book for it. I told her I would get her a wireless GameCube controller instead but, after seeing they only had the cheap Gamestop controllers I relented and got her the book. It counts as reading, right? This was also about the time some of those kids found out that "no pre-order" also meant "no sale". That's right, if you did not pre-order the game you were not going to get one on release day.

In the car ride home my daughter was pouring over the guide book, telling me all sorts of things I did not want to hear.

I have to tell you that I have not been following much of the press about this game. I knew it had been pushed back multiple times but that was about it. What surprised me (nicely) is the inclusion of the extended single player mode. We logged in over four hours in the adventure mode and have only completed 25% of it!

As in previous games there is a ton of unlockable content. Not just characters but trophies, stages, challenge levels, etc... So far we have unlocked three bonus characters (Ganondorf, Luigi and Marth). I don't remember how we unlocked all three but Ganondorf was unlocked by playing through Classic Mode with Link on Hard level.

The previous Smash Bros. game for the Game Cube was very good but this one takes it up a few notches. The extended single player mode is one thing but the online brawling is something else! You can even bet your coins on the result of matches you watch.

We have played a few games on Nintendo WFC and have experienced no problems.

As for controls, my daughter prefers to use the Game Cube controller while I like to use the Classic controller attached to my Wii-mote.

Yeah, this game was worth the wait and will likely become The game on the Wii for the next few months Mario Kart Wii may knock it down. I'm brawling, are you?

Nintendo and video games and Wii November 15th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

Yes, I know I have not posted much on here as of late. I could give the usual excuse of "I've been busy" but I don't think that would be fair. Instead I'll just tell you what I've been playing lately.

Nintendo DS

Yes, I still spend far too much time playing the Pokemon games on the Nintendo DS (I have both Diamond and Pearl now) but this week a new game crept in and took control of my DS. I'm talking about Konami's new Contra 4 for DS.

All the real hard core gamers from the 80's remember the original Contra game on the NES. It was a game so hard that most kids just gave up on it and never completed the game. I was there one day to watch some of my friends beat the game (we did party gaming long before Mario Party existed).

All I can say is that the original Contra game was a ball buster. Eventually the secret of the Konami Code found its way to us and everyone was able to beat that sadistic game.

The new Contra 4 game is all Contra all the way with one exception, no Konami code! There may be some cheat codes for the game but I have not found them yet. (I take it back, you can use the konami code on the pause screen but it only maxes out your weapons, use it again and you die!)

The game is your basic side-scrolling platformer and it kicks ass, namely yours! There is a two-player mode but each player has to have their own copy of the game.

Just like in the old game you can switch out weapons and toss a weapon to your partner. Also, as in the old game, one hit and you are dead. This is not some crazy plumber with a machine gun so you can't jump on enemies to kill them. Touch an enemy or get hit by enemy fire and you die.

The first stage of the game takes place in a jungle and I can beat it easily on the Easy setting, not so much on the Normal setting and not at all on the Hard setting!

The second stage takes place in a lab with mutant dogs and exploding zombies. When those zombies explode their bits can also kill you. Yeah, I die a lot that way.

In fact, I just die a lot in this game. some might say that is a bad thing but too many games these days coddle the player. This game does not coddle at all. It does have a continue system but the harder the level you play on the less continues you get. Don't think you can just play it through on Easy either because the last three levels are not available on the Easy setting.

If you like old school Contra action from the NES and SNES you will enjoy Contra 4. If you can't take this much difficulty in your games than stick with something simple, like one of those Disney games for the DS.

Nintendo Wii

I can't play FPS games for long stretches of time without getting nauseous but I have been pushing hard to complete one such game; Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

The controls took a little bit of time to get used to but this game is all Metroid. By all Metroid I mean it focuses on solving puzzles more than on combat. Boss battles are difficult but not impossible to figure out.

A nice feature of the game is that if you see something that is out of reach the game will tell you that you do not have the equipment to deal with the problem right now so you will not sit around getting frustrated. Once you get the proper equipment you can then head back there and complete the area.

There is one problem with the game that is very glaring and it has to do with the map. On the previous versions you could move the map left, right, up and down. In this game you can pivot the map and zoom but you can't move it sideways. This sucks because the only way to see distant area of the map is by zooming way out and squinting.

I try to log a few hours a week into this game and I think I am just about at the half-way point. I have destroyed the first two seeds and right now I'm bouncing between the Pirate Homeworld, derelict spaceship and grabbing missed items on the first three planets.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a good closer to the Metroid Prime series of games.

Nintendo and video games and Wii September 25th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

No your eyes are not deceiving you that is indeed a NASCAR car with the Wii logo on it.


NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Greg Biffle and his No. 16 Wii Ford Fusion race in the Sept. 23, 2007, Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. Biffle finished second in the race, just a fraction of a second behind winner Carl Edwards.

The Wii car

NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Greg Biffle and his No. 16 Wii Ford Fusion speed across the finish line a fraction of a second behind winner Carl Edwards. Biffle finished second in the Sept. 23, 2007, Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.

Wii Sports at NASCAR

Nintendo sweepstakes winner Julie Vineyard, 39, of Arnoldsburg, W.Va., left, plays Wii Sports against NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Greg Biffle prior to the Sept. 23, 2007, Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. Vineyard is a huge fan of Nintendo, NASCAR and Biffle, who finished second in the race.

Who says girls don't play video games? Obviously Julie Vinyard plays video games and likes NASCAR.

I'm going to guess that they are playing Wii Sports: Tennis.

Nintendo and video games and Wii September 23rd, 2007 by HMTKSteve

Wii Zapper

Nintendo has now officialy unveiled their Wii Zapper and yes, it is not much more than glorified Wii-remote and nunchuk holder. Lucky for us they will also be including a game with this plastic contraption; Link's Crossbow Training!

small zapper image
Link's Crossbow Training
Format: Wii
Launch Date: 11/19/07
ESRB: T (Teen): Fantasy Violence
Game Type: Shooting
Accessories: Wii Zapper included (requires Wii Remote and Nunchuk)
Players: 1-4 (turn-based)
Developer: EAD

According to Nintendo the included game is going to be something along the lines of Duck Hunt with Link shooting at things. There are even more games planned for future release that will use the Wii-Zapper. All of this makes me wonder if this accessory is really even needed.

    Future Games that will use the Wii Zapper

  • Medal of Honor Heroes 2
  • Ghost Squad
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles

One alarming bit in the Nintendo press release is where they say players can share the Wii-Zapper for multi-player fun. Share? If sharing is involved that means it is not multi-player in the sense so many of us love but multi-player the way it used to be.

Remember when you were a kid playing Super Mario Brothers in "multi-player" mode? After a while of waiting for your brother to die so you could get a turn you would start being obnoxious and do anything in your power to help them "accidently" die? Yeah, I'm getting the same feeling here.

After looking at the picture I can safely say that this is not really a good item. Yes there is a trigger coming down that pushes the "B" button for you but I can play just as well in the normal two-fisted mode that I have been using up until now. By locking the controller in place like this I see Wii-Zapper games falling into a cookie-cutter mold.

Let's face it, when word came out that the (banned) game Man Hunt was going to allow you to use the Wii-Remote and Nunchuk as a garotte to kill people with it just sounded cool! If the controllers are stuck in this holder you will be limiting the ability to use the controllers. Just look at the Zelda game on the Wii. In that game you can shake the Wii-Remote to attack with your sword AND you can shake the Nunchuk to do the spin attack. I see no such inovation with the Wii-Zapper.

If I have not made it obvious yet I don't see myself buying this accessory. Well, unless the Link game is so good and I can't buy it used so let's take a look at the included game.

Link's Crossbow Training

Link's Crossbow Training contains three basic game styles: target shooting, defender and ranger. There are 27 stages in total, and these categories represent only generally how each individual stage operates. Each stage's goal is to earn the highest score possible within the time limit. All rounds can be played with multiple players: Players pass the Wii Zapper around and then play one at a time and compete for the high score.

Target Shooting: In target-shooting rounds, players shoot bull's-eyes as they pop up on the screen. In early stages, targets are stationary. As the game difficulty increases in later levels, the targets move. Hitting the center of the bull's-eye nets more points, and hitting targets in succession without missing earns combo multipliers. Link can aim anywhere on the screen.

Defender: In defender rounds, players remain stationary but can look and aim in all directions - sometimes even in a full 360 degrees - by aiming off screen. Hordes of enemies assault Link, and he must fight them off. These battles have a great deal of variety, from fighting off skeletons in a desert to defending a wagon from boar-riding Bokoblins.

Ranger: In ranger rounds, players can move throughout the level using the control stick and aim anywhere they want by aiming the Wii Zapper wherever they want to look. In these missions, Link storms enemy encampments, fights his way through a forest and seeks out his foes while exploring the environments.

Yeah... OK... Is this going to be another Wii Play? I don't know because the Wii-Zapper is not a Wii-Remote (the sole reason for buying Wii Play early on was the scarcity of Wii-Remotes).

I have not heard anything about a price point for this item but it best be in the $19.99 or less range for me to even consider it. Even at that low price I will likely just skip this one.

Hey Nintendo, publish some games!!! Push the release date of Super smash Brothers Brawl or Mario Galaxy up a bit!!!

Nintendo and Wii August 29th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

On August 27, 2007 the Nintendo world Store released the new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption game to the mass of eager fans waiting outside. check out these cool pics form the event.

Nintendo Fans waiting in line

Nintendo fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. at Nintendo World in New York to purchase Nintendo's new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system on Aug. 27, 2007.

Nintendo Fans in line

Nintendo fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. at Nintendo World in New York to purchase Nintendo's new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system on Aug. 27, 2007.

Game Kiosks

Game kiosks at Nintendo World in New York were outfitted to receive Nintendo fans who lined up as early as 4 a.m. to purchase Nintendo's New Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system on Aug. 27, 2007.

Kiosk Gaming

John and Nicole Paulsen of Castle Rock, Colo., are among the first customers in the world to play Nintendo's new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system. The Paulsens visited Nintendo World in New York to purchase the game on its Aug. 27, 2007, launch day.

Will I be getting the new Metroid game? Sadly I am unlikely to get it. Not because the game does not interest me (it does) but because I had trouble playing the last two on the Game Cube due to motion sickness issues. It's all part of getting old...

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