Sunday, February 8, 2009

My first deep dive into the Wii

I am an early adopter when it comes to technology. I always have the latest mobile devices. I like testing out beta software. Friends, family and even co-workers often come to me when they need computer help (yea, I'm THAT guy).

The early adopter mentality has also taken me down the gamer path. We had one of the earliest video game systems - before ColecoVision. The earliest game system we has was actually a PC that loaded games up via cassette tape. I remember having to load the game up at least 20 or so minutes before you could play.

Then we migrated to atari, then Nintendo, then Sega Genesis, then Playstation and finally to Xbox. Then I got married, had kids and that was pretty much the end of my gaming tenure.

Then came yesterday.

My wife and I were sitting around contemplating what to do with our free weekend time. I had a long week at work and really just wanted to chill out. My wife turns to me and says, "why don't you go out and buy the Wii." I immediately hopped in the shower and was out the door in about 15 minutes. (subsequently, my wife did a pre-scouting call to Best Buy in Everett, MA to ensure that there were some in stock).

As I buzzed down Route 16 with excitement I thought to myself that I couldn't want to get back into gaming mode. I got to Best Buy, bought the unit, an extra controller and a handful of games - strategically buying a couple kids games and a couple that my wife could get into). And oh yea, I bought Call of Duty: World at War, Madden and NBA Live (almost bought NHL too).

With blue bags in hand, I jumped back into the CRV Dukes of Hazard style and raced down Route 16, successfully avoiding a speeding ticket.

Set up was extremely easy. A few plug-ins here, some on-board set-up stuff and we were off to the races.

I ended up pulling a 2am-er, that's how much I got into the "time suck" as one of my Twitter buddies said.

So after a good chunk of time playing a variety of games, here's a few things I noticed after my first deep dive on the Wii:

  • Everyone can truly play. Every game I bought, with the exception of Call of Duty, has settings that will allow even those tech challenged to join in on the fun. Take the sports games for example. All you need to master is a few movements with the Wii controller and you have it mastered.

  • It really is fun for the entire family. I had the best time playing bowling with my wife and oldest daughter (not to mention our friend Grace who ended up coming over for a wine/Wii fest).

  • You really don't need Wii fit to get a work out. After playing a few back to back boxing games, tennis, bowling, etc. your arm starts to feel like you've been carrying groceries up eight flights of stairs.

  • Sports games aren't as difficult to play as they are on other game systems. Since I'm a huge sports fan, I found the game play a bit amateurish yet still fun and engaging (really just an excuse to still get the XBox 360). I could see myself getting sports games for both systems at some point because the functionality and "feel" of the game play is entirely different.

  • The "other" stuff Wii brings to the table is very cool. For example, you can purchase an "Internet" channel, which is basically the Opera web browser. I was able to check this morning and get my morning news fix. The speed over my wireless network is great. The browsing is very simple. The graphics look great on my 42 inch plasma. I was even able to reply to a couple Twitter messages.

    So for those in the market for a gaming system and you have kids. I highly suggestion the Wii. It can not only satisfy your hardcore gaming needs, but it also will be fun for the entire family.

    And oh yea, be sure to have some aspirin or sports creme handy because the next morning you're arms are gonna feel like you were power lifting for a week straight.


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