A very Wii-k

For reasons not to be divulged here, I had a week off of work and for reasons too painful to recount here I spent most of it on the sofa playing games. Sad perhaps but a week I thoroughly enjoyed as I relived the glory days when I could really get my teeth into some games rather than snatching the odd hour or two or playing games and then dreaming of playing them for the rest of the week, the routine that modern life forces us into. I played the Wii exclusively, proving that you don't need marines in space or space marines on planets or future marines fighting nazis to have a good game session. Here's the synopsis for all none of you out there who are at all interested:

Dead Rising chop til you drop (or shop til you drop as one googler who found this site typed in). I still can't decide whether this is a good game in its own rights, a yorke notes version of a good game or just a bad game. Having played through it all of four times now, I am still none the wiser. Perhaps this game has lodged itself in that part of my brain that pokemon used to inhabit but I find it really hard to exit to the Wii menu after the credits roll and not start the whole game over again. A few notes and addenda to this quasi-review: The convicts are in the game although beating them is now a QTE affair. For those who battled them in the original version this is no great loss at all and may I dare say it is actually a minor improvement. You can put hats/buckets on zombie heads by shooting them until they are stunned. Later on in the game this becomes impossible as even the hangun blows legs clean off but still glad the feature is there. After the first playthrough the "odd jobs" minigame is unlocked and after progressing through odd jobs "second amendment" series of minigames using the rifles is unlocked. These mini games and challenges are a sheer joy and really show off the possibilities of the game and the ingenuity of capcom. The single complaint is that there just aren't enough of them but trying to get S ranks on them all adds some replay value. Following extensive playtime I did have pretty vivid dreams in dead rising but most of them concerned me running into walls and having to press A+Z to turn around, only to run into another wall. The number of times A+Z flashes up on the screen during the is quite high so I imagine I've been subliminally programmed by Capcom. The next time I pick up a mop I'll let you know if I try to A+Z first.

Tomb Raider Underworld. After Resident Evil, I've always had a soft spot for Tomb Raider even with Angel of Darkness being the Outbreak of the series. Similarly to DRCTYD, the problems that many reviewers were keen to point out just don't seem to be big issues. Sure the game is "slightly" broken (the Wii had to be unplugged twice and reset half a dozen times) but ultimately it is a pleasant game to play with some nice links to the other games in the series that came as a nice surprise. I can't see how issues with the camera remain after two minutes of playing the game and there's not really a great deal else out there for such fluid runny, climby, jumpiness on the Wii. Extra kudos for incorporating a vehicle section that wasn't hideous or jarring at all.

Animal Crossing LGTTC. My residents reminded me that it had been a good couple of weeks since my last visit. A number of my friends with the game seem to be miles ahead of my current progress so with time on my hands I decided to not be beaten at a game I recommended to them. After much weeding, planting and fossil hunting the town is back up to a reasonable standard. I just hope that at some point this week Nook offers more than the measly 66 bells for turnips otherwise I might have to burn down the Nookingtons, deforest the town and generally be rude until everyone moves out. You have been warned Nook. On the bright side, my measly room was the model room for a while and I was surprised that my Mii looked quite so fetching in a wedding dress.

A lot of the family were around which meant that Boom Blox, Mario Kart and Link's Crossbow training got a lot of play. All three games relatively simple, all three games unrivalled by other extant consoles for sheer multiplayer fun. Genuine enjoyment was had by all. I also put in a lot of time with Mario Kart online which is addictive. I normally fear online play for all the usual reasons but I had to psychologically yank myself away and stopped when my race and battle points broke the 6000 barrier, worried that my luck might suddenly change. Two quick public service anouncements for Mario Kart Wii online players. Firstly, if you are driving the bikes do some goddam wheelies for the love of christ. Secondly, Moo Moo Meadows is but one track. Just at least try voting for one of the other 31 tracks at least once in four hours. You might like them.

Wii Fit, Sports and Play also got some serious playtime. I finally got a gold medal for bubble bursting and edged nearer to being a pro in more of the sports games. Wii fit is just silly fun, albeit with a depressing lining when you are reminded just how fat you are, how fat you got since your last workout and how crap my reaction times are compared to my younger relatives who must view me as some kind of Grandad, completing the image with some worrying creaking and cracking during the football heading game. The Offical Nintendo Magazine ran an interesting article on playtime and other statistics on Wii games this month which prompted me to return to these simple, yet fun games.

Lastly, I beat Destroy Man on No More Heroes. Unlike the other games which I try to consume at high speed in the precious stolen hours late at night, I've been savouring this game taking each ranked fight at a steady and enjoyable pace. Everything about this game is a delight it's a shame to see that from reviews at least, Madworld and House of the Dead Overkill find balancing mature themes with overall quality a bit of a challenge.

Game on friends and we'll see you all at the next Wiimbledon and this time we'll remember if we're left handed of right handed before the second set.


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