[Gamer Responsibility] Growing Another Hand

Wii Fit comes out this week.

Nintendo, please…stop.

Actually, my wife and I were excited about the possibility of Wii Fit—more so about the possibility of using Wii Fit. We’re not getting it now. For having the cheapest selling (more on that in a minute), fastest selling, and most unique console, Nintendo kills you when it comes to peripherals. I would assume that most readers here who have a Wii don’t just have the basic remote and nunchuk.

How many other games are going to use the Wii Fit peripheral? Looking back, how many used the drums, dance pads, guitar(s), microphones, wheels, etc. other than their bundled games?

Since the release of the console, it appears that almost every AAA first-party title on the system has needed more than just the Wiimote. Sure, many titles can be played with just the included controller, but many of those same titles play better with the nunchuk (also included). Let us see: Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Strikers Charged, Metroid Prime 3, Mario Kart Wii, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Super Paper Mario, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Wii Fit. Yep, it seems as if every title needs a controller add-on. Excite Truck may be the only other major title that can be played with just the remote. It looks like the good ol’ ‘chuck needs to be used on most of them. What happens when you add a player? That $250 console just became a $310 console (another controller plus nunchuk). Now add two more players.

Ouch. We’re in Sony and Microsoft territory now. Their better online play exempts buying another controller for me. I have two 360 controllers. Interestingly, most third party titles get away with just using the standard remote. Of course, they don’t have a need to sell an add-on either.

We won’t even discuss the “classic” controller which is not really all that classic in look, style, or feel. (another $20). And the Wii Zapper? Terrific.

A couple of the games listed earlier let you use the Gamecube controller to play, and ironically it’s even preferred by most gamers on one title. Speaking of Gamecube, I own three drums and two dance pads. Ask me how much we use them.

Why do we need all these extra controllers? Why? I’ve not even touched on all the guitars and instruments that usually work for one game or their sequels…maybe. It appears that the next Guitar Hero is going to have it’s own instrument set. My guess is that it’ll even be exclusive. I really don’t know. I could care less about the music games—Boom Boom Rocket is my level of video game music depth, oh, and Audiosurf—a music game that doesn’t need an extra device to play. In the end, some gamers are going to have more instruments than most real bands.

When I saw the Wii remote for the first time, I was pretty excited about the possibility of playing games with as few buttons as possible. Control simplicity seemed like it was back in our grasp, so to speak. Pointless thinking. (Pun gloriously intended—both times). I will admit, however, that the Wiimote/nunchuk setup for some games is rather intuitive. Excellent, even. I cannot imagine Metroid Prime without it. Keep the gaming design there. Stop. No more add-ons—by anybody. Nintendo is certainly the leader, but, terrifyingly, it appears that the big money is in peripheral bundles.

We already have a Rubbermaid box by our couch that holds all our system controllers and add-ons for a 360 and a Wii. It’s full—a five gallon tote. No more room for another device will use for a period and it’ll sit in the box not to be used for anything else.

The game we keep coming back to: Excite Truck.

Monday Madness?

This is going to be a big madness. Due to recent excitement, we’ve got to catch up three weeks worth.

GAME: Gamers With Jobs featured a game a while back called Ether Cannon. It’s Asteroids with pretty visuals, concussion visuals.

PICS: Ever heard of the website PostSecret? Gamers With Jobs (again) started the same thing with games. The Teamfortress 2 pyro is my favorite. Post 1. Post 2.

GAME: Luminara, a much better take on Asteroids—much better. Now with trippy visuals, excellent controls, and a catchy soundtrack.

GAME: Do you like the Civilization games? Then you’ll love this FREE, dumbed-down, web-based version. Call it Ikariam. I’ll be sharing the server I’m on eventually.

PICS: Somebody took some screencaps of Metroid Prime 3 and made them 3D. I’ve got some glasses and I’ll admit: awesome. Thanks, Kotaku.

GAME: Audiosurf has recently added some new features. Why do I keep coming back to this game? Oh, yeah, because of allowing me to use my own songs. I don’t have to pay for each and every new song. Zing?

VIDEO: I usually cannot stand watching sportcasters, but somebody at TNT is teh phunny.

GAME: Zombies. That’s all I’m going to say. The Last Stand gets a sequel.

GAME: 1up has the first footage of Gears of War 2. Can you say $60 expansion pack? Sure you can.

GAME: Make your own Ouendan (Elite Beat Agents) clone for the PC. They’ve got video. N-E-A-T.

PICS: Warning! LEGO! I have two excellent posts. These guys have skills we should all have: the Germinated Ruby and the works of Izzo.

Well, the post was not as large as I thought after I weeded out some links I’d like to dedicate time for their own posts.


“You are who you choose to be.”

I’ve only known of three movies that cause me to tear up at the end almost every time I see them. I’m not ashamed to admit that one of them is animated. As far as I’m concerned Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant is nothing short of brilliant.

I introduced this wonderful movie to my two sons tonight and it was a great experience. At first, they didn’t know what to expect and fear reigned through the first half of the movie. But just like their ol’ man the emotions of the giant and the quirkiness of the movie started to win them over.

Then the giant died. How do you explain sacrifice to a five year old and a 2.5 year old? I really have no idea. However, one thing that they did realize is that using guns in the wrong way is bad. Our oldest had been running around the house over the last month pointing at random people and and yelling, “BANG! Your dead!” He didn’t understand the concept of death, and we didn’t want him flippantly thinking it’s OK to shoot things all the time.

We have a moratorium on certain things in our house while the boys are awake. This mainly includes violence of all forms in the areas of games and television. It just doesn’t happen. I think it’s worked for us. Actually, I think it’s worked for me. I don’t relate well to violence. It’s not that it makes me violent. It’s just that it agitates me. It changes my attitude. It changes the way I view things. That’s not good for a person who’s the head of a household and responsible for raising two boys (especially in an increasingly acceptable, violent world for younger ages—there’s always been violence.)

In short, in generally affects me for the worst.

Occasionally, I’ll make room for Half-Life or a quick FPS walkthrough. However, the last FPS I’ve completed was Half-Life 2—it’s episodes and Portal variant—a long time ago (Call of Duty 4 and Metroid Prime 3 came close). I think I’ve just learned to pass up on games with a sense of immediacy, especially in terms of violence.

If you’ve got to have that violent rush, I say take a break for a while. Find a different genre to play. See if it changes the way you act; who you are. As for me and my boys, we will take it slow and keep playing racing games.

The other day, while traveling down the highway my son asked me to ram into a rig we were passing. Maybe we won’t play any Burnout for a while either.

Metroid: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

I have a confession to make. I’m cheating on my wife. She knows it and she condones it. Why? Every couple of years Nintendo presents us with its butch vixen, Samus Aran. She’s the only other woman allowed in our house.

There has been no exception with this year as the recently released Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has finally been brought to the masses for the Nintendo Wii. For what was originally intended to be a launch title, the extra time put in by Retro Studios to polish the game has been well worth the wait.

However, instead of me gushing about this game over one post, I figured that while everyone else is playing that other game and soon to be OTHER GAME, that I would write up some gameplay sessions. Now, before you get you panties all in a bunch (You do wear panties, right? The granny kind?), these posts will be spoiler-free. I’ll do my best to not give anyway any story elements.

With that in mind, I’d like to give a quick impression.

Brilliance. This game exudes brilliance. This is probably the most polished game that Nintendo has ever made, and if you know Nintendo, you should know that says a lot. Their games usually exhibit an above average shine. This game is loaded with tons of homages to the earlier games (in the timeline of the Metroid series), and doesn’t take itself too seriously all the time. Some diehards may not like this, but I for one, love the bobble head doll of my Mii on the spaceship dashboard.