Archive for September, 2006

I’m dropping about this much on the Wii

 

$383.36

According to the Nintendo Wii Calculator, this is how much I will spend on November 19th barring any shortages (I don’t like to pre-order for some reason).

Like I said, this includes:

  • the console
  • 1 additional Wii controller
  • 1 nunchuk
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

No SD card is included in the calculator though, so I’m guessing it will be slightly more. Oh, and let’s not forget batteries.

Thanks GoNintendo!

 

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Kickass Rechargeable Cells for the the Wii-mote

USB rechargeable AA batteriesNo way.

I love me some GayGamer. My (unfair, self-loathing perhaps?) expectations of a gimmicky game news site were entirely unfounded.

This post specifically could make a huge difference in one of my primary concerns about owning a Wii: rechargeable AA batteries, via USB? These look kick yo ass HOT!

Anybody know if rechargeable cell technology has progressed so that battery life no longer sucks? My limited knowledge extends up to the lithium ion battery in my PowerBook and 3rd generation iPod. The instructions for calibrating the new batteries in MacBook Pros are different now.

Looks like these are NiMH batteries, which I know nothing about. Research time.

UPDATE: Looks like Engadget likes them (based on TrustedReviews’ review of them). Even better, looks like they’re coming out in the USA a day after the Wii launches.

The comments in the Engadget post were helpful to me since I didn’t know that much about rechargeable batteries. Some cursory Googling led me to this FAQ about NiMH batteries.

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Rule of Rose – Beastly Creature

**POTENTIAL SPOILERS**

This one almost slipped past me. Though I’m trying to figure out if I should let it go.

It’s my latest rental, and the opening movie elicited a wicked cackle from me, promising ghoulish delights bearing no small resemblance to Edward Gorey at his Gashlycrumb Tiniest. Though set in a different time period, the dirt fetish in the game reminds me of Imperial Leather by Anne McClintock.

Dieter from SNL's SprocketsBut can we just get rid of the shambling gait we have to assume in these survival horror games? It certainly adds something to not be able to move around these creepy environments like, say, Dante or Kratos. But the amount of frustration it creates when traversing the game world, exploring or on a fetch quest, quickly outweighs any immersive benefit.

Maybe I’m just impatient to get to Okami.

Reaching certain plot points that move the story forward keeps the promise of the opening cinema, but the pacing is heinously slow. The play mechanic of having Brown (the dog) sniff out items is clunky since it forces you to go into your inventory to try item after item. Drag ass over here to find a scone, then drag ass over there to find a minced pie. Oh, and the key item that advances the story is on the other side of the airship.

This forces a very linear approach to the game and artificially accelerates the story when I want to take the time to enjoy sticking dessert forks into punkass babies.

I’ve met the second “boss” and died a stupid death because my player character’s limp grip on a steel pipe was no match for a “mermaid’s” green vomitus.

But there is definitely something twisted in Rule of Rose that’s crooking its finger at me. Something like Drusilla in Buffy, who speaks about one of her dolls thusly:

Miss Edith speaks out of turn. She’s a bad example [turning her to face the wall], and will have no cakes today. Shhh.

When those sick moments occur in the game, I’m all atwitter with evil glee. “Leveling up” takes on new meaning in The Aristocrats Club, and I hope for some black transformation in Jennifer once she attains the rank of Duchess.

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Pacing Myself – A Dwindling Budget

Rule of Rose coverIn the past week, I’ve acquired Rhythm Tengoku ($45) and Cooking Mama ($20). Okami managed to elude me yesterday and now I’m considering Rule of Rose. With the Wii in my near future, as well as birthdays and the holidays all clumped together, I’m fixing to be a broke child.

So, desperate as I am for Okami, its delayed delivery via UPS to the closest game store, as well as all this thinking about prices has me reverting back to my cheapass ways.

Right now, Rule of Rose is my rented darling, and I may take my time getting to Okami, just to prolong my enjoyment of playing the wolf goddess. I’m still trying to figure out if the exquisite torture of Rule of Rose warrants such self-denial though.

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Um, why does Twilight Princess Link…

look like a drag queen?

Those lips are fierce, girl. Forest Nymph Realness FTW.

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Price Thoughts on the Nintendo Wii

My chagrin at the $249.99 price tag for the Wii makes me think I need to pay less heed to all the speculation that seems to be the standard fare on a lot of gaming blogs of late. I can’t say for certain, but I think I would have been OK with the announcement if I had learned earlier to ignore the arguments for $199. Oh well. I know better now.

One thing that I’ve steadily dreaded, however, is the prospect of having to buy a bunch of peripherals for the Wii. And it looks like if I want to take a dip into the Virtual Console, I’ll have to pick up the hideous looking old-school controller. It looks like something you’d put your eyeglasses in.

Wii classic controller

And for the requisite extra Wii-motes + nunchuku if I really want to party, that’s an extra $180. I’ll just settle with an extra pair for $60 and leave it at that for a while to nurse my bank account.

The game, because I’ll only get one at launch, will most likely be Zelda; if there are any copies to be had. Altogether, that’s $360, not including tax.

Actually, considering I paid $300 for the PS2, way past the launch date, that’s not too bad at all. Two full Wii-motes, two games (Wii Sports and Zelda) is pretty good. And it’s what, five, six years later?

Other titles that have my interest for the time being:

  • Trauma Center – already own on the DS, so may hold off
  • Rayman – haven’t played a Rayman game; never liked the character design, he always creeped me out. But the rabbits are so cute!
  • Red Steel – barring horrendous control issues
  • WarioWare – very underwhelmed with the DS version, but it’s worth a rental

A huge concern I have is physical discomfort during long play sessions. Will waving my arms around prove more tedious than fun once the novelty wears off? And what about all the AA batteries I’m gonna burn through just to keep my Wii-motes powered? I will flip out if they cut out in the middle of something very important. Time to look into rechargeable cells.

Messing around with the Mii channel and creating an avatar looks like it’ll be fun. And I finally get to check out Pikmin and Wind Waker (GameCube backwards compatibility). I still have an N64 (collecting dust), but have been meaning to find a copy of Majora’s Mask to play. If it comes out on the Virtual Console, maybe I’ll buy it.

I’ve never acquired a console on launch day. My bad math after the price announcements made me waver initially, but after more thought, I’m gonna hopefully be a Wii owner come November 19.

UPDATE: This post on Aeropause helped me to refine my thinking specific to price even more. At the risk of repeating what I said in the comments, I forgot to factor in the price of a memory card and extra controller for my upfront PS2 expenditure. I can’t remember the respective prices but I’m thinking it was $50-75 extra, bringing my calculations for an initial Wii purchase right on par with what I spent for a PS2 ($350-375). This is immensely reassuring.

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OMFG – Okami’s out today?

GamestopRefreshing my RSS feeds just now brought up a post on MetaCritic. For Okami.

Site says it’s out today and I’m frantically Googling as I type this to confirm, while holding the phone in the crook of my shoulder to speak to the nearest game store.

Oh crap. Gamespot says Sept. 19. Boo!!

I thought I was excited for this game, but this was an unexpected reaction to its sudden “availability”. I know now that I ache for Okami. A title with the potential to join Ico and Rez as sublime play (dare I say, art) experiences in my PS2 library.

UPDATE: After I night’s sleep I think I’ve figured out where my drop-everything-to-get-the-game reaction came from.

Okami is one of a handful of titles that I expect to be my PS2’s swan song. Here’s the list:

  • Okami
  • Final Fantasy XII
  • Guitar Hero II
  • God of War 2

I don’t plan on getting a PS3 any time soon. Partly because this is my typical approach to buying shiny new things that suck up all my time (MacBook Pro, DS Lite–I’m coming for you babies! Even my PS2 was many months late in coming). But mostly because, I’m at turns underwhelmed and flummoxed by what Sony is doing to shoot itself in the foot this generation.

The price point alone is a significant deterrent. So it looks like I’ll be (re)playing through my PS2 library for a while, and checking out titles that I never got to (currently enjoying Indigo Prophecy, Beyond Good and Evil and Kingdom Hearts).

Bring on the Wii.

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