Wii Settling In (Pathetic, I know, but I’m sore!)

Some random thoughts on the state of Wii-ness.

1. Internet support beyond the Wii is kind of hosed. First, the Wii is very flaky at connecting to the shopping channel unless I switch between wireless routers every now and then. Note that the built-in web browser (which took two attempts to download) works fine. Well, it works as well as can be expected for a browser running on a monitor at S-Video resolutions.

As I said to Peter Berger when he made a weblog post from his Wii: That’s pretty cool in a “look, I can use a hammer to drive a screw” kind of way.

Maybe it is useful on a higher resolution display? I’m not sure I care as my MacBook Pro makes a pretty damned nice web browser.

2. Nintendo’s online presence sucks. Huge volume of content, but it is poorly organized and stuff is hard to find. I’m always hunt-and-clicking to find the damned forums or some particular piece of information.

Grrr… no, let me rephrase; Nintendo’s web site is fracking pathetic. Overcomplicated and broken. So, want to register Zelda? Gave me an error that it couldn’t register. 2 paragraphs and three sentences into the otherwise “you screwed up typing crap in” text I find the real reason. My login session has timed out!

And if you click “register” on the Wii page after filling in the form, it bounces you over to the other multi-field form where you could enter a bunch of different registration codes. But, it doesn’t give any indication that your input has been preserved. You have to scroll down to discover that.

Stupid stupid stupid.

No amount of ‘re-logging-in’ fixes the problem. Finally, I had to completely dump my cache and reset cookies to work through the issue.

3. Nintendo’s internal information management systems are broken. I just received an email offering three free issues of Nintendo Power magazine because I had registered three nintendo products. I haven’t; I have only registered the Wii.

Clicking through and logging in to the site reveals that I’m not eligible because I haven’t registered enough products. Funny, the site claims I have registered two products while at the same time displaying only one product registered in the Registered Items section of the same page. Nice!

Aha! It is counting the Wii, Bomberman, and the trial browser as registered in one area of the site, counting the Wii and Bomberman towards the subscription in another area, and then only showing the Wii as the one registered product in a third area.

Nice! That is just so terribly helpful!

4. Wii Sports kicks butt. Major fun. Even in a non-party context, I’m digging Golf and Bowling. The training mode is a blast, too, and has definitely improved my controller-fu.

And, yes, I figured out how to control the ball in bowling. The key is to let go of the B button at the bottom of the arc your arm makes, but follow through! Once you get that down and timed correctly with the on-screen animation, the ball release on screen will be smooth. No more air balls. With that in place, twisting the controller on its long axis clockwise as you swing and release will cause the ball to curve to the right quite nicely.

Likely mirror the above for lefties?

Yeah, anyway, I thought I figured it out. Then I wrote about it. Now I can’t do anything but curve left for the life of me. Sigh.

And, like real sports, I’m sadly sore after playing the game! Just my arm, though, and not my whole body.

5. Zelda. Wow. Cool cool stuff. I love that the musical themes from previous games remain present. The graphics are quite beautiful and the integration with the controller is great. Another game that will surely benefit from something better than a 27″ S-Video TV.

Unfortunately, the hawk does not seem to want to attack the kitty. Fortunately, you can pelt chickens with the slingshot. Oddly, the slingshot will kill monsters that are far larger and meaner than chickens, but only scares chickens. Must be the feathers.

6. The whole Mii thing. Don’t get it yet beyond seeing the characters show up in the games and build up experience over time. So far, my Mii’s haven’t wandered anywhere that I know of, nor have anyone else’s Mii’s come knocking. I have entered everyone’s code and I see that some are even enabled (indicating, I think, that my Wii code — 7426 6949 2411 1493 — has been entered on their end).

7. Bought Bomberman ’93 off of the Wii Shopping Channel (I fully expect some salestard to tell me how “the Wii’s superior 129 bits blows the doors off 128 bit systems!!!! BUY NOW!!!”) to see how that experience works out. Other than the connection woes, it works well enough. And that is a great game — it is going to be a blast in a party setting!

Though, I have to say, the download progress indicator is cute, but weak. A little mario running across the screen collecting coins whose frequency of appearance indicate data rates while hitting 1 of 3 bricks to indicate 1/3rd, 2/3rd or finished is just not quite the granularity of data I’m looking for. Sadly, it would be trivial to make it a bit more useful just by adding more bricks — a whole row of ’em kind of like, I don’t know, a status bar — and providing, maybe, a score or something to indicate # of bytes traversed with, possibly, a high score indicating the total # of bytes that must be transferred?

8. MAME. Please? MAME! It would be fun to hack together my own controller, too.

Ahh, well, whatever. I’ll leave it on again and see what happens overnight.

3 Responses to “Wii Settling In (Pathetic, I know, but I’m sore!)”

  1. Erik J. Barzeski says:

    I’ll send you my Mii shortly – it’ll appear in your Mii Central area. The “wandered in” Miis appear in the Mii Parade.

  2. Kevin Ballard says:

    Try attacking the chickens over and over with your sword. It’s not the same as what would happen in e.g. Link to the Past.

    I haven’t added your Wii code yet because I’m lazy 😉 But I’ll probably get to it later; then I’ll send you a few Miis.

    I’m definitely going to have to try your Bowling tip. I believe my biggest problem is twisting my wrist “up” as I swing, nearing the bottom of the arc. This greatly truncates my arc, and makes my release not at all smooth.

    I actually really like the progress bar. Things download pretty quickly for me, so it’s good enough. And if you care, the coins are more fine-grained progress. There’s not actually 100 coins for progress (that would be cool, but oh well), but it’s reasonably close. Mario tends to hit the 1/3rd box when he’s close to collecting 30 coins.

  3. Reimer Mellin says:

    I think I saw that you need to active Connect24 to see other Mii’s . At least that what I halluzinated in some error panel I got.
    Unpacked my Wii today and we had a blast as well. Even my wife, who never played any video game in her life, started creating her Mii and bowled with gusto.


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