Made of Wiin

By Shamus Posted Wednesday May 21, 2008

Filed under: Pictures 40 comments

Issac and the Wii

It’s Christmas in May. I suppose it’s not going to stun anyone to learn that my kids enjoy playing the Wii.

I inherited the family Gamecube, for what it’s worth. I’m not sure it will get much use, but it’s there in case I get the desire to play a game designed for people with more patience and younger thumbs. The device has been added to the snarl, thus bringing the humming cluster of electronics one step closer to self-awareness, which will no doubt be followed by a murderous regard for fleshbags like me.

The Wii has usurped its predecessor and secured the coveted spot beneath the television in the living room. It’s a very attractive piece of technology, wonderfully sleek and capable of standing upright. This is not to say I wouldn’t like it better if the thing was uglier, but easier to stack with other objects. I didn’t like when televisions starting becoming aerodynamic, making them an unsuitable place to put things like VCRs, and (eventually) DVD players. What we’re ending up with is this sort of puzzle where you have a half dozen devices, none of which can be placed on top of each other or behind any other device, all of which must be plugged into each other and the wall. It’s hard for me not to look at this mess and think that somewhere in Japan is a very malicious engineer who is laughing at me, right now.


While I suppose it’s still true that money cannot buy happiness, it does seem to be possible for money to buy electronics which dispense happiness. We have two Wiimotes and three kids, so I’m not sure how long the happiness supplied will be able to maintain equilibrium with the injustice and misery of having to share and take turns. I am certain I will know when the scales tip, though. The sound will be unmistakable.

I haven’t even tried it and I’m enjoying the Wii already.


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40 thoughts on “Made of Wiin

  1. Rawling says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone smacks someone else in the head with a Wiimote whilst bowling.

    Then, despite the pain, it is inevitably hilarious.

  2. Ian says:

    Congrats, Shamus! :D I hope you and your family enjoy yourselves and don’t wind up causing too much Wiistruction.

    And pfft, everybody knows that it’s a lot more fun to wait out in the cold to get one at launch, right? RIGHT?!

  3. Telas says:

    I hope you and your family enjoy your Wii as much as I and mine. (“Family” in my case being myself and my very pregnant wife.)

    And I’m sure we all look forward to your comments on gameplay vs. polished pixel bling.

  4. Strangeite says:

    Have fun. My 18 month old daughter also enjoys the Wii. She stands in front of my wife dancing to Guitar Hero.

  5. Maddy says:

    To my surprise, my sister’s three kids have no trouble sharing the two remotes and taking turns. (Did I say “surprise”? I meant “shock.”) Apparently, some of these games are almost as much fun to watch as they are to play – so it’s not a terrible hardship even for these hyperactive little maniacs to sit down for a while and take a break.

  6. Phlux says:

    Nice grab. Are they still hard to find? I got lucky and got one at an EB about 5 minutes after the UPS delivered 6 systems to the store. They’d already had 15 calls that day looking for them.

    I bought mine January 2007, a few months after it came out, and they were impossible to find. As of about 3 months ago they were STILL impossible to find 18 months after launch.

    I just finally saw a handful of them on the shelf at Target a couple weeks ago. Not sure if that was a fluke, or a sign that supply and demand of equalized.

  7. Deoxy says:

    As I understand it, the supply issue was at least substantially caused by the weak dollar – sending any spare systems to Europe instead of the US was more profitable.

    Of course, having just the right amount of scarcity (many, maybe even most people that want one can get one, with some effort, but it’s clear that it’s usually “SOLD OUT”, which means it must be VERY popular and completely the “in” thing to do) can also be advantageous, and they seem to have a very good balance, there.

    Oh, and I completely agree with you about “unstackable” electronics – drives me crazy, too, and that’s with far fewer electronics than most people (being perpetually broke sucks).

  8. Arkmagius says:

    Yes, the Wii is excellent. It’s easy enough to use for casual gamers, has a great back-library with WiiShop, and a nice line of first-party games.

    My Wii only has three games, all of which came with it (in the Galaxy bundle), and I find myself using it more than my Xbox (40+ games) and computer combined. Add to that hardware stability, only one official model (saving you a massive headache), and a very low purchase price…

    They are definitely worth the purchase, I think. I hope you enjoy it when you do get to play. :)

  9. lplimac says:

    Welcome to the Cult, your membership card is in the mail :D
    Oh, hang on to the old Gamecube controllers as some of the games actually play better using them rather than the Wiimotes

  10. Here’s a few tried and true family friendly games I suggest:

    Mario Galaxy
    MarioKart Wii
    Cooking Mama’s Cook Off
    Star Wars Lego

    All great successes in this household.

  11. Gabriel says:

    All you need now is a post soliciting comments for best games to buy for the Wii…

  12. Gabriel says:

    In addition to Chatty DM’s suggestions I add:

    WarioWare Smooth Moves — minigames galore, silly animations. Fun times.
    Super Smash Brothers Brawl — you can even use your old gamecube controllers.

    slightly more adult:
    Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. I’ll even go so far as to call it the best rail-shooter I’ve ever played. It’s hooked no less than a half dozen people I’ve showed to.

  13. Joe says:

    Always remember, you absolutely *cannot* buy happiness. It is, however, available for rent at reasonable rates.

  14. Drew says:

    Now that you’ve got the gamecube, go play pikmin 2 and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. There were other gamecube titles that were a great time, but those two were my favorite reasons to have a ‘cube.

  15. Tango says:

    Definitely enjoying mine, though I seem to have the wrong group of friends readily available to put it to its best use. Despite this, I have 4 remotes and 4 nunchuks, because you know some day there will be a bunch of people over wanting to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl or Mario Kart Wii all at once.

  16. Gothmog says:

    I will also put forward Boom Blox, a BRILLIANT game I spent 5 hours with my two nephews last Saturday throwing, shooting, pulling… well, BLOX.
    The physics and control of this game are very finely tuned. My wife loves it as well.

    Hey- we should have a Twentysided Wii friend code exchange type thing- what do you think, Shamus?

  17. Jeremiah says:

    The above suggestions are right on. Wii Play is also pretty fun, and worth it for the extra Wiimote. Edit: I just noticed that WiiPlay is prominently displayed in the above picture.

    Virtual Console is just pure awesome. I’ve bought more Virtual Console games than actual Wii titles.

    I also like the new WiiWare because I can download demos straight to my DS.

    Also I’d advise to do a lot of renting before you buy. There are plenty of titles worth owning, but there are a lot that just don’t work well on the Wii, i.e. constantly shaking the Wiimote and occasionally pressing ‘A’ does not a fun game make.

  18. Nilus says:

    I got my Wii the Christmas. Its a fun machine and great for parties but as a solo gaming platform it’s just not up to snuff. The only good single player games are Zelda and the Mario Galaxy. Mine collects dust most weekdays. Also as others suggested rent a lot of games. The Wii has some very good games but it also has a lot of stinkers.

    Of course I am getting Wii fit today to see if it spending a 100 bucks will motivate my fat ass of the couch.

  19. DocTwisted says:

    I second the above idea about a 20 Sided Wii Friends group.

    Remember that Bowling and Golf can have more than 2 players, with people passing just ONE (or two) remotes as the turn rotates.

    Oh, and Super Paper Mario is lots of fun, though sadly only 1-player.

  20. Doug says:

    It’s all about the Lego Star Wars. It’s the first real game we bought for the Wii and my 6 year old son and I play it all the time.

  21. Daktylo says:

    Because I know your wife teaches the kids at home, you should consider looking into that Big Brain Academy game.
    My wife picked it up with our Wii bundle and it’s really entertaining with a group.
    There are logic puzzles, simple math, deduction puzzles, etc. and they can be played by both young and old (depending on the difficulty setting). Some people are absolutely diabolical when it comes to some of the puzzles, where others aren’t as strong. But it definitely brings enjoyment.

  22. Mark says:

    The Wii’s library is really going places; you’re sure to find excellent family-friendly titles. If you’ve got the Gamecube for yourself, though, that can really only mean good things for us, your readers.

  23. Hal says:

    Just to be clear, you do know you can play Gamecube games on the Wii, right? ‘Tis backwards compatible, my friends.

    And second . . . 1640-3977-1020-8775. Welcome to the club, Shamus.

  24. Mario Party 8 is also pretty fun. I’ve been having a blast introducing my GF to shooters with Resident Evil:4.

  25. Dolleater says:

    I recently read in a gaming magazine (Level) that they are producing old gamecube controlelers again for use with the wii. great news indeed, to bad i already have 4 of em.. and still no wii. But they seem so darn cheap it will be hard not to grab one some day.

    And there seems to be so many great games for it that i just dont wanna miss out on. the gaming queue grows :P

  26. Bonejesta says:

    Oooh! Another chance to pimp Lostwinds! Check it out on Wiiware. It’s what Okami on the Wii SHOULD have been….

    Sorry. When games like Okami and Lostwinds come along, I try and make sure EVERYBODY who has a console and even half an ounce of passion for games knows about them.

  27. Dev Null says:

    You have a new piece of gaming technology in the house and you haven’t even tried it? Who are you, and what have you done with Shamus?

  28. Fuloydo says:

    I picked up my Wii three weeks ago and have been having a blast with it. I picked up Wii Fit this morning and I predict one of three things will happen: 1) I’ll get back into something resembling decent shape. 2) My inner sloth will overcome all and it will collect dust. 3) It will kill me. Even money on which one wins.

  29. trousercuit says:

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Metroid Prime 3 yet. IMO it’s the greatest FPS on any console, just because of the control system. I used to like them only on the PC. Halo makes me want to experiment with controller ballistics. I realize it’s not as snappy as M+K, but it doesn’t feel clunky an I can actually point at things to shoot.

    Oh, and the art is just fantastic. On my first play through, I often wandered back through places just to stare at them for a while. It’s that pretty.

  30. Mari says:

    Wow. And I was feeling all uptown because we finally plugged in our PS2. I was consoling my feelings of inferiority by telling myself it was still probably more advanced technology than Shamus had plugged into his TV. Way to break a girl’s ego. Thanks, Shamus.

    Oh, and the simple solution to the Wiimote issue is my own approach to console controllers…steal them for yourself and only dispense the electronic joy to the younglings when their misery factor is too high for ice cream to fix.

  31. Mulliga says:

    I second the “Boom Blox” nomination – very fun game, especially with a few people to play.

    Pick up Zack & Wiki, Smash Bros., and Madden and you’ll never talk to your kids again. :P

  32. RodeoClown says:

    Make sure you get the plastic/rubber cover things Nintendo is giving out these days, otherwise you could end up with minor concussions on your children (not to mention broken electronics).

    My eldest son accidentally belted his younger brother in the forehead with an un-cased controller.

    We discovered how solid those things really are. And his brother had an egg on his forehead for about 3 weeks (the mark is still there nearly a year later).

    But they still love playing :)

  33. lplimac says:

    Oh one other thing… invest in rechargeable batteries and a charger, you’ll be glad you did. I join the shout out for Metroid Prime 3 as well. Great game.

  34. 2 more things:
    1) Get some classic controllers and go to town :). You can download all sorts of old school NES games through the Wii, and having a classic controller is a must-have.

    2) Super Smash Brothers Brawl is a dumb, dumb game. I seriously don’t get how anyone finds it enjoyable.

  35. Jeffrey says:

    Mario Kart Wii is a really good deal–it comes with a wheel accessory that works surprisingly well without increasing the $50 price. It even accepts multiple inputs: Wiimote alone, Wiimote nunchuk, Wiimote classic controller, Gamecube controller. Beware though, on Grand Prix mode, the AI will kick your ass surprisingly hard.

    Even on your two Wiimote diet, you can go full 4 player if you steal from your Gamecube…

    And Virtual Console is the work of the devil. Burned off 6000 points ($60) without even realizing it…

  36. Griffin says:

    I’ve been waiting for literally ten years (since I discovered emulation) for a way to give Nintendo money for the right to play old NES and SNES games. I’m very happy about Virtual Console. Now I just need to save up for and find an actual Wii so I can actually use it….

  37. Lost Chauncy says:

    I’ll second Drew (Post 14). Pikmin 2 and Thousand Year Door are genuine classics…Pikmin took a little while to grow on me, but once you get a feel for it the joy and brilliance of it begins to shine.

  38. ArchU says:

    Thank goodness it can take more than 2 controllers (as with all modern consoles). Also, make sure to check online for various wiimote damage reports – those things are slippery, apparently.

    Also, cute photo there Shamus – looks just like a happy Christmas morning face ^_^

  39. Stranger says:

    Congratulations! I just got mine out of my Refund Check, and am once more enjoying it since my former roommate took his when we moved in different directions.

    I enjoy Wii Sports, really, and Wii Play. Call me crazy, but Super Smash Bros. Brawl is also a bit fun (in small doses). Prime 3 is an excellent game, I think . . . the only other game I had my hands on and can attest to “fun factor” would be Super Mario Galaxy. Aside from that . . .

    Find your favorite oldschool games in there, and have fun! :) I am waiting for a couple to hit which I don’t expect to see . . . until Hell freezes.

  40. Colin Lacey says:

    I was one of the people who camped on a cold (freezing, considering I live in Canada), November night to buy one of the first Wii consoles. I was intrigued by the it’s controller, the low price, and the fact that Zelda wouldn’t be finding its way on to a PC.

    Zelda was a great game, and many hours were spent on wii sports, but it eventually went into disuse with a limited catalog of interesting games, few exclusives that grabbed my attention, and a controller I had grown to feel was a badly implemented gimmick. All of this eventually led me to sell my Wii (pun definitely intended) to a co-worker, who I hope ha enjoyed it.

    I can see why many enjoy the Wii, due to it’s simplicity of use and other factors I’m sure have already been mentioned. I myself don’t enjoy platforming games which Nintendo is famous for, and the next Zelda was far off, so I made a personal choice to sell it and am in no way trying to say the Wii is a bad product. I’m not even sure if the gaming catalog has since changed noticeably, but I can’t see myself going back after getting my Xbox 360, which has served me faithfully with no hardware failure. I hope you and your whole family enjoy it though Shamus.

    By the way, the kid’s expression in the picture is priceless. He appears to be in a state pure hapwiiness. :)

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