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Christmas 2006 was a very happy occasion for our family, as at last the Nintendo Wii was unwrapped. We had pre ordered it and had been very good at not using until Christmas, so as you can imagine the excitement had been growing and it was really worth the wait.What was inside the box.
Upon opening the box we were presented with;The Wii console, (along with a stand and cables to attach it to the television)
Setting it upIt really is a question of first reading the documentation that comes in the box. The process we found very simple;
Like most people we got straight into game playing, this before we eventually discovered all the other things that the Wii can do. So with that in mind I will write about the game prior to the other features of the Wii.Play time.
I must confess the first game we played on our Wii was Wii play, but that does not come with the console, so I will describe how we found the game that does come bundled with the console, namely Wii Sport.The way that games are played varies from game to game. In general, you move the Wii remote in a style similar to the way you would if you were actually playing the game i.e. Hold the remote as the handle of a golf club when playing golf or hold it like the handle of tennis racquet when playing tennis.
The game has five individual games as well bonus games;Wii Tennis
This can be played between one and four players.
You have characters called Mii's (I will explain more about these later in this review) who are little cartoon type sprites, they do all the running around, and all you have to do is play the shots. To do this you hold the Wii remote in your hand as you would if you were holding a tennis racquet. It took us a few goes to get used to this, but it is fun and I soon found out how quickly I could get out of breath just by playing a computer game.
This is a one or two player game.
Out of the games on this disk, I found this to be the least enjoyable, you either bat or pitch (throw the ball). Technically this is very well put together, unfortunately (in my opinion) it is very repetitive and as such did not have the entertainment factor that other games have.
This is a one to four player game.
The real game of bowling really holds no interest for me; this could be because I am very bad at it. So I did not think I would enjoy this version of it and it took quite a bit of persuasion before I gave this a go.
How wrong I was, this has given me hours of fun (so much so that I might even venture out to have another go at the real game).
It is very easy to play this, you use the trigger to hold and release the ball, instead of sticking your fingers in the holes in the ball. Try to bowl in a natural movement releasing the trigger as you would let go of a bowling ball.
This is a one to four player game.
Highly enjoyable once I mastered playing it (but making mistakes is all part of the fun), it is not the easiest of games to learn but stick with it.
To take a shot or to putt, simply hold the "A" button and swing the Wii remote as you would a real golf club.
This again is a one or two player game
For those wanting to get fit this is a must game.
This game uses the Wii remote and the Nunchuk, one in each hand.
You can punch, block as well as bob and weave (dodging by moving).
The game is three one minute rounds, although that one minute can feel like hours especially if you're losing. You win (or lose for that matter) with knock outs or a points decision after the match.
Training modeYou can play this in multi player mode, there are a further three games for each of the above sports games (mini games if you like). All of these are fun to play and we found they helped us to master the real games.
You can if you wish have a go at the Wii Fitness, three of the fifteen games are picked, and you are judged in terms of speed, stamina and balance. The result will show your Wii fitness.
Each Mii character can only try Wii fitness once per day (well they do need a rest between goes).
Wii and the GamecubeFirstly we were able to play all our old Gamecube games on this console; this includes using the Gamecube controllers and Gamecube memory cards. This was very handy for us as we were able to relocate our Gamecube into another room; in essence it means we can now have people playing Gamecube games in two different rooms at the same time.
Wii and the Internet.To really get the full enjoyment from your Wii you need to have it connected to the internet.
At home we have a wireless network, so for us it was easy to set up. We followed the on screen prompts and were connected in a matter of minutes. Thankfully if things did not work we still had the manual that gives full instructions.The criteria for setting to the internet are as follows.
You need a high speed internet connection such as broadband or cable.
Ideally you have a wireless network.
If you want to connect it Via a PC (that is directly connected to a high speed internet connection), then you will need to purchase a "Nintendo WI-FI USB Connector No.NTR-010). As far as I am aware the operating system for the PC needs to be windows XP (I do not know if you can as yet use Vista or any other operating system).To avoid the extra wires trailing around I think we have used the best option that being the wireless network.
The Main Menu (or as Nintendo call it Wii Menu).When you power up the console this is the first screen you're presented with, as I said earlier the chances are you will use the first option and get straight into game playing in the same way we did.
To navigate from the various channels that are on option, you simply point your Wii remote at the TV screen (moving it as necessary and use the "A" button to select whatever you want.Disc Channel
The Wii is slightly different in as much as when you insert a disc (either Wii or Gamecube) into the disc slot, the Wii turns on automatically (so you do not have to turn the Wii on to play a game)
Simply select the Disc Channel then on the next screen press start and away you go.
Mii's are character sprites (the cartoon type characters that you control when you play the games).
Although The Wii already has Mii's, here is the place to go to create your very own Mii's.
We found this to be highly amusing, you have what appears to be a limitless amount of choices, from hair style and colour, to skin pigmentation. Eyes, Nose, Height, Build, Gender etc. It really has so many choices for you that with careful selection and editing you can end up with your very own Mii. Once you have created your Mii, this can become the character that represents you whenever you play games on the Wii.
The Mii's when stored on the Wii, live in a place called the Mii Plaza, You can "organise" your Mii's, and this can be amusing. Either arranging them in various orders or causing them to scatter.Photo Channel
A lot of cameras, phones etc store pictures on a memory card. The Nintendo Wii recognises the SD card.
All you do is insert the SD card (if it is a smaller than standard card you will need to use an SD card adapter) in the slot on the Wii, then you're able to select photos (or videos) from the card.
As well as being able to view these, you can have fun with them. You can alter them (similar to a lot of PC photo programs).
Probably the most enjoyable thing however is turning the pictures into a puzzle. The picture is broken into pieces and you drag them back into their original position (similar to a jigsaw puzzle). Once you've completed a six piece puzzle you can then turn them into a 6, 12, 24 or 48 piece puzzles. Our younger children can do the six and twelve quite easily but struggle a bit more with the larger ones. But that is part of the fun, it also helps them with coordination when it comes to using the Wii remote.
Forecast ChannelSimply allows you to look at the weather in different locations.
News ChannelHave a look at news from around the world.
Wii Shop ChannelYou will need Wii points to use this channel, you can either buy Wii points cards from most shops that sell the Nintendo Wii or you can use a credit card when in the Wii shop channel.
Once armed with our Wii points we had a tour around to see what the shop has to offer. Our first purchase was a browser (cost nil points), this allows us to connect to the internet and surf, yes it does work, but the lack of a keyboard makes this a very awkward and clumsy experience.The channel gives you the opportunity to buy and download classic games from the NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Sega Mega Drive etc. The cost of these varies, but typically a game is between 500 and 1,000 Wii points per game.
Any games that are downloaded then get a channel of their own and can be accessed from the home menu.We purchased a classic controller for when we play these games, again these are available at most retailers who stock the Nintendo Wii. You can use the Wii remote for some of the classic games as well as being able to use a Nintendo Gamecube controller.
Wii Message BoardThis as the name suggests is a message board, you can read, write and reply to messages. If you have an internet connection you can send messages to friends and family via the message board to their Nintendo Wii. At present this is not something we really use for two reasons, not that many people we know have a Nintendo Wii as yet.
You will also receive news on upcoming games, events etc.Finally
Two things we have not tried as of yet.
We have not as yet played online multiplayer games, but we are looking forward to trying this, mainly because the fun that can be had when multi players are involved at home will probably be enhanced by playing others online.
The other thing that as yet we have to try is linking the Wii up to our Nintendo DS, this can be done with certain games, and we have just not had the time as we are too busy playing the new titles on the Wii.
Although it is a more powerful machine than the Gamecube, and less powerful than the new big boys consoles that are available. The processing power is not and I doubt will ever be an issue with the Wii. The power of the Wii is down to Nintendo's approach to gaming.We are more than happy with our Wii. We are also looking forward to some of the new releases that are expected for the Wii. As of yet the Wii has only given us a taste of what it has to offer, I am sure over the passage of time this console will grow in capability and popularity and just may have set new standards that other manufacturers will strive to achieve.
I would say Nintendo have produced a top quality console with a very affordable price. I would not be surprised to see the Wii become the market leader in the never ending battle of the consoles. If that happens it is down to price and innovation.Because you actually get exercise when playing this console, how long will it be before we see these available at weight/health clinics or being prescribed as part of a healthy diet regime?
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WII MINI (RED)
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