Monday, May 19, 2008

Byte: Does your Wii smell?

Believe it or not, this was a question my Canadian buddy Chris asked me yesterday when we were comparing notes on Wii Sports and Metroid Prime 3. He's been detecting some odd burning circuitry smell whenever he's been playing on his Wii, but I've never smelt anything like that with mine. So, categorically, my Wii is unscented...

I broke with tradition last Friday night, and instead of watching a film or playing WoW on my Warcraft lapdog, I tried out Ghost Squad and Red Steel on the Wii instead.

Ghost Squad I can imagine cracking out once a week and having a blast to try and top my high score. It's short and pretty sweet; a well-executed arcade conversion, and plays nicely with the Wii Zapper. You can blast through it in less than half an hour, and while not exactly thrilling, it's entertaining enough. I don't play a lot of light gun games, so I found it on the right side of "hard", neither a walkover, nor an exercise in constant death. Some of the set pieces are nice, but a couple of the ones on time limits are pretty evil, particularly the one at the end of the second mission where you have to snipe a boss with a single headshot in less than 10 seconds. I spent the time trying to get the damned aiming reticule to register on the screen... and so failed miserably. There were a few little control glitches like that, but I'm not sure yet whether that was because of something wrong with the game code, or because the batteries in my Wii-mote were down to the last bar. I'll try it again with new batteries, and hopefully all will be dandy.

Red Steel, on the other hand... Oh, I'm so glad I got this as my "free" game in the Buy-One-Get-One-Free deal, because I wouldn't recommend anyone pay actual money for it. I recall playing this at the Leipzig Games Convention in 2006 and thinking it had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the game was pretty much uncontrollable on Friday night. The game seems incapable of responding to large movements of the Wii-mote, making snap shooting impossible. In fact, the controls were so unresponsive that I ended up spending half the time fighting the controller to stop it from pointing upwards at the corner of the walls and ceiling.

Hello, Scott? Can you stop spazzing like a retard and point where I tell you, please? You know, at the guys SHOOTING YOU...

Not very impressive, really. The graphics seem a little unfinished and the menus are uniformly horrible, but it could have been a pretty solid game, if only they'd not rushed it out for the launch of the console. Again, perhaps fresh batteries would make the controls a little more responsive, but I'm not holding out much hope. This might actually be the first game I ever trade in, rather than keep for my collection. I'll give it another chance and then see how it goes. Or I might just abandon it entirely and play something else completely different instead. You know how this goes by now... I do have to get back to Metroid Prime 3, No More Heroes and Super Mario Galaxy. And Zelda. And Super Paper Mario. And I've not started on Supreme Commander or Titan Quest either. Plus there's that Sins of a Solar Empire review I've got to finish...

So many games, so little time to squeeze them in around World of Warcraft. Oh, and work and that whole "life" and "girlfriend" thing... Just as well I'm an insomniac. One lifetime just wouldn't be enough.
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