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Talking Point: eMail response from Nintendo of America

I recently asked Nintendo of America support about their lack of updates on Channels and VC, and this is what I got:

“Dear Jorge,
We understand your concern about the lack of service on the VC as of late. Due to sales numbers being far greater recently on Wiiware than on Virtual Console, we have decided to steer in the direction of WiiWare.
Also, we in America have NO plans to update the Internet Channel or the Nintendo Channel. We hope you understand”



July 25, 2009 Posted by | Talking Points | | 21 Comments

Review: Wii Music

Ah, yes. Wii Music. I remember it well. E3 2008, they say that there’s something ELSE, they’d like to show. Everyone holds their breath, hoping for a Metroid, or Zelda game. Smoke fills the room. What do they show? A drummer, looking like an idiot, making ear-splittingly bad music on a virtual drum set. They then introduce it as Wii Music. For what they just showed, I could EASILY assume it was all about drums. Then, Miyamoto comes out and makes the game look a LITTLE better, and then they ruin the whole thing by showing people wave the Wiimotes around like morons, and bad notes play. They even missed parts entirely! Talk about a misleading first impression.

Wii Music is not like Guitar Hero, or Rock Band, it’s ‘competitors’. Its goal is simple: let everyone have fun while appreciating music. It achieves this goal well, but 70% is too hard, and 10% is too easy. Only about 20% is just right. Now, there are 60+ instruments to choose from, and 50 songs to choose from. Only 7 are Nintendo, however. About 10 attempt to be ‘pop’ music, but fail, but you can skip any song you don’t like, which is a nice touch. Also, there are some great classics, like Troika, Scarborough Fair, and A Little Night Music, which are fantastic.

Controls for the instruments are in a couple categories: Piano/drum, where you just bang around, Wind, which you alternate the 1 and 2 buttons, the Violin and Cello, where you pretend you are playing them while alternating the C and Z buttons on the Nunchuck, and then there’s other, which usually involve waggle. My favorite is the Violin/Cello, as it’s the most elaborate for the main game.

Outside of the main game, you have videos, which are a rather…lackluster feature, but it has it’s uses, namely WiFi. It also has lessons, which you won’t find yourself using very often, some minigames, which are fun, but repetitive, and lastly, the Drum Mode. The drum mode is ridiculously hard, and I could go into a whole review of that SEPERATELY, but I won’t, so in the interest of time, I’ll just say this: It’s TOO hard!


Now, overall, in Wii Music, you get a very mixed package. From the box, it looks like something that Hardcore gamers would NEVER like, but on the inside, it gives the right amount of challenge for ANYONE to make good sounding music! (Especially that damned drum mode…) and the music sounds great for a Wii Game, too!

Score: 7.5/10

$45/$50 retail


July 21, 2009 Posted by | Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Tales of Monkey Island Episode One: Launch of the Screaming Narwhals

Tales of Monkey Island is “a heated series involving the brave but often bumbling Mighty Pirate™ Guybrush, his beloved wife Elaine, and their nemesis, the demon pirate LeChuck.”, in the words of the developers, TellTale games. When the showdown goes up in flames, Guybrush finds himself marooned on a strange island with winds that always blow inward. How will our hero manage to escape this meteorological anomaly? What has become of LeChuck and Elaine? And what’s the story with the infectious voodoo pox that’s spreading across the Caribbean, causing Guybrush and other pirates to act like unruly hooligans? These are just some of the many questions posed in this first chapter.

The series starts off on a ship. Fun. However, the comedy is just amazing, in my opinion. You have to cover your sword in FIZZY magic Root Beer in order to use it to destroy LeChuck. After an intro to the game, and some examples of puzzle solving (cut roots and put them in grog you’ve added breath mints to), you watch a cut scene and end up on an island. While this is trying, of course, to BE cliché, you just can’t escape the feeling that something’s missing-or the island. That’s right, prepare to spend THIS chapter, at least, on the island.
Now, your hand is acting weird, so you go and seek help, but it’s also causing other effects. Without wanting to give TOO much away, this chapter lives up to its name of  “Launch of the Screaming Narwhals”. The audio is superb, and actually better than you’d expect.

Now, here’s my main gripe. Oh no, one thing takes away from this experience dearly, unfortunately. And THAT’S that, because of the massive amount of activity, the controls are very slow. And to be quite honest, the item menu is in an awful location (slide mouse to the right), and the walking controls are fine if you play them like Wallace and Gromit (arrow keys to move), but otherwise, it’s click and DRAG. No, not like Strong Bad or Sam & Max, where you click your destination, you have to physically drag. How unfortunate.

However much this takes away from the play experience, it is still a fun game, and you will probably spend about 2-3 hours on this first episode. It’s a great deal of fun, regardless of the controls, and we’ve been playing the PC version. We hope sincerely the WiiWare version, which will be out sometime this month, will run it smoother, with better controls.

Point Value: 1000/1000 Wii Points

Somewhat recommended .

Final Score: 8/10

July 11, 2009 Posted by | Reviews | Leave a comment

New staff member!

Hey! I’ve been here for a few days, but this is my first announcement. The reason I’m saying this, is I’m about to upload my Tales of Monkey Island review, so stay tuned!

July 11, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | Leave a comment