Oh my, it looks like the Layout Fairy’s been here and made everything earth-toned and easy(er) on the eyes. Hooray for the Layout Fairy!
Well, I wish there’d been a magical fairy involved. Most of you will probably agree that it’s harder to design something for yourself than for anybody else. You’re your own worst critic. So, here’s a crazy idea. Why not have something like Trading Spaces for blogs? If you want a new design, first volunteer to create one for somebody else. In turn, somebody else will volunteer to design a new design for you, based on your general ideas and/or the impressions they get from browsing your existing blog. You’ll get to exercise your creativity and you’ll also get a brand new design without all the hemming and hawing over colors, sizes, and logos.
Or is that not crazy enough to work? Maybe it could also involve rabid badgers somehow!
Anyway, on to the real subject of this post: the Wii. For me, the Wii has been something of a miracle mixed with disappointment. I suspect this feeling may have something to do with the games I’ve been playing, which I’ll briefly review.
- Wii Sports
- A good introduction to the potential of the Wii’s motion-sensitive controllers. Like the Queen Herself, I enjoyed (read: did well in) the bowling game. I did less well in, yet still enjoyed, golf and tennis. This probably had something to do with the fact that I was playing the game with/against another player in the same room. I doubt I’d play any of these games on my own.
- MarioKart Wii
- Obviously, this is a racing game in which you play various characters from the Marioverse. Special powerups scattered around the tracks allow you to get the advantage over other racers (and vice-versa.) Some extremely tricky tracks will challenge even the most non-computer racers. The game comes with a gimmick steering wheel that the Wii controller snaps into (not necessary.) This is yet another game that I doubt I’d play on my own, but it would be one of the first that I’d bring out at a party.
- Super Mario Galaxy
- Now we’re getting somewhere. I really enjoy how this game plays with space. You can walk around on the outside of a planet, then climb down a green tube and walk around on the inside. Some of the earlier levels led me to believe that the rest of the game would be done in the signature cutesy style one would expect from a Mario title. However, two later levels, Battle Rock and the Space Junk Field, were fairly impressive and had me wondering whether Mega Man would ever make a Wii appearance. Unfortunately, I seem to have reached the point in the game where the fun has run out and been replaced with frustration.
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
- So, I thought, let’s try a game that should require neither aim, nor sense of timing, nor pattern recognition skills. I’d hoped this would be a point-and-click adventure in the spirit of Sam And Max Hit The Road and Day of the Tentacle. Well… hmm… no. The best I can describe this is as an elaborate guessing game. Since it’s based on a cartoon, the only successful choices may be ones made on spurious logic. For instance, which piece of evidence proves that Birdman’s sidekick Peanut is lying? The keys to the safe, the death ray machine, or the lobster? In fact, the answer is apparently none of the above. It’s also not the mask balm, the pile of money, a business card, or any other item in my inventory.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A King
- Next, I thought I’d try some of the downloadable content. This title jumped out at me, since I thought it would be something like Sim City meets Final Fantasy. In fact, it is, but what I find more interesting than that is how this game puts the player into the role of king, i.e., assigner of quests to adventurers. It turns out that the land surrounding your castle is filled with dungeons and monsters, most of which are sitting on top of resources you need in order to continue building your city. Since you’re the super-important king, you can recruit adventurers from your population and send them into harm’s way on your behalf. And unlike Sim City, there is in fact a story arc that unfolds during the course of a game.
- Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess
- Now for some real adventure! But first, let’s run errands and do chores for two hours and thirty three minutes. Then your beloved peasant village can suffer its awful fate as portals to an evil dimension open across the land and… say, this sounds really similar to Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, doesn’t it? Well, I can tell you the reason I stopped playing that game was mainly because after a while it seemed to be nothing but going into and out of portals, being eaten by wildlife, and being thrashed by bandits for the sake of ungrateful peasants. So let’s hope that Twilight Princess stays close to its overland-and-level-based roots as a Zelda game and doesn’t stray too far into free-form adventure territory.