Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend of gaming

So, this weekend turned out to be pretty much exclusively devoted to video games (with a brief break for some yard work). Aside from all the Mario Kart Wii playing I did this weekend, I've also been playing a lot of Rock Band. We've had 7 different visitors come over during this weekend and we've either played the Karts, the Band or both.

Good times.

Tomorrow, it's back to work...then the midnight launch of Grand Theft Auto, which I may or may not participate in. It's a great week to be a geek.

Gotta go, they need someone to sing Sabotage on Rock Band.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mario Kart Wii update 4: 50cc is complete

I kept working on the 50cc class after my last post, determined to beat it tonight. As I was finishing the last cup, John showed up with his Wii and we ordered some pizzas. He cracked open the second copy of Mario Kart Wii that I picked up today, and practiced for about half an hour while we waited for the pizzas to arrive. Just as I was finishing the last race, the pizzas got here. I sent this little message over to John's machine from mine:

That's how it looked on the projector in the living room. Anyway, after a brief dinner, we started playing in the online Vs. mode with random people from all around the world. It's not quite Xbox Live (no voice, no gamertags, no easy way to set up a party of friends to go race random people) but it's still decent. After you've swapped 12 digit PIN numbers (which is a pain in the ass), you can finally find each other and play.

John was able to join my race in progress, which he spectated while I was competing against 9 or 10 other people. After that, he hopped in and we were part of a 10 or 12 person race. We did similar races like this until around 11:30 when Andrew showed up. Andrew joined John on his Wii in the living room hooked up to the projector while I played in the office on my smaller TV. Andrew was also the first of us to try playing with the Gamecube controller. He says it's pretty good (I stuck with the Wiimote, Nunchuck combo so far). After many online matches, I moved out to the living room too and we played some good old fashioned offline Vs. mode.

The first thing we tried was the new battle mode but none of us liked it much. It makes you pick teams, so instead of a random match with just the three of us, we had a bunch of computer partners playing. It was pretty hard to tell what was happening. Battle Mode was definitely the one problem with the game so far and I miss the old version already.

After that one crappy Battle Mode match, we switched to offline VS. Mode which was much more fun. We raced 5 or 6 more races, which John won pretty easily. Finally called it a night around 1am. So there we have it: My first 7 hours with Mario Kart Wii. I must say, it's a pretty damn awesome game. So far, I rate it as one of the best two (if not the best version) ever.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mario Kart Wii Update 3

Another hour has gone by and so it's time for another little mini-review. I figure there's no better time to capture my initial impressions than as I'm having them.

I've spent this last period of time using the Wiimote and Nunchuck combo. I find that I have a lot more control this way. I can do the drift boosting and the stunts with no problems.

I've completed the first four cups on 50cc, with Star and Leaf next to go (and two question marks to unlock). I'll probably try the classic and Gamecube controllers later this evening, but right now I want to check out all the tracks.

The old updated tracks are great. Sherbet Land from the N64 now has a new ramp you can do a stunt off of (otherwise, it's just as I remembered it). Waluigi stadium from the gamecube has all kinds of half-pipe stuff added so you can go do stunts off the walls if you want to. The DS tracks seem pretty much the same, but that might be because I don't have as much experience on them as I do the N64 and before versions.

Alright...enough posting, on to the Star cup!

Mario Kart Wii Update 2: 15 minutes in..

I got home in about the expected amount of time, mowed the lawn then started playing Mario Kart Wii. I've already beaten the first cup in the 50CC Circuit, using the wheel. The wheel?

After reading this article on Joystiq I decided to start playing with the stupid wheel to see how I like it. The steering is smooth and responsive, although when a sharp turn comes up, I'm finding myself over-correcting. I've tried the automatic and manual drift settings, but so far, drifting is still a mystery to me.

John and Andrew are coming over later for our first un-official Mario Kart Wii event. Time to kick the tires and light the fires (or at least the sparks).

To be continued...

Mario Kart Wii

Right now a brand new copy of Mario Kart for the Wii is sitting in my car.
2 days before the official launch, I've managed to get my hands on it...and I can't even play it!

I've got meetings from 3:30-4:30 and then I can go home. I'm only 13.59 miles away from my house. That's 18 minutes with no traffic...probably triple that in Friday rush hour. If only I had a lightning bolt, an invincibility star and a bunch of red shells...I could be playing much sooner.