Nintendo Wii: Kikizo's Definitive Review
Two months on, Kikizo brings together Nintendo's number one fans to deliver this comprehensive, unbiased review of Wii - and we're not shy about saying what we mean.
Online or Bust
There's no escaping a decent online offering this time around, so what's the deal with Wii's online features, system updates, and being permanently connected?
Carl: The first time I got a message and my Wii lit up all by itself it was the middle of the night. I woke up, smiled, and said to myself 'finally -- a living console.' The Wii is like a pet.
"You can only add friends online with awkward 12-digit numbers, rather than a friendly GamerTags, and both parties must do it rather than doing a simple invite."
Sharan: If you're already set up with a Wi-Fi router, setting the console up to go online is a breeze. Simply enter the router details and moments later you're online. Even with WEP or WPA router settings the Wii console is up and online in minutes. Currently the online side is a bit pointless though. All I'm pretty much using it for are the constant forced updates. The updates aren't anywhere as frequent as the PS3 but it still feels a bit excessive.
Right now the only benefit of leaving the console in standby is to allow others to get your Wii. During times when all we hear on the news is global warning and saving electricity, leaving the console on for this reason seems a bit pointless. Why couldn't Nintendo store Wii's on their server in the same way Microsoft does it with GamerCards?
Also with the Wii, all users are represented with awkward-to-remember 12-digit numbers, rather than Xbox Live-style GamerTags. On top of this, both parties are required to add each other in order to be able to communicate through the Wii front end, rather than an invite going out from one to another. And as Pokémon has shown us in Japan, these Wii codes we use currently are just for the front end, with games having their own codes. It seems a bit pointless for the front end to have 'codes' in this day and age.
"For Christmas, Sony released Gran Turismo HD for free download... Nintendo released the original Super Mario Bros for $5.00 download."
Saying that, it is nice to have a web browser for the sake of it, but something I definitely wouldn't pay for once they start charging. Even if I am an Opera fanboy!
Look at Mii
Miis are simple animated graphical representations of the player, and one of the most striking aspects of the early Wii experience.
Carl: Mii's are essential for the Wii experience. It's all about getting into the game and feeling like you have a real presence. Every non-gamer that plays my Wii (my Wii gets much play) is impressed first by the motion control, and second for the Mii caricatures. I can only hope that Nintendo eventually gives us more Mii options to truly flesh out these characters, as well as more Wii games that utilize these kooky little people.
Daniella: These little guys are so much fun. I've been able to annoy the hell out of my family by turning them into stupid little Miis and then beating the crap out of them on Wii Sports. However, I'd also like to see more variety because at the moment they all still look really similar.
Sharan: Miis are easy to create, fun and can be used in game. Until online gaming launches properly on Wii, for now they're just a simple but effective gimmick.