Monday, November 5, 2007

Wee for Wii.

Yep, I literally broke the bank for it, but I'm finally a proud albeit nearly bankrupt owner of a nintendo Wii set, which means I'll be having bread and water for the next two months. Seriously. Naturally and understandably, the Significant Other was none too pleased. But thankfully, he does understand and forgive (somewhat) my transgressions even though they probably piss him off no end. ^^

For finger idiots like me who suck at your classical controller kind of console games (ie: PS3, XBox 360, etc), Wii was a refreshing change because it empowers the gamer to execute the moves through a series of hand/arm movements that are instinctively (for me at least) easier to pull off with the desired results. Attempting to twist rebellious joysticks or smashing control pads into submission in order to produce a particular combo failed more often than not, leaving sore thumbs, chapped skin and a healthy string of curses.

The 'exercise while gaming' bit, just a convenient side benefit though it remains a useful excuse for explaining away the sizeable sum spent on the wii. The packaged Wii sports, especially tennis, does make one work up a sweat after a while as one swings, punches and bats one's way through the various matches. You also get your 'Wii age' ascertained through a series of tests that aim to determine your reflex actions and accuracy, I was deemed to be a dismal 69 years after the first round. I blame it on the controls.

Anyhow, the major fun factor thus far have been provided by the other games, specifically the fantastic Naruto: Clash of the Ninja Revolution. Bleach is rather enjoyable too, the graphics are good and you can play up to 32 characters from the anime after having unlocked all of them. The story however differs from the anime and because the gameplay involves a lot of hacking/slashing and thrusting with the Wii remote, your arm feels like its going to drop off after 15 -30 mins.

Naruto however is a real blast, it follows the anime religiously and the gameplay while involving more use of the buttons, is more instinctive and certainly easier on the arms than Bleach. You start out with 8 playable characters and unlock the remaining 12 by completing missions with different characters which in turn unlock more missions and new characters. The moves are relatively easy to execute once you get the hang of it and you get to execute the signature jutsu by the various characters, Chidori by Kakashi, Shikamaru's Shadow Bind Technique, Gaara's Desert Coffin, etc by shaking the remote and nunchak as displayed onscreen.

My personal favourite remains Orochimaru, fast with the ability to execute flashy combos with normal moves that land the most hits, his snake sword jutsu is both deadly with a sick range that allows him to impale opponents to devastating effect. Itachi is a little overpowered, probably the fastest character in the game, he is able to disappear and ambush with startling alacrity and his dreaded Mangekyo Sharingan ability, Tsukuyomi eliminates up to 65% of an opponent's life, only less than Naruto's very flashy Rasengan which does up to 75% damage but requires Naruto to have 40% life or less.

The cheapest character by far has to be Temari, the wind bitch. Unparalleled at range, she does a nasty knockup at close range and her special jutsu is unblockable. She remains the only character I obtained Hokage rank with after completing the mission arc on normal difficulty. Anthony came over the other day and we were playing vs the comp which while incredibly entertaining, gets very messy when you have 4 characters flying about all over the screen but it introduces a dynamic aspect not found in your usual 1 vs 1 game, such as deciding whether to do a tag team on a particular character first.

And of course free for alls in 4 way fights between Anthony, Kevin, me and one Hard computer are orgies of combos, yelps and special jutsus that don't always hit their intended target. Usually we team up against the computer first, trying to shake off the rabid dog while taking as little damage as possible then ganging up on whoever has the most life left before slugging it out. I must say Naruto has been one of the more enjoyable console games I've played so far, the Shippuuden version which allows players to play up to 64 characters (*swoon*) should be out next year hopefully. I can hardly wait.

For now though, the dreaded exams are looming and it's time to start mugging. Really Really soon.

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