Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Wii Classic Controller

Monday, April 30th, 2007

With the ability to download old school retro Nintendo games via the Wii’s Virtual Console (VC), has come the need of a new controller, the Classic Controller was born. Nintendo launched the Classic controller with the Wii several months ago.

I personally think that the VC is a really smart thing that Nintendo have incorporated into the Wii, letting them sell their old games to us again. Great marketing strategy.

However this review is not about the VC (although it is very much related) but rather the classic controller. I honestly don’t like it! The first time I picked it up I thought wow this is really uncomfortable and not ergonomic at all. I would of expected Nintendo to of put some effort into making the controller ergonomic and comfortable to hold for extended periods of play. It seems however that they are not worrying about it.

Another thing, I think that they could have had the cable that connects it to the Wii remote come out of the top of the controller and not the bottom, then it could flow from the top of the classic controller into the bottom of the Wii remote, this is only a minor let down.

Nintendo could of put more effort into the design of the controller after all it will keep us playing on it for longer. Another thing that is rather poor about the Classic Controller is, how it can sometimes get the neutral positions messed up during loadings. (Usually happens if you are accidentally leaning on the controller or moving the thumb pads whilst loading). At least there is a way to fix this, all you have to do is hold the + button,- button, a button and b button at the same time for three seconds. This will then reset the controller to be neutral.

Put this out of your mind and the Classic controller does exactly what it is suppose to do, let you play the old school retro games that you can download via the VC. The controls on the thumb pad seem to be very accurate and smooth to use in all the games I have played.

Another neat thing about the Classic Controller is you can use it instead of the Wii remote to navigate the channels, which is really great if you are laying down playing Wii or don’t feel like flailing your arms around all the time.

Final thoughts on the Classic Controller:

  • I think Nintendo could of put more effort into the design of the controller, making it more ergonomic and comfortable to hold
  • Being able to play games on your Wii (VC games) without having to swing your arms all over the place is fantastic
  • The ability to use the Classic Controller to browse the Wii menu and channels is a really great thing no need to use the Wii remote for everything

Review: Final Version Of Wii Opera Browser

Friday, April 13th, 2007

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With the release of the final version of the Opera browser yesterday, I have to say that I am rather impressed (writing this on it now though I wont do the whole post to hard to type lol)

Sure I never really used the beta of it, so it is all new to me, however, I think that the final version of the Wii browser is fantastic it’s great to be able to browse the internet pointing with the Wii remote whilst laying down or just sitting back. Once you have zoomed in to a comfortable zoom level the text is very clear and easy to read.

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Start Menu

The main start page has a very nice clean interface as you can see from the pictures, if you are stuck with the controls that are used with the Opera browser simply click the Wii remote diagram and all the controls will be revealed to you.

It is pretty limited in what things you can change within the Opera Browser, for instance you cannot turn pictures on or off, you can adjust the zoom settings from automatic to manual. I find that automatic is the best mode to be in for general browsing however there only appears to be two levels of zoom when in it, so if you want to be able to have more control over your zoom options I suggest you use the manual mode.

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Settings

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More settings although not enough

You can set if you want, the view bar to hide automatically, never or on the control of a button. Button mode would probably be the best in my opinion.

Set which search engine you would like to use. The search function is really neat! You just click the button enter your search terms and it loads up the search results page (Google or Yahoo).
Delete cookies, no explanation needed.
Finally you can mess with your proxy settings.

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Interface

Basically the main things you need are covered but more advanced features are lacking. Still it’s only for browsing on the Wii so you don’t really need to have all the things a fully functioned web browser has.

The favourites menu is very nice, make sure you add The1Qwerty in there 😛

Netvibes even works (well kind of you can’t read the posts properly, but the headlines are fine).

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Netvibes on Wii browser

I did find that a few things are lacking from the Internet channel such as:

  • More advanced features
  • Tabbed browsing
  • A RSS reader would of been really nice

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The1Qwerty on the Wii browser

Overall the final product is very impressive, visually appealing and all that is really required in a web browser for the Nintendo Wii. Plus it is free to download for a limited amount of time, (grab it whilst you can) so you cannot really complain about it.

GO3: World in Conflict Hands On Review

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

I was lucky enough to spend some enjoyable time playing World in Conflict (pre alpha edition) at the recent GO3 Electronic Entertainment Expo. All I can say is wow, it’s an awesome game. World in Conflict I think will redefine the whole RTS genre with its very different attack on game play.

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Nice nuke there.

First off what is World in Conflict all about? World in Conflict (WiC) is set during 1989, in West Germany where the Soviet Union are advancing into Europe, NATO responds to the attack only to be under fire from a second front. By this stage the Soviet Union, have made a diversion attack on the American homeland. In the single player campaign you are a field commander fighting to reclaim American cities and suburbs.

The graphics in WiC are absolutely amazing, words cannot describe how awesome they really are, and its only in pre-alpha so who knows how far they will go. One of the things I did notice was lacking in the pre-alpha is that when the tanks go over the bridge you will see in my video, they are not reflected on the water. Thats about the only criticism I have to give on the game though. The nukes are just awesome and when you move in and out of the nuked area your vision goes all black and white with lines moving around.

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Go Go Go

WiC is underdevelopment by Massive Entertainment, and will be published by Sierra.

I feel that WiC will redefine the RTS genre with it’s new and original attack on game play (I certainly haven’t seen anything like it). Think of a hybrid between Battlefield and Command & Conquer, the RTS side of things in C&C and the holding of checkpoint game play style of Battlefield, effectively combines to create one fast intense game.

The controls in WiC are very different from what you would expect of an RTS, it took me a few minutes to work out what was going on, but once you have it worked out you can control your units easily and effectively.

In WiC you don’t use the mouse to change the part of the map you see but rather wasd, which is a very interesting new way of controlling an RTS game, I found this rather confusing at first seeing as traditional RTS games use the mouse to move the view screen around. Luckily Andy from Sierra was there and helped me out on getting things underway. Once the basics of the game have been grasped it’s very intuitive to play.
The menu that appears is also very helpful in terms of working out how to play the game.

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One of the really cool things about WiC is the wide range of camera angles you can play the game from. Almost any angle you want. This is thanks to the MassTech Engine, which is propriety software of Massive it gives you full 360 range of camera movement, and lets you get right into the midst of battle almost like an FPS. Scrolling the middle button zooms you in and whilst holding down the middle button and using a combination of wasd you can move around the map like being a spectator in a FPS game, it’s fantastic!

WiC is not like your ordinary RTS in more ways than just the controls, for instance there is no need to sit around and build a base, your straight into the game starting off with resources that let you buy units straight off and start fighting.
You don’t even have to collect resources, you get a constant flow of resources that is controlled by the amount of territory you control. The more territory you have the more resources that come in.
Controlling territory is very much like taking checkpoints in Battlefield, you sit a unit on it and you take control, that simple. To get units onto the battlefield, you simply select your dropzone (where you want to deploy your units) select which units you would like, then click deploy. The units will then be air dropped onto the battlefield ready to fight!

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WiC has four different battlefield roles, Air, Armour, Infantry and Support. Each role has its advantages. I only played as Armour since using tanks to destroy opponents really interested me, in light of things now I wish that I had tried out different roles. I did however, see the other roles in action though and the infantry units are very highly detailed. (Really good for a pre-alpha)

Destructible scenery, everything within WiC can be destroyed, even forests can be burnt down, giving a tactical advantage for getting units across a map. In the video footage I have you can see how my tanks actually push burnt out tanks out of the way when moving around.

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Burnt out trees

WiC has got some great super weapons, that are not only extremely powerful, the damage that they cause is amazing from a graphics point of view. Nothing like seeing a nuke go off in WiC the graphics are far superior to C&C3, and any other RTS currently on the market.

In most RTS games you can’t join the game once it’s started, this however, is not the case with WiC as you can join a multiplay game at anytime. You can just jump into battle and immediately start assisting your team, to help take control of the map.

Whilst I was playing WiC at GO3 I had a nice little chat with Andy from Sierra, and the general gist of what I herd was that, there will be an open beta. Andy also said that there will be some new information about the game (something big I think) coming out within the next few weeks.

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I know that I have missed something about this awesome game, there is so much to tell. Well worth getting at the end of this year, along with a new PC upgrade that will most likely be needed to play the game to it’s fullest.

WiC will be a new extremely tactical, fast and furious multiplayer game, that will diversify the RTS genre and start something new.
I am going to give the pre-alpha 8/10.

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Note

I am having trouble converting the video footage I have check back in a few days and I will have it all sorted.

Wii Lan Adapter Review

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Finally I can connect my Wii to the net. After sending off to Nintendo to get a Wii Lan adapter it came taking less than a week which in my eyes is very good not to much time sitting around waiting for it to arrive.

First Impressions:
Well to start it did not come in any real kind of packaging just in a small clear plastic bag, but that does not really matter as it would of only ended up in the rubbish. The important thing is that I can now connect my Wii to the internet. The quaility of the adapter is top notch, and is very solid and sturdy. You simply plug it into the rear of the console in one of the two USB ports.

Appearance:
I was actually rather surprised with the lan adapter to be honest, because it was not white like the rest of the Wii, but then after thinking about it, it makes sense as to why its grey, and that it was probably done like that because it is the same grey colour of the rest of the cables, and fits into the colour scheme nicely.

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Wii Lan Adapter.

Setting it up:
Whats the first thing you should do when you get a new piece of hardware? Read the instructions, but did I do that? Nope (Mistake No 1) I just jumped straight into it powered up my Wii and plugged it in (Mistake No 2). Went to the Wii settings and setup the connnection for the wired settings. Then I tried to connect to the internet with my Wii, and guess what it failed and did not connect. Why was this? Mainly because of mistake no 1 not reading the manual but mistake no 2 should of been rather obvious, you see you have to plug in the Wii Lan Adapter whilst the Wii is turned off and also plug the lan end into your lan network whilst it is off, otherwise it will not connect to the internet full stop and you will be presented with a variety of errors all of which could be avoided by following the instructions.

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Wii Lan Adapter Connected to Wii.

Overall:
The Wii lan adapter does what it is intended to do, and that is connect the Wii to the internet via a wired network and it does this very well.