Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Review of My Wii

Let me get the jokes out of the way first:

- My Wii is small, hard and white.
- Many people can play with my Wii at one time.
- Stuff comes out of my Wii when you touch it in the right place.
- Etc. L0Lx0Rz.

Now, by popular request, here is what I think of the Nintendo Wii.

From the moment it's turned on for the first time, I was struck by how smooth and white everything is. It's very pretty to look at. The control in the Wii's built-in software is also surprisingly slick. It's pretty much like controlling a cursor with a laser pointer; just point where you want it to go. However, whenever you move over a menu item, the controller vibrates slightly, giving it a tactile element. It feels nice.

The Wii's interface consists of several "channels" that you can browse through. One channel is the currently inserted game, but it also comes with a few built in channels. The one we played first was the "Mii channel", where you can create little polygonal characters that can be used in certain games. Of course, the first thing we did was create everyone in the room, and then all of our close friends. Here is me as a Mii: (photos courtesy of Nick. Thanks Nick.)



The Mii thing alone is highly addictive, and shows off the kind of thing the Wii is meant for: simple but fun little games that everyone can pick up and play. Even V liked it, but she probably won't admit it.

The Wii comes with a full game, Wii Sports. This, too, is a fun but shallow little game, with bowling, boxing, tennis, golf, and baseball. It shows off the other thing the Wii controller can do (in addition to acting as a pointer): motion sensing. You play most of the games as if you are holding the sport's tools (instruments? what the hell do you call things you do sports with?). That is, you swing it like a bat in baseball, whack with it like a racket it tennis, etc. It's very fun, and you immediately know how to play without any instructions. However, as I said, Wii Sports is quite shallow. You can play each sport over and over, and it tracks your progress and gets harder so you're constantly challenged, but that's pretty much it. I can see it getting old pretty quick. Still, for a "free" game, it's pretty good.

Here are some action shots of me and Nick playing sports:





The only other game I've played is Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. I can see how some people would be into this game, but personally, I hate it. It's weird, because it's rare that I outright hate a game. It's just really frustrating though, because all you do is try to get through the level with your little monkey in a ball, trying not to fall over the edge and die, instantly, over and over. Bleh. Not for me.

The last thing I've tried so far is the Virtual Console. This lets you download games from old systems, like the NES, Super NES, Genesis, even Turbografx 16. Nice. So far I've gotten Bonk's Adventure and Golden Axe. They look even crappier than I remember, which is awesome in a retro sort of way. I'm looking forward to when they get some better games on there though, like the old Super Mario 1, 2 and 3, Zelda for SNES, etc. Right now the selection is limited.

So overall, I like the Wii. The built-in stuff is all awesome, the controller gives a whole new feel to playing video games, and the games (except Super Monkey Ball...more like STUPID Monkey Ball) are fun. It's mostly potential at this point though; the games I've played, both regular and Virtual Console, are fun for a while but not deep enough to play for more than a few minutes at a time. Zelda: Twilight Princess should be arriving as soon as Best Buy gets it in stock, and then I'm sure I'll be even happier with the thing.

I recommend that everyone gets a Wii. Even you non-gamer people will have fun with it. Oh, and it counts as exercise, too. You want to be healthy, don't you?

Here is one last picture, with no connection to the rest of the post other than it was taken on the same day I got the Wii.



It's the dog, Willow. Cuuuuuute.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pacific Mall. Wii.

So last weekend I went to Pacific Mall. It's the largest indoor Asian mall in North America. It was pretty kickass, with so many things that you wouldn't see in any other mall in Canada. Like DVDs that cost $20 for 7 of them. Depending on how lucky you are, some of them are actually DVD quality. The rest? A poorly compressed video of a guy in the movie theatre with a camcorder. Nice. And it's all perfectly legal, I'm sure.

Here are crappy cell phone pictures of other fun stuff.



This is basically what it looks like in there.



A robot liger. Awesome. The liger is pretty much my favourite animal.



This turtle's neck is friggin long. I think it's a mutant. And probably a teenager.



Hairy tattooed man-ass.



You can't really see it, but this is a screen along one of the hallways where they show a live feed of people getting tattoos inside the store. Neat.



Ancient stone relics guard the women's washroom.



Awesome fake iPods.

The other thing I did last weekend was extremely nerdy. I probably shouldn't be making this public. I waited in line to buy a Nintendo Wii. It's not as bad as some people; I only waited 3 hours, indoors, as opposed to the poor bastards who waited since 2 A.M. in the cold. I didn't even intend to wait in line...I just drove by the mall and happened to see a security guard letting a bunch of people in early, so I followed the crowd and ended up with a good place in a line. It would've been just wrong to give up such a privileged spot, right? Right? I'm normal right?

I managed to avoid getting shot. I guess Nintendo fans are less prone to violence than followers of Sony. There was almost a fight at the front of the line, though, so maybe not.

Here is a picture of the other hopeless losers in line with me. At least some were smart enough to bring chairs and/or entertainment with them.



Friday, November 24, 2006

Cars Suck

I had a dream last night where I was travelling somewhere in the United States. I hate driving (in real life, and in my dream), so I was worried when I discovered that I would have to merge onto a big-ass highway which I saw on my map. However, when I got there, I saw that it was not quite a traditional highway. Instead of driving, you park at the base of a giant tower. You then take an elevator to the top, and there, you are given a piece of wood that looks sort of like a cross between a skateboard and a luge. Then you slide down this giant rubber ramp on the board. It had many lanes, you could go as fast as you want, and even if you fall off your board, it's ok because you're landing on rubber. There are ramps going both ways, so you can get wherever you need to go. It was much much funner than driving on a regular highway.

I think they should implement these in real life. The only problem is, how do you get your car back from the parking lot at the tower? My brain didn't think of that detail. Please try harder next time, brain.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'm Still Alive

I just don't have much time to do the blog thing. I did have quite the adventuresome weekend though, so I should post pictures and write about that here (mostly for myself when I get old and don't actually remember it any more). Briefly, I went to what's basically a foreign country on Friday, then on Sunday I committed an act of geekery so horrendous that Bill Gates would probably laugh at me, call me a loser, and stuff me in a locker.

To keep you loyal readers entertained, though, here is what came up when I searched for "funny picture" in Google:



Funny!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An - Throw - Po - Morph - Ick

My novel is coming along steadily, but not at the pace it needs to be at in order to finish 50 000 words by the end of the month (it's still under 8000 right now). Still, I gotta try, and that means I can't waste time blogging. Unless it's about the novel. Which this is. Hi.

Oh, it also has a tentative title now. "Anthropomorphic". I like one-word titles, and this one pretty much sums up the concept. If the school system failed you in the vocabulary department, look it up. Then see below for an example of an anthropomorphically rendered squirrel. Then, as homework, please use the word "anthropomorphically" at least 3 times in conversation today. Thanks.



Friday, November 10, 2006

To Him, Life is a Great Big Bang Up


Holy crap, there's a new Spiderman 3 trailer. And just like the trailers for previous Spiderman movies, it gives away the entire plot.

So here is my early review of Spiderman 3 (spoilers ahead!):

It was a very entertaining movie. There was more action than in the previous movies, which was good. Peter finally got some action himself with Mary Jane, on a giant web. Action is his reward, after all. Gwen Stacey also showed up, and he may have gotten a little on the side with her, but it really wasn't his fault, because he was possessed by an evil black goo from space. Still, this makes Peter pretty confused, especially after he realizes that Mary Jane would look better with blonde hair and Gwen Stacey would look better with red hair. If only he could invent a machine to combine them. Next movie maybe?

Now, in the comic books, I don't remember Sandman being the one who killed Peter's uncle. I bet this will piss a lot of people off. However, it does have a certain elegance to it, with the Green Goblin Harry Osborn revenge story coming to a climax in this sequel. Both Peter and Harry get to deal with revenge in different yet similar ways. It works out nicely.

And Venom (the combination of the evil black space goo and Topher Grace) is awesome, but is really only in the movie for a few minutes. This is probably good, or else the Spiderman series would fall into the Batman series' "too many villain" shittiness.

Overall, I really enjoyed Spiderman 3, and I look forward to seeing it.

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can,
Spins a web, any size,
Oh my God, he's eating flies!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Template


I had to change the look of the blog because I switched to Blogger's new beta site. I know it's much worse than the old one, but oh well. I'll fix it later. It needs to be much wider.

There's a picture of me here because I had to upload it to put in my profile over to the right. In it, I am sneering at someone. Don't fuck with me or I'll sneer at you next.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Growing Pains

No time. Gotta write a novel. My good friend, whose secret internet identity is, as of today, "M-one", also signed up for NaNoWriMo. That's awesome, because I think he has the ability to make a kickass story, and also because it'll motivate me to write more. It's sorta like competition now.

In other words news, I've converted to Christianity. Why? Bananas. It's so obvious. Click here to bask in the good news (with a little help from Kirk Cameron).

P.S. You know, Growing Pains really was a great show. Even watching old episodes now, it's still pretty funny. Remember the episode when Mike Seaver skipped school, and was completely shocked to find out that the world continues to operate even when he's not participating in it? That's deep stuff for a sitcom. God bless Alan Thicke.



Sunday, November 05, 2006

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

After being reminded by Shora and I Should Be Writing that this month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I've gone and signed up to participate. That means I'm supposed to write a 50 000 word novel by the end of the month. You can keep track of my progress, and everyone else's, at the official web site.

I ain't never written a novel before. The longest thing I've written is my Masters thesis, which took just a bit longer than a month (um, 2 years), and was only 25 000 words. Keeping with the spontaneous spirit of the event, I decided not to waste one of my golden story ideas on something that will end up being crappy and rushed, so I just closed my eyes while I took a dump and waited for my brain to generate a novel (in both senses of the word) idea. What came was a jumble of westerns, a murder mystery, and squirrels. Hmmm...you know, brain, that doesn't sound all that good, but I'll write down what you tell me to and see what happens.

I started late (on the 5th of November...remember remember), so I'll have to write 2000 words or so a day. Yeah. Right. I'm destined to fail, but it's the participation that matters more than success. Maybe I'll work my way up to actually completing NaNoWriMo next year, but for now, I'll just give myself an A for effort.

You should write a novel too.



Thursday, November 02, 2006

South Park is God

I have nothing to say today, but everyone should watch the episode of South Park embedded below. It's pure genius. It combines everything from the Nintendo Wii to Richard Dawkins and intelligent design in classrooms. Awesome.