August 18, 2007: No More Wii

I went to bed early last night which worked out really well since I got paged out at a little before four in the morning! I ended up working for four hours before Dominica or Oreo even got up.

Once everyone got up I went to give the Wii another try and discovered that the piece of junk, being just six days old, had completely died already. It fires up but cannot read any discs anymore. If you put anything into the drive it just makes awful sounds and crashes. I thought that the unit was shoddy before but this is ridiculous. This is the first video game console that I have ever had die on me and I have had many over the years. Never before have I been so unhappy with a video game purchase. Avoid the Wii at all costs. I had hoped to not have gotten this one but Dominica really wanted it to play Trauma Center so we got it. Big mistake.

We thought about going to look at another apartment today but decided that the location wasn’t as good as where we are now and that the prices were not low enough to make moving worth it so we decided against that. We called Target and they had just gotten another shipment of Wiis in this morning but they were going fast and they were not willing to hold one for us even though we had the broken one in hand so we packed up the Wii and ran to Target as quickly as possible to get our unit exchanged. Target had five left when we arrived and they didn’t give us any hassle about exchanging the broken one.

After Target we went to the Shannon Rose for fish and chips.  It was a hot day but we ate outside and parked the BMW right next to where we were eating so that we were able to have all of the windows all of the way down and Oreo was completely comfortable temperature wise and was able to watch us eat and we were able to keep an eye on him.

We hit GameStop on Route 3 and picked up Wii Play (the boxed version with the free additional Wii Remote) and a used copy of Rayman’s Raving Rabbits.  With this we pretty much own any game that anyone could want for the Wii.  Reviews that I have read list the games that we have (minus Wii Play which has horrible reviews) as everything worth owning on the Wii.

We came home and hooked up the new Wii.  So far, this one seems to be working.  We played through Wii Play (yes, we played through the entire game) in about half an hour.  It might be a good game for very small children or young children who need a gentle introduction to how to use the Wii controller.  But for anyone else the game is insanely boring and simplistic.  This highlights one of my biggest complainsts about the Wii – that the strange controls are so complex that the casual gamer and the simplistic games available for the platform aren’t appropriate matches for the system.

The one interesting thing about Wii Play was its Eight Ball game which is  a very simple pool game.  Like everything else on the Wii the graphics were blah but what really stood out as being cool was the incredible physics modeling used in the game.  Using the Wii Remote as a pool cue is actually a very good interface to the game too.  Unfortunately because it is a part of Wii Play the eight ball game lacks a lot of what it should have but we have learned that pool and billiards on the Wii could be a lot of fun.  So we are on the lookout for a billiards simulator for it.  So far, Pool Party is the only game that we have discovered existing and we have not seen it in stores yet.

If you buy the boxed set of Wii Play you get a free Wii Remote which is a $40 in a $50 set making Wii Play itself only $10.  Possibly worth it.  Especially if you anticipate small children using the system regularly.  Wii Play alone used was $30 – an extremely bad bargain.

We also played a little of Rayman’s Raving Rabbits which is cute.  It doesn’t knock your socks off and it is very depressing that this is listed as one of the absolute “must haves” for the Wii but it isn’t a bad game.  The real fun of Rayman is in being a multiplayer “party” game with lots of simple to play games included.  We only played a few but can see using it when people come over.  Not the kind of game that you buy the system for but definitely a good choice for people who want to have the system ready for when some friends come over to visit and you are tired of board games.

We hooked up the Internet again and got the new Wii set up like the old one was with our weather and news channels.  We took the time to go online and buy the Opera web browser for it (an additional $5 or 500 Wii Points) which allows us to use the Wii to surf the web.  Which sounds funny but it is very handy for casual browsing in the living room.  We also set up our Wii mail so that we can send and receive email from other Wii users.

We ordered in Chinese from Golden City and watched Full House season seven.  Oreo was being ultimately snuggly and pawed at me until we brought him up to sit on our laps while we watched the show.

Overall we took it pretty easy today.

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