the Wii relapse

Infendo

It’s been a week and my right arm’s gotten over the soreness just the other day. Yeah, i’ve been laying off of Wii Sports. Not that it aint fun anymore, but i haven’t played it with much anyone else. Kinda loses its appeal when that happens. Here’s my story, full with those trendy first lines in bold and length that screams “read more” buttons.

The night i got mine was at the Nintendo mecca of November 18/19: the New York Toys R Us on 42nd. I met with some old and new acquaintances, which meant i got to cut to their spot on the line. When the TRU lady came round asking if anyone needed wristbands, i said i did, pretending i’d been there for hours. Got away with that. Later on i found i didn’t need to, cause they had 5 G’s worth of Wiis in there and i was only about #200. To this day i’m amazed they managed to fit both that amount of Wii consoles and Reggie in the same space.

When they let us through at around 12:30am, we went through this cool, real-life version of Supermarket Sweep where we grabbed the remotes and nunchuks and games from big bins all over; the only thing missing was shopping carts. It was a fun experience, just because it was so damn easy to get everything you wanted and we barely waited in line. Our group got out at about 2 am, we parted, and i headed for my friend’s house.

That night, we played tennis till our arms fell off. And they did. It got serious, up to eye of the tiger status. Moreso with him and his 2 brothers, cause being the tennis nut that i am, i was just loving hitting those sweet backhands and forehands worthy of the J-block. Competition wasn’t that important, as long as i got to play. We logged in a total of 17+ hours into Wii Sports by the end of Saturday, mostly comprised of tennis.

Sunday morning i took this friend down to TRU so he could snag his own. No, it wasn’t another Wii success story, he had already planned to do it, but that Wii Sports binge only fueled his desire. And yes, there was a line, this time largely filled with parents, and i stood in line twice for the same thing without sleeping inbetween. This one wasn’t as together as the one from the night before, i assume because this time Nintendo staff wasn’t on hand and it wasn’t an event anymore. The line rarely moved a few feet, so my tired self got fed up, circumvented the line, walked into the Rzone with my friend’s money, cut the line for the register which wrapped around the entire Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation areas, and bought my second Wii in 12 hours. It was ridiculous how the people in line outside were set aside like cattle on the sidewalk while regular Toys R Us customers took priority. When i came out with Wii in tow, they looked shocked, but to my dismay no riot ensued.

I didn’t sleep till i got home on Sunday night, and two of my mates only “slept” for a few essential hours, enough to get moving again. As soon as we got back Uptown, my fatigue was overcome by the call of the baseline. Wii Sports is virtual crack for the multiplayer scene, and during that long long session of tennis (and baseball, and golf, and bowling), i realized that this was the funnest game ever made. I don’t think it’s arguable either. You get 3 buddies, drinks and food if you want, 4 remotes, and i dare you to tell me you didn’t have a blast. There wasn’t a shred of excitement or anticipation in me leading up to the day as you may’ve noticed, but it won me over tenfold.

Wii Sports is a hit, but not everything was peachy creamy. With as much faith as i had in Wii’s games — that’d be zero — i picked Raving Rabbids as my game to buy based on reviews and my newfound realization that Wii was a party system. It was funny, hilarious at times, but oh god what a mistake. It was like a 2003 Xbox tech demo. More importantly, it sucked hard to play. Just wasn’t fun. The dancing game and the rail shooter were decent, but that game on the whole was a train wreck for me. Now i have another realization, which is that Wii’s games are great. Great rentals.

I sold Rayman for Zelda and have been playing that for days. Link hasn’t ever looked better, and even though it feels like Ocarina 2, it’s a through and through masterpiece. The thing is, for a moment there, i was hoping that Wii effectively killed passive couch potato gaming. Link only gets excercise when he parries or in a horseback battle, and the opportunity comes infrequently. I could actually play lazier with the remote and nunchuk than with a gamepad because i can stand or sit there with arms on my side, totally un-into it. But i guess there is still a place for that veg out material on Wii, and there has to be a comedown from Wii Sports sometime. I just happen to like the new way to game better than the old way.

Me, Mii, and my Wii hope for more Wii Sports experiences, and are grateful for Elebits, WarioWare, and Wii Play in the next several weeks. As long as there’s more to follow and are worth the full retail price. Until then, sign me up for a Blockbuster membership.