Posts tagged Wii

The Nerdy Casual Gamer

Ok, let me preface by saying that I am in no way a “gamer”, but I do like to play video games. I have two of the three major systems in my house. Well, I have 3, but I only have a Playstation 2. We have both the Wii and the Xbox 360. And handheld-wise, we have Sony’s Playstation Portable and Nintendo’s DS. When I say we, I mean – my husband and I. The amount of money which has been spent on video games in our household could probably cure the national debt. Well, maybe not so much – but you get what I’m saying. We have a lot of games for all the systems. Our fearless leader, Miss Woots, had this idea about reviewing all the systems and asked for me to take a stab at it. So here we go. Again, this is from a standpoint of a casual gamer. Not a Fragg Doll.

Let’s begin our tale with the Playstation 2. Now, this system is a juggernaut. Sony has yet to stop releasing games for this system. Why? Because it had sold more units than any of the new generation systems (source). I still use my PS2. However, the only reason I use it is to play my favorite video game series (Kingdom Hearts). We have a few games for the console and we’ve owned it since March of 2003. We have yet had to replace it (*knock on wood*). Why on earth would Sony stop making the PS2 when they’re still selling consoles?

However, should the Kingdom Hearts series make its way to PS3, then this will be the title that will be a system buyer in our household. It’s unfortunate but true. There are many fun games on the PS3, but to me – it’s more about the Blu-Ray player than it is about the graphics. If you want a good Blu-Ray player, and wouldn’t mind playing some video games, then the PS3 is your ticket. The Playstation Network (comparable to Xbox Live’s network) is ok. You can download games, as well as stream movies from Netflix. However, when it comes to networks, I actually prefer Xbox to Sony. I know that I don’t own a PS3, but you can use the Playstation Network with the Playstation Portable (PSP). I would say that the Xbox interface is more user friendly.

Which brings us to the Xbox. The Xbox 360 is a great console. I love having one. I don’t play a lot of games, but the games that I do play, I have a ton of fun. Being able to talk with your friends via “party”, or just sending voice and/or text messages via the console is great. There are many games on that system that are meant for a casual gamer – such as, Castle Crashers and Peggle. I have spent many a night playing those two games with my friends. What’s great about Castle Crashers is that it is 4 person co-op game – you can play with up to 4 friends at the same time. This is one of the main reasons I love our Xbox. Xbox also has made it extremely easy to intergrate your “social network” through the console. When you have a Gold account (an Xbox Live account, essentially), you can access both Twitter and Facebook. You can tweet from you console, as well as update your FB status. For someone as directly connected to the social media network, I loved this integration. M$ gets points from me for this feature. Plus, with the Gold account, you can download trials for games that you may or may not want to play. It’s like a test drive for a car, but for video games. I’m sure we’ve all bought some pretty terrible games in our past. How great is that option? I mean, ‘Family Feud’ sounds fun and all, but is it really? Let’s download it and find out!

I’d like to take a minute and direct our attention to the handheld devices before I move on to the third and final console. I really don’t know what I would do when I go to the doctor’s office if I didn’t have my handheld devices. My DS saved my sanity when my mother was in the CCU a few years ago – but that’s neither here nor there.

As stated previously, I have both a DS (actually, I have a DS, a DS Lite and a DS XL) and a Sony PSP. Both are two very different machines. We purchased the DS a few months after launch (we have both the Gameboy SP and Gameboy Micro). I had gone to e3 in 2003 and played Mario Kart and then realized what a fun system it really was. Eventually, we bought two DS’. And that was a blessing in disguise because a game called “Animal Crossing” came out. I wish I was joking when I tell you that I played that game every single day for 3 years. That’s devotion. Or insanity. Or a little bit of both. There are a TON of games for the DS – my personal favorites are Super Mario 64 DS and then Kingdom Hearts 358/2 (surprised? i didn’t think so). Another great game for the DS – if you like role playing games – is ‘The World Ends With You’. There are Zelda titles, as well as fun games like ‘Scribblenauts’ – where you write a word and then a picture is drawn of that word. So, you write ‘elephant’ and an elephant appears. It’s fantastic! The DS also has the capability of going online – being able to play with players, as long as you have a friend code, for certain games. My love for the DS is never ending. The battery life is about 9-10 hours, give or take. I love the DS so much that when they release the new 3DS, we will be purchasing it for our household. I’d like to say we’ll be able to buy 2 at launch, but at a $300 (as of right now), that’s a little steep. But for sure our household will have one.

Now on to Sony’s Playstation Portable. I really like this system a lot. The graphics are far superior to that of Nintendo’s, however – it is a UMD system. A UMD is like a very small DVD (non technical term). Because it is a disc-driven system, the noise that it produces while trying to load is beyond ridiculous. There was one game I was playing and all I could think was “I think I can, I think I can” as I heard the UMD spinning. One game that I played ‘Final Fantasy VII:Crisis Core’ had cinematic cut-scenes that looked as if I was watching a DVD. Amazing. However, the noise of the UMD spinning is a bit distracting and makes it rather difficult to play the console in bed when your spouse is trying to sleep. Graphics – A+. Functionality – C. But, you can access the web with the PSP. So, there is that. And, you can use the PS Network, downloading games to your memory card (the DS has an internal memory, the PSP requires a memory card). The battery life for the PSP is about 5-7 hours, depending on if the game you’re playing requires a lot of juice (cue The Little Engine That Could).

Now, this casual gamer’s favorite console – the Nintendo Wii. I love my Wii. We’ve had it since launch, and we only just had to replace the hard drive this past summer (that was heartbreaking – losing all of my saved games? I held a funeral for them). The Wii is a perfect machine if you like to entertain. There are plenty of games that you can pick up while having friends over, and anyone can play. We’ve had quite a few parties where we end up playing ‘WarioWare’, basically throwing the Wiimote around like ‘hot potato’. And of course there’s Wii Sports. Who doesn’t love playing 4 person Mii Bowling? I think Nintendo finally found a niche – market to the casual gamers, or people who really had never played video games before. That’s not to say that there aren’t games on the Wii that are meant specifically for gamers (i.e. Red Steel, Goldeneye, etc). However, Nintendo is known for their heavy hitters – ‘Legend of Zelda’, ‘Mario’ and ‘Metroid’. ‘Mario Galaxy’ – both 1 and 2 – are fantastic games. They are easy enough for anyone to pick them up, but as the stages progress, you then find yourself feeling more like a gamer due to the difficulty level raising up quite a bit. If Nintendo were to only make those three games, I’d still be a fangirl. I love those characters that much.

This concludes our casual gamers’ look at the “console wars”. If you have a lot of friends that play the Xbox, buy an Xbox. If you are a person who loves technology and loves to have everything be crystal-clear images, buy a PS3. If you just like to entertain and have friends over, buy the Wii. And hand-held wise, prettier graphics – PSP. Hours and hours of entertainment without worrying if the battery is going to die – DS. I hope that what I’ve told you about may help sway you to purchase that particular console you’ve been eyeing.

Nike and the Wii

Just a quick post to add to my Wii extravaganza from earlier..
So, Nike commissioned something called the Nike 78 project, letting 78 artists take their shoes to innovate and completely change their shoe.. the article is here… and right below is the video to show how it works.. ENJOY!!!
Jess Del Pino
(the nerdy 1/2 of Hooked On Veg..
come on a veg-tastic voyage with us!!)

Let’s get on the Wii train…

Hello all.. I am going to try and show you how exercising can be fun as well as beneficial to your health. Today’s topic is the Wii. We all know it well. Host to many amazing innovations in gaming with their crazy controllers and add on controllers through the years. There was wheel that revolutionized Mario Kart and a gun holder you could put your regular controller in to help with FPS games. There was also an awesome board they introduced to help make the interactive experience come to life. The Wii Board helped bridge the gap between gaming and exercise I feel and even made getting into shape fun. These are my experiences with this idea and how it might be helpful for you too.

As the Wii gained popularity through the years they began to change their target audience to the senior generation by promoting exercise and better hand-eye coordination through their Wii Play games. Eventually they moved onto women with the Wii Fit. Oh the Wii Fit! That little on screen board is my workout friend, although some would say it does yell at you if you fluctuate your weight too much. Basically the idea behind the Wii Fit was to help promote balance and help you get in shape through prolonged low impact exercises. Each time you turn it on you were greeted by the little Wii Board and you could weigh yourself or play mini games and it would keep track of how long you would work out. The best thing is you could set up goals for yourself and it would track your daily progress, as long as you would use it that is. Wii-Fit is an excellent option for those gamers that may be willing to lose some extra pounds, visit for information about the latest dietary supplements.

I found the Wii Fit to be very fun and beneficial to helping me get off my lazy ass and actually getting fit enough to have energy and want to do more intense workouts. I definitely say that is a gem worth your time if you are just starting out. The games are fun and range from step aerobics to hula hoop. I really gravitated to this originally because it helped me with Yoga. The board gives you a chance to hold your position and measure how much weight you are putting on each leg to give you a more accurate idea of how to improve your stances. There are even balance games that make you forget that you are even working out. The on screen people are motivational and there are some pretty fun tips. The more time you log the more games you can unlock and it is definitely going to keep your interest for a while. Like anything though it will get old and you will have unlocked all the games and it might be time for something new.

So, you are more balanced then you were before and you are still looking to workout at home and inside then you can upgrade to the Wii Fit Plus, which has more games and fun. This one actually steps it up a notch and gives you a chance to go even further then before. There are new options to help you keep track of your fitness, like tracking how many calories you are burning and instead of choosing specifically which workouts you want to do there are actually predetermined routines to help you have a consistent flowing workout. The mini games are still way fun and help you gain better hand-eye coordination and balance. I guarantee that as you unlock the rest of these games you not only will be having fun, but you will be getting healthy and more in shape, improve your fitness results after reading this leptoconnect review.

If these still aren’t intense enough for you or maybe you made it through those games and you want more then I would say you can step up to the EA Sports Active. This takes the gaming we have been having fun with through aerobics and balance and steps it up even more by adding more of an exercise element to it. You are able to start a plan called the 30 day challenge,

where you can basically spend 30 or so minutes 4 to 5 times a week going through what the game picks for you to do. I actually went through and did this challenge on the most difficult setting there is and after every work out I was sweating and actually felt like I went to the real gym. It is still fun but it definitely takes it up a notch. The sensitivity for some of the workouts are more intense and you are doing more strength training. There are easy modes and easier workouts if you want to create your own routine to follow but I will say that if you want to have a personal trainer in your home I would go for this awesome exercise experience. It also adds a couple of elements to make your workout more intense. You now have a leg strap that you place the nunchuck in when you are doing jogging exercise or squats and you also have a resistance band to help you simulate lifting weights, which you can always simulate further if you make the band smaller.

There was an extension to the EA Sports Active that adds 30 new exercises and 6 new activities to go through. I think what I liked most about this is it is an add on so you can incorporate your old exercises with the new ones. Another thing that is cool is you can keep a daily diary to help you stay in shape through exercise but also keep track of your diet as well. It really helps stress how health is an overall experience that isn’t just about working out, but also about how you eat and treat your body by making sure you get enough rest. The reason this is my favorite is because you can basically create a virtual you that mimics your every move while you make it, like a cyber mirror.

There are plenty of exercise games that have come out since these such as The Biggest Loser, Gold’s Gym Cardio and even kids workout games like Active Life-Extreme Challenge. This console has spawned an entire workout community that would never have existed and even some of the people who were used to using workout tapes have switched to this when their favorite video trainers have gone to the Wii, like Jillian Michaels. Classically I feel like our generation hasn’t been one to be workout obsessed but I think that this gives us all a chance to get a little more in shape without killing ourselves and also while having fun. When I started using the games I mentioned I had not been an active person for many years and this jumpstarted me to wanting to be more healthy but in a more moderate sense. I feel now that as time goes on the games we play are going to promote exercise more discreetly and we will be getting off the couch to get more involved in our games. I can’t wait to get and review the Playstation Move and Xbobx Kinetic because they are totally getting on board with this idea. So, thanks Wii for paving the way!

(Now if only they could get me a DDR in my house I would be set.. haha)

This is what Grandma’s Boy was trying to convey.. and I am jealous of it..


Jess Del Pino

(the nerdy 1/2 of Hooked On Veg..

a funny health podcast and soon

to be all around get healthy website)

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Thanks for reading.. see you all next time,

same bat time same bat channel…


Holy Crapsicle, BATMAN!

Not only is Nintendo releasing a new Doctor Who game for the Wii…..but they’re also releasing a new Wii remote that looks like a SONIC SCREWDRIVER….! =^O (<–That’s my shock & awe face!)

Check it out here !

Oh, yes…………it will be MINE……….!


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