So, at 10:30pm on Saturday, I got in line at the Toys R Us. I was number 130. I wasnít too worried, because I had heard there were going to have 200 Wiiís.
Good lord, it was cold. 20 degrees. You could actually see the frost descend onto the cars. Thankfully, Toys R Us did an excellent, excellent job, opening the store at 11pm instead of 12 and allowing about 20 people at a time into the store. Granted, I didnít actually get inside until about 12:15am, but by then I had lost all feeling in my feet anyway. They also kept constant track of the count, so as soon as the line hit 200 people, the sent them home instead of making them sit outside for no good reason. I really canít say enough of the job they did.
Anyway, 2 guys from Destineer were in the line next to me (I believe formerly Macsoft/Wizardsoft, they do a lot of ports but have some originals). We chatted about games, Superman, you name it. It was an oddly pleasant time, even though I shivered so much my legs cramped up. But at least I was dressed for it, one of the Destineer guys was in shorts. In Minnesota. And the man wasnít even a native; heís from Utah.
So we get in, I grab me a Wii, Zelda, another game I canít mention since itís for Xmas, and another Wiimote. Nunchucks are sold out everywhere. Got in, got out, got home at a quarter to 1. Had to spend time warming up enough and winding down enough to go to bed.
By morning, my promise to not open this thing till Xmas was a broken, shattered thing.
Yeah, it was worth it. I dunno that Iíd ever do that sort of thing again, and if itís a winter launch, I dunno that Iíd do it without one of those portable fire pits or my own uh....heated RV or something. But it was fun, and Iím glad I did it. I would have been glad even if I had bombed out, it was an interesting experience. Nintendo fans apparently don't go to these things armed, and very few were planning to ebay anything.
Wii isnít revolutionary in graphics or raw power, but that Wiimote is fun as hell. And it gives you choice, because you donít have to stand up and make wild swings of the bat, you can do it from the couch. Itís just more fun standing. And never ever ever have a talked to so many non-gamers who actually want to play with it. Nintendo is going to hit it big with that Wiimote.
The pack in game, WiiSports, is pretty simplistic, but oddly fun. Mostly because itís a novelty game the way Duck Hunt was on the NES, and I donít see people firing it up a year from now. But bowling is neat as hell, and baseball is a very satisfying game when you smack the tar out of the ball and knock it out of the park. The feedback you get just really adds to the whole experience, so much so that I might actually purchase an actual sports game some day, something I totally donít do because to me, playing sports games is about as exciting watching mud dry.
Zelda is Zelda. Combat is interesting though, using the 'mote, and for the most part, natural feeling. For something that was sort of tacked on at the last minute, they did a good job. About the only thing that isn't natural feeling is the spin attack, but everything else flows really well.
The only downside so far is that Iím having a hell of a time connecting to WiiConnect24, which is I suspect because the servers are getting beaten alive by all the new accounts. Hopefully that all gets worked out quickly, but I canít say I was all that surprised by it. You never have enough servers for a launch, period. If itís still a problem a week from now, then Iíll be annoyed.
(update: actually, I had to change my routers channel to 1, and that fixed that.)
Overall, MAJOR thumbs up. Itís small, looks good next to the 360, and the Wiimote is love. Pure, pure love.
It's a short holiday week, and I got to get to work.
You go have a day.