Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Things Rising from the Dead

Well, not really, but I'm no longer witty anymore, so it'll have to do.

Stumbled upon my old blog, The Procrastinator Triumphant. I was pretty sure I had killed the blog, but I guess nothing's really dead when it comes to the internet. I read a little bit of it and I was like, impressed. The vocabulary! The vulgarity! The blantant lack of respect! Crazy. It was kinda a nice reminder that everything changes, no matter how similar and boring you might think it is.

Well, that's enough penny philsophy.

So the "Love" album came out today, and I am quite curious and a little disappointed in a way. I'm listening to the preview on the Beatles.com website, and some of it sounds quite the same, and some of it just seems wonky. Like Number 9 from the White Album just broke free and tried to infest the rest of the albums. It's a strange remix/reworking, not really what I expected. I think when I think remix, I think of Fatboy Slim and other kinds of DJs just putting in beats and souping it up. The remix seems different and yet, very much the same. No word on whether or not I'll be getting it. Don't know how I feel about it.

So as promised, the thing about the Wii.

I think it's really something for the company to reinvent itself. I think in a lot of ways, Nintendo is like Apple - a formerly very strong company that's having to fight for its life, and realizing that the best thing going for the company is its innovation. Instead of pimping out their next-gen console with micro-processors and Blu-Ray madness, it decided to go back to basics, and do something different. Does it pay off? So far, yes and no. The games are certainly different in their feel - you seriously couldn't sit down for hours playing like you would some other games, because fatigue does set it when you're swinging, twitching, jerking and extending your appendages to do what you need to do in the game. I think that the launch games are okay, but definitely there needs to be more games to gauge. And half of the features like internet, the Virtual Console, Wii News and Weather are still offline, so it's really tough to tell. Some of the other games might have online capability, but I don't like a lot of the other games, so I'll have to keep waiting for one.

Like I said, I welcome the new control scheme, though there has been a number of times I'd really just like to relax my arms and sit down. But it's fairly difficult to do so since there's so much require movement. Shooting games like Red Steel doesn't fair too terribly well when you're sitting because there isn't enough room, and it's tough to pretend to shoot from the hip.

The lack of CD/DVD drive is a little weird, not that I need one, but hey, it would be cool. The Photo Channel is nice, having the ability to preview your SD photos, but then again, it doesn't read the movies from my Minolta. It'll help when I need to show my recent photos, but by no means anything more than that. And they really should have done the photo-editing more justice by making it more open ended, like Mario Paint. It gives you a lips stamp and a star stamp, which really should be replaced with a keyboard or fonts.

All and all, it still comes back down to gameplay I suppose. There's still something to be said about a standard controller and console whereby I don't have to stand or fling my arms around to be entertained. But Wii is a great party machine, a good console for a household with stagnant kids, and generally a happy little machine.

Doesn't play Gears of War, but hey. I don't have 600 bucks either.

Sorry, 1,200 bucks, if you want to get your hands on one.

This is for Dansen's request to post some Wii photos.

My wife playing Rayman. It should be noted that most of the time when we're playing the Wii, we're usually standing. You don't have to, but it helps get into it.

Where it's located in the entertainment center. It's actually small enough to place vertically on a shelf, surprisingly.

Everything I got, except Zelda, which I'm selling. Just not that much into Zelda.

To compare, the Wii next to a standard DVD case. It's really not much thicker either, I think I read that it was 3 DVD cases thick.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wii Timeline

Never thought I would be one of those folks who camp out overnight for a console launch, but since I've been obsessing about it for months, I thought I might as well get one. Now we had two preorders which we were planning to put on ebay, but we decided to get one for ourselves with the possible profit from the sale of both Wiis.

Anywho, I had a wedding yesterday, an eight hour gig that ended at 9:30pm, so I thought I'd try for the midnight launch at Freddy's. But getting there, I had the feeling that it wasn't going to happen, because the line was already from one end of the building to the other. I approached the last guy in line and he was the 120th, and since I knew there were only going to be 90 Wiis, I told them good luck and went home.

Now despite my educated guess that I will probably be within the 99th customer range if I went to Target at 2 or 3 in the morning, I couldn't relax and my headache wasn't getting better, so I decided to head over to Target at 12:30am, some 7 and a half hours before the store was to open, and camp out there. I wore flannel jammie pants under my jeans, a t-shirt, a fleece sweatshirt, and two jackets, a baseball cap, and packed a sleeping bag, my laptop, some magazines, and a folding chair and headed over to Target.

When I got there, the line had grown slightly since I swung by two hours before, so I staked out my spot, and got comfy. I tried reading, but the words weren't making a whole lot of sense since my headache was still kicking my butt. But here's the approximate timeline.

Got there. Found out that there were a few people there who were in other lines at other places. The guy in front of me had been at Toys R Us for 2 to 3 hours and he was just 2 people short of getting a ticket. He headed over to Target immediately without packing for the over night. There were canopies, tents, sleeping bags and lawn chairs strewn out. Mostly guys, some girls who just showed up to offer support, snacks, and sleeping bags.

One of the guys at the front of the line, a husky looking dude, was pretty livid. He insisted on counting off each person because the line that he was line grew and bumped him out of candidancy for a Wii. I was number 47. He told everyone that if anyone tried to jump in line, to let him know, since him and his friend were bouncers.

Meanwhile, a couple of teenagers, sharky looking dealers that crept with intention and greed, come on and decided to try to sell their Wii to us. They didn't have it in hand, but they were telling us that they would sell it for $350, a hundred dollar profit.

Nobody bit, everyone seemed to be in the long haul. However, at some point the guy in front of me had offered $325 for it, because the two sharks came back and told him that someone at the front of the line had offered $360 for it, and if he wanted to match it. The guy passed, and the two sharks went back to their cars, and left. Thing is, nobody offered any money up front. Like I said, sharks. I think I was surprised that these two kids were such hustlers.

It was almost a whole hour before someone got behind me. He said hi and I said, "Hello."


"No, I said, Hello."

This was a party of four, a dad, a lady, and a ten year old girl, and they were each wanting to get one each. I highly doubt using your children to get a console seems rather dubious. But hey. Whatever. The poor little girl had to sleep had to endure the cold wind and temps in a sleeping bag, and the chairs were toppling on her for a while too.

I space out after a while, I decided not to worry about the laptop in my bag and put it back in the trunk. I got into the sleeping bag because my butt was freezing, since that was the direction the wind was blowing. So I sat in the chair with the sleeping bag up to my nose, and my hood up. I probably looked a little odd, this clump with glasses looking out. I wasn't sleepy, but I was spacey, so I just closed my eyes and focused on the music. It's nice when once in a while, you don't worry about your playlist, and you just listen to the song. I like to isolate certain instruments, and listen to the different sounds in a song sometimes.

The trickle of people slow down and the guy in front of me attempts to sleep, despite his vocal paranoia of beetles climbing on him. He didn't have a sleeping bag, but a blanket and a hooded sweatshirt. The guys up front were hardcore, staying awake and gabbing about games and whatnot. A gaggle of them clutched onto their Nintendo DS-es, though I suspect many gave up after a while because their fingers couldn't withstand the cold.

I space out for a while, and then time passes. Sometimes I open my eyes, staring into the parking lot, and guiltily enjoying the nothingness of nothing. I decided after a while that if I pull the sleeping bag over my head, it was actually kinda comfy. Note that throughout the whole night, I was sitting in my chair. Didn't want to lay on the cold ground.

At around five the crowd slowly grew, and I decided that now was a good time to start a movie, so I put in "V for Vendetta." At around six, Target employees came around and roused everyone up, and told us to get into a straight line and to clean up the sleeping bags and lawn chairs. We did, so that we could wait in line while standing up in the cold without our blankets. They came around occasionally to answer questions, and hand out popcorn. There were many hopefuls thinking they might open early, but really no such luck. I put my stuff away, and now had to stand and wait for two hours. My chair decided that it wasn't going to accomodate my fat ass anymore, so it broke.

At 7, adding insult to injury, a trickle turned into rain. I was figeting all over, bouncing on the spot because I was tired, rocking out, cold, and I had needed to pee since 2 am. Finally, they announced that they were letting 30 in at a time, and I felt no remorse for the 100 and up customer who didn't get a Wii because, well, they didn't commit. Anyway, they went home, and we went in the store, where the campers were plunking down money for the system.

My grand total was 498 and some change, and I tried not to wince too much, reminding myself that I was going to get a return on them later.

And I went home, and passed out on the bed.

Impressions of the Wii Later.