I had thought that I’d just pre-order a Wii from Amazon and not worry about it. Then they failed to ever inform me of any pre-order periods, which filled up quickly and didn’t include me. The local video game places only took pre-orders if you’d agree to buy a pile of games. When the weekend came, I figured I’d be willing to wait a few hours in line, but not overnight.
Gloria dropped me off at Target at about quarter to six on Sunday morning. Some “Wii Locator” website had told me that there would be 210 units there, which greatly exceeded the other local vendors. When I got there, the line was a few hundred feet long, running nearly the full length of the strip mall. I chatted with the people around me in line and tried to stay warm. Around seven, the line started to compress as people struck their tents and packed in a little tigher. A Target rep came through and counted the buyers in line and I was number 156. Later, they handed out t-shirts and tickets. At eight o’clock, they opened up and about half an hour later I had my Wii and accessories. Gloria came by and picked me up once she was done teaching, and then we did some grocery shopping.
Eventually, I did get it set up and I played some Sports. It’s a lot of fun. Standing up to play a video game is strange. It isn’t necessary – I could definitely play these games sitting down, but that would feel stranger, and wouldn’t be as fun. Marcelo linked me to an article, today, complaining that Wii fails to deliver on the fun because you can choose to play the game while sitting on your butt. Wow.
Katie and Jerome came by, and we played some golf, tennis, and bowling. It was a really different experience, and not entirely videogame-like. I think that four-player doubles will be pretty fantastic.
Yesterday, Monkey Ball and Zelda arrived. Monkey Ball was really good, but I didn’t play it for very long. Zelda was calling.
After the first hour, Zelda became a lot of fun. The first hour had a few too many frustrations, mostly related to the fact that it wasn’t clear how to reel in fish. I finally had to read the manual, where it was buried behind other items that I hadn’t received yet. Here’s the deal: with the first fishing rod, you have to point the remote straight up and keep it up until the fish is either reeled in or swims away. That’s all. No jerking required, no buttons, no reeling. Just point up.
After that, it didn’t take long to do some real adventuring. I made it through the first few miniquests and am now on my way to the first temple. So far, it’s pretty fantastic.
In short, Wii is great. It is far more exciting, out of the box, than PS/2, Xbox, or GameCube were. I’m really looking forward to new Mario, Metroid, and other things that I can’t imagine yet. It seems wide open for future innovation.