The New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a great game. Its the fun of old school Mario with the addition of great graphics and the kind of multiplayer I've wanted for Mario since playing the original as a
child: its got up to four player simultaneous cooperative multiplayer. I recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed Mario in the past. Watch this amazing video of level 1-3 you can unlock in the game.
As noted elsewhere, multiple players attempting to navigate platforms, grab power ups, and throw turtle shells creates new
challenges but along with that there's new ways to be incredibly cheap.
A second player means a head one can jump on to reach higher locations. Jump on your friend's head at the apex of their jump while holding down the jump button yourself for maximum jumping. In
the game you can also grab other players and hold them over your head. This is useful for reaching the top of the flagpole at the end of levels. On that same line, if the player you grab has a
flying cap you can now use them to fly in the same manner you would use a flying block which makes it easy to get two players to the top of the finish flagpole if only one of you has a flying
Normal power-up blocks now spawn enough power-ups for everyone. A mushroom is spawned for each small player and full power-ups for the rest, except in the case everyone is small: then one of the
power-ups is a full power-up. If there's two players and you're both small, the full power-up always jumps out of the block to the right. Some hidden power-up blocks only give out one power-up
and in that case its a mushroom or not based on the player who hits the block - so be sure that a big player hits that if you have one.
Death & Bubbles
When a player dies but at least one other player lives the dead player comes back in a limbo bubble from which they must be released before they may play again. Because of this, in a tough spot
you can send one player in and leave a second behind. If the first dies you don't lose your place in the level and the first comes back in a bubble ready to try again. For instance, if you're
trying to get the last star coin in 2-1 which sits just above the abyss, one player can just jump to their death for it and as long as another player lives you've collected the coin. However you
need not sacrifice your life to do this: you can press down and 'a' to force yourself into a bubble saving yourself from death. This is true in general as long as you have enough time to see your
death coming. This is also useful if one player runs ahead to the right. The screen will expand a bit but then it will just move to the right following the player in the lead. Players left behind
walls or now forced into lava pits will die unless they use the bubble.
If all players hit the ground at the same time from a ground pound it acts like hitting a pow block, killing the enemies on the screen.
If you hold a player who has a projectile power over your head they can still use their power.
Bubbles can be popped by hitting them with your fire or ice projectiles as well as thrown shells or blocks.
All players get the extra lives from anyone collecting 100 coins or finishing a level with more than 7 enemies on the screen.
2009 Apr 21, 1:28Fallout 3's May 5th DLC removes old ending, adds new quests, new levels, new perks. Sounds good! "In a nutshell, Broken Steel will remove the game's ending entirely, with Bethesda's Pete Hines saying
simply to fans that called for an open-ended resolution, "We got the idea." Players will still have to make the final choice, but following that climax the game will continue, presenting new epilogue
quests, another 10 levels to gain, and new perks, monsters and achievements to keep the climb interesting."gamevideogamenewsfallout3fallout
2009 Mar 25, 1:03Finally more storage for all those virtual console games I download: "What is going to interest gamers, however, is the expanded support for storage on the Nintendo Wii. The new update for the Wii
Menu allows you to download and launch content straight from an SD card, and there is now support for SDHC cards, meaning you can cheaply add as much storage to your system as you'd like. A game was
shown launching from a memory stick, with only a short loading time."nintendowiivideogamestorage
2008 Oct 25, 10:22My Xbox has a blog and my Wii has an email address: "Email a chum's Wii: You'll need to have a record of those damnably unmemorable friend codes for anyone you want to mail, but once you do it's
simple: just drop a message to w[friendcode]@wii.com. For instance, email@example.com."wiihowtoemailnintendotipsvia:sarah
2008 Sep 5, 1:56This is the game from the same person I linked to previously who has a son named Link: "I'm very excited to finally announce our first game, Liight, for WiiWare! So... what is it? Liight is a puzzle
solving game where the pieces are colored lights and the goal is to make cool music! Anyone can play! Just illuminate all the targets in each puzzle with light of the matching color... but it's not
always so easy! You'll have to mix colors, cast shadows and make the most of your limited resources to solve these brain teasers. Solve 100 challenging puzzles! Create your own puzzles, and Share
them with your friends via WiiConnect24. Host a Contest to see who can solve your puzzle the fastest. If you're ready, take on Nonstop mode, a whole new way to play where arcade-style scoring meets
I want to once again profess my love for the Wii's Virtual Console. Sarah and I recently finished playing through the first three Zelda
games. Although I'd played a bit of the first two I never had a Nintendo as a kid and so unlike Sarah this was my first time completely playing through Zelda I & II. What people say about Zelda
II is true... its all so true. And on the flip side I have fond memories of beating the third Zelda game which Sarah hadn't played.
In hilarious Zelda related news, a friend from work's husband posted the following blog post concerning their son named Link.
Sarah received her Wii Fit a few weeks ago. The Wii Fit is a game for the Wii and a
balance board accessory that can tell how you're standing on it: leaning forward, standing on one foot, leaning backward and mostly on your left foot, etc. The game puts you through various
exercises grouped into the categories of aerobic, balance, strength, and yoga. It also lets you set goals and keeps track of how well you do, how long you play, and a graph of your weight.
The portion I didn't expect were the mind games. Sarah turned it on after not using it for a day and it said something to the effect of 'Oh, didn't have time to exercise yesterday? Huh.
Interesting....' I'm paraphrasing of course but the Wii Fit was definitely trying to lay down some guilt. In another instance when starting up the Wii Fit Sarah was asked 'Did you know that Dave
has been using Wii Fit?' She selected yes and it then asked her how she thought I was progressing giving her four options. She selected the worst one, that I was getting worse (jokingly I hope) and
it told her to tell me that, but not to use those words. In conversation Sarah should mention to me that I've been "living large". Now I'm not paraphrasing. It reminded me a bit of this xkcd comic 'Zealous Autoconfig'. Hopefully this is the extent of the manipulation and mind games that the Wii Fit will perform.
Sarah and I have finished playing through the games "Paper Mario", "Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door", and "Super Paper Mario" last week (including the various Pits of 100 Trials). We played
them all on the Wii, because even though Super Paper Mario was the only one released explicitly for that platform, Wii maintains compatibility with Game Cube games such as Thousand-Year Door and
Paper Mario although originally released for the Nintendo 64 is now available as a pay for download game on the Wii's Virtual Console. So, yay for Nintendo!
I think my favorite of the three is Thousand-Year Door mostly because of the RPG attack system. In Thousand-Year Door and Paper Mario when you come into contact with an enemy you go into an RPG
style attack system where you take turns selecting actions. In Super Paper Mario you still have hit points and such, but you don't go into a turn based RPG style attack system, rather you do the
regular Mario jumping on bad guys thing (or hitting them with a mallet etc...). Thousand-Year Door and Paper Mario are very similar in terms of game play but Thousand-Year Door looks very pretty
and has made improvements to how your party-mates are handled in battle (they have HP and can fall as you would expect) and there's an audience that cheers you on during your battles.
Even if the gameplay sucked the humor throughout the series might be tempting enough. Mario's clothing and mustache are mocked throughout and standard RPG expectations are subverted. I hate to
describe any of these moments for fear of ruining anything but, for instance, an optional and very difficult enemy who may only be killed after hours of work only results in one experience point,
or a very intimidating enemy who you imagine you'll have to fight actually challenges you to a quiz.
Despite how I personally rank them, all the games are great and I'd recommend any of them.
2007 Jun 11, 3:36This past weekend I was invited to two BBQs. Consequently, the weather took a break from the heat to drizzle.
The first was a lunch BBQ in celebration of Sarah's mom getting her Masters degree. Sarah and I went to her sister's house on the East-side where we had traditional foods you might associate with a
BBQ including some enjoyable sausage. There was a bit of Wii to be had and Sarah's mom killed at bowling. Sarah seemed a bit dismayed at this. I guess Sarah didn't expect it since she's had more
experience compared to her mom who was playing for the first time.
For dinner we drove over to Seattle to have a BBQ at Jeannie's house. Jeannie's family and my family became friends through our church when I was born and Jeannie even babysat me. The second bit
about the babysitting is how Jeannie would introduce me at the BBQ. I met her boyfriend who seems like a cool guy. He works for Microsoft as a consultant and has traveled to various countries for his
job. Guests had been instructed to bring side dishes and so there was quite a spread which was eclectic as well. We brought red potatoes, humus, and pita bread. As it turns out, one of the other
guests had produced humus in bulk as a supplier and apparently had a grudge against the big humus chains. We played it cool and she didn't say anything so we can only assume she didn't know it was
us. Jeannie was a great hostess and I had a fun time.bbqwashingtonpersonalnontechnical
2007 Jun 7, 5:29The other day I had the best idea for my Wii remote. Clearly I should use it to control the rotation of Tetris pieces in my N-dimensional
Tetris game Polytope Tetris. One of the issues I described with Polytope Tetris is user input. Given a Wii remote the
user could rotate a piece through 3 dimensions in a manner that's much easier to adjust to than particular keys on the keyboard.
Anyway, I did a little research into how this might work. I knew that the Wii remote used infrared for absolute positioning and
Bluetooth for everything else (LEDs, speaker, accels.) I bought a Bluetooth adapter for my PC after realizing that none of my
computers had one already. I used GlovePIE to ensure that my Wii remote could connect and successfully communicate with my computer.
GlovePIE is actually pretty cool -- it provides a simple script layer over the Wii remote to control things like your mouse.
Since Polytope Tetris is in Java I looked for and found a Java library for operating with the Wii remote and a long forum thread discussing its use. I then read up on Bluetooth in Java. Apparently JSR 82 is the name of the standard that describes the API a Bluetooth stack should expose
in Java. That is, to get Bluetooth working in Java one needs an additional package for Java that actually implements the Bluetooth Java API. This package would depend on the system so I suppose I
can't fault Sun for not including it... Where to find such a package? I found a comparison list of implementations and tried the ones
that support javax.bluetooth. Noneofthem worked for me because none can address USB devices it seems or they cost money and I couldn't get the trial version working. I also tried
bluesock (not listed on the previous list) which seemed promising and could produce an address for my Wii remote as a connected device but couldn't use
2007 May 13, 12:16My parents and grandmother came to visit the weekend before this current weekend, starting Friday May 4th. They arrived via their new motor-home which is quite the machine. Of course its my parents
motor-home so its very well decorated inside including drapes and mini-chandelier. I didn't have a memory card for my camera at the time but I'm sure my parents will put up photos on their new blog dedicated to their motor-home at some point in the future.
At any rate, they parked the motor-home in an RV park in Issaquah so that Friday night I drove over to them and we ate at the conveniently
closely located Pogachas. The next day they came over and I showed them the various cool looking things my computer connected to my flat
screen TV can do. This includes Vista Media Center showing my photos from recent trips and
Google Earth mapping out our respective homes and my recent trips (and Paris). Additionally, we played Wii which, unsurprisingly based on anecdotal evidence
from varied sources across the Internet, was a seeming hit. Mom broke records playing bowling with my dad and I, Dad did an excellent job fishing, and Grandma's slow but steady win's the race
approach to cow racing worked very well.
The next day I drove them to Seattle and we walked around Pike's Place. My parents made dinner that night at my place which was very good and made my apartment actually smell like cooked food. Also,
we exchanged Christmas gifts. For the past two years I've flown back to my parents' house for Christmas and ended up with gifts I couldn't take with me in both directions. Those I left at their house
they drove up and I was able to give them the ones I left at my place. They started the drive back the next day. I really enjoyed seeing them here.motorhomefamilypersonalnontechnical