Tagged: WiiWare

My Club Nintendo Elite Gift has been Chosen

doclouisWhen I got the e-mail from Nintendo confirming that I was some kind of super gamer and had reached the lofty ranks of an “Elite” member of Club Nintendo, I was thrilled. When they said I would get a special reward I was excited. When I found out I was officially a “Platinum” member and had a choice of swag to choose from, I… was apathetic.

A plush, allegedly life-size,  Mario hat or a WiiWare game featuring a single round of Punch-Out!! action against Doc Louis weren’t exactly at the top of my dream-swag wishlist. The hat, which would serve as a nice couch pillow and conversation piece, isn’t all that useful and takes up quite a bit of space. Space I am finally coming to appreciate after slowly pruning my game collection and scanning in the boxes of paper materials I’ve accumulated over the years from E3’s and press contacts. I do love swag but I’m tending to go for smaller gashapon-sized stuff these days. I can cram more of it on my desk… and into shoeboxes when I tire of looking at them.

As for ol’ Doc Louis’s Punch-Out!!, well, I never have been a fan of the series and, at first thought, an intangible downloadable game just didn’t feel exclusive enough. I mean, I can’t take pictures of it to flaunt online and I can’t make a special little nook for it on my game shelf. I could print out a fan-made sleeve and stick it in a white DVD case, but I’d only be lying to myself.

Ultimately, I chose the game. After all, it is a free game, it may finally sway me to play the full Punch-Out!! and one day Nintendo might make a social network akin to Xbox Live and I can totally show off in my “played games” feed that, yes indeed, I can punch a fat black man at any time I choose. But as far off as that day may be it looks like I’ve still got a while to wait to before I can even play it. After I painstakingly made my choice, confirmed and double-confirmed my decision, I got this e-mail:

Hello SHAWN,

Your Club Nintendo Elite Status reward order has been accepted.

You will receive an email by November 1, 2009 with more information
on how to get your digital reward.

Thanks for supporting Nintendo!

What!? November!? If Nintendo are masters of one thing it’s tormenting their dedicated fans. Every time I’m up for a Phantom Hourglass feather stylus, a Big Brain academy Wii Remote flashlight, or some other frivolous trinket it seems I’m made to wait ages to get it and this time is the worst yet. Is the game even finished yet? Is this going to require some elaborate 25-digit authentication code or adding a Nintendo GiftBot to my Wii contact list? Do me a favor and don’t bring up Doc Louis around me, I’m just going to try and forget all about this and treat the eventual free game time as an early birthday present.

E3: Bit Boy!! brings Retro Future experience to WiiWare

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First it was Retro Game Challenge, then Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard and now Bit Boy!! is taking gamers back through a beloved series of games they never knew existed. From the makers of some of the most noteworthy releases on WiiWare comes a new generation-spanning adventure where Kubi rushes through the whole history of videogames in order to save his pixel pals. More in my story at NfamousGamers.

Mature Link: Nintendo Going Big Brother on Users?

maturelinkFor a company who was so defiant of offering anything other than ‘just games’ until very recently, Nintendo’s little white box is shaping up to be a real big brother (and I’m not talking about a plucky plumber here). I doubt Nintendo has a master plan for subjugating the world’s populace by way of Wii Sports, but the growing library of service channels and exponential install base is bringing them closer to that kind of power.

It all started with the News Channel where a single source (ok, it’s the reputable Associated Press, but you don’t get a choice) brings Wii users a handful of headlines each day scattered across an interactive globe. Want a second opinion or another perspective? Sorry, you’ll have to hit the internet for that. You could use the Internet Channel on the Wii but since it’s buried away in the Shop Channel and costs 500 Wii Points I’m guessing most users aren’t willing to splurge.

Then there’s the whole Wii Fit craze and its accompanying channel where Nintendo, with little guidance from any reputable health organization, tells people how healthy they are by doling out arbitrary numbers. Unsuspecting consumers everywhere are on the hunt for Wii Fit, the mantra of “losing weight while you play” solidifying the image of the perfect workout in their minds as each frantic second passes that they’re unable to find it. Getting people hooked on the unreliable and ever-fluctuating Wii Fit Age is the worst number scheme to hit healthy living since Weight Watchers.

Japan has even more specialized channels like the upcoming Food Delivery Channel where Nintendo passes your orders onto 8,500 restaurants, and the Wii no Ma Channel video service that will offer up paid and ad-supported anime and lifestyle programming. The most worrying of them all though is the recently announced Wii Fit Body Check Channel. Coming in April, the channel will take your Wii Fit Age records along with your Personal Trainer: Walking pedometer data and pass it along to a “health professional” who will give you a virtual check up.

I grew up as a geek in the 90’s so I can appreciate the idea of the all-in-one set-top box, and I’m all for personalized services and ease-of-use designs. But who the hell is Nintendo to be collecting data about my body and sending it to someone they deem worthy to tell me how healthy I am? Yes, I can choose not to use these channels but will anyone else even be made aware that this is what’s happening when they check in with Dr. Mario? The Wii does pre-game warning images pretty well but when it comes to the finer details even the Wii Shop Channel — that collects credit card data — isn’t very heavy on fine print.

I used to bitch at Nintendo for not making the GameCube or Wii play DVD movies, now all I want is for them to go back to making just games.

Oh, it’s you again. Adventure Island returns, on WiiWare

Well, well. Look who's back!

Well, well. Look who's back!

Even in the glory days of mascot-driven action platformers, Adventure Island’s Master Higgins hip factor fell somewhere between the Caveman Ninjas and Bonk. He’s some kind of modern day amazon in a ballcap who fights jungle critters in order to eat all kinds of food and ride a skateboard. I’m sure there was some princess/amazon goddess to save too.

To be honest, I’m more surprised it took Hudson this long to make a sequel. And in true Wii fashion it’s got plenty of minigames to go along with the 3D graphics and new levels. There’s no release date but there are plenty more screenshots over at WiiWare-World.