In play

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

As most of you know, I am a huge Nintendo fanboy. I always have been and probably always will be.

With that being said, I'm constantly asked to defend my stance on the Wii. Yes, it's an amazing system. Yes, it's revolutionary. But unfortunately, it just doesn't stand up to the gaming "big boys" like Xbox360 and PS3.

Most of the games for the Wii are quirky at best and are geared more toward group and family play time with the emphasis on F-U-N. In this issue, I'm going to address some of the questions I am asked very frequently about the Nintendo Wii.

1) Can the Wii really be used as a substitute for exercise?

This is probably my favorite question to answer. If you see a commercial on television that says, "Order our new pill for $49.99 and shed pounds while you sleep," are you really going to believe it? Sure the Wii gets you off the couch and moving, but what are you really burning by swinging your Wii remotes around? To me it's kind of a sales ploy to try to bring more people into the life of a gamer. Even the exercise block of games is pretty weak.

Wii Fit is kind of a joke as it takes more time to set up and go to the next exercise than it does to actually do the activity. The emphasis of the game is showing off the Wii balance board and was honestly designed by one of the head Nintendo developers because of his infatuation in keeping charts of his weight from day to day.

The closest game to an actual workout is EA's Active, that lets you set up exercise routines, but they all seem to be geared toward yoga and calisthenics. Even more so, EA is using the title as a segue to get set up with real life trainers and join EA's live events.

So in my opinion, get the kids off the couch, make them go outside and do something physical until the winter comes. Then you have my permission to pretend run on your Wii balance boards.

2) Since Wii is made by Nintendo, does that mean all Wii games are kid-safe?

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Since before the launch of the Wii, Nintendo was criticized for its child-based video game past and announced they would allow developers to create and publish games with M (Mature) ratings.To date, there are 34 M-rated titles out for the Wii, with many more in development. My suggestion is to always read the box and look for the ratings stamp before buying your younglings a Wii game.

3) Most games today are multiplatform. Does that mean the hot new titles will be on Wii too?

Sorry guys, this one is mostly a no, too. The Wii is lacking a few main features to be able to compete with the Xbox360 and PS3 when it comes to the hottest new titles. The first is the lack of an internal hard drive. This immediately throws a lot of the new games out the window due to the inability to download bonus content, which is huge in today's market.

The second stumbling block is that the Wii was built around motion control, not around graphical performance. Most of today's hottest games push the envelope of realism and the little 'ole Wii just can't handle it. Remember -- the Wii was put out for multiplayer and party fun, which is why classically the "i's" in Wii look like little people.

4) Is it true the Wii has a huge line of $20 games?

It is true, but Nintendo allows pretty much anyone to develop games with the Wii's programming, and let me tell you, if it's a $20 game, I'd be willing to bet it's really not that good.

That's all for this week, sorry to disappoint if you were looking for info on new games, but I hope this answered some of your questions out there.

Until next time, play on!

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