niennanir: (Default)
Prelude: I've lost 5 lbs since Christmas. This is something of an accomplishment seeing as I haven't lost any weight in about 6 months. My Wii wants to take all the credit. Unless I don't lose any weight in February I'll probably let it.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
I'm going to start off by saying I positively drooled when I discovered this little gem from Santa. I love broadsword fighting. Yes I do actually own folded steel and I do stand in the back yard and swing it around. Before you say anything the average broadsword is between 8 and 10 pounds and requires two hands to heft, you try swinging one of those babies around and tell me what free weights have on that.

But on to the gaming. If you're gaming for the potential health benefits (and why else would you be reading this) Prince Caspian is a definite win. After 45min of play my heart is pounding, my legs are sore (I actually doge the Telmaraines.... and yes I know it doesn't do any good) and there's a burn running up my right bicep and across my shoulder blades.

The story is exciting enough, If you've read the book or seen the movie you know what's going on. The game features cut scenes taken largely from the movie's cutting room floor and you can unlock additional deleted scenes. There's a practical logical flow and most things in the game make sense though hardly any of them actually appear in the movie.

The controls are intuitive with one prominent exception; The grappling hook. You swing your remote like a sword, when you switch to bow you aim that in a similar fashion... but the grappling hook, Aslan save me, is about as intuitive as DOS. I actually groan inwardly when the hook hint icon appears on the screen because I know it will take me at least 3 tries to get the hook working properly. I've gotten very good at dying while trying to escape from enemy soldiers by climbing up a wall.

Having said that, the game has some very good points. Among my favorites are the bonus levels which you unlock through the course of the game. For the most part these have been combat brawls that give you a hefty workout in a short timeframe. I'll often pop Caspian in after my regular workout just to take a couple of goes at these and then I lay on the sofa panting. It's a very fulfilling feeling actually to know you've saved Narnia and probably burned off all that meatloaf you had for dinner in the process.

Next time we'll be reviewing the elusive Wii Fit (Yes I got one... and on sale too)
niennanir: (Default)
I come from a long line of geeks, which explains my pride in my technophile obsessions. After me the geekiest one in the the family has to be my great uncle Harold, he's 87, got internet in his house right after I did in the 90's was the first person within 50 miles to have a home movie camera (in the 50's... he still shows the reels) and drools obsessively on my iPhone. He and I aren't alone though, my mom, despite all appearances is quite the geek herself. She's beaten me consistently at Space Ranger Spin and Toy Story Mania (interactive game rides at WDW for those who don't know) and she was an absolute wizard at Froger... don't get me started about space invaders. So she has her geek moments too. One of these moment's was this Christmas.

About 6 months back we happened to be in the mall while they were demoing Wii Sport. A half dozen sticky, sweaty, happy children were giggling and swinging their virtual tennis rackets and baseball bats while outside it was pouring rain and 98 degrees in the shade.

"It's a good thing the line's too long for me to get in it." I stated observing the queue that stretched half way to Nordstrom's "I'd make an idiot of myself."

"It does look like fun!" Mom agreed.

"It looks like my hips in a size 11," I stated. "I swear if they weren't so expensive I'd get one."

"Your last game system was an Atari 2600," Mother observed. She should know, of course, she bought it. Where do you think she learned to whip my arse at froger?

"That would be why it's a good thing I can't get in the line." I answered. "And a better thing that they're not previewing something with swords in it."

"Ooo, I could charge admission to watch that!"

I promptly forgot about the Wii... as much as you can forget about that kind of thing when there are commercials on every channel. But I was determined that I would spend my mad money on things that at least resembled a social life, I don't have one of those and I do have a heated pool and Fit TV. I don't need a game system, Right? Right.

Mother, bless her geeky little heart, determined otherwise and Christmas morning under my tree was a brand new Wii with the Wii Sport bundle. (along with Prince Caspian but I'll get to that in a later post) Along with it came the statement. "It probably needs things... but I wouldn't know what they are so just get them." I just love statements like that. So begins my chronicle of one woman's quest for size 11 hips. Before I had it out of the box I promised myself I would at the very least attempt to limit myself to games that work up a sweat, I would only play standing, not vegging on the couch, I would research games for the best use of the controller. Each and every game I review will be judged on only one hit or miss criteria; How much skinnier I'm likely to get by playing it.

Wii Sports
Bundled in the Wii box was Wii Sports. Now I've never been a fan of sports video games, the ones I played as a child were blocky and one dimensional and existed solely to console my brother who's afternoon flag football game in the front yard had been called on account of hurricane. But being determined to be both open-minded and several sizes smaller, I popped it in.

I was actually surprised at what I found fun and what I found frustrating. Golf; I'm not a fan of golf in real life but I love mini golf, was a borderline disaster. 4 days later and I still spend the majority of my time in the rough. Boxing; I positively detest boxing but Wii Boxing is quite exhilerating. Bowling; It's always been a take it or leave it activity in my book but in this case I can definitely leave it. Tennis and Baseball were surprises for different reasons. I expected to do much better at baseball than I did and can't fathom why I'm so good at Wii Tennis. I played both when I was younger and clearly my estimate of my skill level in both is a bit off.

The games themselves play well, the controls are intuitive, for the most part, and I like the simplicity of not having buttons to push most of the time. The game also comes with a Wii Fitness feature, a daily 15 min workout that gauges your overall improvement. (80 is the worst score, 20 the best) I'm down 27 points in 4 days.

Wii Sports - Skinny Mii rating:
(1=Am I awake? 10= where's my towel?)
Tennis: 8
Baseball: 8.7
Boxing: 9.3
Bowling: 5
Golf: 4
Overall: 8

Wii Sports is well worth it for the first 3 games alone. I've actually put some muscle strain on one of my shoulders and I think I might finally one day soon say goodbye to my flabby old lady arms!

In my next edition of Skinny Mii I'll be covering The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Remember, fencing is a sport!

April 2017

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