Enjoying the Nintendo Wii

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Sherree and I have been able to play our Nintendo Wii a bit (we even took it on vacation!) and are really enjoying it. Wii Sports (which comes with the Wii) and Wii Play both have a lot of variety and are a lot of fun, too.

Wii Sports

Wii Sports comes with the Wii, and includes five games: tennis, baseball, golf, boxing, and bowling. There's also a nifty "fitness age" thing, where it picks three different training exercises from the games and, based on how well you do, it gives you an age. I started out at 80, but am now only 39!

Bowling is probably our favorite game. The execution is very simple: hold the Wiimote up, pull the trigger, swing back, then forward and release the trigger to release the ball. Yet somehow, it's quite challenging! I constantly twist my wrist, and that puts a spin on the ball that often sends it in the wrong direction.

I'm surprised at how much I like golf. You need to swing the Wiimote with different force depending upon how far you need the golf ball to go. Wind, terrain, and water and sand traps are all there. Boxing takes a lot out of you. In Baseball, I can pitch while Sherree bats.

Wii Play

I bought Wii Play because it's such a good deal: another Wiimote ($40 by itself), plus a bunch of little games (nine of them), for $50.

Some of the games are only so-so, but a few are a lot of fun. I think Billiards is Sherree's favorite. You need to aim your shot, pull the Wiimote back, then slam it forward to hit the cue ball. There's a Shooting Range game we enjoy a lot, too, where you aim with the Wiimote and just blast everything.

My two favorite games are Tanks! and Charge! In Tanks!, you drive a tank with the nunchuk and aim your shot with the Wiimote to blast enemy tanks. What makes it so much fun is the toy aspect: the tank's treads clack like a wind-up tin toy, shells fire with a "pop" like a cork gun, and the courses are on a wood paltform with toy blocks used to make barriers. Charge! is a racing game where you (...wait for it) ride a cow. Not only that, you (...wait for it) have to knock over scarecrows. And if that weren't fun enough, you need to (...wait for it) jump hurdles! The controls for Charge! are great: hold the Wiimote sideways with both hands, then tilt it forward to make your cow run faster, tilt back to slow down, twist the Wiimote left or right to turn, and quickly lift the Wiimote up and down to jump. Fantastic.

I'd like to get some other games for our Wii, but I'm in no great rush: we've already got at least six games we really enjoy!

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