Wii Sports Resort: Wuhu Island in your home

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IMG_1561Those little Miis are back!  And they’re just as adorable as ever in Wii Sports Resort.  This time you get to see your Nintendo-ified self in vacation gear as part of 12 sports with sub-games featured for each (the full list of sports is below).

IMG_1527Wii Sports Resort is one of the Wii games featuring/requiring the new Wii MotionPlus technology (Tiger Woods is another notable).  While the idea is neat, it can be incredibly frustrating when the sensor won’t calibrate between games and it’s clearly been losing its signal at times.  Another downside is that the accessory costs $20 separately, although one is included with the game for $50 (a far cry from the Wii Play bundled with the Wii Remote, but this is a far superior game).  You still need to spend the money on a second one if you want to take advantage of most of the multiplayer games.

IMG_1523At first the game didn’t seem as physically intense (we play for keeps) as Wii Sports, but after two nights I’m pretty sore.  Pete and I both really like the 3-point Shoot Out in Basketball and Archery, but we’ve easily spent the most time on the Swordplay game Speed Slice and Wakeboarding.  We also took a few Cycling tours around the island.  Much like a real bike ride around a volcanic island, it’s exhausting.

IMG_1547I do not like any of the Frisbee® games or the Aerial Dog Fight (much as she hated the Super Monkey Ball version, Monkey Dog Fight).  I really just hate them because I’m terrible at them (but my feelings may change once my shoulder recovers).  I think this may have lead to Pete enjoying them more.  I did enjoy the Swordplay Duel even though I did not perform well.  This has also not diminished my desire to be a contestant on American Gladiators.

IMG_1568The Bowling is essentially the same as the Wii Sports version, and I imagine the Golf is too.  A one-hundred pin, 10-frame game has been added though so it’s not a total rehash.  The Archery and Table Tennis have been pulled from Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, but the Wii MotionPlus adds a new element to the gameplay making it a bit more fun and challenging.

IMG_1564The box has a disclaimer regarding the ratings for online interactions, but it’s unclear if there’s an online component to the game from what we’ve played.  The game compels me to enjoy a cocktail while playing Table Tennis and I want our next vacation to be somewhere we can learn to Wakeboard.

Wii Sports Resort features:

Wake Boarding
Table Tennis
Power Cruising (wave runner)
Air Sports (aerial combat!)


PunchOut!! with 100% less Tyson!

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Angie and I picked up the revamped PunchOut!! for Wii on Tuesday, and I’ve finally had an opportunity to try it out.  It’s fun, but after playing the Wii Sports Boxing for so long I think the controls leave a lot to be desired.  Punches require button presses, and there’s a turn based component to the timing that I don’t care for.  Granted, this makes the gameplay more like the original, but it seems like a real limitation to me. One extra that might help keep my interest is the fact that the Wii Fit balance board can be added to the mix for dodging and ducking (as well as dipping, diving and dodging).  This has proven very difficult to effectively utilize so far, but that has everything to do with my ineptness.

I’m sure I’ll be saying “sayonara” to Piston Hondo soon enough.  That’s Japanese for goodbye.


REVIEW: Terminator Salvation

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So Termination Salvation is fine I guess. It’s a hard film for me to be enthusiastic about for whatever reason. McG incorporated some ideas that I think are pretty inventive and other ones that don’t make much sense to me.

Bryce Howard and Moon Bloodgood as is typical of these types of movie have very little to do in the film. Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin and Sam Worthington are stuck carrying most of the acting load and I think they get by.  Though for some reason Worthington kept reminding me of John Cena in the Marine and you’d think that would be a bad omen. Christian Bale’s role is less than you’d expect from John Connor and I spent the whole film wondering what the intense emotional scene was that led to his famous diatribe.  I think I missed that scene. Must have blinked.

I think part of the problem with the film is its lack of a specific villain. Skynet is a vague entity that sends lots of robots out to kill or round up humans. Unlike the previous Terminator films, there’s no specific new terminator more dangerous than ever actively stalking the humans throughout the entire film aiming to kill them. When the baddest terminator in Salvation finally shows up, I had to wonder why he was attacking John Connor alone given the setting of the fight.

And while I think the idea of the character Marcus in the film is kind of interesting, in the end I just never felt that invested in him as a character. Plus they ruined the twist surrounding his character in the film’s trailers. Thanks Warner Brothers’ Marketing department. You guys rule.

The film’s nods to the previous Terminator movies came across to me as heavy handed especially a particular musical cue. Though I did enjoy John constantly consulting audio cassette tapes left behind by his mother for guidance.

A large part of the appeal to this particular Terminator sequel is that we finally get to see mankind’s future war versus the machines that has been discussed since the first film. A major problem with this angle is that the future war was just done better on the Terminator: the Sarah Conner Chronicles. In the tv series, the humans were living underground like vermin fighting for their very lives. In Salvation, somehow the humans are maintaining air fields and utilizing futuristic planes. If the humans could create such planes, why aren’t the air fields prime targets for the even more futuristic flying robot Skynet terminator-plane-weapon-thingies? There’s a vague reference to the rebel base being surrounded by a minefield and some sort of magnet but it hardly seems like it could stop an aerial assault. Salvation’s humans are just too well armed for my tastes. Actually seeing the future war reminds me of finally seeing the Clone Wars in the Star Wars prequels. How much of a let down was it to realize the clones were all Boba Fett’s dad and basically prototype storm troopers? The future war was just better served by being shown in short glimpses in the previous films rather than under the steady spotlight of Salvation.

Some of the effects in Salvation are stunning but just as many were distractingly poor in my opinion. In the climax of Salvation, I think you get a little of both amazing effects like we’ve never seen before and cheesy CGI all in the rendering of the Terminator that Playmates at least is calling a T-RIP. One other highlight is that the giant f-ing robot terminator in Salvation is way cooler looking and easier to follow visually than any of Michael Bay’s stupid gymnastic Transformers. I’d like to think in 2009, however, we’ve moved past the point where we as an audience are impressed by the animation that studios can conjure up on a Mac.

And I’m no doctor, but the science behind the film’s concluding moments seems mighty convenient.

So in the end I think Salvation is hands down the worst film in the Terminator franchise, but it’s still better than a lot of science fiction films. It’s kind of a shame Salvation came out a week after Star Trek though, because it pales in comparison.

Also, I think trying to write basically spoiler free reviews of films is an effort in futility.


Movie Review: Disney ● Pixar*s UP!

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Last week we were lucky enough that one of our friends was unable to attend a screening of UP! I grew up as a Disney junkie, and then immediately fell in love with all things Pixar. I’m not sure about Pete’s love of Disney, but the humor of Pixar movies has always seemed to draw him in.  Last year there was Wall●E.  Sad.  But Awesome.  This year, UP!.  Holy Tearjerker, Batman!  I’m not sure if it is just because I am at a different point in my life than when I was first introduced to Pixar movies, but each one I see seems more geared towards adults than the previous.   I may have to rewatch all my Pixar movies and see the adult side of them.  There were issues in this movie that I don’t think have ever been so forwardly addressed.  But we will see – I will update after the rewatch 🙂

While I still think a child could be greatly entertained by this movie, I think it is meant for adults.  If you are in love, or have ever been in love, you will love it.  You will hate it for tearing you to pieces, but you will love it.  I was crying just thinking about the movie after.  I am not a crier.  I don’t think.  I don’t want to give anything away – so go and see it.  And enjoy.