Nintendo fan boys hoped for so much this year from the Donkey Kong company at E3. Fans so hoped Nintendo would unveil a new Zelda, an improved online experience, Smash Bros. news, increased storage space for the Wii, and everything that Sony and Microsoft were currently offering on their systems. Counting the days down to video game trade show Mario lovers everywhere dreamed of Nintendo big wigs Reggie, Miyamoto, and Iwata whispering in their ears all the secrets Nintendo had to offer.
Then E3 came. What does Nintendo announce? You can do push-ups! Holy crap! How can us consumers resist plunking down our hard earned cash so we can exercise?
WiiFit is a new “game” that will make you work out and monitor your progress through the magic of a new add-on that Nintendo is calling the balance board. The Wii Balance board resembles a scale in appearance, but besides being able to just tell you your fat it also has built in sensors to keep track of your balance. Keeping track of this balance data in real time allows your Wii to make sure your doing the exercise they tell you to do, and not just sitting around eating left over cottage cheese watching reruns of Drexel’s Class as usual.
Of course if you ask me, the Wii Balance board is just an updated version of the Powerpad from 20 years ago. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the powerpad was called the Family Trainer in Japan, and was even called Family Fun Fitness for brief times in the USA.
Nintendo also proudly displayed the WiiZapper, a $20 piece of plastic that’ll hold the Wii controller together so somewhat resembles rifle or something. If guns aren’t your bag, then you might want to try the WiiWheel, a plastic steering wheel that’ll hold your Wii controller. Both of these new products are about as exciting as watching justin.tv.
Of course Nintendo has new Mario, Metriod, and Smash Brothers games coming out this year, and announced a new Mario Kart for early next year. This is comparable to when movie theatres saw Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek the third, and Spider-Man 3 all come out in the same month, with the new Harry Potter just around the corner. When you got that many big titles out at once, it’s not surprising a few other announcements with fade into the background. Think of WiiFit like it’s Evan Almighty, maybe it might be good, but in comparison to Transformers playing one theatre down? Well… actually, if you ask me, your best off going a couple of more theatres down and checking out Knocked Up or Sicko. Or even better yet, just stay home and watch justin.tv, it’ll help you appreciate all the Evan Almightys of the world.
If you ask me though, and I don’t know why you would, one of the best games is already out for the Wii.
Last E3, when Nintendo announced that the Wii was going to be backwards compatible with the Gamecube, it was a bit of a shock. Never before had a Nintendo system had such a feature, then it was realized that the Wii was basically just a Gamecube with an extra hamster wheel powering it.
So you might wonder with Wii’s backward compatibility why one would repurchase a game that had already been out on the Cube for two years. Well, that’s exactly what was asked of consumers with the release of Resident Evil 4: Wii edition. Perhaps like an idiot, I obliged and shelled out my $29.99 plus tax for a game I already owned.
Idiot or not, I’m having fun shooting zombies with point and shoot controls, while you’re still moping over the lack of announcement of a new Kid Icarus game.