Game People website launched 2008

With the popularity of our personal niche journalism about video-games the Game People site was started in 2008. Come and visit us there, we’d be very happy to see you.

Video Game Reviews  –

Portable XBox 360

I needed a break in early December so Ben (my temporary combat SAR swimmer roomie) and I went down to the San Diego Car Show. Imagine my surprise when I saw an XBOX 360 customized car – amazing crossover. Amid the muscle cars and hopped up trucks is this little Suzuki packed with gaming hardware and cutting edge display technology. I especially liked the circuit board door paneling.

Obviously this reached out to the car show fans, many of whom were attending with their kids and all were amazed. The big screen in the back allowed the car owner to play with the wireless remote, and a reverse projector controlled all the magic.

Looking past the projector I could see the action was controlled by two Xboxes – that heat issue they have is a show stopper for sure, and who wants the action to stop in a car show!

I was very impressed with the workmanship that put the controllers into recessed compartments, and for a total of four controllers, two Xbox systems could be used for all four occupants to play head to head or co-op.

What I’m waiting for is an Xbox motorcycle.

Charles Jeter

Black Box Flight Recorder

Do you remember a heavy duty black box that used to sit below your TV? It was a games console like any other, without much hope of toppling the mighty PlayStation franchise.

There was nothing special about the Xbox, until one day those beautiful games were released with Xbox Live monicered across the top. Suddenly the Xbox was connected to the entire world, and everyone loved it.

Ah yes, Xbox Live breathed into that ridged dark brick and gave it life. Whole communities appeared as the people threw on headsets and talked to new friends from Sydney to New Orleans. Games became a place to be in their own right.

With Halo 2 a fully functional gaming community blossomed into groups of dedicated gamers, school kids, parents, husbands and wives. The community was full and I loved it. It was like what gaming should always have been, robust and full of real people. Hell yeah – this was good!

Then the new baby arrived. Pristine, white and curved; the 360. Surely this is the machine to set this new community on fire. With it came a new level of games. The community hunted as a pack from one release to the next, buying each title they could afford. My community became spread ever more thinly, and our cohesion of the past became fractured.

So we pinned our hopes on old faith-full, Halo 2. Now emulated, this surely would keep the community backbone strong. But 360 Halo2 still lacked any new ‘player matches’ and with failed loads and map problems, it was soon getting dusty back on the shelf.

The bottom line, my Live experience was watered down. No longer was it a place to find friends evey night, but simply somewhere to see what the next big game had become, and wonder if I could save up in time before the next title hit.

Are we ready for Halo3 in my clan? Damn right, we are shouting for it. We’re hoping that Live can again be somewhere to hang out. That a body of players can grow around a game that keeps them coming back for years not just months, games that last and evoke an ongong following.

We miss what has been lost and yearn for its return; TrUe GaMiNg CoMmUnItY.

Richard Robertson

What Nintendo Did Next

What to do when your portable is ruling the waves, your consoles are selling faster than you can produce them and there is this little Gameboy brand waiting in the wings? These are tough times for Nintendo Corp.

But hang in there Mr Nintendo, for we have seen the future and there is hope! A weary traveller called in not more that 2 days ago, full of news from a distant time. Here is his foretelling of what Nintendo did next.

Wii-bird: He told of the return of the grand-daddy of controllers. This time not only wire free but now is fully packed out with multi-directional rumble.

Not only that, he said, but it also comes with a built in charger that plugs into the USB port on the back of your Wii. So no more scurrying around for batteries.

Wii-player: He whispered of using his DS to play Game Boy Advance (GBA) games on his TV. Simply pop in your old GBA cart into the DS and follow the on screen advice to connect wirelessly to the Wii-player channe, and away you go! You can then play those classic GBA titles using your DS as a controller with the action super large on your TV.

Not only that, he said, but you can play GBA games that used the link cable for mulitplayer, against your friends via the Wii Connect 24.

Wii-board: He spoke of a full querty keyboard for the Wii. Complete with holster for the Wii-mote to provide wireless typing fun!

Not only that, he said, but it also has built in game controls for a quick switch of context between movement and typing, for any major MMO’s that may show up on the Wii sometime soon.

gameboyvc.gifWii-boy: He sang with joy about the original Gameboy Virtual Console. For just 100 points, you can buy a packs of original Gameboy games and play them in all their pixelated green/grey full screen glory.

Not only that, he said, but you can play Gameboy Colour titles too, and take advantage of any Super Gameboy features on the cartridge.

Mii-stats: He talked of a new Mii statistics channel to provide graphs and statistics of your Mii’s progress through the games it has played.

Not only that, he said, but this also enables your Mii’s stats to travel with them to other Wii’s, thus enabling comparisons and competition between your friends.

Phew! Well there you have it, the honest to gospel truth. Well that’s what he said anyhow.

Andy Robertson

Who is Anthony Dickens

card_andyr_small.gifAs we mentioned in our previous post, we want to apply our people centric focus to what we read as well as what we play. To that end, we have recently launched the new Blogging People set of cards.

The next brave sole to step up was Ant Dickens of NintendoLife. Along with a shiney new Blogger Card (Top Trumps style of course), we interview each new blogger. Here are some choice excerpts from the interview:

Ant: There have been many “highlights” in the past 17 years of gaming. But generally I’m one of those people that really loves the triple A titles, for example, I’d happily wait 3 years for a new Zelda installment. It’s not just the games that give me great memories though, its all the little details. I remember taking a day off from school when Banjo-Kazooie first came out, or when F-Zero X arrived all the way from Japan. Feeling my whole body shaking as I finally completed Super Mario Land on the Gameboy. I could probably write an entire article on my favourite experiences in games.

Andy: Tell me more about finishing Super Mario Land, I had a Gameboy in the early 90’s but never finished it!

Ant: Ironically the last level in Mario Land is more like space invaders than anything else, your in the Mario Plane ™ and have to a) shoot the boss, whilst b) dodging his splitting fireballs, I remember it taking quite a few attempts before finally beating it!

Ant: I don’t really know whats distinctive about Nintendo Life, we get alot of positive feedback on the visual style, people comment that its refreshing, light and clean layout , instead of the classic dark and compact gaming site.
I think our writing style is a positive aswell, our reviews are very much to the point and they are written by gamers for gamers.
Andy: ‘By gamers for gamers’ that’s something that we at Game People can really identify with. How many gamers do you have writing for you at any one time?
Ant: We only have a small core team, most of which I’ve known since my previous gaming site, We’ve had a number of guest reviewers over the last year, this is something we want to increase. We’re in the process of building a pool of like-minded reviewers so we can cover a wider range of titles.

Who is Michel Musters

card_andyr_small.gifWe want to apply our people centric focus to what we read as well as what we play. To that end, we have recently launched the new Blogging People set of cards.

The first brave sole to step up was Michel Musters of Moz La Punk. Along with a shiney new Blogger Card (Top Trumps style of course), we interview each new blogger. Here are some choice excerpts from the interview:

MozLaPunk:Moz La Punk can bring you news in a laid back way, without avoiding opinions, as long as they’re placed in a context so people know they are opinions (there is the objectivity again), and a place where lots of editorials and columns could really shine.

AndyR: It is interesting as this comes back to communities and groups. We need to enable visitors to feel like they can hang out and read in surroundings that they identify as their own. You see this in larger record stores that have different areas for different types of music, the people you find in each section are very different.

MozLaPunk: Indeed, and it is funny that you mention that because gaming is so behind in this. Why on earth are stores categorizing games by consoles? There is a Playstation section, a Wii section, a handheld section, Xbox section, PC section. You don’t see this with other types of entertainment products.

AndyR: I guess there is a balance to be struck. What I have been realising at Game People, it is better to establish a handful of quality community dwellers than to have a mass of people who flit in and out.
MozLaPunk: Exactly, I am of the same opinion. At MLP there have always been certain members who seem to never go away even if you’d try, and I’m grateful for that. They are the base you start out with, and the trick is to keep expanding that while you keep that base satisfied.

Like a Wavebird from the Ashes

wavebird.gifcard_andyr_small.gifThe GameCube pad was an instant hit with me. No previous controller fitted as snugly in my hot little mitts. The buttons were where I wanted them, the sticks were responsive and distinctive, and the analogue triggers worked like a dream.

One thing was holding it back however, a little black cable tethered it to the cube. The stage was set for the grand-daddy of Nintendo controllers, the WaveBird. Once held untethered, all else felt cumbersome and tied down. (A similar experience to the first hold of the Wii-mote/nunchuck.)

The WaveBird continued Nintendo’s use of AA, rather than proprietary, batteries and still managed to last a good 100 hours. It supported up to 16 simultaneously players (if you could find a game and enough friends).

But now the Wii has arrived, are its days numbered? Not at all, it is in fact seeing a resurgence of both its popularity and its usefulness. Not only can you use it to play all those classic GameCube games, but it even works with NES, SNES and N64 virtual console titles.

wavebird2.gifOf course, it does have to compete with the Virtual Console (VC) controller. But for me there’s no competition. The WaveBird not only plays more VC titles, but also continues to support GameCube games. And critically, it’s not tethered to a dangling Wii-mote.

The WaveBird has seen great fluctuations in price over its turbulent life. I recently put together the following list that shows the little fella’s popularity reflected in its price (in my local and on-line retailers):

  • GameCube Launch Price £34.99 (Electronics Boutique)
  • Mid GameCube £27.99
  • Late GameCube £22.99 (Game)
  • End of Gamecube life £5.99 (WH Smiths Sale)
  • Wii Launch £17.99 (
  • Post Christmas price £24.99 (

I think we will see this price increase as its popularity goes up, and availability goes down. So it could well be a good time to buy into some of that WaveBird stock.

Let’s end by quoting from the IGN 9.5 review:

Nintendo’s wireless WaveBird controller is my father. It owns me — there is no doubting that. From the moment I first used it, I knew I would have to worship it for the rest of my life. Really, you’ve read our review — you know we love this thing.

— Update (12th March 2007) —

Thanks for all the feedback. That’s made interesting reading. If you are still after a Wavebird, and beat the escalating ebay prices, Amazon now have them for £17.98 and Play have them for £17.99.

Andy Robertson

Memories of Legend

A masterpiece, a feat in game design, or a work of art. Call it what you will, but I remember Ocarina of Time as a game of memories.

My cousin and I spent long hours playing this game, exploring every nook and cranny of Hyrule, defeating bosses and navigating dungeons. This game represents a period in my life, a period of simplicity and lazy winter days.

The game is often noted as the first 3-D game in the Zelda series, but being new to the land of Nintendo games, I hadn’t played previous 2D Zeldas. And so I approached the game with a brilliant naivety.

I was first introduced to it when my cousin brought it over at our annual New Year’s Eve party. It was the end of 1998, as I recall. He was still in Kokiri Forest. Watching him navigate through the town was amazing. The graphics were beautifully realistic for the time. I knew that this game was something big, and I immediately wanted a copy of my own.

Around this time, my father had been wheeling and dealing with a friend of his at work to buy his old N64 games off of him. I believe he managed to get Ocarina of Time from him. I can’t quite remember how it went, but I do remember the excitement of holding the game in my hands.

And so it began. The days of working together with my cousin to get past dungeons. The jealousy of seeing him as an adult Link while I was still in the child part of the game. It always seemed he got me wherever I wanted to be.

During those days, I was new to the world of complex adventure games. My cousin ended up completing most of the game for me, but I still played it a lot.

Those were the days of gaming I remember the most, and in my mind, no game has ever rivaled the experience I had with Ocarina of Time.

Matt Atkins

Cross-Pollenation 1: 8BitHero

In the first of our blog exchange program here is a review of 8BitHero. Their review of us is found here.

8BitHero is an up and coming blog headed up by Kerri Sharp (aspiring games journo/designer/DJ) and Craig Langridge (hopeful video game translator/localizer).
The Brighton based team provide a window on all that is new and happening in the gaming world. In addition key articles pepper the left hand bar, providing in depth opinion to go alongside you helping of news.

Going from strength to strength since October 06, long ay they continue. The question just remains, which one is 8bit and which is the hero.

The Beautiful Game(s)

Don’t you love to be sucked into the experience of a game? You know, the kind of game that has such an intriguing story and cast of characters that you wish you could (and sometimes do) play the game for hours on end? The kind of game that can have flaws, but they simply do not matter? The sort of game that feels like you are getting on a ride you do not want to get off of? Those are the sort of games I look for. In this article, we pay tribute to the top 15 greatest game experiences of all time. If you disagree, feel free to comment on this post with your own top 15.

15. Mortal Kombat

Finish Him! Nuff said? For those who can remember the crowds that would gather around a Mortal Kombat arcade, that is probably all you need to jog your memory. While this game will be remembered for the sight of seeing worried parents, and rabid gamers gathered around an arcade, its game play revolutionized fighting games forever.

14. Psychonauts

After reading about how watered down the ps2 version was by a respected video game magazine, I almost didn’t play this game. But I was very pleasantly surprised to experience one of the most creative platform games ever created. I still do not understand why this game didn’t sell better than it did. If you have not played this game, go buy it, now. Definitely one of the funniest and most entertaining games ever created.

13. Maniac Mansion

Girlfriend gets kidnapped by a green looking Martian family? You have to sneak in, talk to tentacles, microwave hamsters, and radio to other planets to save her from a creepy dungeon beneath the house? What’s not to love about this game? And why hasn’t there been a sequel announced for any systems beyond the NES? Keep the point and click system! Just make it more intuitive, give us voiceovers, and updated graphics! Truly, one of the most imaginative experiences ever in the history of video games.

12. Asherons Call

World of Warcraft fans. Time to pay tribute. Asherons Call was put out by Microsoft back in the late 90’s. For people who saw thru the crap that Everquest was, Asherons Call offered an “ahead of its time” arena in which to pown monsters and guys in black armor, endlessly. Many of its genius ideas were later taken and perfected, and we call that game World of Warcraft.

11. Street Fighter 2

The fighting game of all fighting games. I am hoping Microsoft’s recent decision to acquire Capcom means we may get a respectable online Street Fighter Game. While the EX series was popular in Japan, it did not do as well in the states. The series still has a lot of potential to grow, and I hope to see some enthusiasm around this series again in the future. For now, if you decide to play the classic SF2—no, you cannot attack the elephants in the Dhalism level. You just can’t.

10. River City Ransom

The first game to introduce frequent vomiting. River City Random. *BARF* For those of you who actually had a life in the 80s, let me fill you in. Every time you defeated a character, they would usually throw up. Poor Japanese translation at its best, River City Ransom let you explore small Japanese towns, where you could read and learn about new abilities, eat sushi, burgers, and the smiles are always free! Worth a play on the GBA port for the humor alone, but truly meant to be played 2 player on the NES. Come on Virtual Console!

9. Dance Dance Revolution

D-D-R! I believe this game was made by the government to fight obesity in gamers. OK, not really, but it is a really fun work out. I wouldn’t recommend jumping on one in a shopping mall on your first try, but to wake up and get down to some Sean Paul as a start to your morning work out is pretty nice. Then if you actually like it, get in touch with me so I can own you in online mode.

8. Donkey Kong Country

The colors, the music, the rendered graphics, and the flawless game-play. These things truly made Donkey Kong Country a world in which you could spend days and days in. Too bad it was only a few hours long. This is an example of a game that really did not need to be changed much. Keep the old formula, and give us new graphics to look at, and we will be happy!

7. Zelda 3: A link to the past

Two words. Master Sword. Who can forget running in the sunlight towards the master sword as the animals parted a path for you? If you really want to feel like you are the savior of the world, this is your game. As you adventure into the world, it is not just the story that will keep you playing, but the desire to improve your game experience by acquiring new items. Also a wonderful example of how puzzles in video games should be made.

6. Golden Eye 007

While the Nintendo 64 didn’t offer many hits, the hits it offered were phenomenal. 007 lead the charge of four player game play that has now been adopted by every video game system. All hail. Oh yeah, and paintball mode rules.

5. Tetris DS

Who can’t appreciate the pure genius of this puzzle game? I believe this game was meant to be multiplayer as the online Nintendo DS version shows. Being able to connect wirelessly to anyone in the world to school them in a game of Tetris is pure gamer bliss.

4. Final Fantasy 4

As we all know by know, this was Final Fantasy 2 in the states. The first RPG to come stateside that had such a rich story line. Almost every character dies, and you feel for each one of them. As you progress towards your goal of saving the world, seeing your favorite characters sacrifice themselves for you to continue meant you couldn’t stop till you got there. I am also guessing you still have some Final Fantasy 4 music on your ipod?

3. StarCraft- with

Easily the one game that I have spent the most hours playing. Blizzard revolutionized RTS games with this entry. Not only was the game exciting to play by itself, it developed a community of gamers who supported the multiplayer mode with fresh new maps, multiplayer RPGs, clans, tournaments, and all of the online mayhem you could ever ask for. Part of the downside of Blizzard getting rich off of WoW is we may not see a sequel for a long time. Please? Blizzard?

2. Final Fantasy 7

The game that brought RPGs to the mainstream. Final Fantasy 7. If you played RPGs before FF7 came out, you were probably a closet gamer who had to pay $80 for a copy of Final Fantasy 6 for your Super Nintendo. But once Cloud and his gang came to the rescue on the Playstation, in a game that was originally supposed to release on the Nintendo 64, by the way, you were safe to come out of the closet! There with you were a few million other gamers who enjoyed what I consider to be the best story written for a video game, ever. As well as revolutionary FMVs, cut scenes, and an imaginative world which sucked you in from the beginning. I also appreciated the amount of Japanese culture they left in the game. I sort of wish they would keep more of that in the current round of games coming out.

1. World of Warcraft

Here it is. The best gaming experience available right now. World of Warcraft. It appeared on South Park, it has over 6 Million Subscribers (probably more by the time you read this), and it will consume your life, if you let it. It is the alpha and the omega. The perfected MMO as we know it. If you don’t currently own it, its because you’re scared. I will close by quoting Cartman, “Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you.”

Dave Trager

The Play Biome

card_andyr_small.gifIn 2001, Tim Smit started a country garden project with a difference. Inspired by the fascinating story of plants’ importance to man, he set about creating an environment where people could again explore:

man’s relationship with and dependence upon plants

eden.gifOften acclaimed for its giant conservatory biomes, the Eden Project removed the usual boundaries and borders that kept the public away from the plants. Instead they provided enticing winding paths amoungst the undergrowth.

Art and information encouraged people to touch, smell and experience the plants in their natural habitats. For them, the problems this introduced was worth the results. They believed that a big part of enjoying and preserving something was to be invovled and connected to it.

We don’t have all the answers, we don’t want to tell others what to think; what we do is invite people to explore their world afresh

All very well, but what has this got to do with games? After a recent visit to the Eden Project, it struck me that this vision has much in common with Nintendo’s hopes for the Wii.

The previous boundaries, like complicated controllers and complex games, that kept many people away from games have now been replaced by friendly wii-remote. Games that took hours to learn have given way to games that anyone of any age can pick up and play.

For Nintendo, the cost of compromising on complexity was worth it, if it meant bringing games to a wider audience. Their Wii (we as in us) monicer, highlights their beleif that we best enjoy games when everyone gets invovled. Not only are there more players, but our play interaction and mechanic benefits from the variety of perspectives.

Like the Eden Project, they are helping people explore man’s relationship with games.

Nintendo has created the most inviting, inclusive video game system to date. Thanks to our unique controller, anyone of any age or skill level can pick up and play games on the Wii console.

And as Tim Smit was surprised by the success of his project, Nintendo also look like they might exceed even their own dreams of playing being believing.

digg.gifAndy Robertson

Vega Baby – Part 2

card_charlej_small.gifContinuing his review from last time, Charles digs deeper into RainbowSix Vegas..

The AI in the game uses different scenario based voice commands and you get this sinking feeling regarding the yell for reinforcements. And everything is three dimensional. The first time the enemy drops into a room using fast ropes, if you aren’t using tactical overwatch moves, everyone is going to get wiped out. At the very least it has you closely examining every dark corner for a sniper, and every high ceiling casino floor for fastroping terrorists.

vegas2.gifSquad level tactics is a topic I wrote an online manual for another, turn-based play by email game three years ago (ed – Charles is writing an article on Laser Squad Nemesis coming soon). Using this background in a first person shooter with a co-op mode by itself is highly addictive.

Add in a real world friend in the same room, who knows the same basic moves and everything turns into a precision event. Every room sweep is a blast, and we are totally sucked into the experience. My palms sweat as they grip the wireless controller, and seeing a good sized splitscreen with 1080i detail makes it easier to pick off the waves of terrorists that we wade through. One level’s kills – 35 for me, 40 for Ben. That’s after we worked three hours to clear the single stage (Dante’s). Brutal yet somehow strangely relaxing.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Tom Clancy’s second best move was to get into interactive gaming. In the late 1980s, Red Storm Rising was a game that was actually encouraged to be used by aircrewmen as training in both sight recognition of Soviet warships and in basic antisubmarine warfare. With his franchise rights for Rainbow Six going in several different directions, the accuracy and detail payoff tremendously. This is a game with multiple replayability in co-op and single player mode.

And that’s not even covering the XBox Live experience. But after playing with a good, skilled friend, I think the Live with random teammates will pale in comparison.

Strap Get!

strap.gifTo save you an 0870 peak rate UK call, you just need to email with your name and address and the number of straps you require.

They will then post them out to you.

I ordered mine on 16th December and they arrived on the 2nd Jan. All free and nicely installed. Safe as houses!

A New Heaven and Earth

card_rick_small.gifWith gamers pricking up their ears over Halo, Microsoft looked to fully dazzle them as they continued the story in the second edition. Oh yes, and that little bit of spice they call Xbox Live.

You’ll have to forgive me but I can honestly say Halo didn’t do it for me. The Xbox was interesting, but before people across the world discovered Xbox Live it didn’t really draw attention from Sony’s consoles. No, Halo looked very nice and had a great story but I wanted more, the thrill of looking a real opponent in the eye, of judging my skill on a world stage, and of connecting to friends across the globe.

Ironically, when Halo 2 was released on my birthday I did not really give it much of a look. As I said, the original nevber really clicked with me, so I could not see the sequel doing it either. And Top Spin was keeping me busy when-ever the kids slept!

halo3.gifThankfully, some spare birthday money and a slow games month led to a compulsive Halo 2 purchase along with some beers and ice cream. I took it home and popped it in, expecting to be back on TopSpin with an hour. Surfice to say, Topspin didn’t get played that night and not for quite a while after.

So what was it about Halo 2 that took me away from tennis court heaven. As I have already alluded, it was the online play. From the off you could tell it was a product of breeding, which led to a rapidly growing Halo 2 community that I had never see before on such a global scale.

The robustness of lag free online play, seamless matches and ingenious ranking systems soon meant I was playing every night with my family and friends. And every so often we would clan-up and gird ourselves against screaming american teenagers, and win (sometimes).

Then there was the gameplay itself. Balanced weapons, amazingly designed maps and perfectly crafted game types. Graphically it stood head and shoulders above anything else out there, and its sound effects and voice-work were tight and crisp. I still get a shiver when I hear those monks singing the Halo 2 welcome. Everything went together just right.

Now we wait for Halo 3. No longer happy to limp on with poor 360 emulation support of Halo 2. So we are being fed by the bright light of the next-gen games, we flutter from game to game with one question only; will this game fill the void that Halo left empty.digg.gif The only answer can be to hold up and wait for 2007…lets go for a wii.

Golden Gun

card_weekes_small.gifWhere do I begin with this game? This is the first console game I expirienced on my first console, the N64. And it can only could describe as a natural wonder!

I popped in the cart, turned the system on and wala, that famous screen with the 007 logo and all that official copyright info, quicky followed by that chilling heartbeat. Cut to an agent on screen only to discover he has teriminated you. Classic Bond stuff, straight out of the movies. From the menu system text to the mision briefing tips this is the bond universe universe through and through.

goldengun.gifThis experience continues as you play the first level. Live action James Bond. If Nintendo was ever worried if it had delieverd on its promise of N64 graphics detail then this game certainly solidifed the meaning of 3d graphics power!

Not only did it look amazing, the well placed levels and gameplay drew you into it more. Often you would find yourself just looking around at the details in the environment, all the textures and colors in the fire-arms themselves, the rendered clouds in the sky. Each level demanded different tactics. Sometimes stealth someimte quick thinking. It was all so amazing.

But, like many others, it was the multiplayer levels I enjoyed the most. Playing split screen with my sister, nepwhew and friends. TIme had obviously been spent planning the mutliplayer level layout and weapon balancing.

This all adds up to what has become the grandaddy of all modern day console first person shooters. It did things that no other games were doing in those years. It was a game way ahead of its time!

Wii – Poo

poo.gifThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC), those “charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable”, seem to have gotten into the spirit of the Wii with a jovial FCC id for the Wii-mote. As was picked up by The Inquirer, and now pictured on a UK Wii (right), it reads:


digg.gifCoincidence or is this a chink in the po-faced armour of the powers that be.

Life After Wii

card_andyr_small.gifThe day arrived, and I meandered into Game to collect the Wii. I was surprised to find a queue of people doing the same. When I collected my DS pre-order the store was empty. Shows how much Nintendo has risen in the UK populace psyches in the last couple of years.

I went for Wii-play, a nun-chuck and Zelda. All in it cost me £272.96, not the cheapest console I’ve brought.

I got it home and unpacked it. The package was top notch, real ‘ipod’ class. It really does seem like they have either hired the people apple use for their branding and packaging. With no reason to rush, the console was out of the box and hooked up in about 30 minutes.

wii.gifIt connected to my netgear wireless router with no problem, and performed some system updates. I only needed to turn to the manual when trying to ‘sync’ my second wii-mote, you need to press a button in the SD slot on the console as well as the button in the battery bay of the remote.

Using the Wii was even better than I had expected. The little buzz each time you hit a button and the audio plings singing from the remote really do make it feel like a new era of gaming.

Wii-sports lived up to the hype and I was quickly playing some tennis with my Jo. And true to form, I also managed to thwak Thom (1) who happened to be in the wrong place for a cross court smash! No broken windows or TV’s yet though!

Creating Mii’s provided more entertainment, and we now have the whole family running around the plaza!

With a create packaging and build quality, great elevator background music, and the awsome packed in wii-sports any fears I had are allayed. I just need for my freinds to get their now (and some proper online games)!

Vegas Baby – Part 1

card_charlej_small.gifBen, one of my Navy flying buddies is staying with me as a geoBach (Geographical Bachelor). He is midway through refresher training for his role as a carrier-based helo Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) air-crewman. Think The Guardian because that was Ben’s exact job when he was training in Pensacola.

He and I went through jet training for the S-3 Viking as enlisted backseat guys together in 1990. A few years back he transferred to a training command for an instructor tour, so Ben’s kids and wife are still back in Pensacola.

vegas.gifThe fun we get from playing Rainbow Six: Vegas is extraordinary. Never mind the stunning graphics as this Tom Clancy inspired FPS is brought to life on a wall-sized HDTV 1080i LCD with Bose wave acoustic sound ripping machinegun fire and explosions, it’s the cameraderie I get from sitting next to one of my best friends and doing in the bad guys with a team effort. He’s had the training through his CSAR experience, mine was privately held in the deserts of New Mexico, but we both are able to adapt to calls of:

‘Loading… Moving… Supppressing the hallway’

He and I will play from about six to nine at night, each of us talking to our significant others on our bluetooth headsets as we pause the game to answer calls. Believe me, if we were where they were, we wouldn’t get the chance to spend so much time in front of the 360, so we savor the opportunity.

Life Before Wii

clock.gifBetween the wish and the thing life lies waiting. How much of human life is lost in waiting?

I was worried about getting overkill in the run up to the UK launch, but my gamer-tank still seems to have enough fuel in it for a few more days.

My very own Wii-to-be is, this instant, sat in my local Game waiting to be collected on Friday. I even have a little time off work to go collect it.

If you checked my gamer card you would discover my age and appreciate my playing down of the whole collecting console on launch day. But basically I am as excited as a kid before Christmas.

My fears about the wii are:

  • It won’t get my friends and family playing.
  • The control will feel loose and spongy.
  • They won’t release Parasol Stars on the virtual console.

My hopes about the wii are:

  • That it will be graphically cleverer than the Gamecube.
  • That all my friends will get one too.
  • That my kids and wife will like it and spend hours sculpting their Mii’s.
  • That there will be many long evenings and late night game-experience sessions for all.

Numbers Schmumbers

What a pleasant surprise it was when I first found out about Game People. A website with reviewers who actually focus on the actual experience of playing a game. In all of its joys, surprises, and controller throwing mania-there is really only one reason we all play games: for the experience of the game.

psu.gifI recently read a review in a popular video game magazine for a game on the PS2 and Xbox 360 – Phantasy Star Universe. For weeks I had been looking at the screen shots for the game, anxiously anticipating a new online universe to immerse myself in. Then, without warning, one of my favorite video game reviewers brought my world to its knees with a 6.0 out of 10.0 score. Despite my initial excitement, I was discouraged and almost chose not to play it. Thankfully, Game Fly didn’t have my first choice in my queue, and sent my second: Phantasy Star Universe – which turned out to be very entertaining, and an experience like no other.

Now don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything cutting edge about it. There are no bells and whistles, and the music is comparative to tracks I remember from the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis eras. But the imaginative art work, graphics, and character design, coupled with a simple gameplay brought me many hours of fun an excitement.

So, gamers of tomorrow, I will leave you with a question: As the “next gen” systems roll out, will we continue our time honored tradition of cutting edge imagination, creativity, fun, and excitement? Or will we sacrifice the experience of gaming for being overly critical of something that is only supposed to bring us a little fun and laughter?

If you’re looking for the experience, you are right where you should be. Consider yourself a Game Person.