Latest posts with tag: "wii u"

  • Looking back at the Wii as we enter 2013

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    Well, another year has ended, and another winding-down Nintendo console has passed the baton to its successor. The Wii U, Nintendo's new generation console, is now the focus for fans—and something for me to anticipate as I save up to buy my own. As I go forth into 2013, I find myself taking a look back on my way forward, and reflecting on my own past experiences with the Wii.

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    The Wii was the first console I ever stood in a launch day line for. T'was a cold November morning in 2006. A light, sporadic drizzle added to the misery of around a hundred people standing outside Best Buy. I was number 62 in line—early enough to be guaranteed a system. We stood there for about two hours before they let us inside. By the time I was finally able to scurry home with my spoils, a six year love affair with Nintendo's little white box had already begun.
  • Wii U secrets: The R3 and L3 buttons don't have names!

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    You know those fancy buttons underneath the left and right sticks on the PlayStation 3 that are called R3 and L3? They don't actually have any names on the Wii U. The in-game documentation via prompts in Nintendo Land and Ninja Gaiden just say "Hold R" with a picture of a stick that has two little arrows above it. I think this is similar to what the 360 does maybe?

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    This shot's from the Internet browser, which has pictures that show the little "press in" arrow. Ninja Gaiden 3 uses a similar graphic. Notably, Nintendo Land never actually shows a picture with an arrow, just says "Press (picture of stick)." Whoa!

    So yep there's no official name. SECRETS

    Thanks for reading all our rump-grabbing Wii U secrets this week! Our regularly-scheduled programming returns on Monday!
  • Wii U secrets: You can message Miiverse administrators!

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    Not long after setting up my Miiverse information for the first time, I decided it was time to spruce up the decor a little bit by jazzin' out my profile message. While I was fond of the original "Do, Re, Egon" greeting, it was time to push the envelope a little bit. With the assistance of my favorite linguistic website, I pieced together a polite and affable greeting I'd be happy to show you, your girlfriend, or your grandmother's girlfriend: "He knew I couldn't wait to consume the battered roadkill off his veiny quim prod."

    I figured the relatively obsfucated nature of the literary stylings would keep it safe from both underpaid humans or underpowered robots, but it was apparently caught within minutes, for whatever reason. I had my suspicions that it may have been due to containing the word kill, until I later attempted to change my message to one that contained the word "farts" and was presented with an automatic message that prevented me from even entering it. Maybe it was the conjunction of the words road AND kill together that allowed it to dodge the filter? At any rate, the way it was handled was interesting: I received a message in my Miiverse sidebar from Miiverse Administration, which stated that my profile was determined to contain inappropriate content and the status was thus hidden from view. The message further stated that after I had read the code of conduct and changed it, I was supposed to send them a message back!

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    After I changed it to the much less threatening "Dinner roll," I clicked the "send message" button in the thread and was presented with a form offering me a series of pre-determined form statements I could give, some of them less complicit than others. It took a couple hours after that, but my profile was unblocked. Later, I posted a picture of Momiji's ludicrously gigantic kimono pillows among other photos which were almost 80% composed of blood and limbs, and received nine Yeahs without incident.

    So yes, these are real people who really see your stuff, and sometimes, they will even moderate your ass into the aether and wait for a reply. Something about it felt neat to me, even though I was already thinking of new ways to talk about my thrill drill exploring the recesses of a vintage golf bag.

    Check back tomorrow for one last(?) coma-breaking Wii U secret!
  • Wii U secrets: The games seem to all have version numbers!

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    Fire up your copy of New Super Mario Bros. U and you'll see it right there on the title screen, next to the prompt imploring you to PUSH 2 TO START even if you are using the normal actual controller that game with the Wii U, on which there is no "2" anywhere. Version 1.1.0, it says! Did you know that other games also include these version numbers prominently?

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    In Nintendo Land, all you have to do is go to the main menu, then click options. You can see it there at the bottom, 1.1.0. Even my downloaded copy of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge contains a version number, this one also at the title screen. It was 1.0.1, not as good as the other games!! For a while anyway. Today's DLC update that added in Momiji changed the number to 1.1.0, officially as good as the other two games now. What is the deal though I wonder, do you suppose it is a mandate that your game has to feature a version number in a three number decimal-separated format? Has anyone else noticed version numbers in any other games?


    Check back tomorrow for another grundle-tickling Wii U secret!
  • Wii U secrets: The TV remote function can control receivers after all!

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    While I can't reasonably see myself ever using the Wii U GamePad's TV remote functionality to actually switch inputs or change channels as Nintendo's promotional materials are fond of romanticizing—my Harmony remote manages my devices in a fashion the GamePad is just literally incapable of emulating—I would be lying if I said the idea of changing the volume of my speakers from my controller didn't tickle me in my down-there area.

    Alas, I use an A/V receiver to manage my myriad inputs, and while you can set up the Wii U to control both a television and a cable box, receivers are one step too ambitious. That strikes useful input switching off the list entirely, but does it also kill my dream of not having to reach for the remote when it gets late and New Super Mario Bros. U's blasting "bah bahs" start waking the neighbors? Maybe not!

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    As it turns out, some TeeVees these days can talk to receivers over HDMI. I actually knew this already, but then made a point of forgetting it, as the first time I realized it was happening a few years ago was when power-toggling my TV would also power-toggle my receiver, which wreaked havoc on my programmed Harmony activities. So I disabled it with extreme prejudice. After hearing rumblings within deep Internet caverns, though, I poked back into the settings to see if it really could make my Wii U volume dreams come true.

    And lo! Within the crags of those arcane and disjointed menus, I found an option to decouple power syncing, but leave "home theater" audio controls enabled. With trepidation I poked the volume button on the GamePad, a little "home theater audio" tile popped up on the bottom of my TV screen, and my receiver obediently obliged. Eureka!

    Maybe I lucked out here, since my Panasonic Plasma TV purports to only communicate with other Panasonic products via Viera Link, and yet my Pioneer receiver seems wholly capable of following its commands. You may meet with similar success, despite conflicting manufactureres. Or maybe you won't! But the functionality exists, nonetheless, and the Wii U's ineptitude has been salvaged by the magics of HDMI. Make sure you've got a genuine Monster Brand Cable, though, as sophisticated volume changing commands could never make it through unshielded and inferior copper electro-pipes ha ha nah

    Check back tomorrow for another spine-tingling Wii U secret!
  • Wii U secrets: 3DS Miis get upgrades!

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    As I went to output a couple mugshots from the Wii U Mii Maker for.... various uses... I was STUNNED!!!! to find that not only was my dumb old face notably higher res, but it featured some astonishing new elements.

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    3DS on the left, Wii U on the right. Click to see the amazing details up close!

    Check out that fuckin' beard! The power of polygons, bros and broettes. Got some sophisticated armpit rendering in there too, and a decidedly upgraded and proprietary hair-lighting engine to go with my freshly inked black frames. They've also seen fit to reduce my ghostly pallor just a shade—perhaps there is more natural light in the Wii U version of the Mii Maker.

    But HEY what's going on with the hairline at the bottom there? That's not a mere rendering difference, that's actually an alteration to the hair model. I'm not entirely sure I'm in favor of the change in this particular instance, but there it is nonetheless! It would appear that the Wii U bits and pieces are tweaked hither and thither vs their 3DS counterparts—I wonder how extensive the tweaks are throughout the entire set.

    Someone should do a comprehensive comparison, because I'm sure not gonna!

    Check back tomorrow for another mind-blowing Wii U secret!
  • Wii U secrets: The GamePad is packed with goodies!

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    You probably know there's a near-field communication chip in the Wii U GamePad, or that it has all kinds of SUPER SPECIAL gyrometers and gravitational field sensors in it. But did you know there are some other awesome neat craps about it?

    One cool thing that it does when compared to the original Wii is that it has a sanctioned Wii Remote pairing option. You don't even need to press the sync button on the console anymore, just the button on the remote. This saves a lot of annoying headache. But I am sure most of you have already experienced this feature. It is not secret! Ha ha.

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    The Wii U itself is ridiculously energy efficient, consuming between 31W and 33W of power, less than half of that used by the PS3 or 360, according to mysterious Internet sources. The system itself doesn't actually have an official "standby" or "sleep" mode, just a power-down option, which ain't so bad considering what a light eater it is even when it's on.

    The GamePad itself is another story, eating through a fully-charged battery in about three or four hours. But if you go into the GamePad's controller settings menu and tap the button to turn off the screen, the blue light on the controller actually pulses and ebbs just like a modern piece of sleep mode electronics. It's not exactly what it seems, but it's still kinda neat! The screen pops back on as soon as you push a button, but if you don't want the thing staring at you with its bright light while you're doing something else and you can't be bothered to stick the thing back on the dock, it's probably a sensible way to conserve the GamePad charge. Wonder how long it lasts with the screen off.

    Speaking of the dock, there's something neat hidden in there too that maybe you already noticed but it took me a while—there are two tiny rubber wheels in the dock that help roll the GamePad into the proper charging position if you put it on there off-center. The wheels come to rest in two tiny dimples built into the bottom of the GamePad.

    Other fun stuff! When you use the TV remote option, you don't have to press the keys on the touch screen to use the features. The plus and minus buttons control the volume when it's open, for example, and other buttons on the remote can change channels and do other stuff. Wow!

    Check back on Monday for another bowel-loosening Wii U secret!
  • Wii U secrets: Daily Log keeps records of original Wii mode!

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    It's pretty well-known that the original Wii mode of the Wii U is heavily locked up behind tight doors from anything the Wii U does. Unlike the 3DS' implementation for original DS games, the Wii U doesn't track anything that you do when you're in the Wii mode of the system. Or does it?! In fact, it kind of does, in an altogether useless sort of way.

    When you put an original Wii game into the Wii U disc drive, the menu actually displays an image of a disc with the "Wii" logo in the corner of the icon, though it doesn't actually display what software is on the disc. If you click the disc you're given a message that says it's Wii format software, and you can click the button it shows to launch Wii mode and boot the game.

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    The Wii U's Daily Log application doesn't keep any record of the time you spent in Wii mode, nor any indication of what you actually did while you were in there. But! You might be surprised to find out that the log does indeed record if the Wii mode was at least booted at all on a particular day, by way of a tiny line of text below the actual software entries. Note that it doesn't indicate anything other than that it was indeed launched—no times, number of boots, or anything else. But it is distinct per user, so it will only show up on the Daily Log of the actual signed-in Wii U user that loaded it up. Neat?!

    Check back tomorrow for another shocking Wii U secret!
  • Wii U secrets: Game manuals delight with graphics and links!

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    Nintendo pulls as much paper as they can out of their manuals these days, but all those pretty pictures and fat infos have got to end up somewhere. And somewhere they have landed indeed! Hit the Home button on your GamePad while playing a game, tap the "Manual" button, and voilĂ .

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    The Wii U manuals are actually extremely similar to the 3DS ones, which themselves were incubated on DSiWare titles. These Wii U ones though are much better replacements for proper paper manuals than the 3DS ones have manged to be. Aside from the obvious benefits you get from a gigantic pixel-rich screen, the individual manual pages can now support background images and footer art, like with Nintendo Land as seen above, a nice upgrade over the solid-colored 3DS pages. There's a lot more opportunity for design here, and lots of pages feature nice big graphics. (Correction: as Tyeforce points out in the comments, select 3DS titles do indeed support background images.)

    The real benefit of a digital manual is that you can interact with it, though. The 3DS manual pages are pretty much static, barring a font-size option. The Wii U manuals introduce two varieties of shortcut links—little numbers attached to screenshots that scroll you down the page to explain what the number was pointing at (and then back up if you tap the number again), and page number navigation links that move your forward or backwards to a related subject.

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    And here's a neat little thing: the game's model number is at the bottom of the manual table of contents. AWESOME!

    Check back tomorrow for another unbelievable Wii U secret!
  • Wii U secrets: Hey, it's got accomplishments after all!

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    I've talked before about how if you really wanted to share an accomplishment on the Wii U, it was as simple as screen-shotting whatever you did and posting it to Miiverse. Which you can indeed do! But now that the Wii U is actually in our filthy little hands, a new feature has shown itself: tags.

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    Look at that right there. Only New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land use it so far, being the only titles that actually feature full Miiverse integration. But the idea is that when you post to Miiverse via an in-game prompt, the game can tag your post with a little green sentence. Much of this so far is just adding a scope to your comment, like the name of a stage in NSMBU or the name of the minigame in Nintendo Land. But the game can also add tags that are based upon events. I got prompts to post to Miiverse in NSMBU when I first beat the game, and again when I got all five save-file stars, and posting right then and there added unique tags to my posts. Had I not chosen to post I'da been outta luck and never had the option to share the tag again, but that's just a game-specific implementation quirk.

    So what's so great about a tagged Miiverse post? The tag is added by the game itself, which means it's only there when you actually do something, adding credibility to your post. And you can tap a tag to see every single other person on Miiverse who also posted with it, along with said posts. A mini-community of sweet dudes!

    While NSMBU's posting style clearly isn't designed to try and emulate traditional achievement systems with its "post now or it's gone forever" method, other games could easily just add "post" buttons to your in-game accomplishment list, allowing you to share any of your cheevs as a tag, and draw some dumb crap along with them. And like with screenshot-sharing, you only choose to share those you actually give a damn about. Or all of them, whatever!

    Just a neat little deet from my time on the street. Meat.

    Check back tomorrow for another neat Wii U secret!