Dragonball Z, Budokai Tenkaichi 2 – Wii remote or old school controllers?

Posted by dkidwell on January 14th, 2007 — Posted in ages 4-8, ages 9-11, Dragonball Z, Nintendo DS, parenting, Wii

Turns out my son has found it far easier to play Dragonball Z – Budokan Techkaichi 2 – using the Wavebird wireless controllers that we bought for our Gamecube, rather than learning to use the wiimote. Flying, moving around and generally doing ‘cool stuff’ was just too difficult.

It seems that button mashing is easier in the old style controllers, rather than using arm motions to achieve the same effect. Is this a lack of wii-muscles? Is it poor design?

We’ve suggested that our older son opt for the wiimote when playing his younger brother, who could use the old style controller. This effectively provides a handicap to even out the two boys, who are about 6 years apart in age.

The camera angles in Dragonball Z – Budokai Tenkaichi 2 – are well done and really do have the feel of being in the cartoon. The fighting effects are rather nice, and it’s captivating the fellas for a surprising amount of game time.

Lesson learned, don’t be ashamed to use the old school controllers on the new Wii!

4th of July, Games and Fireworks

Posted by dkidwell on July 6th, 2006 — Posted in Nintendo DS, parenting, World of Warcraft

We took the family out on the road for the 4th – from Texas to Ohio.  These family road trips are fantastic.  Our gaming family goes off to go visit my husbands gaming family.  I suppose it isn’t surprising, but our holiday can be tracked by the games we played along the way:

Driving to Ohio:

  • Suduko
  • Find the Word Puzzles
  • A clever twist on Connect Four called “Toot and Otto,”  where you are Toot or Otto and have to spell out your name.
  • Nintendo DS games:
    • 3 team Mario KartS
    • Brother v. Brother matchups of Mario and Luigi in the downloadable game from Super Mario Bros. (punctuated with alot of “That’s MY star!”
    • Animal Crossing

At Grandma’s house:

  • Euchre, a fantastic card game with a confounding element that takes the Jack of the trump suit and turns it into a ‘Right Bower.’  The jack of the other suit becomes a “Left Bower” (so if the trump is spades, the left bower is the Jack of clubs, etc.) The heirarchy follows as:  Right Bower, Left Bower, Ace, King, Queen, Ten, Nine.  You throw away anything less than Nine.  Enough..google it if you need to know more!
  • Uno (with twentyfive cent winnings, paid in impressive piles of nickles.)
  • Bingo (again, twentyfive cent winning, but blackouts worth $1 – My youngest won $4.25 between the two games and is quite proud.)
  • More of the same Nintendo DS titles.
  • Solitaire:  Our oldest learned to play this one using real cards!
  • Freecell:  He picked this one up pretty fast, and thinks ahead, so he’s got a good mind for it.

4th of July in Batesville, Indiana

  • Corn Hole:  Where you toss bean bags into a box with a hole in it. Yep, that’s it.  This Texas girl didn’t play – give me horseshoes or washers, please. Down in the basement we found a box for  game where they called it Baggo.  Maybe it’s Baggo in Cincy and Corn Hole in Indy?
  • World of Warcraft:  yes, the farmhouse has a robust wifi and my son was able to log in, check the auction house and get a quick fix of WoW.

We didn’t have time for any Hand and Foot, which is a variation of Canasta.  We’ll have to catch it next time, our 9yo is quite good at it and loves playing.

My ladies league fantasy football draft started up a week ago, so there was drafting throughout the holiday.  After the draft I’ll post a summary of the draft, but so far it’s going well!

With so much going on, we couldn’t get up to Origins, a large gaming convention in Columbus.  Next year we’ll really have to extend our visit so we can get up there.
Graeter’s Ice Cream, Skyline Chili, and gaming – we just love visiting Grandma!

E3 – Nintendo’s Revolution – we want your whole family to play!

Posted by dkidwell on May 9th, 2006 — Posted in console games, Nintendo DS, parenting, reviews

At the Nintendo press conference this morning, the Nintendo executives drew a picture of a world where older couples practice golf swings in their living rooms, and whole families play tennis and baseball in the comfort of their homes.

I expect parents to be seeking the Wii and it’s wiimote and nunchaku for Christmas this year.  It’s is engaging, and my 6 year old will love swashbuckling with the new wiimote.  In fact, I can just see my kids jumping off of towered pillows, or the sofa, in fantastic moves that one would expect from only Jackie Chan or Peter Pan.  We’ll have our friends over to lob tennis balls at one another, and my daughter will conduct orchestral symphonies – not sure which game that actually is, but they showed alot of conducting on stage.   In fact, WiiSports and Zelda will apparently launch on the same day as the device – hopefully with some nice bundle packages.
The wiimote will have some sounds directly on the device, which they demoed with Zelda’s bow and could be very engaging.  And we thought we already had surround sound!

Wiimote and Nunchaku

On Thursday I’ll get the grand Nintendo tour and I’ll post over on Killer Betties a full review and specials for families here at Gamermom.

DS Lite Available in the States – June 11

Posted by dkidwell on May 4th, 2006 — Posted in Nintendo DS

Nintendo announced the US launch of the new DS lite today.  It will be out on June 11th and retail for $129.  If you were in a market for a DS this summer, it’s probably worth waiting for the new version.  Reviews show that it is smaller and has a better (wider) stylus – 2 improvements that should make for even better gameplay for young hands.  It also has significantly improved brightness and that is a big plus for gamers that are likely to be in the car for long summer vacations.

They haven’t discussed the release of an Opera Browser or digital TV tuner, both of which have been discussed for the Japanese version.
Check out the release info at: Nintendo.com News2 – New Nintendo DS Lites The Way For Mario

Test drive Super Monkey Ball online

Posted by dkidwell on May 3rd, 2006 — Posted in console games, Electroplankton, Nintendo DS, parenting

Super Monkey Ball Mini at Sega.com is a nice flash version of the real deal. We’ve had many hours of family gaming with Super Monkey Ball on the Game Cube. We’ve even been known to host competitions with our friends. It’s a wonderful party game.

The family got me a version for the DS, and with any luck, I’ll have some time on the plane next week as I’m traveling to E3 to play it and whip out a review for it. Stay tuned…