Part II: The Channels

Part II: The Channels
Wii
™
FOR
DUMmIES
by Kyle Orland
‰
Wii™ For Dummies®
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
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Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
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Copyright © 2008 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2008935265
ISBN: 978-0-470-40297-9
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
About the Author
Kyle Orland has been playing video games pretty much nonstop since just
before he got a Nintendo Entertainment System for his seventh birthday. At
age 14, he started writing about those games professionally when he set up a
fansite for Super Mario Bros. on the free Web space provided by his parents’
America Online account. Twelve years later, Super Mario Bros. HQ is still up
and running at a more professional-looking home: www.smbhq.com.
From that humble beginning, Kyle has gone on to become a successful
freelance journalist specializing in video games. He writes regular news posts
and features for popular gaming weblog Joystiq.com, pens the weekly
PressSpotting column for CNET’s Gamespot.com, co-hosts the Press Start
gaming podcast on National Public Radio’s web site, and jots down daily,
one-hour game reviews for Crispy Gamer’s Games for Lunch feature. Kyle’s
work has also appeared in Electronic Gaming Monthly, Paste Magazine,
Gamasutra, GameDaily, and The Escapist, among other outlets. He has been
quoted as a gaming expert in The New York Times, The Washington Post,
G4TV, and TheStreet.com, among other outlets.
This is Kyle’s second book. He co-wrote The Video Game Style Guide and
Reference Manual with David Thomas and Scott Steinberg in 2007 (published
by Lulu.com). His favorite game of all time is Super Mario 64.
Dedication
To my wife, Michelle, who never lets me think I can’t do anything I put my
mind to.
To my parents, who bought me my first Nintendo Entertainment System and
held their tongues when I threw away a nice, secure, decently paying desk
job to follow my dream of becoming an underpaid game journalist.
To all the friends, family, and colleagues who wouldn’t let me go crazy while
writing nearly 300 pages of reference material about a single game system.
Author’s Acknowledgments
Thanks to Gateway for making a solid laptop that stood up to hours and
hours of typing and editing for the making of this book. Thanks to Pinnacle
for making the Dazzle, a device that made taking the screenshots for the
in-book figures a painless process. Thanks to Sony for making a nice little
camera that I used to take many pictures of their competitor’s system.
Thanks to Nadeo for making TrackMania, a game that helped keep me sane
during many a writing break.
Thanks to Nintendo for providing the hardware and much of the software
used in the making of this book (not to mention the decades of gaming enjoyment they’ve provided me through their products). Thanks to my editors at
Wiley, including Amy Fandrei, Steven Hayes, Jean Nelson, and Barry ChildsHelton, for making me look good. Thanks to Alexander Sliwinski for making
sure you can actually do everything I say you can do in the book. Thanks to
the team at Joystiq that helped me get this gig and understood when I went
on a functional leave of absence for two months to actually write it.
Thanks to my sister, Paige, for not letting me distract myself from writing
by talking to her on Instant Messenger. Thanks to my friend Mike for loaning
me a Wii Remote Jacket to use in some figures. Last but not least, thanks
to Michelle for forcing me to get out of the house occasionally during the
whirlwind writing process.
Publisher’s Acknowledgments
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form
located at www.dummies.com/register/.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:
Acquisitions, Editorial
Composition Services
Project Editor: Jean Nelson
Project Coordinator: Patrick Redmond
Acquisitions Editor: Amy Fandrei,
Steven Hayes
Layout and Graphics: Ana Carrillo,
Reuben W. Davis, Nikki Gately,
Melissa K. Jester, Christin Swinford,
Christine Williams
Senior Copy Editor: Barry Childs-Helton
Technical Editor: Alexander Sliwinski
Editorial Manager: Kevin Kirschner
Proofreaders: Debbye Butler, Jessica Kramer
Indexer: Potomac Indexing, LLC
Editorial Assistant: Amanda Foxworth
Sr. Editorial Assistant: Cherie Case
Cartoons: Rich Tennant
(www.the5thwave.com)
Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies
Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher
Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher
Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director
Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director
Publishing for Consumer Dummies
Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher
Composition Services
Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services
Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services
Contents at a Glance
Introduction ................................................................ 1
Part I: The Basics ........................................................ 7
Chapter 1: How the Wii Came to Be ................................................................................ 9
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii ............................................................................... 15
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers ................................................................................ 31
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online ........................................................................... 55
Part II: The Channels ................................................. 71
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics ....................................................................................... 73
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel .................................................................................. 87
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis ................................................................................ 105
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel ..................................................................................... 129
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel.................................................................................. 145
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More........................................................................ 161
Part III: The Games ................................................. 185
Chapter 11: Picking Out Games.................................................................................... 187
Chapter 12: Wii Sports .................................................................................................. 197
Chapter 13: Wii Fit ......................................................................................................... 227
Chapter 14: Recommended Wii Games ....................................................................... 253
Part IV: The Part of Tens .......................................... 277
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download .......................................................................... 279
Chapter 16: Ten Types of Accessories ........................................................................ 293
Index ...................................................................... 301
Table of Contents
Introduction ................................................................. 1
About This Book .............................................................................................. 1
Conventions Used in This Book ..................................................................... 1
What You Don’t Have to Read........................................................................ 2
Foolish Assumptions ....................................................................................... 2
How This Book Is Organized .......................................................................... 3
Part I: The Basics ................................................................................... 3
Part II: The Channels ............................................................................. 3
Part III: The Games................................................................................. 4
Part IV: The Part of Tens ....................................................................... 4
Icons Used in This Book ................................................................................. 4
Where to Go from Here ................................................................................... 5
Part I: The Basics ......................................................... 7
Chapter 1: How the Wii Came to Be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Wii Development and Unveiling................................................................... 11
Finding a Wii ................................................................................................... 13
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Opening the Box ............................................................................................ 15
Getting the Rest of What You Need ............................................................. 17
Hooking Up Your System .............................................................................. 18
Setting Up Your System ................................................................................ 24
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Bonding with Your Wii Remote ................................................................... 31
Finding the buttons ............................................................................. 32
Safety first ............................................................................................. 35
Getting the right grip ........................................................................... 37
Basic Wii Remote actions ................................................................... 37
Connecting Additional Remotes to the Wii ................................................ 41
The Wii Remote Settings Menu .................................................................... 42
Whipping Out the Nunchuk .......................................................................... 43
Plugging it in ......................................................................................... 43
Nunchuk functions............................................................................... 44
Going Retro with the Wii Classic and GameCube Controllers ................. 46
The Wii Classic Controller .................................................................. 46
The GameCube controller................................................................... 48
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Wii For Dummies
Using Other Controllers ................................................................................ 50
Wii Balance Board................................................................................ 51
Wii Wheel .............................................................................................. 51
Wii Zapper............................................................................................. 52
Wii Guitar Controller ........................................................................... 53
Nintendo DS .......................................................................................... 54
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
What You Need to Connect the Wii to the Internet .................................. 55
Configuring the Wii’s Internet Options ....................................................... 57
Troubleshooting .................................................................................. 60
WiiConnect24 ....................................................................................... 60
Connecting to Your Friends: The Wii Message Board .............................. 61
Registering Wii Friends ....................................................................... 64
Sending Message Board messages .................................................... 66
The on-screen keyboard ..................................................................... 67
Part II: The Channels .................................................. 71
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Navigating the Wii Channel Menu ............................................................... 74
Changing the Channel ......................................................................... 75
Playing games with the Disc Channel................................................ 76
Adding new Channels .......................................................................... 78
Turning the page .................................................................................. 78
Reorganizing the Wii Menu ................................................................. 79
Cleaning Out the Cobwebs: Wii Memory Management ............................ 81
Backing up files .................................................................................... 81
Deleting data......................................................................................... 83
Restoring files ....................................................................................... 83
Moving files to another Wii................................................................. 84
Handling GameCube data ................................................................... 85
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87
Setting Things Up .......................................................................................... 88
Browsing the Virtual Aisles .......................................................................... 89
Turning Dollars into Wii Shop Points.......................................................... 91
Wii Shop Channel game pricing ......................................................... 92
Purchasing Wii Shop Points ............................................................... 92
Browsing, Purchasing, and Downloading ................................................... 96
Browsing ............................................................................................... 96
Purchasing and downloading ............................................................. 99
Gift-giving ............................................................................................ 100
Playing Downloaded Games ....................................................................... 101
Which controller do I need? ............................................................. 102
Suspending play ................................................................................. 103
Operations Guide ............................................................................... 104
Table of Contents
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
The Mii Channel and You ........................................................................... 105
Creating a Mii ..................................................................................... 105
Editing your Mii’s facial features ..................................................... 106
Mii Plaza ........................................................................................................ 110
Navigating the Mii Plaza .................................................................... 111
Mii Plaza menu ................................................................................... 112
The Mii Parade ................................................................................... 116
Checking Out the Check Mii Out Channel ................................................ 118
Checking Mii Out for the first time .................................................. 118
Navigating the Check Mii Out Channel ........................................... 120
Posting Plaza ...................................................................................... 120
Contests .............................................................................................. 126
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129
Viewing Photos and Videos ........................................................................ 129
Getting photos and videos onto an SD card ................................... 130
Navigating the thumbnail menu ....................................................... 132
Viewing photos................................................................................... 132
Watching photo slide shows ............................................................ 134
Watching videos................................................................................. 135
Posting and Sharing Photos: The Wii Message Board ............................ 136
Posting and viewing Message Board photos .................................. 136
Sending Message Board photos over the Internet ........................ 137
Playing With Your Photos: The Fun! Menu............................................... 138
Mood.................................................................................................... 140
Doodle ................................................................................................. 141
Puzzle .................................................................................................. 143
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
Web Surfing from Your Couch ................................................................... 145
The Internet Channel Start Page ...................................................... 146
The toolbar ......................................................................................... 150
Web page navigation ......................................................................... 152
Limitations of surfing on the Internet Channel .............................. 155
Must-Wii Web Sites ...................................................................................... 155
Games: WiiCade ................................................................................. 156
Video: MiiTube ................................................................................... 157
Music: Finetune .................................................................................. 158
Search: Clusty ..................................................................................... 159
Community: MapWii .......................................................................... 160
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161
Reading the News Channel ......................................................................... 161
Starting up the News Channel .......................................................... 161
Scanning the headlines ..................................................................... 162
Global news ........................................................................................ 163
News slides ......................................................................................... 165
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Wii For Dummies
Weathering the Forecast Channel ............................................................. 166
Setting up the Forecast Channel ...................................................... 166
The Forecast Channel menu ............................................................. 167
Settings ................................................................................................ 168
Global view ......................................................................................... 168
Canvassing the Everybody Votes Channel ............................................... 170
Starting up the Everybody Votes Channel...................................... 170
Voting .................................................................................................. 171
Predictions.......................................................................................... 172
Results ................................................................................................. 173
Options and user data ....................................................................... 174
Getting Informed with the Nintendo Channel .......................................... 175
Starting up the Nintendo Channel ................................................... 176
Viewing videos ................................................................................... 176
Viewing game information ................................................................ 177
Find titles for you ............................................................................... 179
Settings ................................................................................................ 181
Getting Specific with Game-Specific Channels ......................................... 182
Mario Kart Channel............................................................................ 182
Wii Fit Channel ................................................................................... 183
Part III: The Games .................................................. 185
Chapter 11: Picking Out Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187
Checking the Genre ..................................................................................... 187
Checking the Ratings................................................................................... 190
How games are rated ......................................................................... 191
Games ratings explained ................................................................... 191
Content descriptors........................................................................... 193
Other rating sources ......................................................................... 193
Reading Reviews .......................................................................................... 194
Getting a Deal ............................................................................................... 196
Chapter 12: Wii Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Getting Started ............................................................................................. 197
Choosing the number of players...................................................... 198
Choosing Miis ..................................................................................... 199
Skill levels ........................................................................................... 200
Tennis: The Racquet Racket....................................................................... 201
Getting started with tennis ............................................................... 201
Gameplay basics for tennis .............................................................. 202
Controls for tennis ............................................................................. 203
Strategy for tennis ............................................................................. 205
Secrets and Easter eggs in tennis .................................................... 206
Baseball: Getting into the Swing of Things ............................................... 207
Gameplay basics for baseball........................................................... 207
Controls for baseball ......................................................................... 207
Strategy for baseball.......................................................................... 209
Secrets and Easter eggs in baseball ................................................ 210
Table of Contents
Getting Bowled Over with Bowling ........................................................... 210
General gameplay in bowling ........................................................... 210
Controls for bowling .......................................................................... 211
Strategy for bowling .......................................................................... 213
Secrets and Easter eggs in bowling ................................................. 214
Golf: Hitting the Links ................................................................................. 215
Gameplay basics for golf ................................................................... 215
Controls for golf ................................................................................. 215
Strategy for golf .................................................................................. 218
Secrets and Easter eggs in golf......................................................... 219
Boxing: The S-Wii-t Science ........................................................................ 219
Gameplay basics for boxing ............................................................. 219
Controls for boxing ............................................................................ 220
Strategy for boxing ............................................................................ 222
Secrets and Easter eggs in boxing ................................................... 222
Training Mode .............................................................................................. 223
Tennis training games ....................................................................... 224
Baseball training games .................................................................... 224
Bowling training games ..................................................................... 225
Golf training games ............................................................................ 225
Boxing training games ....................................................................... 226
Wii Fitness........................................................................................... 226
Chapter 13: Wii Fit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227
Starting Wii Fit for the First Time .............................................................. 227
Registering the Balance Board ......................................................... 228
Placing the Balance Board ................................................................ 229
Registering your Mii .......................................................................... 230
Calibrating the Balance Board ......................................................... 230
The Body Test .................................................................................... 233
Setting a goal ...................................................................................... 237
Using a password ............................................................................... 237
Navigating the Wii Fit Menus ..................................................................... 237
Wii Fit Plaza ........................................................................................ 237
Calendar screen ................................................................................. 239
Training menu .................................................................................... 241
Taking the Training Train ........................................................................... 242
General navigation ............................................................................. 242
Yoga ..................................................................................................... 244
Strength Training ............................................................................... 246
Aerobics .............................................................................................. 248
Balance Games ................................................................................... 249
Chapter 14: Recommended Wii Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .253
Five Games for the Non-Gamer .................................................................. 254
MySims ................................................................................................ 255
Endless Ocean .................................................................................... 256
Cooking Mama: Cook Off ................................................................... 257
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree........................................................ 258
Bust-a-Move Bash! .............................................................................. 260
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Five Games for a Party ................................................................................ 261
Rock Band ........................................................................................... 262
WarioWare: Smooth Moves .............................................................. 264
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz ..................................................... 265
Mario Kart Wii .................................................................................... 266
Rayman Raving Rabbids ................................................................... 268
Five Games for a Family-Friendly Adventure ........................................... 269
Super Mario Galaxy............................................................................ 269
Zack & Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure ............................ 271
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess .......................................... 272
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga ................................................ 273
Super Paper Mario ............................................................................. 275
Part IV: The Part of Tens ........................................... 277
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .279
Super Mario 64 ............................................................................................. 279
Toe Jam and Earl ......................................................................................... 280
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past ................................................... 282
Sonic the Hedgehog 2.................................................................................. 283
Super Mario Bros. 3 ..................................................................................... 284
Bomberman ‘93 ............................................................................................ 285
Kirby’s Adventure........................................................................................ 286
Pokémon Snap.............................................................................................. 288
Defend Your Castle ...................................................................................... 289
Dr. Mario Online Rx ..................................................................................... 290
Chapter 16: Ten Types of Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .293
SmartDigital Card ........................................................................................ 293
GameCube Memory Card............................................................................ 294
Controller Charger ...................................................................................... 295
Decorative System Skins............................................................................. 296
Travel Cases ................................................................................................. 296
Classic Controller Shells ............................................................................. 297
Controller Sleeves ....................................................................................... 297
Wireless Sensor Bar .................................................................................... 298
Cooling Fans ................................................................................................. 298
Plastic Remote Attachments ...................................................................... 299
Index ....................................................................... 301
Introduction
I
f you’re actually reading this Introduction, you’re probably a customer in
a bookstore, trying to decide whether or not you should buy this book.
To help you out, I’ve made up a simple quiz:
1. Do you own a Wii?
2. Do you intend to own a Wii soon?
If you answered yes to either question, then congratulations, you are one
of the millions of people worldwide who should buy this book! If you
answered “No,” please feel free to go out and buy a Wii and then retake the
quiz (refer to Chapter 1 for some tips on how to find one). Thank you.
About This Book
Think of this book as the unabridged edition of those tiny user manuals
that come with the Wii itself. While those manuals are all right for getting
started, this book gives you much more detail on the inevitable issues that
come up when using the Wii. From setting the Wii system up with your
entertainment center to using the Wii’s many unique controllers; from
connecting the system to the Internet to playing games, this book has the
detailed instructions and troubleshooting you need to get it done.
This book isn’t meant to be read from front to back. Treat it more like a
reference that you can consult whenever you find something confusing or
difficult when using the Wii. The book is divided into chapters and sections
by topic, so you can easily find what you’re looking for by perusing the table
of contents. Failing that, please consult the index for the specific issue you
need to know more about.
Conventions Used in This Book
I know that doing something the same way over and over again can be
boring, but sometimes consistency can be a good thing. For one thing, it
makes stuff easier to understand. In this book, those consistent elements are
conventions. In fact, I use italics to identify and define the new terms.
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Wii For Dummies
Like all game systems, the Wii comes with a controller. The Wii Remote is
the white, wireless, handheld controller that comes with the system and
is the main means for interacting with the Wii. The book makes frequent
mention of pressing buttons on this Remote. These buttons are clearly
labeled on the Wii Remote itself, or you can consult Chapter 3 for more on
the Remote’s button layout.
The Remote can also be used to control an on-screen pointer using infrared
technology. Moving this pointer over an on-screen option and pressing the
A button is referred to in the book as clicking. You may also have to hold
down a button on the Remote and drag the pointer to another location on the
screen at times. See Chapter 3 for more on using the Wii Remote as a pointer.
In general the Wii can run two types of programs, disc-based games,
which are discussed in Part III, and Channels, which are discussed in Part
II. Channels are simply applications that are stored on the Wii’s internal
memory and don’t require a separate disc to run. See Chapter 5 for more on
using the Wii Menu to access Channels and start disc-based games.
When I provide URLs (Web addresses) within a paragraph, they are in a
monospace font and look like this: www.dummies.com.
What You Don’t Have to Read
While the bulk of this book is reference material that relates directly to
getting the most out of your Wii, some sections simply provide supplemental
information that some readers might find interesting. This extra information
is placed in sidebars that are broken out in separate shaded boxes.
Any section labeled with the Technical Stuff icon (see the “Icons Used in
This Book” section, farther along) is meant for advanced users, and won’t be
necessary for the majority of Wii owners.
Foolish Assumptions
I’ve written this book with inexperienced Wii owners in mind — the new
gamers who’ve never owned a video-game system before, or the lapsed
gamers who last played games on their Atari 2600 or home Pong units.
Those with more gaming experience will find shortcuts, tips, and tricks they
may not have discovered on their own.
Introduction
I’m assuming you have a basic familiarity with your television and your
specific home-entertainment setup. If you don’t, you may want to consult
the documentation for your home-entertainment equipment before you
connect the Wii to your entertainment center (described in Chapter 2).
If you’re planning to hook your Wii up to the Internet, I assume you currently
have a broadband Internet connection hooked up in your home and understand the basic functionality of your high-speed modem and/or router. A
complete tutorial on setting up a home Internet network is beyond the scope
of this book — for help there, check out Home Networking For Dummies, 4th
Edition, by Kathy Ivens (Wiley Publishing, Inc.).
How This Book Is Organized
I divided this book into parts, organized by topic. Each part deals with one
important aspect of the Wii experience. If you’re looking for information on a
specific topic, check the headings in the table of contents, or skim the index.
By design, this book enables you to get as much (or as little) information as
you need at any particular moment. For example, if you just need guidance
setting up the system, refer to Chapter 3; if you’re just looking to use the
Photo Channel, look up Chapter 8. By design, Wii For Dummies is a reference
that you’ll reach for again and again whenever some new question about the
Wii comes up.
Part I: The Basics
After some brief background about the history of Nintendo and the new Wii
system, Part I tells you what to do with your new Wii after you get it from the
store into your house. This includes information on hooking up the system
to your TV or home entertainment setup, taking control of the system with
the included and optional controllers, and connecting the system to your
high-speed Internet connection.
Part II: The Channels
Video game systems aren’t just about games anymore, and the Wii is no
exception. The Wii Menu lets you access other functions through built-in
applications called Channels. These Channels open the Wii up to functions
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Wii For Dummies
that used to be limited to a computer, such as a full-featured Web browser
and digital photo viewer. You can also use Channels to create and share
cartoon-like digital avatars called Miis and download new games and
Channels directly from the Wii Shop Channel. You also discover the News,
Weather, and other miscellaneous Channels.
Part III: The Games
Despite the added functionality of the Channels, the Wii is still a game
system, and so it’s meant to play video games. Part III details some basic
information on how to pick games that are right for you and your family
before diving in to a detailed description of two of the most popular games
for the system: Wii Sports, which comes packaged with every Wii system, and
Wii Fit, the revolutionary personal trainer in a box that uses your entire body
as a controller. You can also find some recommendations of games to buy
from your local gaming or electronics store.
Part IV: The Part of Tens
I’ve remained true to For Dummies style by including a Part of Tens. The
chapters in this part can help you find ten games to download from the Wii
Shop Channel, as well as ten optional Wii accessories that can help spice up
your Wii experience.
Icons Used in This Book
To make your experience with the book easier, I use various icons in the
margins of the book to indicate particular points of interest.
Whenever I give you a hint or a tip that makes an aspect of the Wii easier to
use, I mark it with this little Tip thingamabob — it’s my way of sharing what
I’ve figured out the hard way — so you don’t have to.
This icon is a friendly reminder or a marker for something that you want to
make sure that you keep in mind. Usually this stuff is discussed elsewhere in
the book, but who knows if you’ve read that part yet?
Ouch! This icon warns you about potential pitfalls or problems that you could
run into, and gives advice on avoiding or fixing the issue. Be sure to read the
whole paragraph before you even think of doing anything discussed next to
this little guy.
Introduction
The Wii is specifically designed not to require a lot of arcane, technical
knowledge from its users, so this icon isn’t used too often in this book. When
it is used, it means this portion discusses some advanced stuff that most
users won’t need to worry themselves with. For the most part, if you don’t
understand anything next to one of these icons, just ignore it.
Where to Go from Here
Now you’re ready to use this book. Look over the table of contents and find
something that catches your attention, or a topic that you think can help you
solve a problem.
Do you have any questions about this book? How about comments? Bitter
invective? You can contact me online through my personal Web site, www.
kyleorland.com.
5
6
Wii For Dummies
Part I
The Basics
W
In this part . . .
elcome to the wonderful world of Wii! This part of
the book is for new Wii owners just getting to
know their new systems. First, you get a little background
about the history of Nintendo and the Wii’s historic
launch. Then it’s time to get busy hooking the Wii up to
your entertainment center — and figuring out how to use
the Wii Remote and other controllers that work with the
Wii. Finally, you discover how to hook the Wii up to your
high-speed Internet connection to access a world of new
features.
So wander this way, and wade waist-deep into the Wii
waters (okay . . . I promise that’s the last time I’ll do that).
Chapter 1
How the Wii Came to Be
In This Chapter
Reliving the Wii’s secretive development
Finding a system in stores
I
f you’re like a lot of new Wii owners, you probably don’t know much about
your new purchase or the story behind it. Sure, you may have heard a
snippet on the local news about how the system was almost impossible to
find after its initial release in late 2006. You even may have read a newspaper
story about how the system is catching on with all sorts of unlikely groups of
new gamers.
These factoids are just a part of the story behind the Wii. This chapter covers
the hundred-plus year history of Nintendo leading up to the launch of the Wii
and beyond.
Nintendo’s early years
Nintendo wasn’t always the electronic-entertainment powerhouse it is today. The company
was originally founded in 1889 as a producer of
traditional handmade Japanese playing cards
called hanafuda. The name “Nintendo” roughly
translates to “Leave luck to heaven.” Company
founder Fusajiro Yamauchi had plenty of luck
when the Yakuza (the Japanese mafia) took a
liking to Nintendo’s cards for their illegal gambling halls. This interest helped the company
expand to American-style playing cards by 1907,
and build a wide-ranging distribution network of
Japanese retailers by 1927. In 1947, Nintendo
opened a three-story factory next door to the
simple, one-room office that had once served
as its headquarters.
By the 1950s, control of Nintendo had transferred to Hiroshi Yamauchi, Fusajiro’s grandson.
He expanded the company’s card business by
introducing plastic-coated cards in 1953 and, in
1959, signed on with Walt Disney Co. to sell cards
printed with popular Disney characters. The new
Disney-branded cards took the Japanese playing-card market out of the illegal gambling dens
and expanded it to the family home. Nintendo
sold a record 600,000 packs of cards of the year
the Disney printings were introduced.
(continued)
10
Part I: The Basics
(continued)
Despite this continued success, Yamauchi
wasn’t satisfied managing a playing-card company. In the 1960s, Nintendo experimented with
marketing and selling a variety of different products, eventually expanding into the toy business.
Plastic toys like the Ultra Hand (an extendable
grabber), the Ultra Machine (an indoor pingpong-ball-pitching machine), and the Ultra
Scope (a toy periscope) were marketed heavily on TV, and sold through Nintendo’s already
established network of retailers.
emitting rifle that activated small, light-sensitive
cells which caused a set of plastic barrels to
explode. Nintendo used this same essential technology to convert a series of abandoned bowling
alleys into virtual skeet-shooting ranges. When
these light-gun ranges fell out of style, Nintendo
headed back to the home market, selling a
licensed version of a Magnavox-made, Pongstyle game in Japan in 1977. Nintendo had finally
entered the video-game business.
Nintendo jumped to electronic toys in the early
‘70s with the Nintendo Beam Gun, a light-
This chapter also gives you some advice on hunting down your very own Wii
(or helping a friend hunt down a Wii, if you already own one).
I learned much of the history in the sidebars in this chapter from David
Sheff’s excellent book Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American
Industry, Captured Your Dollars and Enslaved Your Children (published
by Random House). Check it out for a much more thorough account of
Nintendo’s early history.
Wii Development and Unveiling
Even while releasing the GameCube system in 2001, Nintendo was already
beginning the planning for its follow-up system, then codenamed Revolution.
From the outset, Nintendo wanted the Revolution to take the video game
market in a new direction. Instead of trying to make a system with the most
powerful technology or the most realistic graphics, Nintendo was going to
attempt to change the fundamental way people played games. “The consensus was that power isn’t everything for a console,” said legendary Nintendo
game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Donkey Kong and Super
Mario Bros., in a 2007 interview with BusinessWeek. “Too many powerful consoles can’t coexist. It’s like having only ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight
and hasten their own extinction.”
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed this new direction for the company when he announced the existence of the Revolution project to the
world at a 2004 press conference. “Today’s consoles already offer fairly realistic expressions, so simply beefing up the graphics will not let most of us see
a difference,” he said. “The definition for a new machine must be different.
I want you to know that Nintendo is working on our next system and that
system will create a gaming revolution. Internal development is underway.”
Chapter 1: How the Wii Came to Be
The rise and fall of a video-game giant
In 1981, Nintendo caught the crest of the huge
arcade-gaming wave with Donkey Kong. The
game was notable for its basic story (told
through animated cut scenes), run-and-jump
gameplay, and one of the first identifiable human
characters in a game (who would eventually be
known as Mario the plumber). The game sold
hundreds of thousands of units to arcades in
Japan and the United States. Nintendo had
further success with a few follow-up arcade
games, and with a popular line of miniature,
handheld games known as Game and Watch.
This early success in the arcade game market
was all a drop in the bucket, though, compared
to the overwhelming reaction to Nintendo’s
Family Computer, or Famicom. First released in
Japan in 1983, the home system became a hit —
thanks, in part, to Super Mario Bros., one of the
first action games to feature a smooth-scrolling
background. Nintendo brought the Famicom
to the United States in 1985 as the Nintendo
Entertainment System (NES). The American
market was initially wary of the Japanese-made
system, but the system slowly built up momentum and eventually took over 90 percent of the
American video-game market, By the early
‘90s, there was a NES in nearly one in three
American households. The name “Nintendo”
was synonymous with “video games.”
Nintendo followed up the phenomenal success
of the NES with the even more phenomenal success of the Game Boy in 1989. One of the first
portable systems to support interchangeable
games stored on plastic cartridges, the Game
Boy fended off competition from more powerful
portables thanks to a lower price, longer battery
life, and exclusive rights to the addictive puzzle
game Tetris. The Game Boy line sold over a
hundred million units worldwide over the next
two decades.
Nintendo’s success on the home-gaming front
was not as consistent. After achieving market
dominance with the NES, Nintendo was slow
to react when Sega’s more powerful Genesis
system started to find some success in the
early ‘90s. By the time the new Super Nintendo
Entertainment System was released, Sega had
enough of a foothold to gain control of nearly
half the home gaming market.
In the mid-90s, Nintendo’s market position eroded further in the face of the Sony
PlayStation, whose compact-disc-based games
made similar games on the new Nintendo
64 system look like relics from long ago. By
the dawn of the new millennium, Nintendo’s
GameCube and Microsoft’s new Xbox system
were fighting over the market scraps left behind
by Sony’s PlayStation 2, which was becoming
nearly as dominant in the marketplace then as
the NES had been almost 20 years prior. Two
decades after the NES launched in America,
“PlayStation” was now synonymous with
“video games” to an entire generation of players. Nintendo needed something big to turn its
market position around. That “something big”
turned out to be the Wii.
Among avid gamers, rumors started flying about what, exactly, Nintendo
had planned for its mysterious Revolution. Some speculated that the system
would include a controller with a built-in touch screen, similar to the company’s recently released Nintendo DS handheld. Others thought the controller might include a built-in microphone for voice-controlled gaming, or a
modular design with specialized, snap-off sections. There were a few gamers
who even envisioned fanciful concepts for three-dimensional virtual reality
11
12
Part I: The Basics
helmets or projection systems that transformed the entire living room into a
magical play space.
It wasn’t until the Tokyo Game Show in September 2005 that Nintendo finally
halted the speculation by revealing a prototype of its unique new remote controller. Selected members of the gaming press got to try out the controller on
a series of specially designed demos that showed off the Remote’s ability to
sense the movement of the player’s hand. Initial reactions among the press
were cautiously optimistic. A writer at 1UP.com said the Remote initially
made his arms and hands tired, “but once I sat down and relaxed, resting my
hands on my legs as I would with a normal controller, everything clicked.” A
writer from gaming website IGN said it was “easy to imagine why Nintendo is
so heavily invested in the idea. There is such great potential to do so many
unique things.”
This initial enthusiasm turned to confusion, though, when Nintendo revealed
the final name for its new system in early May 2006. From then on, what
had been known as Project Revolution would officially be known as the Wii.
Nintendo explained the new name in a press release, saying in part that, “Wii
sounds like ‘we,’ which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii can
easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language
they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.”
The press wasn’t so understanding. Journalists, developers and gamers
around the world made fun of the system’s name with less-than-wholesome
homonyms. Some in the industry thought it was a joke, intended to get some
free press from the marketing world. A few gamers even tried to boycott
the name, continuing to call the system Revolution long after that name was
officially dead. Over time, though, the initial shock seems to have worn off,
and today most gamers can talk about their Nintendo Wii with a completely
straight face.
By the end of May 2006, Nintendo was ready to let a wider audience of industry insiders try out the Wii for the first time at the Electronic Entertainment
Expo, an annual game industry trade show. Crowds flocked to Nintendo’s
booth throughout the three-day event, snaking around the Los Angeles
Convention Center and waiting up to four hours to get into the small demonstration area. The long wait was worth it, to be among the first gamers
anywhere to try demos of games like Wii Sports, Super Mario Galaxy, and The
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
On September 14, 2006, Nintendo finally revealed that the Wii would launch
in the United States just two months later, on November 19, at a price of $250.
This put the system’s launch just two days after that of Sony’s PlayStation 3,
the $500-to-$600 follow-up to the then-dominant PlayStation 2. Both new systems also had to contend with Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which had launched to
Chapter 1: How the Wii Came to Be
great fanfare nearly a year before. The Wii was heavily outclassed in terms of
processing power and the support of many prominent game developers.
When November 19 finally came around, eager Nintendo fans lined up outside their favorite gaming stores to be the first to own the long-awaited
system. The entire stock was sold out within hours, and new shipments were
hard to come by for the remainder of 2006 — meaning gamers who didn’t
plan ahead missed out on the holiday season. Early reviewers were generally impressed with the Wii’s unique controller and its prospects of getting
game players off the couch, but some were underwhelmed by the system’s
decidedly last-generation graphics and (initially) thin library of games. Some
predicted the system would be a flash in the pan — a gimmicky impulse buy
that would get a lot of attention initially before being relegated to the back of
America’s collective closet.
As the months went by, though, this proved not to be the case. While the
Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 eventually recovered from the holiday rush and
became widely available at retailers nationwide, stocks of the Nintendo Wii
remained sparse well into 2007. A combination of a lower price and a growing public fascination with the system’s unique controller led to shortages
across the country. Some suspected Nintendo of purposely creating a false
shortage, but consumers were simply buying up everything Nintendo’s
revamped production line could produce — the system routinely outsold the
competition month after month. The problem only got worse as the 2007 holiday season came around and the Wii was still hard to come by. To this day,
potential Wii owners have to be a little bit lucky to find a Wii on the shelves
(see the next section).
Game publishers that had been wary of Nintendo in years past flocked to the
successful Wii, increasing the system’s game library to over 200 games as of
this writing. Nintendo continued development as well, releasing new games
and Channels, as well as innovative new controllers such as the Balance
Board that comes with Wii Fit. In early 2008, Nintendo surpassed the tenmillion-unit threshold in worldwide sales. In the summer of 2008, Nintendo
overcame Microsoft’s year-long head start to become the best-selling system
in North America. Upcoming peripherals like Wii MotionPlus and games like
Wii Music seem set to continue Nintendo’s now successful video game revolution.
Finding a Wii
If you’re reading this book, you probably already have a Wii. Even so, you
may have a friend, or a neighbor, or a jealous cousin who just can’t seem to
find the system in his or her local store. Take pity on your fellow gamers by
13
14
Part I: The Basics
sharing these handy tips for finding the extremely hard-to-find Wii out in the
retail wild:
Visit your local stores constantly: Most game and electronics stores
don’t know when exactly their next shipment of Wiis will come in; the
inventory of new systems tends to disappear within hours (or even
minutes) after they arrive. This means that finding a Wii in stock at your
local store is largely a matter of luck. You can increase your chances by
stopping by frequently to ask about the store’s inventory.
You can also call local stores to ask about inventory, but be warned: By
the time you get in the car and drive to the store, the systems might be
out of stock yet again. . . .
Keep an eye on Sundays: While there’s no precise schedule to when
stores receive their shipments of Wiis, some stores stockpile systems
and make them available on Sundays, to coincide with newspaper circulars. It couldn’t hurt to make yet another trip out first thing Sunday
morning.
Use the Web: Sites like www.WiiTracker.com and www.NowInStock.
net/wii keep track of Wii availability at a variety of online stores.
These sites aren’t 100-percent reliable, but they’re a good way to find
out which Web sites might have a Wii to sell you at any given moment.
Buy a bundle: With the Wii shortage still in full swing, many online and
brick-and-mortar retailers only sell Wiis in bundles, together with various games and accessories. These bundles may have some items you
don’t necessarily want, and they cost more than a system by itself. That
said, bundles tend to remain in stock much longer than unadorned systems, so you’ll probably have better luck finding one.
Use eBay: New Wii systems are generally plentiful on this popular auction site. The only catch: You usually have to pay a slight premium over
the suggested retail price of $250 to compete with your fellow potential
buyers. See eBay For Dummies, 5th Edition, by Marsha Collier (Wiley
Publishing, Inc.) for more on finding good deals in online auctions.
Recruit family: When my sister wanted a Wii, she recruited me to climb
out of bed early on a frigid Sunday morning in January to scope out
my local stores. She ended up finding a system before I actually had to
leave the house, but her theory was sound — increase your chances by
increasing the number of searchers.
Chapter 2
Getting to Know the Wii
In This Chapter
Identifying the items that come in the Wii box
Picking out the accessories that aren’t included in the box
Hooking the Wii up to your TV and/or entertainment center
Calibrating the Wii to your personal preferences and setting up parental controls
Y
ou finally got it. It took weeks of searching through online ads, two
hours in line on a frigid Sunday morning, and a $20 bribe to the manager
at your local toy store, but it all paid off now that you have that bright white
box in your hands. Congratulations, you’re the proud owner of a brand new
Nintendo Wii.
Now what?
In this chapter, you find out how to assemble the myriad pieces that come
in the Wii box into a fully functioning gaming and entertainment system. You
discover how to plug everything in, how to adjust the system settings to your
personal tastes, and how to keep young children from getting at the stuff they
aren’t supposed to. The setup and calibration aren’t just going to happen by
themselves, so jump right in. . . .
Opening the Box
Inside that sleek white box, the Wii and its components are encased in cardboard, Styrofoam, plastic bags, and tape. Remove all this detritus and lay
everything out as shown in Figure 2-1. Use the following list to make sure you
have every piece:
Wii console: The white rectangle with a slot for inserting discs. Be careful when handling the console because it contains sensitive electronics
(see the “Caring for your Wii” sidebar).
16
Part I: The Basics
Wii console stand: This comes in two parts: a rectangular gray stand
and a clear, flat plastic Wii stand plate. Make sure you have both handy.
Wii Remote: The hand-held white rectangle with buttons on it. This is
your primary controller. Make sure you also unpack the two included
AA batteries and the clear plastic Wii Remote sleeve. See Chapter 3 for
more on how to use the Wii Remote.
Nunchuk: The rounded white hand unit with a thumbstick sticking up
from the top and a wire hanging down from the bottom. Named after the
nunchaku, the martial arts weapon it resembles when plugged into the
Wii Remote. See Chapter 3 for more on how to use the Nunchuk with the
Wii Remote.
Sensor Bar: The thin black bar with a long, thin wire running from
the back. Make sure you also unpacked the clear plastic pedestal and
included sticky tape to affix the bar to your TV.
Wii AC adapter: The thick, rectangular gray block with power cords
coming out both sides.
Wii Audio/Video cable: A standard composite A/V cable with red,
yellow, and white inputs for your TV. Your home entertainment setup
may require or support other cables to hook up to the Wii. See the later
section, “Getting the Rest of What You Need.”
Wii Sports game disc: The disc is in a labeled paper sleeve. (See
Chapter 12 for more playing on Wii Sports.)
Manuals: The box includes two Wii Operations Manuals: System Setup
and Channels and Settings; plus a Quick Setup foldout card and a Wii
extended warranty pamphlet.
Caring for your Wii
Although the white plastic exterior might make it
look like a toy, the Wii is actually a complicated
piece of electronics. As such, it’s susceptible to
damage if you don’t treat it gently. Here’s some
general advice for making sure your Wii continues to work properly for a long, long time:
Don’t expose the system to extreme
temperatures.
Don’t drop the system or jostle it violently.
Don’t spill water or other liquids on the
system.
Don’t obstruct the air intakes on the back
and bottom of the system.
Don’t stand the system up vertically without
the included Wii System Stand.
Don’t pull or bend the attached cables at
sharp angles.
Keep the system out of humid environments.
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii
POWER
A
1
2
Wii
Wii Sports
Wii
Wii
Figure 2-1:
The contents of the
Wii box.
While the preceding list covers everything included in the basic Wii packaging, some retailers sell the Wii as part of a bundle with extra games, remotes,
and possibly other accessories. Check the packaging and manuals to make
sure you have all the items that should be included.
Getting the Rest of What You Need
Although the Wii box technically has everything you need to start enjoying
your new system immediately, there are a few other items that you might
want to look in to in order to get the most out of your Wii experience. These
include:
17
18
Part I: The Basics
Broadband modem and/or wireless router: These are required to connect the Wii to the Internet and enjoy the system’s online functions.
You also need to subscribe to a high-speed Internet service through an
Internet service provider (See Chapter 4 for more on getting the Wii onto
the Internet).
SmartDigital (SD) card: These portable, miniature memory cards can
be used to back up saved game data, transfer data between Wiis, and
transfer photos and music onto your system. (See Chapter 8 for more on
using SD cards for photos and music and Chapter 16 for more on how to
choose an SD card.)
GameCube memory card: These are necessary to save data for
GameCube games played on the Wii. (See Chapter 16 for more on
GameCube memory cards.)
Component cables: These cables provide a higher-quality image on
enhanced-definition and high-definition TVs. You can purchase official
Wii-compatible component cables for $29.95 from Nintendo by visiting
http://store.nintendo.com/componentvideocable or by calling
1-800-255-3700. Third-party cables are also available from many electronics and gaming retailers for about $10 to $20. (See the later section,
“Setting Up Your System,” for information on calibrating the system to
work with component cables.)
Additional controllers: To play most multiplayer games (including many
of those included on the included Wii Sports disc), you need to buy extra
controllers. Wii Remotes generally retail for $40 and Nunchuks run you
$20 each at major retailers. Additionally, you may need a GameCube
controller or Wii Classic Controller to play certain games. See Chapters
3 and 6 for more advice on which controllers you need for which games.
Additional games: Although the packaged Wii Sports disc is great, the
Wii can play a library of hundreds of games — including classic discs
designed for the Nintendo GameCube. (See Part III for recommendations
on which games are right for you and your family.)
Accessories: Since the Wii was released, many companies have released
optional accessories to increase the functionality and style of your
system. (See Chapter 16 for more on which accessories to look for and
which to avoid.)
Hooking Up Your System
All right, you’ve got everything out of the box and you know how to tell a
Sensor Bar from a Wii Remote. Now you need to hook it all up. The following
steps show you how to hook up the Wii so you’ll be playing with your system
before you know it:
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii
1. Choose a location for the Wii.
Pick a space in your entertainment center or TV area where the Wii can
rest level and comfortably. Note that the Wii can sit either horizontally
or vertically, depending on the layout of your entertainment center.
Make sure the location you choose has plenty of ventilation and that the
air vents on the back of the system won’t be blocked. Also make sure
you have easy access to the back of the system because you need to
plug in a variety of components back there in the next steps.
a. If you’re setting the system up vertically, you need to place it in
the Wii System Stand to make sure it’s stable and properly ventilated. First, slide the clear plastic Wii Stand Plate into the slots on
the bottom of the stand. (This process is shown in greater detail in
Figure 2-2.) Then lower the console into the top of the stand so the
front is pointing toward the elevated side.
b. If you’re setting the system up horizontally, you do not need to use
the Wii System Stand — simply put the system in place so the disc
slot is located above the buttons on the face of the system. Set the
two pieces of the System Stand aside and proceed to Step 2.
SLIDE OFF
SLIDE ON
Figure 2-2:
Assembling
the Wii
System
Stand.
19
20
Part I: The Basics
2. Connect the A/V cable to the system and TV.
Connect the rectangular gray end of the Wii A/V cable to the back of the
Wii in the slot labeled AV Multi Out (see Figure 2-3). Connect the red,
yellow, and white prongs on the other end of the cable to the appropriate inputs on your TV. Note that some home entertainment setups may
require you to plug the Wii into a VCR or cable box instead of directly
into your TV — consult the documentation for these devices for more
information.
Some older TVs don’t have the standard yellow, red, and white A/V
input ports needed for the Wii A/V cables. Don’t fret — you might be
able to connect the system to your TV using a generic radio-frequency
(RF) modulator. This device converts the Wii A/V cables into an RF input
that can be plugged into a TV’s coaxial cable input. These generally sell
for $5 to $20 and can be found at any specialty electronics retailer.
3. Connect the Sensor Bar.
The Sensor Bar is used by the Wii Remote to detect its position relative
to your TV. As such, it’s very important that the Sensor Bar sits near the
TV with an unobstructed view of the area where people will be controlling the Wii.
First, decide whether you want the Sensor Bar to sit on the top of your
TV or on the bottom. Either way, align it so the center of the Sensor
Bar is lined up with the center of the TV. Make sure the Sensor Bar sits
parallel to the screen and roughly level with the ground, with the shiny,
black side pointing directly out from the TV. See Figure 2-4 for an example of correct placement.
Use the included plastic stand and double-sided tape to secure the
Sensor Bar in place, if necessary. When the bar is placed, thread the
cable behind the TV and plug it into the orange Sensor Bar slot on the
back of the system (refer to Figure 2-3).
Figure 2-3:
The Wii’s
rear connections.
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii
Sensor bar
Figure 2-4:
Correct
placement
of the Wii
Sensor Bar
on the top
of a TV.
With some entertainment-center setups (such as those using a rear projector) it’s possible that the Sensor Bar cable won’t be long enough to
reach to the system. Don’t panic; independent accessory makers have
made wireless sensor bars that can be placed independently of the Wii
system itself. No special setup is required for these sensor bars — just
place them as described in the preceding paragraphs and continue
setup as normal. Wireless sensor bars are available for $20 at many
major retailers.
4. Plug in the AC adapter.
The end with the electrical plug goes into a standard 120 V AC wall outlet.
The rectangular end goes into the slot labeled 12V=IN on the back of the
system (refer to Figure 2-3). After you plug in the AC adapter, a small red
light should appear on the power button on the front of the Wii.
5. Put the batteries in the Wii Remote.
Remove the battery cover from the back of the Wii Remote and place the
two AA batteries in the indentation. Make sure the positive and negative
sides of the batteries line up with the instructions printed on the inside
of the Remote. Replace the battery cover.
21
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Part I: The Basics
The Wii Remote goes through regular alkaline batteries like a child tearing through wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Consider investing
in some rechargeable batteries to keep your Remote going through
extended play sessions. See Chapter 16 for more on rechargeable battery packs and chargers designed specifically for the Wii Remote.
If you’re using a Wii Remote other than the one that came packaged with
your system, it may need to be synchronized with the Wii before use.
See Chapter 3 for more information on synchronizing Remotes to your
system.
6. Turn on your TV and then your Wii.
Turn on the TV and choose the appropriate input setting for the slot you
plugged the Wii in to (consult your TV or VCR manual for more information on selecting the correct input). Push the Power button on the front
of the Wii. If everything is set up correctly, the light on the power button
should turn green and a generic safety message should appear on your
TV. If you don’t see the message, double check all wire connections and
make sure the TV input is set correctly.
Push the A button on the Wii Remote and you see the Wii Channel menu,
shown in Figure 2-5. Congratulations! Your Wii is on and working!
Figure 2-5:
The Wii
Channel
menu, a
sign of successful Wii
installation.
Now that your system is on, you need to know how to turn it off. You also
need to know how to use the other various buttons on the system itself.
These are shown in Figure 2-6 and detailed in the following list:
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii
Power button: Turns the system on and off. Press the button briefly
to send the system to standby mode, where the WiiConnect24 Internet
service will continue to work (see Chapter 4 for more on WiiConnect24).
Hold down the button for three seconds to turn the system off
completely.
Power LED: This light shows the current status of the Wii. It has three
settings.
• Green: The system is on.
• Orange: The system is in Standby mode and able to receive data
from WiiConnect24. See Chapter 4 for more on WiiConnect24.
• Red: The system is completely off and not receiving data from
WiiConnect24. To force the system to this state when WiiConnect24
is on, hold down the power button for three seconds.
Reset: Press this button to restart the system.
SYNCHRO button: Used to synchronize the Wii with new Wii Remotes
so they can be recognized by the system. Note that this button is hidden
behind a small white cover. See Chapter 3 for more on synchronizing
Remotes.
SmartDigital card slot: Used for memory-expanding SD cards. Note this
slot is hidden by a protective white cover. See Chapter 8 for more on
inserting and using SD cards with the Wii and Chapter 16 for how to pick
out an SD card.
Eject: Press this button to remove the disc currently in the disc slot.
Game disc slot: This is where both Wii and GameCube game discs are
inserted. Make sure the shiny side of the disc is facing down (if the
system is in its horizontal position) or to the left (if the system is standing vertically).
Figure 2-6:
The front of
the Wii.
23
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Part I: The Basics
Setting Up Your System
When your Wii is hooked up and blasting audio and video out of your TV,
the next thing to do is calibrate it to your exact specifications using the Wii
Settings menu. In this section, I walk you through the menu’s many options
and help you decide which settings to use.
Before moving on, you need to have a basic familiarity with using the Wii
Remote to move the on-screen pointer and clicking on-screen options with
the A button. (Chapter 3 provides more details on using the Wii Remote.)
To calibrate your Wii, follow these steps:
1. Open the Wii Settings menu by clicking the Wii icon in the lower-left
corner of the Wii Channel menu (see Figure 2-5).
2. Click Wii Settings to bring up the menu shown in Figure 2-7.
3. Click the arrows on the left and right sides of the screen to scroll
through the various pages of menu items.
Pressing the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote has the same effect.
4. Click the on-screen menu options to bring up the submenus described
in the list shown in the next step.
5. When you’re done adjusting a specific setting, click OK or Confirm
to save your settings, or click Back to return to the Wii Settings menu
without saving your changes.
Figure 2-7:
The first
page of the
Wii Settings
menu.
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii
The Wii Settings menu contains the following options:
Console Nickname: This is pretty straightforward — a nickname your Wii
will use to identify itself when it connects to other Wiis via the Internet.
Click the white text-entry area, and then use the on-screen keyboard to
enter your desired nickname (see Chapter 4 for more on the on-screen
keyboard). Your console nickname can have up to ten characters.
Calendar: Set the Wii’s internal date and time via this menu option. Click
either Date or Time on the submenu, and then click the arrows to adjust
the appropriate numbers up and down. Note that the Wii uses a 24-hour
clock, so 6:00 p.m. reads as 18:00.
The Wii doesn’t support any dates past Dec. 31, 2035. (If you’re reading
this book in 2036 for some reason, may I suggest upgrading your video
game system already? I’m sure gaming has advanced quite a bit since
the Wii came out.)
Screen: The four submenu options on this screen let you adjust how the
Wii’s video signal displays on your TV:
• Screen Position: On some TVs, the image output by the Wii may
appear slightly off center. The Screen Position option lets you fix
this problem by clicking the blue arrows until the red box is centered on your screen.
• Widescreen Settings: If you’re playing the Wii on a widescreen
TV (one with a 16:9 aspect ratio), you can use this menu option to
adjust the Wii’s output to stretch across the entire screen. If you
choose the widescreen option, the Wii reminds you to make sure
your TV is set to widescreen mode. Heed the Wii’s advice. The Wii
is wise and all-knowing.
• TV Resolution: If you’re using the optional Wii component cables
(see the earlier section, “Getting the Rest of What You Need”),
you can use this option to set the Wii’s output to 480p enhanced
definition. If you are using the included composite A/V cables, this
option is inaccessible.
• Screen Burn-in Reduction: This function helps prevent damaging
burn-in on some TV models. When this option is turned on, the
on-screen image fades out when a Wii game is paused for five or
more minutes; push any button on the Wii Remote to return to full
brightness and resume play. Note that this feature does not work
when playing GameCube games on the Wii.
Sound: Toggle between Monaural, Stereo, or Surround sound, depending on your entertainment setup.
25
26
Part I: The Basics
Parental Controls: This submenu is a little bit complicated, but important to set up if you want to prevent children from accessing restricted
content on the Wii.
The first time you enter the Parental Controls submenu, you’re asked
to enter a four-digit PIN code by clicking the white box and using the
on-screen numeric pad. You need this code later if you want to access
restricted content or edit the parental control settings, so it’s important
you don’t forget it. (You may want to use the same PIN you use at your
local bank ATM.)
After you enter the code a second time for confirmation, you’re asked to
choose a secret question that you’ll be asked if you forget your PIN. Be
sure to pick a question that your child or children (or any kids who may
visit) won’t know the answer to — and, more importantly, one that you’ll
remember the answer to if and when you need it. Click on the white box
and use the on-screen keyboard to type in your answer (See Chapter 4
for more on using the on-screen keyboard).
If you forget your PIN, your answer has to match the one you enter here
exactly. Spelling and capitalization count, so be careful.
After this initial setup, you can access two further submenus, Game
Settings and PIN and Other Settings. Also note that the Clear Settings
button, at the bottom of the menu, can be used to reset and turn off the
system’s parental controls.
• Game Settings and PIN: This option lets you edit your PIN and
secret question after the initial setup. You can also choose which
games are playable by players who don’t know your PIN (such
as your children) by clicking the Highest Game Rating Allowed
button, as shown in Figure 2-8.
Games are grouped according to ratings assigned by the
Entertainment Software Ratings Board, each of which is described
on the screen as you scroll using the on-screen arrows. Choose the
highest rating that you’re comfortable with your children playing
and click OK. For even more about what each rating means, see
Chapter 11.
Wii Parental Control settings will not work with GameCube games
played on the Wii.
• Other Settings: When you choose this option, the Wii asks you a
series of questions about what sorts of online content should be
available to your children. See Chapter 4 and the channel descriptions in Part II for more about the Wii’s online functions and which
ones might not be suitable for children.
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii
Figure 2-8:
The Wii
Parental
Controls
Game
Settings and
PIN menu.
Sensor Bar: This submenu allows you to adjust two different settings
relating to the Wii Sensor Bar:
• Sensor Bar Position: Use this option to tell the Wii where the
Sensor Bar is situated in relation to your TV. This helps the Wii
determine where your Remote is pointing in relation to the television and makes pointing the Remote at the TV screen itself feel
more natural. The Wii Remote still works if the wrong option is
chosen, but the pointer may seem misaligned when the Wii Remote
is pointed at the screen.
• Sensitivity: Use this option to control how the Wii Remote finds the
Sensor Bar. After reading the on-screen messages, click OK twice to
bring up a gray box with a sensitivity slider at the bottom, as shown
in Figure 2-9. Point the Wii Remote at the Sensor Bar and two blinking white dots should appear in the gray box. These dots should
move as you move the Wii Remote relative to the Sensor Bar.
If you see more than two dots, push the – button on the Wii
Remote to lower the sensitivity until only two dots remain. You
might also want to remove any other sources of bright light and
any reflective surfaces near the Sensor Bar; these could interfere
with the Remote’s operation.
If you see no white dots, push the + button on the Wii Remote to
increase the sensitivity until they do appear. If the sensitivity level
is set to 5 and you still don’t see the dots, make sure the Remote is
located the recommended three to eight feet from the Sensor Bar
and that there’s nothing between the Sensor Bar and Wii Remote.
27
28
Part I: The Basics
Also make sure that the Remote is on and that the Sensor Bar is
plugged in correctly.
When the sensitivity is set correctly and the two white dots are
blinking steadily and holding their position, press A to exit the calibration screen.
Bright lights or highly reflective materials near the Sensor Bar can
affect the functioning of the Wii Remote.
Internet: The options in this submenu are for setting up the Wii to talk
to the Internet. (For much greater detail about configuring the Wii to
work with the Internet, see Chapter 4.)
WiiConnect24: This submenu controls the Wii’s ability to access the
Internet automatically to download certain messages and updates. (See
Chapter 4 for more about these options.)
Language: Use this option to change the default language used by the
Wii menus and games. Be careful playing around with this menu — if
you set the menus to a language you don’t understand, it might be hard
to get your Wii back to normal.
Country: Select the country the system is being used in from the 42
options listed. This setting determines what content you get on certain
channels, including the Wii Shop Channel and the Everybody Votes
Channel. Click the blue arrows on-screen to scroll through the list. Note
that if you are using a Wii in a different region than it was bought from
(among North America, Europe, and Asia), your country might not be
available.
Wii System Update: If you’ve connected your Wii to the Internet (see
Chapter 4), you can use this option to update the Wii’s internal software
with new features and bug fixes. Click Yes and then click I Accept to
start the download process. If there’s a new update available, the Wii
downloads and installs it automatically (this may take a few minutes). If
your software is up to date already, the system tells you so. Either way,
you’re returned to the Wii Channel menu when the process is done.
It’s a good idea to attempt to download a system update as soon as possible after you first take your system out of the box, just to make sure
that your Wii system software is up to date. Other than that, the system
sends you a Message Board message or gives you an on-screen warning
when a new system update is available or necessary; don’t worry about
remembering to check for updates on your own. (See Chapter 5 for more
about the Wii Message Board.)
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Wii
Format Wii System Memory: Be very careful when selecting this option —
because it will delete all downloaded channels and all saved data currently
stored on the system. In general, the only reason you should even consider
using this option is to erase your personal data if and when you’re planning on selling the system or returning it to the store. A Nintendo technical support representative might also tell you to use this option if your
Wii is not working correctly. Otherwise, just stay away from it!
Figure 2-9:
The Sensor
Bar sensitivity
adjustment
screen.
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30
Part I: The Basics
Chapter 3
Know Your Controllers
In This Chapter
Getting familiar with the Wii Remote
Using the Wii Remote to navigate menus and control games
Attaching the Nunchuk to the Remote
Plugging in the GameCube controller and Wii Classic Controller
Checking out specialized Wii controllers
F
or at least the past decade, most video-game controllers have seemed
designed specifically to scare off newcomers. With their confusing
arrangements of buttons, joysticks, and directional pads, it can be hard for
a beginner to figure out how to hold many game controllers, much less use
them effectively. Luckily, Nintendo eschewed this confusing convention with
the Wii Remote — a simple, motion-based controller that resembles a TV
remote more than a video-game controller.
Still, unlocking the full power of the Wii Remote takes some know-how (and a
little practice). In this chapter you discover the ins and outs of the Wii Remote
and how to use it effectively to control your Wii experience. You find out about
the optional Nunchuk attachment that’s used to control some games. You also
figure out how to choose which additional controllers you actually need from
amongst the dizzying array of other Wii-compatible controllers.
Bonding with Your Wii Remote
The Wii Remote is different from standard console game controllers and
joysticks — it’s easier and more intuitive to use, and it’s lots of fun, too!
The following sections get you familiar with your Wii Remote, from the placement of the buttons to using it with the Wii Menu to describing the different
motions you can make to control games.
32
Part I: The Basics
Finding the buttons
Throughout this book, I refer to the buttons and indicators on the Wii
Remote. These buttons are labeled on the controller itself (as shown in
Figure 3-1) and described further in the following sections. While the specific
function of each button depends on the menu and/or game being controlled,
some buttons are often used consistently for the same function from game to
game and Channel to Channel.
Front buttons
The following is a list of the buttons and other items on the front of the Wii
Remote (see Figure 3-1):
Figure 3-1:
The Wii
Remote and
its buttons.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Power: Hold this button down for two seconds to turn the system on
or off.
Do not use this button if you want to turn off the Remote independently of
the Wii system itself. (See “The Wii Remote Settings Menu” section later
in this chapter for more on turning off the Remote by itself.)
Directional pad: Used to scroll quickly through many menus and for
directional input in many games. The directional pad is sometimes
called the d-pad for short.
A button: The A button is an all-purpose button used to make selections
on many menus and perform the most frequent actions in many games.
When this book refers to “clicking” an on-screen option, it means pointing at the option and pushing the A button.
Home button: Pressing this button at any time pauses whatever you’re
doing and brings up the Home Menu, as shown in Figure 3-2. From this
menu you can click the on-screen buttons to return to the Wii Channel
menu (see Chapter 5) to restart the current game or enter the Wii
Remote Settings menu. When you’re playing downloaded WiiWare of
Virtual Console games, you can use the Home menu to access the onscreen Operations Guide. (See Chapter 6 for more on this.)
– and + (minus and plus) buttons: In general, these buttons adjust sliders and scroll through pages on many menus. Many games also use the +
button as a Pause button.
Speaker: The Wii Remote is the first video-game controller that can actually talk to you through this built-in speaker. The speaker volume can be
adjusted or muted using the Wii Remote Settings menu (as described in
the later section, “The Wii Remote Settings Menu”).
1 and 2 buttons: Used primarily in games to control various in-game
functions, especially in games that use the Remote’s horizontal configuration. (See the later section, “Getting the right grip.”)
Player LEDs: Used to indicate which controller is assigned to which ingame player number, starting with Player 1 on the left and going through
Player 4 on the right.
When you turn on a Wii Remote, you might notice that some of the
player LEDs blink as the controller connects to the system (see the later
section, “Connecting Additional Remotes to the Wii”). The number of
blinking lights corresponds roughly to the amount of charge left in that
Remote’s batteries. All four lights blinking means a nearly full battery,
three lights blinking means 75% charge, two lights blinking means 50%
charge, and so on. (This information is also available on the Home menu,
but it’s handy to know from the moment you turn on the controller.)
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Part I: The Basics
Figure 3-2:
The Home
Menu.
Rear buttons
The following buttons and other items can be found on the bottom or back
of the Wii Remote (refer to Figure 3-1):
B button: Push this button with your index finger to back out from
many menus or perform secondary functions in games.
In many Channels and games, you can push the A and B buttons
together to virtually pick up an object with the on-screen pointer.
Battery cover: As you probably guessed, this covers the battery
housing. Remove it to insert the batteries and reach the SYNCRO
button.
SYNCRO button: Used to connect a new Wii Remote to the system for
the first time. (See the later section, “Connecting Additional Remotes to
the Wii,” for more about synchronizing a new remote.)
Wrist strap: Wrap this around your wrist to keep the Remote from flying
out of your hand and into your brand new 70-inch plasma screen TV
during heated play. (See the later section, “Safety first.”)
External extension connector: Use this to hook up optional controller
accessories such as the Nunchuk and Wii Classic Controller (more about
these controllers later in this chapter).
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Safety first
If you pay attention to the news, you may have heard some stories about the
rash of property damage caused by Wii Remotes flying out of players’ overenthusiastic hands soon after the system launched. How can you avoid being
featured in such an awful episode? Well, you could coat your entire house in
a protective layer of bubble wrap. Or you could take advantage of the extensive safety features Nintendo has devised for the Wii Remote, as detailed in
the following subsections.
The wrist strap
Attached to the bottom of every Wii Remote, the Wrist strap is the main
method for preventing massive damage from flying controllers. It ensures
that if the Remote slips out from your sweaty hands, it won’t get very far
before dangling harmlessly from your arm.
To put the wrist strap on, slide the adjustment strap up toward the remote,
stick your hand through the loop, then tighten the adjustment strap around
your wrist, as shown in Figure 3-3. The fit should be snug, but it doesn’t have
to be too tight — there’s no need to cut off your circulation!
Figure 3-3:
The Wii
wrist strap.
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Part I: The Basics
Soon after the Wii was released, many users reported their wrist straps broke
as the Remote flew from their hands, eliminating the entire point of the safety
strap. Nintendo responded to these claims by recalling the original straps
and replacing them with thicker, sturdier straps in December 2006, less than
one month after the system’s North American launch. All Remotes made after
December 2006 (including those currently sold in stores and included with
new Wiis) have these new, stronger straps. If you have an old Remote with
a weaker strap, you can request a replacement from Nintendo by using the
online form at www.nintendo.com/consumer/strapreplace.jsp.
The Wii Remote Jacket
For a few months, Nintendo relied on the new, beefed-up wrist straps to save
plasma screens and drywall from flying Remotes. Then, in October 2007,
Nintendo beefed up the protection even further with a springy, clear plastic
jacket. The appropriately named Wii Remote Jacket ensconces the Remote
in a cushioned, protective field while still leaving all the buttons exposed, as
shown in Figure 3-4. It also makes the Remote easier to grip through a series
of textured grooves. It may look a little silly and feel like overkill, but trust
me, you’ll be glad it’s there when a Remote inevitably flies out of your hand
and bonks you or your friend on the head.
Figure 3-4:
The Wii
Remote
Jacket
wrapped
around a
Wii Remote.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
A Remote Jacket is packaged with the Wii itself, and with all Wii Remotes
currently sold in stores. If you need extra jackets for Remotes bought before
October 2007, you can request them from Nintendo by using the online form
at www.nintendo.com/consumer/jacket/jacketrequest.jsp.
Getting the right grip
In video-game controllers, as in golf, the correct grip is everything. There
are two primary ways to hold the Wii Remote by itself. The first (shown in
Figure 3-5) is the vertical position. This one-handed position is the basic grip
used to navigate most Wii menus and channels, as well as to control many
Wii games.
Notice how your thumb rests naturally on the large A button — you can also
move your thumb to reach the other buttons on the face of the controller.
Also notice how your index finger tucks into the indentation for the B button
on the underside of the Remote. This position works just as well in either
hand, making it perfect for both left- and right-handed gamers. Unless otherwise noted in the text, this is the position used to navigate all menus discussed in this book.
The second configuration, shown in Figure 3-6, is called the horizontal position. This two-handed configuration is similar to the way you would hold a
GameCube or Xbox video-game controller, with the left thumb resting on the
directional pad and the right thumb hovering above the 1 and 2 buttons. This
configuration is primarily used to control certain classic games that require a
more traditional control scheme. Note that you can use your left index finger
to press the B button on the underside of the Remote, and that you can use
your left thumb to reach over to press the central face buttons.
In either configuration, don’t forget to use the wrist strap and Wii Remote
Jacket to protect the controller and the room from each other.
Basic Wii Remote actions
With most game controllers, pushing buttons is the only way the controller
can talk to the system. With the Wii Remote, though, that’s only the beginning. The Wii Remote is motion-sensitive; you can use it as a virtual pointer
and as a moving analogue for real-world actions. These unique Remote features are described in the following subsections.
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Part I: The Basics
Figure 3-5:
The Wii
Remote,
held in the
vertical
position.
Using the Remote as a pointer
Remember that Sensor Bar you set up near the TV (described in Chapter 2)?
That little black bar lets you use the Wii Remote like a laser pointer to directly
interact with menus and games. It couldn’t be simpler — just point the tip
of the Remote at the Sensor Bar and a hand-shaped pointer appears on the
screen. Move the remote slightly side to side or up and down and the onscreen pointer moves along with it. You don’t need grand sweeping gestures to
move the pointer around — small flicks of the wrist are enough to move from
one corner of the screen to another.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Figure 3-6:
The Wii
Remote,
held in the
horizontal
position.
If the pointer isn’t showing up or is jumping around, here are a few things to
keep in mind:
Make sure the Remote is turned on and synced with the system, as
described in the later section, “Connecting Additional Remotes to the Wii.”
Make sure the Sensor Bar is positioned and plugged in correctly, as discussed in Chapter 2.
Make sure the Sensor Bar sensitivity is set correctly. (See Chapter 2 for
more on this.)
Make sure there are no other strong light sources or reflective materials
around the Sensor Bar or screen area.
Make sure there’s nothing blocking the path from the Wii Remote to the
Sensor Bar.
Make sure you’re approximately 3 to 8 feet from the Sensor Bar, as
shown in Figure 3-7.
Make sure you’re actually pointing the remote at the Sensor Bar. Try jiggling the Remote around quickly to see if the pointer shows up.
While pointing at the screen, you can also use the Wii Remote buttons to
interact with on-screen objects. Specific button functions depend on the context, but there are a few general rules. You can usually push the A button to
select on-screen items, for instance, while pushing and holding the A and B
buttons together can pick up objects in games or Channels. Note that the Wii
can also sense how close the Remote is to the screen; some games and channels use that function to let you push and pull on-screen objects (more about
that shortly).
39
1
A
Wii
Figure 3-7:
When using
the Wii
Remote as a
pointer, you
should be
located 3–8
feet from
the TV.
2
Part I: The Basics
POWER
40
Stand 3 to 8
feet from the
Sensor Bar and
TV.
Feeling the motion
In addition to the pointer functionality, the Wii can also be used as a sort of
magic wand that detects how it’s moved about in 3-D space. These motions
can be quick and sharp or large and sweeping, depending on the game. Each
game is different, so experiment with different motions until you get a feel for
them.
While different games each have different motion controls, a few basic
motions get used frequently. Note that the Wii detects these motions regardless of whether the Remote is pointed at the screen.
Waving: Sweep the controller back and forth in a large arc. The Wii can
detect a variety of different types of waves — up and down, side to side,
a golf swing, and so on.
Shaking: Shake the Wii Remote quickly in place. This is used to activate
special moves or effects in many games.
Tilting: Gently lean the controller up and down. This is often used in
games to tilt an on-screen object or a piece of scenery.
Twisting: Turn the Wii remote in your hand like a key. This is used to
rotate objects in many games and channels.
Don’t start swinging the Wii Remote around without first putting on the wrist
strap and Wii Remote Jacket. Make sure that you’re standing in a clear space
when you’re playing, too — it’s really easy to bump into or knock over objects
when you’re swinging the Remote. You don’t want to break an antique vase or
knock a glass of grape juice onto the carpet.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Connecting Additional
Remotes to the Wii
With most video-game systems, connecting the controller to the system is as
simple as plugging it in. Because the Wii Remote is wireless, however, getting
the system to recognize additional controllers takes a few more (fortunately
simple) steps.
Using the Remote that comes packaged with your Wii couldn’t be simpler —
just turn on the system and press the A button on the Remote. Connecting
further Remotes to your system for the first time involves a process known
as syncing, which the upcoming steps walk you through.
Note that this process only has to be performed once for every new Remote
used on a particular system. After a Remote is synced to a system, simply
pressing the A button turns on the Remote and connect it to the system.
A Remote stays synced to a specific system until it is synced to another
system.
To synchronize a new Wii Remote to your Wii, follow these steps:
1. Turn on the Wii.
Use the power button on the system itself, not the one on the Wii
Remote.
2. Push the SYNCRO button on the Wii Remote.
This button can be found beneath the battery cover, as shown in Figure 3-8.
Make sure there are batteries in the Remote. The Player LED lights on the
front of the Remote start blinking.
3. Push the SYNCRO button on the Wii itself.
This button is found under the protective flap on the front of the system,
as shown in Figure 3-8.
4. Watch for the lights on the Wii Remote to stop blinking.
After a few seconds, the Player LEDs on the Remote stops blinking and
a single light stays on consistently. The Remote is now synced with
the system. The solid light on the Remote indicates which player
number is assigned to the Remote, from Player 1 on the left to Player 4
on the right.
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Part I: The Basics
Figure 3-8:
Syncing
your Wii
Remote.
The Wii Remote Settings Menu
Looking to turn off those annoying rumbling and speaker functions on your
Remote? Trying to turn off a controller without turning off the system? Look
no further than the Wii Remote Settings menu. This menu is accessible at any
time by simply pressing the Home button on an active Wii Remote, and then
clicking the Wii Remote Settings panel on the bottom of the screen (as shown
in Figure 3-2). To leave the menu, click the Close Wii Remote Setting panel at
the bottom of the screen, or simply push the Home button on the connected
Remote.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
From the Remote Settings menu, you can alter the following settings:
Volume: Click the on-screen + and – buttons to adjust the volume of
the noise coming from the Wii Remote speakers. You can also use
the + and – buttons on the Remote itself to make this adjustment. As
you adjust the volume, the Remote emits a short tone at the currently
selected volume level, to give you an idea of what to expect.
All Wii Remotes connected to the system must share the same volume
setting.
Rumble: This option controls whether the Wii Remote vibrates to indicate certain on-screen or in-game actions. The Remote rumbles slightly
when the player clicks the On button on-screen.
All Wii Remotes connected to the system must share the same rumble
setting.
Connection: Use this option to disconnect Remotes from the system
without turning the system off.
1. Click the Reconnect button to temporarily disconnect all currently connected Remotes from the system.
This turns off the Remotes.
2. Press the 1 and 2 buttons simultaneously on each Remote you
want to reactivate.
The Player LED lights blink for a few seconds, and then stabilize on
a specific player light based on the order in which the Remote was
reconnected.
This method for connecting Remotes even works with controllers not
formally synced to the system. This temporary syncing goes away when
the system is turned off, though — making it most suitable for Remotes
brought over temporarily from a friend’s house.
Whipping Out the Nunchuk
The preceding sections should make it clear how revolutionary the Wii
Remote is, and how much it changes the way video-game systems are controlled. For some games, however, a traditional thumb joystick is just more
appropriate. For these games, you need to break out the Wii Nunchuk.
Plugging it in
Unlike the Wii Remote, the Nunchuk (yes, it really is spelled that way) is not
wireless. Fortunately, you don’t have to tether the optional controller to the
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Part I: The Basics
system itself — you just have to plug it in to the bottom of the wireless Wii
Remote, as shown in Figure 3-9. If the Wii Remote is on and connected to the
system, the Nunchuk is detected automatically as soon as it’s plugged in.
Note that there is a clear plastic tab on the back of the Nunchuk connector,
used to thread the thin portion of the Wii Remote wrist strap. I personally
find this thread hard to use and of limited use for holding the Nunchuk onto
the Remote, but some people might find the Nunchuk feels more secure with
it threaded in. Use your own discretion.
For those who just can’t abide that dangling Nunchuk wire, Nyko makes a
wireless Nunchuk that’s available at most gaming retailers for $35.
The Nunchuk and Wii Remote are both designed to be used in either hand.
This means you can hold the Remote in your right hand and the Nunchuk in
your left, or vice versa. Both configurations work equally well — use whichever one feels more natural.
Nunchuk functions
The Nunchuk is a bit simpler than the Wii Remote, having only three major
control functions, as shown in Figure 3-10.
The analog stick: Like the directional pad on the Remote, this thumbstick is used mainly for directional input. Unlike the d-pad, the analog
stick is sensitive enough to detect a wide variety of directions and intensities. Tilting the stick slightly might cause an in-game character to walk,
for instance, while pushing it all the way causes the character to sprint.
The analog stick is controlled with the tip of the thumb, as shown in
Figure 3-10.
The C and Z buttons: The functions of the C button (the small, round
one on the top) and the Z button (the large square one on the bottom)
vary from game to game — consult the instruction manual to figure out
what they’re used for in each game. These buttons should be pressed
with the index or middle finger, as shown in Figure 3-10.
As the infomercial salesman might say, “But wait — there’s more!” The
Nunchuk also has a motion sensor, much like the one in the Wii Remote, that
can detect basic movement in all three dimensions. Games often ask you
to flick, tilt, or twist the Nunchuk to activate additional in-game moves. The
Nunchuk can’t be used as a pointer, though — which is why most Wii menus
and Channels use the Remote by itself.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Figure 3-9:
Connecting the
Nunchuk
to the Wii
Remote.
Figure 3-10:
The proper
Nunchuk
grip.
45
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Part I: The Basics
How many Nunchuks do you need?
While the Wii box comes packaged with a
Nunchuk to go along with your first Remote,
additional Remotes and Nunchuks are sold
separately in stores. This can lead to some
confusion when it comes time to go to the
cash register. The question at hand: Is the $40
Remote enough, or do you need to add on a $20
Nunchuk for each Remote you have?
The answer depends largely on what kinds of
games you’re playing. The packaging for all
Wii games contains a logo on the back of the
box indicating whether the gameplay supports
the Nunchuk. Games that support the Nunchuk
tend to be action-oriented and/or first-person
games that require quick reflexes and precise
controls. Some games, such as the boxing portion of Wii Sports, also use the Nunchuk to
detect motion by the players second hand (in
fact, the Wii Sports boxing game requires the
purchase of a second Remote and Nunchuk for
two-player bouts).
Be careful, though — some games with the
Nunchuk logo on the box don’t really require
the Nunchuk to play the game. Games like
Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii
can be controlled with or without the Nunchuk,
meaning the number of Nunchuks you need
depends largely on the control preferences of
each player.
So what’s the answer? In short, I recommend
holding off on the additional Nunchuks until you
find an absolute need for them. Very few multiplayer games require multiple Nunchuks, and
the add-ons will still be available in stores if and
when you run into a game that requires them.
Going Retro with the Wii Classic
and GameCube Controllers
Even with the Nunchuk attached, the Wii Remote is still a pretty poor approximation of the traditional controllers found on classic Nintendo systems.
There’s something about the button orientation and general feel of those
older controllers that makes it awkward playing certain games with the Wii
Remote and Nunchuk. Don’t fret: The Wii offers even more control options
for the traditional gamer.
The Wii Classic Controller
With the wide variety of downloadable classic games available on the Wii’s
Virtual Console (see Chapter 6), Nintendo needed a Wii controller that
could mimic the layout and functionality of the Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo
Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, and more.
Their best effort at this is the Wii Classic Controller, shown in Figure 3-11.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Figure 3-11:
The Wii
Classic
Controller.
The Classic Controller plugs into the bottom of the Wii Remote with a connection similar to the one used for the Nunchuk (refer to Figure 3-9). As long
as the Remote is on and connected to the system, the Wii automatically recognizes the Classic Controller — no extra setup is necessary.
The Wii Classic Controller may look intimidating, but it’s nothing to be afraid
of. It’s held with two hands, much like the Wii Remote in its horizontal position, with one thumb resting on each side. The left thumb is used for the
directional pad and the left thumbstick, while the right thumb operates
the four face buttons and the right thumbstick. The controller also has four
“shoulder” buttons on the thin top edge which you can press with your index
fingers. The functions of all these various buttons differ by game; they’re
explained in the on-screen instructions for all Virtual Console downloads (see
Chapter 6). The +, –, and Home buttons share the same functions as the similar buttons on the Wii Remote itself.
In addition to the standard buttons on the Classic Controller, you might also
notice a small switch on the top edge of the controller. This switch opens
and closes a small clamp on the back of the controller. While Nintendo hasn’t
announced any official use for this clamp, peripheral maker Nyko utilizes it
for its Classic Controller Grip, shown in Figure 3-12. This accessory snaps to
the back of the Classic Controller and provides a more comfortable, molded
grip for your palms. It also provides a place where you can wrap the Classic
Controller Cord and hold the Wii Remote it’s attached to. This grip is available
for $5 to $10 at most game retailers, and really improves the Classic Controller
experience.
Note that the Classic Controller isn’t required to play Virtual Console games —
some can be played with the Wii Remote and/or GameCube Controller. Also
note that the classic controller can be used to control some disc-based Wii
games, such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii. See Chapter 6 for
more on which controllers work with which games.
47
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Part I: The Basics
POWER
Wii
x
y
SELECT
HOME
START
a
b
Figure 3-12:
Nyko’s
Classic
Controller
Grip.
The GameCube controller
You might already know that the Nintendo Wii comes with the added bonus
of being able to play the hundreds of games designed for Nintendo’s previous
system, the GameCube (see Chapter 5). But did you know that the Wii also
lets you plug in classic GameCube controllers (see Figure 3-13) to use with
those and other games? Well, now you know.
Besides being required for any GameCube game played on the Wii, the
GameCube controller can also be used to control some Virtual Console titles
(but not all: See Chapter 6). Some disc-based Wii games are also specifically
designed to use the GameCube controller. These games can be identified by
the small GameCube controller logo on the game’s packaging.
Unlike the Wii Remote, most GameCube controllers have wires and actually
have to be plugged into the system to be used (but not all: see the sidebar
“Wireless GameCube controls: The WaveBird”). The Wii does, in fact, have
built-in ports to connect these controllers, but they’re not exactly easy to
find when you’re staring at the Wii’s sleek, white exterior.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Figure 3-13:
The
GameCube
controller.
As shown in Figure 3-14, the GameCube controller ports are hidden under a
small flap on the top of the system (or on the left of the system, if it’s sitting
horizontally). Open up the flap and you can plug in up to four GameCube
controllers at once. Each port has small indented dots above it corresponding to the player number for that port (Player 1 is toward the front of the
system, the Player 2 port is behind it, and so on). Figure 3-14 also shows the
secondary flap used to protect the slots for GameCube memory cards — see
Chapter 5 for more on using these.
Wireless GameCube controls: The WaveBird
Wii owners who are just obsessed with wirelessness should know that Nintendo has also made
a wireless version of the GameCube controller.
The WaveBird has the same button-and-joystick
layout as the traditional GameCube controller,
only it doesn’t have any wires (it also doesn’t
support the vibration function of the traditional
controller). The battery-powered controller communicates with the system using a small receiver
that plugs into the appropriate controller slot on
the GameCube or Wii. While Nintendo no longer
makes the WaveBird, the controller is still available from many online and brick-and-mortar
retailers for about $30.
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Part I: The Basics
Figure 3-14:
The Wii’s
GameCube
controller
and
memorycard slots.
Flipping up these protective flaps does tend to ruin the simple aesthetic of the
Wii. Luckily, you can easily remove the flaps to maintain the integrity of the
Wii’s look when using GameCube accessories. Simply open the flap and push
gently toward the system right above the hinges. You hear a small click, and
you can then lift the flap right up off the system. If you want to replace the
flap, simply slide it back into place in the same manner.
Using Other Controllers
As if the four control options discussed previously weren’t enough, even
more controllers and controller add-ons can be used to change up the Wii
gameplay experience. Some of these controllers only work with specific
games while others simply change the way the standard Wii Remote and
Nunchuk are held in your hands. The major controllers and controller addons available as I write are listed in the following sections. Who knows how
many more there will be as the Wii continues to mature?
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Wii Balance Board
The next step in motion-based controls, the Wii Balance Board (shown in
Figure 3-15) gets the whole body involved in the game. The board itself acts
sort of like a fancy bathroom scale, detecting how much weight is being
placed on it — and, more importantly, how that weight is distributed across
the surface of the board. By shifting your weight back and forth and left to
right, you can control specially designed games such as the fitness simulator Wii Fit (which comes packaged with the board), and others that use the
board to simulate everything from skiing to skateboarding. See Chapter 13 for
more on Wii Fit and setting up the Balance Board with the Wii.
Wii Wheel
Not exactly a controller in and of itself, the Wii Wheel is a plastic, steeringwheel shaped shell for the Wii Remote, as shown in Figure 3-16. While the Wii
Wheel doesn’t add any specific functionality to the Wii Remote, it does make
the controller feel more balanced and natural — more like a tiltable steering
wheel for many racing games. The Wii Wheel comes packaged with Mario Kart
Wii and can also be purchased on its own for $15 from many game retailers.
Figure 3-15:
The Balance
Board.
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Part I: The Basics
Figure 3-16:
The Wii
Wheel.
Wii Zapper
Much like the Wii Wheel, the Wii Zapper doesn’t add any functionality to
the standard Wii Remote and Nunchuk. (See Figure 3-17.) It does, however,
create a fun new way to control many shooting-based games. The Wii Zapper
is designed to be held with two hands and aimed at the screen from waist
height. An on-screen reticle shows where you’re aiming in certain games, like
Link’s Crossbow Training, which is packaged with the $20 accessory. Other
accessory makers make similar products to make the Wii Remote resemble a
gun — see Chapter 16 for more on these options.
Figure 3-17:
The Wii
Zapper.
Chapter 3: Know Your Controllers
Wii Guitar Controller
This wireless Gibson Les Paul-shaped controller is (unsurprisingly) used
to control Activision’s guitar simulator Guitar Hero 3, which it comes packaged with. (See Figure 3-18.) A similar controller also comes with Rock Band,
a competing game from Electronic Arts that also uses included drum and
microphone controllers (see Chapter 14 for more on Rock Band). Note that
the Guitar Hero controller works with Rock Band, but the Rock Band guitar
controller won’t work with Guitar Hero III.
POWER
A
1
2
Figure 3-18:
The Guitar
Controller.
Wii
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Part I: The Basics
With either controller, you hold down the fret buttons on one end and strum
the strummer on the other in time with the music and the on-screen instructions. The Wii remote slides into a slot in the back of the shell to provide
motion-sensing and rumble functionality to the guitar. It’s not quite as rewarding as playing a real guitar, but it’s a lot easier, and almost as much fun.
Nintendo DS
The Wii’s Wi-Fi capabilities mean it can connect wirelessly with Nintendo’s
other Wi-Fi equipped system, the portable Nintendo DS, shown in Figure 3-19.
The latter can even be used as a controller for specially designed games like
Pokemon Battle Revolution. The Nintendo DS can also be used to download
demos of portable games offered from the Nintendo Channel, as discussed in
Chapter 10.
Figure 3-19:
The
Nintendo
DS.
Chapter 4
Getting the System Online
In This Chapter
Preparing your home network for the Wii
Configuring your Wii to talk to the Internet
Downloading messages and Channel data automatically with WiiConnect24
Connecting to friends using the Wii Message Board
B
ack in the day, computers and video-game systems sat alone in an
electronic void. They were connected to their users by keyboards and
controllers, but they weren’t connected to their fellow computers in any way.
It seems like ancient history today, when even a low-cost computer can easily
connect to the Internet, enabling people to communicate easily, worldwide.
Video-game console makers in general (and Nintendo specifically) have
been a little slower than their computer-making brethren in embracing the
Internet, but they’ve dived online in a big way in the last few years. The
Wii is a prime example of this trend, allowing users to not only play games
online with competitors from around the world, but also to send messages
and photos to their friends, surf the Web, and even download entire games
(discussed more in Part III). This chapter shows you how to get the Wii connected to the Internet so you can unlock all these great features.
What You Need to Connect
the Wii to the Internet
A discussion of how to set up a home network is beyond the scope of this
book — for details, check out Home Networking For Dummies, 4th Edition, by
Kathy Ivens (Wiley). Instead, this section outlines the basic items you need to
get your Wii online.
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Part I: The Basics
To start with, getting the Wii online means having a high-speed Internet connection of some sort in your home. For most people, this means signing up
for Internet service through your local cable or DSL provider. Dial-up Internet
service through basic phone lines will not work with the Wii.
In addition to your high-speed Internet connection, you need one of the following Internet appliances to connect the Wii to your Internet connection:
A wireless access point: Also known as an 802.11 wireless router, this
device converts your wired Internet signal to a wireless signal that can
be recognized by the Wii’s internal Wi-Fi antenna. To simplify the setup
with your Wii, look for an access point with AirStation One-Touch Secure
System (AOSS) support (it should be highlighted on the packaging). You
may also want to choose an access point that supports WEP or WPA
security so your neighbors can’t steal your wireless signal.
The Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector: This small USB fob (shown in
Figure 4-1) plugs into a personal computer with a wired high-speed
Internet connection and broadcasts a Wi-Fi Internet signal recognizable
by the Wii.
De
l
de
le
te
En
te
r
Figure 4-1:
The
Nintendo
Wi-Fi USB
Connector,
plugged into
a PC.
Ni
nt
en
do
®
W
i-F
iU
SB
Co
N
nn intend
o
ec
by
t
Bu or
po
w
er
ed
ffa
lo
®
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online
Nintendo discontinued manufacture of the Wi-Fi USB connector in
November 2007, but the ones they did make are still available from
many online and brick-and-mortar retailers for about $30. This option
is cheaper and easier to set up than a full-fledged wireless access point,
but offers less utility for other wireless networking applications (such as
connecting a laptop to your home network).
The Wi-Fi USB Connector only works with computers running Windows XP.
The Wii LAN Adapter: This compact device (shown in Figure 4-2) converts a wired Ethernet cable into a USB connection that can plug into one
of the USB slots in the back of the Wii. Note that using this option means
the Wii needs to be physically close to your high-speed modem or router.
The adapter can be purchased directly from Nintendo online at http://
store.nintendo.com or at many major retailers for about $25.
Figure 4-2:
How to
connect
the Wii LAN
Adapter.
Configuring the Wii’s Internet Options
After you have your home network set up, you need to tell the Wii how it’s
going to talk to the Internet. You do this through the Wii’s Internet Settings
menu (shown in Figure 4-3). To get there, open the Wii Settings menu (as
described in Chapter 2) and choose the Internet submenu on the second
page of options.
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Part I: The Basics
Figure 4-3:
The Internet
Settings
menu.
I address the Console Information and User Agreements options later in
the chapter. For now, click Connection Settings to bring up the Connection
Settings menu shown in Figure 4-4. From there, follow these steps to configure your Wii to work with your Internet connection:
Figure 4-4:
The
Connection
Settings
menu.
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online
1. Choose an open connection.
The Wii can save up to three sets of Internet configuration data. Any
connection labeled “None” is currently free and ready to be configured. It doesn’t matter which connection number you choose, although
Connection 1 seems the natural first choice for most users.
2. Choose your connection type.
If you are using the Wii LAN Adapter (as described in the “What You
Need to Connect the Wii to the Internet” section, earlier in this chapter) choose Wired Connection. Make sure the LAN adapter is plugged
into your modem or router through an Ethernet cable and into the Wii
through the rear USB ports (refer to Figure 4-2). Skip ahead to Step 4.
If you’re using a wireless access point or the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB
Connection, choose Wireless Connection and continue to Step 3.
3. Choose your wireless connection type.
If you’re using a wireless Internet connection, choose the option that
applies and go through the specific instructions that follow. (Note that
the Manual Setup option is reserved for advanced users and shouldn’t
be necessary for basic setup.)
a. If your wireless access point supports the AirStation One-Touch
Secure System, the AOSS menu option is the easiest way to configure
the Wii to use your access point. Click AOSS and the Wii tells you
to “press the AOSS button on the access point until the AOSS lamp
flashes.” Do this and the Wii quickly detects the access point and
automatically configures itself to your Internet connection. Simple!
b. If you’re using a wireless access point that doesn’t support AOSS,
choose Search for an Access Point. The Wii spends a few seconds
searching for nearby networks, and then displays a list of all those
in range, along with their relative strength and security status. If
your wireless network doesn’t show up, make sure your router is
set to broadcast its SSID (consult your router documentation for
more on how to do this). If you’ve enabled security on your wireless network, choose the type of security and enter the password,
using the on-screen keyboard (remember, passwords are casesensitive). Click OK to save the settings.
c. If you’re using the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector, the system asks
you to make sure you’ve installed the software included with the
Connector on your PC, and that the Connector is plugged into a
USB slot on your computer. After you’ve confirmed both of these
facts, click Next and move over to your PC. A Wi-Fi USB icon
appears in the Windows task bar. Double-click this icon, and then
select your Wii system from the menu (the system shows up with
the nickname you gave it when you set up the Wii). Choose Grant
Permission to Connect and go back to the Wii, which confirms that
the “Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector setup is complete.”
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Part I: The Basics
4. Click OK to begin the connection test.
The Wii tries to communicate with the Internet, using the settings you
configured. If the test is successful, then congratulations — your Wii is
officially part of the Internet!
You’re asked if you want to perform a Wii system update. You should
probably take the Wii up on this offer — it’s generally a good idea when
connecting your Wii to the Internet for the first time — but it’s by no
means required. You can always perform the update later by choosing the option from the Wii Settings menu (see Chapter 2 for more
on this). If you do decide to download an update, be patient — the
process can take a few minutes. If the connection test fails, see the
“Troubleshooting” section for possible fixes.
Thankfully, you only have to perform this setup process the first time you
connect your Wii to the Internet. The Wii saves your settings, and in the
future uses them to connect automatically to the Internet when necessary.
To edit your Internet connection settings later, go back to the Connection
Settings menu and choose a configured connection. From here you can also
re-test the connection or clear its setting from the system. If you’ve defined
multiple Internet configurations, you can also choose which one you want the
Wii to use by choosing Use This Connection from this menu.
Troubleshooting
If your connection test doesn’t work after the initial setup, a few simple
things could be wrong. The following list describes the most common fixes
for connection problems:
Confirm that all the pieces of your Internet connection setup are plugged
in and working correctly.
If possible, move the wireless access point or Nintendo USB Wi-Fi
Connector closer to the Wii itself. This improves the wireless signal
strength.
Make sure that the wireless router’s MAC filtering function is off, or that
the Wii’s MAC address is included on the approved devices list. You
can find the Wii’s MAC Address by choosing Console Information in the
Internet Settings Menu (refer to Figure 4-3).
WiiConnect24
Did you ever feel like your “always-on” high-speed Internet connection is being
wasted when you aren’t actively using the Internet? Nintendo apparently feels
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online
the same way. That’s why they created the WiiConnect24 service to make use
of that Internet connection even when the system isn’t being used. The alwayson WiiConnect24 service downloads data for the Wii Message Board and certain Channels (like the Forecast and News Channels) even when the system is
sitting idly in standby mode.
For the Wii to do this, though, you have to first set up the WiiConnect24 service through the Wii Settings menu. Access the Settings menu by clicking the
Wii icon in the lower-right corner of the Wii Channel menu, and then open the
WiiConnect24 submenu on the second page of options. You can then toggle
the following submenu options:
WiiConnect24: This option lets you turn the WiiConnect24 service on
or off. I highly recommend leaving this feature on; it allows for a lot of
neat features. If you really don’t want the Wii sending and receiving data
without your input, turn it off.
Standby Connection: This setting determines whether the WiiConnect24
feature operates when the system is sitting in standby mode. If this
option is switched off, WiiConnect24 only connects to the Internet when
the system is on and being used.
I recommend activating the standby connection, as it allows the Wii to alert
you when you receive Message Board messages (see the following bullet)
and allows for automatic download of other data. Don’t worry about the Wii
sucking up all your Internet bandwidth — the service isn’t very demanding
and shouldn’t interfere with other uses of your Internet services.
Slot Illumination: When WiiConnect24 detects that you’ve received
a message on your Wii Message Board, a blue light illuminates from
behind the system’s disc slot to alert you. You can use this menu to turn
this feature off or turn down the brightness of the light by choosing the
Dim option.
Connecting to Your Friends:
The Wii Message Board
Okay, so your Wii is online. Now what? Well, much like an Internet-connected
computer, your Wii can now be used to send messages and photos to
other users through the Wii Message Board. Unfortunately, connecting to
your friends through the Wii isn’t quite as simple as jotting down an e-mail
address and typing a quick message. This section navigates you through the
somewhat cumbersome process of registering Wii Friends and sending them
messages and photos.
To start with, you access the Message Board itself by going to the Wii
Channel menu and clicking on the envelope icon in the bottom-right corner.
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Part I: The Basics
This brings up the Message Board screen, as shown in Figure 4-5. From this
screen you can register Wii friends on your system and send and receive
messages and photos, using these options:
Message envelopes: These represent messages you’ve received from Wii
Friends or from the Wii itself. Click an envelope icon to read the message
and view any attached photos. (You can enlarge an image by clicking on
it.) The dot above the message blinks if the message is less than six hours
old. You can move a message around the screen by holding down the A
and B buttons and dragging the message into its new position.
Change Days buttons: The Message Board only displays messages one
day at a time, based on the day they were received. Click the arrow buttons on the right and left sides of the screen to scroll to adjacent days.
Pressing the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote has the same effect.
Calendar: Opens up the calendar screen as shown in Figure 4-6. Days on
which you received messages are noted with an envelope icon. Click on
a day to display that day’s messages. Use the blue arrows on the sides of
the screen to scroll through the months. Pressing the + and – buttons on
the Wii Remote has the same effect.
Create message: Click this button to bring up the submenu shown
in Figure 4-7. The options on this menu aren’t labeled, but they’re
described here in left to right order:
• Create Memo: Write a personal note to be posted on your Wii’s
Message Board. This is useful for leaving messages for your family
or reminders for yourself. See the later section, “Sending Message
Board messages,” for more on this.
Figure 4-5:
The Wii
Message
Board
screen.
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online
• Create Message: Create a message to send to a registered Wii
Friend. See the later section, “Sending Message Board messages.”
• Address Book: Register Wii Friends you’d like to send messages to.
You can also check your Wii’s individual Wii Number. See the later
section, “Registering Wii Friends.”
Figure 4-6:
The Wii
Message
Board
Calendar.
Figure 4-7:
The Create
Message
submenu.
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Part I: The Basics
Registering Wii Friends
Just like you need your friends’ phone numbers before you can call them
on the phone, you need your friends’ 16-digit Wii Numbers before you can
send them a message using the Wii. Not only that, but your friends also have
to have your Wii Number registered in their Wii before you can talk to each
other. This registering is done through the Wii’s Address Book, and it goes a
little something like this:
1. Open the Wii Address Book by navigating to the Wii Message Board
menu, clicking the Create Message icon, and clicking the Address
Book icon.
This brings up the Address Book, as shown in Figure 4-8.
2. Click Register.
3. Choose the type of friend you want to register.
Choose Wii if you want to send messages directly to a friend’s Wii. Choose
Others if you want to send e-mail messages to a computer or cell phone
user.
4. Enter the Wii number or e-mail address.
Use the on-screen keypad or keyboard to enter your friend’s Wii Number
(for friends using a Wii) or e-mail address (for friends using a computer
or cell phone). If your friends don’t know their Wii Number, tell them
they can find it on the front page of their Wii Address book (use the preceding instructions if you need to walk them through how to get there).
Click OK to continue.
Figure 4-8:
The front
page of the
Wii Address
Book, which
includes
your personal Wii
Number.
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online
5. Enter a nickname for your friend.
This nickname is how your friend is identified in your address book. No
one else sees this name — it’s just a personal reminder of who this Wii
Number or e-mail address belongs to. Nicknames can have up to ten
characters. Click OK to continue.
6. Attach a Mii (optional).
If you want, you can attach a Mii to each person in your address book as
a visual reminder of who the person is. You can add a Mii later by editing the Address Book entry, as described later in this section. For more
on Miis, see Chapter 7.
7. Click OK to complete the registration.
8. Get your friend to confirm your registration.
Even though your friends’ information is now in your address book,
you won’t be able to send them a message until they confirm that they
actually know you. For friends using a Wii, this means they have to
enter your Wii Number into their address books. You can find your Wii
Number on the front page of your Address Book, as shown in Figure 4-8.
When you register Wii Friends using an e-mail address, they receive a
message in their inbox asking them to confirm that they know you. This
message comes from an e-mail address that includes your Wii Number
and a nintendo.com domain name. Make sure your friend receives the
e-mail and replies to it to confirm the registration.
Even after this confirmation takes place, it still might take a little while
for Nintendo’s servers to register the connection and allow communications between you and your friends through the Wii. Be patient. When
your friends have been confirmed, their names in your address book
changes from a light gray to a dark black and you can send messages to
each other, as described in the following section.
You can edit entries in your Address Book after the fact by opening the
Address Book and finding the name you’d like to edit. As usual, you can
scroll through the pages of the address book by clicking the arrows on the
sides of the screen or using the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote. Clicking
a name brings up the menu shown in Figure 4-9, from which you can send a
message, change a nickname, or remove a person from your Address Book
entirely.
You can only have 100 Wii Friends registered at one time. If you have more
than that, you have to delete some before adding more. On a more personal
note, can I ask how you got so incredibly popular?
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Part I: The Basics
Figure 4-9:
The Wii
Address
Book information
page.
Sending Message Board messages
After you have your Wii Friends registered and confirmed, you can send them
messages directly from your Wii Message Board. Even if you don’t have any
Wii Friends, you can still leave personal memos on your local Message Board
for family members or as personal reminders. Follow these steps to complete
either of these tasks:
1. Go to the Wii Message Board.
2. Enter the Send Message submenu by clicking the Create Message
envelope icon.
See Figure 4-7.
3. Choose to send a memo or a message.
Choose the icon on the left to create a personal memo that stays on
your local Wii Message Board. Choose the icon in the middle to create
a message that is sent to one of your registered Wii Friends via the
Internet.
4. Choose your Wii Friend (for Internet messages only).
If you’re sending a message to a Wii Friend, your Address Book pops up.
Navigate the pages by clicking the on-screen arrows or the + or – buttons on your Remote, and then click the name for the Wii Friend you
want to send the message to. Note that if a name shows up in gray, it
means that your Wii Friend hasn’t confirmed your registration yet.
5. Enter your text.
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online
Click the text area and use the on-screen keyboard to enter your message. For more on using the on-screen keyboard, see the following
section.
6. Attach a Mii (optional).
If you’d like to include an identifying Mii with your message, click the Mii
icon in the upper left and choose from among the Miis in your Mii Plaza.
7. Click Post.
In addition to creating posts from whole cloth, you can also reply to messages you receive in a similar fashion. Simply click Reply when reading a
Message Board message, and then follow the preceding instructions starting
from Step 5.
You can also use the Message Board to send digital pictures to your Wii
Friends. (See Chapter 8 for more on how to do this.)
The on-screen keyboard
Since the Wii doesn’t have a built-in keyboard, typing in memos and messages usually means using the on-screen keyboard shown in Figure 4-10. The
on-screen keyboard is also used to enter text into many menus.
Predicted word area
Figure 4-10:
The Wii’s
on-screen
QWERTY
keyboard.
Language
Keyboard style
Carriage return
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Part I: The Basics
If you don’t like using the on-screen keyboard, the Wii also supports any
number of standard USB keyboards that you can plug into the USB ports on
the back of the system. It’s a little inconvenient having a keyboard in the living
room, but if you’re writing a lot of messages, the faster typing speed might be
worth it.
The on-screen keyboard itself is largely self-explanatory — simply point at
and click a letter to enter it into the message — but there are a few buttons
and displays on the keyboard that might be a little confusing. They’re labeled
in Figure 4-10 and described further in the following list:
Predicted word area: This area can help speed up your typing on Wii
Message Board messages and memos by predicting the whole word
based on the first few letters. For instance, if you type in “d-u-m-m” the
words “dummy” and “dummies” appears in this area as suggestions for
the word you may be typing. If either of these is the word you’re going
for, you can click on the word itself to save a few virtual keystrokes.
Carriage return: Advances the text down to the next line.
More: Brings up a menu with additional punctuation marks and special
characters not shown on the keyboard.
Language: Change the language used by the predicted word area.
Choose between English, French, and Spanish.
Shift: The next letter you type is uppercase. You can also use this key
to access further punctuation and symbols on certain keys; it works just
like the Shift key on a regular computer keyboard.
Caps: Letters you type appear in uppercase until you click the Caps
button again.
Keyboard style: Click the number pad icon to switch from the QWERTY
keyboard to one that resembles a cell phone texting keypad, as shown
in Figure 4-11. This works a bit differently from a regular keyboard, as
any experienced cell phone text messenger knows. You have to click
on a specific button multiple times to cycle to your desired letter. For
instance, clicking the button labeled “def” twice would enter the letter E,
as it does on a cell phone. Note that if you want to enter another letter
from the same button (a D to follow the E, for instance), first you have
to move the pointer off the button briefly to advance the cursor. Use the
buttons on the left to switch among the capital-, lowercase-, and number-entry modes.
The predictive text area also works a little differently for the cell phonestyle keyboard: Instead of entering the first few letters of the word you
want to type, you only have to click the applicable buttons once. For
instance, if you want to enter the word “dummy,” you’d click the “def”
button, the “tuv” button, then the “mno” button twice. The word shows
up in the predictive text area, along with other words you could have
typed using those same buttons (such as “funny” or “dunno”).
Chapter 4: Getting the System Online
Figure 4-11:
The Wii’s
on-screen
cell phonestyle
keyboard.
In addition to the on-screen buttons, the buttons on the Wii Remote itself can
be used for certain shortcuts. For instance, the – button can be used to delete
a character, and the directional pad can be used to move the cursor to a different point in the message (though this only works if the predictive text feature is turned off). You can also move the cursor around simply by pointing to
the desired position in the message and pushing the A button on the Remote.
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Part II
The Channels
I
In this part . . .
t’s pretty obvious that Nintendo’s latest system was
influenced by the universal simplicity of the common
TV set. Not only does the Wii have a controller that
resembles a TV remote control, but the system’s basic
interface also is broken into units called Channels. Just
like their TV counterparts, each Channel has a different
focus. Flipping through the list lets you do everything
from downloading new games to creating cute characters
called Miis, viewing digital photos and Web pages, and
much more. There’s even an on-screen guide, the Wii
Menu, that lets you jump directly to what you want. All
this, and you don’t even need to install an antenna or
satellite dish on your roof. Isn’t technology grand?
Chapter 5
Wii Channel Basics
In This Chapter
Navigating and starting Wii Channels using the Wii Menu
Playing games using the Disc Channel
Managing your Wii’s internal system memory
Backing up Channels and saved game data on an SD card
M
ost people prefer a piece of electronics with more features to a similar
device with fewer features. Just as important in such a comparison,
though, is how easy those features are to access and use. As any tech-head
knows, accessing the advanced functions on some electronic devices like cell
phones can be a baffling experience.
Luckily, the Nintendo Wii doesn’t hide its features in a confusing maze of
menus. Instead, all the myriad functions of the Wii can be accessed from the
Wii Menu (sometimes called the Wii Channel menu). The Wii Menu is the first
menu you see when you turn on the system, so knowing your way around it
is pretty important to successfully using the system. In this chapter, I show
you how to navigate the Wii Menu to access the various Wii Channels,
including the game-playing Disc Channel. You also find out how to organize
the icons on the Wii Menu to your liking, as well as how to back up and clean
out your Wii’s internal system memory.
Navigating the Wii Channel Menu
The first time you turn on the Wii, the Wii Menu looks much the way it does
in Figure 5-1. Each colored square represents a Channel, which is a distinct
game or application you can start with just a few clicks of the Remote. The
grayed-out squares are empty for now, but they can be filled in with other
Channels and games in the future.
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Part II: The Channels
You can set the time and date at the bottom of the Wii Menu using the
Settings menu, as described in Chapter 2. You can also access the Wii
Message Board by clicking the envelope icon in the bottom-right corner.
(Using the Message Board is described in more detail in Chapter 4.)
Figure 5-1:
The Wii
Channel
menu, full of
Channels.
If your Wii is hooked up to the Internet, some of the Channel icons may
be periodically updated with new information. The Wii Shop Channel, for
instance, automatically downloads a list of the latest games and Channels
available for download, and scrolls this list on the icon visible right there on
the Wii Menu. You can use this information to save yourself the trouble of
starting the Channel to see if it has been updated. Note that WiiConnect24
service must be turned on for this feature to do its thing. See Chapter 4 for
more on configuring the Wii to work with the Internet and WiiConnect24.
If you twist the Remote in your hand while pointing at the Wii Menu, the onscreen pointer rotates to match its angle. Rotating the pointer isn’t good for
anything per se, but it is fun.
Changing the Channel
Navigating the Wii Menu is a simple, point-and-click affair. Simply point the
Wii Remote at the Sensor Bar and hover the on-screen pointer over your
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics
desired Channel. (See Chapter 3 for more on using the Wii Remote as a
pointer.) The Channel is highlighted in blue and its name appears below
the pointer. Press the A button at this point and you bring up the Channel
Preview screen for that Channel, as shown in Figure 5-2.
Figure 5-2:
The Channel
Preview
screen.
The Remote gives a slight rumble as you move it over the various Channels on
the Wii Menu. (You can turn this rumbling off by using the Wii Remote Settings
screen in the Wii’s Home menu, as described in Chapter 3.)
From the Channel Preview screen, click the Start button to start that Channel,
or click the Wii Menu button to go back. You can also use the arrows on the
left and right sides of the screen to jump to other Channel preview screens
without returning to the Wii Menu (the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote
have the same effect). Which Channel Preview comes up next in the scrolling depends on the arrangement of Channels on the Wii Menu itself (see the
“Reorganizing the Wii Menu” section, later in this chapter).
If your Wii is hooked up the Internet, some Channel Preview screens can also
provide updated information about a Channel, much like the Wii Menu icons
discussed previously. The Forecast Channel, for instance, can be calibrated
to show local weather conditions and temperature on the Preview Screen,
without the need to load the Channel itself. (See Chapter 10 for more on the
Forecast Channel.)
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Playing games with the Disc Channel
As an example of how to start Channels with the Wii Menu, this section
describes the process for playing disc-based games on the Wii using the Disc
Channel. Older systems let you play a game just by putting it in the system;
Wii owners have to use the Disc Channel manually to start the game.
First, you have to put the disc in the system, as shown in Figure 5-3.
After the disc is in the system, the Disc Channel icon changes to a small preview of the game (or to a GameCube logo, in the case of GameCube games). If
the system is having problems detecting the disc, make sure it’s inserted correctly — with the shiny, blank side of the disc pointing toward the buttons
on the face of the system. (This means the shiny side should point to the left
if the system is standing upright, and point downward if the system is lying
horizontally.)
When the disc is inserted correctly and detected, click the Disc Channel icon
to bring up the preview screen. Figure 5-4 shows the preview screen as it
looks for Wii Sports. Click the Start button and your game starts.
Wi
Pla
Figure 5-3:
Putting a
game disc
into the Wii.
i
y li
ke
ap
ro !
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics
Even after you’ve started a game or Channel, you’re never more than a few
button presses from returning to the Wii Menu. Just press the Home button
on the Wii Remote to bring up the Home Menu (as shown in Figure 5-5). Then
click the Wii Menu button to get back to your Channel list.
Figure 5-4:
The Wii
Sports
Preview
screen.
Figure 5-5:
The Home
Menu, the
easiest way
to get back
to the Wii
Menu from
inside a
Channel.
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Adding new Channels
The Wii Menu might look a little barren when you first pull the system out of
the box, but you can fill in those blank spaces in one of two ways:
The Wii Shop Channel: If your Wii is hooked up to the Internet, you can
use the Wii Shop Channel to download new games and Channels. These
downloadable games and Channels appear automatically in an open slot
on your Wii Menu as soon as they’ve been downloaded. Some of these
Channels are free to download, so if you have an Internet connection,
there’s really no reason not to start to fill up your Wii Menu. See Chapter
6 for more on downloading games and Channels from the Wii Shop
Channel.
Install Channels from a game disc: Some games let you install a gamespecific Channel to your Wii Menu straight from the game disc. These
Channels let you perform some of that game’s functions even if you
don’t have the game disc in the system. (See Chapter 10 for more on
installing and using these game-specific Channels.)
Turning the page
After you install downloadable games and Channels on your Wii, you might
start running out of room on the 12 slots on the front page of the Wii Menu.
Don’t fret — the Wii Menu can actually hold up to 48 Channels on its four
pages.
To access the other pages of the Wii Menu, simply click the arrow on the
right side of the screen, as shown in Figure 5-6. To go back to the first page,
use the similar arrow that appear on the left side of the screen. If you don’t
feel like pointing, you can use the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote to scroll
quickly through the menu’s pages.
Reorganizing the Wii Menu
As your Wii Menu starts filling up, you might find that some icons aren’t
arranged as conveniently as you might like. Maybe some Channels you use
all the time are hiding on the back pages, while rarely used Channels are
clogging up the front page. Maybe you want all your Virtual Console games
to be next to each other, rather than scattered all over the place. Maybe
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics
you want all the Channels that require the Internet on the third page, just
because that’s where they have the best Feng Shui. All these situations can
be easily fixed by rearranging the Channel icons on the Wii Menu itself as
follows:
To move a Wii Menu icon to a new slot, simply hover the pointer over
the icon you wish to move and pick it up by pressing the A and B buttons together. Picture this as holding the icon between your thumb and
forefinger with a pinching grip. The pointer changes to a clenched fist
carrying the Channel icon, as shown in Figure 5-7.
To place the Channel in its new location after picking it up, simply
move the pointer over an empty space on the Wii Menu and let go of A
or B (the new location should be highlighted in blue before the drop).
The Channel icon disappears from its old location and reappears in
the new one.
Note that you can’t move a Channel to a slot that already has an icon
on it. If you want to have two icons switch places, you have to use
an empty slot as a temporary holding space for one of them. If there
are absolutely no empty slots on any of the Wii Menu’s four pages,
consult the “Cleaning Out the Cobwebs: Wii Memory Management”
section for information on how to clear some space for your
reorganizing.
Figure 5-6:
Turning
pages on
the Wii
Menu.
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Figure 5-7:
Moving a
Channel
icon to a
new
location
on the Wii
Menu.
To move a Channel to an open slot on a different page, simply pick it
up as normal then hover over the page-turning arrow (refer to Figure
5-4). The Wii Menu scrolls to the next page, allowing you to place the
icon where you want it.
One Channel can’t be moved using the methods discussed here: The Disc
Channel. This game-playing Channel is so important that it’s impossible
to move away from the upper-left corner of the Wii Menu’s front page.
This is probably for the best — after all, do you really want to go searching through the Wii Menu every time you want to play a disc-based
game?
Cleaning Out the Cobwebs:
Wii Memory Management
Those icons on your Wii Menu don’t just represent downloaded games and
Channels — they also represent files stored in the 1,840 or so “blocks” of
internal system memory on the Wii. This internal memory is where everything that makes your Wii unique is stored — from the Channels on the Wii
Menu to the saved game data that keeps track of your in-game progress to
the messages stored on the Wii Message Board.
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics
For the most part, you don’t have to concern yourself with the arrangement and management of this internal memory — the Wii handles all your
files automatically. In a few situations, though, you may want to back up,
delete, or move files out of the Wii’s internal memory. The following sections
describe how to handle these situations.
Backing up files
If you’ve ever lost a term paper at 11:30 p.m. the night before it was due
because your computer crashed, you know how important it can be to back
up files on your computer. But not many people think of how important it is
to back up the files on their game systems. Aren’t the 40 hours you’ve put
into The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess just as important as the 40 hours
you put into that term paper?
Files stored on the Wii’s Internal Memory — including game saves, Channels,
and games downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel — can be backed up to a
SmartDigital (SD) card by following these steps:
1. Insert an SD card with some free space into the slot on the front of the
system.
More details on how to do this can be found in Chapter 8.
2. Go to the Wii Menu and click the Wii icon in the lower-left corner
(refer to Figure 5-1).
3. Click Data Management.
4. To back up Channels or downloaded games, click Channels. To back
up saved game progress, click Save Data, and then click Wii.
At this point, you see a grid view showing all the files you’ve requested
represented as icons, as shown in Figure 5-8. Hovering the pointer
over an icon on this menu gives you the name of the file. Note that this
screen also displays how many of the roughly 1,840 blocks of free space
are left on the system’s internal memory. As this number gets lower and
lower, the need to back up and delete unneeded data becomes more
urgent.
5. Click the icon for the file you want to back up.
This brings up a menu screen asking whether you want to copy or erase
the file. Note that this screen also tells you how many of the Wii’s 1,840
blocks of memory are being used by the file you’ve selected. This
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information can be handy when you’re choosing which files to erase
when pruning your Wii’s memory banks. (See the following section,
“Deleting data”).
Figure 5-8:
A grid view
of the Wii
save data.
Data for some games, such as Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl, is
protected and can’t be copied to an SD card. A message saying that this
file can’t be copied pops up for these games. Unfortunately, there is no
way to back up this data.
6. Click Copy, and then click Yes when asked for confirmation.
The Wii begins to copy the selected file to the SD card. (The datacopying process may take a few minutes, so be patient.)
Do not remove the SD card or turn off the system during the copying
process, because this might corrupt the data and make the entire SD
card unusable.
You can only have one copy of a certain file saved on an SD card at any one
time. If you already have a copy of that file on the SD card, the Wii won’t let
you make the new copy. You have to remove the old file from the SD card
before copying the new data over (see the later section, “Restoring files,” for
more on how to do this).
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics
Deleting data
After a file has been backed up on an SD card, that file can be safely deleted
from the Wii’s internal memory.
You can also delete files that haven’t been backed up, but be warned: There’s
no way to recover these files later.
The process for deleting files from the Wii’s system memory is very similar to
the process for backing up the files:
1. Repeat steps 1 through 5 in the “Backing up files” section.
2. Click Erase, and then click Yes when asked for confirmation.
Before you do this, make sure you’ve either backed up the file or that
you’re really, really sure you want to get rid of this file permanently.
After you click Yes, the file is gone. There’s no getting it back. Channels
and downloaded games deleted in this manner disappear from the Wii
Menu, although they can be downloaded again through the Wii Shop
Channel at any time. Games with saved data deleted in this way have to
be restarted from the beginning.
Restoring files
Having a file backed up on an SD card is all well and good, but it doesn’t
really do anyone any good just sitting all alone on that card. To actually use
the file again, it has to first be restored onto the system’s internal memory.
It’s a relatively simple process that’s performed like this:
1. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 of the “Backing up files” section earlier in
this chapter.
2. Click the SD Card tab at the upper-right corner of the screen.
This brings up a list of all the Wii files you’ve copied onto the SD card.
Notice that the amount of free space on the SD card is shown in the
Blocks Open area at lower right.
3. Click the icon for the file you want to copy to the Wii System.
4. Click Copy, and then click Yes when asked for confirmation.
The file is copied from the SD card back to the Wii System Memory. Note
that you can only have one copy of a particular file on your system at
any time. If a copy of the backed up file is already on the system, the Wii
tells you that “this data already exists in the Wii System Memory.” You
have to delete the older version from the Wii system memory before you
can copy the desired data from the SD card.
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Note that if you want to free up some space on your SD card for some reason,
you can delete files from the SD card in much the same fashion. Simply
complete Steps 1 through 3 as above, and then click the Erase option instead
of Copy.
Remember that clicking Erase removes the file from the SD card permanently,
so be careful if you’re toying around with your only backup.
Moving files to another Wii
The SD card isn’t just handy for backing up personal files on your Wii; it’s
also the only way to transfer files from one Wii to another. The process for
moving files from one system to another is exactly the same as that outlined
in the earlier sections, “Backing up files” and “Restoring files,” only in this
case you’re restoring the files to a system other than the one you backed
them up from. This is a great way to share saved game data with friends who
might not be as amazingly awesome at a certain game as you are.
Wii Channels and games downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel can’t be
transferred from system to system in this manner. These Channels and games
are tied to the system they’re first downloaded to — meaning they won’t work
on any other system. If you want to share a new Channel or downloaded game,
you have to take your entire Wii system over to your friend’s house. No biggie.
The system is pretty portable, after all.
Handling GameCube data
GameCube saved data can’t be copied to an SD card or to the Wii system
memory, but it can be copied between GameCube memory cards, using the
two GameCube card slots located on the top of the system (see Chapter
2 for more on this feature). This backup process is similar to the method
described earlier in this chapter:
1. Make sure there are GameCube memory cards in both card slots.
2. Go to the Data Management screen (as described in Steps 1–3 in the
earlier section, “Backing up files”).
3. Choose Save Data, and then GameCube.
This brings up the GameCube Save Data menu, as shown in Figure 5-9.
Note the tab at the top of the screen that allows you to toggle the view
between Slot A and Slot B.
Chapter 5: Wii Channel Basics
4. Select the data you want to copy, and then choose Copy to copy it
over to the other card. Or you can simply choose Erase to erase the
data from the card completely.
Figure 5-9:
The
GameCube
Save Data
menu.
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Chapter 6
The Wii Shop Channel
In This Chapter
Downloading games and new Wii Channels using the Wii Shop Channel
Converting your hard-earned money into Nintendo’s Wii Shop Points currency
Playing classic games using the Wii’s Virtual Console
Figuring out which controller works with which Virtual Console game
T
here are two ways to get software for your Wii. The first involves getting
up, getting in your car, driving to the store, finding a game on the shelf,
waiting in line, purchasing (or renting) the game, getting back in the car,
driving home, opening the case, putting the game in the system, and playing.
The second involves sitting on your couch, using the Wii Remote and an
on-screen menu to download the game, and playing.
Which method sounds better to you?
Not surprisingly, many Wii owners are thrilled with the Wii Shop Channel,
which lets them download new and classic games directly to their Wii
consoles from the comfort of the couch. While the games on the Shop
Channel tend to be older and/or less technically advanced than their discbased brethren, they can be just as much fun and, just as importantly, a lot
cheaper.
What’s more, the Wii Shop Channel also lets Wii owners download fun and
functional Channels to increase the versatility of their systems. Many of these
Channels are offered for free, meaning there’s really no reason not to take
advantage of them. This chapter tells you how to download and use these
games and channels.
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Setting Things Up
Before you get going with the Wii Shop Channel, make sure that your Wii
is connected to the Internet (see Chapter 4 for instructions if your Wii isn’t
online yet).
Fire up the Wii Menu and click the Wii Shop Channel. If your Internet
connection is set up correctly, you get a white screen with the Wii logo and
a rotating blue circle to indicate that the Channel is loading. The loading
process can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes, depending
on your connection speed, so be patient. Eventually, you see the Wii Shop
Channel’s main menu, as shown in Figure 6-1.
Figure 6-1:
The Wii
Shop
Channel
main menu.
Clicking one of the game names at the top of this menu brings up the information page for that game. Clicking one of the headlines under Important Info
brings up the details of the announcement. (You can scroll through these
news stories using the up and down arrows on the Wii Remote’s directional
pad.) The specific games and headlines shown on this page change from
week to week, generally updating every Monday.
After browsing the new games and headlines to your heart’s content, click
Start Shopping to dive right into the Wii’s full catalog of downloadable games
and Channels, as described in the following section.
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
When browsing the Wii Shop Channel, don’t be alarmed if the page doesn’t
change immediately as soon as you click a button. After you click your
selection, there may be a few seconds’ pause while the Wii downloads the
requested data from the Nintendo servers. You can make sure the Wii is still
working by looking for a rotating gray circle in the upper-left corner of the
screen. If the gray circle stops spinning (or if it remains spinning for a full
minute or more), restart the system, check your Internet connection setup,
and try again.
Browsing the Virtual Aisles
After you click the Start Shopping button, you see the Shopping menu
shown in Figure 6-2. Consider this the main hallway in a virtual mall filled
with downloadable content for your Wii. This hallway has a lot of potential
doors to go through, and what’s behind each one is explained in the
following list:
Figure 6-2:
The Wii
Shop
Channels
Shopping
menu.
Virtual Console: Browse, purchase, and download games originally
designed for classic video-game systems, now downloadable and
playable on the Wii.
WiiWare: Browse, purchase, and download original software created
specifically for the Wii.
Wii Channels: Browse, purchase, and download fun and functional nongame applications for the Wii.
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Add Wii Points: Purchase Wii Points, the currency used to purchase
games and Channels through the Wii Shop Channel.
Account Activity: View a summary of your Wii Point and download
activity, as shown in Figure 6-3. This menu provides a good way to
monitor your account to keep track of the Wii Shop Channel purchases
you and your family have been making. Scroll through the pages of the
list using the blue arrows on the bottom right, or click on a Channel or
game name to view details about that Channel or game purchase. Click
Back to return to the Shopping menu.
Figure 6-3:
The
Account
Activity
page.
Titles You’ve Downloaded: View a list of all the games and Channels
you’ve downloaded so far. This is handy if you have to download a title
that you purchased but had to delete for some reason, or just as a simple
way to keep track of all the games and Channels you’ve purchased so far.
Use the arrows to scroll and change pages, or click on a game or Channel
name to go to the information page for that title. Click Back to return to
the Shopping menu.
Settings: Adjust the following settings specific to the Wii Shop Channel:
• My Nintendo Membership Settings: If you’ve signed up for a My
Nintendo account on Nintendo.com, you can use this option to link
your Wii Shop Channel account and your My Nintendo account
together. Linking the accounts adds your Wii Shop Channel
purchases automatically to the list of Wii games stored on your My
Nintendo account. If you don’t have a My Nintendo account, you
can sign up for one for free by visiting http://my.nintendo.
com/cpp/mynintendo/myNintendo.do.
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
To link the accounts, click the username and password fields
on this submenu and use the on-screen keyboard to enter your
personal data. Remember that your password is case-sensitive,
so use those Shift and Caps Lock keys if necessary. Then click
the Link button to confirm. You can unlink the accounts later
by choosing the My Nintendo Membership Settings option again
and then clicking Unlink. You can link and unlink your account as
many times as you want.
• Gift Settings: If, for some reason, you don’t like receiving downloadable games and Channels as gifts from your Wii Friends, you
can turn off your system’s ability to receive gifts by using this
menu option. Doing so automatically refuses any and all such gifts
your Wii Friends try to send you. (You can turn on the gift-receipt
feature later by using the same menu option. Before you do,
though, could you possibly tell your friends to send all those gifts
to me instead?)
• Remove Wii Shop Channel: Be careful! This menu option removes
your Wii Shop Channel account and deletes all the software you’ve
already downloaded from your system. The only reason you might
want to do this is if you’re selling your Wii and you don’t want your
personal data to be accessible to the system’s new owner. Short of
that, just stay far, far away from this option.
Wii Menu: Return to the Wii Menu, shockingly enough!
Wii Points: This area displays your current balance of Wii Points. Click
this number to add Wii Points to your account.
Shopping Guide: This option opens up an interactive guide that tells
you how to use the Wii Shop Channel. (You won’t be needing it, though,
because you have this book, right? Right?! Right.)
Turning Dollars into Wii Shop Points
In a real store, you can exchange crisp bills and shiny coins or plastic for
goods and services. Because the Wii doesn’t have slots for bills, coins, or
credit cards, you need another way to purchase games and Channels from
the Wii Shop Channel. This means converting your hard-earned legal tender
into the Wii Shop Channel’s exclusive currency, Wii Shop Points.
Do not put bills, coins, or credit cards into the Wii’s disc slot. This advice may
seem obvious, but you’d be surprised what some people will try.
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Wii Shop Channel game pricing
Before purchasing your Wii Shop Points (sometimes referred to as Wii Points),
it would probably be good to know how many you need for the specific game
or Channel you want. This information is displayed prominently next to each
game and Channel name as you browse the selection on the Wii Shop Channel
(see “Browsing, Purchasing, and Downloading” later in this chapter).
In general, original WiiWare games can vary in price anywhere from 500 to
1,500 Wii Shop Points (that is, $5 to $15). The downloadable Channels
available as of this writing are generally free, with one exception: The
Internet Channel, which costs 500 points ($5). Interestingly enough, even
the Internet Channel was free until June 30, 2007, when Nintendo took the
Channel out of beta testing and upped the price. (Sorry, late adopters; you
have to shell out a Lincoln for Web browsing on your TV.)
For classic games available on the Wii Virtual Console, pricing is largely
dependent on the system the game was originally released for. This pricing
system is detailed in Table 6-1. Some rare and/or foreign games might be
priced slightly higher than the prevailing rates listed in Table 6-1, but the
prices apply to the vast majority of the Virtual Console games available on
the Wii Shop Channel. (Whether each game is worth the price is a matter of
personal discretion, of course.) See Chapter 15 for a list of some games that
are definitely worth the money, in my humble opinion.
Table 6-1
Virtual Console Game Prices
System
Price in Wii Points
Price in U.S. Dollars
NES
500
$5
Sega Master System
600
$6
NEC TurboGrafx-16
600
$6
Super NES
800
$8
Sega Genesis
800
$8
SNK Neo-Geo
900
$9
Nintendo 64
1,000
$10
Purchasing Wii Shop Points
When you know what game or Channel you want to buy and how much it
costs, you need to actually convert your money into the Wii Shop Points
necessary to get it. To do this, simply click the Wii Points button that appears
at the bottom of nearly every screen of the Wii Shop Channel. (Refer to Figure
6-2.) Doing this brings up the Add Wii Points menu, shown in Figure 6-4.
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
Figure 6-4:
The Add
Wii Points
menu.
Adding Wii Points by Wii Points Card
As you can see, there are two main ways to add Wii Points to your Wii Shop
Channel account. The first is by redeeming a Wii Points Card, a prepaid plastic
card sold at most electronics and gaming retailers (and shown in Figure 6-5).
Figure 6-5:
The Wii
Points Card.
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Wii Points Cards currently come only in denominations of 2,000 points; these
sell for roughly $20 in the U.S. (You can occasionally find slightly better deals
as part of store promotions or bundles.) While purchasing a prepaid card
from a brick-and-mortar store largely ruins the convenience of shopping from
the comfort of your couch, these cards are the only way for people who don’t
have major credit cards to get Wii Points into their account. Wii Points Cards
also make good gifts for your Wii-owning friends, although savvy Wii owners
can use the Shop Channel’s gift-giving function to subvert even this need to
leave the couch. (See the later section, “Gift-giving.”)
After you get home with your Wii Points Card, here’s the drill:
1. Scratch off the silver foil on the back using a coin or a key to reveal
the Wii Point Card Activation Number.
2. Click Redeem Wii Points Card on the Add Wii Points menu shown in
Figure 6-4, and enter this number using the on-screen keypad.
Make sure you enter all 16 digits correctly or the Wii won’t recognize the
card.
3. Click OK, and your Wii account is credited with the requisite number
of Wii Points.
You can now discard the card, or keep it as a stylish reminder of your
Wii Points purchase.
Adding Wii Points by credit card
By far the more convenient and flexible way to add Wii Points to your
account is to use a major credit card. To do this, click the Buy Wii Points
with a Credit Card button on the Add Wii Points menu (refer to Figure 6-4).
Then follow these steps:
1. Choose the number of Wii Points you want.
Wii Points are available in increments of 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, or 5,000 (if you
really just want 4,000 Points, you can buy two 2,000-Point increments).
Refer to the “Wii Shop Channel game pricing” section to figure out how
many points you actually need. Don’t worry if it looks like you’re going to
end up with leftover points — they’re saved in your account for your next
purchase (see “The surplus Points problem” sidebar).
2. Choose your credit card type.
Only Visa and MasterCard are currently accepted. Wii owners with
other credit cards need to go out and purchase a Wii Points Card. Sorry,
Diner’s Club members.
3. Enter your credit card number, expiration date, and security code.
Use the on-screen keypads and arrows to enter your personal data. Your
security code is a numeric code found on the back of your card, usually in
the signature area. You only need to enter the last three digits of this code.
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
The surplus Points problem
By now, you may have noticed that the pricing
of some Virtual Console and WiiWare games
doesn’t line up very nicely with the sales
increments for Wii Points themselves. Buying
1,000 Wii Shop Points and then purchasing a
900-point Neo-Geo game (for instance) leaves
your account with 100 leftover Points. With the
cheapest downloadable games coming in at
500 Wii Points, the questions quickly become:
What am I supposed to do with these leftover
points? And why can’t I buy just the Wii Points
I need?
Unfortunately, there’s no wholly satisfying
answer to either of these perfectly fine
questions. The best defense I’ve heard for
Nintendo’s 1,000-Point-at-a-time sales practice
has to do with the credit card fees associated
with purchasing Wii Points online. Selling
points in smaller increments, the argument
goes, would bury Nintendo in credit card fees
that it can’t really afford. (Note that this defense
did not come from Nintendo itself, but from a
business-savvy friend of mine.)
While this explanation is plausible, conspiracyminded readers have probably come up with an
equally plausible explanation for the practice:
Nintendo is trying to bilk Wii owners out of
their hard-earned dough. After all, if those leftover points don’t get spent, they represent, in
essence, extra, unearned money in Nintendo’s
pockets. And if you do want to use these leftover
Points, you have to buy at least 1,000 more Wii
Points, which puts more money in Nintendo’s
coffers. Even after the extra purchase, you often
still have more leftover Points, which leaves
more unearned money in Nintendo’s pockets.
And the cycle continues.
This problem really isn’t as bad as some people
might make it out to be. You can usually get your
Wii Points balance down to that magic level of
zero through some creative game-purchasing
combinations. And frankly, if you can’t find
enough games to justify spending $10 more on
Wii Shop Channel content, then you aren’t looking hard enough. (Check out Chapter 15 if you’re
really having trouble.) Still, it is really annoying
being forced to purchase Wii Shop Points that
you may never actually use. You may just have
to suck it up and eat the remainder, just as you
do when buying incompatible packages of hot
dogs and hot dog buns. Of course, the extra
buns do tend to taste better than the extra Wii
Shop Points.
Don’t worry too much about the security of your personal credit card
data when you’re using the Wii Shop Channel. The Wii automatically
encrypts all the sensitive data it sends to Nintendo, so unscrupulous
characters listening in won’t be able to make sense of your information
even if they somehow intercept it. While no security system is perfect,
this is relatively safe as these things go. If you really want some extra
protection, look into a wireless router with WEP or WPA security.
4. Enter your billing address information.
Use the on-screen keyboard to enter the required information.
Note that the last field is County, not Country (this little wrinkle messed
up quite a few transactions for me).
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5. Click Yes to confirm your purchase.
After a short confirmation process, your credit card is billed and the Wii
Points are added to your account. You can now continue shopping with
your virtual wallet filled.
Browsing, Purchasing, and Downloading
After your virtual wallet has been virtually stuffed with virtual currency in the
form of Wii Points, it’s time to spend those Points on Virtual Console games
and Channels for your, er, non-virtual Wii.
Browsing
To browse the Shop Channel’s selections, go to the Shopping menu (refer to
Figure 6-2) and choose either the Virtual Console, WiiWare, or Wii Channels
option. The difference between the content available behind each of these
options is described in the earlier section, “Browsing the Virtual Aisles.”
While choosing the Wii Channels option brings you directly to a scrollable
menu of downloadable Channels (much like the one shown in Figure 6-7),
choosing either WiiWare or Virtual Console brings up a submenu like the one
shown in Figure 6-6, which shows the browsing submenu for WiiWare titles;
the menu for Virtual Console titles is very similar.
Figure 6-6:
WiiWare
browsing
options.
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
The WiiWare and Virtual Console browsing options menus both include the
following options:
Popular Titles: Choose this option to browse a list of the games downloaded most often by other Wii owners. This option is useful if you have
no idea what you’re looking for — after all, millions of other Wii owners
can’t be wrong (about games, anyway).
Newest Additions: Choose this option to browse a list of all available
games in reverse chronological order, based on the date they were
added to the Wii Shop Channel. This option is particularly useful for
seeing what’s been added since your last visit to the Channel.
Search by Publisher/Genre: Choosing these options brings up yet
another submenu where you can choose to restrict your browsing to a
particular publisher or genre. (See Chapter 11 for advice on genres and
how to choose games you might enjoy.)
In the case of the Virtual Console menu, these options are hidden behind
the Search by Category option. They are also joined by a third filtering
option — Search by System — which lets you restrict your browsing to
games originally released on a specific classic system.
Search by Game Title: Enter a full or partial game title using the onscreen keyboard, and then click OK to browse a list of games that have
that phrase as part of their title. Remember that spelling does count
here, so only enter part of the game title if you’re unsure of how to spell
the whole thing.
After choosing your browsing options (as described in the preceding list),
you’re presented with a list of games much like the one shown in Figure 6-7.
Figure 6-7:
The Wii
Shop
Channels
gamebrowsing
menu.
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Click the arrows and slider on the right side to scroll through this list, or
use the up and down arrows on the Wii Remote’s control pad. Browsing is
limited to only ten games per page, so use the blue arrows in the lower-right
corner to scroll through multiple pages of results (the current page and total
number of pages can also be seen in the lower right). Click the Back button to
go back to the previous menu. You can also click the question mark for help
with navigating, or you can keep reading and I’ll prove to you that I can help
you out just as well as any silly on-screen help files.
If you see a game that you’re potentially interested in, click its name on the
browsing list to bring up an information page, as shown in Figure 6-8. As you
can see, this page presents a wide variety of data about the game, including the
original release date, publisher, genre, number of players, and ESRB rating.
(See Chapter 11 for more on game ratings.) Click the More Details button to
view some sample screenshots from the game and read a short synopsis of
the gameplay.
Although the Wii doesn’t offer demos of WiiWare and Virtual Console games,
you can view sample videos of generic gameplay by visiting www.nintendo.
com/wii/virtualconsole. You can also view videos of many WiiWare and
Virtual Console games directly on your TV using the downloadable Nintendo
Channel. (See Chapter 10 for more on this Channel.) Incidentally, you should
definitely feel comfortable buying Super Mario 64, the game shown in Figure
6-8, without consulting any videos, because it’s the greatest game of all time.
And I’m totally objective about that. Honest.
Figure 6-8:
A Wii Shop
Channel
game
information
page.
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
Purchasing and downloading
After you’ve read all the information about a game and/or Channel and are
sure you want to actually purchase it, click the Download button at the
bottom of the screen (as shown in Figure 6-8). Make sure you already have
enough Wii Points attached to your account to make the purchase — if you
don’t, the Wii greets you with a rather rude error message.
If you do have enough Wii Points, you’re taken to a list of the controllers
that the game or Channel is compatible with. Pay close attention to this
information before moving on, as it would be a shame to go to all the
trouble of downloading a game or Channel just to find that you didn’t have
the right controller to use it. For more information about which controllers
work with which games, see the “Which controller do I need?” section later
in this chapter, or refer to Chapter 3.
After you confirm that you have one of the compatible controllers, you’re
presented with a download-confirmation page (shown in Figure 6-9), which
outlines the effects the download will have on your Wii Points balance and on
your Wii’s internal-memory situation. (See Chapter 5 for more on managing
the Wii’s internal memory.)
Figure 6-9:
The Wii
Shop
download
confirmation
page.
If this all looks acceptable, click Yes to begin the download. An old-school,
two-dimensional Mario runs down the screen collecting coins and bashing
blocks (as shown in Figure 6-10). This may just seem like a cute animation,
but those blocks and coins actually represent the progress of the download.
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Figure 6-10:
The
download
progress
screen.
For some downloads, you may notice the Mario on the download progress screen
is taller and wears white overalls. When this happens, you can press the A button
on the Wii Remote during the download to make Mario shoot fireballs. Neat!
After Mario finishes bashing the rightmost block, the Wii tells you that the
download is complete, and updates you on the number of blocks left on the
Wii’s internal memory. Click OK and read a quick parental-control warning,
and then press A to return to the Wii Shop channel.
When you return to the Wii Menu, your newly downloaded game or Channel
is ready to go, with no need for any manual installation.
You may have to scroll past the first page of the Wii Menu to find your new
download.
Gift-giving
In addition to downloading games and Channels for your own personal use, the
Wii Shop Channel also lets you purchase titles as gifts for your registered Wii
Friends. The process for purchasing these gifts is very similar to the process
for downloading your own titles — just click the Gift button on the game
information page instead of the Purchase button (refer to Figure 6-8). After
reading the controller information page, you’re asked to pick the recipient of
your gift from a list of your registered Wii friends (see Chapter 4 for more on
registering Wii Friends).
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
After choosing your friend, you’re allowed to write a personal message and
attach a Mii to your gift, as shown in Figure 6-11. The process for writing
this note is similar to the process for writing a Wii Message Board message
(described in Chapter 4).
Figure 6-11:
The Wii
Shop
Channel’s
Gift Giving
Message
screen.
After you confirm your message and the gift purchase, the Wii Points are
deducted from your account and your gift are sent across the Internet. Your
friend receives the gift in the form of a Message on his or her Wii Message
Board that includes a button. Your friend clicks this button to download
the gift from the Wii Shop Channel for free. Be sure to alert any such lucky
friends to your philanthropy; have them check their systems.
Playing Downloaded Games
Playing WiiWare and Virtual Console games downloaded from the Wii Shop
Channel is a lot like playing Wii games that come on a disc, only there’s no
disc! Simply click the appropriate icon on the Wii Menu and click Start to load
the game right up. (See Chapter 5 for more in the Wii Menu.)
The following sections discuss the few other wrinkles with playing downloaded
games that don’t apply to normal, disc-based games.
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Which controller do I need?
Classic games downloaded for the Wii Virtual Console are identical to the
original versions in nearly every respect. But there is one important way
in which they differ: the controllers. Unfortunately, the Wii doesn’t let you
plug in the original controllers used with the classic systems that the Virtual
Console games were originally designed for.
Fortunately, many Virtual Console games are playable with the Wii Remote
that’s included with each system. Some downloaded games, though, require
you to use a Wii Classic Controller or GameCube controller. Which games
work with which controllers can be a bit confusing for Virtual Console games.
Consult Table 6-2 to determine what controller is needed for which game,
based on the system the game was originally released for.
Table 6-2
Picking a Controller with Virtual Console Games
System
Wii Remote
Classic
Controller
GameCube
NES
Yes
Yes
Yes
SNES
No
Yes
Yes
Nintendo 64
No
Yes
Yes
Sega Genesis
Some
Yes
Yes
Sega Master
System
Yes
Yes
Yes
SNK Neo-Geo
Some
Yes
Yes
NEC
TurboGrafx-16
Yes
Yes
Some
As you can see from Table 6-2, you can control every game in the Virtual
Console Library with the Wii Classic Controller. If you don’t have one, though,
a GameCube controller can act as a decent substitute, working with all games
save some designed for the TurboGrafx-16, according to Nintendo’s Web site.
(As this book was written, though, all 49 TurboGrafx-16 games offered on the
Wii Shop Channel actually do work with the GameCube controller. Frankly, I
can’t see any reason why future games would break this trend.)
Chapter 6: The Wii Shop Channel
If you just have a Wii Remote, you won’t be able to play a large chunk of
the Wii’s Virtual Console library. This is due to the distinct lack of buttons
and joysticks on the Wii Remote, which makes controlling Super NES and
Nintendo 64 games with the motion-sensitive controller impossible. Note that
some Genesis and Neo-Geo games work with the Wii Remote, although this
compatibility varies from game to game.
If you only have a Wii Remote, pay close attention to the controllercompatibility confirmation screen when you’re downloading games
originally designed for these systems; make sure you’re actually able to
play your purchase.
Suspending play
With most games, if you haven’t saved your progress before you turn the
system off, you’ve lost all your hard work (or hard play, as the case may be).
With many Virtual Console games, though, this isn’t true. The Virtual Console
has a game suspension feature that lets you automatically save your progress
at any point in many games.
Suspending a game couldn’t be simpler. When you’re done with a play
session, simply press the Home button on the Wii Remote and choose to
return to the Wii Menu. The Wii automatically creates and saves a suspend
state for the game that captures the in-game situation exactly as it was when
you pressed the Home button. When you come back to the game, the game
resumes from this exact point as if you had never stopped playing.
Note that this suspension feature doesn’t work for games that were originally
designed for the Nintendo 64 or the Neo-Geo, owing to technical issues. Also
note that you have to actively return to the Wii Menu to create a suspend
state — simply turning the system off in the middle of a Virtual Console game
erases your progress, forcing you to start over from the beginning the next
time you play. Suspending play doesn’t work at all for downloaded WiiWare
titles.
Also note that resuming play from a suspend state destroys that suspend
state. This means that you have to create another suspend state before you
end your next play session to continue your game again.
Aside from the suspend function, many Virtual Console games include a built-in
save function to chronicle progress in the game. If the original version of a game
originally supported saving game data, then the Virtual Console version does
too. Saving a Virtual Console game using an in-game menu creates a save file in
the Wii’s internal memory, just as it would for a disc-based game.
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Operations Guide
All downloadable Virtual Console and WiiWare games also come with an
in-game Operations Guide that tells you the rules and controls behind the
game. To access the guide, press the Home button on the Wii Remote at any
point during play, and then click the Operations Guide button on the Home
menu.
Click the section names to open them up for reading on-screen. You can
scroll through the various sections using the up and down buttons on the Wii
Remote’s directional pad. The + button returns to the table of contents. Press
the Home button again to return to the game.
The Operations Guide is especially useful for determining how the buttons on
the various Wii controllers relate to the original buttons used in downloaded
Virtual Console games. Each Operations Guide has a handy diagram for this,
as well as a detailed explanation of what each button does. Read it, use it, live
it — but most of all, play it.
Chapter 7
Those Marvelous Miis
In This Chapter
Making and viewing Miis with the Mii Channel
Organizing and sharing Miis in the Mii Plaza
Checking out Miis from other Wii users on the Check Mii Out Channel
F
or years, playing video games primarily meant taking control of
someone else (someone virtual, anyway), and escaping your normal,
boring life to become a super-powered alter-ego. As games have become
more complex and game systems have become more powerful, more game
makers are letting players create controllable, “realistic” digital versions of
themselves, their friends, or anyone at all. The Wii is no different, allowing
players to create customized Miis to represent themselves in games and
Channels and the Wii Message Board.
No one is going to mistake these cartoon-like, large-eyed, round-headed Mii
characters for digital photographs, but Miis still do a good job of capturing
the essence of a wide variety of facial characteristics. This chapter discusses
how to create and download Miis using the Mii Channel and share those Miis
with the world, using the Check Mii Out Channel.
The Mii Channel and You
The Mii Channel is your main gateway for creating new Miis to use in games
and Channels. It’s also the place where your created Miis hang out in the Mii
Plaza when they’re not being used, and the home of the Mii Parade, where your
friends’ Miis might wander over to you through your Internet connection.
Creating a Mii
The first time you start up the Mii Channel (see Chapter 5 for more on using
Channels from the Wii Menu), you’re immediately asked to create a Mii. After
that, you can create additional Miis by clicking the Create Mii button on the
Wii Plaza menu (see the later section, “Mii Plaza”).
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First you have to select the gender of your Mii by clicking the appropriate
on-screen option (don’t worry, you can change it later). If this is your first
Mii, you have to start with an extremely generic Mii model. If this is not your
first Mii, you can choose to start from scratch or use the Choose a Look-Alike
screen to pick a Mii that’s already close to the Mii you envision in your head.
If you choose to use a look-alike, you’re first asked to choose a starting face
from a variety of randomly generated faces. You can then tweak that face
toward the one you envision, using the look-alike menu shown in Figure 7-1.
Simply click the face closest to your desired Mii to see a new selection of Miis
that tweak that Mii just slightly. Click Use This Face to start editing that face
to your precise specifications, as described in the following section.
Figure 7-1:
The Mii
Channel’s
look-alike
menu.
Editing your Mii’s facial features
After you’ve set up your Mii’s basics, it’s time to shape your Wii’s face like
a virtual plastic surgeon. This is done primarily through the facial editing
menu, as shown in Figure 7-2. There are a lot of options available here, and
even more are available by clicking the tabs on the top.
Click the Mii shown on the left side of the editor to make it spin around
quickly. Click the Mii again while spinning to stop the spin and hold position.
This is the only way to see the back of a Mii’s hairstyle, as well as a side view
of certain facial features.
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Figure 7-2:
The Mii
Editor main
menu.
The following list describes the Mii editing options you can access by clicking
the tabs at the top of the Mii editing menu; the tabs are described from left to
right:
Edit Mii Profile: Click this tab to configure the vital statistics for your
Mii, as shown in Figure 7-3:
Figure 7-3:
The Edit
Mii Profile
Screen.
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• Nickname: Click this area to bring up an on-screen keyboard which
you can use to enter a nickname for your Mii. (See Chapter 5 for
more on using the on-screen keyboard.) Note that nicknames can
have a maximum of ten characters. This is the only personal information that is absolutely required for every Mii — everything else
on the Edit Mii Profile menu screen is optional.
• Favorite?: Check this option to designate this Mii as one of your
favorites. These Miis tend to show up more often in the crowd
scenes of Mii-compatible games. If you created the favored Mii, its
pants change from blue to red in the Mii Plaza as well.
• Gender: Toggle your Mii’s gender between male and female. The
only real difference between the two is that female Miis wear a
slightly longer, tapered blouse rather than a plain shirt.
• Birthday: Designate a birthday for this Mii, first by choosing the
month and then the day. You can choose today’s date or whatever you want. Choose the question mark to leave the birthday as
unknown.
• Favorite Color: Despite the name, all this option really does is
change the color of the Mii’s shirt. Click whichever colored square
you’d like to choose that color.
• Mingle: Toggle whether or not this Mii can travel to your friends’
Wiis as part of the Mii Parade feature (see “The Mii Parade” section, later in this chapter). By default, your Miis are not shared
with others. Click this box to allow a copy of the Mii to travel to
your Registered Wii Friends (see Chapter 4 for more on registering
Wii Friends). Note that for this feature to work, both you and your
friends must allow for sharing through the Mii Parade.
• Mii Creator: Like an artist signing a canvas, you can put your name
(or a pseudonym) to your Mii creations. Click this button and then
click Reenter to bring up an on-screen keyboard to enter a name
with up to ten characters. You can also choose from a list of
creator names that have already been entered without going
through the keyboard.
Body Type: Choose this tab on the top of the Mii editing menu to bring
up the body type sliders shown in Figure 7-4. Click and drag the sliders
with the Wii Remote pointer to adjust the height and weight of your Mii.
As you move the sliders, the Mii shown on the left side of the screen
changes in real time. Remember, you can get a full body view of your Mii
by clicking the figure to the left with the Wii Remote pointer.
Facial Features Menus: Click any of the remaining seven tabs at the top of
the Mii editing screen to bring up a variety of facial feature options. Click
any of these facial feature options to assign it to the Mii shown on the left.
Don’t like how it looks? Just click another feature in the center area to
change it again. Other options for editing the look of particular facial
feature are shown in Figure 7-5 and discussed in the list that follows:
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Body Type
Edit Mii Profile
Facial Features menus
Figure 7-4:
The Mii
Channel’s
body type
menu.
Flip page
Colors
Figure 7-5:
The Mii
Channel’s
eye style
editing
menu.
Spacing
Rotate
Scale
Position
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• Flip page: Use these buttons to scroll through multiple pages of
facial feature options. The current page number and total number
of pages are shown in the center. Note that some facial features
only have one page of options to choose from.
• Colors: Click a color box to change the color of the currently
selected facial feature. Refer to Figure 7-5.
• Position: Use these buttons to change the vertical position of the
current facial feature. This effect can be quite extreme if you click
multiple times. Try moving your Mii’s mouth above its eyes for a
really freaky effect. (See the “Making mysterious Miis” sidebar.)
• Scale: Use these buttons to change the size of the current facial
feature.
• Rotate: Use these buttons to rotate the current facial feature clockwise or counterclockwise. The Rotate buttons are only available in
the Eyes and Eyebrows menus.
• Spacing: Click these buttons to tighten or broaden the space between
the eyes or eyebrows on your Mii. (Like the Rotate buttons, the
Spacing buttons are only available on the Eyes and Eyebrow menus.)
• Flip Part: On the hairstyle menu, use this button to reverse the
direction of certain nonsymmetrical parts.
Note that some of the facial feature submenus have further submenus
of their own. On the Facial Shape menu, click the circle above the facial
shape options to add subtle features like freckles, rosy cheeks, eye
shadow, and more. In the Miscellaneous submenu, you can find further
menus for beards, mustaches, and even a beauty mark. Don’t be afraid
to click around and explore — remember, you can always undo
whatever you’ve done.
Quit: When you’re done creating your Mii, click Quit to return to the Mii
Plaza. Don’t worry; you’re asked to save your Mii before quitting out of
the menu (you can also quit without saving if you aren’t happy with how
your Mii turned out).
If you haven’t given a nickname to your Mii yet, you have to enter one using
the on-screen keyboard before saving your Mii. Don’t worry if there’s still
something you don’t like about the Mii — you can come back and edit it later.
Mii Plaza
The Mii Plaza is where the Miis you’ve created or downloaded from the
Internet hang out when they’re not being used in games or Channels. It also
serves at the main menu of sorts for the Mii Channel, letting you create,
delete, manage, and share your Miis with others. This section provides a
complete guide to doing all these things.
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Making mysterious Miis
The wide variety of facial feature options in the
Mii Channel’s Mii maker means you can mimic
practically any human face. But why stop there?
Using some creative positioning, coloring,
and sizing you can create much more than just
human faces. Here are some basic tips:
The right combination of mustache, beard,
and hairstyle can make an animalistic Mii.
Try arching the eyebrows and positioning
them inside the hair to make a faux crown!
Why go with the regular facial order? Turn
a Mii’s face upside down by moving the
mouth above the eyes.
Try hiding facial features in other facial features for noseless, mouthless or even eyeless creations.
Use the Check Mii Out Channel for
inspiration!
You can store only 100 Miis in your Mii Plaza at any one time. If the plaza
is full, you won’t be able to create new Miis or download Miis from the Mii
Parade or the Check Mii Out Channel. Delete some of your least favorite Miis,
or store them in the Mii Parade (see the later section, “The Mii Parade”).
Navigating the Mii Plaza
The Mii Plaza is like an aquarium for your Miis — a featureless void where they
wander around, chat, fall asleep, and even occasionally wave at the camera.
Your initial view of the Mii Plaza is only a small section of that aquarium, though.
Use the following controls to view and interact with the rest of the Mii Plaza:
Zoom: If there are a lot of Miis in your Plaza, it can be hard to see them
all on the screen at once. To fix this problem, use the + and – buttons on
the Wii Remote to zoom the camera in and out, respectively. There are
four levels of zoom.
Identify: Point and click a Mii with the A button to see the Mii’s name
appear in a word balloon above his or her head. If the Mii was created
by one of your registered Wii Friends, the creator’s name is also shown.
You’ll also notice a gray circle in the identifying word balloon. Click this
circle to designate the Mii as one of your favorites. Your favorite Miis
tend to show up more often in Mii-compatible games. Click anywhere
else on the screen to make the name bubble disappear.
Scroll: Point the Wii Remote at the Mii Plaza screen and hold the B button
to bring up a scrolling interface with four arrows on the edges of the screen.
While still holding the B button, move the pointer in any direction to scroll
your viewpoint in that direction. Let go of the B button to stop scrolling.
You can also use the directional pad on the Wii Remote to scroll.
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Picking up: Hover the pointer over a Mii and press the A and B buttons
simultaneously to pick the Mii up, as shown in Figure 7-6. You can move
the Mii around by moving the Wii Remote pointer. Hold the Mii near the
edge of the screen to scroll in the direction of that edge. Let go of either
button on the Wii Remote to drop the Mii in its current location.
While carrying a Mii, you can also drag it to the Edit Mii, Erase Mii, or
Send to Mii Parade buttons. The functions are discussed in the next
section.
Figure 7-6:
Carrying a
Mii with the
Wii Remote
pointer.
Mii Plaza menu
While you’re in the Mii Plaza, point the Wii Remote at the screen to bring
up the menu shown in Figure 7-7. The options on this menu let you create,
edit, and share your Miis, as well as download new Miis from the Mii Parade.
These menu options are described in further detail in the following list,
starting from the upper-left corner:
Wii Menu: Click this button to return to the Wii Menu. Remember,
you can also return to the Wii Menu at any time by pressing the Home
button on the Wii Remote.
Edit Mii: Not happy with how one of your Miis looks? Drag it over to this
circle to rejigger it in the Mii Editing menu, as described in the earlier
section, “Editing your Mii’s facial features.”
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Note that you can only edit Miis that were created on your personal Wii.
Miis downloaded from the Mii Parade or the Check Mii Out Channel are
locked and can’t be edited.
New Mii: Click this button to create a new Mii. When you’re done, the
freshly created Mii drops into your Mii Plaza.
Erase Mii: Is your Mii Plaza getting too cluttered? Pick up and drag a Mii
over to this circle to remove it from your system permanently.
Be careful! There’s no way to undo this Mii erasure, so think long and
hard before you confirm the deletion.
Edit Mii
Figure 7-7
The Mii
Plaza menu.
Transfer Mii
Wii Menu
Mii Parade
Help
Arrange
Erase Mii
Wii Friend
New Mii
Note that you can also clear space in the Mii Plaza by sending a Mii to
the Mii Parade for long-term storage. (See the Mii Parade bullet.)
When you erase a Mii from the Mii Plaza, you also erase its data from
any Wii games that might use that Mii as a character. This can cause
you to lose important progress data. Be careful erasing Miis you use in
games.
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Help: Bring up on-screen directions for navigating the Mii Plaza. These
are all covered in the “Navigating the Mii Plaza” section, though, so you
can just pretend this button doesn’t exist. Just look away whenever your
eyes happen to hover over it. Maybe put a little piece of paper on the
screen to block it from your sight permanently.
Mii Parade: Click this button to bring up the Mii Parade, which is discussed in further detail in the following section. You can also pick up
a Mii from the Mii Plaza floor and drag it over to this icon to transfer it
from the Mii Plaza to the Mii Parade. This frees up space in the Mii Plaza
while still allowing you to recover the Mii from the Mii Parade at a later
date, if you so desire. Note that Miis in the Mii Parade can’t be used in
games and other Channels without first being brought back to the Mii
Plaza.
Transfer Mii: That Wii Remote in your hands isn’t just good for navigating games and menus. You can also use it to store up to ten Miis, which
you can then use on a friend’s Wii. Follow these steps to transfer Miis on
and off your Remote:
1. Click the Transfer Mii button.
A list of the Remotes currently connected to the Wii is displayed.
2. Click the icon for the Remote which you want to use to transfer
Miis.
If the Remote you want to use is not connected to the Wii, first
press the 1 and 2 buttons on that Remote simultaneously, then
choose its icon on the screen.
3. Drag the desired Mii to one of the empty white circles.
After you’ve chosen a Remote, the contents of that Remote are
shown at the top of the Mii Plaza menu, as shown in Figure 7-8.
Pick up and drag a Mii to one of the empty white circles to transfer
a copy on to the Remote. Alternatively, you can drag a Mii from
one of those circles on to the Mii Plaza floor. This takes the Mii off
the Remote and adds it to the Mii Plaza. Note that if there’s a copy
of the Mii already in the Plaza, it’s replaced with the version from
the Remote.
You can also Erase Miis from the Wii Remote or the Mii Plaza
by dragging them to the Erase Mii button on the left side of the
screen.
4. Click Save & Quit when you’re done transferring Miis.
The Wii spends a few seconds transferring the Miis in the white
circles on to your Wii Remote. You can now take this Remote over
to a friend’s Wii and use your personal Miis over there.
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Wii Friend: Use this button to send a Mii to one of your registered Wii
Friends over the Internet (see Chapter 4 for more on connecting your
Wii to your broadband Internet connection). First, click the envelope
button to display the mail icon at the top of the screen, as shown in
Figure 7-9. From here, pick up and drag the Mii you want to send to the
white circle in the envelope.
Figure 7-8:
The
Transfer Mii
menu.
Figure 7-9:
The Mii
mailing
submenu.
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After dropping the Mii in the envelope, a menu pops up with a list of
your registered Wii Friends (see Chapter 5 for more on registering Wii
Friends). Click the friend you want to send the Mii to and confirm by
clicking Yes. The Mii appears in your friend’s Mii Plaza the next time he
or she starts up the Mii Channel. Click the Quit button when you’re done
sending Miis.
Arrange: Tired of seeing your Miis meandering around the Plaza like
a bunch of lazy layabouts? Click the Arrange button (it looks like a
whistle) to call the Miis to attention in nice, orderly rows and columns.
Clicking the Arrange button also brings up a new row of options on the
bottom row of the Mii Plaza menu:
• Number: Clicking this icon doesn’t do anything, but the number
tells you exactly how many Miis are in your plaza. (Remember, you
can only have 100 Miis in your Plaza at any one time.)
• Whistle: Click the whistle again to disband the Wiis and let them
wander and mingle as they please.
• Alphabetical: Arrange your Miis in alphabetical order by their
nicknames, starting in the bottom-left corner and proceeding to
the right and upward.
• Favorites: The Miis you’ve designated as your favorites line up in
the front, while the rest of the riff-raff are arranged in the back. To
designate a Mii as a favorite, click the Mii and then click the gray
circle that appears in the word balloon above the Mii’s head. You
can also click the Favorite box on the Edit Mii Profile tab when
you’re editing or creating the Mii.
• Color: Arrange your Miis in rows by the color of their shirts. The
lines look almost like the bars of a rainbow, don’t they?
• Gender: Click the Gender button to separate the males and
females. Boys to the left, girls to the right, everybody’s gonna party
tonight!
The Mii Parade
If your Wii is connected to the Internet, Miis from your registered Wii Friends can
wander over and gather in the Mii Parade area. The Miis in the Mii Parade can’t
be used in games or other Channels until you transfer them to the Mii Plaza.
Setting up the Mii Parade
To get Miis in your parade, first make sure your Wii is connected to the
Internet and that WiiConnect24 is turned on. You also have to register some
Wii Friends to share Miis with (see Chapter 4) and both you and your friends
have to turn on the travel settings for your Mii Parades (see the next section).
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
After this is done, any Miis that have been set to mingle start to meander
over through the Internet ether (see the “Editing your Mii’s facial features”
section for more on mingling Miis). Be patient — it may take a few days after
setting everything up for the first Miis to wander over to your parade.
Using the Mii Parade menu
Click the Mii Parade button to bring up the Mii Parade screen, as shown in
Figure 7-10. Click a marching Mii to stop him or her marching and see his or
her name, or click one of the options on the Mii Parade menu, also shown in
Figure 7-10 and described in the following list:
Send to Mii Plaza: Pick up a marching Mii and drag him to this circle to
add him to your Mii Plaza (see the “Navigating the Mii Plaza” section for
more on picking up and moving Miis). This Mii drops into your Mii Plaza,
ready to be used in games, other Channels, and the Wii Message Board.
Note that you can’t edit the features of Miis created by other people.
Also note that you can only hold 100 Miis in your Plaza at any one time.
Erase Mii: If your parade is getting too crowded, pick up and drag any of
the marching Miis to this circle to remove them from the Parade permanently. Note that the Mii Parade can hold up to 10,000 Miis at once, so
the only real reason to remove Miis is if you don’t like the way they look.
Send to Mii Plaza
Return to Mii Plaza
Figure 7-10:
The Mii
Parade and
menu.
Erase Mii
Speed
Travel Settings
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Mii Plaza: Return to the Mii Plaza.
Travel Settings: Before any Miis can join your parade, you and your
registered Wii Friends first have to turn on the Travel Settings through
this menu. Click the Travel Setting icon, and then the Travel button to
turn the feature on. Choose Don’t Travel to stop the automatic inflow
and outflow of Miis through the Internet.
See the “Setting up the Mii Parade” section for more requirements for
filling up your Mii Parade. Remember, only Miis set to mingle travel to
your friends’ systems. The more registered Wii Friends turn on this
feature, the more Miis wander into your parade.
Speed: Click the running-man icon to toggle the Miis’ marching speed
between a slow walk and a fast trot.
Checking Out the Check Mii Out Channel
We human beings have things like fashion magazines, reality shows, and
beauty pageants to tell us who to deify for physical attractiveness. Miis have
the Check Mii Out Channel, an online clearinghouse for Wii owners to put
their creations up to be evaluated by the harsh criticism of the public. The
following sections tell you everything you need to know to become one of the
nervous Mii artisans, one of the public evaluators, or both!
Checking Mii Out for the first time
To use the Check Mii Out Channel, you first have to get your Wii hooked up
to a high-speed Internet connection (see Chapter 4 for more on this). When
you’re online, head over to the Wii Shop Channel and download the Check
Mii Out Channel from the Channels section. (See Chapter 6 for more on using
the Wii Shop Channel.) The Check Mii Out Channel is absolutely free and
takes up 91 blocks of space on your Wii’s internal memory (see Chapter 5 for
more on memory management). After the Channel is downloaded, you start it
just as you would any other Channel from the Wii Menu.
The first time you load up the Check Mii Out Channel, you’re presented with
some on-screen information about how to use it. You can skip through these
screens by pressing the A button. (You won’t need them . . . that’s what you
have this book for!) You then are asked to choose a Mii to represent you as
an “artisan.” This serves as your public face for people evaluating the Miis
you upload to the Channel. Use the on-screen arrows to scroll through the
list of Miis in your Mii Plaza then click your desired Mii to select it.
If you pick a Mii with an inappropriate nickname as your artisan, Nintendo
might block your access to the Channel.
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
After picking your artisan, the Channel asks if you want to sign up for the
Check Mii Out Channel messaging service. This service sends you Wii Message
Board messages whenever a new contest is available for evaluation on the Check
Mii Out Channel (see Chapter 5 for more on the Wii Message Board). If you turn
this service on now, you can always turn it off later from the Settings menu.
After this brief setup process, you see the Check Mii Out Channel’s main menu,
as shown in Figure 7-11. The Posting Plaza and Contests options are detailed in
the following sections. The other menu options are discussed in the
following list:
Wii Menu: Return to the Wii Menu. Remember, you can also return to the
Wii Menu at any time by pressing the Home button on the Wii Remote.
Mii Artisan Info: Click the face of your currently selected Mii artisan to
access data about your Mii posting history. This information includes
your average star ranking, your most popular posted Mii, and the quality
of your contest judging (see the “Contests” section). Click the on-screen
arrows to scroll through the information screens. You can also click the
Change button in the upper-left corner to choose a new Mii artisan, just
as you did the first time you used the Channel. Click the Back button to
return to the Check Mii Out Channel’s main menu.
Settings: Use the on-screen buttons to change your status on the Check
Mii Out Channel’s messaging service. You can also change the language
the messages are delivered in from English to French or Spanish, if
you’re into that sort of thing.
Figure 7-11:
The Check
Mii Out
Channel
Main menu.
Return to Wii Menu
Mii Artisan Info
Settings
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Navigating the Check Mii Out Channel
You can use your Wii Remote to navigate around both the Posting Plaza and
Contest evaluation screens. Use the following Wii Remote commands to get
around:
Viewing a Mii: Click a Mii to bring up a larger view of it, along with a
menu with more options for viewing and evaluating the Mii and its ilk.
See the “Viewing Mii details” section for more on viewing posted Miis.
Scrolling: There are two ways to scroll through the Posting Plaza. The
first (and simpler) is to use the up and down arrows on the Wii Remote’s
directional pad. The second is to point the Wii Remote at the screen,
hold down the B button, and move the Remote pointer up and down. Let
go of the B button when you’re done scrolling.
Zoom: Use the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote to change the number
of Miis you can see at once, from a minimum of three to a maximum
of 50.
Grabbing and moving a Mii: If you don’t like where a particular Mii is
standing, you can changes its location by pointing at the Mii and
grabbing it by pressing and holding the A and B buttons on the Wii
Remote simultaneously. While still holding the buttons, move the Mii to
your new desired location with the Wii Remote pointer, and then let go
of the buttons to set the Mii down in its new position.
Posting Plaza
The Check Mii Out Channel Posting Plaza, as shown in Figure 7-12, is like an
Internet-enabled version of the Mii Plaza. In the Posting Plaza, Miis submitted
from Wii owners worldwide hang out, waiting for people like you to gawk at
them and evaluate them like a piece of meat! Best of all, you can add your
own Miis to this feeding frenzy.
The Posting Plaza menu
Use the Wii Remote Commands described in the “Navigating the Check Mii
Out Channel” section to browse the Miis. You can click the menu buttons
surrounding the edge of the screen for more options. These buttons are
shown in Figure 7-12 and described in the following list:
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Parade
Help
Post Mii
Figure 7-12:
The Posting
Plaza Main
menu.
Back
Call Out Miis
Page Turner
Search Area
Help: Click the question mark to get on-screen information about the
general navigation. (You can use the “Navigating the Check Mii Out
Channel” section just as easily.)
Back: Return to the Check Mii Out Channel main menu.
Call Out Miis: Click the button initially labeled “Popular” to bring up a
submenu outlining all the different ways you can filter the Miis in the
posting plaza, as shown in Figure 7-13:
• Popular: Calls out Miis that have recently been popular with other
users of the Check Mii Out Channel.
• Top 50: The top 50 highest-ranked Miis submitted to the Check
Mii Out Channel, as determined by Star rating (see the section,
“Viewing Mii details”).
• Grab Bag: Call out a random selection of Miis submitted to the
Check Mii Out Channel.
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Figure 7-13:
The Call Out
Miis
submenu.
Search
Mine
Mii Artisan Rankings
• Favorites: Call out Miis that you’ve designated as your favorites
using the I Like It option on the Mii Details screen (see the section,
“Viewing Mii details”).
• Search: Click the magnifying glass to filter the Check Mii Out
Channel Miis according to specific criteria, as shown in Figure 7-14.
Click the Change buttons to toggle the Gender or Skill you want in
your results, and then click Search to bring up the resulting Miis.
You can also click the Rotate button in the upper-right corner to
bring up a search by specific entry number. These entry numbers
are unique to each Mii in the Channel and can be found in the
Profile screen when viewing a Mii’s details. Click Enter # and then
use the on-screen keypad to enter the entry number for the Check
Mii Out entry you want to see, and then click Search to bring that
Mii up on the screen.
• Mii Artisan Rankings: Click the crown to display a list of the top
100 Mii artisans for the current month, as ranked by their Miis’
average Star Rankings. The arrows next to each artisan name
show their change in position since the previous month. Click the
on-screen arrows or press the up and down arrows on your Wii
Remote’s directional pad to scroll through the list. Click an artisan
name to see a lineup of popular Miis submitted by that artisan.
From this lineup, click the Leave button in the lower left to go back
to the artisan rankings.
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Figure 7-14:
The Check
Mii Out
Channel
search
menu.
• Mine: Click the picture of your Mii artisan to view the Miis that
you’ve posted to the Check Mii Out Channel. This is a handy way
to keep track of how popular your postings are, and for getting the
posting numbers to share with friends.
Page turner: Cycle through multiple pages of Miis that meet the current
Call Out criteria.
Post Mii: Click the envelope to add your own Mii creations to the
Posting Plaza, using the following instructions:
1. Click the Post Mii button (the envelope) in the Posting Plaza
menu.
This brings up a selection of ten Miis from your Mii Plaza.
2. Choose which Mii you want to post.
Click the on-screen arrows or use the left and right buttons on the
Wii Remote’s directional pad to scroll through the pages of Miis.
When you find the Mii you want to post, click it, and then click Yes
to confirm. Note that you can only post Miis that were created on
your system, not Miis that you downloaded from friend or from the
Mii Parade.
3. Enter initials for the Mii.
The Check Mii Out Channel uses two-letter initials, rather than
nicknames, to identify Miis. Use the on-screen keyboard to choose
the initials you want to identify the Mii.
4. Choose a skill for the Mii.
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This skill is used to further identify the Mii to other users of the
Check Mii Out Channel. Click the up and down arrows on the
screen or press the up and down buttons on the Wii Remote’s
directional pad to scroll through the list, and then click your
choice. If the Mii is a caricature of a famous celebrity, choose a
skill that reflects what the celeb is known for. Otherwise, just pick
a skill that reflects his or her face, or just be random.
5. Confirm your posting.
Look over your Mii and confirm that you actually want to post it
and that the data you entered is correct. When you click Yes, the
Mii is shared with the world, with no way to take it back.
After posting your Mii, the Wii displays an entry number for your
submission. This number is a unique identifier for your posting that
can be used by others to find it easily using the Search function in
the Call Out menu (discussed earlier). You can write this number
down for safekeeping, or get it later by viewing your submissions
through the Call Out menu.
Parade: Click the button with the picture of a stick figure to have the
current selection of Miis present themselves in a parade format. The
Miis walk from the top of the screen in groups of three, posing in a large
spotlight before moving on. Click any Mii during this parade to pause
the marching and see that Mii’s details. Click the Parade button again to
go back to the arranged, grid view of the Miis.
Search Area: Click the American-flag icon to bring up a menu allowing you
to toggle between a regional and a worldwide search. Click the Change
button to toggle and then click Exit to go back.
Viewing Mii details
While browsing the Posting Plaza, you can click any Mii to view its face up
close. You can also view more details about the Mii and access further menu
options, as shown in Figure 7-15. These menu options are discussed in the
following list:
Profile: Click the book icon in the upper-right corner to bring up more
information about the current Mii, including its popularity (out of five
stars), its Mii artisan, the region it comes from, and its unique entry
number, as shown in Figure 7-16. Click the book again to go back to the
menu view as shown in Figure 7-15. Pushing the + or – buttons on the Wii
Remote also toggles the view.
Import Mii: Save a copy of the current Mii to your local Mii Plaza. Before
making the copy, use the on-screen keyboard to enter a personal
nickname for the Mii. (Mii nicknames can have up to ten characters.)
Click OK to copy the Mii to your Mii Plaza.
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Profile
Figure 7-15:
Viewing
details of a
Mii posted
to the Check
Mii Out
Channel.
Back
Figure 7-16:
Viewing a
profile of
a Mii on
the Check
Mii Out
Channel.
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Note that the Mii Plaza can only hold 100 Miis. If you have too many
you won’t be able to import Miis from the Check Mii Out Channel. Erase
some Miis or move them to the Mii Parade to clear out some space.
I Like It: Click this button to add the Mii to your personal favorites. This
helps increase the Mii’s star ranking and makes it easy to find later using
the Favorites option on the Call Out menu.
Call Friends: One of the most interesting features on the Check Mii Out
Channel, click this button to see a collection of Miis that are similar to
the current Mii in some way. This could mean they have a similar face,
the same initials, or the same artisan. It’s interesting to see how slight
changes can have a large effect. When you’re done browsing the friends,
click the Leave button in the corner to go back to the Posting Plaza
menu.
When viewing Mii details, you can press the B button on the Wii Remote or
click the Back button in the lower-left corner of the screen to return to the
wider Posting Plaza view. You can also use the directional pad on the Wii
Remote to scroll through the details of other Miis without first backing out
into the Posting Plaza menu.
Contests
Posting random Miis for public approval is all well and good, but sometimes
having a specific goal can help focus your thinking. The Check Mii Out
Channel’s contests are designed to bring out your creativity by asking you to
design a Mii to match a specific goal, as shown in Figure 7-17.
Figure 7-17:
The Check
Mii Out
Channel
contest
menu.
Chapter 7: Those Marvelous Miis
Entering contests
The list of currently running contests is displayed as soon as you click the
Contests button on the Check Mii Out Channel main menu (refer to Figure
7-11). Click a contest to expand the menu with the options to enter the
contest or click the Make a Mii button. Clicking Make a Mii returns you to the
Wii Menu to create a Mii using the Mii Channel.
When you have a Mii you’d like to enter in a contest, click Enter Contest and
then click Next to read through the few pages of disclaimers. Then choose
from the Miis available in your Mii plaza, using the on-screen arrows or the
arrows on the Wii Remote’s directional pad to scroll through the pages. You
can submit only one entry per contest, but you can change the entry by
entering the contest again.
Judging contests
If you’d rather judge than be judged, you can judge a contest as follows:
1. Click the Judge button on the Contest menu (refer to Figure 7-17).
2. Click the contest you’d like to judge.
This brings up the judging menu, as shown in Figure 7-18.
Figure 7-18:
The Check
Mii Out
Channel
contestjudging
menu.
Swap Out
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Part II: The Channels
3. Choose some candidates by clicking a Mii and then clicking Select
This Mii?
Pick which Miis you think best embody the theme of the contest. The
selected Mii is highlighted. To deselect a candidate, click it and then
click Deselect.
Alternatively, you can hover over the Mii with the Wii Remote pointer
and press the + or – buttons to select and deselect more quickly.
4. Click the Swap Out button to get more choices.
If you can’t find three candidates you want to vote for among the first
ten, click the Swap Out button in the bottom right to get more Miis to
select from. Any Miis you’ve selected in Step 3 stay on the screen, while
new candidates run in to replace those you ignored.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you’re happy with the three candidates
you’ve chosen.
6. Click Cast a Vote, and then click Yes to confirm.
Your vote is cast. You can change your vote at any time up to the end of
the contest judging period by going back to Step 1 and repeating these
steps.
Viewing contest results
Click the Results button (refer to Figure 7-17) and then choose the
completed contest you’d like to view the results for. The relative popularity
of your selections for the contest is shown in a cute animation set against a
mountaintop. After this, the Mii that garnered the most votes overall walks
out and waves. Click the Congratulations button, or click the Skip button in
the lower-right corner to get to the top 50.
Browse the top 50 the same way you’d browse Miis in the Posting Plaza. Use
the Parade button to switch between an arrangement and a parade. Click a
Mii to see the artisan and get the option to import the Mii to your local Mii
Plaza.
Chapter 8
The Photo Channel
In This Chapter
Viewing digital photos and videos on your TV using the Wii’s Photo Channel
Making automated, musical slide shows for your photos
Saving photos permanently with the Wii Message Board
Sending photos over the Internet to your friends’ Wiis
Editing and playing with photos using the Fun! menu
T
here’s a lot to love about digital cameras: the capability to review your
shots instantly; the option to touch up blemishes on the computer;
freedom from expensive film and development costs. But when it comes
time to view those digital pictures, things aren’t always so convenient.
Squinting at a tiny camera or cell phone screen is hardly the ideal way to
view those party shots, and gathering a large group around the office PC to
see your vacation photos is just as cumbersome.
Luckily, your Wii makes it easy to view digital photos and videos on your TV.
Just pop in a SmartDigital card full of pictures and fire up the Wii’s Photo
Channel to browse through your shots with ease from the comfort of your
couch. You can even create musical slide shows and play around with your
photos directly on the screen. Sound complicated? Don’t worry. This chapter
gives you everything you need to become a Photo Channel pro.
Viewing Photos and Videos
When you first select the Photo Channel from the Wii’s Home menu (see
Chapter 5 for more on this), you’re greeted with a screen asking, “Which
photos do you want to view?” as shown in Figure 8-1. I cover viewing Wii
Message Board photos later in this chapter — for now, I focus on viewing
photos by choosing Digital Camera/Cell Phone.
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Figure 8-1:
The Photo
Channel
introduction
screen.
Getting photos and videos onto an SD card
The first step to getting your photos onto your TV through the Wii is getting
them onto an SD card. (You can see a picture of an SD card on the Photo
Channel introduction screen, shown in Figure 8-1.) Many digital and cell
phone cameras can store images directly to an SD card as you take them. If
you have such a camera, congratulations — you have a lot less work to do.
If you’re one of those unfortunate souls who has digital photos stored on a
different medium (such as a CD-ROM, a computer hard drive, a CompactFlash
card, and such), you need to transfer your photos to an SD card before viewing
them with the Wii. Some newer computers come with a built-in SD card slot for
copying photos and files to an SD card. For older computers, an external SD
card reader that hooks up to your computer’s USB port can provide the same
functionality. If neither of these is an option, your local photo processor can
probably help you transfer your photos over to an SD card.
The Wii’s SD card slot only accepts pictures on full-size SD cards — not the
microSD or miniSD cards used by most cell phone cameras (and some smaller
digital cameras). You can find adapters to make these smaller cards fit into
the Wii’s standard-size SD slot at most electronics retailers — they should set
you back only a couple of bucks.
After you have your photos on an SD card, simply slide the card into the slot on
the front of the system. Figure 8-2 shows how to open the SD slot’s protective
cover and correctly insert the SD card. The card slides in with a slight click. To
remove the card later, simply push in slightly and the card pops right out.
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel
Figure 8-2:
Inserting
a card into
the Wii’s SD
card slot.
After the SD card is in the system, turn it on and choose the Photo Channel
from the Wii’s Channel menu (described in Chapter 5). Click the Digital
Camera/Cell Phone button and the system automatically scans the SD card
for photos and videos (it doesn’t matter what folder they’re in — the Wii
finds them all). This process may take a few seconds. When it’s done, click
the View button to see these photos and movies arranged chronologically as
a grid of thumbnails on the screen, as shown in Figure 8-3.
The Wii Photo Channel starts to break down if it tries to display more than
1,000 photos at a time. If your SD card has more than 1,000 photos on it,
consider backing them up or deleting them. (Also consider being a little
more discriminating with your future shot selections.)
Figure 8-3:
The Photo
Channel
thumbnail
menu.
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Navigating the thumbnail menu
Getting around the thumbnail menu is as simple as clicking the on-screen
buttons, as shown in Figure 8-3 and explained in the following list. Note that
many on-screen buttons have analogues on the Wii Remote that perform the
same function. Using the Wii Remote buttons makes navigation much quicker
and simpler.
Zoom –: Reduce the size of the thumbnails so you can show more on
screen at once. Pressing the – button on the Wii remote has the same
effect.
Up Arrow: Scroll upward through the list of thumbnails. Pressing up on
the Wii Remote’s directional pad has the same effect.
Zoom +: Increase the size of the thumbnails so you end up showing
fewer on-screen at the same time. Pressing the + button on the Wii
remote has the same effect.
Back: Return to the Photo Channel’s main menu.
Down Arrow: Scroll downward through the list of thumbnails. Pressing
down on the Wii Remote’s directional pad has the same effect.
Slide Show: Start a slide show of all the photos and movies on the menu.
See the “Watching photo slide shows” section for more on this.
You can also scroll through the thumbnail menu by holding down the B
button on the Wii Remote and pointing toward the top and bottom of the
screen. The on-screen pointer icon changes to a picture of a B button when
you do this. This is especially useful for scrolling through massive sets of
zoomed thumbnails quickly.
Viewing photos
Now that you can find your way around the thumbnail menu, simply click a
thumbnail to blow it up to full screen size. The photo may appear slightly blurry
for a few seconds, but it becomes sharper when the Wii finishes loading it.
The Photo Channel won’t work with photos with resolution greater than
8192 x 8192 pixels, according to the manual. It would take a 67.1-megapixel
camera to generate an image that big, so it’s not going to be an issue for
most shutterbugs. I just thought I’d warn you in case you’re planning to
view a hyper-detailed map of the Interstate highway system or something.
Pointing the Wii Remote at the screen displays the time and date the picture
was taken. It also brings up a translucent menu with a variety of navigation
options, as shown in Figure 8-4 and described in the following list:
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel
Figure 8-4:
The photonavigation
menu.
Zoom –: Zoom out from the photo. Pressing the – button on the Wii
Remote has the same effect.
Previous: View the previous photo in the thumbnail list. Pressing left on
the Wii Remote’s directional pad has the same effect.
Rotation Arrows: Change the orientation of the picture by rotating it 90
degrees clockwise. These arrows are useful for correcting photos taken
with a rotated camera.
Next: View the next photo in the thumbnail list. Pressing right on the Wii
Remote’s directional pad has the same effect.
Zoom +: Zoom in to the photo. Pressing the + button on the Wii Remote
has the same effect.
When zoomed in, you can use the arrow buttons on the bottom-right
quadrant of the picture to pan around the photo. Alternatively, you can
hold the B button and point the Wii Remote toward the edges of the
screen to scroll around.
Back: Takes you back to the thumbnail menu. Pressing the A button on
the Wii Remote while pointing at the photo itself has the same effect.
Post: Saves the picture to the Wii’s internal Message Board. See the
“Posting and Sharing Photos: The Wii Message Board” section, later in
this chapter, for more.
Fun!: Applies a selection of fun effects to the photo. See the “Playing
with Your Photos: The Fun! Menu” section, later in this chapter for more.
Slide Show: Presents a slide show of all the pictures in the list. See the
following section, “Watching photo slide shows,” for details.
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A blur in your saddle
One of the odder features of the Wii’s Photo
Channel is the capability to pixelate a small
section of the photo while viewing it. To do this,
simply point the Wii Remote at the photo and
push up or down on the Wii Remote’s directional pad. This also works during slide shows.
As an added bit of weirdness, pressing down
during a video also distorts the soundtrack,
making it higher pitched.
Why was this feature added? Perhaps Nintendo
wanted parents to be able to edit lascivious
photos on the fly? Maybe it was required to
meet the FCC’s decency standards? No . . . more
likely, the developers were simply bored while
working on the Channel and added the hidden
feature as a sort of Easter egg for intrepid users
to find. Intrepid users like you!
Watching photo slide shows
Tired of manually clicking through each and every photo in your collection?
Choose the Slide Show option from the thumbnail or picture menus and the
Wii shows each of your photos in sequence, automatically. While you don’t
have that much control over these slide shows, you can alter the experience
a bit by pressing the A button at any time during the show and choosing the
Change Settings option. Doing so brings up the menu shown in Figure 8-5,
explained in the following list:
Figure 8-5:
The Slideshow
Settings
menu.
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel
Order: Click Change to toggle between a chronological viewing order
and a random one.
Effects: Click Change to toggle among the following options:
• Dramatic: The default “slow pan” over the images — kind of like a
Ken Burns documentary.
• Simple: No effects — just a simple, full screen view of each picture.
• Nostalgic: Pictures are shown in sepia tone, like an old-timey photo,
complete with the dramatic slow pan.
Music: Click Choose Song to pick from six built-in background songs:
Calm, Fun, Bright, Nostalgic, Beautiful, or Scenic, or turn off the music
entirely. If there are any MP3 files on the SD card, you can use them as
the background music as well. You can also turn off the music entirely.
Want to control the pace of your photo slide show? Use the left and right buttons
on the Wii Remote’s directional pad to advance the slide show backward and
forward. You can also use the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote to control the
volume of the background music that plays over the slide show. (Or, you know,
you could use your TV remote to control the volume. But really, where’s the fun
in that?)
Watching videos
Watching digital videos stored on an SD card works much like viewing pictures:
Simply click the thumbnail and the video starts playing in full-screen mode.
Videos can be identified on the thumbnail menu by the filmstrip icon on the
lower-right corner of the thumbnail. You can zoom and rotate a video just like a
still picture, but picture-editing effects and message-board posting work a little
differently for videos. (I give you more details about posting and editing in the
following section.)
The Wii Photo Channel only plays videos recorded in the Motion JPEG (PCM)
format, which is supported by most digital cameras and camera phones. If you
have videos in another format, you can convert them to the Wii format using
software such as Red Kawa’s free Wii Video 9. Find it online at www.redkawa.
com/videoconverters/wiivideo9/.
There are no on-screen controls for fast-forwarding and rewinding a movie
while it’s playing. However, you can jump back approximately three seconds
by pressing the 1 button on your Wii Remote, or jump ahead three seconds by
pushing the 2 button. You can hold either button for quicker scanning. There’s
no way to pause a video, however, so don’t go thinking your Wii’s going to
replace your DVD player.
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Posting and Sharing Photos:
The Wii Message Board
Storing photos on an SD card is all well and good, but sometimes you want a
backup of your precious memories with a version that’s always available on
the Wii itself. Posting photos to the Wii’s internal Message Board does just
that. Posting to the Message Board also lets you send photos to your friends’
Wiis over the Internet.
Posting and viewing Message
Board photos
Getting photos onto the Wii Message Board couldn’t be simpler. While viewing
a photo, simply point the Wii Remote at the screen and click the Post button
on the bottom line of the on-screen menu. Another menu appears, asking if you
want to post a copy of the picture to the Wii Message Board. Choose Post to
the Wii Message Board and the picture is posted. Wasn’t that easy? Choose OK
to move on.
What happens if you try to post an image that’s already on the Wii Message
Board? No, the Wii won’t explode in a logic error — it just posts a second copy
of the photo to the Message Board, complete with any doodles and mood
effects you may have applied and permanently saved. Thank goodness for the
Wii’s anti-paradox circuitry!
While you can’t post entire videos from an SD card to the Wii Message
Board, you can post individual frames from a video. To do this, simply watch
the video as you normally would, and click the Post button as soon as you
see the frame you want to capture. If you mess up and choose the wrong
moment, don’t panic — simply choose Don’t Post and try again.
You can use the 1 and 2 buttons on the Wii Remote to quickly rewind and fast
forward, respectively, while watching videos.
The Wii has a limited amount of space to store Message Board photos — 512
megabytes, to be exact. These photos have to share space with things like
games and applications downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel (see Chapter
6 for more about the Wii Shop Channel). This only really becomes an issue if
you plan on storing hundreds of photos on the system, but it is something to
keep in the back of your mind as you post.
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel
After a photo has been posted to the Wii Message Board, you can always
view it by choosing the View Wii Message Board Photos from the initial
Photo Channel menu. Note that photos on the Message Board are arranged
chronologically by the date they were posted to the Wii, not by the date
they were taken.
Sending Message Board
photos over the Internet
In addition to permanent, SD-card-free viewing, posting a photo to the Wii
Message Board lets you e-mail the images to your friends’ Wiis. Follow these
steps to e-mail a photo to a friend’s Wii:
1. Make sure your Wii is connected to the Internet and that you and your
friend have exchanged and registered each other’s Wii Friend Codes.
See Chapter 4 for more information on how to make those preparations.
2. Post your image to the Wii Message Board as described in the
previous section.
If you’ve already posted the photo to the Message Board, you can skip
this step — you don’t need to do it again.
3. Push the Home button on the Wii Remote and choose Wii Menu.
4. Click the Envelope icon in the bottom-right corner of the Wii Menu.
Doing so brings up the Wii Message Board, as shown in Figure 8-6.
Figure 8-6:
The Wii
Message
Board.
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5. Find the picture on the Message Board.
If you posted the picture to the Wii Message Board today, it should
immediately appear as an envelope on the screen. If you posted the
photo earlier, you need to find it by navigating to the appropriate day.
(See Chapter 4 for more on navigating the Message Board.)
6. Click the Envelope icon with your image in it.
A message pops up with a thumbnail of your picture and the words
“From the Photo Channel” prominently displayed.
At this point, you can delete the photo from the Message Board by
clicking the Trash Can icon in the upper-left corner of the screen and
then choosing OK. This is useful for keeping your Message Board
organized and for freeing up space for newer photos if your Message
Board is getting too crowded.
7. Click the picture thumbnail.
This brings up a full-screen view of the photo.
8. Choose Send.
A list of the friends you’ve registered on your Wii appears.
9. Choose the friend you want to send the picture to and click his or her
name.
You may need to scroll through the list using the arrows on the sides of
the screen.
10. Complete your message and click Send.
You can add text and attach a Mii to your photo before sending it off. Or
choose Quit to abort the process.
Playing With Your Photos:
The Fun! Menu
Because the Wii is, at its heart, a video-game system, it shouldn’t be too
surprising that the Photo Channel lets you play with your photos in addition
to just viewing them. The Photo Channel’s Fun! menu lets you play around
with the mood of a photo or video, doodle on it with the Wii Remote, and
even play a simple sliding puzzle game created from your photo.
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel
To play with all these options, simply view any photo and choose Fun! to
bring up the menu shown in Figure 8-7. I discuss each of the Fun! menu
options individually in the following sections.
Figure 8-7:
The Fun!
menu.
That darn cat
If you’re hanging around on the Fun! menu long
enough (about five seconds or so), you’ll notice
a small black cat walking around the yellow
title bar at the top of the screen. (You can see
him at the top of Figure 8-7.) If you leave little
Blackie (I like to call him Blackie) alone for a
minute or so, the cutie pie sits down and start
meowing through your speakers. When he’s sitting, Blackie also follows your pointer around
with his head as you wave it around the screen.
Be careful not to move the pointer too close,
though — Blackie scares quite easily.
What initially seems an adorable throwaway
feature is actually much more. If your Remote
hand is quick and steady enough, you can actually catch Blackie and click him as he’s running
away from your pointer. Your reward is an onscreen tip about getting the most out of the
Photo Channel — navigation shortcuts, hidden
features, and the like. (Hey . . . wait a minute . . .
that’s what I’m doing in this chapter! Blackie’s
trying to horn in on my business! Doesn’t he
know I’m the hot-shot author around here?)
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Mood
The Mood menu lets you apply four different visual effects to your photos
and videos, as shown in Figure 8-8 and described in the following list:
Figure 8-8:
The Mood
menu.
Brighten: Click this button to add some more light to your shots —
perfect for photos taken at dark parties. Clicking the Brighten button
multiple times cycles through eight different levels of brightness.
Black and White: Distills the picture into a colorless grayscale image.
This is what the entire world looked like before the invention of color
photographs. It’s true!
Zap!: Transform your photo in a crazy, alternate-universe version of
itself. This is what the film negative of the image would look like on a
traditional camera.
Hard-Boiled: By far the oddest mood-changing option, this button creates
a rough black outline of the objects in the picture — kind of like a coloring
book. It may not look quite right when you first click the button, but
clicking again cycles through different levels of, er, hard-boiling.
Each mood change comes with an accompanying change in the background
music for the Photo Channel. When viewing videos, the actual soundtrack
from the video is altered as well.
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel
When you’re happy with the mood you’ve chosen, choose Back to go back
to the Fun! menu. To view your mood-altered picture, choose Back again. If
you want to save a copy of the altered picture, choose Post to copy it to the
Wii Message Board. (See the previous section for more on this.) If you don’t
like the edits, don’t panic! Just go back to the Mood menu and choose Undo
Changes.
Posting to the Message Board is also the only way to layer the mood options
on top of one another. Simply choose a mood, save the picture to the
Message Board, and then open up the new copy and choose a new mood to
put on top of it. You can repeat this process as many times as you want, but
remember to delete the earlier versions of the photo when you’re finished;
otherwise your Message Board could get pretty crowded.
It’s important to note here that any changes made to your photos cannot be
saved to an SD card. On the one hand, this means your moods and doodles are
trapped on the Wii, and impossible to get to a computer with a professional
editing program. On the other hand, it means the original version of the photo
on the SD card remains unchanged, so you don’t have to worry about ruining
your raw shots. So go nuts!
Doodle
Some of the most fun you can have with the Photo Channel can be found by
clicking the Doodle button on the Fun! menu. This mode offers a variety of
tools to draw on top of your photo, as shown in Figure 8-9 and explained in
the following list:
Figure 8-9:
The Doodle
menu.
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– button: Zooms out of the picture. Pressing the – button on the Wii
Remote has the same effect.
Color Dropper icon: Lets you extract a color from the photo. Click the
dropper once to select it; then click anywhere on the photo to absorb
the color at that point on the photo. You can now draw on top of the
photo using that color. This is a great way to get more complex colors
than the simple color selections offered by the pencil icons.
Pencil icons: Lets you sketch all over the photo in a variety of colors.
Click a pencil to choose a color, and then click and drag on the photo to
draw over the photo in that color.
Eraser: Lets you erase all or part of the doodles you’ve already made.
Click to select the icon, and then click and drag over the doodles to
erase. Note that the eraser only erases the doodles you’ve added to the
picture — it can’t erase the original picture itself.
+ button: Zooms in to the picture. Pressing the + button on the Wii
Remote has the same effect.
Back: Goes back to the Fun! menu. Choose Back again to go back to the
picture viewer. Don’t worry — your doodles are still there.
Stamps: Make your mark on a photo with these fun-filled stamps. Click
the stamp once to select it, and then click the image to stamp it down.
Note that the sunglasses stamp cycles randomly through three different
styles as you stamp it down repeatedly.
Scissors: Lets you replicate part of an image elsewhere. Click the
scissors to choose them, and then click anywhere on the image to
choose a starting point for the area you want to replicate. Move the
pointer to create an oval, or press the 1 button on the Wii Remote to
select a rectangular area instead. Either way, click the A button once
more to pick up a copy of that area. Now click anywhere on the photo to
stamp down replicas of your selection. Pressing the 1 button on the Wii
Remote after you’ve made your selection flips the stamp horizontally —
great for creating a mirror image of yourself.
Did you know you can copy a section from one photo and apply it to
another? It’s true. Simply make your selection with the scissors as
normal, and then click Back three times to get back to the thumbnail
menu. Choose another photo, choose Fun!, and then choose Doodle, and
the selection from the previous photo is available to stamp on to the
new photo. Neat!
Undo All: As you might expect, this button undoes all your doodles and
reverts the photo to its original state. The erasure comes complete with
a cute little rocketship animation flying over the photo. (Aww.)
Chapter 8: The Photo Channel
You can change the size of the Pencil, Eraser, and Stamp tools by pushing the
Wii Remote closer (to make them bigger) or by pulling the Wii Remote farther
away (to make them smaller) from the Wii Sensor Bar. In addition, you can
change the orientation of the Stamps and Scissor tool selections by twisting
the Wii Remote in your hand like a key. Note that the relative size of these
tools also changes as you zoom in and out of the picture using the + and –
buttons on the Wii Remote. Experiment with the rotation and size until you’re
happy with the effect.
Remember to save your doodles by posting the edited photos to the Wii
Message Board, as described in the earlier section, “Posting and Sharing
Photos: The Wii Message Board.” If you try to start a second doodle before
saving the changes to the first, the edits you’ve made to the original photo will
be lost. Also note that after you save the doodles to the Wii Message Board,
you won’t be able to undo the doodles using the Eraser tool or the Undo All
command.
Yes, you can doodle on movies, too — the doodles just float statically on top
of the moving images below them. These doodles show up if you post a frame
of the movie to the Wii Message Board, but they will not be saved on top of
the original movie when you turn off the system. Also note that the Scissors
tool captures a portion of the current frame when you finish your selection,
so time your cuts wisely.
Puzzle
Even though the Wii is a video-game system, this is the only portion of the
Photo Channel that actually plays like a traditional game. Choose your photo,
choose Fun!, and then click Puzzle to get your image chopped up into a
two-row-by-three-column grid, as shown in Figure 8-10.
To set things right, simply point at a section of the picture and move it by
clicking and dragging it where you think it should go. Don’t worry about
pieces overlapping each other — the old section moves to accommodate the
one you’re placing.
The direction buttons at the bottom of the puzzle shift the entire puzzle in
that direction, with one side looping around to the opposite end. The Cheat
button lets you study the original picture; choose Back to the Puzzle! to
return to solving.
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Figure 8-10:
A basic,
six-piece
puzzle.
When the puzzle is finished, the Wii plays a jaunty melody and gives you a
round of applause for a job well done. It also tells you your solve time, which
is saved to the View Records menu if it’s the fastest. After you complete a sixpiece puzzle, buttons appear, giving you the option to try harder puzzles with
12, 24, or 48 pieces.
The puzzle sizes don’t actually top out at 48 pieces. If you hold down the 1
button on the Wii Remote while on the difficulty selection menu, the 48-piece
puzzle option transforms into a ridiculous 192-piece puzzle option! This one is
definitely not for the faint of heart.
For a really neat experience, try playing a puzzle based on a video. The
video continues to play and loop as you solve the puzzle, creating a moving,
movable mosaic that’s really something to behold (and also much more
difficult to solve than puzzles made from a static photo).
You can also create your own puzzle, in effect, by doodling on a picture,
saving it to the Wii Message Board, and then starting a puzzle based on it.
Chapter 9
The Internet Channel
In This Chapter
Surfing the World Wide Web on your TV using the Wii’s Internet Channel
Using Favorites and Remote shortcuts to navigate the Channel more easily
Visiting some useful and entertaining Web sites specifically designed for the Wii
T
he World Wide Web has truly been a communications revolution,
allowing people the world over to find information and publish their
thoughts quickly and conveniently. For too long, though, this revolution
was limited to personal computers that were, quite frankly, way too powerful and expensive for mere Web browsing. As technology has continued to
get cheaper, though, full-scale Web browsers have begun to drift away from
the PC and toward devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, and yes, even
game consoles.
Other boxes have tried to bring the Web to the living room TV — most
notably Microsoft’s now-defunct WebTV — but none have done it nearly so
well as the Wii’s Internet Channel. It’s hard to overstate how freeing it is to
surf the Web while sprawled on the couch rather than hunched over the
computer desk. It’s the difference between seeing the Web as part of your
entertainment center and seeing it as part of your workstation.
This chapter outlines how to use the Wii’s Internet Channel to navigate the
Web, using shortcuts to help speed up your surfing. It also introduces you to
some sites specifically designed for couch-bound surfing.
Web Surfing from Your Couch
The first step to enjoying the Internet Channel is actually downloading the
Internet Channel. To do this, you need to have your Wii hooked up to your
TV (as described in Chapter 2) and to a high-speed Internet connection
(Chapter 4). After this is done, you can purchase and download the Internet
Channel from Wii Shop Channel (see Chapter 6 for more on using the Wii
Shop Channel).
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Note that you have to spend a one-time fee of 500 Wii Points ($5) before
downloading the Internet Channel. This might seem a little ridiculous when
computer-based browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer can be
downloaded for free, but it’s really a small price to pay to unlock the world
of the World Wide Web on your TV.
If you downloaded the Internet Channel before April 11, 2007, you are using
the “beta” version of the Channel. The rest of this chapter discusses the “full”
version of the Channel, which features many improvements over the beta
release. You can upgrade to the full release by downloading a free update
available on the Wii Shop Channel.
The Internet Channel Start Page
After you’ve downloaded the Internet Channel, start it up by clicking the icon
on your Wii Menu and then clicking the Start button. A Wii: Opera Powered logo
shows up on a white background for a few seconds, followed by the Internet
Channel Start Page (as shown in Figure 9-1). This page may look intimidating, but
it really has only a few key options, as described in the following list:
Figure 9-1:
The Internet
Channel
Start Page.
Search: Type in a search term using the on-screen keyboard to search
the Web for pages on a specific topic (see Chapter 4 for more on using
the on-screen keyboard). The results appear as a Web page that can be
navigated like any other (see the later section, “Web page navigation”).
You can change your preferred search engine using the Settings menu,
as discussed in the Settings bullet.
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel
Favorites: Also known as bookmarks, the Favorites list is a collection
of frequently visited sites that you can access quickly without having
to type in their full Web address. As you can see in Figure 9-2, the Wii’s
Internet Channel comes pre-configured with a few Favorites right off the
bat. Just click any of the large icons and the applicable page loads in the
browser. If and when the list of Favorites extends past one page, you can
scroll through it just as you would a normal Web page.
You can edit, amend, and share your Favorites list using the navigation
buttons at the bottom of the Favorites screen, as follows:
Figure 9-2:
The Internet
Channel
Favorites
screen.
• Send Favorite: Send the address of a saved Favorite to any of your
Wii Friends (for more on registering Wii Friends, see Chapter 4).
After you click the envelope icon, click the icon for the site you
want to send, and then choose a registered friend from the list that
pops up. You can enter an optional message to accompany the site
using the on-screen keyboard, and then click Send. Your link
appears as a message on your friend’s Wii Message Board, along
with the option to open the site directly in the Internet Channel.
When you’re done sending, click the Star icon to go back to your
Favorites list, or click the X icon to go back to the browser itself.
• Add Favorite: Click this button to add the last Web page you
viewed to your Favorites list. Use the Edit Favorites option if you
want to move or delete this new Favorite.
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• Edit Favorites: Click this icon and then the Favorite you want to
edit to bring up the menu seen in Figure 9-3. Choose Delete to
permanently remove the Favorite from the list. Choose Rename
to change the title of the Favorite using the on-screen keyboard.
Choose Move to change the position of the Favorite icon to
another location on your list (simply click your new preferred
position for that favorite). Click Close to close the menu. When
you’re done editing Favorites, click the Star icon to get back to
the Favorites menu or the X icon to go back to the browser.
Figure 9-3:
The Edit
Favorites
menu.
• Close: Click the X icon to exit the favorites menu and return to the
Web browser itself.
Web Address: Click the big “www” balloon to bring up an on-screen keyboard where you can enter a Web address (also known as a URL) for any
site you’d like to view. Note that the Internet Channel usually doesn’t
usually require you type in the http://www. prefix that goes before
many Web addresses, so you can just type wiley.com to view the site
for the publisher of this fine book. However, sites that start with https
(note the s at the end) or a prefix other than www may require you to
type the full address.
Operations Guide: This menu item tells you all about how to use the
Wii’s Internet Channel. (Of course, this chapter does the same thing,
with a lot more wit and vivacity than some sterile on-screen guide.)
Settings: Click this button to bring up a page of general Web browsing
settings, as shown in Figure 9-4. Click and drag the scrollbar on the right
side of the screen or use the up and down buttons on your Wii Remote to
scroll through the list. The options in the Settings menu are as follows:
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel
Figure 9-4:
The Internet
Channel
Settings
menu.
• Zoom Type: Web pages designed for a computer monitor can
sometime look blurry when displayed on a TV screen. The Internet
Channel offers a zoom feature to enlarge these blurry pages to
make them more readable. This option lets you toggle between two
options for how this feature will work. (See the later section, “Web
page navigation,” for more on zooming in and out when viewing
Web pages.)
Choose Manual for a zoom function that moves in and out in small
increments with each press of the Zoom button. Choose Automatic
to have the Web browser guess automatically at an optimized
zoom level when you press the Zoom button.
The Automatic option might seem a good way to save some button
presses, but it takes away the ability to have precise control over
your zoom level. Use your discretion.
• Toolbar display: Use this option to toggle the appearance of the
small toolbar at the bottom of the Web browser (refer to Figure 9-1
to see the toolbar; it’s discussed in the later section, “The toolbar”).
The Always Display Toolbar option is pretty self-explanatory — the
toolbar is always there, waiting for you to click its shapely buttons.
Choose the Auto-Hide Toolbar option to have the toolbar disappear
when you move the pointer away to other parts of the page — move
the pointer off the bottom of the screen to reveal the toolbar once
more. Choosing Button Toggle lets you show and hide the toolbar
by pressing the 1 button on the Wii Remote.
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• Search Engine: This setting determines what search engine is
used by the Internet Channel’s built-in search function. The only
options as of this writing are Google and Yahoo!, but you can
access other search engines directly by typing in their URL using
the Web Address option. Or, better yet, you can save your
preferred alternative search engine as a Favorite for easy access.
• Delete cookies: Cookies are little digital breadcrumbs left by some
Web sites to help identify you automatically the next time you
visit. These cookies aren’t dangerous per se, but they can be a
security risk if you visit some unscrupulous Web sites that try to
search your cookies for personal data. It’s a good idea to delete
your cookies periodically, just in case.
• Adjust Display: On some TVs, the Internet Channel won’t extend
all the way to the edge of the screen. Use the Adjust Display option
to fix. Simply click the on-screen arrows to widen or narrow the
display until the blue borders reach all the way to the edge of your
screen.
• Proxy Settings: Advanced users can use this option to set up a
proxy server for their Web browsing. Most users (including all
those who don’t know what a proxy server is) shouldn’t worry
about these settings.
Wii Menu: This returns you to the Wii Menu, oddly enough. Remember
you can always return to the Wii Menu by pressing the Home button on
the Wii Remote.
Controls: Click the controller on the Start Page to get a basic overview
of the Internet Channel’s Web page navigation controls. These controls
are discussed in much, much greater detail in the “Web page navigation”
section, later in this chapter.
The toolbar
At the bottom of Figure 9-1, you can see a few buttons that are not discussed
in the list in the previous section. That’s because these buttons are not
strictly part of the Start Page — they’re part of the toolbar that lets you
access many of the Internet Channel’s functions quickly as you surf the Web.
(See the preceding section for more on hiding the toolbar to get a better view
of the Web page.) The toolbar buttons are shown and discussed in more
detail in the following list:
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel
Back and Forward: Use these buttons to return to the last page visited
or advance to the next page in your visitation history, respectively.
These buttons become grayed out if there is no previous or next page in
your history list.
Reload: Click this button to download the latest version of the Web
page you’re currently viewing. This is useful for getting the latest data
from a page that’s frequently updated, or to retry a page that may have
encountered an error on the first attempt. Note that when a page is
actively loading, this button changes to a Stop sign. Click that stop sign
to stop the browser from loading the current page.
Search: Type in a search term using the on-screen keyboard to search
the Internet for pages on a specific topic. You can toggle your preferred
search engine using the Settings menu, as discussed in the previous
section.
Favorites: Opens up the Favorites menu, as discussed in the previous
section.
Enter Address: Brings up an on-screen keyboard where you can enter a
Web address (also known as a URL) for any site you’d like to view. See
the Web Address entry in the “Internet Channel Start Page” section for
more on entering URLs on the Internet Channel.
Start Page: Returns you to the Start Page, as discussed in the previous
section.
Page Information: Click this button to view general information about
the page you’re currently viewing, as shown in Figure 9-5. The icon
changes to a lock if the currently viewed page is encrypted.
Figure 9-5:
The Web
Page
Information
screen.
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Web page navigation
Even if you already know how to surf the Web with a mouse and keyboard,
navigating Web pages on the Internet Channel may take a bit of a learning
process. The following list discusses the variety of Remote-based shortcuts
used to navigate around a page once it’s been loaded:
Following links: Just as you find on the computer, following a link on the
Internet Channel is a matter of pointing and clicking. When you move
the on-screen pointer over a Web page, certain words and pictures are
highlighted in a light blue box when you hover over them. Simply push
the A button when hovering over such a link to be redirected to the
linked Web page.
The Remote might rumble slightly and emit a clicking noise from the
speaker when you hover over a link. You can turn these features off
using the Wii Remote Settings menu. (See Chapter 3 for more on how to
find and use this menu.)
Scrolling: On Web pages that don’t fit on one screen, you can use the
directional pad on the Wii Remote to scroll the entire contents of the
page in the desired direction. Note that some pages scroll left to right as
well as up and down.
For a quicker scroll, you can use the free scrolling option, which scrolls
based on the direction you move the on-screen pointer. To activate free
scrolling, point the Remote anywhere on the Web page and press and
hold the B button. The on-screen pointer changes to a giant B button, as
shown in Figure 9-6. While still holding B, move the pointer in any direction to scroll the Web page in that direction. The farther you move the
pointer, the faster the page scrolls. To stop the quick scrolling, simply
let go of the B button.
Figure 9-6:
Quick
Scrolling
with the Wii
Remote.
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel
Zoom: Because TVs weren’t designed to display Web pages, some sites can
look incredibly small and blurry when viewed on your home-entertainment
setup. Luckily, you can enlarge the text, graphics, and anything else on
the Web page using the + button on the Wii Remote. Use the – button to
zoom out again if you get too close — a small 100% icon briefly appears in
the upper-right corner of the screen when you’re back to the default zoom
level. Note that some graphics and video may look pixelated or have jagged
edges if you zoom in too close.
See the earlier section, “The Internet Channel Start Page,” for more on
the two different styles of zooming supported by the Internet Channel.
Single Column Mode: Tired of constantly zooming and scrolling from
side to side just to see all the content on your favorite Web page? The
Internet Channel’s single-column viewing mode can help simplify the
display of larger, more complex Web pages. Just press the 2 button on
the Wii Remote to show the contents of the page condensed into a single
vertical column with blown-up text, as shown in Figure 9-7. Scrolling and
following links work normally in this mode, but the zoom function is
disabled. Press 2 again to go back to the default viewing mode.
Figure 9-7:
A Web page
displayed in
the Internet
Channel’s
singlecolumn
mode.
On the plus side, single-column viewing mode makes it much easier to
quickly skim a complicated Web page. On the downside, the page’s
content is pushed out of position, ruining the intended design and
layout. Some pages won’t display correctly at all in single-column mode.
Use your discretion.
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B button shortcuts: The B button isn’t just good for quickly scrolling
through Web pages — you can also use it to quickly access some common
Web browsing commands. Use the following button combinations on the
Wii Remote to bring up the noted Web-browser functions without the
need to point and click anything on the toolbar. (Note that the directions
listed apply to directions of the Wii Remote’s directional pad.)
• B+– (minus): Go to the last visited page.
• B++ (plus): Advance to the next page.
• B+↑ (up on the directional pad): Reload the current page.
• B+↓ (down on the directional pad): Open the Favorites menu.
• B+← (left on the directional pad): Open the on-screen keyboard to
enter a Web search term.
• B+→ (right on the directional pad): Open the on-screen keyboard
to enter a Website address.
Search by selection: The Internet Channel’s search function is great and
all, but it can be annoying typing in long, complex search terms using
the on-screen keyboard. Luckily, you can use the Wii Remote to quickly
search using any text that appears on a Web page. Just point at the
starting point of the text you want to use as your search term, and then
press and hold the A button. While still holding the A button, move the
pointer to the end of your desired text — your selection is highlighted in
blue, as shown in Figure 9-8. From here, open up a Web search using the
button on the on-screen toolbar (or the B+← [left] shortcut discussed
earlier). Your selected text is placed in the search box automatically!
Click OK to perform your search.
Figure 9-8:
Selecting
text for
a Web
search.
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel
Limitations of surfing on
the Internet Channel
Although the Wii’s Internet Channel is a full-featured Web browser, it does
have some limitations when compared to popular computer Web browsers
such as Internet Explorer and Firefox:
Some sites designed specifically to work with the Firefox or Internet
Explorer browsers may not display properly on the Wii Internet Channel.
The Internet Channel can’t display Adobe PDF files.
The Internet Channel can’t run applets written in the Java programming
language.
The Internet Channel can’t display content written for Flash Player
Version 8 or above. This unfortunately includes many popular Flashbased sites, such as YouTube. Fortunately, there are some sites that get
around this problem (see the “Must-Wii Web Sites” section).
The Internet Channel can’t play movies in Windows Media (WMV),
QuickTime (AVI), or RealPlayer formats.
The Internet Channel can’t play audio in MP3 format.
You can’t upload or download files using the Internet Channel.
You can’t search through the contents of a specific Web page for a
specific word or phrase using the Internet Channel.
You can’t copy and paste content from a Web page into an e-mail or Web
address using the Internet Channel.
Must-Wii Web Sites
While you can visit practically any Web page on the Internet using the Wii’s
Internet Channel, some Web pages have been specifically designed with
television browsing in mind. These sites can turn your Wii into a free arcade,
a radio, a video player, and more!
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Games: WiiCade
URL: www.wiicade.com
Most anyone who’s been bored while a Web-enabled computer is nearby will
tell you that the Internet is a great place to kill some time playing free Web
games. Put that same Internet on a system designed to play games, and the
possibilities for time wasting grow exponentially. Amateur game developers
have taken to the Wii’s Internet Channel in a big way, creating games
specifically designed to take advantage of the Wii Remote.
WiiCade, shown in Figure 9-9, is the oldest and most popular hub for such
games on the Internet. You can enjoy hundreds of free games, in genres
ranging from action to puzzle to old-school run-and-jump-platform games, all
specifically designed to be playable using the Wii Remote. Not all these free
games are winners, of course, but you can harness the power of independent
user rankings to separate the good from the bad. It’s hard to be upset with
even the clunkers, though, considering the cost. (Did I mention they were all
free?)
Figure 9-9:
WiiCade,
as seen on
the Internet
Channel.
Similar sites: www.wiiplayable.com, www.wiiwant2play.com, http://
wii.knibble.com
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel
Video: MiiTube
URL: http://miitube.co.uk
While YouTube is great for watching short videos of dogs on skateboards and
such, hunching over your computer desk isn’t really the ideal way to watch
these videos. Unfortunately, sites such as YouTube aren’t really designed
with the Wii’s Internet Channel in mind, meaning watching those amusing
videos on your living room couch isn’t as easy as it should be. Enter MiiTube,
a site that converts the video content on YouTube into a form that works well
with the Wii’s Internet Channel.
The MiiTube site , shown in figure 9-10, features large, TV-friendly buttons,
tabs for browsing featured and popular videos, and a search function to find
videos on specific subjects. With all these free Web videos available, you may
never watch network TV again!
Figure 9-10:
MiiTube,
as seen on
the Internet
Channel.
Similar site: http://wiitube.com
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Music: Finetune
URL: www.finetune.com/wii
Ever since Napster started a revolution in downloadable music, billions of
Internet users have downloaded countless MP3s to their personal collections,
both legally and illegally. Unfortunately, you can’t use the Wii’s Internet
Channel to permanently download such songs for later listening. Fortunately,
there are a few sites that let you turn the Wii into an ad-free radio station for
the latest hits.
Finetune, shown in Figure 9-11, is by far the best-designed of these sites,
featuring big buttons and text that’s perfect for viewing on your TV. You can
listen to preselected mixes of everything from rock and pop to rap and country,
or create a personalized station centered on a specific artist or keyword. Best
of all, unlike the car radio, this player lets you skip ahead past songs you
don’t like. Next time you have a party, forget the CDs and fire up the Wii!
Figure 9-11:
Finetune,
as seen on
the Internet
Channel.
Similar sites: www.wiihear.com, www.imeem.com/wii
Chapter 9: The Internet Channel
Search: Clusty
URL: www.clusty.com
While the Internet Channel’s built-in Web searching capabilities are great, the
results returned by both Google and Yahoo! were designed for viewing on
a computer screen, not a TV. This means search results on the Wii Internet
Channel are often too small to read and onerous to scroll through.
Web search upstart Clusty.com, shown in Figure 9-12, has attempted to solve
this problem with a Web searching interface designed specifically for the
Wii. Results are displayed in large, friendly letters that are easy to view on a
normal TV screen. The site also accompanies each search with a convenient
sidebar of links to follow-up searches on potentially related terms.
Figure 9-12:
Clusty, as
seen on
the Internet
Channel.
Similar Site: http://search.onlywii.com
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Community: MapWii
URL: www.mapwii.com
The Wii makes it relatively easy to connect with your real-life friends that
happen to own a Wii (see Chapter 4). But what if you don’t know anyone who
owns the system? For all its connectivity, the Wii doesn’t exactly make it easy
to find and connect with new people to chat and play with. MapWii, shown
in Figure 9-13, helps fix this problem. It offers a public clearinghouse for Wii
owners to share their Friend Codes using a simple map-based interface.
Figure 9-13:
MapWii,
as seen on
the Internet
Channel.
After you register with the site, you can search for potential friends by
geographic location or common game interests, and then easily share your
Friend Codes for chatting and playing together. The site’s tens of thousands
of users also maintain a vibrant discussion forum and chat room for all things
Wii-related and not. The site does encounter some display problems on the
Internet Channel, but it’s by far the best place to search out new Wii owners
to engage with.
Similar Sites: http://miiplaza.net, www.nintendo-play.com
Chapter 10
News, Weather, and More
In This Chapter
Keeping up with world events on the News Channel
Getting the weather with the Forecast Channel
Polling the populace with the Everybody Votes Channel
Finding out about new Nintendo products with the Nintendo Channel
Installing and using game-specific Channels
S
o many Channels are available for the Wii, I just can’t devote an
entire chapter to each one. The Channels discussed in this chapter
aren’t necessarily the most popular or useful Channels, but they’re no less
important for being squeezed together here.
Reading the News Channel
Sure, you could get the latest headlines by using the Internet Channel to head
to your favorite news Web site (see Chapter 9). But the Wii’s News Channel
is designed to display those headlines in a format specifically tailored for the
Wii and your TV screen. Scanning the headlines with the News Channel is
so simple, you may find yourself turning on the Wii instead of unfolding the
paper with your morning coffee.
Starting up the News Channel
To access the News Channel, first you have to connect your Wii to the
Internet through a broadband connection. You should also make sure you
have WiiConnect24 turned on so you can download headlines automatically
when the system is off (see Chapter 4 for more on connecting the Wii to the
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Internet and WiiConnect24). The News Channel is available on the Channel
menu when you first start your Wii, so there’s no need to download anything
from the Wii Shop Channel.
When you first start the News Channel, it may take a few minutes to download
and display the latest headlines. This process takes longer the less often you
use the Channel, so be sure to check in on current events often. When the loading is done, you see the News Channel topic menu, as shown in Figure 10-1.
Clicking on the cat while the headlines are downloading brings up a random
tip on using the News Channel. It also changes the loading animation to a
group of cats. This won’t speed up the sometimes painfully long download
process, but it is very cute.
If you accessed the News Channel recently and have WiiConnect24 turned
on, you can view recent headlines scrolling on the News Channel icon from
the Wii Menu. These headlines also available on the Channel preview screen,
before you even fully start the Channel. (See Chapter 5 for more about the Wii
Menu and Channel preview screens.)
Figure 10-1:
The News
Channel
topic menu.
Scanning the headlines
Click the on-screen arrows or press the up and down buttons on the Wii
Remote’s directional pad to scroll through the topics list. You can also hold
down the B button and move the Wii Remote pointer up and down to scroll
through the list. Click a topic to bring up a set of recent headlines for that
topic, as shown in Figure 10-2.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
Figure 10-2:
The News
Channel
headline
menu.
You can scroll through this list in the same manner as you scrolled through
the topics list. You can also enlarge or shrink the text by clicking the buttons
in the upper corners of the menu, or by pressing the + and – buttons on the Wii
Remote.
A blue dot next to a headline means the story hasn’t been read yet. If that
blue dot is blinking, the story was posted within the last hour or two. A gray
dot means you’ve already read that story.
Clicking a headline displays the full story, as shown in Figure 10-3. Scroll
through the text of the article by clicking the on-screen arrows or pressing the
up and down arrows on the Wii Remote’s directional pad. You can increase or
decrease the size of the text by clicking the buttons on the top of the menu,
or by pressing the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote, respectively. You can
also hold down the B button and move the Wii Remote pointer up and down to
scroll through the story. Click the Back button to return to the headline menu,
or press the left or right button on the Wii Remote’s directional pad to jump
directly to another story.
Global news
When viewing a news story, click the Globe button at the lower right of the
menu to bring up a decidedly global view of the day’s news, as shown in
Figure 10-4. This global view gives you a visual indication of where the news
is happening and how much of it is happening where. Controls for this view
are described in the following list:
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Figure 10-3:
The News
Channels
news story
view.
Figure 10-4:
The News
Channel’s
Global news
view.
View Stories: The pieces of paper on the global view each represent
a distinct news story with a dateline from the named location on the
globe. Click a single piece of paper to bring up the applicable story in
the news story view described earlier. Click a stack of papers (with a
number next to the name of the region) to bring up a list of the recent
stories from that area in the headline view.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
Spin the Globe: Click and hold the A button with the Wii Remote pointer
over an empty patch of land or water to grab the globe at that point.
Move the Remote pointer while still holding the A button to spin the
globe in that direction. If you let go of the A button quickly, the globe
continues spinning in that direction, just like a real globe!
Zoom: Click the buttons in the upper corners of the menu or press the
+ and – buttons on the Wii Remote to zoom the camera in and out from
the globe. Note that as you zoom out, stories may rearrange themselves
by region rather than specific city. For instance, a story that shows up
as coming from Boston when zoomed in may show up as part of the
“Washington Area” when zoomed farther out. The closer you zoom the
view, the more tightly targeted the sets of headlines are.
Tilt: Click the curved arrow buttons on the bottom of the menu or press
the up and down buttons on the Wii Remote’s directional pad to tilt the
camera’s view of the globe higher or lower. A lower angle makes the
stacks of papers look like soaring towers of news, while a higher view
makes them look flatter. Click the Restore button at the lower right
when tilted to get back to a straight overhead view.
When zooming and tilting around the global view, take a moment to glance at
the starry background on the screen: This starry night view is based on real
astronomical data culled from NASA. (I bet you didn’t know you were getting a
basic planetarium with your News Channel, but the Wii is nothing if not full of
surprises.)
News slides
Tired of the simple headline view? Bored with spinning the globe? Click the
Slide button in the lower-right corner of the headline menu to view a dynamic
slide-show view of the headlines, as shown in Figure 10-5.
Each headline is automatically replaced by a new one every few seconds,
or you can press the left and right buttons on the Wii Remote’s directional
pad to scroll at your own pace. You can also use + and – buttons on the Wii
Remote to increase and decrease, respectively, the size of the headlines.
If a headline looks interesting, press A at any time to see the entire story in a
full screen view. When you’re done reading a story, click the Continue button
at the lower right to go back to the slide show. When you’re done watching
the news slide on by, click the End button in the lower left to go back to the
basic headline view.
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Figure 10-5:
A headline
in the News
Channel’s
slide-show
view.
Weathering the Forecast Channel
Bob Dylan famously said you don’t need a weatherman to know which way
the wind blows. For those who want more detailed weather information and
predictions, though, consulting some form of meteorologist is probably a
good idea. Read on for more information on how to use the Wii’s Forecast
Channel to get the current temperature, forecasts, and global weather conditions on-demand on your TV.
Setting up the Forecast Channel
To use the Forecast Channel, you first have to make sure the Wii is hooked
up to a broadband Internet connection. The Forecast Channel is built into the
system right out of the box, so there’s no need to download anything from
the Wii Shop Channel.
The first time you turn the Channel on, you’re asked to confirm the current
time and date. If either is incorrect, you’re sent back to the Wii System menu
to correct them (see Chapter 2). You’re then asked to choose your default
location, first by choosing your state or territory and then choosing your
city. Only major cities are listed, so if you live in a small town, pick a larger
city that’s close by. After you’ve chosen your state and city, confirm your
selections by clicking Yes.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
The Forecast Channel menu
After you’ve gone through the initial setup, you come to the Forecast Channel
main menu, as shown in Figure 10-6. This is the screen that appears initially
every subsequent time you start up the Channel.
Figure 10-6:
The Wii
Forecast
main menu.
This initial weather data screen shows current conditions for your area,
but there’s more data hidden just above and below. Click the up and down
buttons on the edges of the screen or press the up and down buttons on
the Wii Remote’s directional pad to bring up the additional information,
described from top to bottom in the following list:
UV Index: The amount of ultraviolet radiation in the air today, measured
on a scale from 1 (low) to 11+ (extremely high). A UV Index of 6 to 8 or
above is considered dangerous; you should take special precautions if
you decide to go out in such conditions.
Current: The most recent temperature, weather, and wind conditions
for your area. Weather data is updated multiple times per day; check the
message in the lower-right corner of the screen for the time of the last
update. This is the default view, as shown in Figure 10-6.
Forecast Channel data won’t update when you’re actively using the
Channel. To get new data, first quit out of the Channel and then start it
up again from the Wii Menu.
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Today: The predicted high temperature and weather conditions for later
in the day (or later in the night, depending on the time of day).
Tomorrow: The predicted weather conditions and high temperature for
tomorrow.
Five-day Forecast: Shows predicted weather conditions and temperatures
for the next five days. The top number is the predicted high temperature
and the bottom one is the predicted low.
Weather data displayed on the Forecast Channel does not include severe
weather warnings and watches. Consult TV or radio for updates on
severe weather in your area.
Settings
Click the Settings button in the upper-right corner of the Forecast menu to
bring up the Change Settings menu. Click the appropriate Change buttons to
toggle to the following options:
Closest Location: Choose a new default location for the default Weather
data view, as described in the “Setting up the Forecast Channel” section.
Temperature display: Toggle between Fahrenheit and Celsius display
for temperature data.
Wind Display: Toggle between miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per
hour (km/h) for the wind speed display.
Global view
Click Globe in the lower-right corner of the Forecast menu to bring up a
worldwide view of the weather, as shown in Figure 10-7. Details about the
controls for this view are described in the following list:
View detailed forecast: To view more detailed weather information for a
city, simply click the city’s name on the globe. This brings up the current
weather information for that city, as discussed in “The Forecast Channel
menu” section. From here you can scroll up and down to get forecasts
and more weather information, just as you would for your default location. When you’re done taking in this info, simply click the A button in the
middle of the screen to return to the Global view.
Zoom: Click the zoom buttons in the top corners of the menu or press
the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote to zoom in and out of the globe.
Note that some smaller cities are only visible when zoomed in close to the
globe — they are subsumed by larger cities when the view is zoomed out.
Your default location is always visible, no matter the zoom level.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
Figure 10-7:
The
Forecast
Channel’s
Global view.
More Information: By default, the global view shows a small icon
representing the current weather conditions next to each city name.
You can change this display by clicking the Next button at the top of
the screen or by pressing the left and right buttons on the Wii Remote’s
directional pad. This cycles the displayed data through the following
list:
• Current weather conditions
• Current temperature
• Today’s predicted weather conditions
• Today’s predicted high temperature
• Tomorrow’s weather conditions
• Tomorrow’s predicted high temperature
Spin the Globe: To see other parts of the globe, click and hold the A
button while the Wii Remote pointer is hovering over an empty spot of
land or water. While still holding A, move the Wii Remote pointer in any
direction to move the globe in that direction. If you let go of A quickly
while moving the pointer, the globe continues to spin in the indicated
direction, just like a real globe.
Tilt: Tired of looking at the world from above? Click the curved arrow
button at the bottom of the menu or press the up and down buttons on
the Wii Remote’s directional pad to look at the world from a different
vantage point. When in a tilted view, click the Restore button to go back
to the view from directly above.
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Canvassing the Everybody
Votes Channel
Have you ever seen that show Family Feud, where 100 Americans are
surveyed, and the contestants have to guess the most popular answers?
Ever wish you could give your opinion in a survey like that? Well, with the
Everybody Votes Channel, you can! You can even take part in a game-show
style game to predict what answer will be most popular. It’s not quite Family
Feud — you don’t win any cash or prizes for participating — but this hidden
gem of the Wii’s Channel selection is still a surprising amount of fun. Read on
for more on how to vote in polls, predict the results, and view your personal
voting and predicting statistics.
Starting up the Everybody
Votes Channel
First things first: To use the Everybody Votes Channel, your Wii has to be
hooked up to the Internet through a broadband connection. You also have
to download the Everybody Votes Channel from the Channels area of the Wii
Shop Channel (see Chapter 6). The Everybody Votes Channel doesn’t cost
any money and doesn’t take up much space on your Wii’s internal memory,
so there’s really no reason not to try it out. Remember, if you don’t like it,
you can always delete it later.
The first time you start the Everybody Votes Channel, you need to confirm
the general region you live in. This is the region you set up when going
through the Wii System menu. If the region is correct, click OK. Otherwise,
choose No to be taken back to the Wii System menu to choose a new region
(described in Chapter 2). You’re also asked to confirm your selected
language from an on-screen list.
After your region and language settings are confirmed, you need to choose at
least one Mii to represent you in the online voting. The Miis available in your
Mii Plaza are displayed on-screen, ten at a time. Click the on-screen arrows
to scroll through the selection of Miis, and then click your preferred Mii to
choose him or her. Click Yes and then OK to confirm.
If more than one person uses the Channel, you can register more Miis at this
time — just click Yes when asked and then repeat the steps in the previous
paragraph. You can register up to six total Miis as voters on the Everybody
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
Votes Channel at any one time. You can always add more voters later, so
don’t worry if you’re not sure if the rest of your family will want to join in on
the fun (they probably will, if my experience is any indication).
Voting
After the initial setup, you’re taken to the Everybody Votes Channel main
menu, as shown in Figure 10-8. This is also the first screen that’s shown on
subsequent uses of the Channel.
Figure 10-8:
The
Everybody
Votes
Channel
main menu.
For now, just ignore the top row of options and focus on the tabs/circles just
below it. Specifically, the first two on the left — Active Polls and Worldwide
Polls — are the ones that let you express your opinion on the hot-button
issues of the day (like how many times a day you brush your teeth, to take
one recent example). These tabs are labeled as “New!” if there are new
questions to respond to. Click either of these tabs to see a list of the three
most recent active-poll questions available, and then click the poll question
itself to bring up the Voting menu, as shown in Figure 10-9.
The Everybody Votes Channel only shows three Active Polls and one
Worldwide Poll at a time. If you don’t vote before a poll closes, you won’t be
able to go back and add your thoughts — it’s gone for good. New polls come
up regularly every other day, so be sure to visit the Everybody Votes Channel
frequently. As Al Capone used to say: Vote early, vote often!
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Figure 10-9:
The
Everybody
Votes
Channel voting screen.
On the Voting menu, any of your registered Miis that haven’t yet voted are
shown in the center of the teal voting circle. To place a vote for that Mii,
first pick that Mii up by pointing the Wii Remote pointer at it and pressing
and holding the A and B buttons on the Wii Remote simultaneously. While
still holding A and B, drag the Mii over to the semicircle for your preferred
choice. Let go of the buttons on the Remote to place the Mii in that voting
area.
After you’ve placed any number of registered Miis in this manner, click the
Vote! button at the bottom of the screen and then click Yes to officially
confirm your vote (or votes). The voting Miis’ shirts change to the color
of the option they picked, indicating that their vote is locked and can’t be
changed. You can leave some Miis undecided for now, but remember: When a
poll is done, it’s done for good.
Predictions
After you make your personal vote comes the fun part — predicting which
option will get the most votes overall. Click the Yes button when the onscreen prompt asks you if you want to “predict the response that will get
the most votes.” You don’t have to do this if you’re in a hurry, of course, but
you’re missing out on the best part of the Channel if you click No. I’m just
saying . . .
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
The Miis that just voted run back to the center of the blue voting platform
under the question “Which will be more popular?” Make your prediction by
picking up your Mii with the A and B buttons and placing him or her in the
appropriate semicircle (as described in the “Voting” section). After placing
all voting Miis, click the Predict! button and then click Yes to register your
predictions. Each Mii raises up a small, colored sign to indicate which option
he or she predicted would be more popular. You’re then taken back to the
Everybody Votes Channel main menu.
Results
If you’ve already cast a vote or two, you’re ready to move on to the rightmost
two circles on the main menu: the Recent Results and Poll History tabs. The
former allows access to the most recently concluded regional and international
polls, while the latter contains archives of up to 12 more recently concluded
polls (click the on-screen arrows to scroll through the list). These tabs are
labeled with New! if there are any unviewed results to peruse.
Click the name of a poll question under either of these tabs to bring up the
Results screen, as shown in Figure 10-10. First your Miis’ picks and predictions
will be recapped via the same colored shirts and signs discussed in the previous
sections. After this, a drumroll and spotlight accompany a bunch of tiny Miis
running in to fill in a pie chart, which shows the percentage results for the poll.
Click the Skip button at the lower right to get past this rigamarole quickly.
Figure 10-10:
The
Everybody
Votes
Channel
results
screen.
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After the results are up on the screen, you can click the icons at the lower
right to get more information about voting patterns. Click the icon that looks
like a piece of paper to view results split by gender and to see how accurate
respondents were in their predictions. Click the scroll icon to see how the
poll results broke down by state: The darker a state’s color, the stronger that
state’s results broke in favor of that colored option.
For worldwide polls, click the globe icon to view a bar graph ranking of how
each country responded to the poll. Click the on-screen arrows or press the
up and down buttons on the Wii Remote’s directional pad to scroll through
this list of countries. Click Rearrange to order the countries by a different
method, including their prediction accuracy.
Options and user data
This section discusses that top row of tabs on the Everybody Votes
Channel’s main menu screen (refer to Figure 10-8). From left to right,
they are:
Register New Voter: Add more Miis to that central blue voting circle.
The process for registering new Miis is exactly the same as the one
discussed in the “Starting up the Everybody Votes Channel” section.
Voter Data: What good is all this voting and predicting if you can’t keep
track of who’s actually winning? The Voter Data option lets you track
your progress in the Everybody Votes Channel.
First, click a registered Mii to bring up a screen tallying his or her vote
count and prediction win/loss record. Click the right arrow on-screen
to bring up the How Tuned In Are You? screen, a highly unscientific
measure of your character traits based on how your votes gibe with
those of others. Click the right arrow again to view the equally
unscientific Distance from Popular Opinion screen, which measures
how often you agree with the majority. The more pedestrian your
personal picks, the shorter the distance.
Click Close to go back to the Mii selection menu, or simply click a Mii
on the left side of the screen to bring up his or her data without backing
out. When you’re done viewing voter data, click the Back button to get
back to the main menu.
Incidentally, the Voter Data screen is also where you go to unregister
a voter who’s been signed up for the Channel. Click the Mii as normal,
and then click the Erase button in the upper-left corner of the screen.
Confirm your selection, but be careful — when you unregister a voter,
all that Mii’s accumulated voting and prediction data is lost forever.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
Suggest a question: Got a burning desire to know whether Wii owners
prefer peas to carrots? Maybe you want to know if more Wii owners use
a car or ride a bike to work or school? Suggest one of these or your own
(doubtless better) questions to Nintendo and maybe it will get asked on
the Everybody Votes Channel.
To suggest a question, click the question and answer area of this
submenu to bring up an on-screen keyboard where you can enter your
question and two responses.
Your question can have only two responses, so don’t ask anything too
open-ended. Keep it family-friendly and be sure to check your spelling
before clicking the Send button to submit your question.
Options: Brings up a submenu with the following options:
• Confirm Polling Region: Confirms your polling region. Click
Change Your Polling Region to be taken to the Wii System menu,
where you can change your Wii’s region.
• Erase All Data: Be careful! This option unregisters all currently
registered voters and erases their voting and prediction history for
good. Think long and hard before clicking the Yes button to
confirm this drastic step. Think of the children!
• Change Question Language: Get questions in English, French, or
Spanish.
Wii Menu: Return to the Wii Menu to await further questioning.
Remember, you can return to the Wii Menu at any time by pressing the
Home button on the Wii Remote.
Getting Informed with
the Nintendo Channel
There are plenty of ways to keep informed about new games for your Wii
(see Chapter 11 for but a few) but there’s only one way to stream videos and
information about the latest games directly from Nintendo to your Wii. The
Nintendo Channel is basically a giant Nintendo marketing zone on your Wii,
providing video trailers and advertisements along with basic information
about Wii games right on your TV screen. There are some interesting features
to the Channel, though, such as interviews with game developers and
downloadable demos for your Nintendo DS. Read on for more information on
navigating this treasure-trove of marketing information.
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Starting up the Nintendo Channel
Before getting into the Nintendo Channel, you need to connect your Wii to
the Internet via a broadband connection. Then you have to download the
Channel itself from the Channels area of the Wii Shop Channel (see Chapter
6). The Nintendo Channel is free, and worth a look even if you’re not
particularly interested in watching Nintendo advertisements.
When you first start the Nintendo Channel from the Wii Menu, the Channel
downloads and plays the latest Digest Video summarizing the latest products
and videos on the Nintendo Channel service. You can watch this video using
the control discussed in the following section, “Viewing videos,” or click the
To The Video List button to jump right to the video list, as shown in Figure
10-11. Scroll through the pages of the list by clicking the on-screen arrows or
pressing the left and right buttons on the Wii Remote’s directional pad. Click
a video name to view that video.
Figure 10-11:
The
Nintendo
Channel
Video List.
Viewing videos
Click the name of a video from the Video List menu to play that video on
your TV, as shown in Figure 10-12. These videos are streamed directly from
Nintendo’s servers, so there may be a slight downloading delay before the
video starts.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
Figure 10-12:
Watching a
video on the
Nintendo
Channel.
After the video starts playing, click the video image itself to expand the video
further to a full-screen view, or click the Back button in the lower-left corner
to reduce the video to thumbnail size and return to the Video List menu.
Click the Pause button to stop playback temporarily; click the Play button
that appears in its place to resume the playback.
While watching a Nintendo Channel video, hold down the B button to bring
up a slider showing your current position in the video playback. While still
holding B, move the Wii Remote pointer to move the slider and let go of B to
jump to that position in the video.
If videos are taking too long to download and start playing, there may be a
problem with your Wii’s Internet connection. Try restarting the Channel and/
or the system to see if the problem improves. If not, you might be better off
just using your computer to view the similar information available on www.
nintendo.com.
Viewing game information
When you’re viewing a video, click the More Information button to bring up
a page containing more information about the featured game, oddly enough.
The top part of such an information page is shown Figure 10-13. Scroll down
the page by clicking the on-screen arrows, by pressing the up and down
buttons on the Wii Remote’s directional pad, or by clicking the menu buttons
at the right side of the screen, as shown in the figure.
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Figure 10-13:
A Nintendo
Channel
game
information
page for
Super Mario
Galaxy.
Each game information page can have some or all of the sections described
in the following list:
Basic information: Review the basics about the game in question,
including the supported controllers, ESRB Rating, genre, number of
players, and more. Click the Purchase button to go to the Internet
Channel (for disc-based games) or the Wii Shop Channel (for downloadable games) where you can buy that game directly. After making
your purchase (or just browsing), you have to leave the new Channel
and restart the Nintendo Channel to get back to where you were.
Videos: A list of all available Nintendo Channel videos about the current
game. Click a video name to view the video, as described in the “Viewing
videos” section. Click the Back button to return to the game information
page.
Recommended Games: For some games, the Nintendo Channel
recommends other games you may like, basing their guess on the usage
patterns and recommendations of other Nintendo Channel users. Click
the name of a recommended game to go to the information page for that
game.
What people are saying . . .: This section graphs the recommendations
of other Nintendo Channel users for this game (see the section, “Find
titles for you”). This includes whether the game is better for hardcore
or casual gamers and whether the game is more fun with friends or
played alone. Hover over a graph with the Wii Remote pointer to see the
answers and percentages for a specific question. Click the Filter Results
button to narrow down the results to a specific age group or gender.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
Time Spent Playing/Times Played: Shows how popular the game is
among people who decide to share gameplay data with Nintendo (see
the “Settings” section, later in this chapter). Hours measures total
number of hours data-sharing players have put into the game. Times
measures how many distinct times data-sharing players have turned on
the game (limit one per system per day). The Per Person numbers for
each statistic average out the results over all the people sharing data.
Remember this is a self-selected sample, so this data might not be
indicative of how popular the game is among Wii owners as a whole.
Related Titles: A selection of games that are related to the currently
viewed game by series, character, or genre. Click a game name to bring
up the information page for that game.
Web Page: A list of some Web pages associated with the game. Click
any of the listed Web page names to open up that page in the Internet
Channel.
Find titles for you
Instead of just browsing around the videos on the Video List menu, you can
look for videos of specific games by clicking the Find Titles For You button.
This brings up a submenu with the following options:
View New Titles: Click this option to bring up a list of titles that have
been released recently or that will be released in the near future. This
list initially includes titles for all Nintendo systems, including the
Nintendo DS. Click the All Platforms button in the upper-right corner;
then click the Wii button that pops up to restrict the results to Wii
games. You can also choose to view only WiiWare or Virtual Console
games.
Search by Category: Click this option to bring up another submenu letting
you choose a variety of filters for your game listings, including publisher,
genre, recommendation status (see the Make a Recommendation bullet), or
more. Click a filtering option, and then choose the desired criteria from the
list that pops up. When all your options are set, click Search to bring up a
list of games matching your search criteria. Click a game name on this list
to get more information about the game (see the earlier section, “Viewing
game information”).
Search by Name: Click this option to bring up the on-screen keyboard,
where you can type in all or part of the name of the game you want more
information on. (Remember: Spelling counts, so only type in the part of
the title you’re sure you know how to spell.)
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Make a Recommendation: Click this option to bring up a list of Wii
games and Channels you’ve played for at least an hour. Click a game
or Channel name to go through a series of questions about your experience with the game, including your gender and age, how much you
generally enjoyed the game, and whom you think the game is best
suited for. Use the Wii Remote pointer to answer all the questions,
and then click Register to add your opinion to the Nintendo Channel’s
recommendations.
DS Download Service: If you have a Nintendo DS, you can click this
option to download trial versions of Nintendo DS software through
your Wii. Note that you have to sign up for the Nintendo Channel’s data
sharing service before you can use the DS Download service (see the
“Settings” section later in this chapter).
Here’s how the DS Download Service works:
1. Choose DS Download Service from the Find Titles for You menu.
2. Choose the game demo you want to download from the list.
This brings up a screen that says Preparing. When this message
changes to Transmitting (as shown in Figure 10-14), proceed to the
next step. This process can take a few minutes, so be patient.
3. Turn on your Nintendo DS.
4. On the Nintendo DS, tap DS Download Play.
Figure 10-14:
The DS
Download
Service
game
download
preparation
screen.
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
5. On the Nintendo DS, tap the name of the demo, and then tap Yes
to confirm the download.
A message on the DS says that the demo is downloading. After a
few seconds, the game demo should appear on the DS screen.
6. Play the demo.
After the demo has started, you can click the Back button on the
Wii to go back to the demo list, or click Information to get more
information about the game.
When you’re done with the demo, just turn off the Nintendo DS.
Note that the demo is not permanently saved to your Nintendo DS,
so you have to download it again from the Wii if you want to try it
another time.
Settings
Click the wrench icon in the upper-left corner of the Video List menu to
access the following options through a submenu:
Video Volume: Change the volume at which Nintendo Channel videos
are played. Click the on-screen arrows to move the volume setting up
and down. Of course, you can just use your television remote to change
the volume as well.
Commercial Message Settings: The Nintendo Channel can occasionally
send information about new games or products to your Wii Message
Board. If you want this kind of information sent to your system periodically, click the Opt In to Commercial Messages From This Channel
button. Otherwise click the Opt Out button.
Data Sharing Settings: The Nintendo Channel has the ability to collect
information on what games you play and how often you play them. This
data is used to compile region-wide gameplay statistics for many games.
Don’t worry — this data is anonymous and can’t be tied back to you in
any way. Click I Agree (to share the data) or I Disagree (to stop sharing).
You need to agree to data sharing in order to access DS Game Downloads.
About Nintendo Channel: Read more about the Nintendo Channel.
How Your Information Is Used: Read more about how Nintendo uses
the data you agree to share in the Data Sharing Settings. To summarize
all the legalese and technical stuff here, Nintendo basically collects
data on what games you play and how long you play them, as well as
how you’ve set your Wii’s System Settings. This data is all anonymous;
it’s not identifiable with you personally, but Nintendo may use it in the
aggregate — whether for internal market research purposes or publicly
to make game recommendations.
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Getting Specific with Game-Specific
Channels
While the games portion and the Channels portion of the Wii tend to
keep a respectable distance from each other, a couple of Channels are
specifically designed to work with certain disc-based games. These
game-specific Channels can be run even when the associated game disc
isn’t in the system, providing some basic, gamelike functionality even if
the game is buried at the bottom of your toy chest.
The following sections give you some basic information about these Channels,
which can be installed onto your Wii Menu directly from the game disc.
Consult the instruction manual for the games for more detailed information on
using these Channels.
Mario Kart Channel
To install the Mario Kart Channel from the Mario Kart Wii disc, follow these
steps:
1. Start up Mario Kart Wii using the Disc Channel.
2. Press A to advance to the License menu.
3. Click the Settings icon.
This icon can be found in the upper-right corner of the screen.
4. Click Install Channel.
5. Click OK, and then click Install.
The system quits to the Wii Menu and displays a somewhat cryptic
“Save to Wii System Memory” message. Click OK once more to start the
installation. The progress bar should fill up in a matter of seconds.
The Mario Kart Channel is now installed. You’re returned to the game for
now, but the next time you go to the Wii Menu, the Mario Kart Channel will
be ready to go.
This Channel takes up 79 blocks on your Wii’s internal memory (see Chapter 5
for more on memory management).
Chapter 10: News, Weather, and More
The Mario Kart Channel lets you monitor the online happenings in the Mario
Kart Wii universe without having the game disc in the system. If your Wii is
hooked up to the Internet, you can use the Channel to register new Mario Kart
Wii friends, see if currently registered friends are online, or view how your time
trial results measure up in the worldwide rankings. Of course, to actually race
against your friends or their downloaded ghost data, you need to put the game
disc in the system.
Wii Fit Channel
To install the Wii Fit Channel from the Wii Fit disc, follow these steps:
1. Start up Wii Fit using the Disc Channel.
2. Click the Settings icon.
This icon can be found in the upper-right corner of the screen.
3. Click Install Channel.
4. Click OK, and then click Install.
The system quits to the Wii Menu and display a somewhat cryptic
“Save to Wii System Memory” message. Click OK once more to start the
installation. The progress bar should fill up in a matter of seconds.
The Wii Fit Channel is now installed. You’re returned to the game for now,
but the next time you go to the Wii Menu the Channel will be ready to go.
Note that the Wii Fit Channel takes up 109 blocks on your Wii’s internal
memory (see Chapter 5 for more on memory management).
The Wii Fit Channel menu looks a lot like the Wii Fit Plaza (as discussed in
Chapter 13), so it’s not too surprising that most every function of the Wii Fit
Plaza is available on the Wii Fit Channel. This includes viewing a graph of
your daily exercise progress, performing a basic Body Test, and receiving
your daily BMI and Wii Fit Age rankings. You can even jump into your daily
training exercises, if the Wii Fit disc is in the system. Even if the disc is far, far
away, the Wii Fit Channel is a great way to do your daily weigh-in and Body
Test without a lot of hassle.
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Part III
The Games
A
In this part . . .
fter reading about all those Channels in Part II, you’d
be forgiven if you momentarily forgot that the Wii
was primarily designed to play video games. Well, this
part will help remind you. First you discover how to pick
out games that are right for you and your family. Then
you figure out the ins and outs of two of the most popular
games on the system, Wii Sports and Wii Fit. This part
finishes up with a quick description of 15 great games
designed for all sorts of situations.
Chapter 11
Picking Out Games
In This Chapter
Figuring out what kinds of games and genres are right for you
Learning about game ratings and the Entertainment Software Rating Board
Reading reviews and determining what they actually mean
Filling your shelf with Wii games without emptying your wallet
W
alking into a video-game store for the first time can be a scary and
baffling prospect. Rows and rows of largely identical-looking games,
packaging that stresses flashy graphics over gameplay, and retail employees
trained to cater to hardcore gamers can make choosing a game at the store
a risky move. A $50 video game that you’ll be playing for dozens of hours
shouldn’t be an impulse buy. You have to do your research to make sure
you’re not getting a lemon.
Of course, you could skip all that research and just head over to Chapter 14
for a list of recommended games for a variety of situations. As time goes on,
though, and that list gets out of date, you’ll eventually want to know how to
pick out appropriate games for yourself. That’s where this chapter comes in.
Read on to find out more about the major genres of video games, the industrystandard content-rating system, good sites to consult for independent reviews,
and tips for getting more games for less money.
Checking the Genre
Anyone who’s watched a movie knows there’s a huge difference between a
summer blockbuster and an independent art-house flick. Similarly, games
range from fast-action thrill-fests to more contemplative puzzle games. The
first step to deciding whether or not to buy a game is determining whether its
genre is a good fit for your tastes.
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Part III: The Games
In the following list, I provide some of the most common video-game genres,
along with a brief description of the games that fall into each genre. When
you come across a genre you like, look for games that fit that genre on the
Nintendo Web site (www.nintendo.com) or in your perusal of reviews (see
the following section). Or you can simply ask about that specific genre at
your local game retailer.
Action/Adventure: Probably the most overcrowded genre in all of
gaming, action/adventure games are those that focus on fast-paced
thrills (the “action”) and/or exploration (the “adventure”). Action games
tend to require quick reflexes and have a lot of on-screen action, so new
players may find these games difficult to play.
That said, some action games are specifically designed to be easy for
anyone to pick up and play (such as Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga).
Remember to check the box for an ESRB Rating, because many action
games have excessive violence and other content that might not be
appropriate for young children. (See the section on family-friendly adventure games in Chapter 14 for some recommended games in this genre.)
Fighting: Games in this genre focus on individual or group combat
between fighters, to the exclusion of pretty much all else. As of press
time, the Wii library is notably lacking in fighting games, save for one
major exception: Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This game features familiar
characters from across Nintendo’s history battling in frenetic, accessible
battles that support up to four players at once. Outside of that, fighting
game fans might want to look for classic fighting games such as Street
Fighter II or Eternal Champions on the Wii Shop Channel (see Chapter 6).
Life Training: A relatively new genre, Life Training games combine
entertainment with personal betterment. This includes games such
as Wii Fit (see Chapter 13), which exercises your body or Big Brain
Academy: Wii Degree (see Chapter 14), which exercises your mind. The
selection of Wii games in this genre is somewhat limited as of this
writing, but look for it to take off in the near future.
Party: As the name implies, party games are designed to be played in a
group setting. While most party games have a single-player mode, the
focus of the design is on multi-player carousing. Many party games are
simply collections of mini-games that can be played in bite-size chunks
of a few minutes apiece — ideal for the short attention span of a group
setting. The quality of party games can vary wildly, with many companies
trying to cash in with shoddy, quickly developed products. Even a bad
game can be fun with the right friends, though. (See Chapter 14 for some
party games that deliver on their promise of group fun.)
Puzzle: This wide-ranging genre name is applied to games that generally
require contemplative thought to solve in-game puzzles. These can
range from destruction-fests such as Boom Blox to reflex tests such as
Mercury Meltdown Revolution to point-and-click adventure games such as
Zack and Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure. Any game can fit in this
genre, as long as it taxes your brain.
Chapter 11: Picking Out Games
Beware the box
While the front of the box is what usually gets
your attention in a store, flipping that box over
can give you a better idea of what a game is
actually like. As opposed to the front of the
box, which usually includes highly stylized art
designed to catch your eye, the back of the box
usually includes descriptive text and representative screenshots of what a game will actually
look like on your TV.
Of course, this text and these screenshots are
created by the publisher to make the game
look as good as possible, so it’s still a good
idea to consult some reviews for independent
confirmation before you go to the store (see
the “Reading Reviews” section). That said,
the back of the box can provide an extra bit of
confirmation that a specific game is actually
what you’re looking for.
While you’re perusing the back of the box,
remember to check the icon in the upper-right
corner that indicates which controllers the
game supports (see Chapter 3). Also be sure
to check the lower-left corner for the game’s
ESRB rating (refer to Figure 11-1).
Racing: Not surprisingly, this genre includes games that require driving
around a course faster than the other players (human or computer).
Racing games can range from relatively realistic simulations such as MX
vs. ATV Untamed to totally off-the-wall games that involve fantastical
characters and elaborate weaponry such as Mario Kart Wii. Many racing
games on the Wii let you use the Wii Remote as a makeshift steering
wheel, turning the entire controller in your hands as you would a real
steering wheel.
Role-playing: Technically this category includes any game that asks you
to play a role. Role-playing games (or RPGs) tend to focus on elaborate,
epic storylines told over many hours of gameplay. They typically involve
turn-based battles with elaborate enemies and require you to manage a
wide array of personal statistics and equipment to make your characters
the best they can be. Generally, these games aren’t great for quick, pickup-and-play gaming sessions; they should be reserved for when you
have a long period of time to devote to becoming engulfed in an entire
world.
Rhythm/Music: This genre includes games that turn on the player’s
musical and/or rhythmic ability. These can range from games that use
the Wii Remote to tap out a quick beat, such as Battle of the Bands, to
games that come packaged with their own musical controllers to
measure the player’s musical abilities, such as Rock Band.
Sports: Games that simulate real world sports on your TV. As with racing
games, these can range from accurate, lifelike depictions of popular
sports (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, Top Spin 3) to games that stretch the
definition of the sport with outlandish characters and superhuman
abilities (Super Swing Golf, Sega Superstars Tennis). Usually one look at the
box art is enough to tell one group from the other.
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Strategy & Simulation: A wide-ranging genre covering everything from
realistic war simulations to wacky courtroom dramas, from tense
medical dramas to relaxing scuba-diving trips under the sea.
If you’re running low on new Wii games that fall into your preferred genre,
remember that the Wii can also play games designed for the Nintendo
GameCube. There also might be games in your preferred genre listed for
download from the Wii Shop Channel (see Chapter 6).
Checking the Ratings
Games aren’t just kid stuff anymore. Since the arcade heyday of Pac-Man and
Donkey Kong, video gaming has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry,
with content catering to everyone from preschoolers to adults. Just as you
wouldn’t let a young child go to an R-rated movie, you shouldn’t let him or
her play an M-rated game.
Fortunately, a large majority of the games available for the Wii are appropriate
for even relatively young children (see sidebar, “Are game ratings effective?”).
That said, you still have to be vigilant to make sure your children aren’t playing anything meant for those outside their age range. That means checking the
packaging for a rating before you buy the game. It also means reviewing the
ESRB warning displayed on-screen before downloading a game from the Wii
Shop Channel (see Chapter 6). The following sections give you all the
information you need to review these ratings effectively.
The Wii has built-in parental controls to make sure your children can’t play
inappropriate games on your system. (See Chapter 2 for more on setting up
parental controls.)
How games are rated
Console video games are rated in the United States by the Entertainment
Software Rating Board, a group created by the Entertainment Software
Association trade group. Ratings are assigned by a panel of at least three
specially trained adults (mostly parents) whose identities are kept strictly
secret. These panelists watch a video of “all pertinent content” in a game
before its release to determine what ages that content is appropriate for.
Raters may also sit in on a play session led by an experienced gamer and
review the responses to a questionnaire on the contents of the game before
making their ratings determination.
Chapter 11: Picking Out Games
Other regions have their own game rating systems, including the British
Board of Film Classification (England), the Pan-European Game Information
system (Europe), and the Office of Film and Literature Classification
(Australia).
Games ratings explained
The Entertainment Software Rating Board groups all games released for the
Wii in the United States into one of the following six categories:
EC — Early Childhood: Assigned to games suitable for children aged
three or older, according to the ESRB. EC-rated games are the friendliest
of the friendly, with absolutely no potentially controversial material.
These are usually educational games, targeted at small children or
toddlers. As of this writing, there are no EC-rated games available for
the Wii.
E — Everyone: Assigned to games with content suitable for ages six and
older. E-rated titles are roughly equivalent to G-rated movies; they may
contain minimal cartoon, fantasy, or mild violence and/or infrequent use
of mild language, according to the ESRB. Generally this kind of content
won’t be anything worse than you would see in a Looney Tunes cartoon.
Still, it might be too much for extremely young children.
E10+ — Everyone 10+: As the name suggests, the E10+ rating is
assigned to games containing content that’s suitable for children
ten years of age and older, according to the ESRB. E10+-rated games
are roughly equivalent to PG-rated movies; they may contain mild
language or cartoon/fantasy violence. The difference between E and
E10+ is usually a question of degree — the more violence and/or
rough language contained in a game, the more likely it will get the
E10+ rating. Be sure to check the content descriptors for more on
why exactly the rating was assigned.
T — Teen: Assigned to games suitable for ages 13 and older. T-rated
titles are roughly equivalent to PG-13-rated movies; they may contain
violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated
gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language, according to the
ESRB. In general, violence in a T-rated game is slightly more realistic and
gory than similar violence in an E or E10+-rated game.
M — Mature: Assigned to games with content suitable for people 17
and older. M-rated titles are roughly equivalent to R-rated movies; they
may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or
strong language, according to the ESRB. This includes games with
extremely realistic depictions and violence and gore that might be
disturbing to children. Most retailers voluntarily refuse to sell M-rated
games to unaccompanied minors, and some stores don’t carry
M-rated games at all (see the sidebar, “Are game ratings effective?”).
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AO — Adults Only: Assigned to games with content that is unsuitable
for children under 18. AO-rated games are roughly equivalent to NC-17rated movies; they usually include strong sexual content or very extreme
graphic violence. The rating is given out very rarely and only for the
most extreme cases of sex and/or violence in games. Nintendo has
pledged to block the release of any game that receives an AO rating on
the Wii. As such, there are no AO games for the Wii as of this writing.
Content descriptors
ESRB ratings aren’t just limited to the ratings described in the previous
section. Each rating also comes with a more detailed description of the
specific types of potentially objectionable content in the title. These content
descriptors are displayed prominently along with the letter rating on the back
of the box, as shown in Figure 11-1, and can include everything from “mild
comic mischief” to “strong sexual content.”
Don’t just disregard this important information. A T-rated game with “crude
humor” or “strong language” can be very different from another T-rated game
with “minimal blood” or “violence” descriptors. The content descriptors can
help you distinguish a title that might be inappropriate for your child from
one that should be just fine.
For a full explanation of all these descriptors, as well as a searchable
database of all ESRB ratings, visit www.esrb.org.
Are game ratings effective?
It’s important to remember that even though
the game industry has widely adopted the
ESRB’s rating system, the ratings don’t have
the force of law. No state or local government
currently has any restrictions on what types of
games can be bought or sold to minors, and
attempts at such legislation have routinely been
overturned on constitutional grounds.
That said, most major retailers voluntarily
enforce ESRB ratings by refusing to sell
M-rated games to children under 17 years of
age. Other retailers go even further by agreeing
not to carry M-rated games in their stores at
all. Of course, enforcement isn’t perfect. A
2008 “secret shopper” study conducted by the
FTC found that children aged 13 to 16 could
purchase M-rated games nearly 20 percent
of the time. And even if your child can’t buy a
game, he or she might be able to play it at a
friend’s house.
As of this writing, there are there are no
AO-rated games and only 13 M-rated titles
mixed in among the Wii’s 200+ game library. In
contrast, nearly half of the current Wii game
library is rated E10+ or younger, meaning the
large majority of games for the system will be
appropriate for a large majority of the gaming
audience. So there are really only a handful
of Wii games a watchful parent has to keep an
eye on.
Chapter 11: Picking Out Games
Figure 11-1:
An ESRB
rating, as
displayed on
the back of
a Wii game
box.
EVERYONE ENFANTS ET ADULTES
™
E
Mild Cartoon Violence
Légère violence en animation
ESRB CONTENT RATING
www.esrb.org
The ESRB doesn’t rate the online portions of video games, instead issuing a
blanket warning that “online interactions are not rated by the ESRB.” This means
that even if a game is rated E, your children could be subjected to adult language
or inappropriate content by other players when playing online. Most Wii games
have extremely limited chat functions, but children could still be exposed to the
occasional crude username or other inappropriate content that can slip through
during online play. (See Chapter 2 for more on turning on the Wii’s parental
controls to limit your children’s access to this potentially harmful content.)
Other rating sources
While the ESRB rating is a great source of information for appropriate game
content, some parents may want a second opinion before going into the store.
The following Web sites can provide more information on a game’s content:
What They Play (www.whattheyplay.com): A site that takes a parent’seye look at the gaming industry as a whole. In addition to parent-centric
game reviews and features targeted at gaming neophytes, What They Play
uses reader polls to determine age ratings that might be more accurate and
precise than those given by the ESRB. In general, the site is a great resource
for parents looking to learn more about the favorite hobby for a large
segment of today’s youth.
Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org): An independent,
not-for-profit group, Common Sense Media offers detailed game reviews with
a focus on age-appropriateness. They also give their own ESRB-style ratings
that slice the gaming landscape into content appropriate for each year of a
child’s age, from 2 through 17. The site also reviews TV, movies, and music,
making it a one-stop shop for parents concerned about youth media.
Gaming with Children (www.gamingwithchildren.com): Run by wellrespected game journalist Andrew “GamerDad” Bub, this site covers myriad
issues surrounding parenting and gaming, providing general information on
the sometimes confusing game industry and answering reader questions in a
useful column. While the site doesn’t contain a comprehensive reviews
section, it’s still an invaluable resource for parents who might just be
wading into the strange world of “interactive entertainment.”
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Reading Reviews
While the ESRB and other content rating organizations detailed previously in
this chapter tells you if a game is age-appropriate, they don’t give you much
information as to whether or not a game is actually any good. Although
personal taste is highly subjective and everyone’s definition of a good game
is different, there are some generally agreed-upon standards for what makes
a quality title, including these:
Controls: Probably the most important element of a game, the controls
determine how easily your personal twiddling with the Remote and
Nunchuk (or other controller) relate to the on-screen action. If the controls aren’t intuitive and responsive, the game is going to be hard to
salvage, no matter how good the other aspects are. Some controls may
start out difficult but get easier with time. Others may seem all right at
first, but fall short of offering fine enough control for complex maneuvers later in the game. Any review worth its salt will detail how the controls hold up, so read carefully.
Graphics: Does the game have a pleasing aesthetic and generally
consistent art direction? Note that a game’s graphics don’t necessarily
have to be lifelike or realistic to be “good” — some of the best graphics
can be the least realistic. You can read about graphics in reviews, but
you can also judge them for yourself using online screenshot and movie
galleries that accompany those reviews.
Length: Games are expensive, so they generally need to be able to
sustain themselves for at least a few hours to justify a purchase. A storyheavy game that reaches its conclusion after only five or six hours might
feel like a rip-off, no matter how good it is. That said, just because a
game is long doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. Even if a review notes
that a game has “hundreds of hours of unique content,” it doesn’t matter
if all that content sounds boring and derivative.
On a related note, some games are good for picking up and playing in small
bursts; others are better suited for hours-long play sessions. The former
group of games might not be good for gamers who like to get lost in an
experience, but the latter group might be hard to fit into a busy schedule.
Multiplayer: Even the worst games tend to be redeemed somewhat
if you can play them with a good group of friends. In fact, sometimes
bad games are fun precisely because you can play them with friends!
Use review sites to determine how many players a game supports, and
whether they can all play at once or have to hand off the controller for
alternating play. If your Wii is hooked up to the Internet, look for a
discussion of any online options the game might have. (See Chapter 14
for more on picking great games for a party.)
Chapter 11: Picking Out Games
When you know what you’re looking for in a new game, you need to know
where to find reliable reviews. The following list provides you with a few
good sources for game reviews:
GameRankings (www.gamerankings.com): Sometimes you’re just too
busy to read 1,000 or so words that give a comprehensive explanation
of a game. Sometimes you just want the quality of a game distilled into a
single number. GameRankings is perfect for those times. The site compiles dozens of independent reviews for a game and compiles them into a
single aggregated percentage that gives a good general idea of the game’s
critical reception. Games that come in at over 90 percent are considered
universally praised by critics. Games above 80 percent are pretty good
for fans of the genre. Games that score between 70 and 80 percent are
generally for diehard fans only. You should probably avoid anything with
a game ranking under 70 percent. If you like GameRankings’ scoring style,
you may also want to check out similar review aggregator MetaCritic.com.
GameSpot (www.gamespot.com): One of the oldest video game sites on
the Web, GameSpot is also one of the most comprehensive. Practically
every Wii game released gets a review here, along with a ranking on a
10-point scale. GameSpot reviews tend to be some of the harshest in the
industry, meaning it’s pretty hard to get a perfect 10 out of 10. Though
the reviews are generally written for a hardcore audience of experienced gamers, even relative newcomers can get a feel for the gameplay
through GameSpot’s detailed prose.
GameCritics (www.gamecritics.com): While not as comprehensive as
a site such as GameSpot, GameCritics is a great site for a different take on
the biggest releases. GameCritics reviews generally take a more artistic,
more holistic look at a game, examining not only its technical merits but
also the societal impact of the content (if any). The site also offers handy
consumer guides that detail potential objectionable content for parents
and possible difficulties that might be encountered by handicapped
gamers. I might be a little biased in its favor (since I got my start reviewing
games there roughly six years ago), but trust me, GameCritics reviews are
great for getting a unique perspective on a potential purchase.
Getting a Deal
With new video games consistently retailing for up to $60 (or sometimes
more if the games come with peripheral controllers), gaming can quickly
become a rather expensive hobby.
Here are some tips for maximizing the number of games you get to play while
minimizing the amount of money you have to spend:
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Buy it used: If you don’t care much about the physical appearance of the
game disc or box, buying used is a great way to save a substantial sum.
You can find used games at a number of retailers, though Gamestop is
probably the leader in the used game, er, game — with over 5,000 stores
worldwide, roughly 4,000 of which are in North America. Many online
retailers, such as Amazon (www.amazon.com), also offer a wide selection
of used games. Used games aren’t available the same day as brand-new
games, of course, but you can usually pick up used versions of the biggest
releases just a few days after the initial release. Used game prices go down
quickly over time, so if a game is too much to shell out for today, just wait
a few months and it might come into your price range.
Trade it in: The flipside of buying used games is selling your own used
games for money toward new purchases. While most stores no longer
offer cash for your old games, Gamestop and many other retailers offer
store credit for your gently used games. You get more for your trade-in if
you still have the box and instruction manual, so keep them handy if you
plan on cashing in later. You also get more for a game the closer it is to
release — beat that brand new game in a week and you can sometimes
trade it in for up to half the $50 purchase price. Stores occasionally offer
trade-in specials for games exchanged toward the purchase of a specific
new title, so watch your local store for promotions.
Rent it: Why spend $50 on a game you’ll only play for a week when you
can rent that same game for only a few bucks? Your local movie-rental
store probably has a video game section where you can try before you
buy (or, if the game’s a clunker, try instead of buy). For serial renters,
Blockbuster Video offers a Games Pass program that lets you rent a set
number of games at a time with no late fees, starting at $21.99 a month.
Another way to rent games is through online rental programs that mail
you a game along with a prepaid envelope to exchange it for a new one
when you’re done. GameFly (www.gamefly.com) is probably the best
of these services, starting at $8.95 a month.
Download it: Don’t forget that Wii games aren’t limited to those you see
in the stores. If your Wii is hooked up to the Internet, you can download
a wide range of Virtual Console and WiiWare titles without even leaving
the house. These games tend to be a lot cheaper than those found at
retail stores, generally falling in the $5 to $15 range. (See Chapter 6 for
more on downloading games from the Wii Shop Channel and Chapter 15
for some recommended downloadable games.)
Chapter 12
Wii Sports
In This Chapter
Using the Wii Remote to control the five different sports available on the Wii Sports disc
Strategies and tips to become a master at each sport
Unlocking hidden secrets and Easter eggs to get the most out of the game
Using the training games to perfect your technique
T
o a large extent, no two Wii owners will have exactly the same experience
with their Wii systems. Given the hundreds of games currently available
for the system, it’s possible for two Wii owners to have massive libraries that
don’t overlap in the slightest. That said, there is one game that every Wii owner
is guaranteed to have access to: Wii Sports, the game that comes packaged with
every Wii system sold in the United States.
Because every Wii owner has this game, it’s a great reference point for
getting used to using the Wii Remote as a game controller. This chapter
discusses how to use the Wii Remote to control each of the five games
on the Wii Sports disc, including the training games that can refine your
technique. This chapter also discusses basic strategy for each sport and
unlockable secrets that you might not know about.
Getting Started
Before you head into this chapter, I assume that you already connected your
Wii to your TV (as discussed in Chapter 2), connected your Wii Remote(s) to
the system (Chapter 3), and you know how to start Wii games using the Disc
Channel (Chapter 5). I also assume you’ve used the Mii Channel (Chapter 7)
to make some personal avatars. (This last bit isn’t strictly necessary, but I
find Wii Sports is much more fun when the on-screen players actually look
like you and your friends.)
If you’ve brushed up on your Wii basics, here’s the drill:
1. Put the game in the Wii and start it up from the Wii Menu.
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2. On the title screen, press the A and B buttons on the Remote
simultaneously to advance to the main menu.
This menu is shown in Figure 12-1. At this point, you have some options:
• You can select single- or multi-player versions of each sport by
clicking the appropriate buttons on the left side.
• Clicking the barbell starts the Training mode, a set of fifteen
mini-games designed to improve your technique in each sport.
• Clicking the graph starts the Wii Fitness mode, which ranks your
performance in three randomly selected training games.
Training and Fitness options are discussed further in the “Training
Mode” section at the end of this chapter.
Figure 12-1:
The Wii
Sports main
menu.
Choosing the number of players
After selecting your sport, you’re asked how many players are playing on
a menu like the one shown in Figure 12-2. If there aren’t enough Remotes
connected, some player selection options may be grayed out. In this case,
click More to connect more Wii Remotes to the system (see Chapter 3 for
details).
Note that baseball and boxing can only be played by a maximum of two players.
Also note that you don’t need multiple Remotes to play the multiplayer versions
of bowling and golf — players can simply hand off the controller in between
rounds for these sports.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Figure 12-2:
The playerselection
screen.
Choosing Miis
After choosing how many people are playing, you have to choose which Mii
will represent each player, using the menu shown in Figure 12-3. Only Miis in
your Mii Plaza are available here — Miis from the Mii Parade or the Check Mii
Out Channel won’t be selectable (see Chapter 7 for more on Miis).
Figure 12-3:
The Mii
selection
screen.
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If you have a lot of Miis in your plaza, you can scroll through the list by clicking
the arrows on the right and left sides of the screen. If you have no Miis, click
Guest to choose from a small selection of pre-made avatars. If you or one of
your friends has saved any Miis to a Remote, they can be selected by clicking
the Wii Remote tab (see Chapter 7).
In multiplayer games, each player has to use his or her own Remote to select
his or her Mii.
After each player chooses a Mii, each player is asked to confirm which hand
he or she uses for each sport, as shown in Figure 12-4. This selection affects
how the Remote interprets that player’s movements into in-game actions,
and also which hand the player’s on-screen Mii uses when playing each
sports. Click the L (for left-handed play) or the R (for right-handed play) in
each row; click OK when you’re done.
Figure 12-4:
The handselection
screen.
Skill levels
You may notice that some of the Miis in these figures have individual “skill
level” numbers next to their names. These skill levels keep track of your
progress when playing single-player sports — they go up when you do well
and go down when you do badly. Your computer opponents get better as
your skill level gets higher in the competitive sports (tennis, baseball, and
boxing). In games without computer opponents, the skill level has no effect
on the gameplay.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
201
Each sport has its own distinct skill level, so performance in one game won’t
affect your skill level in another. If you reach a skill level of 1,000 in a sport, the
word “Pro” appear next to your skill level to indicate your achievement. Pro
status also unlocks some hidden features in certain sports, as discussed in the
“Secrets and Easter eggs” sections. The game also sends a message to your Wii
Message Board when you achieve Pro status in a sport (see Chapter 4).
Skill level statistics are linked to a specific Mii, so be sure to use the same Mii
every time you play a single-player match if you want to keep track of your
progress. If you delete this Mii from the Mii Channel, your progress will be
lost, so be careful.
Pressing the + button on the Wii Remote at any time during play pauses the
game and brings up a menu that allows you to quit, start over, or return to the
main menu.
Tennis: The Racquet Racket
The exact origins of the game of tennis are up for debate, but the game (as we
know it) has been around since at least the mid-nineteenth century. Wii Sports
Tennis has been around since at least the 2006 Electronic Entertainment
Expo, where it was first demonstrated to a crowd of industry insiders at the
Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA. Tennis is probably the most easily
accessible of the Wii Sports games, and a great way for beginners to learn
about using the Wii Remote.
Getting started with tennis
After selecting Tennis from the main menu, you’re presented with the player
positioning screen as shown in Figure 12-5. You can use this screen to
arrange which player will play on which team — the pair on one side of the
net works together against the pair on the other side (singles matches are
not available). The gray, question-mark player icons represent computercontrolled players; these can be opponents or teammates. Click one of these
gray icons to put your Mii into that position, and click again to toggle back
to a computer-controlled player. In games with multiple players, note that
all players have to click the positions they want with their Wii Remotes —
another player can’t do it for them.
A single player can control more than one position at a time, as shown in Figure 12-5.
Each swing of the Wii Remote swings the racquet for all the Miis controlled by that
Remote. You can even set it up so one player controls all four players at once, which is
a great way to practice your ball-watching and timing skills.
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Figure 12-5:
The tennis
positionselection
screen.
After you’re done setting up the positions, choose your desired number of
games from the choices at the bottom. A Best of 3 match ends as soon as one
team wins two games, while a Best of 5 match ends as soon as one team wins
three games.
Gameplay basics for tennis
In a nutshell, tennis involves hitting a ball back and forth over a net and into
the large white box drawn on the ground on the other side. A team loses a
point if a player on that team hits the ball outside that box or into the net,
or if a player fails to hit the ball before it bounces twice on that team’s side.
Because this is doubles tennis, the boundaries are determined by the outer
lines, as shown in Figure 12-6.
Scoring in tennis may seem a little odd for newcomers to the sport. Instead
of counting up points normally (0-1-2-3-4), scoring in Wii Sports Tennis runs
0-15-30-40-Game, the final one indicating a side has won that game. When
both teams are tied at 40 each, the game enters a different mode of scoring
called a deuce. The winner of a deuce point is said to have the advantage, and
that pair wins the game if they win the next point. If the pair with advantage
loses, the score goes back to deuce.
The players in Wii Sports Tennis are initially arranged as shown in Figure
12-6. The player with Server over his or her head has to put the ball in play,
as described in the “Controls for tennis” section. The player across the court
from the server diagonally is the one to return the serve back across the net.
After that, either player can hit the ball at any point.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Figure 12-6:
The initial
setup of the
tennis court
and players,
including
the server.
At the end of a game, the serve alternates to the other team. There are no
“sets” or “matches” in Wii Sports Tennis: The first team that wins the set
number of games wins immediately.
This gives the team serving first a distinct advantage, so you might want to put
the weaker players on the left side of the net when you’re arranging players.
If there are two human players on different sides of the court, the screen is
split into two halves with two different camera angles. In general, you should
focus on the side with your Mii at the bottom of the screen, because this
makes it easier to plan your shots. You might also want to position yourself
around the TV so that you’re closer to your player’s side of the screen.
Controls for tennis
First off, each player should be holding the Wii Remote in the standard,
vertical position.
Grip firmly but not too tight, and be sure you have your wrist strap and Wii
Remote jacket attached before starting. Stand up with your knees slightly bent
and make sure there’s lots of room to maneuver without hitting other players
or any objects in the room. I can’t stress this last point enough — you need a
lot of space to make sure you don’t cause physical damage to anyone or
anything around you.
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Serving
To start a game of tennis, the ball is put into play by the server, as indicated
by the yellow Server over that player’s head on-screen (refer to Figure 12-6).
The server first throws the ball up by either swinging the Wii Remote upward
or by pressing the A button. Either way, when the ball is in the air, it can be
served by swinging the Remote forward quickly, just as if it were a real tennis
racquet.
Don’t worry about the speed or angle of your serving motion — all that
matters is the height of the ball when you hit it; the higher the better. If you
serve the ball when it’s at the very top of the throwing arc, it zooms quickly
to the other side of the net with a white trail of smoke behind it. Such serves
are very hard to return effectively, so work on your timing.
Hitting the ball
You don’t have to worry about moving your Miis around the court in Wii
Sports Tennis — the game automatically makes them run to intercept the
bouncing ball. All you have to worry about is hitting the ball when it reaches
your Mii. Doing this is as simple as swinging the Wii Remote like a real tennis
racquet. Bend your elbow slightly and swing your arm around your body in a
wide arc, as shown in Figure 12-7.
Figure 12-7:
Basic form
for forehand
(left) and
backhand
(right) shots
for a righthanded
player.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Correct form and swing speed are very important here. If you swing too fast,
the game may detect your motion as multiple swings, which can throw off your
game. If you swing too slowly, the game may not detect a swing at all. The key
is a nice, smooth motion that pushes the virtual racquet through the ball.
Be sure to keep a tight grip on your Remote as you swing. Overenthusiastic
swinging and sweaty palms can lead to broken Remotes, TVs, and/or priceless
vases. Be sure all players are using the wrist strap and Wii Remote jacket, as
discussed in Chapter 3.
Forehands and backhands
There are two basic types of swings in Wii Sports Tennis: the forehand (a
shot that starts on the same side of your body as the Wii Remote) and the
backhand (a shot that starts on the opposite side from the Wii Remote).
Recognizing when to do each type of shot is the key to success. When the
ball is coming toward your player, try to determine which side of your Mii it
will end up on — as early as possible. When you’ve figured out if the shot will
require a forehand or backhand, move the Wii Remote slowly back to that
side, at about waist level, in preparation for your forehand or backhand shot.
You’re then ready to swing immediately forward as the ball reaches your Mii.
Anticipating shots is vitally important to success at Wii Sports Tennis.
Lobs and spins
The way you swing the Wii Remote in your hand affects the way the ball
flies from your Mii’s racquet. Twisting the Remote toward the screen as you
swing, for instance, can put speed-enhancing topspin on the ball. Swinging
the Remote from low to high, on the other hand, lobs the ball high in the air,
well over players at the front of the net. Experiment with different Remote
motions to see how the ball reacts.
Strategy for tennis
The following list provides some helpful tips for improving your game in Wii
Sports Tennis:
Figuring out how to anticipate forehand and backhand shots is the first
key to Wii Sports Tennis success. Pay attention to the direction and angle
the ball is coming in at before it actually gets to your Mii, and cock the
Remote back on the appropriate side as soon as possible. Getting into
position before the ball gets to you makes timing and positioning your
shots that much easier.
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After you know when to use a forehand and when to use a backhand, you
need to learn how to direct shots left and right deliberately. Timing is the
key, here. Hit the ball early, when it’s slightly out in front of your Mii and it
flies away from the racquet side (to the left for a right-handed forehand).
Hit the ball late, when it’s slightly behind your Mii, and the shot is angled
toward the racquet side (to the right for a right-handed forehand). This
might seem tough to remember at first, but keep practicing and eventually
positioning your shots will become second nature. When you can direct
the ball reliably, try to place it away from your opponents on the opposite
side of the court.
After you’ve mastered positioning your shots, start experimenting with
putting spin on the ball, as described in the “Controls for tennis” section.
A low shot with some nice topspin can slide by a tough defense, and using
lob shots strategically can get you out of a lot of tight jams.
If you’re controlling a player that’s standing close to the net, remember
that you don’t have to hit every ball that comes to you. The player behind
you might be in a better position to return a devastating shot (even if that
player is also controlled by you).
As your skill level starts rising in the single-player game, mastering the
high-speed serves is crucial to succeeding against the tougher computer
opponents. Work on your timing until you can get that white smoke
behind your ball reliably.
If a ball looks like it might land out of bounds, wait for it to bounce
before returning it. If it’s out, you win the point. If it’s in, you can always
return it at that point.
Secrets and Easter eggs in tennis
You can find these secrets and Easter eggs in Wii Sports Tennis:
Hold down the 2 button after you choose your Miis to play a match on a
blue court with no spectators.
If you’re on the team that won the last point, you can skip the replays
by pressing the A button. This can help keep things moving quickly (and
if you’re playing against me, it can help prevent me from throttling you
with my bare hands).
When you reach Pro status (with a skill level of over 1,000) you’ll notice
more Miis crowding the stands on the side of the court.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Baseball: Getting into
the Swing of Things
The national pastime, baseball is American as Mom, apple pie, and (judging by
recent sales data) the Wii itself. Wii Sports Baseball is a decent approximation
of pitching and hitting, but it’s unfortunately not a great replacement for the
real game.
Gameplay basics for baseball
Wii Sports Baseball differs from real baseball in a number of important
respects. For one thing, there are only three innings. For another thing, the
fielders and base runners are controlled automatically by the game. There
are no stolen bases, no double plays, and no tagging up in this extremely
simplified version of the sport. Some things remain constant, though — for
instance, three strikes still make an out and three outs make an inning.
For the pitcher, the goal is to strike out the batter by throwing the ball over
the plate in a way that’s hard to hit. For the batter, the goal is to hit the ball,
putting it in play in fair territory (inside the angled white lines) so that it
lands safely in the outfield (the grassy area) without getting caught in mid-air.
This is a base hit, which puts a runner on base. Further hits can advance the
base runners to home plate, which counts as a run. The team with the most
runs at the end of three innings wins the game (and while there are no ties in
baseball, there are unfortunately ties in Wii Sports Baseball).
Controls for baseball
In Wii Sports Baseball, the players are divided into two separate yet equally
important parts: the batters who try to score runs, and the pitchers who try
to strike them out. Their stories are described in the following sections.
Batting
Swinging the bat is as simple as, well, swinging the Wii Remote like a bat.
First, make sure you’re standing correctly, with your feet spread about
shoulder-length apart, your knees slightly bent, and your body turned
perpendicular to the screen. Hold the Wii Remote vertically, the way
you would a baseball bat — and wrap both hands around it, as shown in
Figure 12-8. Make sure the buttons on the Remote are facing toward you,
not toward the screen. While waiting for the pitch, you can wiggle the
Remote in your hands to make your on-screen batter wiggle the bat.
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Figure 12-8:
The
correct
batting
stance.
When you’re standing correctly, wait for the ball to cross the plate and swing
the Remote smoothly in a sweeping motion around your body, parallel to the
ground at about waist height. Don’t swing too lightly or the game won’t register
your motion. Swinging hard can get some extra distance on the ball, but keep it
within reason — there’s no reason the Remote should be in danger of slipping
from your hands.
Pitching
Before making your actual pitch, you can adjust your aim using the Wii
Remote. Press the left and right buttons on the directional pad to make the
pitch go to the left or right side of the plate, respectively. If the controller is
set to rumble, you should feel it shake when you make these selections. To
cancel a directional pitch, press up or down on the directional pad to choose
a pitch that will go down the center of the plate.
You can also choose from four different varieties of pitch by pressing buttons
on the Wii Remote before the actual throw:
Fastball: Don’t press any buttons when making your throwing motion to
make a fast, straight throw to the plate.
Curveball: Hold down the A button as you make your throwing motion
to get a pitch that curves from right to left (for right-handed players).
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Screwball: Hold the B button as you make your throwing motion for a
pitch that curves in from left to right (for right-handed players).
Splitter: Hold both A and B as you make your throwing motion to throw
a pitch that slows down and drops suddenly as it gets to the plate. This
pitch is great for fooling overeager batters.
Occasionally, your pitcher messes up when trying to throw one of the curving
pitches discussed in the preceding list, throwing a simple fastball instead. A red
exclamation point appears over the pitcher’s head when this happens. Fielders
also occasionally make exclamation-point-inducing errors when trying to field
the ball, turning what should be an out into a base hit. There’s no way to control
these frustratingly random effects — your best bet is to just learn to live with
them when they happen.
After you’ve chosen your aim and pitch type, throwing a pitch is as simple as
making a throwing motion with your arm. Just swing the Remote over your
head and down in front of your body.
Don’t let go of the Wii Remote. Yes, I know you’d let go of a real baseball, but
I repeat: DO NOT let go of the Wii Remote — just flick it in your wrist while
maintaining a tight grip around it.
The speed with which you whip the Remote around your body affects the speed
of the in-game pitch, from a slow 60 mph floater to a 90+ mph fastball. Despite
this, there’s no reason to get crazy with your Remote flicking. Whipping the
Remote too hard is how wrist straps and objects in the room get broken. Keep
things within reason and you should be fine.
Strategy for baseball
The following list provides some helpful tips for improving your game in Wii
Sports Baseball:
When batting, timing is the key. Hit the ball when it’s square over the
plate and it flies straight. Hit it too early or late, and it flies off to the side
and foul. The game tells you if you’re swinging too early or too late. Pay
attention and concentrate on swinging at the right time.
Don’t just swing at every pitch — wait for one that looks easy to hit.
Don’t go chasing balls that aren’t going to go over the plate. Be careful,
though — the strike zone is bigger than you might think. Watch out for
crafty pitches such as the sinker (nearly impossible to hit well, but it’s
almost always a ball if you don’t swing). Remember, four balls means a
free base runner!
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Swing power also has an important role in batting. You should swing
hard enough to get the ball out of the infield, but not so hard that the
ball is easy to catch by the outfielders. When you’ve got the timing and
power down, it should be pretty easy to get relatively reliable base hits.
If you’re tired of boring, reliable base hits, you can always try swinging for
the fences to get some home runs. Be sure to swing as hard as possible
and raise the Remote from low to high as you swing. Timing and pitch
position are still important when going for homers, of course. Perfect your
technique with the Hitting Home Runs training game (see the later section,
“Baseball training games”).
While pitching, mix up your pitches. Don’t always go for top speed fastballs — throw in some off-speed pitches and curves, too. Don’t be afraid
to make the batter chase an outside pitch or a splitter on occasion.
Secrets and Easter eggs in baseball
You can find these secrets and Easter eggs in Wii Sports Baseball:
If either team is winning by five runs or more at the end of an inning, a
“mercy rule” kicks in and ends the game early.
While pitching, you can change to a sidearm throwing style by pressing
the 2 button on the Wii Remote. This doesn’t affect the way the pitches
actually fly, just the way the Mii’s pitching motion looks on-screen. Press
the 1 button to go back to an overhand pitching style.
Getting Bowled Over with Bowling
Everyone’s favorite alley-based sport has been simulated by countless
video games over the years. Wii Sports Bowling is the first such simulation
that actually makes the player perform real bowling motions instead of
just pressing some buttons on a controller. Wii Sports Bowling is great for
mastering fine control of the Wii Remote, and is probably the most accurate
representation of its real sport to be found on the Wii Sports disc.
General gameplay in bowling
The goal of bowling is to knock down all ten pins by rolling a ball down to the
end of a lane. The game is divided into ten frames with two chances to knock
down pins in each frame.
The score for each frame is equal to the number of total pins knocked down
in that frame, unless all ten pins are knocked down. If all ten pins are knocked
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
down in one throw, the total from the next two throws is added to that
frame’s score (this is called a strike). If it takes both throws to knock down all
the pins in the frame, the total from the next throw is added to that frame’s
score (this is called a spare).
A perfect game is 12 strikes in a row (including two extra strikes for the
bonus on the tenth frame) for a total of 300 points.
Controls for bowling
Throwing a ball down the lane is probably the most complex process in all
of Wii Sports, so I’ve broken it down into its component parts. Follow these
steps and you’ll be hurling the ball down the lane in no time:
1. Position your bowler.
Use the left and right buttons on the directional pad to align your bowler
in relation to the pins.
2. Aim your shot.
When your bowler is positioned, press the A button to switch from
positioning mode to aiming mode. In aiming mode, use the left and right
buttons on the directional pad to angle your shot, as represented by the
red dotted line going down the lane, as shown in Figure 12-9. Press up
on the directional pad to zoom in on the pins and get a better view of
your aim — press up again to go back to the normal view. If you need to
adjust your bowler’s position again for any reason, press A to go back to
positioning mode.
Figure 12-9:
Aiming a
shot.
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3. Stand in the ready position.
Stand up straight and hold the Wii Remote in the standard vertical
position, as shown in the “a” part of Figure 12-10. Bring the Wii Remote
up to your chest, making sure the tip of the Remote is pointing toward
the ceiling. Your on-screen Mii raises the ball upwards to his or her
chest when you do this.
4. Begin your throw.
When you’re ready to throw, press the B button on the Wii Remote.
Your Mii immediately starts advancing toward the lane. As he advances,
quickly swing your arm back and to the side, as if you were preparing
to throw a real bowling ball as shown in the “b” part of Figure 12-10. Be
sure to continue holding the B button through this process, or your Mii
will drop the ball too early.
5. Swing forward and release.
While still holding the B button, swing your arm forward in a smooth
motion, as if you were throwing a real bowling ball. You may want to
step forward with your opposite foot while doing this, as shown in the
“c” part of Figure 12-10. Release the B button at any point during this
forward motion to release the ball. Timing is important — if you release
the B button too late or too early, the ball simply drops to the ground
instead of rolling forward. Do not actually throw the Wii Remote, but do
follow through with the Remote after releasing the B button.
Figure 12-10:
Correct
Wii Sports
Bowling
form.
a
b
c
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
The speed of your forward swing at the time of release affects the speed
of the ball in the game. You can also add spin to the ball by twisting
the Remote in your hand just before releasing the B button (see the
“Strategy for bowling” section for more on this).
The process in Steps 4 and 5 happen quite quickly, so you should start making
your throwing motion as soon as you first press the B button. If you mess up
or let go of the B button at the wrong time, don’t panic — just press A and
start again from Step 3.
If you’re using a single Wii Remote for multiple players, you have to hand off
the Remote between frames.
Strategy for bowling
The following list provides some helpful tips for improving your game in Wii
Sports Bowling:
Many beginners complain that their shots drift to one side for no reason.
There is a reason behind this strange drift, though. Most people naturally
twist their wrists slightly at the end of their throwing motion. If you’re
going for a straight shot, focus on really keeping the remote straight and
level through the entire throwing motion. The smoother your throwing
motion is, the better. Letting go of the B button early can also help limit
this unintentional drift.
When you’re comfortable with straight throws, try adding some spin to the
ball by deliberately twisting the Remote in the desired direction just before
you release the B button. Don’t twist the Remote too much (more than 90
degrees), or the game might not register the spin correctly. The ball starts
out going straight, and then starts drifting in the direction of the twist as
it goes down the lane. These curved shots get more “pin action” and have
a much better chance of getting a strike than straight shots. Remember to
adjust your curve according to your aim and throwing power — a slowmoving shot is much more affected by spin than a fast-moving one.
In general, don’t aim directly for the head pin. Instead, aim for what
bowlers call “the pocket,” a sweet spot just between the 1 and 3 pins for
right-handed bowlers, or between the 1 and 2 pins for lefties (see the
labeled pin diagram in the upper-left corner of Figure 12-9). Shots that
hit the pocket have a better chance of being strikes and not leaving a
split, where two or more pins are left standing far apart.
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After you find a combination of positioning, aiming, power, and curve
that gets a strike, stick with it. Work on repeating that shot reliably over
and over, with the same throwing speed and curve. It might not be very
exciting, but maintaining this consistency is the key to getting a lot of
strikes and really high scores.
Even expert bowlers can’t get a strike every time. What separates the
good bowlers from the great ones is the ability to turn missed strikes
into spares by picking up the last few pins on the second throw. Work
hard on aiming and throwing accurately to pick up those spares to get
consistently high scores.
Secrets and Easter eggs in bowling
You can find these secrets and Easter eggs in Wii Sports Bowling:
Right after you choose your Miis (as the screen fades to black), hold
down the following directions on the Remote’s directional pad to change
the color of your bowling ball:
• Up: Blue
• Down: Green
• Left: Red
• Right: Gold
To shock the assembled audience of Miis in the bowling alley, release
the B button at the very back of your backswing (see Step 4 in the
“Controls for bowling” section). The ball flies backwards, causing the
Miis in the alley to jump and scream in surprise.
To make the audience of Miis laugh at you, maneuver your bowler to
either side of the alley. Aim the shot as far as it will go to that same side,
until the red aiming line goes into the adjacent lane. Throw the ball as
normal, releasing B at the very end of your forward swing. The ball flies
up and into the gutter of the next lane, causing the assembled Miis to
burst into laughter at your ineptitude.
Reach Pro level by earning a skill level over 1,000 and you can play with
a special ball decorated with sparkling stars. This ball is slightly heavier
than the normal ball and curves slightly differently as a result.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Golf: Hitting the Links
Golf has been called “a good walk spoiled.” Wii Sports Golf is just like that,
except without the good walk part (rim shot). Seriously, Wii Sports Golf is
part of a long tradition of Nintendo golf games, dating back to the accurately
named Golf on the Nintendo Entertainment System. All in all, Wii Sports Golf
is a pretty good representation of the real thing, even though it only has one
nine-hole course and a limited selection of clubs.
Gameplay basics for golf
Golf is a pretty simple game, when you get down to it. The goal is to get
the ball in the hole using as few swings (strokes) of the club as possible.
On-course hazards such as sand traps and high grass (the rough) can make
it harder to hit the ball accurately and far. Be sure to avoid trees, which can
block the ball’s path, and water hazards, which can cost you a one-stroke
penalty if your ball is unlucky enough to land in one.
Controls for golf
Grip the Wii Remote firmly but not too tightly, and be sure you have your
wrist strap and Wii Remote jacket attached before starting. Make sure there’s
lots of room to maneuver without hitting other players or any objects in the
room. I can’t stress this last point enough — you need a lot of space to make
sure you don’t cause physical damage to anyone or anything around you.
Aiming
When starting your first hole, you see a screen much like the one shown
in Figure 12-11. The blue line on the radar in the lower-right corner shows
where your current shot is aimed (the ball could end up anywhere on that
line, depending on the power you hit it with). You can change the direction of
this line using the left and right buttons on the Wii Remote’s directional pad.
Try to aim for the hatched green fairway area or the light-green greens on the
radar. Aim away from the tan sand traps, dark-green rough, and blue water.
Note the direction and speed of the wind (as shown in the upper-right corner
of Figure 12-11); take them into account when aiming your shot.
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Figure 12-11:
The default
view in Wii
Sports Golf.
Club selection
Changing your club changes the length of the blue line on your radar and,
thus, the maximum distance of your shot. To change clubs, use the up and
down buttons on the Wii Remote’s directional pad. Your club choices are
Driver: The club with the potential to hit the ball farther than all the
others. Use this club for your initial shot from the tee and for long shots
from the fairway.
Iron: Good for mid-distance shots from the fairway. Not so great for
shots from the rough or sand traps.
Wedge: Good for short, approach shots and for getting out of the rough
and sand traps.
Putter: Used to push the ball into the hole when it’s already extremely
close. Only recommended when you’re already on the green.
Practice swings
After you’ve chosen your club and lined up your shot, it’s time for some
practice swings. First, hold the controller like a golf club, as shown in Figure
12-12, with the tip of the remote pointing down toward the ground. Place
your feet shoulder length apart, and stand perpendicular to the TV, with your
weak side facing toward the screen (mimic the stance of your Mii if you’re
confused). Make sure you’re wearing the Wii Remote’s wrist strap and have
the Wii Remote jacket on.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Figure 12-12:
The proper
grip and
stance for
Wii Sports
Golf.
When you have the grip down, it’s time for a practice shot. Swing the Remote
as you would a real golf club. First swing back and away from the screen —
farther back for powerful shots, less far for weaker shots. You may want to
twist your wrist at the very back of your backswing to raise the club higher.
Then swing the club forward and across your body in a smooth motion,
ending up with the Remote across your chest and up near your head. Don’t
worry too much about doing things wrong — this is just a practice shot.
As you swing, you’ll notice that your Mii roughly replicates your swing motion.
You’ll also notice that the power meter on the left side of the screen (refer to
Figure 12-11) will fill up briefly with a blue bar. This bar represents the power
of your practice shot. The white dots on the bar correspond to the white dots
on the blue line shot path on the radar. For example, a shot that filled the
power meter up to the second white dot would fly roughly to the second white
dot on the radar’s blue line. A shot that filled the power meter to the yellow
diamond at the top would fly to the yellow diamond at the end of the blue line
on the radar. Note that these power markings are approximate and that your
shot can be affected by the wind. Also remember that the ball bounces after
landing, and could roll off into a hazard if you’re not careful.
Note that it is possible to swing too hard. Try taking a practice swing as fast as
possible and you’ll probably notice the Power Bar turn red and start wobbling
(you hear a truly awful sound come out of the Wii Remote speaker, too). Shots
that turn the power meter red tend to drift off-center at random, often ending
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up quite far from their intended target. For accurate, powerful shots, keep
practicing until you can get the power meter to fill up close to the yellow dot
but not beyond it.
When your ball is sitting in the rough or a sand trap, the top portion of the
power meter is grayed out. Any shot whose power goes into this grayed-out
area turns red and be subject to the random wobble.
The swing
After you’ve practiced enough and feel you have a good handle on your
power level, hold down the A button on the Remote to make your on-screen
golfer approach the ball. While still holding A, repeat the shot you just
practiced and the ball flies through the air with the greatest of ease. Be sure
to hold A through the entire shot motion — if you let go early, your golfer
backs up frustratingly at the last second.
Putting
When you reach the green (the small green area around the hole), you’re
forced to use the putter to push the ball toward the hole. Aiming and
swinging the putter works just like aiming and swinging the other clubs,
but it requires a much smaller and more restrained swing. Don’t follow
through too much on your putts or your power meter overfills every time.
A light touch is the key.
While on the green, you can change the camera to a lower angle by pressing
the 2 button. You can get a more detailed view of the elevation of various
parts of the green by hitting the 1 button. Lighter colors in this view represent
higher points than darker colors.
Strategy for golf
The following list provides some helpful tips for improving your game in Wii
Sports Golf:
Mastering shot power is the key to low scores. Don’t focus too much on
proper golfing form — the Wii doesn’t care. Instead, focus on making a
smooth and steady motion and controlling the speed of the Remote as it
reaches the bottom of your swinging motion. Practice makes perfect, so
keep trying those practice shots until you’re confident you can get the
desired distance. Don’t let anybody rush you! Golf is a game of patience.
While it’s pretty easy to fill up the power meter with a little practice,
pulling off weaker shots can be a little tough. If you swing the Remote
too slowly, the game might not even detect that you made a swing at all
(this is especially true on putts). Try flicking your wrist a little bit at the
end of a slow swing to get the Wii to detect the weak shots.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Remember to pay attention to the wind — it can easily guide a perfect
shot into an errant hazard if you’re not careful. Remember that the ball
is going to bounce and roll after it lands too, so aiming your shot for the
edge of that water hazard might be a little risky.
Overpowered shots that turn the power meter red aren’t always a bad
thing. Yes, it’s harder to predict where they’ll end up, but if you really
need a little extra oomph on a shot, it might be worth the risk. Use these
overpowered shots sparingly.
Learn how to read the greens when putting. Remember that the ball
tends to drift downhill slightly as it rolls, so aim your shot toward the
uphill side of the hole. Also remember that an uphill putt might need a
little more oomph to get to the hole, while a downhill hole might need
a little less. Don’t use too much oomph, though, or the ball is liable to
bounce over and past the hole.
Be conservative to start. Don’t go for the tricky shot that grazes right up
against the edge of the sand trap unless you’re sure you can get it. When
you know the courses and the controls a little better, you can try getting
fancy.
Secrets and Easter eggs in golf
True golf pros and/or purists can turn off the power meter and aiming radar
by holding down the 2 button on the Wii Remote while selecting a course.
Boxing: The S-Wii-t Science
Whether you’re a prizefighter or a pacifist in real life, Wii Sports Boxing is a
great way to let out aggression without the risk of breaking a rib or losing
teeth. Plus, it’s almost as good a workout as real boxing. In fact, it’s by far the
most motion-intensive game in the Wii Sports library.
Gameplay basics for boxing
The basics of boxing are simple enough — just hit the other guy until he falls
down. The other side of this strategy, which many boxers forget, is that you
should really try to avoid being hit by the other guy so you don’t fall down.
This means blocking your opponent’s punches by keeping your guard up and
dodging sideways, backward, and generally away from his or her fists.
In Wii Sports Boxing, hitting an opponent takes away sections from the hexagonal health meter hovering next to his head (as seen in Figure 12-13). When
a section of the meter is flashing, it means another solid hit will turn it black.
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Figure 12-13:
Wii Sports
Boxing.
When all the sections of a player’s health meter are removed, that player falls
down and a count starts. If the count gets to ten before the player gets up, it’s
a knockout and the player left standing wins. If the player gets up before the
count of ten, his health meter is partially filled and the fight continues. The
more times a player is knocked down, the less energy that fighter tends to
have after getting up (and the longer he or she tends to stay down on the mat
next time).
While your opponent is knocked down, it’s a great opportunity for you to
wave the Remote and Nunchuk in your hands. Your on-screen Mii mimics
your motions and taunts your fallen opponent. Boxing is not a sport for the
magnanimous.
A Wii Sports Boxing match is divided into three three-minute rounds. If no
player gets a decisive knockout by the end of the third round, the game goes
to a point-based decision. Players are scored by punches landed, damage
taken, and by who scored more knockdowns. Ties are possible, but rare.
Controls for boxing
Note that you need a Nunchuk hooked up to the Wii Remote to play this
game. Two-player bouts require two Remotes and two Nunchuks. Hold the
Remote in your dominant hand and the Nunchuk in your weaker hand, as
shown in Figure 12-14. See Chapter 3 for more on the Nunchuk and how to
hook it up to the Remote.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Figure 12-14:
Proper
form for
Wii Sports
Boxing.
The moves in Wii Sports Boxing can be broken down into three main categories:
Blocking: Simply hold the Remote and Nunchuk up in front of your
face to block high punches. Both the Remote and the Nunchuk should
be pointing straight up toward the ceiling for this to work. To block
low punches, move the Remote and Nunchuk down around your belly
and point them toward the screen. The orientation of the Remote is
more important than the actual height. Note that each hand can block
independently, so you can have the Nunchuk put up a high left block
while the Remote blocks low on the right.
Dodging: Tilt the Remote and Nunchuk 45 degrees to either side to make
your Mii quickly shimmy to that side. This is good for throwing off an
opponent’s aim and timing. You can also dodge backwards by leaning
the Remote and Nunchuk 45 degrees away from the screen. While it’s
not strictly necessary to physically lean your body as you dodge with
the controller, it’s a lot more fun if you do (not to mention, it’s a good
workout). Note that you can throw punches while leaning as well.
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Punching: Wii Sports Boxing punches can be divided into a few categories:
• Head shot: Raise the Remote and/or Nunchuk in a high block, as
described above, and then keep the Remote or Nunchuk at head
level and jab forward quickly. The more speed you put into your
punch the more powerful the on-screen punch will be.
• Body blow: Go into a low block and punch forward with the Wii
Remote or Nunchuk tilted forward slightly and at the same waist
level for a quick punch to the gut. Again, the speed of the punch
affects the power.
• The hook: Move the Remote or Nunchuk sharply backwards and to
the side sharply to pull off a powerful shot that comes in at the
opponent from the side. It might be hard to get the Wii to recognize
this punch, but keep practicing and you should get it. These punches
are slightly slower and can leave you open to counterattack, but
they’re very hard to block and very powerful when they hit.
• The uppercut: Swing the Remote quickly from low to high in a wide
arc, just like a real uppercut. These punches are notoriously hard
to get the Wii to recognize, but they do work sometimes.
• The 1-2 combination: Timing is everything for this quick set of
punches. As soon as you connect with a punch with one fist, follow
up with a quick, powerful punch from the other hand. If you timed
it right, the second punch should do a lot more damage than
normal and be nearly impossible to block.
Strategy for boxing
The following list provides some helpful tips for improving your game in Wii
Sports Boxing:
Most beginners make the mistake of simply flailing away randomly with
the Remote and Nunchuk, trying to get their on-screen punches to fly as
fast as their real-life hands. The game doesn’t work that way. Be quick
but deliberate with your punches, and don’t throw a new punch until
your gloves come back to your Mii’s body after the previous punch.
The early computer opponents fall pretty easily to any quick barrage of
punches. When you reach the Pro level, though, you need to remember
to mix up your punches and use blocking and dodging to keep out of the
opponent’s reach. Look for openings in your opponent’s guard and take
advantage. Remember, hooks are a good way to get past the opposing
guard.
The more strong punches you use in reducing the opponent’s health
meter, the more likely he’ll stay down for a long time. Put together a lot
of 1-2 combination punches to get a quick knockout.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Secrets and Easter eggs in boxing
After beating Matt in the single-player game, you can unlock special, gold
boxing gloves by holding down the 1 button during the fade to black before a
match starts.
Training Mode
These mini-games are the hidden gems of Wii Sports, extending the basic
experience of the actual sports into fun training vignettes. The games are
found by clicking the dumbbell on the Wii Sports main menu (refer to Figure
12-1). This brings up the selection screen shown in Figure 12-15. At first, only
the top row of training games are available, but simply trying a training game
once unlocks the one below it.
Figure 12-15:
The Wii
Sports
Training
selection
screen.
Up to four players can compete at each training game by handing off the Wii
Remote in between rounds. You can earn bronze, silver, gold, and platinum
medals for especially good performances at each game. These achievements
are noted with a message sent to your Wii Message Board.
The following sections provide a short description of each training game and
some basic strategies for each.
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Tennis training games
The three tennis training games are as follows:
Returning Balls: Simply return the automatically hit balls to the other
side of the net, making sure to land each shot in-bounds. Concentrate
on your character’s location on the court and watch the timing on your
swings. Try to get the ball as close as possible to the center of the court
so you have some margin for error.
Timing Your Swing: Return the balls so that they go through an ever
shrinking orange target area on the other side of the net. Timing is still
the key to positioning the shots precisely. Remember, swinging early
makes the ball go away from the racquet side; a late swing angles the
ball toward the racquet side.
Target Practice: Bounce a ball against a wall continuously, hitting a
moving target as you go. Missing the targets weakens the bricks in the
wall, until the ball eventually flies through the hole you create to the
other side. Concentrate on slow, deliberate shots that are easy to reach
when they bounce off the wall. If the ball starts drifting to one side,
correct for it quickly.
Baseball training games
The three baseball training games are as follows:
Hitting Home Runs: Just as it says on the tin, focus on hitting as many
home runs as possible. Good timing and a quick, upward swing are key.
Swing Control: Hit the pitches onto the specified area of the field. The
dark blue area is worth the most, while the white area is worth the least.
Timing is everything — late swings go away from the batter’s side; early
swings go toward the batter’s side.
Batting Practice: Simply hit the pitches into fair territory — field position
doesn’t matter. Be careful, as the pitches get a little fancier as the training
session goes on.
Chapter 12: Wii Sports
Bowling training games
The three bowling training games are as follows:
Picking Up Spares: Instead of trying to knock down all ten pins, in this
mode you have to knock down only the pins set up in specially designed
patterns. Five misses and you’re out. Focus on aiming at pins from an
angle so they get knocked into other pins when they’re hit.
Power Throws: A new row of pins is added to the lane every round, so that
the initial set of ten pins has increased to 91 total pins by round ten. As the
name implies, more powerful throws are more likely to get excessive “pin
action” that knocks down those stray pins in the back. The pin count is
doubled when you get a strike in this training game, so really focus on
getting those last few stragglers for a super-high score.
Spin Control: Use your Remote twisting abilities to curve the ball
around the lane barriers and into the pins. Note that both leftward and
rightward spins are required in this challenge. Some setups also require
a late release to launch the ball over a seemingly impassable barrier.
Golf training games
The three golf training games are as follows:
Putting: Sink a series of ever-lengthening putts. Five misses and you’re
out. Remember to read the hills on the green by pressing the 1 button
on the Wii Remote. Be careful with your shot power — too much or too
little can be fatal. Take your time and you should be fine.
Hitting the Green: Use your wedge to chip the ball as close to the hole
as possible. Despite the name, just getting on the green isn’t necessarily
enough — your score depends on the total distance the ball ends up from
the hole. Shots that don’t end up on the green is scored as “100 feet” from
the hole, so make sure to at least end up on the green.
Don’t overshoot the hole — take into account the bounce after landing.
Target Practice: Aim your shot for the two large targets sitting on this
specially designed course. Scoring is based on where the ball lands, not
where it bounces or rolls to. In general, aim for the back target, which is
larger and has higher scoring values. Pay attention to the ever-changing
wind conditions before each shot and adjust as needed.
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Boxing training games
The three boxing training games are as follows:
Working the Bag: Timing is the key as you throw 1-2 combos to take out
a series of heavy punching bags. Throw your punches fast, but not too
fast, and in time one after another for maximum speed and damage. Note
that certain bags may require you to lean to one side to hit them.
Dodging: Avoid the balls thrown by the trainer by leaning left and right.
Watch the trainer’s hands and dodge before the ball is thrown. The
trainer sometimes throws two balls at once — dodge quickly to the
opposite side to avoid them. The trainer gets craftier as he goes, messing
with his usual timing, so watch out.
Throwing punches: Hit the mitts the trainer puts up, not the trainer
himself. Watch that your punches don’t go too high or too low. Note that
one glove sits a little higher than the other in this mode, so it might be
easier to hit certain pads by leaning and hitting them with the opposite
glove. Take your time and be careful not to hit the trainer.
Wii Fitness
Before there was Wii Fit (covered in Chapter 13) there was the Wii Fitness
mode of Wii Sports. This mode randomly picks three of the training games and
throws them at you one after another. Your results in these training games are
used to determine your “Wii Fitness Age,” an extremely unscientific measure
of your “fitness” that has almost nothing to do with how fit you actually are.
This age can range from 20 (the best) to 80 (the worst). Your age is graphed for
every day you play, but can only be recorded once per day per Mii. This mode
is good for getting a quick workout and adding some variety to your usual Wii
Sports routine.
Chapter 13
Wii Fit
In This Chapter
Registering a Mii for a Wii Fit account
Taking the Body Test and setting your goals
Working out with the various Wii Fit exercises
F
rom its inception, the Wii has always been marketed as a system that
would get gamers off the couch and moving around. It’s hard not to work
up a sweat swinging the boxing gloves in games such as Wii Sports Boxing or
shaking the controller to the beat in Rayman: Raving Rabbids. But while these
games are definitely a good way to get moving, the workout always felt like an
incidental part of the gameplay. With most Wii games, the health effects seem
more like a fringe benefit than the “real reason” you’re playing the game.
Enter Wii Fit, a Wii game specifically designed to give you a workout. Using
the included Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit measures your center of balance as
you lean, shake, and twist your body into a wide variety of configurations.
Suddenly, your entire body is the controller, not just your arms and hands.
This chapter walks you through setting up the game and your Wii Balance
Board, using the board for yoga poses and strength training, and playing
aerobic and balance games.
Starting Wii Fit for the First Time
The first steps to setting up Wii Fit are the same as setting up any game —
just put the disc in the system and start it up using the Disc Channel.
The game creates a new save data file — press A on the Wii Remote to
acknowledge this.
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Registering the Balance Board
After the game starts, you have to sync the Balance Board so the Wii can
recognize it. This process is similar to the one used to sync a new Wii
Remote to your Wii, as described in Chapter 3. The specific method for
syncing the Balance Board is described in the following steps:
1. Open up the battery cover on the bottom of the Balance Board.
The specific location of this battery cover is shown in Figure 13-1.
2. Place four AA batteries in the Balance Board, as shown in Figure 13-1.
Batteries are included inside the Wii Fit box. Make sure you insert the
batteries in the correct direction, with the negative end near the springs.
Note that each battery alternates direction.
3. Press the red SYNC button on the Balance Board.
This button is right next to the battery housing. The light on the Balance
Board’s power button should begin flashing (refer to Figure 13-2). If it
doesn’t, check to make sure that the batteries are inserted correctly
(see Step 2). Do not push the SYNC button again when the power light is
flashing.
4. Press the red SYNC button on the Wii.
This button is located on the front of the Wii, underneath a protective
flap. (Refer to Chapter 3.)
After a few seconds, the light on the Wii Balance Board should stop blinking
and remain on. This means your Balance Board is registered and ready to use
with your Wii. Replace the battery cover and close the flap on the front of the
system.
If the light stops blinking and turns off after 15 seconds or so, repeat Steps
3 and 4 in the preceding list. Make sure the Balance Board is close enough
to the Wii to be recognized. If the problem persists, contact Nintendo at
1-800-255-3700 or www.nintendo.com/consumer.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Figure 13-1:
The Balance
Board
battery
housing and
SYNC
button.
Placing the Balance Board
Playing Wii Fit means clearing a lot of space in front of your TV. I mean a
LOT of space. You may think you have enough space for just standing on the
board, but some strength tests require you to get down on the floor and lay
out your body horizontally. Other games may cause you to lose your balance
and fall into nearby furniture or appliances. Make sure you clear out a radius
of at least three feet around the Balance Board and that there are no sharp
corners nearby.
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Note that the Balance Board should be placed with the power button sticking
away from the TV screen, with the long end parallel to the screen. You don’t
have to stand on the Balance Board or turn it on yet — the game tells you
when to do these things.
Registering your Mii
After the Balance Board is set up, you’re ready to personalize your Wii Fit
experience. An animated version of the Wii Balance Board jumps on-screen to
walk you through this process. After a few pleasantries, the board asks you
to confirm the date and time settings on the Wii system itself. If these are
correct, click OK. If they’re incorrect, click No to jump to the Wii System
Settings menu, where you can correct them. (See Chapter 2 for more on
setting the date and time.)
After the time is set, you’re asked to choose which Mii you want to represent
you on-screen as you play Wii Fit. The Miis from your Mii Channel’s Mii Plaza
appear on-screen in groups of ten. Click the arrows on the left and right sides
of the screen to scroll through the list, or use the + and – buttons on the Wii
Remote. When you see your preferred Mii, click him or her and then click OK
to confirm your selection.
Your selected Mii drops down from the top of the screen and takes a small
bow. The animated Balance Board uses this opportunity to lecture you and
your Mii about proper posture and the effect it can have on your health. Feel
free to read through this alarmist rant, or just keep hitting the A button on
the Wii Remote to skip through it.
Eventually, the Balance Board asks you to enter your height by clicking the
up and down arrows on-screen. Click OK when the height is correct. This
is used to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) later on, so be as accurate
as possible. You’re then asked to enter the year you were born in a similar
manner, and then the month and day of your birth. If the Mii you selected
had a birthday set on the Mii Channel, it is automatically entered here. Neat!
Calibrating the Balance Board
After your personal data is confirmed, the game asks you to press the power
button on the Balance Board. This button sticks out from the edge of the
Balance Board, as shown in Figure 13-2. Give the button a quick tap with your
toe and the light on the power button should blink and then turn solid. If it
doesn’t, check that the Balance Board is properly registered with the system
as described in the earlier section, “Registering the Balance Board.”
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Figure 13-2:
The Wii
Balance
Board
power
button.
After the Balance Board is turned on, the game tells you that it is “Starting
up” in a cute robotic voice. Don’t stand on the Balance Board during this
process — the Balance Board is calibrating. After a few seconds of this, the
game tells you to “step on.” Follow its instructions by placing your feet on the
textured foot areas as shown Figure 13-3.
Make sure you’re barefoot — shoes make it hard to make the fine movements
needed in many games, and socks could cause you to slip and possibly fall off
the board.
Figure 13-3:
Correct
initial
placement
of feet on
the Wii
Balance
Board.
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After you step on the board, relax your shoulders and stand as still as possible
as the Balance Board calibrates itself to your weight. If you fidget too much or
take too much time getting on the Balance Board, the calibration fails and you
have to step off and try gain. If you stand still correctly for five seconds or so, the
game displays the message, “Confirmation complete! Ready to go!” So you are.
You may notice a ghostly, floating green dot appearing on the white background of the screen during this calibration process. This green dot is your
center of balance as it relates to the Wii Balance Board. This can help you
center yourself as the game is calibrating and make sure you’re not fidgeting
too much.
Note that you may have to recalibrate the Balance Board many times as you
play Wii Fit. Just follow the on-screen directions when they tell you to step on
and off the board and you should be fine.
After the initial calibration, the Wii asks you to input the weight of your clothes
using the menu shown in Figure 13-4. This is to help the game estimate your
true weight without requiring you to strip down to your underwear. Choose
the light or heavy options to subtract two to four pounds from your in-game
weight, respectively. You can also specify a specific weight for your clothes
by hovering the pointer over the Other option (as shown in Figure 13-4) and
pressing the up and down arrows on the Wii Remote’s directional pad. You can
subtract up to seven pounds worth of clothing, or even add seven pounds to
your weight if you’re wearing helium-based clothing or something. (You can
even add zero pounds if you’re exercising naked, but please make sure the
blinds are closed tight if this is the case!)
Figure 13-4:
The clothesweight
menu.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Try to wear the same or similar outfits each time you play Wii Fit, and choose
the same clothing option each time you start the game up. This ensures that
the game measures your weight consistently across many days’ worth of play.
The Body Test
The Body Test is your daily measure of progress. The first time you start up your
game, the Body Test is used as a baseline for your progress from here on in.
Center of Balance Test
When you’re all set up, the game tests your posture using a Center of Balance
Test. As the game instructs you, go ahead and stand on the Balance Board,
as shown in Figure 13-3. Relax the tension in your shoulders and stand as
still as possible over the center of the board. The game gives a three-second
countdown and then begins measuring your center of balance. Don’t tense up
during this test — just relax and keep still. When the test is done, the game
says “All done,” and you can feel free to fidget and move about.
Your results are then shown as a moving red dot on the on-screen Balance
Board, as shown in Figure 13-5. This red dot represents your center of balance.
If it’s moving around a lot, you have to work harder on standing still during
the test. Your average center of balance is shown on the board, along with a
percentage measure of your left and right balance. Take the results to heart,
and try to correct for any natural tendency you might have to favor one side or
the other. You may also want to shift your position on the Balance Board if the
results show you too far to one side or the other.
Figure 13-5:
The centerof-balance
screen.
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Sometimes, after the Center of Balance test, the game asks you to “become
more aware of your center of balance” by centering yourself on the board.
A red dot representing your current center of balance appears on-screen.
Lean your body forward and back and side to side to position this dot in the
blue circle in the center of the screen. Hold this position for three seconds —
tightening your abs can help.
Body Mass Index
The Wii Balance Board wasn’t just evaluating your posture during that Center
of Balance test — it was also weighing you. Yes, the Balance Board can also
act as a high-tech scale, measuring your weight-loss progress as you play
every day. The game also uses this weight to calculate your body mass index
(BMI), as shown on the BMI Results screen in Figure 13-6. This basic measure
of your health is based on your weight and the height you entered earlier
(see the “Registering your Mii” section).
Figure 13-6:
The BMI
Results
screen.
Wii Fit puts a lot of stake in your BMI, even though it’s not the end-all and
be-all of health statistics (see the sidebar, “The limits of BMI”). The game
even changes the shape of your Mii’s body to correspond to your BMI/weight
data. The game also places you in one of four categories based on your BMI:
Underweight, Normal, Overweight, or Obese. These are technical medical
terms, so don’t be too offended if you end up somewhere you don’t like. If
you’d like to view your actual weight in pounds instead of your BMI, you
can do this by clicking the Weight button. When you’re done watching your
weight, click Next to move on.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
The limits of BMI
Even though Wii Fit puts a lot of stock in your
Body Mass Index, the measure is generally
a pretty bad measure of your overall health
by itself. By only measuring your height and
weight, BMI doesn’t take into account blood
pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, and many
other factors that can affect your overall health.
Even the weight measure can be misleading
because the BMI rankings assume an average
distribution of fat, muscle, and bone. Because
muscle is denser than fat, a person with lots of
lean muscle may be classified as overweight or
obese despite being in perfect health.
You also should be wary of using the Body Mass
Index for people 20 years of age or younger.
Because children’s bodies are constantly
growing, the standard Body Mass Index used
by Wii Fit can be wildly misleading about youth
health. A BMI calculator for children and teens
is available at http://apps.nccd.cdc.
gov/dnpabmi/Calculator.aspx.
In short (once more with feeling), while the BMI
is a useful tool for measuring general progress
in a fitness regime, it’s not the end-all and be-all
measure of your health.
Body Control Test
The final part of your initial testing is a series of body control tests. These tests
measure your ability to shift your center of balance quickly and precisely. The
first time you play Wii Fit, you’re confronted with the Basic Balance Test, as
described in the following list. When doing the Body Test on subsequent days,
you’re tasked with two of the following tests at random:
Basic Balance Test: This test measures your ability to shift your weight
between your left and right legs. Two bar graphs are shown on the screen
representing your relative left-right balance. As you put more weight on one
side, the graph for that side gets shorter, while the graph for the other side
gets longer. Your goal is to shift your weight so that both graphs stop in the
highlighted blue area, and then hold that position for three seconds. If the
graph slips outside the blue area the count resets, so focus on tightening
your muscles and holding your position. Bend your knees and shift your
upper body slightly to help you get into the correct position.
Steadiness Test: This test measures your ability to hold still without
fidgeting. As the countdown begins, straighten your shoulders and
tighten your abs over the center of the Balance Board. A red dot appears
on-screen, showing your moving center of balance against a black-andwhite grid. After ten seconds, the grid starts moving behind the dot.
Don’t move along with it! Continue standing as still as possible. After 20
seconds, the grid and dot disappears completely, so you have to rely on
your internal sense of balance to detect any movement.
After thirty seconds, the test is done and your movements is displayed
on the screen. If you’re moving around a lot, try controlling your
breathing — slowly in and out. (I find it helps to have my hands clasped
behind my back.)
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Agility Test: This test measures your ability to shift your center of balance
quickly. As usual, your center of balance appears as a red dot in the blackand-white grid. You have to shift your balance so that the red dot hits the
blue boxes that appear on the grid. When you hit one box, more appears,
until the timer finishes its countdown. After a few rounds, multiple boxes
appear at once, and the boxes start moving.
The key to success here is control. Don’t just flail your body around
wildly — use small, controlled movements to hit those boxes. Be sure to
bend your knees and move your lower body along with your upper body
to get that fine control.
Walking Test: This test measures your ability to distribute your weight
equally as you walk in place. As the game instructs you, simply walk in
place for twenty paces. Focus on keeping your back straight and centered
over the middle of the Balance Board. Try not to favor one side over the
other, but walk in an imaginary straight line. Be careful to place your feet
on the textured areas of the Balance Board, or it may not work. The faster
you walk, the better the results will be.
Single Leg Balance Test: This test measures your ability to balance on
one leg. Choose whichever leg you’d like and place it on the line in the
middle of the Balance Board, with your toes facing toward the TV. Lift
your other leg up and press the A button to start the test. Your sideto-side balance is shown as a line graph going up the screen. The blue
borders on the edge of the graph get closer to the center as the timer
counts down from thirty seconds — if your center of balance touches
the blue area, it’s game over. Try to last for the entire thirty seconds,
but don’t be afraid to put your foot out if you need to. No need to get
hurt. It’s very easy to cheat at this game by placing the other leg in front
of you, but remember, the only person you’re cheating is yourself!
If you do a body test more than once in a single day, you can override the
initial results. It’s not really useful for anything but bragging rights, but still,
it is possible.
Wii Fit Age
After your Body Tests are complete, the game calculates a Wii Fit Age for you
based on your results. This Age is an extremely unscientific measure of your
body’s age as it relates to your chronological age (“You have the body of a
20-year-old!”). Note that your Wii Fit Age has nothing to do with your BMI or
weight and everything to do with your results of the body tests for that day.
Your Wii Fit Age can vary from 2 to 99 day to day, depending how well you do
on these tests.
After you get your Wii Fit Age for the day, you can put a stamp on an onscreen calendar to mark your progress. Point the Wii Remote at the date
shown on the screen and press the A button to stamp down the stamper. As
you continue playing, you unlock new stamps to stick on your calendar.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Setting a goal
It’s a good idea to go into Wii Fit knowing what you want to get out of it. To
that end, the game asks you to set a weight-loss or weight-gain goal for yourself after your first body test. Use the up and down arrows to set a target
weight and then click OK. You can hold down the A button to scroll quickly
through the tenth-of-a-pound increments. A BMI of 22 is considered healthy,
but remember: There are limits to what BMI can measure. Choose whatever
you’re comfortable with.
After you’ve set a target weight, give yourself a time limit to reach that
weight. Use the on-screen arrows to choose between two weeks, one month,
two months, three months, six months, or a year to reach your target.
It’s generally considered unhealthy to lose more than two pounds a week, so be
realistic in your expectations. Consult a doctor before going on any fitness
regimen. Don’t worry if you’re not sure you can meet your goals — be optimistic.
You can revise your goals later.
Using a password
If you’re sensitive about other Wii Fit users seeing your personal weight
and weight-loss goal, you can protect them with a password. Click Yes and
then use the on-screen keypad to enter a four-digit PIN, and then click OK.
Re-enter the same PIN to lock your Wii Fit data away from prying eyes. You
need this PIN to access your data later, so make sure you pick one that you’ll
remember. (Your ATM PIN, perhaps?)
Navigating the Wii Fit Menus
After the initial personalization setup is done, you’re free to explore the rest
of Wii Fit on your own. Wii Fit is divided into three main areas: The Wii Fit
Plaza, the Calendar screen, and the Training menu. The following sections
explore all the various buttons and options available on these screens.
Wii Fit Plaza
When you start up Wii Fit the first time, you have to go through the initial
setup described earlier in this chapter. After that, you come straight to the
Wii Fit Plaza screen, the starting point for your daily Wii Fit training. After
your registered Miis run in, you see the Wii Fit Plaza as shown in Figure 13-7.
The various options on this screen are described in the following list:
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Figure 13-7:
The Wii Fit
Plaza.
Wii Menu: Click the Wii icon to return to the Wii Menu. Remember, you
can return to the Wii Menu at any time by clicking the Home button on
the Wii Remote.
New Profile: Click the face with a plus sign next to it to create a new
user profile. The new user have to go through the entire setup process
as described earlier in this chapter. After getting registered, the new Mii
appears on the Wii Fit Plaza as a selectable profile.
Settings: Click the wrench icon to bring up a submenu with the following
configuration options:
• Install Channel: Installs a new Channel on your Wii Menu that lets
you perform the basic Body Test without inserting the Wii Fit disc
into the system. (See Chapter 10 for more on installing and using
the Wii Fit Channel.)
• Wii Balance Board Check: Use this option to confirm that the
Wii Balance Board is functioning properly. Lay the board flat on
the ground and turn it on. Stand on the board when instructed
by the game and the check commences. If all four sensors come
up with check marks, your Balance Board is working properly.
If the sensors aren’t working properly, contact Nintendo at
1-800-255-3700 or www.nintendo.com/consumer.
• Credits: Click the Wii Fit logo in the lower-right corner of the
screen to see a list of the people who helped make the game. Enjoy
the pleasant music and the background exercise animation as you
do. If you tire of reading, press the B button on the Wii Remote to
go back to the Settings menu.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Trial: Click the silhouette with a question mark on it to start up a trial
version of the game that doesn’t require the lengthy setup discussed
earlier in this chapter. After choosing from a selection of five built-in,
generic Miis, you can perform a basic Body Test (as described in “The
Body Test” section) or choose from a selection of 12 training games (as
described in the “Taking the Training Train” section). Note that weight
and training data won’t be saved in the Trial mode, so it’s probably most
useful for visiting friends or family who want to try out the game without
going through all the bother of registering a new Mii. If you plan to play
the game more than once, use the setup instructions described earlier in
this chapter instead.
Graph: This area displays the daily body mass index measurements for
all the Miis currently registered with Wii Fit. Click the Fit Credits button
to change to a daily bar graph view of how much time you’ve been
putting into the game day after day. If you’d prefer to see data for only
a single player, you can isolate that graph by hovering the Wii Remote
over that player’s Mii. Click anywhere on the graph and drag the Wii
Remote pointer to view earlier dates.
Miis: Click a Mii and then click Begin to advance to the Calendar screen,
as discussed in the next section.
When left alone, the Miis on the Wii Fit Plaza screen show off some clever
animations, doing basic calisthenics and looking back approvingly at the
graph of their progress. If a specific Mii hasn’t been weighed in for a few days,
he or she may even fall asleep, complete with big cartoon Zs coming out of
his or her mouth. Hover the Wii Remote pointer over a Mii to snap that little
slacker out of the animation and back to attention.
Calendar screen
As shown in Figure 13-8, the Calendar screen is the first thing you see after
registering a new Mii with Wii Fit. It’s also the screen that comes up when you
choose a Mii from the Wii Fit Plaza and the secondary gateway to daily training
with Wii Fit. The various options on the Calendar screen are discussed in the
following list:
Wii Fit Plaza: Click the wavy arrow to go back to the Wii Fit Plaza.
Graph: Click the button with a line graph on it to bring up a detailed
chart of your daily progress. Use the buttons on the top row to toggle
the graph’s display between your BMI, daily weight measurement, Wii Fit
Age, and Fit Credits. Hover over a dot on the graph with the Wii Remote
pointer to view the specific value for that day.
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Figure 13-8:
The
Calendar
screen.
Use the + and – buttons in the lower-right corner to change the date
range displayed on the graph (pressing the + and – buttons on the
Wii Remote has the same effect). Note that the vertical range of the
graph changes along with the horizontal time range. To scroll through
the graph, click and drag the Wii Remote pointer anywhere on it. You
can scroll further by letting go of A and grabbing again. Click the Back
button to return to the Calendar screen.
User Settings: Click the silhouette with the word balloon full of dots
in the upper-right corner to bring up a submenu with the following
configuration options:
• Edit Profile: Edit the height, date of birth, and password you set
earlier. Click an option, and then use the on-screen arrows or
keypad to edit it. Click OK when done or Back to back out.
• Change Design: Choose a new design for the stamp used to mark
your daily progress on the Calendar screen. The more you play the
game, the more stamps you unlock.
• Change Trainer: Toggle between the Male and Female trainers for
the Yoga and Strength Training trials. (See the “General navigation”
section, later in this chapter.)
• Delete User Data: Be careful! This option deletes all the stored
data for your current Mii. If you choose Yes from the confirmation
screen, all the evidence of your hard work and daily measurements
will be gone, with no way to recover them.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Calendar: The large calendar in the middle of the screen shows a stamp
for every day you’ve checked in to Wii Fit with a Body Test. Click a day
with a stamp to see the result of your BMI and Center of Balance tests
for that day. Click the + and – buttons at the top of the calendar to scroll
through the months (the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote have the
same effect).
Body Test: Perform the Body Test for the day, as described in “The
Body Test” section, earlier in this chapter. You can perform more than
one body test in a day, and replace the older results with the newer ones
if you want. In general, though, you should only measure your progress
once a day. Your weight tends to fluctuate throughout the day, so try to
do your daily Body Test at the same time each day to keep the results
consistent.
Training: Open the Training menu to do some actual exercise, as
described in the next section.
On the Calendar screen, click your Mii on the face, stomach, or feet to get a
rather surprised reaction. Also, look closely for the Wii Balance Board running
around in the background of the Calendar screen.
Training menu
After working your way through the Wii Fit Plaza and the Calendar screens,
the Training menu is where you find the real meat of Wii Fit. I’m talking about
the myriad training exercises designed to make you more flexible, stronger,
and generally fitter. Initially, the Training menu looks as shown in Figure 13-9.
The piggy bank on the left keeps track of how many Fit Credits you’ve earned
through your training today — click on the bank to see the total number of
Fit Credits you’ve earned throughout your training history. Click any of the
training types to bring up a training submenu.
See that animated Balance Board running on a treadmill in the background
of the training menu? Click it to unlock the super-secret Ultimate Balance
Test. This brutally hard test is a lot like the regular balance test described in
the earlier section, “The Body Test,” but with much thinner blue bars. If you
can pass all three of these challenges in sixty seconds, you’re truly a balance
master.
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Figure 13-9:
The Training
main menu.
Taking the Training Train
While the Body Test is a nice, daily diversion, the training section is where you
actually get fit with Wii Fit. Use the exercises and games described in the following
sections regularly to burn calories and tone your muscles. Try to keep a balanced
workout with tasks from all four menus for a well-rounded fitness regimen.
While some of the training exercises described in the following sections
require the Wii Remote, most simply require you to stand on the Balance
Board. You may want to put the Remote in a pocket or lay it on a nearby table
when performing these exercises.
General navigation
From the Training menu (refer to Figure 13-9), click any of the options on the
right-hand side to bring up the applicable training submenu. An example for
the Yoga poses submenu is shown in Figure 13-10.
Initially, many of the exercises on these submenus are grayed out, but you
can unlock them simply by playing more and earning more Wii Fit credits.
Hover over an icon that’s not grayed out to see the name of the exercise and
how many times it’s been attempted.
When viewing a training submenu, you can click the + and – arrows at the top
of the screen to go directly to the other training submenus (the + and – buttons
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
on the Wii Remote have the same effect). Click the Back button in the lower-left
corner or press the B button on the Wii Remote to go back to the main Training
menu. You can also use the Change Trainer button to toggle between the male
and female trainers. In addition to the standard training types, the Favorites
area is an easy place to access your top ten most-played training exercises.
Figure 13-10:
The Yoga
Poses
menu.
Click a pose or exercise icon to bring up an exercise description screen,
much like the one seen in Figure 13-11.
Figure 13-11:
An exercisedescription
screen.
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After attempting some workouts a few times, you can unlock more reps or
harder difficulties. If you’ve done this, you can alter the difficulty or number
of reps from the description screen by clicking the + and – buttons as seen in
Figure 13-11 (the + and – buttons on the Wii Remote have the same effect).
For Yoga and Strength Training exercises, click Demo to watch a threedimensional trainer demonstrate and explain how to do the chosen exercise
(if you haven’t done the exercise yet, this demo runs automatically before
starting the exercise). Click the Skip button at any time during the demo to
jump to the end, where you can view the trainer. From this screen, you can
rotate around the trainer by clicking and moving the Wii Remote pointer
around the screen. Use the 1 and 2 buttons to zoom in and out, respectively. Click the Pause button on the screen to stop the trainer’s movement
and study a pose, or click Restart to have the demonstration explained
to you again. When you’re confident you understand the moves required,
click Start Workout to try it for yourself. While you’re actually performing
the exercise, press up or down on the directional pad on the Wii Remote to
toggle the camera angle between front and back angles.
At any time during training, you can push the + button on the Wii Remote to
bring up the pause menu. This menu lets you restart the exercise or quit back
to the training menu. Note that if you quit, you won’t get any Fit Credits for the
current exercise.
Yoga
Yoga exercises are all about balance, both physical and mental. While many of
them require strength and flexibility to perform, the emphasis is on stability
and calm. It’s all about holding poses, not speed or agility. Yoga exercises are
great for stretching and strengthening your muscles and can be very relaxing.
The yoga exercises in Wii Fit are generally less intense than those found in the
other sections, and are a good starting point for a daily workout.
During most of the yoga exercises, your center of balance is shown as a
red dot in a small square on the right side of the screen. Try to keep your
center of balance in the yellow area as you do each pose, but don’t focus
so much on your balance that you mess up the form. Remember, you’re
only competing with yourself. That said, the better your balance, the more
points and stars you get.
The in-game demonstrations do a pretty good job explaining each yoga exercise,
but the following list gives you some tips and more information about each:
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Deep Breathing: By far the easiest exercise in the game, this pose
requires you to stand still and breathe deeply. Really, that’s it. Good for
a basic warm-up, but not really a great workout.
Half-Moon: Raise your arms above you as you bend to your side. You
can really feel how this exercise stretches the muscles going up and
down your hips and torso.
Warrior: This pose requires taking one foot off the Balance Board and
placing it well behind you, so make sure you have a lot of space around
your play area. Keep your front knee bent and make sure to keep enough
weight on the foot that remains on the Balance Board. If you’re finding it
hard to keep your balance steady in the blue area on screen, try changing
your stance by putting your back foot farther back. This pose is great for
strengthening your hips and thighs, as well as for improving balance.
Tree: Place the base of your foot on your inner thigh as you stretch your
hands high above your head, like a tree. If you’re having trouble keeping
your balance on one foot, try placing your other foot lower on the leg
you’re standing on (just don’t put too much pressure on your knee). This
pose strengthens your legs and back.
Sun Salutation: A bit trickier than the others, this pose involves
repeatedly holding your arms back above your head, and then
bending down and touching your toes. Follow the on-screen trainer
and you should be fine. This pose tones your arms and thighs.
Standing Knee: While standing on one leg, raise one knee in front of
you, wrap both arms around it, and then pull it in and out of your chest
rhythmically. Helps your thighs become more flexible.
Palm Tree: Stand on your toes and throw your arms behind you while
arching your back forward. If you’re having trouble balancing, lower
your heels and inch forward on the Balance Board. Strengthens your
ankles and back.
Chair: Bend your knees at a 30-degree angle and stick your hands in
front of you, like the armrests on a chair. A good all-body workout that
strengthens your back, legs, and abs.
Triangle: This one’s a bit tricky to figure out mechanically, but well
worth it. First, take one leg off the Balance Board and put it behind
you, with the foot turned parallel to the board. Then twist your body
to bring the opposite hand down to grab the ankle that’s still on the
Balance board. Point your free arm toward the ceiling and look up
toward the tips of your fingers. Don’t overdo it — this pose should be
uncomfortable but not painful. A great way to tone your lower body
and waist.
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Downward-facing Dog: Get on your hands and knees in a doggy-style
position, with your hands on the Balance Board, and then straighten out
your legs and arms to form a triangle with the ground. Good for your
back and whole-body strength.
Dance: A very tough pose to balance, this one involves standing on one leg
and pulling the other leg up and behind you with one hand, while reaching
the other hand and arm straight in front of you for counterbalance. Take it
slow and don’t pull your leg any farther than it can go. A great way to tone
your hips and align your spine.
The remaining yoga poses in this section do NOT require the use of the
Balance Board, so you’re on your honor to follow the on-screen trainer.
Using a soft surface such as a rug or a yoga mat helps make these poses
more comfortable, especially if you have hard, noncarpeted floors.
Cobra: Lie face down on the floor and push your upper body up with
your arms. Hold the pose and breathe naturally. Strengthens your back
and helps improve your posture.
Bridge: Another pose that doesn’t require the Balance Board. Lie face
up with your feet flat and your knees bent, and then put your arms to
your side and press your hips upward. Great for your torso and hips.
Spinal Twist: While lying flat on the ground, grab your knee with one
hand and twist it across your body. Stretches your lower back and helps
align your pelvis.
Shoulder Stand: Another tricky one, you can do this if you take your
time and do each step. Lie flat on the ground and bend your back to
place your legs on the floor above your head. Grab your back with your
hands, placing your elbows on the floor for support. Straighten your
back and stick your legs as high in the air as possible. Strengthens your
abs and back.
Strength Training
The exercises in the Strength Training menu help tone your muscles and
increase your endurance. For an added challenge, grab some ankle and wrist
weights to make your muscles work that much harder. Follow the whistle and
try to go in time with the on-screen trainer. Remember, it’s more important to
focus on the correct form than your balance on the board.
The Strength Training exercises are as follows:
Single-Leg Extension: Stand on one leg while raising the knee of the
other leg in front of you. Kick your leg back and thrust the opposite arm
forward for balance, and then come back to the original pose. Repeat
this motion for the set number of reps. Be careful to move your leg and
arm at the same time and speed.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Push-Up and Side Plank: For this exercise, place both hands on the Balance
Board and extend your legs behind you in a push-up pose. After doing a
basic push-up, cross one leg over the other and twist your body to the side,
lifting one arm straight overhead as you do. If you’re having trouble keeping
your balance or supporting yourself during this exercise, keep your knees
on the floor instead of extending your legs all the way out.
Torso Twists: Stretch your arms out to your sides and twist in place,
turning 90 degrees in each direction. Then twist diagonally by turning
while simultaneously leaning forward. Focus on keeping in time with the
on-screen trainer.
Jackknife: Note that you should not sit on the Balance Board for
this exercise. Instead, lie down on the floor with your knees bent and
your heels resting lightly on the Balance Board. Then, with your arms
stretched above you, clench your ab muscles to raise your legs off
the ground and your arms toward your toes. Make sure to touch your
heels to the Balance Board in between each rep. Use the whistle sounds
coming from your speakers to keep time, as it can be hard to see the
screen while you’re lying on the floor.
Lunge: Take one foot off the Balance Board and put it behind you for this
exercise. With your hands clasped behind your head, lower your back
knee so it almost touches the ground, and then raise up to your original
position. Keeping your abs tight is the key to succeeding at this exercise.
Rowing Squat: Stand with your arms in fists directly in front of you,
and then pull your elbows in and behind you as you bend your knees
approximately 30 degrees. Focus on moving in a smooth, fluid motion
and keeping your upper body as straight as possible.
Single-Leg Twist: Standing on one leg, stick the other leg out to the
side, putting the opposite arm up at the same time to maintain your
balance. Then raise the knee of your free leg, and bring your arm down
in a chopping motion to meet it. Focus on moving your leg and arm at
the same time and speed; the idea is to keep your balance steady.
Sideways Leg Lift: Lean to one side, raising one leg slightly off the
ground. Kick that leg up to the side while raising the opposite arm
simultaneously for balance. Take it slow to start, and then kick your leg
out more dramatically as you go. Make sure you’re moving both your
arm and leg at the same time and speed.
Plank: Place your forearms on the Balance Board for this exercise,
extending your legs back in a push-up style pose. Then raise your butt
in the air and hold the position as steady as you can for thirty seconds.
Focus on keeping your abs clenched and your form tight.
The next three exercises in this section do not use the Wii Balance
Board, but instead use a Wii Remote held in your hand to detect your
motion and form. Trying to use the Balance Board for these exercises
can result in slipping and injury. Move the Balance Board to the side and
use a yoga mat or rug for better support.
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Tricep Extension: Hold the Wii Remote in one hand and extend it
toward the ceiling. Grab the elbow of your outstretched arm with your
other hand and bend the arm with the Remote down to your shoulder,
and then back up. Focus on keeping your arm as vertical as possible and
really stretching those tricep muscles. Switch the hand holding the Wii
Remote in the middle of the exercise and press the A button to continue.
Arm and Leg Lift: Holding the Wii Remote in one palm, get down on all
fours in a doggy-style position. At the same time, raise the arm with the
Remote and the opposite leg so they’re parallel to the ground. Keep the
Remote as flat and stable as possible until you hear the whistle. Switch
the hand holding the Remote in the middle of this exercise and press the
A button to continue.
Single-Arm Stand: Lie down on the ground and stick the arm holding the
Wii Remote straight up toward the ceiling. Use your other arm to pick
yourself up into a standing position. Focus on performing this exercise
in one clean, fluid motion. Remember to keep the Remote as vertical as
possible through the entire exercise to get a good score.
Challenges: Instead of following the trainer, these three challenges ask you to
compete with the trainer to see who can do more of the indicated exercise.
The number of reps increases each time you’re able to beat the trainer.
Aerobics
Great for burning fat and working up a sweat, aerobic exercise is what many
people think of when they think of a traditional workout. The games in this
section raise your heart rate and make your body a lean, mean, fat-burning
machine:
Hula Hoop: Shake your hips in a circular motion as quickly as possible
to keep the on-screen Hula Hoop spinning around your Mii’s waist.
The only catch is, er, catching the Hula Hoops thrown by the Miis in the
background. I find the best strategy is to stop spinning and lean my entire
body to the appropriate side as soon as a Hula Hoop is thrown. Raising
your arms above your head can help the Wii detect that you’re actually
leaning instead of hulaing. The more Hula Hoops you catch, the more rotations you earn for every shake of your hips.
Super Hula Hoop: Earn a three-star ranking in the Hula Hoop game to
unlock this more intense version. It plays just like a longer version of the
original game, only you have to change between clockwise and counterclockwise rotation halfway through.
Basic Step: Step on to and off of the Balance Board in time with the
music and the on-screen instructions. Note that the directions with blue
feet mean you should step off the Balance Board to the side, rather than
backwards. If you find the step notation confusing, try watching the Miis
in the background and mimicking their moves. Timing your steps with
the beat of the music is key to getting a good ranking.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Advanced Step: Much faster than the basic step, this more difficult
program also introduces two new steps — one that requires you to
kick your leg in front of you and another that asks you to turn sideways
before stepping on the Balance Board. Again, watch the Miis in the
background if you get confused, and work hard to stay in time with the
music.
Free Step: Rather than following specific instructions, this exercise asks
you to repetitively step on and off the Balance Board for the set period
of time. You don’t even have to watch the screen during this time — you
can switch the TV input over to your favorite program while you step on
and off in rhythm. The Wii Remote speaker makes sure you stay at the
right rhythm. The Remote keeps you up to date on the time remaining,
and updates your number of steps periodically as well.
You can press up and down on the Wii Remote’s directional pads to change
the tempo of the stepping. You can also press the A button to change the
sound of the rhythmic tones on the Wii Remote, or get rid of them entirely.
Basic Run: This exercise doesn’t use the Balance Board, instead using the
Wii Remote to detect your movement. Simply hold the Remote in your
hand or place it in a pocket as you run in place. As you bounce up and
down, your on-screen Mii runs through an elaborate island setting. Try to
keep an even pace with the Mii running just ahead of you on the screen.
2-P Run: This exercise is identical to the Basic Run, only now you can
use two Remotes to have two Miis running at the same time. Note that
this is the only two-player game in all of Wii Fit.
Free Run: Run in place again, this time using the Wii Remote’s speaker
as a guide as you watch your favorite TV show. The Wii Remote tells you
if you’re going too fast or too slowly.
Rhythm Boxing: Use the Balance Board, the Wii Remote, and the Nunchuk
in this complicated game. First watch and listen as the Mii trainer shows
off a basic pattern of steps and punches with the Remote/Nunchuk. You
may also have to dodge to one side or the other by tilting the Wii Remote
and Nunchuk in that direction. When the game tells you to, repeat the
pattern in the same order and timing as the trainer just did. Perfectly
timed punches are worth two points, while steps and badly timed
punches are worth just one.
Balance Games
While everyone knows that exercise is good for you, it can be hard to keep
up with an exercise regimen that involves the same boring, repetitive steps
over and over again. These games try to alleviate this problem by working the
exercise into skill-based games that use your entire body as the controller. The
games might be a little simple, but they’re a heck of a lot more interesting than
riding an exercise bike for an hour!
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Soccer Heading: Lean left and right to head the soccer balls flying at you.
Avoid the occasional flying cleats and panda-bear heads (which look
remarkably and infuriatingly like the soccer balls). Note that you don’t have
to thrust your head forward the way the Mii on-screen does — just lean left
and right to position the Mii. Hitting multiple balls in a row without a miss
(or a bonk from an obstacle) activates a combo multiplier to your score.
Focus on leaning slightly and moving into position as soon as the ball or
obstacle is kicked. If you want to cheat a bit, lift one leg to immediately
make the Mii jump to the opposite side.
Ski Slalom: Lean left and right to guide your skier through the slalom
gates. Note that you can also lean forward and backward to control your
speed. While a higher speed obviously gets your through the course
faster, you might want to hang back on your heels for some of the
tighter turns.
Each missed gate is worth a penalty of seven seconds, so really focus
on making it in between those gates. As a rule, don’t lean too far to
either side; it slows you down and makes it harder to change directions
quickly.
Ski Jump: To start, bend your knees and lean forward, slightly like the
on-screen Mii. Look in the upper-right corner of the screen and try to
keep the red dot representing your center of balance in the blue dot
(indicating the perfect aerodynamic pose).
When the on-screen Mii gets to the red jump area, unbend your knees and
stand up straight and centered as quickly as possible. Don’t actually jump
off the board — the game gets mad and yells at you if you do. Don’t wait
too long either, or you’ll fall off the ramp. When your Mii is airborne, stay as
still and centered as possible to extend your hangtime. The total distance of
your two combined jumps is your final score.
Table Tilt: Lean forward, backward, and side to side to tilt a floating
table and guide the balls toward the holes. Be careful to keep the balls
on the table — if a ball falls off, the table spins around and a few
precious seconds tick away before that ball is dropped back on the
playing field. Pay attention to the hills and grooves on each table and
adjust your leaning accordingly. Don’t be afraid to go up on your toes or
back on your heels for that final little push to the hole.
Tightrope Walk: A rather difficult-to-control game. Walk in place to
make the on-screen Mii advance forward on the tightrope. Your Mii
leans left and right depending on your center of balance. If the Mii starts
leaning too far to one side, you have to lean hard to the other side to
center him or her again before continuing your advance. To jump over
the advancing metal munchers, first make sure your Mii is centered, and
then bend and quickly extend your legs to jump over it.
Don’t actually jump off the board or the game stops and yells at you.
Chapter 13: Wii Fit
Balance Bubble: Lean forward, backward, and side to side to control a
Mii suspended in a floating bubble as it floats down a river. Avoid touching the buzzing bees or the edges of the riverbank as you try to make it
to the delta as quickly as possible.
Penguin Slide: Lean left and right to control the iceberg underneath the
sliding penguin. Aim for the fish that jump up from the water underneath
you. The bouncing green fish are worth two points each; the rare red
fish that hover over the edges are worth ten — you have to change your
center of balance quickly to flick the iceberg and grab them. Be careful
not to let the penguin fall off the edge of the iceberg; it takes a few precious seconds for him to climb back out again.
Snowboard Slalom: Turn the Balance Board 90 degrees clockwise
for this game. The controls and goals are similar to the skiing slalom
mentioned earlier, except now everything is turned to the side. Most
players find this game more difficult to control than skiing, but with
some practice it does get easier.
Lotus Focus: By far the oddest game on the Wii Fit disc. Sit as still as
possible in a cross-legged position on the Balance Board as you watch
the flickering flame. Don’t get distracted by the fly that flies by after a
few seconds — just continue to hold your position, breathing gently and
maintaining focus on the flame. If you move too much, the candle goes
out and the game ends abruptly. Weird.
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Chapter 14
Recommended Wii Games
In This Chapter
Introducing new gamers to the Wii with beginner-friendly games
Getting your friends together for a Wii gaming party
Enjoying a family-friendly adventure with your loved ones
W
ith over two hundred titles on store shelves as of this writing, and
more coming out every week, there’s a Wii game for practically every
taste. Unless you’re independently wealthy, though, you probably can’t
afford to purchase every one of them to figure out which ones are good.
Somehow, you’re going to have to decide on just a few of those games for
your personal library.
Chapter 11 has some general recommendations for picking out games, but
let’s face it — sorting through all the reviews and information on a game
can be a lot of work. Sometimes you just want a friend to recommend a few
games that he or she thinks you’ll like.
Well, consider me that friend, and consider this chapter a big box of those
friendly recommendations. Each of the fifteen games detailed here comes
personally approved as one of the best currently available for the Wii. These
recommendations are broken down into categories so you have a handy
gaming pick for a variety of situations.
One more word of warning: Just because I like a game doesn’t mean you’ll
necessarily share my tastes. Be sure to read the descriptions for the game
to figure out if it sounds like it will be up your alley. Wiley Publishing and
its partners are not responsible if your tastes do not match the tastes of the
author. No liability is implied or expressed. All rights reserved. Void where
prohibited.
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Five Games for the Non-Gamer
Nintendo has had great success in marketing the Wii to people who don’t
usually consider themselves gamers. Sure, these new Wii owners might play
the occasional game of computer solitaire, or a quick game of Bejeweled on
their cell phones, but before the Wii, they weren’t generally the type to spend
hundreds of dollars on a game console. These players are looking for simple
games with intuitive controls and designs that don’t require a lot of previous
gaming experience from the get-go. The games listed in the following sections
are for them.
Wii Sports and Wii Fit are also great games for the non-gamer. They’re
discussed in much more detail in Chapters 12 and 13, respectively.
How to get a non-gamer into the Wii
After you’ve been up-and-running with your Wii
for a little while, you’ve probably told all your
friends how much fun it is and how much you’re
enjoying your purchase (and how helpful this
book as been in that regard . . . hint, hint!). But
maybe you have one recalcitrant friend who
just refuses to believe in the appeal of the Wii.
This friend is adamant — never played a video
game before, isn’t about to start now, yada,
yada, no matter how revolutionary or amazing
you say it is.
just getting him or her to watch. So invite your
favorite wet blanket over to the house (see the
“Planning a Wii party” sidebar), and offer him
or her a seat on the couch, with a view of you
and your less-wary friends enjoying the system.
Be sure to put some energy into your play, and
make it apparent by your face and your actions
how much fun you’re having. Don’t be pushy —
chances are your friend will ask to join in after
a while. Again, when the controller’s in that exnon-gamer’s hand, you’re probably good to go.
I find that the best way to win these stubborn
people over is to just put a Wii Remote in their
hands. Really. When skeptics see how simple
and natural it is to convert their real-world
motions into on-screen actions with the Wii,
they’ll more than likely be hooked. Wii Sports
is probably the best game for this initial demonstration, as it doesn’t require much explanation
to get a new player started (“Swing the Remote
like a tennis racquet,” usually suffices).
Of course, if your friend won’t even agree to
come and watch the Wii, there’s not much you
can do short of the old tie’’em-up-and-drag’em-to-your-entertainment-center approach.
Of course, I would never endorse such a rash
action. Let me be clear, you definitely should
not tie up your video-game-hating friends,
throw them in your trunk, drive them to your
house, and hold them captive until they agree
to try the Wii. That is definitely something you
should not do. Are we clear? Good.
If your stubborn friend won’t even deign to
pick up the controller, you may have more luck
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
MySims
Developer: Electronic Arts Redwood
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2008
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E — Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence
MySims, shown in Figure 14-1, falls into the simulation genre. Use the following
list to decide if MySims is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-1:
A screenshot from
EA’s
MySims.
The game in a nutshell: A super-cute dollhouse for your Wii.
Gameplay description: On the PC, the original Sims proved a game
could be a success without the casual violence and non-stop action that
characterize most video games. This “game” didn’t even have a goal per
se, letting players build a virtual house and manipulate the family inside
it however they wanted. This simple concept led the series to become
one of the most popular in all of gaming, with over 100 million copies
sold across the franchise so far.
MySims takes these basic Sims ideals and makes them slightly more Wiifriendly. Instead of controlling a tight-knit family unit, you create and
control a new citizen in a dilapidated town full of cute, super-deformed
characters that resemble nothing so much as Playskool toys. You and
your avatar are quickly tasked with restoring the run-down town to its
former glory by redesigning buildings, repairing bridges, and the like.
To do this, you need to gather magical, emotional “essences” that get
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dropped when you perform everyday activities such as gardening, fishing,
or simply splashing around in a fountain. The endearing character designs
are so full of life that it’s easy to get sucked in for hours, doing nothing
more substantial than just running around and interacting with the various townspeople.
You’ll like it if: You loved playing with dolls/action figures but were
never too crazy about cleaning them up.
You won’t like it if: You have a strong allergic reaction to cute things.
My favorite in-game moment: Socking a virtual hotel bellhop in the nose
and watching the huge, cartoony, dust-cloud brawl that ensues. Why?
Just because!
Endless Ocean
Developer: Arika
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Jan. 21, 2008
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E
Endless Ocean, shown in Figure 14-2, falls into the simulation genre. Use the
following list to decide if Endless Ocean is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-2:
A screenshot from
Nintendo’s
Endless
Ocean.
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
The game in a nutshell: A relaxing, interactive aquarium.
Gameplay description: What better way to explore the unspoiled beauty
of the sea than scuba diving? Of course, before you dive into the ocean
in real life, you have to drive to the beach, rent some bulky, expensive
scuba equipment, sign up for lessons, get your diving certification, pick
a dive spot, rent a boat . . . it’s all a real hassle. For those who don’t want
to go to all that trouble, there’s Endless Ocean.
As the newest marine biologist with the Manoa Lai Oceanic Research Society,
your “job” (if you can call such a relaxing task a job) is to explore the ocean
and identify the wide variety of sea life swimming around down there. The
game occasionally gives you specific objectives to complete, such as guiding
a tourist or looking for a specific fish, but for the most part it’s just you and
the open water. The slow pace and soothing underwater scenes make it easy
to just swim around aimlessly and feel the stress melt away. Ahhhh.
You’ll like it if: You enjoy relaxing underwater scenes.
You won’t like it if: You’re looking for an action-packed thrill-fest.
My favorite in-game moment: Swimming over a ridge and seeing a huge
underwater valley, teeming with life, open up before me.
Cooking Mama: Cook Off
Developer: Office Create
Publisher: Majesco
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Number of Players: 1-2 (simultaneous)
ESRB Rating: E — Alcohol Reference
Cooking Mama: Cook Off, shown in Figure 14-3, falls into the simulation genre.
Use the following list to decide if Cooking Mama: Cook Off is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-3:
A screenshot from
Majesco’s
Cooking
Mama: Cook
Off.
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The game in a nutshell: All the fun of cooking with none of the mess.
Gameplay description: Of all the exciting, real-world items you can
emulate with the Wii Remote — golf clubs, bow and arrows, steel
swords, and so on — you wouldn’t think that “chef’s knife” would rank
very high on the list. You’d be wrong, though, as Cooking Mama proves
that even a mundane, everyday task such as preparing a meal can be
made more engaging with the Wii.
Cooking Mama walks you through the preparation of gourmet meals,
using simple Wii Remote motions to chop onions, peel potatoes,
mince meat, drizzle sauce, stir ingredients, and much more. You’re
judged on your timing and speed by Mama, a cartoon cooking expert
whose exacting standards keep you on your toes as the meals get
more and more elaborate. The quest for the perfect meal keeps you
happily shaking the Wii Remote until you collect every last cooking
medal. Heck, it might even make you want to go into the kitchen and
make a real meal!
You’ll like it if: You’re a demon in the kitchen, or wish you were.
You won’t like it if: Most of your food comes from the microwave, and
you’re fine with that.
My favorite in-game moment: Hearing Mama judge my recipe as
“Wonderful! Better than Mama!” in her endearing, faux-French accent.
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: June 11, 2007
Number of Players: 1-2 (simultaneous)
ESRB Rating: E
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, shown in Figure 14-4, falls into the puzzle
genre. Use the following list to decide if Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree is a
game you’ll enjoy:
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
Figure 14-4:
A screenshot from
Nintendo’s
Big Brain
Academy:
Wii Degree.
The game in a nutshell: Learning gets competitive.
Gameplay description: The large majority of games are designed as an
escape — a mindless respite from the mental toil of school or work. And
then there’s Big Brain Academy, a game designed specifically to tax your
brain in interesting ways.
Big Brain Academy is, at its core, a collection of 20 or so mini-games, each
centered on a basic mental task. One minute, you’re looking for differences
in two similar pictures, the next, you’re counting colored balls as they
quickly fall into a basket or memorizing and repeating a complicated series
of musical notes. On their own, these games aren’t especially compelling,
but when combined together, the game transforms into a high-intensity
bout of mental gymnastics, requiring quick switching between many
different skills to succeed.
In the end, the game rates your mental prowess using a unique (if
highly unscientific) ranking system that estimates your brain’s weight
and judges your competence in areas such as memorization and
analysis. While self-betterment is all well and good, it’s even more fun
to compete with friends in alternating or split-screen duels. The game
even automatically adjusts the difficulty level as you go, ensuring that
everyone can compete together fairly.
You’ll like it if: You like a little mental exercise mixed in with your
entertainment.
You won’t like it if: You play games specifically so you can turn your
brain off.
My favorite in-game moment: Proving once and for all that I’m smarter
than my wife . . . at least when it comes to the tests in this game.
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Bust-a-Move Bash!
Developer: Happy Happening
Publisher: Majesco
Release Date: April 17, 2007
Number of Players: 1-8 (simultaneous)
ESRB Rating: E
Bust-a-Move Bash!, shown in Figure 14-5, falls into the puzzle genre. Use the
following list to decide if Bust-a-Move Bash! is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-5:
A screenshot from
Majesco’s
Bust-aMove Bash!
The game in a nutshell: Follow the colored, bouncing balls.
Gameplay description: At first glance, Bust-a-Move Bash! seems
ridiculously simple: Just fire the colored balls from the bottom of the
screen toward the same colored balls at the top of the screen to clear
them away. This initial simplicity makes the game incredibly easy to
pick up and play for anyone who isn’t color blind. But as the game
speeds up and the balls on the ceiling begin encroaching closer and
closer to the floor, it takes quick reflexes and a steady hand to stay
on top of things.
Bust-a-Move Bash! is the kind of game you think you’ll play for five minutes,
but when you look at the clock, you realize you’ve been blissfully bursting
bubbles for five hours without noticing the time pass. A complex puzzle
mode with 500 unique challenges and a multiplayer bash that supports up
to eight players (each holding one-half of a Remote/Nunchuk pairing) help
extend the experience past the relatively basic bubble-bursting main game.
You’ll like it if: You like games that are easy to pick up but hard to put down.
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
You won’t like it if: You like your games to have endearing characters
and storylines.
My favorite in-game moment: Causing a screen-clearing cascade of
explosions with a single shot.
Five Games for a Party
Look at the face of your Wii Remote. See the four lights across the bottom?
Those lights are the Wii’s way of reminding you that you can play many Wii
games with up to four people at a time. If you’re only using that left-most light
for one-player games, you’re not really getting the most out of your Wii.
Sure, the Wii itself can be your play partner when there’s no one else around
to play with, and plenty of games let you play against friends and strangers
on the Internet. But some of the most fun you can have with a Wii involves
getting four people in the same room, laughing and flailing around as they all
try to control the on-screen action. The following sections discuss some of
the best games for creating that party atmosphere.
The five games listed in the following sections are just the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to multiplayer gaming on the Wii. Check the “Number of players”
description on the game boxes (or game reviews) to find more multiplayer
games.
Some multiplayer games require more than one Remote for simultaneous
play, while others allow you to hand off the Remote in between rounds for
alternating multiplayer fun. Be sure you know which type of multiplayer
experience you’re getting before you purchase a game (check out Chapter
11 for help picking out games). Also be sure that you have the correct type
and number of controllers before you get started. There’s nothing more
embarrassing than inviting your friends over for a night of Wii fun and then
finding they can’t all play because you don’t have enough Wii Remotes,
Nunchuks, or other accessories.
In addition to the following games, Wii Sports (which came with your
system) is also a great game to play at a Wii party. (See Chapter 12 for more
on enjoying that game with a group of your closest friends.)
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Rock Band
Developer: Harmonix
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: June 22, 2008
Number of Players: 1-4 (simultaneous)
ESRB Rating: T — Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes
Rock Band, shown in Figure 14-6, falls into the simulation genre. Use the
following list to decide if Rock Band is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-6:
A screenshot from
Electronic
Arts’ Rock
Band.
The game in a nutshell: ’Cause we all just want to be big rock stars.
Gameplay description: While the Wii Remote has a wide variety of uses, it
just isn’t quite versatile enough to accurately simulate the workings of an
entire rock quartet on its own. That’s why Harmonix decided to package
Rock Band with a simplified plastic guitar, a microphone, and a full-size
drum kit that connect to the Wii wirelessly. These extra controllers let you
play along with simple, scrolling on-screen instructions that tell you when
to bang the drum, where to grip the neck of the guitar, and what note to
sing on the microphone (the game even detects and judges your rhythm
and pitch as you go). Your performance on these plastic faux instruments
actually controls the music coming out of the TV speakers; the better you
play, the better it all sounds, just like a real rock band!
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
Four adjustable difficulty levels means everyone from rock neophytes to
rock superstars can play together, and with 63 songs from the past four
decades included on the disc, all are bound to find something they like
(if they don’t, an optional track-pack disc can add 20 more songs to the
mix). The only potential downside is the package’s high price — $170 as
of this writing (add on another $50 if you want a second guitar for a bass
player). If you can’t swing it on your own, recruit some friends to chip
in. Tell them it’s an investment in regular Rock Band parties. They’ll be
glad they did when they find themselves coming over to rock and roll all
night and party ev-er-y day.
Note: As of this writing, Rock Band 2 is in development for the Wii.
You’ll like it if: You want to be a rock superstar.
You won’t like it if: You’re tone deaf and have no rhythm. (Actually, the
game might help with these problems.)
My favorite in-game moment: Having everyone in the band come
together to hit that final note with perfect timing.
Planning a Wii party
What better way to celebrate your shiny new
game console than getting a few dozen of your
closest friends together for some Wii-themed
revelry? Here are some tips for making sure
your Wii-themed bash goes off without a hitch:
Clear out lots of space: Wii players tend
to move around the room as they play,
sometimes more than they actually have to.
Move the coffee table to the side and move
anything breakable to another room before
the guests come over. Also be sure to set
up plenty of seating for spectators on the
periphery of the room.
Prepare some snacks: Remember, players
can eat with one hand while grasping a
Wii Remote with the other. Just be sure to
keep plenty of napkins handy to keep the
Remotes from getting too greasy.
Set up a tournament: Nothing gets the
competitive juices flowing like a tournament,
complete with a giant bracket/scoring sheet
set up on the wall. Start off with Wii Sports
to get everyone warmed up, and then mix it
up with an assortment of games that test a
variety of skills (see the list of games in the
“Five Games for a Party” section).
Make sure everyone plays: No one wants
to be a wallflower, so encourage everyone
to try out the system at least once. Set up a
system to rotate players off the system after
a set number of attempts. Pair newcomers
against each other so they won’t be scared
off by that one guy who’s already an expert
at every video game ever made. (You know
the one I’m talking about. Yeah . . . that
one.)
Wii drinking games: For attendees over 21,
a little lubrication is a great way to loosen
players up and make the Wii-inspired
flailing even funnier. Have players take a
drink every time they win a game, or every
time they win a point. If you do break out
the alcohol, be sure to have a “designated
gamer” (as well as a designated driver)
who can be on wrist-strap watch. Having a
tipsy friend break your TV is no fun.
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WarioWare: Smooth Moves
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Jan. 15, 2007
Number of Players: 1-12 (alternating)
ESRB Rating: E10+ — Crude Humor, Mild Cartoon Violence
WarioWare: Smooth Moves, shown in Figure 14-7, falls into the puzzle genre. Use
the following list to decide if WarioWare: Smooth Moves is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-7:
A screenshot from
Nintendo’s
WarioWare:
Smooth
Moves.
The game in a nutshell: ADHD: The game.
Gameplay description: Many video games are actually just collections
of smaller mini-games — simple, five-minute tasks that aren’t quite deep
enough to sustain an entire game on their own. WarioWare: Smooth
Moves takes this trend to a logical extreme, splitting itself into hundreds
and hundreds of micro-games that give the player a simple, one-word
instruction and five seconds to perform it using the Wii Remote.
The frenetic pace and surreal micro-game design forces you to adjust your
strategies — and your grip on the Wii Remote — constantly in preparation
for the next challenge. One moment you’re inserting dentures into a grandmother’s mouth, the next you’re shaking your hips to rotate an on-screen
Hula Hoop, the moment after that you’re using the Remote as a virtual fire
hose.
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
You can take on these myriad challenges alone, but the game really
comes together when you get a group of up to eleven friends together,
handing off the controller frantically between micro-games. The game
does require some quick reactions, so players who aren’t familiar with
video game standards might be at a disadvantage. They should still have
a great time, though, as long as they don’t mind making fools of themselves in front of friends.
You’ll like it if: You get bored easily.
You won’t like it if: You want a game that stays on one subject for more
than five seconds at a time.
My favorite in-game moment: Watching friends put the Wii Remote up
to their noses to imitate an elephant, and taking pictures of same.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Developer: Totally Games
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: Nov. 14, 2006
Number of Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E — Cartoon Violence
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, shown in Figure 14-8, falls into the puzzle/
party genre. Use the following list to decide if Super Monkey Ball: Banana
Blitz is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-8:
A screenshot from
Sega’s
Super
Monkey
Ball:
Banana
Blitz.
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The game in a nutshell: Every mini-game you could possibly think of . . .
and then some!
Gameplay description: If you remember the wooden tabletop game
labyrinth, then you pretty much know what to expect from Super Monkey
Ball’s single-player mode. You tilt the Remote to tilt the playfield, guiding
the titular ball-encased monkeys through wacky obstacles and toward the
goal. It’s a fine game on its own, but the single-player mode isn’t nearly
as important for our purposes as the collection of 50 multiplayer-focused
mini-games.
No, that’s not a misprint . . . there are FIFTY unique (if somewhat
simplistic) games included in addition to the full-fledged singleplayer mode. With that much variety, some of the games are bound
to be clunkers, and indeed there are a few you’re liable to try once
and never touch again. But the variety also means there’s bound to
be something that you and your friends come back to time and time
again. For my friends and me, the Snowboard Racing mini-game provided a simple yet engaging experience for gamers of all skill levels.
You might get the same effect with Monkey Darts, or Monkey Rock’em Sock’em Robots, or Monkey Disc Golf, or the Monkey Jigsaw
Puzzle, or Monkey Mini Golf, or Monkey Whack-a-Mole. (Remember:
If none of those sound compelling, there are still over forty more to
choose from!)
You’ll like it if: You like keeping your options open.
You won’t like it if: You have something against monkeys.
My favorite in-game moment: Discovering the unexpectedly deep
Monkey Target game, which involves navigating hang-gliding monkeys
onto an island in the middle of the water.
Mario Kart Wii
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: April 27, 2008
Number of Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E — Comic Mischief
Mario Kart Wii, shown in Figure 14-9, falls into the racing genre. Use the following
list to decide if Mario Kart Wii is a game you’ll enjoy:
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
Figure 14-9:
A screenshot from
Nintendo’s
Mario Kart
Wii.
The game in a nutshell: The fun of go-kart racing mixed with the fun of
projectile weapons.
Gameplay description: Since its debut on the Super Nintendo in 1992,
the Mario Kart series has been a simple, cartoon-like bastion against
the increasing focus on realism in the racing game market. Realistic is
the last word you’d use to describe Mario Kart Wii, with its fantastical
characters in go-karts racing around courses with hazards such as
fireballs, moving walkways, and car-crushing cement blocks.
The basic gameplay is simple enough for anyone who’s ever driven a
car, thanks in large part to the packaged Wii Wheel, which turns the
Wii Remote into a stylized steering wheel. Becoming an expert, though,
means learning how to utilize the many course shortcuts and items
that grant bonuses such as speed boosts, invincibility, and the ability
to fire projectile weapons at other racers. These items add a lot to the
multiplayer mode by letting inexperienced drivers stay competitive with
expert racers. There’s even a battle mode that focuses exclusively on
using these items to take out opposing karts in an enclosed arena.
You’ll like it if: You’ve always wanted to throw a banana peel in front of
that guy who cut you off on the highway.
You won’t like it if: You’re already a racing expert who doesn’t like
getting blindsided.
My favorite in-game moment: Watching an opponent who’s been in first
for the whole race get hit over and over again just before the finish line,
ending up in eleventh place.
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Rayman Raving Rabbids
Developer: Ubisoft Montpelier
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: Nov. 19, 2006
Number of Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E — Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief
Rayman Raving Rabbids, shown in Figure 14-10, falls into the party genre. Use
the following list to decide if Rayman Raving Rabbids is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-10:
A screenshot from
Ubisoft’s
Rayman
Raving
Rabbids.
The game in a nutshell: Silly rabbit tricks, for kids and adults.
Gameplay description: The real star here is the titular Raving Rabbids —
crazed white bunnies prone to violent attacks and random, high-pitched
screaming. Through over 70 mini-games, these “rabbids” get thrown into
increasingly ridiculous situations that involve blowing up cows, shooting
plungers from specially designed guns, and even shaking your booty on a
disco-themed dance floor. The ridiculous situations are sure to pull a few
belly laughs out of people with a little bit of wackiness in them.
The sequel, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, released a year later, continues
the antics and is even friendlier to multiplayer play. Another sequel,
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, will take advantage of the Wii Balance
Board as a controller, and is in development as of this writing.
You’ll like it if: You’re a fan of absurd humor.
You won’t like it if: You’re not a fan of absurd humor.
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
My favorite in-game moment: Pulling off some freelance dance moves
during the booty-shaking mini-games.
Five Games for a Family-Friendly
Adventure
Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto said he was inspired to create
the original The Legend of Zelda partly by the time he spent during his youth
exploring the caves in the Japanese countryside. Of course, most kids don’t
have access to caves (even if their parents would let them explore caves
unattended). It’s much safer letting children explore virtual caves and
countrysides from the comfort of the living room. Mom and Dad can even
join in on the virtual adventuring. And best of all, no one has to get dirty!
Super Mario Galaxy
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Nov. 12, 2007
Number of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E — Mild Cartoon Violence
Super Mario Galaxy, shown in Figure 14-11, falls into the platform game genre.
Use the following list to decide if Super Mario Galaxy is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-11:
A screenshot from
Nintendo’s
Super Mario
Galaxy.
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The game in a nutshell: An adventure that’s equal parts mind-bending
and gravity-bending.
Gameplay description: Back in 1996, Super Mario 64 practically
created an entire genre of three-dimensional run-and-jump gameplay on the Nintendo 64. Over a decade later, Super Mario Galaxy
reinvents that genre by throwing it onto a series of increasingly
odd three-dimensional planetoids of all shapes and sizes. Some
are so large that they feel like an entire planet, while others are so
small that Mario can orbit them with a running leap. Gravity plays
an important role, constantly changing direction and intensity as
Mario runs around the worlds searching for hidden power stars.
Super Mario Galaxy might be the perfect family adventure, as it even
includes some basic support for a second player to join in the fun.
The second player doesn’t have quite as much to do as the first, but
he or she can shoot star bits at enemies using the Remote pointer,
and even help Mario jump over some of the tougher bits. The game’s
gentle transition from easy tasks to nail-bitingly frustrating challenges draws in players of all skill levels.
You’ll like it if: You like bright colors and childlike joy.
You won’t like it if: You’re in the mood for a slightly more serious game.
My favorite in-game moment: Taking a long jump around an evershrinking planet and getting sent into orbit.
Family Wii night
Most of the games in the “Five Games for
a Family-Friendly Adventure” section are
designed for only one player, seemingly
making the family-friendly part of the title a bit
unnecessary. After all, what’s there for the
rest of the family to do while junior is off on his
virtual adventure?
Well, a lot, actually. Surprising as it may sound,
watching a skillful adventurer on the Wii can
be just as fun as playing the system yourself.
Spectators can help out with the solutions to
puzzles, often picking out hidden details that the
focused player might have missed. If you get
bored sitting fallow on the couch, you can set
up a system to alternate with your child every
15 minutes or so (or just when you get to a
section that’s too tough for you to complete).
Even if you’re not helping out, it’s still plenty
of fun to live vicariously through the vicarious
life of the player. It’s just good, quality bonding
time, plain and simple.
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
Zack & Wiki: The Quest for
Barbaros’ Treasure
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: Oct. 23, 2007
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E — Cartoon Violence
Zack & Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, shown in Figure 14-12, falls into
the puzzle genre. Use the following list to decide if Zack & Wiki: The Quest for
Barbaros’ Treasure is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-12:
A screenshot from
Capcom’s
Zack &
Wiki: The
Quest for
Barbaros’
Treasure.
The game in a nutshell: A pirate’s life for me.
Gameplay description: The past few years have seen a steady decline in
the popularity of the pure adventure game. These are the kinds of games
where you point-and-click to explore elaborate environments and find
items that work together to provide some non-intuitive, yet strangely
sensible, solutions to the obstacles blocking your progress. If there’s
any justice in the world, Zack & Wiki will lead this fading genre to its
glorious resurgence.
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You control Zack, a young, towheaded pirate wannabe, and his
transforming, flying monkey Wiki, on a quest to recover the golden
skeleton of a pirate legend. Along the way you have to guess-andcheck your way through a wide variety of inventive traps, many
of which require you to convert the local wildlife into useful tools
with the ring of a magical bell. The old-school brain-teasers can
sometimes be frustratingly obtuse, but the game’s lighthearted
tone and super-cute animation keeps you scratching your head —
or running for the strategy guide.
You’ll like it if: You love banging your head against some tough puzzles.
You won’t like it if: You’re looking for a game with a lot of action.
My favorite in-game moment: Finally figuring out that the solution to a
puzzle was staring me in the face all along, if only I had realized it.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Nov. 19, 2006
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T — Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, shown in Figure 14-13, falls into the
adventure genre. Use the following list to decide if The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-13:
A screenshot from
Nintendo’s
The Legend
of Zelda:
Twilight
Princess.
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
The game in a nutshell: Your standard boy-meets-girl, girl-gets-captured,
boy-turns-into-wolf, boy/wolf-saves-girl-with-help-of-mystical-dark-worldentity story.
Gameplay description: The series that practically invented the actionadventure game is back with this Wii launch title. As usual, you control
Link, an elvish boy who has greatness thrust upon him when he becomes
the one and only being who can stop the world from being engulfed in
an encroaching, permanent twilight. Oh, did I mention the twilight turns
him into a wolf? Or that a strange creature from the Twilight realm named
Midna is helping him out? That’s all kind of important.
Link starts out relatively weak, but true to the series, he periodically
gains new items and abilities to advance past various obstacles as the
game goes on. The game makes rather satisfying use of the Wii’s motion
controls to swing Link’s sword, aim his bow and arrow, and more. But
the real stars here are the elegantly designed dungeons, which cap off a
series of intriguing puzzles with massive bosses that really show off the
Wii’s graphical chops.
You’ll like it if: You’ve always wanted to save an entire fantasy realm.
You won’t like it if: You prefer games that are more grounded in reality.
My favorite in-game moment: A thrilling horseback swordfight atop a
crumbling bridge.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: LucasArts
Release Date: Nov. 6, 2007
Number of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ — Cartoon Violence
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, shown in Figure 14-14, falls into the
adventure genre. Use the following list to decide if Lego Star Wars: The
Complete Saga is a game you’ll enjoy:
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Figure 14-14:
A screenshot from
LucasArts’
Lego Star
Wars: The
Complete
Saga.
The game in a nutshell: It’s Star Wars . . . in Lego form. The title really
says it all. . . .
Gameplay description: Seeing the familiar universe of the Star Wars
movies recast as a series of battles between super-cute and largely
silent Lego mini-figures does take some getting used to. When you do
get used to it, though, you’re in for one of the most mindlessly fun
action experiences you can have with your Wii.
Simple action is the name of the game here, with the familiar stories
of all six Star Wars movies boiled down to endless waves of attacking
aliens, robots, and storm troopers. The game is tuned for simplicity,
meaning even gaming neophytes can take out large swathes of enemies
using blasters, light sabers, and the Jedi’s signature force powers. It gets
even more fun when you add a second player to join in the plastic-brickbased carnage.
Lego Star Wars is also one of the rare games that enables you to play
cooperatively with another player, and fighting the galactic empire
with a partner is delightful. It’s all a little repetitive, but it’s hard to
care when blasting enemies into their component bricks is such an
endearing experience. You’ll want to keep playing just to see the next
familiar Star Wars character or locale done up in the inimitable Lego
style.
You’ll like it if: You acted out the Death Star run with action figures as a
child.
You won’t like it if: You’ve never seen a Star Wars movie.
My favorite in-game moment: Destroying a room full of storm troopers
and then collecting up the Lego pieces they drop to buy new Lego
vehicles.
Chapter 14: Recommened Wii Games
Super Paper Mario
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: April 9, 2007
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E — Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence
Super Paper Mario, shown in Figure 14-15, falls into the role-playing genre. Use
the following list to decide if Super Paper Mario is a game you’ll enjoy:
Figure 14-15:
A screenshot from
Nintendo’s
Super Paper
Mario.
The game in a nutshell: A two-dimensional plumber in a threedimensional world.
Gameplay description: While Mario is best known for run-and-jump action
games, more recently he’s starred in a series of successful, albeit slowerpaced, role-playing games where the focus is on turn-based battles rather
than quick reflex action. Super Paper Mario mixes these two distinct Mario
game styles into a delightful blend that captures the best of both genres.
The story, which revolves around a quest to collect some powerful stars
and save the universe, isn’t really important. What’s important is the
gameplay, which sees Mario switching between a flat, two-dimensional
side-scrolling quest to a full three-dimensional open world with the
touch of a button. This quick-switch in perspective is the key to solving
some mind-bending puzzles that change the way you look at the world
for hours after you put down the controller. Add in the basic jump-onenemies-heads action of the original Mario series, and it’s like mixing
peanut butter and chocolate.
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You’ll like it if: You want a new perspective on the world.
You won’t like it if: Your current perspective on the world is just fine,
thank you very much.
My favorite in-game moment: The first time you turn the world on its
axis and find you can easily walk around a previously impassable wall.
Part IV
The Part of Tens
D
In this part . . .
id you ever get to the end of a major project and
realize you have a bunch of pieces that just don’t
seem to fit anywhere in the finished thing? That’s what
this part is for — a place for those leftover pieces — and
what better way to organize them than to put’em in
simple lists of ten? First you find out about ten games to
download from the Wii Shop Channel. Then you discover
ten of the most common accessories for blinging out your
Wii. These two topics might not seem to have much to do
with each other, but neither does the meatloaf and tuna
casserole that land on your plate on leftover night, and I
don’t hear you complaining about that!
Chapter 15
Ten Games to Download
A
s the video-game medium gets older, gamers who grew up with classic
systems might find themselves nostalgic for the simple games of yesteryear. Similarly, new gamers might be curious about the decades of gaming
they missed. Luckily, the Wii lets both groups relive the golden age of gaming
through the Wii Shop Channel and its library of hundreds of downloadable
classics. Not only that, but the service has recently added original WiiWare
games designed specifically for the Wii system. This chapter details some
games that are well worth your hard-earned Wii Shop Points.
Note that this chapter barely scratches the surface of the selection of great
games available for download on the Wii. I’ve tried to highlight games that
range from a wide variety of developers, systems, and franchises on offer. A
complete list of the true classics available on the Wii Shop Channel could fill
up a whole separate book.
To download any of the games listed here, you need to have your Wii hooked
up to the Internet and purchase them using the Wii Shop Channel. Many of
these games require extra controllers besides the original Wii Remote and
Nunchuk included with your system.
Super Mario 64
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date/System: 1996, Nintendo 64
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E
Cost: 1,000 Wii Shop Points
Super Mario 64, shown in Figure 15-1, falls into the platform game genre. Use
the following list to decide whether Super Mario 64 is a game you want to
download:
The game in a nutshell: The original three-dimensional platformer, and
still the greatest.
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Figure 15-1:
A screenshot from
Super Mario
64.
Gameplay description: Eleven years after Super Mario Bros. practically
invented the two-dimensional run-and-jump platform game, Super Mario
64 reinvented the concept for a new generation and a new dimension.
The story hasn’t evolved much — it’s still a tale of a captured princess
and the high-jumping plumber who has to save her — but you don’t play
a game like this for the riveting storyline. You play it for the sense of
exploration, the thrill of finding one of the 120 secret power stars hidden
in some remote corner of one the game’s 15 sprawling, beautifully
designed levels. Heck, it’s a delight just to run around the castle courtyard, whiling away the time simply climbing trees, swimming in the
moat, or even flying around the spires.
You’ll like it if: You’re a fan of joy.
You won’t like it if: Your heart is a black, withered shell.
My favorite in-game moment: Shooting Mario from a cannon and flying
around the bright blue sky.
Toe Jam and Earl
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Release Date/System: 1992, Genesis
Number of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E - Comic Mischief
Cost: 800 Wii Shop Points
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download
Toe Jam and Earl, shown in Figure 15-2, falls into the platform game genre.
Use the following list to decide if Toe Jam and Earl is a game you want to
download:
The game in a nutshell: The funkiest game on this side of the galaxy.
Gameplay description: Saying Toe Jam & Earl is unique is like saying
the Parthenon is kind of old. You control either a three-legged red
tongue-shaped creature named Toe Jam or his large, orange buddy Earl
as they wander around Earth looking for the pieces of their wrecked
ship. This isn’t a normal conception of Earth, though — this world is
a randomly generated maze of hazards including sadistic, prancing
dentists, shopping-cart-pushing soccer moms, and pitchfork-wielding
red devils, among other distractions. Luckily, Toe Jam and Earl have
access to items such as tomato-launching slingshots, high-jumping
spring shoes, and zippy rocket boots to help them get around and away
from these hazards.
Traipsing around by your lonesome is all right, but the search becomes
much more fun with a second player who can navigate on a split-screen.
You can work together to cover more ground, or just cover each other’s
back as the hazards get more numerous.
You’ll like it if: You’re looking for something different.
You won’t like it if: You like your game straightforward and fast-paced.
My favorite in-game moment: Using the Rocket Skates to fly across the
ocean to the secret hot-tub island.
Figure 15-2:
A screenshot from
Toe Jam
and Earl.
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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date/System: 1992, Super NES
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E - Mild Animated Violence
Cost: 800 Wii Shop Points
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, shown in Figure 15-3, falls into the
adventure genre. Use the following list to decide whether The Legend of
Zelda: A Link to the Past is a game you want to download:
Figure 15-3:
A screenshot from
The Legend
of Zelda: A
Link to the
Past.
The game in a nutshell: The pinnacle of two-dimensional adventuring.
Gameplay description: While the original Legend of Zelda helped create
the two-dimensional action-adventure genre, A Link to the Past perfected
it. The story starts with an unexpectedly touching opening vignette
wherein young hero Link ventures out in the rainy night to receive a
sword from his betrayed, dying uncle. From there the tale expands to
include a captured princess, evil wizard, a mystical sword, and a magic
mirror that transports Link to a dark world that mirrors his own in
strange and disturbing ways.
It’s this magic mirror that is the key to many of Link to the Past’s clever
puzzles, which involve manipulating items in one world to gain an
advantage in the other. It’s not all about brain-teasers, though — there
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download
are plenty of monsters to swing your sword at, including some impressive, screen-filling bosses. By the time you reach the end of this epic,
you’ll find its intricate dungeons and touching moments permanently
stuck in your consciousness.
You’ll like it if: You like a good mix of fantasy, action, and puzzles.
You won’t like it if: You’re looking for a quick, straightforward game.
My favorite in-game moment: Navigating my way through the Lost
Woods and finally lifting the fabled Master Sword from its hidden
pedestal.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Release Date/System: 1994, Genesis
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E - Comic Mischief
Cost: 800 Wii Shop Points
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, shown in Figure 15-4, falls into the platform game
genre. Use the following list to decide whether Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a game
you want to download:
The game in a nutshell: He’s the fastest thing alive.
Gameplay description: In the early 90s, Sega was looking for a new
mascot to make its Genesis system stand out from the Super Nintendo
and its dominant Super Mario franchise. That mascot was Sonic, a spiky
blue hedgehog with big red high-tops and an attitude. Where Mario
games stressed exploration and puzzle solving, Sonic games emphasized
speedy dashes through thrilling loops, sky-high jumps, and tumbles.
Sonic 2 was the pinnacle of this design, sending Sonic and new companion Tails the fox through levels that resemble a Vegas casino, a massive
oil rig, and a flying super-fortress. The imaginative level design and
fast-paced, white-knuckle gameplay turn the game into a day at the
theme park.
You’ll like it if: You like your games to resemble the roller coasters at a
theme park.
You won’t like it if: You prefer your games to resemble the spinning
teacups at a theme park.
My favorite in-game moment: Transforming into the golden, invincible,
flying Super Sonic and blazing through the rest of the level.
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Figure 15-4:
A screenshot from
Sonic the
Hedgehog 2.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date/System: 1990, NES
Number of Players: 2 (alternating)
ESRB Rating: E
Cost: 500 Wii Shop Points
Super Mario Bros. 3, shown in Figure 15-5, falls into the platform game genre.
Use the following list to decide whether Super Mario Bros. 3 is a game you
want to download:
The game in a nutshell: The height of 2-D platform game design.
Gameplay description: If you were fifteen or younger in 1990, chances
are good that you owned this game, or were at least exposed to it
through one of the roughly ten million or so kids who did. If you weren’t
so lucky, then you missed out on a game that improved on the seminal
run-and-jump gameplay of the original Super Mario Bros. in a variety of
ways. For one, you could now choose which level to play next through
a simple map screen. For another, you now had access to a variety
of transformational suits that helped Mario deal with dozens of new
enemies. But the most relevant advance of Super Mario Bros. 3 was
probably the ability to send Mario skyward for the first time by using a
magic raccoon tail. To this day, the 88 levels of this game represent
some of the finest design in the history of the medium.
You’ll like it if: You like simple yet fun design.
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download
Figure 15-5:
A screenshot from
Super Mario
Bros. 3.
You won’t like it if: You enjoy kicking puppies and setting fires.
My favorite in-game moment: That first sprint and take-off into the sky
as Raccoon Mario.
Bomberman ‘93
Developer: Hudson
Publisher: Hudson
Release Date/System: 1992, TurboGrafx-16
Number of Players: 5
ESRB Rating: E - Comic Mischief
Cost: 600 Wii Shop Points
Bomberman ‘93, shown in Figure 15-6, falls into the puzzle/party genre. Use
the following list to decide whether Bomberman ‘93 is a game you want to
download:
The game in a nutshell: The golden rule: Blow up others as they would
blow up you.
Gameplay description: While the Wii is a great system for multiplayer
party gaming, the folks at Nintendo didn’t single-handedly invent the
idea in 2006. Multiplayer action has been a part of video games for a long
time, as proved by the excellent Bomberman ‘93.
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As the name suggests, Bomberman uses his bomb-laying abilities to
destroy both enemies and the obstacles that prevent him from getting
to those enemies. The single-player mode in this game is eminently
forgettable — a slow-paced, uninteresting trek through nondescript,
sparsely populated levels. That all turns around in multiplayer, where
up to five players rush around the gridlike levels trying to blow each
other up. Items can increase your bombing strength and the number of
bombs you can lay at once, but be careful — the same bombs that can
destroy your opponents can also be your undoing.
You’ll like it if: You have some friends to play it with.
You won’t like it if: You’re playing the slow-paced single-player mode.
My favorite in-game moment: When one bomb destroys all the
remaining players, ending a tense duel in a draw.
Figure 15-6:
A screenshot of
Bomberman
‘93.
Kirby’s Adventure
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date/System: 1993, NES
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E - Comic Mischief
Cost: 500 Wii Shop Points
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download
Kirby’s Adventure, shown in Figure 15-7, falls into the platform game genre.
Use the following list to decide whether Kirby’s Adventure is a game you want
to download:
The game in a nutshell: Kirby see, Kirby do.
Gameplay description: By the early 90s, it seemed every other game
that came out was a simple run-and-jump platform game that asked
some generic character or other to run from one side of the world to the
other. Kirby stood out from the crowd thanks to a unique design that
allowed him to swallow and steal the abilities of a wide variety of interesting enemies. With a quick inhale and gulp Kirby can throw bombs,
wield a sword, transform into a fireball, perform karate moves, and
much, much more as the situation dictates. A massive selection of levels
makes this one a bargain for platform game fans.
You’ll like it if: You’re never quite comfortable in your own skin.
You won’t like it if: You like characters with small, easy-to-remember
sets of abilities.
My favorite in-game moment: The first time Kirby turns into a hovering,
laser-spitting UFO.
Figure 15-7:
A screenshot of
Kirby’s
Adventure.
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Pokémon Snap
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date/System: 1999, N64
Number of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E
Cost: 1,000 Wii Shop Points
Pokémon Snap, shown in Figure 15-8, falls into the simulation genre. Use
the following list to decide whether Pokémon Snap is a game you want to
download:
Figure 15-8:
A screenshot of
Pokémon
Snap.
The game in a nutshell: Your ticket to a career in the cute-critterphotography biz.
Gameplay description: An under-appreciated gem from the end of
the last millennium, Pokémon Snap sits lonely in the relatively small
photography simulator genre. As the name implies, you’re tasked with
taking Safari-style pictures of the animal-like Pokémon in their natural
habitats (and yes, these are the same Pokémon that briefly took over
practically every facet of children’s marketing and culture in the late
90s). A motorized cart pushes you along as you pan and zoom your
viewfinder to look for the cute critters, which are often hiding in the
last place you’d think to look.
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download
If you’re a Pokémon fan, you’ll enjoy at seeing your favorite critters
cavorting in the wild in full three-dimensional glory. Even if you don’t
know who or what these things are supposed to be, you’ll enjoy the
challenge of correctly framing and angling your pictures of the cute little
beasts. Some are pretty shy, requiring you to throw lures to get them
out into the open.
You’ll like it if: You’re a shutterbug.
You won’t like it if: You like being in direct control of the experience.
My favorite in-game moment: Completing a complicated set of moves
to lure a rare Pokémon out of hiding and into the frame.
Defend Your Castle
Publisher: XGen Studios
Release Date/System: 2008, Wii
Number of Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E - Cartoon Violence
Cost: 500 Wii Shop Points
Defend Your Castle, shown in Figure 15-9, falls into the action genre. Use the
following list to decide whether Defend Your Castle is a game you want to
download:
Figure 15-9:
A screenshot of
Defend Your
Castle.
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The game in a nutshell: Er, defend your castle.
Gameplay description: Sometimes the simplest games are the most
effective. Case in point: Defend Your Castle, a game in which you
defend a cardboard castle from hordes of rampaging stick figures by
picking them up and flinging them to the side. It’s hard to undersell how
satisfying it is to point at a stick figure intruder, pick him up, and send
him careening to the ground with a satisfying splat.
As the stick figure flow increases from a trickle to a flood, you can
purchase new allies to help squelch the invasion, ranging from archers
to disturbingly cute suicide bombers. Strategy isn’t as important as
rampant clicking and flicking, though. It’s a great way to let off some
stress — just picture each stick figure as a person or thing that’s causing
you aggravation and SPLAT.
You’ll like it if: You need to let out some aggression.
You won’t like it if: You have trouble keeping track of a lot of things
at once.
My favorite in-game moment: Letting the stick figure soldiers amass
for a few seconds, and then sending a bomber out to destroy them
en masse.
Dr. Mario Online Rx
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date/System: 2008, Wii
Number of Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E
Cost: 1,000 Wii Shop Points
Dr. Mario Online Rx, shown in Figure 15-10, falls into the puzzle genre. Use the
following list to decide whether Dr. Mario Online Rx is a game you want to
download:
The game in a nutshell: The prescription for online puzzle fun.
Gameplay description: Nintendo’s answer to Tetris involved colored
pills that have to be lined up to match four colored sections in a row.
This WiiWare version of the classic game updates the timeless puzzle
gameplay with online play and a mode that uses the Wii Remote pointer
to navigate the pills into place.
You’ll like it if: You’re a fan of puzzles.
Chapter 15: Ten Games to Download
Figure 15-10:
A screenshot of
Dr. Mario
Online Rx.
You won’t like it if: You’re not a fan of puzzles?
My favorite in-game moment: Causing a chain reaction that clears
a bunch of pills at once.
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Chapter 16
Ten Types of Accessories
T
ime for a riddle: How is the Wii like a little black dress? Give up? Neither
one is complete without the right accessories supporting it! Also, they
both look great on a supermodel.
Seriously, while the Wii technically comes with everything you need to get
gaming, you can buy a variety of accessories to make your Wii experience a
more enjoyable one. This chapter takes you through ten of the most popular
types of Wii accessories, walks you through the pros and cons of each, and
recommends some specific brands that you might enjoy.
This chapter does not talk about the various optional controllers that you
might need to play certain games on the Wii. For more on these controllers,
see Chapter 3.
The accessories in this chapter are listed in descending order of how much
use the average Wii user will get out of them — the most useful accessories
are first, with the least useful accessories at the end.
SmartDigital Card
A SmartDigital (SD) card is definitely an item you’ll want to buy for your Wii.
What is it? These small, thin, plastic cards (also known as SD cards)
actually contain thousands of microscopic memory cells that can hold
computer data. This includes Wii data, in the form of saved games,
Channel data, and Message Board messages. (For more on the Wii’s
internal memory and how to back it up to an SD card, see Chapter 5.)
Why you need it: If your Wii should fail for any reason, an SD backup
is often the only way to recover the game save data and downloaded
Channels on your system. You also need a SmartDigital card to transfer
photos from your digital camera on to the Wii’s Photo Channel (see
Chapter 8).
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Why you might be able to get by without it: If you’re willing to risk
losing all the data stored on your Wii in case of a hardware failure, that’s
your business. Don’t come crying to me when a power surge causes you
to lose the 30 hours of progress you’ve put in to The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess though.
Which one to get: SD cards come in a wide variety of sizes. A 512
Megabyte (512 MB) card is big enough to back up literally everything on
your Wii’s internal memory. If you plan to use the card for digital photos
as well, or if you’re planning on using the card for temporary storage
of data that won’t fit on the Wii’s internal memory, you might want to
splurge for a bigger card.
Any brand of SD card will work equally well with your Wii, so it’s not
necessary to pay extra for a card with official Wii branding.
Note that some cell phones and cameras use mini- or microSD cards rather
than the standard-size SD cards. These cards will work with the Wii, but you
need a special adapter to fit them in the slot in the front of the system. These
adapters are sold at any major electronics retailer for about $10.
GameCube Memory Card
If you play GameCube games on your Wii, you’ll want to buy a GameCube
Memory Card.
What is it? These proprietary digital data-storage cards, originally
designed for Nintendo’s GameCube system, can also be used to save
GameCube games played on the Wii. (See Chapter 5 for more on playing
GameCube games on the Wii and using GameCube Memory cards on the
Wii. Note that you also need a GameCube Controller if you’re planning
on playing GameCube games on your Wii.)
Why you need it: If you’re going to be playing any GameCube games
on your Wii, you absolutely need a GameCube Memory Card to save
your progress. Otherwise, you have to start over from the beginning of
the game every time you turn the system off. (For games that can take
dozens and dozens of hours to complete, this doesn’t seem like such a
great plan.)
Why you can get by without it: If you plan to never, ever buy a
GameCube game to play on your Wii, then you don’t need to invest in
a GameCube Memory Card. You’re missing out on hundreds of great
games, though — many of which can be bought used very cheaply
these days (see Chapter 11 for more on finding cheap used games).
Chapter 16: Ten Types of Accessories
Which one to get: While Nintendo no longer manufactures new
GameCube memory cards, you can find unopened and used cards at
gaming retailers and online at sites such as Amazon and eBay. An
official, 251-block, Nintendo-made card should run anywhere from $5 to
$15, roughly. Stay away from any competing cards made by a company
other than Nintendo; they have a tendency to fail much more often.
Controller Charger
A controller charger is an item you’ll find useful for your Wii.
What is it? For all the great features of the Wii Remote, long-lasting
battery life is not among them. Nintendo claims a fresh set of alkaline
AA batteries will last up to 35 hours in your Remote, but in practice the
batteries tend to die out around the ten- to fifteen-hour mark. A specially
designed controller charger is the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way to make sure your Remote always has juice.
Why you need it: Not only will a battery charger save you money and
help reduce toxic waste from disposable batteries, but it’s also a lot
more convenient. A charger makes sure your Wii Remote is always ready
to use at a moment’s notice, without the need to swap out batteries in
the middle of an intense play session.
Why you can get by without it: If you don’t use the Wii that often, you
might not find much of a need for a Remote charger. That said, you
should be using your Wii more often. This book is full of fun and useful
things to do with your system. Pick up your Remote and give them a try,
for goodness sakes!
Which one to get: I personally use the Nyko Charge Station, which
comes with two Nickel-Metal Hydride battery packs and a stylish charging base station that charges both of them at once. The base station also
has convenient LED lights to show when your Remotes are fully charged.
Not bad for $30.
There are a wide variety of competing Remote chargers from a wide
variety of companies. Some plug into the wall, while others plug into
the USB port in the back of the Wii, drawing power from the system to
charge the Remotes. Of course, you could always just buy some plain
old, rechargeable AA batteries for your Remote, but then you have
to constantly swap them in and out of the Remote. And who wants to
do that?
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Decorative System Skins
While the Wii is pretty stylish by itself, some people find the system’s
sleek white exterior too boring. If you’re one of these people, you can buy a
decorative skin for your system.
What is it? Tired of that plain, white Wii clashing with the rest of your
entertainment center? Dress up that drab facade with some decorative plastic skins. These high-quality stickers go right on top of the Wii
casing, turning your basic system into a work of art. Some even come
with matching stickers for your Wii Remote and Nunchuk so you can
keep everything color-coordinated. (Now, that’s what I call fashionforward.)
Why you need it: If you feel a deep, abiding need to jazz up your
electronics.
Why you can get by without it: If you enjoy the simple, clean look of the
basic Wii system.
Which one to get: You can order skins from www.DecalGirl.com and
www.PimpMyWii.com — both have an excellent selection of Wii system
and controller skins in the $5 to $15 range.
Travel Cases
If you want to take your Wii with you when you visit friends or when you
travel, you may want to buy a travel case.
What is it? Kind of like a suitcase for your Wii, a specially designed
travel case makes it much easier to bring your new system over to a
friend’s house for some multiplayer fun.
Why you need it: If you’re the only one of your friends who owns a Wii,
and you find yourself constantly asked to bring the system over for
cookouts, parties, Bar Mitzvahs, and so on.
Why you can get by without it: If all your friends have Wiis of their own
to play. Or if none of your friends are very interested in having you bring
your system over to their place. Or if you have no friends.
Which one to get: You can find a wide variety of Wii travel cases that
vary greatly in design and price. Intec’s Pro Gamer case is probably the
top of the line, with a hard, metal case that includes compartments for
controllers, cables, and games for about $30. If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, the DreamGear Wii Game Bag is a soft mesh
alternative that can hold your Wii and all its accessories for about $15.
Chapter 16: Ten Types of Accessories
Classic Controller Shells
You might find a Classic Controller shell useful if you play a lot of downloadable classics on the Wii’s Virtual Console.
What is it? These plastic controller shells snap on to the Wii Classic
Controller or Wii Remote, making them easier to hold and use for
big-handed players.
Why you need it: If you play a lot of games on the Virtual Console or a
lot of games that require you to hold the Wii Remote in the horizontal
position.
Why you can get by without it: If you can comfortably hold the Wii
Remote and/or Wii Classic Controller in your hands without any
attachments.
Which one to get: There are really only two choices here: Nyko’s Classic
Controller Grip adds more room for your palms and a convenient holder
for the dangling wire and attached Wii Remote, all for only roughly
$10. For players using the Wii Remote in the horizontal position, CTA
Digital’s Wii Remote Grip adds a similar palm-friendly area to the edges
of the Remote, also for $10.
Controller Sleeves
A variety of controller sleeves in various colors, such as pink and blue, are
available for your Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
What is it? Controller sleeves are silicone shells that cover the Wii
Remote and Nunchuk. The hard, plastic shells of the Wii Remote and
Nunchuk not only make the controllers prone to breaking in serious
impacts, but they also make the controllers hurt when they inevitably
bonk someone in the head during gameplay. Controller sleeves can help
alleviate both these problems by adding a squishy layer that protects
the controllers from both breaking and bonking. These sleeves also
make the controllers easier to grip and less prone to slipping out of
sweaty hands.
Why you need it: If you’re concerned with the health and safety of your
Wii Remote and its owner.
Why you can get by without it: If you’re the kind of devil-may-care rebel
that willingly wears the same pair of underwear two days in a row.
297
298
Part IV: The Part of Tens
Which one to get: Nintendo’s free, official Wii Remote sleeve has cut
into the market for non-free sleeves somewhat, but plenty of companies
still market sleeves of their own. While they’re infinitely more expensive, these sleeves have the advantage of being much less bulky than
Nintendo’s free Wii Remote sleeves and come in a wide variety of stylish
colors. One brand is largely like all the others, truth be told; prices range
from $1 to $5 per sleeve.
For something a little different, Nerf makes a controller shell from its trademark foam. It’s a little bulkier than its plain silicone counterparts and more
expensive, but it might be worth it just for the coolness factor alone.
Wireless Sensor Bar
A wireless sensor bar might be useful if your entertainment setup requires
you to put the sensor bar too far away from the Wii system.
What is it? While the Sensor Bar that comes with the Wii plugs into
the back of the system, it doesn’t actually send any data to the system
directly. The only reason for that overly long plug is to draw power for
the Wii Sensor Bar’s infrared lights, which are detected by a simple
digital camera in the Wii Remote.
What all this technical mumbo-jumbo means is that there’s no reason a
wireless, battery powered sensor bar couldn’t work just as well as the
official wired version included in the Wii box. Given the tangled mess of
cable behind most TVs these days, one less wire to snag is likely to be a
welcome development.
Why you need it: If you want one less wire snaking around your entertainment center. The wireless sensor bar can also be placed much
farther from the system, which is useful for some entertainment setups
that use a projector and screen.
Why you can get by without it: If your default Wii Sensor Bar is working
just fine, wires and all.
Which one to get: Intec, Nyko, and DreamGear all make wireless sensor
bars that are relatively hard to distinguish from one another. All three
cost about $15 at retail.
Cooling Fans
A cooling fan is probably not necessary for your Wii (unless you really like to
crank up the heat in your play area).
Chapter 16: Ten Types of Accessories
What is it? Somewhere along the way, someone must have gotten
the idea that Wiis the world over are overheating at a tremendous
rate. While the outside of the Wii does indeed get hot if left on for an
extended period, the natural ventilation provided by the included stand
and the slots throughout the case are generally enough to keep the
system running properly. Still, for those nervous nellies out there, you
can find a variety of attachable, USB-powered fans and stands to blow
that heated air away from the system at a much faster rate.
Why you need it: If you routinely play your Wii in 140-degree heat.
Why you can get by without it: If your Wii is set up in a cool, wellventilated area.
Which one to avoid: While all Wii cooling fans are pretty much equally
useless, Ascend’s $30 attachment packs the double punch of being more
expensive than its competitors and much, much cheaper-looking.
Stay away.
Plastic Remote Attachments
Other accessories that you probably can do without are plastic remote
attachments.
What are they? It seems some people just aren’t satisfied with having
their Wii Remote act like a virtual version of a sword, golf club, tennis
racquet, baseball bat, or other real-world device. No, these people
won’t be happy unless their Wii Remote actually looks like a cheap,
plastic version of the handheld tool it’s emulating. Plenty of accessory
makers are willing to take these people’s money by making and marketing plastic attachments that attach to the Wii Remote, transforming it
from a well-designed piece of electronics to something that looks like a
cheap children’s toy. These attachments don’t add any functionality to
the Remote, and they don’t even make the games easier to play. They’re
just a waste of space, time, and money, really.
Why you need it: If you always wanted a toy sword as a child but your
non-violent parents wouldn’t let you have one.
Why you can get by without it: If you have an imagination.
Which one to avoid: Of all the Wii Remote attachments currently on
the market, the Wii Billiards cue is probably the most ostentatious and
useless. Even if you’re one of the few fans of the Billiards mini-game in
Wii Play, you can probably get by without this attachment.
299
300
Part IV: The Part of Tens
Index
• Numerics •
- (minus) button (Remote), 33
+ (plus) button (Remote), 33
1 button (Remote), 33
2 button (Remote), 33
2-P Run aerobic exercise, 249
512 MB SmartDigital (SD) Card, 294
802.11 wireless router, 56
•A•
A button (Remote), 33
AC adapter, 16, 21
accessing
Everybody Votes Channel, 170–171
Message Board, 61–62
News Channel, 161–162
Nintendo Channel, 176
tennis, 201–202
Wii Fit, 227–237
Wii Sports, 197–198
accessories
Classic Controller shells, 297
controller charger, 295
controller sleeves, 297–298
cooling fans, 298–299
decorative system skins, 296
GameCube Memory Card, 294–295
overview, 18
plastic remote attachments, 299
SmartDigital (SD) Card, 293–294
travel cases, 296
wireless sensor bar, 298
account activity, 90
action games, 188
adapters
AC, 16, 21
Wii LAN, 57
adding
new Channels, 78
Points with credit cards, 94–96
Points with Wii Points Cards, 93–94
Wii Points, 90
Address Book, 65–66
adjusting Channels, 74–75
Adobe PDF files, 155
Adults Only (AO) game rating, 192
Advanced Step aerobic exercise, 249
adventure games, 188
aerobic exercises, 248–249
Agility Test, 236
AirStation One-Touch Secure System
(AOSS) support, 56
Amazon Web site, 196
analog stick, 44
AO (Adults Only) game rating, 192
AOSS (AirStation One-Touch Secure
System) support, 56
applets, 155
Arm and Leg Lift strength training exercise, 248
Ascend’s cooling fans, 299
audio/video (A/V) cable, 16, 20
•B•
B button
Nintendo Channel, 177
shortcuts, 154
Wii Remote, 34
backing up files, 81–82
Balance Board
calibrating, 230–233
overview, 51
placing, 229–230
recalibrating, 232
registering, 228–229
Balance Bubble balance game exercise, 251
balance games exercises, 249–251
baseball
batting, 207–208
controls, 207–209
gameplay basics, 207
overview, 207
pitching, 208–209
secrets and Easter eggs, 210
strategy, 209–210
training games, 224
302
Wii For Dummies
Basic Balance Test, 235
Basic Run aerobic exercise, 249
Basic Step aerobic exercise, 248
battery cover, 34
Batting Practice baseball training
game, 224
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (Nintendo),
258–259
black and white photos, 140
Blockbuster Video Games Pass
program, 196
BMI (Body Mass Index), 234–235
Body Control Test, 235–236
Body Mass Index (BMI), 234–235
body tests
Body Control Test, 235–236
Body Mass Index (BMI), 234–235
Center of Balance Test, 233–234
Wii Fit Age, 236
Bomberman ‘93 (Hudson), 285–286
book
about this, 1
conventions used in this, 1–2
icons used in this, 4–5
organization of this, 3–4
bookmarks, 147–148
bowling
controls, 211–213
gameplay basics, 210–211
overview, 210
secrets and Easter eggs, 214
strategy, 213–214
training games, 225
boxing
blocking, 221
controls, 220–222
dodging, 221
gameplay basics, 219–220
overview, 219
punching, 221–222
secrets and Easter eggs, 222
strategy, 222
training games, 226
Bridge yoga exercise, 246
brightening photos, 140
broadband modem, 18
browsers, 155
browsing Wii Shop Channel, 89–91, 96–98
Bust-a-Move Bash! (Majesco), 260–261
buttons
A, 33
B, 34, 154, 177
C, 44
eject, 23
Home, 33
- (minus), 33
1 (one), 33
+ (plus), 33
power, 23, 33
reset, 23
SYNCHRO, 23, 34
2 (two), 33
Wii Remote, 32–34
Z, 44
•C•
C button (Nunchuk), 44
cables
audio/video (A/V), 16, 20
component, 18
calendar, 25
Calendar screen (Wii Fit), 239–241
calibrating
Balance Board, 230–233
Wii, 24
Capcom’s Zack & Wiki: The Quest for
Barbaros’ Treasure, 271–272
Center of Balance Test, 233–234
Chair yoga exercise, 245
Challenges strength training exercise, 248
changing channels, 74–75
Channel menu
adding new channels, 78
changing channels, 74–75
moving icons, 79
overview, 73–74
playing games with Disc Channel,
76–77
reorganizing, 78–80
turning pages, 78
Channels
defined, 73
downloading, 99–100
gift-giving, 100–101
purchasing, 99–100
Charge Station (Nyko), 295
charger, controller, 295
Index
Check Mii Out Channel
contests, 126–128
navigating, 120
overview, 118–119
Posting Plaza, 120–126
checking Points balance, 91
choosing
controllers, 102–103
Miis for Wii Sports, 199–200
number of players in Wii Sports, 198–199
Classic Controller
Grip (Nyko), 297
shells, 297
Clusty Web site, 159
Cobra yoga exercise, 246
Collier, Marsha, eBay For Dummies, 14
Color Dropper icon, 142
Common Sense Media Web site, 193
component cables, 18
components, 15–17
configuring Internet options, 57–61
connecting
additional remotes, 41–42
to friends, 61–69
to Internet, 55–57
Nunchuk, 43–45
connection settings
menu, 58
Wii Remote, 43
console
nickname, 25
overview, 15
stand, 16
content descriptors, 193
contests, 126–128
controllers
Balance Board, 51
chargers, 295
Classic, 46–47
GameCube, 48–50
Guitar, 53–54
Nintendo DS, 54
Nunchuk, 43–46
overview, 18
Remote, 31–43
selecting, 102–103
sleeves, 297–298
Wheel, 51–52
Zapper, 52
controls
baseball, 207–209
bowling, 211–213
boxing, 220–222
golf, 215–218
reviews on game, 194
tennis, 203–205
conventions used in this book, 1–2
Cooking Mama: Cook Off (Majesco),
257–258
cooling fans, 298–299
cost
Classic Controller shells, 297
controller charger, 295
controller sleeves, 297
cooling fans, 299
GameCube Memory Card, 295
SmartDigital (SD) Card, 294
system skins, 296
travel cases, 296
wireless sensor bar, 298
country option, 28
creating Miis, 105–106
credit card for adding Points, 94–96
CTA Digital’s Wii Remote Grip, 297
•D•
Dance yoga exercise, 246
deals on games, 196
DecalGirl.com Web site, 296
Deep Breathing yoga exercise, 245
Defend Your Castle (XGen Studios), 289–290
deleting
files, 83
Wii Shop Channel, 91
descriptors, content, 193
Directional pad, 33
Disc Channel, 76–77
displaying photos, 131
Dodging boxing training game, 226
Doodle menu, 141–143
doodles, 143
downloading
channels, 99–100
games, 99–100, 196
titles, 90
Downward-facing Dog yoga exercise, 246
Dr. Mario Online Rx (Nintendo), 290–291
303
304
Wii For Dummies
DreamGear’s wireless sensor bar, 298
DS Download Service, 180–181
•E•
E (Everyone) game rating, 191
E10+ (Everyone 10+) game rating, 191
Early Childhood (EC) game rating, 191
eBay For Dummies (Collier), 14
EC (Early Childhood) game rating, 191
editing
Address Book, 65–66
Miis, 106–110
effectiveness of game ratings, 192
effects
photos, 133
slide show, 135
802.11 wireless router, 56
eject button (system), 23
Electronic Arts
MySims, 255–256
Rock Band, 262–263
Electronic Entertainment Expo, 12
Endless Ocean (Nintendo), 256–257
entering contests, 127
eraser, 142
ESRB warnings, 190
Everybody Votes Channel
options, 174–175
predictions, 172–173
results, 173–174
starting, 170–171
user data, 174–175
voting, 171–172
Everyone 10+ (E10+) game rating, 191
Everyone (E) game rating, 191
exercises
aerobics, 248–249
strength training, 246–248
yoga, 244–246
external extension connector, 34
•F•
Famicon (Family Computer), 10
family-friendly games, 269–276
family Wii night, 270
favorites, 147–148
fighting games, 188
files
Adobe PDF, 155
backing up, 81–82
deleting, 83
moving to another Wii, 84
restoring, 83–84
finding
game titles, 179–181
Wii, 14
Finetune Web site, 158
512 MB SmartDigital (SD) Card, 294
following links, 152
Forecast Channel
Global view, 168–169
menu, 167–168
setting up, 166
settings, 168
Format Wii System memory option, 29
Free Run aerobic exercise, 249
Free Step aerobic exercise, 249
friends on Message Board, registering,
64–66
Fun! menu
cat, 139
Doodle, 141–143
Mood, 140–141
overview, 138–139
Puzzle, 143–144
•G•
game disc slot, 23
game information, viewing in Nintendo
Channel, 177–179
Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an
American Industry, Captured Your
Dollars and Enslaved Your Children
(Sheff), 10
game ratings
content descriptors, 193
effectiveness, 192
ESRB warnings, 190
explained, 191–192
how they’re rated, 191
other sources, 193–194
overview, 190
regional, 191
Index
Game-specific Channels
Mario Kart Channel, 182–183
Wii Fit Channel, 183
GameCritics Web site, 195
GameCube
controller, 48–50
handling data, 84–85
memory card, 18, 294–295
GameFly Web site, 196
gameplay basics
baseball, 207
bowling, 210–211
boxing, 219–220
golf, 215
tennis, 202–203
GameRankings Web site, 195
games
adventure, 188
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, 258–259
Bust-a-Move Bash!, 260–261
Cooking Mama: Cook Off, 257–258
deals on, 196
downloading, 99–100, 196
Endless Ocean, 256–257
family-friendly, recommended, 269–276
finding titles, 179–181
genres, 187–190
gift-giving, 100–101
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The,
272–273
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, 273–274
Mario Kart Wii, 266–267
MySims, 255–256
non-gamer, recommended, 254–261
operations guide, 104
overview, 18
packaging, 189
party, recommended, 261–269
playing with Disc Channel, 76–77
purchasing, 99–100
ratings, 190–194
Rayman Raving Rabbids, 268–269
renting, 196
reviews, 194–195
Rock Band, 262–263
selecting controllers, 102–103
Super Mario Galaxy, 269–270
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, 265–266
Super Paper Mario, 275–276
suspending play, 103
trading, 196
WarioWare: Smooth Moves, 264–265
Zack & Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros’
Treasure, 271–272
GameSpot Web site, 195
Gaming with Children Web site, 194
genres, game, 187–190
gift-giving, 100–101
gift settings, 91
global news, 163–165
global view
Forecast Channel, 168–169
News Channel, 164–165
golf
aiming, 215
club selection, 216
controls, 215–218
gameplay basics, 215
overview, 215
practice settings, 216–218
putting, 218
secrets and Easter eggs, 219
strategy, 218–219
swing, 218
training games, 225
graphics reviews on games, 194
grip
Nunchuk, 45
tennis, 203
Wii Remote, 37–39
Guitar Controller, 53
•H•
Half-Moon yoga exercise, 245
handling GameCube data, 84–85
hard-boiled photos, 140
headlines, scanning, 162–163
Hitting the Green golf training game, 225
Hitting Home Runs baseball training game, 224
Home button (Remote), 33
Home menu, 33–34
Home Networking For Dummies (Ivens), 55
hooking up Wii systems, 18–23
Hudson’s Bomberman ‘93, 285–286
Hula Hoop aerobic exercise, 248
305
306
Wii For Dummies
•I•
•L•
icons
Color Dropper, 142
moving in Channel menu, 79
Pencil, 142
used in this book, 4–5
installing
Mario Kart Channel, 182
Wii Fit Channel, 183
Intec’s Pro Gamer case, 296
Internet Channel
“beta” version, 146
Clusty, 159
FineTune, 158
MapWii, 160
MiiTube, 157
overview, 145–146
pricing, 92
Start Page, 146–150
surfing limitations, 155
toolbar, 150–151
Web page navigation, 152–154
WiiCade, 156
Internet connections
configuring options, 57–61
what you need, 55–57
Wii Message Board, 61–69
Internet options
configuring, 57–60
overview, 28
troubleshooting, 60
WiiConnect24, 60–61
Internet Resources. See Web sites
Internet Settings menu, 58
Ivens, Kathy, Home Networking For
Dummies, 55
Iwata, Satoru (Nintendo president), 11
language option, 28
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The
(Nintendo), 272–273, 282–283
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
(LucasArts), 273–274
length reviews on games, 194
life training games, 188
limitations
of Body Mass Index (BMI), 235
of Internet Channel surfing, 155
links, following, 152
locating
game titles, 179–181
Wii systems, 14
location, recommended, 19
Lotus Focus balance game exercise, 251
LucasArts’ Lego Star Wars: The Complete
Saga, 273–274
Lunge strength training exercise, 247
•J•
Jackknife strength training exercise, 247
judging contests, 127–128
•K•
keyboard, on-screen, 67–69
Kirby’s Adventure (Nintendo), 286–287
•M•
M (Mature) game rating, 192
Majesco
Bust-a-Move Bash!, 260–261
Cooking Mama: Cook Off, 257–258
managing GameCube data, 84–85
manuals, 16
MapWii Web site, 160
Mario Kart Channel, 182–183
Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo), 266–267
Mature (M) game rating, 192
memory card (GameCube), 18, 49–50,
294–295
memory management
backing up files, 81–82
deleting data, 83
handling GameCube data, 84–85
moving files to another Wii, 84
overview, 80–81
restoring files, 83–84
menus
Channel, 73–80
Connection Settings, 58
Doodle, 141–143
Forecast Channel, 167–168
Index
Fun!, 138–144
Home, 33–34
Internet Settings, 58
Mii Parade, 117–118
Mii Plaza, 112–116
Mood, 139–140
navigating Wii Fit, 237–242
Posting Plaza, 120–124
Settings, 25–29
thumbnail, 132
Virtual Console browsing options, 97
Wii Fit training, 241–242
WiiWare browsing options, 97
Message Board
accessing, 61–62
on-screen keyboard, 67–69
options, 62–63
posting photos, 136–137
registering friends, 64–66
sending messages, 66–67
sending photos over Internet, 137–138
viewing photos, 136–137
messages, sending on Message Board,
66–67
Microsoft Xbox 360, 13
Mii Channel
Check Mii Out Channel, 118–128
creating Miis, 105–106
editing Miis, 106–110
Mii Plaza, 110–118
Mii details, 124–126
Mii Parade
setting up, 116–117
using menu, 117–118
Mii Plaza
menu, 112–116
Mii Parade, 116–118
navigating, 111–112
overview, 110–111
Miis
choosing for Wii Sports, 199–200
creating, 105–106
editing, 106–110
registering, 230
MiiTube Web site, 157
- (minus) button (Remote), 33
Miyamoto, Shigeru (game designer), 11
modem, 18
Mood menu, 139–140
motion, relationship with Wii Remote, 40
moving
files to another Wii system, 84
icons in Channel menu, 79
multiplayer reviews on games, 195
music
games, 189
slide show, 135
My Nintendo Membership Settings, 90–91
MySims (Electronic Arts), 255–256
•N•
navigating
Channel menu, 73–80
Check Mii out Channel, 120
Mii Plaza, 111–112
thumbnail menu, 132
Web pages, 152–154
Wii Fit Menus, 237–242
Nerf’s controller shell, 298
NES (Nintendo Entertainment System),
10–11
News Channel
global news, 163–165
news slides, 165–166
scanning headlines, 162–163
starting, 161–162
news slides, 165–166
Nintendo. See also Nintendo Channel
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, 258–259
contact information, 228, 238
Dr. Mario Online Rx, 290–291
DS, 54
DS Download Service, 180–181
early years, 9–10
Endless Ocean, 256–257
Entertainment System (NES), 10–11
Kirby’s Adventure, 286–287
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The,
272–273, 282–283
Mario Kart Wii, 266–267
Pokémon Snap, 288–289
rise and fall, 10–11
sample videos, 98
store Web site, 18
Super Mario 64, 279–280
Super Mario Bros. 3, 284–285
Super Mario Galaxy, 269–270
307
308
Wii For Dummies
Nintendo (continued)
Super Paper Mario, 275–276
WarioWare: Smooth Moves, 264–265
Web site, 188, 228, 238
Wi-Fi USB Connector, 56–57
Nintendo Channel. See also Nintendo
finding titles, 179–181
settings, 181
starting, 176
viewing game information, 177–179
viewing videos, 176–177
non-gamers
introducing to Wii, 254
recommended games for, 254–261
NowInStock Web site, 14
Nunchuk
connecting, 43–45
functions, 44–45
number required, 46
overview, 16
Nyko
Charge Station, 295
Classic Controller Grip, 47–48, 297
wireless Nunchuk, 44
wireless sensor bar, 298
•O•
on-screen keyboard, 67–69
1 button (Remote), 33
Online connection, 55–57
operations guide
for games, 104
Internet Channel, 148
options
Everybody Votes Channel, 174–175
Message Board, 62–63
organization of this book, 3–4
Orland, Kyle (author), 5
•P•
packaging (games), 189
Palm Tree yoga exercise, 245
parental controls, 26, 190
party games
overview, 188
recommended, 261–269
passwords (Wii Fit), 237
PDF files, 155
Pencil icons, 142
Penguin Slide balance game exercise, 251
Photo Channel
Fun! menu, 138–144
pixelating, 134
posting photos, 136–138
resolution, 132
sharing photos, 136–138
viewing photos and videos, 129–135
photo slide shows, 134–135
photos
black and white, 140
brightening, 140
displaying, 131
hard-boiled, 140
posting and viewing on Message Board,
136–137
sending over Internet from Message
Board, 137–138
transferring to SD card, 130–131
viewing, 129–135, 132–133
zap!, 140
Picking Up Spares bowling training
game, 225
PimpMyWii.com Web site, 296
PIN, 26
pixelating Photo Channel, 134
placing Balance Board, 229–230
Plank strength training exercise, 247
planning Wii parties, 263
plastic remote attachments, 299
Player LEDs (Remote), 33
playing
downloaded games, 101–104
games with Disc Channel, 76–77
+ (plus) button (Remote), 33
pointer (Remote), 38–40
Points
adding, 90
Card, 93–94
checking balance, 91
game pricing, 92
overview, 91
purchasing, 92–96
surplus, 95
Pokémon Snap (Nintendo), 288–289
ports (GameCube), 49
posting photos on Message Board, 136–137
Index
Posting Plaza
menu, 120–124
viewing Mii details, 124–126
power button
Remote, 33
system, 23
power LED, 23
Power Throws bowling training game, 225
predictions, 172–173
predictive text area, 68–69
pricing
Internet Channel, 92
Virtual Console games, 92
WiiWare games, 92
Pro Gamer case (Intec), 296
purchasing
Channels, 99–100
games, 99–100
games/Channels, 99–100
Points, 92–96
used games, 196
Push-Up and Side Plank strength training
exercise, 247
Putting golf training game, 225
Puzzle, 143–144
puzzle games, 188
•R•
racing games, 189
ratings (game)
content descriptors, 193
effectiveness, 192
ESRB warnings, 190
explained, 191–192
how they’re rated, 191
other sources, 193–194
overview, 190
regional, 191
Rayman Raving Rabbids (Ubisoft),
268–269
reading game reviews, 194–195
recalibrating Balance Board, 232
Red Kawa’s Wii Video 9, 135
regional game rating systems, 191
registering
Balance Board, 228–229
friends on Message Board, 64–66
Miis, 230
Remote
attachments, 299
basic actions, 37–40
buttons, 32–34
connecting additional remotes, 41–42
connecting Nunchuk, 43–45
connecting Wii Classic Controller, 47
grip, 37
overview, 16, 21
relationship with motion, 40
relationship with sensor bar, 38–40
safety, 35–37
Settings menu, 42–43
synching, 41–42
using as pointer, 38–40
removing
files, 83
Wii Shop Channel, 91
renting games, 196
reorganizing Channel menu, 78–80
reset button (system), 23
resizing tools, 143
resolution, 132
restoring files, 83–84
results, 173–174
Returning Balls tennis training game, 224
reviews, reading game, 194–195
Revolution, 11–12
Rhythm Boxing aerobic exercise, 249
rhythm games, 189
Rock Band (Electronic Arts), 262–263
role-playing games, 189
router, wireless, 18
Rowing Squat strength training exercise, 247
rumble setting (Remote), 43
•S•
safety features (Remote), 35–37
saving doodles, 143
scanning headlines, 162–163
scissors, 142
scoring in tennis, 202
Screen Burn-in Reduction setting, 25
screen options, 25
Screen Position setting, 25
scrolling
thumbnail menu, 132
Web pages, 152
309
310
Wii For Dummies
SD (SmartDigital) card
512 MB, 294
backing up to, 81–82
overview, 18, 293–294
slot, 23
transferring photos and videos to, 130–131
search function (Internet Channel), 154
secrets and Easter eggs
baseball, 210
bowling, 214
boxing, 222
golf, 219
tennis, 206
Sega
Genesis, 11
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 283–284
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, 265–266
Toe Jam and Earl, 280–281
selecting
controllers, 102–103
Miis for Wii Sports, 199–200
number of players in Wii Sports, 198–199
sending
Message Board photos over Internet,
137–138
messages on Message Board, 66–67
sensitivity option, 27–28
sensor bar
options, 27–28
overview, 16, 20–21
relationship with Wii Remote, 38–40
wireless, 298
setting goals in Wii Fit, 237
setting up
Forecast Channel, 166
Mii Parade, 116–117
system, 24–29
Wii Shop Channel, 88–89
settings
Forecast Channel, 168
gift, 91
menu, 25–29, 42–43
My Nintendo Membership, 90–91
Nintendo Channel, 181
shaking Wii Remote, 40
Sheff, David, Game Over: How Nintendo
Zapped an American Industry, Captured
Your Dollars and Enslaved Your
Children, 10
Shop Channel
browsing, 89–91, 96–98
downloading, 99–100
gift-giving, 100–101
playing downloaded games, 101–104
Points, 91–96
purchasing, 99–100
removing, 91
setting up, 88–89
shopping guide, 91
Shoulder Stand yoga exercise, 246
Sideways Leg Lift strength training
exercise, 247
simulation games, 190
Single-Arm Stand strength training
exercise, 248
single column mode, 153
Single Leg Balance Test, 236
Single-Leg Extension strength training
exercise, 246
Single-Leg Twist strength training
exercise, 247
Ski Jump balance game exercise, 250
Ski Slalom balance game exercise, 250
skill levels (Wii Sports), 200–201
skins, 296
slide shows
speed, 135
starting, 132, 133
viewing photo, 134–135
slides, news, 165–166
slot illumination, 61
SmartDigital (SD) card
512 MB, 294
backing up to, 81–82
overview, 18, 293–294
slot, 23
transferring photos and videos to,
130–131
Snowboard Slalom balance game
exercise, 251
Soccer Heading balance game exercise, 250
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega), 283–284
Sony PlayStation, 11, 13
sound options, 25
Speaker (Remote), 33
speed, slide show, 135
Spin Control bowling training game, 225
Spinal Twist yoga exercise, 246
Index
sports games, 189
stamps, 142
standby connection, 61
Standing Knee yoga exercise, 245
Start Page (Internet Channel), 146–150
starting
Everybody Votes Channel, 170–171
Message Board, 61–62
News Channel, 161–162
Nintendo Channel, 176
slide shows, 132, 133
tennis, 201–202
Wii Fit, 227–237
Wii Sports, 197–198
Steadiness Test, 235
strategy
baseball, 209–210
bowling, 213–214
boxing, 222
golf, 218–219
tennis, 205–206
strategy games, 190
strength training exercises, 246–248
Sun Salutation yoga exercise, 245
Super Hula Hoop aerobic exercise, 248
Super Mario 64 (Nintendo), 279–280
Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo), 284–285
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo), 269–270
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Sega),
265–266
Super Paper Mario (Nintendo), 275–276
surfing limitations of Internet Channel, 155
surplus Points, 95
suspending game play, 103
Swing baseball training game, 224
synching additional remotes, 41–42
SYNCHRO button
Remote, 34
system, 23
system
hooking up, 18–23
setting up, 24–29
system skins, 296
•T•
T (Teen) game rating, 192
Table Tilt balance game exercise, 250
Target Practice golf training game, 225
Target Practice tennis training game, 224
Teen (T) game rating, 192
tennis
backhands, 205
controls, 203–205
forehands, 205
gameplay basics, 202–203
hitting ball, 204–205
lobs, 205
overview, 201
scoring, 202
secrets and Easter eggs, 206
serving, 204
spins, 205
starting, 201–202
strategy, 205–206
training games, 224
Throwing Punches boxing training game, 226
thumbnail menu, 132
Tightrope Walk balance game exercise, 250
tilting Wii Remote, 40
Timing Your Swing tennis training game, 224
Toe Jam and Earl (Sega), 280–281
toolbar, Internet Channel, 150–151
tools, resizing, 143
Torso Twists strength training exercise, 247
trading games, 196
training menu (Wii Fit), 241–242
training mode
baseball, 224
bowling, 225
boxing, 226
golf, 225
overview, 223
tennis, 224
Wii Fitness, 226
transferring photos and videos to SD card,
130–131
travel cases, 296
Tree yoga exercise, 245
Triangle yoga exercise, 245
Tricep Extension strength training
exercise, 248
troubleshooting
Internet options, 60
Wii Remote pointer, 39
TurboGrafx-16, 102
turning pages in Channel menu, 78
TV Resolution setting, 25
311
312
Wii For Dummies
twisting Wii Remote, 40
2 button (Remote), 33
2-P Run aerobic exercise, 249
•U•
Ubisoft’s Rayman Raving Rabbids, 268–269
unpacking Wii box, 15–17
used games, purchasing, 196
user data, Everybody Votes Channel,
174–175
UV Index, 167
•V•
videos
gaming origins, 9–11
transferring to SD card, 130–131
viewing, 129–135, 135
viewing in Nintendo Channel, 176–177
volume, 181
viewing
account activity, 90
contest results, 128
downloaded titles, 90
game information in Nintendo Channel,
177–179
Mii details, 124–126
news stories, 164
photo slide shows, 134–135
photos, 132–133
photos on Message Board, 136–137
photos and videos, 129–135
videos, 135
videos in Nintendo Channel, 176–177
Virtual Console
browsing options menu, 97
game controllers, 102
games pricing, 92
overview, 89
volume
setting on Wii Remote, 43
video, 181
voting, 171–172
•W•
Walking Test, 236
WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Nintendo),
264–265
Warrior yoga exercise, 245
WaveBird wireless GameCube
controller, 49
waving, Wii Remote, 40
Web pages
navigating, 152–154
scrolling, 152
Web sites
Amazon, 196
BMI calculator, 235
Clusty, 159
Common Sense Media, 193
DecalGirl.com, 296
FineTune, 158
GameCritics, 195
GameFly, 196
GameRankings, 195
GameSpot, 195
Gaming with Children, 194
imeem.com/wii, 158
knibble.com, 156
Kyle Orland, 5
MapWii, 160
miiplaza.net, 160
MiiTube, 157
My Nintendo account, 90
Nintendo, 188, 228, 238
nintendo-play.com, 160
Nintendo sample videos, 98
Nintendo store, 18
Nintendo Wii Remote Jackets, 37
NowInStock.net/wii, 14
PimpMyWii.com, 296
search.onlywii.com, 159
What They Play, 193
Wii Video 9, 135
WiiCade, 156
wiihear.com, 158
WiiPlayable, 156
Index
WiiTracker.com, 14
wiitube.com, 157
WiiWant2Play, 156
What They Play Web site, 193
Wheel, 51–52
Widescreen Settings, 25
Wii
accessories, 18
Balance Board, 51
calibrating, 24
caring for, 16
Channels, 89
Classic Controller, 46–47
components, 15–17
development and unveiling, 11–13
finding systems, 14
Guitar Controller, 53
hooking up system, 18–23
LAN Adapter, 57
party planning, 263
Remote Jacket, 36–37
setting up system, 24–29
System Update option, 28
unpacking, 15–17
unveiling, 12
Video 9 (Red Kawa), 135
Wheel, 51–52
Zapper, 52
Wii Channel menu
adding new channels, 78
changing channels, 74–75
moving icons, 79
overview, 73–74
playing games with Disc Channel, 76–77
reorganizing, 78–80
turning pages, 78
Wii Fit
aerobics, 248–249
Age, 236
balance games, 249–251
Body Test, 233–236
Calendar screen, 239–241
calibrating Balance Board, 230–233
Channel, 183
general navigation, 242–244
navigating menus, 237–242
overview, 227
placing Balance Board, 229–230
Plaza, 237–239
registering Balance Board, 228–229
registering Miis, 230
setting goals, 237
starting, 227–237
strength training, 246–248
training exercises, 242–251
Training menu, 241–242
using passwords, 237
Wii Fit Plaza, 237–239
yoga, 244–246
Wii Fitness, 226
Wii games. See games
Wii Menu. See Wii Channel menu
Wii Message Board
accessing, 61–62
on-screen keyboard, 67–69
options, 62–63
posting photos, 136–137
registering friends, 64–66
sending messages, 66–67
sending photos over Internet, 137–138
viewing photos, 136–137
Wii Points
adding, 90
Card, 93–94
checking balance, 91
game pricing, 92
overview, 91
purchasing, 92–96
surplus, 95
Wii Remote
attachments, 299
basic actions, 37–40
buttons, 32–34
connecting addition remotes, 41–42
connecting Nunchuk, 43–45
connecting Wii Classic Controller, 47
grip, 37
overview, 16, 21
relationship with motion, 40
relationship with sensor bar, 38–40
313
314
Wii For Dummies
Wii Remote (continued)
safety, 35–37
Settings menu, 42–43
synching, 41–42
troubleshooting pointer, 39
using as pointer, 38–40
Wii Remote Grip (CTA Digital), 297
Wii Shop Channel
browsing, 89–91, 96–98
downloading, 99–100
gift-giving, 100–101
playing downloaded games, 101–104
Points, 91–96
purchasing, 99–100
removing, 91
setting up, 88–89
Wii Shop Points. See Wii Points
Wii Sports
baseball, 207–210, 224
bowling, 210–214, 225
boxing, 219–222, 226
choosing Miis, 199–200
choosing number of players, 198–199
golf, 215–219, 225
skill levels, 200–201
starting, 197–198
tennis, 201–206, 224
training mode, 223–226
Wii Fitness, 226
Wii Sports game disc, 16
WiiCade Web site, 156
WiiConnect24, 28, 60–61
WiiTracker Web site, 14
WiiWare
browsing options menu, 97
game pricing, 92
overview, 89
wireless access point, 56
wireless router, 18
wireless sensor bar, 298
Working the Bag boxing training game, 226
wrist strap (Remote), 34, 35–36
•X•
XGen Studios’ Defend Your Castle, 289–290
•Y•
Yamauchi, Fusajiro (Nintendo executive), 9
Yamauchi, Hiroshi (Nintendo executive),
9–10
yoga exercises, 244–246
•Z•
Z button (Nunchuk), 44
Zack & Wiki: The Quest for Barbaros’
Treasure (Capcom), 271–272
zap! photos, 140
Zapper, 52
zooming
thumbnails, 132
Web pages, 153
Notes
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