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November 2006
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December 2006

Weekly Poll: Dreck Rides Again

Weekly Poll for 11-28-2006Games really do make great gifts as a good chunk of you all out there have figured out.  Here's hoping everyone enjoys their gaming gifts.  I don't see myself giving any gaming gifts this year, nor do I really expect to receive any.  DVDs on the other hand...

Moving on, there's been some grumbles from the Wii community regarding the initial library of games made available through the Virtual Console.  American gamers have had to watch in a jealous rage as other regions can download classics such as Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country, while in the USA we're limited to poorly-aged dreck like Pinball and Baseball.  How many of you out there are happy with the Virtual Console offerings in your region so far?  You know the voting drill by now.  Feel free to leave some comments if you can tear yourself away from Soccer.

Don't Leave Without Your DS Sleeve

DS Lite Case How do you carry your Nintendo DS with you when you're on the move?  Do you do like I do and just jam it unprotected into your pants pocket?  Over time my DS has developed a few cosmetic blemishes on its case and tends to gather little fuzzy lint bits near the screens.  Clearly something must be done to prevent further deterioration!  WaterField Designs has come up with a new snazzy case for the Nintendo DS Lite that stores not only the system itself but also games, extra styli, and whatever else you can cram inside.

The DS Lite Case is constructed from sturdy ballistic nylon with a double layer leather flap. The outer layer is black and the inside layer is available in the same black or in one of two accent colors—kiwi or pink. Users can choose to further distinguish their case with an optional cutout design on the leather flap reminiscent of Nintendo icons. The case’s interior has a soft, padded liner to protect the device from bumps and scratches. Under the flap are easy-to-access game pockets and a loop to hold an extra stylus. The back of the case has a zippered pocket to hold larger games and ear buds.

Sounds sharp!  Unfortunately for me they do not offer a case designed to fit the original larger DS, so until I upgrade to the Lite my pocket has some job security.  Nevertheless, it's refreshing to see a case designed with gamers of all ages in mind.  After all, how many cases have you seen hanging on the pegs at Best Buy that are based on a Spongebob Squarepants motif instead of stylish leather? 

Nintendo Patches Wii Hole

Wii Shop ChannelRemember how clever folks figured out how to access Nintendo's Wii Shop Channel via PC?  And how other clever folks were able to trick the Wii Shop Channel into accessing the Internet at large instead of just the Wii shop?  Well, Nintendo's put a stop to that.  A system update went out a day or so ago that apparently put an end to this behavior.  The update is required in order to access the shop, although after installing the update the system does not explain the purpose of the download, nor does the system software version change (the latest version is still 2.0U even with the patch installed).  Such an action was to be expected, although in the future I hope Nintendo explains what these updates do.  I don't expect the company to explain in detail just what security issue was patched, but I would like to be told when an update is for security purposes and not for new features.

Rayman Raving Rabbids Review At AMN

Rabbid The torch has been passed from one Nintendo generation to the next which means it's time for my first review of a Wii game over at AMN.  The honor goes to Ubisoft's Rayman Raving Rabbids, the tale of psychotic bunnies bent on world domination and the bizarre minigames they inflict on Rayman and the Globoxes.

The minigames are, as expected, the meat of the game. Each one takes only a minute or two to play and revolves around the bunnies in some way. For example, "Bunnies Are Addicted To Carrot Juice" puts players behind the counter at a beachside juice bar. Bunnies begin to rise up from the sea (wearing swim trunks and snorkel masks) and walk towards the bar. Shake the nunchuk rapidly and continuously to spray juice at the onscreen targeting reticule which is controlled by moving the Wii remote. The object of this challenge is to fill each bunny’s mask with carrot juice in order to prevent them from reaching the bar. Survive the onslaught for the required time to win the challenge.

It's not a very deep game, but it does have those amusing bunnies, and, if you think about it, isn't that really what the holidays are all about?