Trying to envision what the average video game fanatic would like to see under the tree this Christmas season, the Nation dropped by the Arcadia video gaming convention held November 10-12 at the Uniprix Stadium.
It’s no big secret that gaming isn’t just for children anymore, particularly when you look at the cost of some of the systems available. Many of them today are intended as multimediacentres, equipped with DVD players and are HD compatible.
The big talk of this year’s edition of Arcadia and just about any gaming message board is the new Nintendo Wii. The Wii is the evolution of home game systems and pretty much makes its predecessor, Nintendo Game Cube, instantly obsolete.
The Wii is physically interactive, its graphics are spellbinding and it comes at an affordable cost at around $259. Games are played with the use of one or two hand held remotes and a great deal of the movement is contingent on how well the player wields their writs. Instead of moving buttons or levers on a remote, you move the whole remote.
Says Steve Jackson, a rep for Nintendo showing off the goods at Arcadia, “Instead of just relying on graphics in the same old style of games, playing with a controller, we decided to come up with a new controller. This one that comes with the Wii remote which is motion sensitive has free axis tilt detection as well as excel ‘roamer’ which knows what type of speed is being used with it. It has rumble feature and it has a speaker in it.”
It doesn’t end there. “So like if you hit a tennis ball in Wii Sports you are going to hearthe pop and the rumble on the racket and then you are going to hear the sound travel to the TV” says Jackson. “Or in Zelda when you pull back the bow you are going to hear the string get taut and then when you let it go it’s going to fly to the screen and hit the enemy on the screen.”
Another finer point of the Wii is that people can now actually get exercise while playing video games, particularly with the Wii Sports games. The console can actually count your calories while you burn them. “You also have the nun-chuck device (a remote that is part of the system),” says Jackson, “which will be for different kinds of games. Wii sports use them for boxing so you have both hands, with boxing you actually box.”
So much for the stereotypical overweight video game addict. This new concept will get gamers out of their seats and sweating it out.
Also new this season is the is the new Sony Playstation 3 which promises to be the bomb in graphics but comes with a hefty price tag at approximately $659 for the high-end version (it’s about half the price for the cheapie version).
This is, however, a High Definition-based console and upon first glance is probably the most advanced home gaming system in existence. It is not just a game console but also home entertainment system that has massive storage and plays movies.
This system would not be worth it if you don’t have a HD television as on a regular TV the technological advances won’t make a difference. According to Playstation.com, what makes this system worth the purchase is the new, built-in “Blu-ray Disc.” The blu-ray has been described by many experts as the technological leap from DVDs, kind of like when we went from CDs to DVDs.
According to Sony, The drive “delivers a whole new generation in high-definition gaming and unmatched digital media storage.” This will also in time become the new format for movies as the sound and picture quality is well beyond what anyone has ever been able to achieve thus far. If you are in possession of an HD-capable television, holding off is probably advisable right now due to the fact that its next to impossible to get one outside of the Play Station for upwards of $ 1000.
That said, the high end version of the PS3 with a 60GB hard drive and allows irs to play thousands of PS one and Play
2 games as well as your CDs and DVDs. It’s well worth the scratch if you it but it is a hefty chunk of change to drop on gaming.
There is a myriad of new games out this season to accompany these hot new systems and something for just about everyone out there that has even the slightest interest.
Ubisoft is offering up its fourth Rayman Raving Rabbids game for the new Nintendo Wii. New out this season of the Tom Clancy series, Ubisoft is also has Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Counter Terror, which has had some great reviews for those that love a first-person shooter game. And newly unveiled at Arcadia, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas. For the little ones or at least for those who don’t like their games as bloody, Ubisoft has also just released Open Season, just like the hit film for those who want to extend their movie-going experience.
Big-bad-boy video game producer Rockstar, known for the Grand Theft Auto series, also has some new arrivals for the holiday season. The release garnering the most media attention at the moment is Bully, which is kind of like an antithesis to GTA. Instead of being on an incessant stealing rampage, Bully is set in a high school and as the main character youare being bullied. The object of the game is to take down the bullies thus becoming the Bully.
Though the game is drawing several Columbine comparisons, Rockstar has never been one to disappoint. The game is now available for PS2 (which means that you can play it on the PS3 if you are willing to make that plunge) and will probably be one of the season’s hottest sellers. Also from Rockstar, is Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis. Though it’s hard to believe that table tennis could ever be so enthralling, this long-awaited game is apparently quite the marvel as the reviews are absolutely raving.
If you are interested in a novelty type first person shooter game with a nostalgic flare, why not check out Sierra’s Scarface: The World is Yours. It may not have done as well on the market as anticipated thus far but for those who just can’t get enough Tony Montana and have fantasized about being him, this is the closest to the experience you can get without getting arrested. Granted the game engine is incredibly similar to Grand Theft Auto, Vice City, the story takes off as a “what if” type scenario, if Tony lived through the grand shoot finale of the film. As Tony you need to earn your money back, work your way back into the mansion and you as Tony can go into “coke rage,” to shoot out opponents. It might not have that much longevity but it’s certainly a hoot.
For those who like a slower kind of game play, EA Games has just released a marvelous new expansion pack, The Sims 2 Pets. The Sims 2 is quite similar to the original Sims where you create characters and families, get them jobs, design theirhomes and create little virtual lives for you’re your little characters. Think of it as a digital dollhouse for adults.
For those of you who are familiar with the Sims 2, this long awaited expansion pack gives your Sims the ability not only adopt pets but for you to create them in a game engine very similar to making adult Sims. These cats and dogs can get jobs and have their own litters of puppies and kittens and strangely move around and act very similarly to real dogs and cats. Unlike some of their more recent expansion packages, The Sims 2 Pets is really worth picking up as it adds a whole new dimension to the game play and the pets are unbelievably cute!There is so much new out this season that it would be impossible to put it all in one article so, for more information on where to get any of these products and so much else that’s hot in video gaming this season, go to http://www.futureshop.ca