REVIEW – Nintendo Wii Limited Edition Console Bundle With Sports Resort Pack

By Marty Mulrooney

Okay, so I am a total hypocrite. After years of ranting about how the Nintendo Wii isn’t a real games console, I went and bought one. A black limited edition Wii no less, perfectly matching my launch 60gb PS3. Here are my thoughts:

  • Packaging – It may sound stupid, but first impressions matter a lot to me. On this front, the new Black Wii Bundle totally delivers. Arriving in a lovely black/ silver box, the console and accessories are packed into two cardboard draws that slide out. Clean, easy to access and reeking of quality. The console is also wrapped in soft material to make sure it arrives without a scratch. Well done Nintendo!
  • Aesthetics – The black Wii is simply gorgeous. My girlfriend has had a white one since launch and I definitely prefer this black version. It looks like a serious games console now and has lovely black accessories to match. The blue glow of the disk drive is the icing on the cake. The only negative is that it now seems to show up fingerprints really easily. Nintendo give a free high quality cleaning cloth though, so I will let them off!
  • Composite Cable – The supplied cable SUCKS. At least, it does on a HDTV. It honestly made me want to cry, going from 1080p on my PS3 to 480i was like someone had smeared Vaseline all over my TV screen. Yuck. I ordered a good quality component cable and breathed a sigh of relief. 480p isn’t PS3 quality, but it gives a much needed boost in clarity and colour vibrancy. This should be included inside the box, but no other console supplies the best leads as standard so again, Nintendo can be let off the hook here. (Only just!)
  • Supplied Games – The bundled games are Wii Sports (I had already played this before) and Wii Sports Resort. Both games are excellent to show off the Wii’s motion control, although it annoys me that Nintendo skimped on the game cases; instead, they are in simple cardboard slip sleeves. Tut tut! Also, Wii Sports Resort kind of makes Wii Sports obsolete, although I guess it would be useful to play with other Wii owners who have not yet invested in the MotionPlus add on.
  • Controllers – The black controllers look really nice and I was also impressed that I got two rubber jackets: one for the Wiimote with Wii MotionPlus attached (already wearing it out of the box) and another regular jacket for the remote on its own.
  • Wii MotionPlus – My initial impressions of the new controller add-on are very good. Utilised only for new Wii games (doesn’t make a difference to old ones) it adds a lot more accuracy. For example, the golf in Wii Sports Resort can now tell if I veer left or right with my shot, rather than just registering the swing. When I move, so does the character on screen, rather than just triggering a pre-set animation. Sweet!
  • Batteries – Only a small thing but it annoys me that the Wiimote needs regular batteries, unlike the rechargeable PS3 pad for example. Having said that, the supplied batteries seem to be heavy duty: I have used the console for a week and the indicator still shows full power!
  • Nintendo Brand – The console and both games came with codes for Club Nintendo. Signing up online, I found out that I could use these points and redeem them against free gifts such as t-shirts etc. Sure, the selection isn’t amazing and the points need to be stacked pretty high for the really good stuff, but I am still impressed by this system. What a cool company, brings back memories of ringing the Nintendo hint line when I was stuck playing Links Awakening in the 90s!
  • Backwards Compatibility – The Wii played ALL of my Gamecube games with no fuss at all. Flip up the hidden compartment on the top of the console and you can  plug in your controller and memory cards. Inserting tiny Gamecube disks can be quite scary at first, but the drive reads them just fine and I think load times and graphics are actually given a tiny little boost. Gamecube looked rubbish on my HDTV (could only use scart on my PAL console) but looks much better on Wii at 480p progressive scan. Result!
  • Online – This aspect sucks a little. The friends list is nowhere near as good as on Xbox or PS3 and not many games work online. The Wii Store is very basic and you cannot just buy stuff (such as N64 games) in pounds. You HAVE to buy Wii points. I HATE that! Also, the internal storage is tiny. You can use an SD card, but I feel slightly peeved that Nintendo didn’t even give us at least 1gb to play with when the PS3 comes with an 80gb hard drive nowadays as standard.
  • Non-gaming Fun – This is severely limited. The Wii cannot play DVDs. The channels are nice (news, weather and internet for example) and the BBC iPlayer works well… but still, I think most people will only switch their Wii on to game, rather than for anything else. This is a games console through and though, with no aspirations towards becoming a home entertainment centre… my PS3 is definitely safe in this regard.
  • Wii Sensor Bar – The sensor bar works great and you can set it up to be above or below your television. I have had little trouble with it, other than the space it takes up. It is a necessary evil for the cool controls though, so I will just have to live with the extra clutter I guess!
  • Price – I got an amazing deal on this, paying only £150. Even at the RRP of £179.99 though, this is a great deal. I paid over £400 for my PS3, and even now a PS3 Slim retails at  £249.99 without any games. (Bundles can cost as much as £300!)
  • Value For Money – This remains to be seen. I think if you live with mates or have a few family members about, this is a no brainer. This is a console that everyone can have a laugh with. However, as I bought the console more for the single player experience, only time will tell if I can have as much fun on my own with it as I do round at a mates. I have to say though… even on my own I have been having a blast. I have ordered Broken Sword: The Director’s Cut (the original on PC is one of my favourite games of all time) and I look forward to seeing how point and click games fare with the Wiimote as well.
  • Alternative – This whole site is about alternatives. As an alternative to my PS3 and PC… the Wii is a breath of fresh air. I love how it is just fun fun fun… it makes me smile. Nintendo have made a good console here (shame it isn’t HD) I just hope that in 2010 they bring out some games to rival the bigger console’s offerings. At the moment, most of the good games I plan to get are a few years old (such as Super Mario Galaxy) and I want to see some new IPs and more innovative uses of the Wii MotionPlus in the coming months ahead.

9 OUT OF 10

This bundle is a UK exclusive (the Wii is also now available in black in Japan). There had not been any further plans announced about releasing this bundle in other territories at the time this article went live.

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19 Comments

Filed under Alternative Musings, Games

19 responses to “REVIEW – Nintendo Wii Limited Edition Console Bundle With Sports Resort Pack

  1. Lunar

    Top review Marty, really enjoyed reading it.
    I plan on getting a black Wii for myself at Christmas.
    Where did you get it for £150?

    I’m already a 360/PS3 owner and one of the reasons for getting this is my Dad. He got one last year and it’s been fabulous when i’ve seen him to hear him nerding out about the intricasies of getting better/further at Wii Sports Golf/Tennis/Bowling. He finally understands my addiction to gaming.

    As such, it will be tops to see what he’s been talking about first hand – and hopefully giving him a game.

    He’s getting Wii Sports Resort for Xmas and seems genuinely excited for it, so hopefully the playing field will be a bit more even.

    • Marty Mulrooney

      Hey Lunar, thanks for the kind words.
      I got my Wii from Game.co.uk, they had a special offer last weekend where it was only £150! Even at £164.99 though it is a steal!

      Wii Sports Resort is brilliant and your Dad should love it. My tip for buying a Wii is that, if you have a game.co.uk reward card, the points you get for buying the console can easily knock a couple of quid off your next order… which in my case was a component cable!

      • Lunar

        Shame I missed that offer from Game, I was only perusing their deals last Thursday night as well. Gah.
        The points gleaned for the Game card is definitely food for thought though, so cheers for the tip of the hat.

        Best deal for me currently is Amazon’s £179.99 plus a selected game, which for me would be Mario Kart.

        I have picked up my first game for it though, Day Of Disaster. I liked the look of its Resident Evil meets natural disasters look and that its made by former Square developers. Looks rather fab.

        Nice to see an unbiased view of gaming on the net, as it seems there’s far too little of that, especially when the issues you confront during the feature are that it simply wouldn’t be the console for you… and of how it won you over.
        Great stuff – and thank you once again for taking the time out to articulate those aspects in such an informative and entertaining way.
        ^-^

      • Marty Mulrooney

        It was my pleasure! I hope you enjoy the rest of the site 😀

        Also, Day of Disaster sounds really interesting! Thanks for bringing it to my attention 🙂

        (On a seperate note, News4Gamers didn’t even approve this article… one member even flagged it as a bad submission. Their reason? ‘Lame’. Ah well!)

  2. Now that wasn’t so painful was it? If you enjoy just basic fooling around with motion controls, I suggest you grab Mario and Sonic at the Olympics, but be prepared for sore arms. If you enjoy gaming in general, Twilight Princess is a cheap game to pick up nowadays too. If you have mates (on or offline) you must have Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii. And above all, every Wii owner should have Mario Galaxy. The game is pure unfiltered Nintendo Ambrosia – there’s no excuse to not owning it.

    • Marty Mulrooney

      Well I am glad we can now both cover the Wii on AltMagOnline mate!

      Broken Sword Director’s Cut is my first new game, then will get Mario Galaxy and work my way onwards from there!

      • I was going to try and get my hands on the new Super Mario bros. Wii, but theres no online and I hear playing Multiplayer on it is perfect if you want to grow frustrated at your partner. In about 8 more days, Spirit Tracks will be coming out, so I’m hoping to get a review of it done soon.

  3. Lunar

    N4G was where I saw this piece funnily enough, on the ‘incoming’ section. I wasn’t logged in, so googled this site. Glad I did.

    To digress back to N4G, it’s a shame on there people defend brands as if they were family members. Play games, not consoles.

    Oh and Martin, Day Of Disaster is £9.99 on Zavvi.
    ^-^

    • Marty Mulrooney

      I am glad as well! Shame that it was lost in a sea of Xbox and PS3 posts about Call Of Duty. 😛

      That’s why I don’t comment when I visit N4G… too many fanboys who care more about arguing than gaming. A real shame.

      Cheers for the good price on that game btw 😀

      I recommend Broken Sword Director’s Cut (review coming soon), got it this morning and it is brilliant, the Wii could be a great platform for classic adventure gaming if more developers/ publishers/ players embraced it!

      • Lunar

        I remember the original of Broken Sword and thought how much more intuitive the Wii-mote would be for such a game.
        Hence I mused if Lucasfilm might port the version of Monkey Island that’s been doing the rounds on XboxLive Arcade of late.

        Wii wise i’m very curious to see how the new Silent Hill game plays out.
        Looks very interesting from the previews, won Wii game of the show at E3 and even a member of IGN who was prepared not to like it, came away thoroughly impressed by the build he saw.
        Shame we don’t get it until February.

  4. Lunar

    By the way, what was the deciding factor for you getting the Wii, when for so long you were against the console?
    Was it Broken Sword, or something else?

    • Marty Mulrooney

      Well, first of all it’s not like I HATED the Wii. Rather, I was annoyed at Nintendo for creating a platform that welcomed so much shovelware and allowed games to be made on a shoestring with no expectations of much quality-wise beyond bright colours and motion controls.

      It also seems quite underpowered. My Gamecube can still give the Wii a run for its money, which is slightly worrying. Nintendo should really try and soak up as much juice as possible out of the Wii before visual purists write it off. (Mario being the exception.)

      Cooking Mama (a game on Wii that my gf loves) is a fun game with the controls etc, yet I have seen many similar shockwave/ java games for free on sites such as Bored.com, the only difference being you use the mouse rather than a Wii controller.

      However, my first gaming platform, even before my first PC, was a Nintendo Gameboy. I DID play N64 and Gamecube, but always at the end of their respective lifecycles.

      Broken Sword Director’s Cut was a definate pull… I have been itching to play it since it was released last year. A bit of research then convinced me there were enough games I wanted to play, for reasonable prices, that would make a purchase justifiable.

      Plus, as an aspiring journalist, I think having Nintendo on this site will help break things up quite nicely. One of my writers (Stewie) wrote a fantastic review for the Wii version of Ghostbusters last month. This really gave me food for thought and made me realise my preconceptions about the console may have been slightly misguided.

      I am now glad I can weigh in on such matters. There will never be any fanboyism on AltMagOnline if I can help it! As you said, the games are what matter in the end.

      Yes, it will never replace my PS3 or PC. But, playing Broken Sword with a Wiimote this morning, I really didn’t care… it offers a great alternative! And again, that is what this site is all about.

      • Lunar

        I agree entirely about the shovelware. I could understand there being a leaning towards more family friendly software, if it were backed up by the degree of games for the loyal.
        It’s those who have stuck by the company through harder times and seem to have been given the shaft by a management who do seem to have forgotten them amidst their new consumer.
        Hopefully the tide is turning on that front and that perhaps a common ground can be found to keep everyone happy, although low sales on the software which does try to do something a little different can’t help things.

        I must admit a huge part of the decision was seeing the amount of great games from yesteryear that are on the virtual console for download, so Wii points are going to be a must!

      • Marty Mulrooney

        Which brings me to my next problem with the Wii… where is the harddrive?!

        And plus, the Wii Store is pretty old school… doesn’t even allow background downloading I don’t think?

        Virtual Console games look great yet the prices still miff me off a little. Let’s be honest, within five minutes most people could google an emulator and a rom and be playing these games on their PC for free… make them a quid each and I would be buying them in £10 blocks!

  5. Lunar

    True. I like the thought of playing C64 classic Paradroid on the big telly though … not to mention a slew of beauties i’ve not played before. ^-^

  6. Lunar

    Got one .. for £149.99 from HMV.
    Am going to wrap it up for chrimble, so I have something to look forward to.
    ^-^
    Just need to get me an SD card, classic controller, Nintendo points and another game .. which I think will probably be Mario Kart.
    Marty & Stewart, any gaming recommendations of those you’ve played?

    • Marty Mulrooney

      I would really recommend Broken Sword: Director’s Cut. Loving that at the moment. Other titles would be Zelda: Twilight Princess (I have the Gamecube version) Mario Galaxy and of course one of Stewie’s reviews, Metroid Prime Trilogy. Mario Kart is probably a safe bet and a good place to start! The new Super Mario Bros game looks brilliant as well (especially multiplayer) although sadly there is no online play.

  7. Lunar

    I rather fancy the look of Metroid Prime Trilogy.
    I adored the original game on Gamecube and am curious as to how much better the controls will make things flow.
    Heading on over to Stewart’s review now. ^-^

  8. Pingback: Latest black nintendo wii bundle news – Wii Christmas Specials

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