Archive for the ‘Trine 2’ Category

May Brewed! Coffees Consumed & Games Played

June 3, 2013

Coffee Beans
It’s already June, and that means E3 is right around the corner and I’m sure this will be a busy month with video game news. If you perhaps skimmed here occasionally during May, here is a recap of some of the posts from the month you may have missed, but possibly find interesting:
1) Do you enjoy FPS games and ever wonder how much FPS games on the Wii are/were played? If so, you may find the Conduit 2 official Nintendo Channel data report interesting, HERE.
2) Are you a Star Wars fan? Then you may find it interesting what the Wii’s “least played” Star Wars game is, according to the average hours reported “Per person” in the United States, HERE.
3) What is the best Metroid game of all time? I don’t know because I haven’t played all of them, but Super Metroid is regarded pretty highly by many, and you can now buy it on Wii U’s Virtual Console until June 13th for just 30 cents. If you wonder how many hours you might expect from the game, check out Super Metroid’s official U.S. Nintendo Channel data, HERE.
4) The Wii U now has two Batman games that you can buy. One is Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, a Wii U launch title, which my neighbor has played and really enjoyed on the system. The other is LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes which released last month for the Wii U. If you’re wondering about how many hours you can get from the game, you can read the LEGO Batman 2 Nintendo Channel data report for the Wii version, HERE.
5) Did you skip Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii, but are perhaps interested in it for the Nintendo 3DS? Are you curious as to how many hours you might expect from the game? You can see the average hours reported for the game, “Per person”, in its official Wii U.S. Nintendo Channel data report from last month, HERE.
6) Did you not own a Wii, but do own a Wii U? I think one big benefit of the Wii U is its backwards compatibility with Wii titles. If you own a Wii U and have a Wii Remote and Nunchuk, you might be interested in the Super Mario Galaxy games. While I only played the original, you can see how many hours you might be able to expect from Super Mario Galaxy 2, HERE, in last month’s Nintendo Channel data report.

Now, what were two new coffee blends I consumed in May, and what was our most played Wii U game during the month? Brew yourself some coffee, let’s take a look at what games I played, and coffees I consumed during May.

Coffees Consumed
May was back to being more “normal”, than April was. In April, we only brewed up one coffee blend during the month, but in May we brewed four blends, plus I had an iced coffee drink as well.

Here’s the short list of the coffees I consumed in May:
1) Maxwell House Gourmet Roast
2) Puroast Dark French Roast
3) Maxwell House Dark Roast
4) Beaumont Coffee Classic Roast
5) Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee

The lowest priced coffee we have purchased…

The Beaumont Coffee Classic Roast was the first completely new coffee blend for us, and Mrs. Coffee purchased it for us from ALDI. It was their store brand coffee blend, which made me wary of it before we even opened it. While I have purchased store brands of other items, we had never tried it with our coffee blends before. The container she purchased was 33.9 OZ (over 2 pounds!), and like the Maxwell House blends she normally buys, it said it can make “…UP TO 270” cups of coffee. So, if I (we) didn’t like it, we would have a backup supply of coffee for a while.

The container even had a coffee roast guide that put this blend as a “MEDIUM” roast coffee, while letting us know the range for the coffee blends is: MILD, MEDIUM, MED-DARK, or DARK. The real question though, is how did it taste?

I was very surprised by it, in a good way, because it had a good solid flavor for a medium roast coffee. If you like your coffees more dark roasted, this might not be for you; but, if you are cheap (I think Merriam-Webster wants my picture for the word’s definition update next year) and enjoy a wide range of coffee blends, I would highly suggest giving this one a try. Not only was this the lowest priced coffee blend Mrs. Coffee has found for us yet (only $5.49 for it!), but it surprised both of us by not being a weak blend. We enjoyed it so much, that after we finished the first container in May, Mrs. Coffee bought us another one that has now started June off for us as well.

This cup image was altered to make it look like my drink,
without cream and/or sugar. Yes, it’s sad, I know.

The second new coffee blend I had in May, at least “new” in a while, was the Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee. This actually was a mistaken coffee order, but I decided to give it a try anyway. We had gone out for ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins location, which just so happened to be a Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin’ Donuts joint location. We asked the employee to add a medium coffee to our order, but with the hustle and bustle of juggling multiple customers, he heard “Medium iced coffee”. He asked if I wanted room for cream and sugar, and after I picked myself up off the floor from laughing, I kindly said no, and told him he could be a stand-up comic. (Only part of that previous sentence is the actual account of what happened.)

So, how was the iced coffee drink? Surprisingly, very strong. I don’t drink iced coffee beverages very often, and actually I can’t remember the last time before this Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee that I had one. If you don’t like strong coffee though, you should definitely leave room for cream and sugar in this one. If you do like your coffee blends strong though, this might be something you can enjoy during the hot days of summer that are probably right around the corner.

Games Played
The following “Instant Coffee” list doesn’t contain all of the games I “played” in May, as I was volunteered to play some by Bean 1, or I would hop on some to play for just a few minutes to help him out if he was having trouble. One of those games for example, was Fluidity, which he plays from time-to-time. While I would help him get through certain sections, I wouldn’t play the entire level/levels.

The “Instant Coffee” list of games I played in May is: Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby Mass Attack, New Super Mario Bros. U, Rayman Legends Challenges App, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Toki Tori 2, Nintendo Land, Trine 2, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart DSNew Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Super Mario 64. Instead of breaking down each individual game like I did last month, I’m going to talk about just a few them in a little more detail.

First, what was our most played Wii U game out those listed? It’s kind of interesting, but between myself and Bean 1, Kirby’s Adventure was the most played game on our Wii U in May. If you missed the video in last month’s post, the following video is footage of Bean 1 playing Kirby’s Adventure on our Wii U:

Bean 1 has really been enjoying Kirby’s Adventure, and Kirby Mass Attack on his DS even more. If you have never played a Kirby game, just from my time with both Kirby’s Adventure and Kirby Mass Attack, I would easily recommend both of them. If you own a DS and/or 3DS, I would highly suggest finding a copy of Kirby Mass Attack, because of the amount of content the game has and the fact you should be able to find it for under $15 now.

Nintendo Land received some decent play-time in May, not only from Bean 1 and me, but also from a cousin of Bean 1 who visited us for a few days. She had never played it before, and she really enjoyed playing Animal Crossing: Sweet Day the most. It was interesting, because she’s a few years older than Bean 1 and she described the mini-game as, “It’s like Easter, and hunting for eggs.” When she said it, I thought it was an interesting description, and thought that Nintendo could have even released some free DLC Easter Bunny costumes for it, and changed the candies to Easter eggs to help promote the game and Wii U during Easter week.

I unlocked Trine 2’s exclusive Wii U level back near the end of April, but I didn’t play it in April. I finally played and beat the Wii U’s exclusive level, the Dwarven Caverns, in the middle of May though. There was one spot where I encountered an audio glitch, and I haven’t played back through the level to see if it happens every time, but it was a bit odd hearing it happen and makes me wonder if perhaps it was missed in QA testing, because it was a new level? The last level is challenging in certain spots though, with trying to figure out the mechanics of certain switches and equipment to progress through it, and I did enjoy my time playing through it despite the weird audio glitch.

While Super Metroid was my only “new” game purchase in May, I still haven’t played it yet, but I didn’t want to pass up its awesome sale price. As for the other games I listed above, if you have any specific questions (even thoughts) about any of them I played in May, feel free to ask me in the comments section below, or by emailing me at Scott(@)CoffeeWithGames.com.

Questions
Did any of you buy any new games in May, or perhaps any new systems like the Wii U Basic Set that I highlighted in a post?

Also, what games did you find yourself playing in May, and did you enjoy any new coffee blends in the month?

Wii U update(s). Five things to be fixed, or improved, but not yet mentioned by Nintendo.

April 17, 2013


Coffee Beans
Nintendo is set to release the first big Wii U system update next week, with a second big system update planned for the summer.

What will this first Wii U system update fix? Well, Nintendo released a video in March showing the update should improve loading times when exiting from Wii U games to the system’s main menu.

Other than improving Wii U loading times though, Mr. Iwata just addressed some other features that the Wii U’s “Spring System Update” will address when it releases next week. In a Nintendo Direct this morning (April 17th), these are some of the features said to be addressed with the update:
1) Adds ability to copy/move data between two USB HDDs.
2) Download and install software in the background, while playing games.
3) Download and install updates, even when the system is off.
4) Software updates can automatically start downloading, without having to start the game.
5) Holding the B button when turning the system on, will jump you straight to the Wii U’s Wii Mode channel.

Also, Mr. Iwata said the Wii U’s Virtual Console service will become available next week, the day after the system update. (I’m guessing next Thursday, April 18th for the Virtual Console, April 17th for the system update?)

While these five updates are nice, what are some things that I think should be patched to make the Wii U a better system overall? What are (at least) five things that Nintendo hasn’t mentioned the Wii U patch(es) will address, that I think could/should be? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

My Trine 2 Wii U data, so far…

The Brew
1) Sharing “Daily Log” Data – I could tell you that my Trine 2 “Play Time” is 49:20, and that I have “played” it 64 times. Or, I could show you my Trine 2 Wii U data like the image above. Nintendo doesn’t like the Nintendo Channel (and, several other Wii Channels they’re getting rid of), but does that mean I shouldn’t be able to post my recorded Wii U game-play data to Miiverse? Apparently, yes. While the Wii U tracks how many hours and times you play a game (or, use a particular application) in the Daily Log channel, you can’t post that information to Miiverse using the sytem’s photo capture option like some games offer. While I doubt Nintendo will introduce a Wii U Nintendo Channel like the Wii has (or, soon to be had), I think it would be nice if Wii U owners could post Daily Log images to Miiverse. It would allow Wii U owners to share their most played/used games and apps during a month, and if a game doesn’t provide the number of hours played on the save file, it could be a good way to get an idea of the average hours played for a game.

Possessive. Not descriptive.

2) Freezing – Winter is over, but my Wii U console is still freezing. Sure, it’s only occasionally, but even as I typed this, it was sitting frozen. I hopped on Assassin’s Creed III Monday morning to get my save file stats, and posted them to Miiverse. Upon attempting to exit Miiverse, my Wii U system froze, again. The Wii U system freezing up would not be such a big issue to me, IF the system functioned as it’s supposed to function when it freezes. It doesn’t though. Still having to unplug my Wii U console when it freezes is annoying (and slightly concerning), when I should be able to simply hold the “Power” button for a few seconds to fix the freezing problem instead. Mr. Iwata did not mention the Wii U freezing issue in the Nintendo Direct a few months back when he mentioned Nintendo was working on improving the loading speeds and he didn’t mention it in today’s Nintendo Direct, so I’m a little concerned that this issue might not be able to be patched. I really hope I’m wrong, for a number of reasons, but I just find it odd that Nintendo would wait until this patch (or the summer one) to make the Wii U function as it should have when it released.

Room for keyboard shortcuts?

3) Copy/paste/keyboard options – The 100 character limit posts in Miiverse might be tough to use sometimes when trying to answer a question, or post up some thoughts on a game. One thing that would make this limit not so bad though, would be a simple copy/paste option for text. Let’s say you type out your full Miiverse message, and the text gets grayed out that is over the 100 character limit, but you have an option to “copy” some of it. You would simply copy the text over the limit, and post a new comment pasting the additional text to it. I’m surprised the copy/paste option wasn’t in the Wii U’s original Miiverse OS, because it is an option in the Wii U’s Internet Browser. Speaking of the Wii U’s Internet Browser, a GamePad keyboard update that would be an improvement I think, would be adding a “.com” button to the Internet Browser keyboard. Sure, it’s only a few extra taps on the GamePad, but I think little things like a “.com” button, and perhaps some other keyboard shortcuts, would be appreciated.

Nintendo needs to copy/paste the Copy/Paste Browser buttons to Miiverse.

4) The “Energizer” disc drive – I mentioned back in November, in my “Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U” post, the freezing issue and the disc drive issue. The disc drive issue, like the freezing issue, still has not been addressed. If you don’t know, the Wii U’s disc drive is constantly is reading/spinning the game disc when one is in the system. It doesn’t matter if you are just using the Wii U for Netflix, Amazon Video, or any other non-game application, if there is a game in the Wii U’s disc drive, it is spinning. It’s like the Wii U’s disc drive is an Energizer Bunny of sorts, in that it just keeps going and going, or spinning and spinning in this situation. I know some Wii owners had disc drive issues, and I received my PlayStation 3 from a friend because the disc drive had stopped working. I really hope that Nintendo updates the Wii U so the disc drive is not constantly reading/spinning the disc, when non-game Wii U applications are being used such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, or even the Internet Browser. The Wii’s disc drive does not constantly spin if a disc is in the system and Netflix or another non-gaming Wii Channel is being used, so I would imagine Nintendo can patch the Wii U for fix the issue.

Give yourself these Wii U eShop games, as “gifts”!

5) Gifting Wii U eShop games – Did you know you could give Virtual Console and WiiWare games to other Wii owners as “gifts”? Did you know that you cannot give Wii U eShop games to other Wii U owners as gifts? I think it’s odd that Nintendo didn’t include the gifting option right from the beginning. I hope they make “gifting” Wii U eShop titles a new feature, as I do like to give things away from time-to-time on the site, and I can think of a few eShop titles that would be at the top of that list right now: Toki Tori 2 and Trine 2.

Gift options shown for WiiWare games. One already owned, one not.

Questions
Are there any other Wii U system improvements you would like to see Nintendo address with the first big system update next week, or perhaps in the update planned for the summer?

If you’re into programming, is there any reason Nintendo can’t address the Wii U’s hard reset option (holding the Power button for a few seconds to turn the system off), with a system patch? Like I mentioned above, I just find it odd that has not already been patched.

February Brewed – Coffees Consumed & Games Played

March 4, 2013


Coffee Beans
February was a busy month, but I found my time dominated by one game in particular. I mentioned in last month’s “January Brewed” post, that I like the idea, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”, and with March starting up, CoffeeWithGames should get back to a regular posting schedule of a couple of posts each week.

While I didn’t post much in February, I did put an unhealthy amount of time into playing a game. If you read the few posts I did in February you probably know that game was Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Wii U. I even created probably the oddest Black Ops II video yet, at least not just game related, and shared that in my “Drones! What are they good for? Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer & Black Ops II?” piece. If you missed the piece and the video, you can see the video embedded below:

March is upon us, and with it new games (and maybe coffees) are waiting in the wings, but what coffees did I consume and games did I play in February? Brew yourself a nice pot of coffee, and let’s take a look!

Coffees Consumed
Maxwell House returned in February as our default coffees of choice, but there were a few more that were brewed up during the month.

The default Maxwell House coffees we brewed up were the Maxwell House French Roast and the Maxwell House Dark Roast. We still have some of the Maxwell House Dark Roast, and it has gotten March started off well for us, but the French Roast was finished earlier in February. Both the French Roast and Dark Roast are very similar in flavor, neither has a strong bitter flavor, but each provides a nice bold flavor.

Between brewing the Maxwell House coffees, we enjoyed several other coffee blends in February. One of those blends was the Kona Blend Coffee, which was/is sealed up in the cabinet and used occasionally. It’s a a whole bean coffee, that I actually received it last year for my birthday, and I’ll grind up some of the beans when we’re running low on the Maxwell House, or if we run out. It’s more of a mild roast coffee, but is a good backup coffee to have hidden away.

How much caffeine is too much caffeine?

Another coffee blend brewed up in February was a new one that we had never tried before. It was the Puroast Low Acid Coffee, Dark French Roast blend. The idea behind this coffee is that it provides a great tasting coffee, but has a 50% lower acidity than other coffees. The verdict? To me, and Mrs. Coffee, this coffee seems to be missing the “bite” that makes coffee, well, coffee. While our blend was the “Dark French Roast”, which is supposed to be one of the strongest coffee roasts, it had a very light flavor. It actually reminded me of the Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend we have brewed in the past, which I called “an extremely light blend”.

If you like lighter tasting coffees, then I would recommend giving the Puroast Dark French Roast blend a try, but you should know that it probably won’t taste like your typical French Roast coffee you have had before.

The last, new, coffee blend we brewed in February was Medaglia D’Oro Caffé Espresso roast. It’s definitely a stronger blend, as you would probably expect with “Espresso” in its name. I enjoy it, and Mrs. Coffee makes sure to sweeten her’s up, but it is definitely has the “bite” that I expect from darker roast coffees.

Games Played
The quick, “Instant Coffee”, list of games I played in February is: World of Goo, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mutant Mudds, Balloon Fight, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Trine 2.

Bean 1’s stats from a World of Goo level.

World of Goo – I made it through the first four worlds and when I get to the last level I’m not sure what exactly I’m doing in it. Bean 1, in typical fashion, deletes the save files quit often, so I have played through several of the levels many times. Bean 1 beats levels on his own, quit often, and even just completed a level from the World of Goo WiiWare demo we have.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – We are continuing to make slow progress in the game, if the save file can last more than a few days before getting erased! Bean 1 still plays this, and runs around pretty well in the game and even knows how to switch between inventory items now, and I’m always amazed when he beats random enemies running around. Perhaps once Bean 1 is out of his erasing save files mood, we can beat the game. Until then, we’ll probably just keep playing randomly and having fun.

Mutant Mudds – Has Mutant Mudds Deluxe released for the Wii U yet? I didn’t think so! Bean 1 still opens this up randomly on the PC, and will play through different levels. I, of course, will end up playing through (or attempting to) a few of the levels, with him watching what to do.

My first effort in Balloon Fight.

Balloon Fight – My first eShop purchase, and it cost me a whopping 30 cents. This game is part of Nintendo’s Wii U Virtual Console Trial Campaign, where they are offering certain NES games for just 30 cents, for 30 days (one game, every 30 days). Balloon Fight is definitely simple enough and plays well, but I find the sound effects are a bit on the tinny side. I haven’t made it very far in the game, but I did post my first “high score” to the Miiverse community. Was it worth the 30 cents though? Absolutely.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Unhealthy. Unhealthy. Unhealthy. What was the cause of lack of sleep for me during February? Was it two little Beans running around, blogging late into the nights, or creating my next multi-million dollar invention (not sure where I misplaced the first)? No, the lack of sleep in February was because of Black Ops II on the Wii U. After getting the Beans in bed, I would fire up the Wii U and play Black Ops II on the GamePad late into the night, usually with some random Netflix series playing in the background. If any of you own a Wii U and are playing Black Ops II often, please add my Nintendo Network ID, Coffees, to your Wii U Friend List. I’ll add you back and perhaps we can play some matches of Black Ops II together. 99% of my matches are in Team Deathmatch, though this last weekend I was playing a lot of Headquarters because of the Double XP being offered in it.

Trine 2 – I’m still playing back through Trine 2’s levels, trying to collect all of the items and hidden objects in each level, so that I can access the last level. Trine 2 was on sale (still is in Europe) during February, down to just $14.99, and now there is a demo for the game on the Wii U’s eShop as well. If you have been wondering how Trine 2 plays (and looks), definitely download the demo to give it a try. If you own Trine 2 on the Wii U, have you beaten it and unlocked the last level?

Caffeinated Thoughts & Questions
With a new month upon us, I’m actually looking forward to a few games releasing later this month, though I will probably only pick up one initially. While I’m interested in LEGO City: Undercover, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, I’ll probably only be grabbing Pandora’s Tower when it releases.

Had Nintendo of America actually done their job during Wii’s main life-time, and brought already developed games to the U.S., I probably wouldn’t be diverting potential Wii U funds, to purchase a Wii game. U.S. Wii owners (and Wii U owners) can purchase Pandora’s Tower later this month for just $39.99, thanks to XSEED Games.

Were there any coffees you consumed in February that were new blends, or just stick with your regular blend(s)? Did you play any games in February that you found particularly addicting, like I did Black Ops II, and are there any games you are looking forward to that are releasing in March?

November Brewed – Coffees consumed, games played, & a Wii U game finished!

December 8, 2012


Coffee Beans
November is gone, and with it millions of turkeys. (For a few of those missing millions, start HERE.) If you had a busy November, here are a few posts you may have missed:
     1) Halloween candy laced with the t-Virus making people zombies? Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles Data Report
     2) Vote? Don’t vote? Gamers vote? Everybody votes? Did you vote? Everybody Votes Channel Data Report
     3) Nintendo’s U.S. Wii U TV advertising. Marketing genius, or marketing failure?
     4) Call of Duty? Conduit? GoldenEye? Metroid? What is the most played FPS Wii game in the U.S.?
     5) Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U

While I didn’t post as much in November as recent months, I did get a good bit of gaming done and drank lot of coffee during the month. What coffees did I consume, and which Wii U game did I complete? Brew yourself some coffee, and let’s take a look!

Coffees Consumed
We finished using the Gevalia Espresso Roast very early in November, and enjoyed it while it lasted. November then consisted of us using our coffee grinder a good bit. We ground up some of the Kona Blend Coffee that was another birthday gift to me back in October, from my brother and his family. We have enjoyed the Kona Blend and have enough to last us a little while longer, if we start grinding it up. We finished the month of November using the Maxwell House Master Blend coffee and the Maxwell House Original Roast coffee; both the 200+ coffee cup containers.

Games Played
The skimmer list for games played in November is: Rage of the Gladiator (iOS and WiiWare), Mario Kart Wii, Super Mario Bros. 3, BIT.TRIP RUNNER, Mutant Mudds, Max & the Magic Marker, Nintendo Land, ZombiU, Trine 2, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Rage of the Gladiator – If you don’t know, Rage of the Gladiator is now available for your iOS devices and soon to be Android devices as well. The game has a price of just $2.99, and has all of the WiiWare content/bosses included, with some improvements. The game was ported over by a different developer though, Gamelion, while Ghostfire Games remained involved in the process. Ed, from Ghostfire Games, contacted me over the summer and asked if I would be interested in helping test it out, and help some on the community front. Gamelion seems to be very active on the developer community front though, so I was able to more of less help out with the testing of it, and see how it progressed through development.
Mario Kart Wii – Bean 1 randomly requested this one I think in October, and he kept playing it early in November. He has now graduated to Mario Kart DS though, since our New Super Mario Bros. DS cartridge randomly freezes in levels now; which results in a very sad Bean and me randomly finding the game cartridge shoved under his door.
Super Mario Bros. 3 – This was another one Bean 1 and I randomly played early in the month, but not very much of it.
BIT.TRIP RUNNERI. SURVIVED. THE GAUNTLET! So, I started this from Mrs. Coffee’s gift from my birthday, the BIT.TRIP COMPLETE set, and I am in the third world so far (I think the last as well). I’m really enjoying my time with the game, and it is definitely challenging. I can see why some people might not like these type of games, due to the difficulty, but when everything flows together so well, it really is a great experience.
Mutant Mudds – Could I complete the main levels before IncompleteGaming? It wasn’t meant to be! But, I am still enjoying my time with Mutant Mudds, and find myself randomly trying to beat the levels from time-to-time, sometimes with Bean 1 watching. Other times, I’ll be voluntold by him to play the game; even if it’s a delay tactic right before he goes to bed, sometimes I’ll play a level a few times trying to beat it.
Max & the Magic Marker – This was one I hadn’t played in a long while, but Bean 1 found it on our Wii’s SD card and fired it up one day. I showed him a few things in the game, and he actually got the hang of drawing/erasing pretty quickly, and was soon off running around the level having fun. I didn’t play it much, but it did make me hope that we get a Max & the Magic Marker HD sequel on the Wii U now. Not only could the game still support Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls, but I think using the GamePad to draw in the game would work very well also.
LittleBigPlanet – This is another game, like Super Mario Bros. 3, that I find myself playing most often with Bean 1 watching and/or being voluntold by him to beat a level in it. We have made pretty good progress in the game, but Bean 1 has discovered how to find the user created levels, and watching him run around in the Nintendo-Mario themed levels is a lot of fun, and some of them are incredibly well designed.
Fat Princess – This is a demo I had downloaded on our PS3 for a long time, but never played it. Bean 1 randomly requested I give the game a try one night, so I did having no clue what to expect. After not winning the first night, and just running around the battle losing, I turned it off defeated. After figuring out what to do the second night, winning became a lot more achievable, and I can see why this game was pretty popular when it first released. If you haven’t played Fat Princess, you should be able to still find a demo for it on the PSN store, and give it a try.

Nintendo Land – I briefly talked about my time with Nintendo Land in my Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U piece, and I have since played it a bit more. I actually put more time into Metroid Blast and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest. I am really enjoying Metroid Blast, and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest is surprisingly better than I was expecting using the GamePad controls. Bean 1 and I completed one of the Battle Quest missions together, with me using the Wii Remote+ and him using the GamePad. So, while he figured out the GamePad controls I was able to swing away and help keep us going for a bit. It was actually a lot of fun, and we completed the mission we did together.
ZombiU – This is the Wii U game I completed in November. It kept me coming back to it, night after night. If you can go into ZombiU not expecting it to be perfect, but expecting a different experience, I think you will enjoy it. Go in thinking survival horror, even with a sense of survival terror thrown in; and don’t go in thinking you will be burning down rows-after-rows of zombies with guns, and don’t think your melee weapon will be wielded like a lightsaber (for SHAME!) delivering you up 1,000 hit combos. I really don’t understand the mindset of some of the early reviewers on ZombiU, complaining about things like the melee combat in the game, since the melee combat is one of the very things that helps deliver the mood of the game. It’s as if the “reviewers” were expecting a guns-a-blazing game, grabbed the wrong game and perhaps realized they got ZombiU only after getting home. Reading some of the reviews appears they were expecting to get Resident Evil 5 or 6 action based game instead; I just don’t know. Also, many of the early reviews have incorrect information (entire paragraphs in some), and leave out alternate, relative, information (if you tell me the game has “Low” replay value, but fail to tell me if you beat it, how many hours it took you, or how many survivors, I can’t really judge much on the replay value). One even complained about scanning with the GamePad via motion controls, but FAILED to mention an alternative default control option for doing the same exact action in the game.
Trine 2Is this The Princess Bride of video games? It’s told via storybook like the movie was, and the game definitely has a good assortment of characters from the start. The sense of humor in the writing is there so far, and the way the characters interact with each through dialogue randomly as you progress is a nice touch as well. Have I said how incredible the game looks? I really hope that NSMBU looks this good, or there might be a “Caffeinated Thoughts! Nintendo is LAZY!” post incoming. I actually now pretty much use only the GamePad when I’m playing Trine 2, not even looking at the TV. Perhaps once we get a new HD TV, that will be remedied? The GamePad play is really great though, and very convenient for lounge playing late at night on the couch. I haven’t tried the online yet, but Bean 1 and I did complete the first section together, and I have since made pretty good progress in the game (I think), playing through about one section each night this last week. If any of you have Trine 2 on the Wii U and want to play it online, feel free to add my NNID to your Wii U friend list: Coffees.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – That’s right. The future is black coffee, and Black Ops 2. I have been playing Black Ops 2 on the Wii U, though most of my time with it in November was the very last night of the month. I have played a bit of the single-player campaign and the multiplayer, and the streaming of the game to the GamePad is done very well. Now, I will say for some reason the game doesn’t use up the entire GamePad screen display when it streams to it. I’m not sure why it displays the way it does, but it works very well nonetheless, and I found myself using the GamePad streaming feature quite often my first night with the game.

Questions
Did any of you get a Wii U in November, and if so, what games have you been enjoying on it? If you didn’t get a Wii U, but have been gaming in general, are there any games you would recommend that you played during the month?

Again, if you missed my “Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U” piece, my Wii U ID is Coffees, and feel free to add that to your Wii U friend list, and I’ll add you back!

As always, if you have any questions about the coffees I consumed or games I played during the month, feel free to leave a question below or send me an email to: Scott(@)CoffeeWithGames.com.

Caffeinated Thoughts on the Wii U

November 30, 2012
How many beans can you count?

Coffee Beans
So, the Saturday night before the Wii U released on the 18th, I attempted to find a Wii U at a midnight release in town, but having no such fortune I ended up just getting our reserved Wii U system on Sunday as was originally planned.

I brought the Wii U home, but didn’t start setting it up until a few hours later (about 3:30PM), after making sure the Beans were down for their naps.

With almost 2 weeks with the Wii U system now, what do I think about it? Brew yourself some coffee, probably a whole pot for this post, and let’s take a look!

Caffeinated Thoughts
What’s a good way to go about my thoughts on the Wii U? How about the bitter, sweet, and bold!

Sad coffee face. 😦

Bitter
1) Initial Patch – While getting system updates is something I’m quite used to doing on the PlayStation 3, it’s not something I particularly like having to do. Hopefully Nintendo will start shipping Wii U units with the update already installed, so new Wii U owners can just plug-and-play on day one. I actually think having to patch the system as it is now, might keep the system from gaining popularity with the casual market the Wii initially grabbed. I know that my parents would have a time trying to figure out how to connect the Wii U to their wireless setting, so hopefully it is something that can be remedied quickly. My initial patch/update took about an hour, but I did use a USB Ethernet port to have my Wii U connected directly the internet.

2) Disc drive – The Wii U’s disc drive is constantly reading the disc when one is in the drive, even if the game is not being played and another system function is being used like Miiverse or Netflix. I think Nintendo might have patched the original Wii to solve this issue on that system, as I don’t believe the disc would be spinning when using Netflix on the Wii, so I’m hoping they solve the problem with a patch. As of now, I remove any game from our Wii U when it is not being played, but I know others don’t think it’s a big issue.

3) Poorly designed YouTube App – The YouTube App window, which is like the Netflix and Amazon Video Apps on the system, appears on the home page of the system. For whatever reason though, the GamePad is used in very minimal ways with the YouTube App. From my time with the app, the YouTube videos can’t even be switched to streaming from the GamePad, which is very odd. You have to basically be looking at the TV to search and use the YouTube App in any decent way. Fortunately, there is a better way to use YouTube on the Wii U, which I’ll get to below.

4) No NINTENDO CHANNEL DATA – Sure, I can still track Wii games on my Wii’s Nintendo Channel, but the Wii U does not provide averages played on games as the Wii does. The Nintendo Channel cannot even be downloaded to the Wii menu section on the Wii U, which means we are keeping our Wii. (Please fix this Nintendo, JUST like the Wii had it.)

5) Hard reset doesn’t hard reset – This is very odd and baffling to me. I have had my Wii U console freeze up on me twice now (twice too many!). Okay, not terrible I guess considering I have used it quite a bit so far, but still it’s a bitter experience when it happens. Your TV will most likely sound like a police car, fire truck, and ambulance sirens have gotten stuck in a high pitched squeal. But when you think, “Easy FIX! I’ll just hold the power button and get rid of that annoying sound.”, you are hit with a wall of disappoint and failure upon trying. Somehow, the Wii U made it out to the masses without the typical hard reset option working. Most of the time on electronics devices, if they freeze, you can simply hold the power button down for a few seconds and get it to turn itself off. Not with the Wii U right now. Nope. I have to crawl into the dungeon behind our entertainment system that is housing a 200-300lb beast (see TV), and unplug the system from what outlet. How in the world an electronics device got out without the typical hard reset option working, is baffling. Apparently though, Nintendo is going to patch that up for us in the next few weeks, which will hopefully make it a distant, if bitter, memory. I’m not holding my breath waiting on the patch though, because there is a lack of history from Nintendo with providing decent patches even on their games.

Happy!

Sweet
1) Finding Friends – If you own a Wii U, feel free to add me to your friend list. My Nintendo Network user name is CoffeesNintendo has improved finding and adding friends greatly over the Wii’s method. You can add “friends” directly from Miiverse, meaning just a random person you don’t know. You can search for new friends based on people you have played with in online games as well. The system’s ability to send messages to friends, and see what games they are playing (or app they are using) is a great improvement over what was offered (or not offered) on the Wii. There are some finicky things though, like my Mii not displaying the game I was playing to another friend for a while, and we’re not sure if it was on my side or his side of things (or Nintendo’s side), but overall adding and communicating with friends is a huge improvement over the Wii.

2) Video Chat – While only briefly trying this out one night with Brad, from WhoBurnedMyToast, it worked well when we used it and he was able to see the Beans (well, the older one at least) being super hyper right before their bed-time. He even spelled out “Coffee” on the GamePad and Bean 1 correctly identified the word. The drawing on the GamePad during video chat is something that I think could become a big hit with younger children and perhaps grandparents, and just doodling on the GamePad for fun during chatting as well. I guess if somebody figures out a way to do math tutoring with video chat on the Wii U, they can just do their math equations on the GamePad.

3) TV button on GamePad – This is an awesome little button/feature, and I have used it quite a bit in my time with the Wii U to turn the volume up and down in games. It works very well, though you do need to be pointing the Wii U GamePad at the TV when trying to use the TV controls; meaning if there is an object between you and the GamePad, or the GamePad is stored on top of an entertainment system above the TV as ours is, you will need to point it at the TV like a normal TV remote.

4) User Interface (UI) & Operating System (OS) – The Wii U’s UI is an updated version of the Wii’s with the tile boxes on the screen, but the OS behind it has had a good bit of overhaul to it, allowing for more features and functionality. Hitting the Home button during a game will pull up a menu, allowing you to jump to your Friend List, Miiverse, Nintendo eShop, Internet Browser, Nintendo TVii, Download Management, Controller Settings, or Manual for whatever game or app you are using. The ability to switch back and forth from displaying things on the TV to the GamePad with different apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, and YouTube within the browser is very nice. Bean 2 (the younger Bean) is now famous for finding the power button on the TV where we have it set up and last Monday night (the 19th) Bean 1 and I were sitting on the couch watching a cartoon on Netflix (probably Bob the Builder). Bean 2 found the TV power button and pressed it off, and what usually results in “Put him in jail!” from Bean 1, was instantly averted by switching Netflix to streaming on the GamePad we had on the couch with us. Bean 1 was surprised by it, but Bean 2 didn’t know any difference and went about pressing the TV power button.

5) Browser – The browser on the Wii U is very functional from my time with it, especially with the GamePad’s keyboard implementation. Typing with either the GamePad’s stylus or my fingers has worked very well for doing quick Google searches. My favorite thing about the Wii U’s browser though, is YouTube on it works incredibly well. You can choose to watch the YouTube videos on the TV, but use the GamePad to search and select more YouTube videos to play directly off of the GamePad. Or, unlike the App, you can actually choose to stream YouTube videos directly off of the GamePad. Also, this could fall under the OS and UI maybe, but if you are in a game and need help you can hit the Home button to bring up the Home menu. Then what? Well, if you select the Browser button, it will launch the browser for you and already have the game you are playing ready to be “searched” if that’s what you’re wanting. You can search, while the game is still paused, for guides on how to beat a boss, where to find an item in the game, or how many hours you can expect it to take you to finish the game. Or, you can even use the browser while the game is paused, go to YouTube and find a walk-through video on the game (if you do that) if you get stuck. The browser also has a little “curtain” that you can use to hide what you’re searching for from the TV, and I have found this actually pretty useful with keeping Bean 1 from requesting 20 different YouTube videos. After we watch one on the TV, I can put up the curtain, find another video, and hit play without him requesting a video that might not be really relevant, but the image on it just looks shiny and interesting.

6) Wii U GamePad stand/cradle set – These are included with the Wii U Deluxe Set, or can be purchased for the Wii U Basic Set for $19.99. I do recommend them, and if you are looking for Wii U accessories for your Christmas list and only have the basic set, these can be very useful. One of the stands allows the GamePad to sit in it and be charged, and while you can’t really play it like that, it’s a good place to store it and keep out of the hands of little Beans that might want it. The second stand is just a GamePad stand, with no slot for the charging cable to be plugged. I use this one quite often when sitting on the couch playing ZombiU, leaving the stand on the coffee table and putting the GamePad in the stand if I get up to go grab some more coffee, snacks, or just to check on the Beans in the middle of the night.

7) Games – So far, I have played three Wii U games. Those being Nintendo Land, Trine 2, and ZombiU.

  • Nintendo Land came with the system, and we have played it a decent amount. Bean 1 really enjoys the Mario Chase, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, and Yoshi’s Fruit Cart mini-games the most. When you play the different mini-games, you are awarded coins and you can spend them in a Coin Game, where you have to aim the coins to fall in certain directions. If you complete the stages in the coin drop game, you are given gifts for your Nintendo Land plaza that help make it more lively, and Bean 1 enjoys the Coin Game and finding the gifts around the plaze as well. I think Mario Chase and Luigi’s Ghost Mansion are a lot of fun, and show the fun that can be had with asymmetric gameplay, and I particularly like Luigi’s Ghost Mansion the most right now. Takamaru’s Ninja Castle mini-game is a lot of fun from my time with it, but I haven’t put nearly enough time into Metroid Blast or The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, and a few of the other mini-games to really have impressions of them yet.
  • Trine 2 is an eShop title, and the developers were kind enough to provide me with a code for it, even knowing I don’t do typical reviews on games. I have said it on a few other sites, but Trine 2 is the first Wii U game that really made me realize how dated our SD TV is. Why? Trine 2 looks incredible, and it plays on the TV and/or on the GamePad, but the game looks brighter, crisper, and just more vibrant in general on the GamePad than our TV. It made me realize even more it is time for a HD TV upgrade; which we are already looking  for (recommendations welcomed)! I have made it through the first level so far, and I am really enjoying the story-telling aspect of the game. The way Trine 2’s story is told, the setting for the game, and humor used so far remind me of the movie The Princess Bride; which is a very good thing.
  • ZombiU – I purchased this day one with my Wii U system, even knowing the “reviews” published by some sites were not positive. I have now completed the game, and I will say if you are wanting to play a survival horror title, even with some sense of terror thrown in, I recommend you pick this game up and give it a try. So yes, please ignore the early reviews on this game. What was my time with ZombiU? 24+ hours, I’m above average, I know! Seriously though, I am glad to see this game get developed and published, and I have had a lot of fun with it so far. Mrs. Coffee does not like zombies (in general), and would prefer to not play FPS games due to the controls. She did try and actually enjoyed ZombiU’s local multiplayer modes though, as she used only the GamePad while I was using the FPS controls with our Wii Remote and Nunchuk. If you can go into ZombiU knowing it’s not a perfect game with perhaps some glitches to be experienced, and you enjoy survival horror type games, you should find it well worth playing.
Trine 2, ZombiU, Nintendo Land.

Bold
1) The GamePad – While maybe not as revolutionary as perhaps the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination, I think the GamePad has a lot of potential for fun and unique gameplay elements in games. The asymmetric gameplay in Nintendo Land, and even the different gameplay mechanics added in games like Trine 2 and ZombiU make me glad to see developers already using the GamePad in very different ways. I have been very impressed with how each game I have played, uses the GamePad and its features in unique ways. I really think it will be interesting to see which developer (if any) uses every single feature on the Wii U GamePad, in some fashion in a game. The speakers on the controller are actually better than I was expecting, and the volume output has been high enough from what I have experienced so far. The two little grips I wrote about from my time with the demo haven’t been an issue for me, and I have enjoyed not rushing out just yet to grab a case for it…though the Nerf GamePad cases look like they might provide the best protection from what I have seen. I really do hope that Nintendo is able to get the cost of the Wii U GamePad (and even console) down quickly, so that if Wii U owners break or experience any problems with their GamePads, they can replace them quickly and affordably.

2) Miiverse – What is Miiverse? Awesomeness. Think of Miiverse as a message board or forum, or even an ever flowing comments section for Wii U games and apps. This very feature will probably either create new jobs at some companies to help monitor Wii U owners in the game communities and help them with questions, or add a bit more of a burden to community managers at companies now that might need to start being active in the Miiverse communities. Each Wii U game and app has its own separate Miiverse community (at least of now), and I have used Miiverse in ZombiU several times; sometimes to answer questions, and a few times to get questions answered about the game. Instead of stopping the game and coming to the computer and searching, or using the Wii U’s browser option, I just hit the Home button and hop into the ZombiU Miiverse community, ask my question, hop back to the game, and check back a few minutes later to see if my question has been answered. I really, really, really like this aspect of the Wii U and that Miiverse is up and running on the system already is great to see. Miiverse allows users to use a standard keyboard input with ABCs, or hand written notes and drawings for messages using the stylus or your fingers. I have actually found the hand drawing aspect to be extremely useful in ZombiU when I got stuck somewhere. I was able to hop into Miiverse and draw a rough (very rough) map of the building I was looking at, and let them know what I was looking for. After a few back and forth comments on Miiverse, I was able to figure out what I had done wrong and continue with my game.

Overall, I have enjoyed my time with the Wii U so far, and if you have any questions about the Wii U that perhaps I didn’t answer or address here, feel free to ask in the comments below. I may have even forgotten a few of the “bitter”, “bold”, or “sweet” things I was going to include, and might be able to clarify some. If you have any questions about the games I have played so far, feel free to ask below as well.

Questions
Did any of you grab a Wii U yet, and if so what do you think about it so far? Do you agree, or disagree with any of my points?

Have you played any Wii U games you would really recommend others give a try? Are you interested in seeing any footage from the Wii U games we have right now, Nintendo Land, Trine 2, and ZombiU? If so, let me know what game you would like to see footage of in the comments below. Also, feel free to share your Wii U user name below in the comments.