First, "The Pitch": telling kids how to pitch the Wii U to their parents
Next it's "The Pitch: Super Mario 3D World edition"
gamerparent the site was started in 2012, born out of a love for games and my kids.
the gamer parent came into being in 2003 when my first child was born, and I learned how to give her her bottle one handed while I played Diablo II with the other... with the sound off, of course. Since then I've found ways to sneak in gaming, and also involve my kids with games.
welcome to my world.
First, "The Pitch": telling kids how to pitch the Wii U to their parents
Next it's "The Pitch: Super Mario 3D World edition"
I've had the Fit Meter for a few days now, and I wanted to share my impressions. What follows is in no particular order, so bear with me.
My Fit Meter is black and silver. Understated for me, which I like, but I really want to get a brighter coloured one for my daughter, probably the white and red/pink one. I don't know when those will become available, but I'm hoping it's before Christmas!
I've worn it religiously every day, and I hardly notice it, it's not uncomfortable, even though at first glance it seems big. It's not. Maybe it's the rounded corners, or the fact that it's round, but for whatever reason it sits nicely on my belt at my hip, and I just forget it's there.
Syncing the Fit Meter is very simple, you simply hold the meter to face the IR port on the Gamepad, and hold down the centre button. A few seconds later you're all synced. There's a nice little touch when you sync the Fit Meter for the first time; when it's done syncing it plays a continuation of the music phrase that's playing on the Gamepad. It also displays a LCD screen representation of your Mii, personalizing your Fit Meter with your face.
The display on the Fit Meter is simple, with left and right arrows scrolling through various pages on the LCD screen. It displays how many steps you've taken, how many calories you've burned, the temperature, and the altitude. Pressing the centre button changes the display to show a MET's graph and altitude graph, as well as screen and sound settings. The display goes to sleep after a minute or so to save battery, but the Fit Meter is still working even when the screen is blank. You can also adjust the volume of the sounds the Fit Meter makes, or turn them off completely.
The Fit Meter also tracks altitude changes, which is nice when you're going up those stairs, or running up hills, or whatever.
When the Fit Meter is synced, altitude and distance information can be viewed the data panel in graph form in the Wii Fit U game (app? program?), showing varying periods of time and level of activity during different parts of the day. There is also a challenge panel, where you can apply your didstance and altitutde towards various walking and climbing courses. Currently I'm 14km into a 42km walking course in Tokyo, Japan, and 80m up the Eiffel Tower. Kind of fun, and it gives you a goal to work towards.
It's this gamification part of the Fit Meter that has me motivated to walk more, as silly as it seems. Just like the 3DS Play Coins, offering me some measureable progress in exchange for a few more steps is enough to keep me going. Ultimately, the decision to wear a fitness meter of this kind indicates some desire to improve your fitness, and giving me incentive to do more is a very good thing.
The Fit Meter is $20, and syncing it with the downloaded time limited trial version of Wii Fit U lets you keep the game permanently. If you already have a Balance Board from the Wii, it's definitely worth getting if you're even the tiniest bit interested in Wii Fit U.
If you're interested I made a community gym called FitMonsterHunters that anyone who loves Monster Hunter can join. Here's the lookup code 5267-1406-7045
My hunting buddy Sven (@RetroRedemption) saw that I got a Fit Meter recently, and suggested that we make a Gym for Monster Hunters. And thus the FitMonsterHunters Gym was born.
To join, search for the gym by code: 5267-1406-7045. We can encourage each other to get off our butts and get our Mii's to stop looking so rotund.
Hope to see you there.
The Extra Life marathon is over, but it's not too late to give! To get your donations in please visit: www.extra-life.org/participant/gamerparent
This past Saturday, gamers of all stripes from all over the world set themselves to a task. To play for 24 hours (25 with daylight savings time) to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. It was my first time participating in the Extra Life event, and my kids and I decided to make it a family affair. We chose Sick Kids Foundation here in Toronto, a hospital that provides care for thousands of kids each year. I should know, I was one of them!
We started at 8AM and live streamed the whole thing to my twitch channel. It was an interesting day, because we had to take a break right at 9:30 in order for the kids to attend their dance class. I continued to game a little bit by playing on my 3DS!
After that momentary break, we got right back to it. I really had no lack of choice of games to play, as I've amassed quite a bit of a backlog recently, so it was a great chance to move ahead a bit in my games.
Rayman was a multiplayer affair, with the kids tagging along as we played a little Football first, and then did a few of the beginning levels together. With Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, I travelled to Dragon Roost Island, and figured out a few things on how to get to the top of the darned mountain and see said dragon.
Then things got interesting, because the kids wanted to play Boom Blox on the Wii, while I wanted to stream The Wonderful 101. Well, with the Wii U's Off TV play (shameless plug) we were able to do both! I felt that The Wonderful 101's mirrored mode was an interesting design choice, as those of you who watched the stream will have noticed. The game puts the display of what otherwise would have been on the Gamepad into a small picture in picture window at the bottom right corner of the screen. It wasn't until about an hour that I figured out how to make that screen go away when not needed, so it wouldn't block the subtitles. I had fun playing it, and I was required to use the Right Stick to make my drawings, which took some getting used to. I definitely would appreciate another go at the game using the normal control scheme and dual screens. What fun, though! It's fast paced, frenetic action, the way only Platinum knows how to do. If you have a Wii U you need to get this game.
Then it was Disney Infinity time, where I mostly handed the time over to the kids. They played through parts of the Incredibles missions, while I explored some of the Pirates of the Caribbean levels. Then I left to catch a short break while they played the Monsters University area and showed off the toolbox to some of our friends who had arrived.After that it was Pikmin 3, where we did a little Bingo Battle mode. This pits two players against each other in a race to collect fruit in the same arena, to see who can be first to get four in a row on your bingo card. That was a lot of fun, and after that I tried some of the new missions available. There are fruit collecting missions, and there are creature battle missions. Neither one was I very good at, sadly! I need more practice managing everything, right now I'm definitely a beginner level Pikmin player. They should have Pikmin tournaments, like they have Starcraft tournaments. Seriously, Pikmin 4 should be made into a Starcraft type online tournament game, it would be awesome.
After that it was time to try out Wii Fit U for the first time. This game was just released on Friday, so it was brand new and there was lots to explore. Having only experienced the first Wii Fit and not gone in for the Plus version, there was much to explore in Wii Fit U. Nintendo have really added a lot of new modes, including and entirely new Dance mode, and have included refinements and enhancements to your old favourites. I tried a trampoline jumping game, luge, squash, and kung fu, all of which were fun, but were not part of the core strength or yoga parts of the game. I'm looking forward to getting more out of this game, and Nintendo have made it more community and online oriented this time, with the ability to join a gym with other players.
Then it was time to unwrap a new game that I had been saving: Pandora's Tower for the Wii. This is an action/puzzle RPG, with an interesting story premise. There is a girl who has a curse mark that is slowly turning her into a monster. Your task as the hero is to go into various towers of a castle and defeat monsters and bosses to get some of there flesh, in order that the girl might eat it and temporarily gain some respite from the curse. Yep, pretty messed up. I managed to get to but not finish the second tower in my 2 hour sitting, and I liked what I saw.
At around 11PM I started Monster Hunter, and any of you who know me will know that this is my favourite game. I've put about 380+ hours into the WiiU version, and over 300 into the Wii version, so what's 3 more hours, right? I was joined online by a few buddies and we did a bunch of quests, ending off with a glorious 4 monster arena battle ending with Savage Deviljho. G-Rank is tough, and I did cart several times, but I didn't fail any quests. That's probably a testament to my teammates skill rather than anything I contributed, but we had fun. The nice thing about playing with super high skill players in Monster Hunter is that by this time, everything is sort of just for fun at this point. At least the people I play with are. Shout outs to Kaze, Daimao, and Sheppie for helping me stay awake!
It was a bit surreal to look at the clock and see 1:45 AM, and then look at the clock a little later and see 1:05AM. That's what being awake for the time change is like. You get to experience 1AM all over again.
At 2:00AM (the real, post time change 2:00AM) I switched to Need for Speed Most Wanted. I had bought this a while back on sale, but hadn't cracked it open yet. It looked gorgeous, I really appreciated the wet roads and the reflections, they looked nice. I couldn't get into the driving feel of it, I'm not sure if it's the game of the controller, but every car just felt sloppy. It was as if small inputs wouldn't move the car, and then long inputs were too big. Maybe I've just gotten out of the habit of driving with a controller, since I got my wheel for the PC. In any case, I did have fun trying to outrun the police all the time, but I didn't really do too well on the races, not knowing the map too well hindered me there.
After a few hours of that it was home stretch for me, so I put Injustice Gods Among Us in the machine, got out my fight stick, and played through the story mode from the beginning till about chapter 7. It's a fun game, I have no issues with it whatsoever. Love it.
And then it was 5 AM. I have to admit that when the kids came downstairs to relieve me and take the last leg, I felt as though the cavalry had arrived. They had readily agreed to wake up early and play video games so that I could sleep a few hours before we had to go out, so I gladly handed the reins over and went to sleep.
It's hard to describe the exhaustion, it's not physically taxing, playing video games, but it does take some mental focus. By that time I was done done. I had reached my limit. I think that if I didn't have a full Sunday of activities, if I could have just crashed after the 24 hours, that I would have made it to the end, but practically it was not possible for me to do it. I'm so proud and glad that my kids could get involved and also really help me out. Kudos to you, bookworm and scribbledot. You're the best.
As of this writing, the Extra Life weekend marathon raised over $3.6 million dollars for Children's Hospitals, and I'm so happy that I was able to be a part of it. Thanks to all who donated, and watched the stream. You were a part of this too.
I will try to do it again next year, and I'll definitely start promoting it a lot sooner next time. To find out how you can participate, go to www.extra-life.org for information. Here's hoping 2014 is even bigger and better!
I've been remiss. I've forgotten to talk about Extra Life here on the blog until now! Whoops! Well, it's time to fix that.
This year will be the first time I'm taking part in Extra Life, a 24 hour game marathon to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I will be raising money for Sick Kids Foundation here in Toronto.
I'm streaming the entire thing at www.twitch.tv/gamerparent so please drop by anytime during the event and see what I'm up to. My schedule is as follows:
Nov.2 Schedule [all times ET]
8:00 Rayman Legends
10:00 Zelda Wind Waker HD
12:00 Wonderful 101
14:00 Disney Infinity
16:00 Wii Retrospective
18:00 Pikmin 3
22:00 Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Nov.3 Schedule [crazy time]
NFS Most Wanted
Mark of the Ninja
5:00 Kids choice
It's going to be a little crazy as I get into the wee hours, but hopefully I'll make it for the whole thing. The fun thing about being a Dad is that my kids are now old enough to play with me, and they'll be helping me out through the whole day. They've promised that they'll wake up early on Sunday to relieve me for the last few hours, so that should be interesting!
To donate, go to www.extra-life.org/participant/gamerparent and help me reach my goal of $500!
According to a Nintendo Spain press release, they may be bringing Monster Hunter 4 to the Salon del Manga XIX event happening in Barcelona on October 31st.
This is big news, as there has been no announcements about any Western localization of Monster Hunter 4 from Capcom. If this is true, and not just a typo, then that sound you hear is me cheering and jumping up and down.
via My Nintendo News
PERSONAL UPDATE: Something in my gut tells me this isn't actually happening. The biggest clue is that it's a Manga fair, which suggests that they're just bringing the Japanese version to let people try it out.
It's a busy day here for me, but there's so much going on I just had to make a quick note.
Nintendo has released a big Wii U firmware update, with a lot of enhancements and changes to the system. One of the big things is off TV play while in Wii Mode, which adds the ability to send the video signal to the Gamepad when you're in Wii Mode.
Then, at 10AM ET there will be a Nintendo Direct. This will purportedly cover both 3DS and Wii U games that are upcoming. I'm hoping we hear more about X today, that game from Monolithsoft that looks to be a followup to Xenoblade Chronicles.
Oh, and the US government shut down today. All historical like.
Nintendo released Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD to the Wii U eShop at midnight. I got my download on, and I'm looking forward to experiencing Wind Waker FOR THE FIRST TIME sometime this evening.
I'll be streaming my play through, so come check out my twitch channel around 9pm EST!
If I have to buy a new console to play this game, I think I just might have to...