Friday night, after the kids were at the in-laws, I again told Liz we really should set up the Wii, but she pretty much stuck to her guns and it didn't happen. Saturday we ran a few errands, exchanged JE's Tiger Cub belt for a Wolf Cub/Sub Scout belt, then ended up in Pasadena where we spent most of the afternoon. And when we got home Liz still wouldn't cave in and let me set up the Wii.
Sunday came around and our clocks which are supposed to set themselves by the Atomic Clock every morning around 2am decided Daylight Saving Time had ended and so set themselves back an hour, so my gut was right as I lay there in bed looking at the clock, thinking it felt later than 6am, but I didn't discover that until I got up at 6:45, which was really 7:45am.
Liz got up around 9am and I heard her pottering around downstairs, and shortly afterwards the aroma of something delicious was wafting throughout the house. It was the chocolate cake she was baking for the Halloween party, which she later decorated and it turned out very well. We dropped off the cake at the in-laws then joined Xinh, Drew & Amanda for lunch at Souplantation, where among other things, the conversation turned to the Wii, specifically because Guitar Hero III:Legends of Rock had been released that very day, and Amanda was keen to get her hands on a copy.
After lunch Liz and I stopped at Target where we found two copies of Guitar Hero III. Both GH3 boxes were slightly damaged, as if something heavy had been sat on them. They weren't crushed but the boxes were not in perfect condition, so we felt reasonably confident in buying the lesser damaged of the two though. This would be the deal breaker :)
At home Liz finally relented and let me set up the Wii and after a spot of bother synching the second controller (there's a synch button on both the controller and the Wii which both need to be pressed) everything was up and running and we were playing, I mean testing, testing the Wii. The Wii sports disc worked just fine, Liz and I played a few games of bowling just to make sure, then wii...I mean we played some Baseball. When Liz took a break I hooked up the nunchuk controller and fired up Wii Boxing. I knocked three opponents on their backs, the first two went down in the first round, the third guy lasted into the second round, and by that time the sweat was pouring off me. I know you really don't have to bounce around the room as you Wii box, I know you can just use little flicks of your wrist to fight your opponent, but it's so much fun (and a HUGE workout) to box in a more realistic manner.
I decided I'd better have a shower before breaking out the GH3 and unleashing my inner rock god, so it was a much refreshed (& cleaner) Capn John who took the stage, ripping through the first few songs in Career Mode, before his groupie, I mean Liz, sent me out to get her some dinner. Don't we have Roadies for stuff like that?
Liz told me to hurry because her parents were going to be bringing the kids home soon.
"Ok, shouldn't I pack up the Wii first then?" I asked. Yes, I was serious. I'd had my play and now knew the Wii worked ok, as opposed to setting it up on Christmas Eve for the kids to find Christmas morning, only to discover we'd got a DOA console. Unlikely, but sometimes I worry about these things.
"Just leave it out," Liz said, with a sheepish smile.
I see...it wasn't me Liz was concerned about at all. She knew that if we set up the Wii, that she would be the one who wouldn't want to put it away.
So I left Liz in charge of the Wii and Guitar Hero and headed out to Jack in the Box. I'd attempted to give her a crash course in how to use the guitar-shaped controller but she told me she'd work it out. And so it was that when I got back I found her trying to play the first song, and failing miserably, because she was hitting the Fret notes ok but she wasn't strumming at the same time, so she was missing the notes and failing the songs. It's like playing a one-string guitar. You can hold down the notes on the fret board, but unless you strum the string you won't get any sound. Liz's performance improved dramatically with that one little change to her playing style.
When she sat down to eat her sandwich I took over, which is when the in-laws arrived. I went downstairs to meet them and we chatted for a couple of minutes as the kids went upstairs, and I could hear JE start chanting happily "We got a Wii! We got a Wii!" I'm sure the in-laws could hear him but probably had no clue what he was saying :D
After the in-laws left I joined my family upstairs and finished my GH3 set then turned it off so JE could play. He didn't want to play Guitar, he wanted to play Wii Sports. Specifically, Wii Boxing!!! So I again hooked up the nunchuk controller to the Wiimote, fired up Boxing, and JE began flailing away. Dancing in towards the TV he began throwing wild punches causing Liz some concern that we were about to experience our first Wii-accident.
I watched in amazement. I was sweating and tired after beating three fighters (total of no more than four 1-minute rounds), JE was still going somewhat strong after defeating his fifth opponent, and he wasn't pulling any punches, either. He had an uncanny knack of finishing his opponent off with a big, looping, overhand right that would almost take their head clean off. The ragdoll physics in Wii Boxing are a sight to see and when a boxer goes down he doesn't always go straight down. Often they will flip and spin and more than one boxer was dumped on his head by JE's overhand right KO punch. And JE kept on boxing. So much so that Liz told him he can't play Wii Sports in the morning because she doesn't want him going to school all hot & sweaty. I wonder how this will work in the afternoon as an incentive for him to finish his homework on time. With a Wii waiting upstairs, he just might be encouraged to do his homework a little faster.
After JE had boxed a bit the bunny wanted to play, so I fixed her up with the second Wiimote and nunchuk and she began trading punches with JE. Big Brother took it easy on her, until she landed a couple of big hits and then it was on and the bunny's avatar quickly found herself lying on the mat. When her toon got up the fight continued and JE was amazed to see his guy get knocked on his arse. But the foregone conclusion was inevitable, given JE's enthusiasm and boundless energy the bunny's avatar eventually went down for the count. Now sated she handed the controllers to me and went back to playing with her blocks while JE knocked around some more cartoon opponents.
I'll say this for it. The Wii is an awesome invention for letting kids (boys in particular) enjoy one of their most favorite activities, while still ensuring they get a lot of exercise. I'm sure JE slept well last night.
Anyway, I'm gonna finish off here. My arms and hands are a little sore. I think I'm out of shape. I think I need to train a little more ;)