By Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire
In October, I got the very special chance to visit with the good folks from Nintendo as they traveled the country in their character-covered, specially outfitted Airstream RV pumping their new games. Okay, so I was in the back of a parking lot of a hotel, and that seemed a bit dodgy, but the Nintendo folks were very welcoming.
Full Disclosure: NOT a Gamer
So first off, I must admit that I’m not a gamer. Yes, I own a Wii and sure, I’ve played my share of video games and I know who Mario is (he’s the one in the jumpsuit, right?). But since I don’t own a 7 to 10 year old boy, I had never even touched a DS.
But all that changed with my visit to the Nintendo Airstream RV. I was thrown into gaming with gusto, able to play with the newest of their toys—the 3-D versions of the handheld Nintendo 3DS were amazing and quite dizzying. I was surprised at the quality of the 3-D (controllable in depth level) and and how you needed to actually move around to play the game. Of course, that would be more of a problem on a long car ride, but in general, anything that gets kids up and moving while still maintaining being plugged in is impressive. I was also surprised by the functionality of the device to do something like take photos. Way cool. Not to mention the way you could get a 3-D character to pop out of a card! Amazing.
I also was able to sample several of the “new” games on the DS. Now, granted, by “new” Nintendo means they are taking old favorites and just throwing in some updates. I played MarioKart7, Tetris for 3DS, Kirby Mass Attack and Professor Layton and the Last Specter. Each game was involving and fairly easy to begin playing without much direction. That was especially important as I had no idea how to play anything but Tetris and who is this Kirby creature and why does he hammer other creatures, turn them into fruit and eat them?
Regardless, I came away from the DS table believing if your kids (or you) enjoy the previous versions of the games, they will like the updated ones, too. Even a non-gamer such as myself was sucked in and could easily have sat in the RV all day.
As far as the Wii is concerned, a new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Kirby, and Go Vacation are rolled out this fall. Nintendo is also offering new black consoles including MarioKart with the wheel accessory for less than what it used to cost to just buy the console itself. Talk about a deal!
I’ll Meet You on Fortune Street!
But there was one brand new game for Wii, due to release in December 2011, and it is called Fortune Street. This game has apparently been all the craze in Japan for a few years and is finally being released in North America this year. Players race around the board trying to get more money to hit a certain target amount and they raise money by buying and selling and improving properties on the board, similar to Monopoly. Once you’ve gotten to that magic dollar amount, you try to be the first one to cash out at the bank. The game has multiple boards and levels, even involving the stock market in higher levels. In a special twist, your character you get to play is one from DRAGON QUEST (no, I have no clue what that is) or other Nintendo games, Mario being another example. Maybe you used to love the little dog figure or the flat iron or the race car, but this definitely brings the game to life.
Okay, okay. You are right, it still sounds boring. After all, unless you adore Monopoly, it is a pretty slow game. However, I actually got to play an entire game of Fortune Street with three others and I can attest that it was quite entertaining and more fun than anticipated. It was also a LOT faster than a Monopoly game as you are actually trying to achieve certain goals as you zip around the board, and you don’t have to stick to the same direction. Even better, I had no idea it would happen, but I somehow managed to make a surprise come from behind victory. The game does teach the difference between your cash on hand and your investments, and I can see if you got into stocks, you could learn quite a bit about the financial world. Bottom line is, if you want a game that is fun and also going to challenge your brain a bit, this is a viable option.
Okay, I Lied. I’m Not a Guru.
So I can’t tell a lie this close to Christmas (Santa is watching!)—I wasn’t turned into a guru overnight. Or even in the 2 hours I lived in the Nintendo RV. I’m still pretty hazy about the ins and outs of these game characters and the way the magic all happens. But I did come out with a fairly intense desire to add MarioKart to my Christmas wish list, so that’s gotta count for something right?
Visit the Nintendo Site to Learn More
|Noelle has been a children’s librarian for over 15 years. She’s also been a student teacher, worked as an online account manager, worked in a pet shop and as a supermarket checkout clerk, and as a dishwasher and fry cook. She is the proud mom of a beautiful daughter. You can read more of Noelle’s book reviews at Rave Reviews Log
Noelle can be reached at “Noelle @ DadDoes.Com”
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