Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wii Sports Resort + Wii MotionPlus

Picked up Wii Sports Resort at JB HiFi tonight for for $79, including the Wii MotionPlus dongle. Normal RPP is $99 for this pack at places like EB Games.

The Wii motionPlus comes integrated into a Wiimote jacket , not what I was expecting at all. When you start up the game for the first time a video plays detailing the process of inserting the Wiimote into the jacket. I managed to do this before viewing the instructions, so it can't be that hard.

The intro to the game involves all your Miis skydiving on to the island. This is a nice touch, and you get to control one of them on the way down. The game itself a wider array of sports to choose from than the original Wii Sports. Of the sports available only two old favourites remain in the game, bowling and golf. New sports/activities include frisbee, archery, wake boarding, air sports, jet skiing, table tennis, canoeing and fencing.

The addition of the Wii Motion Plus allows for very sensitive controls making sports much harder to master. Bowling in particular I found much more difficult than on the original Wii sports games. While I haven't had a chance to sample all of the sports, from what I did though, I can say that the Wii MotionPlus is a big improvement over the sometimes hit and miss controls of the Wiimote on its own. Bowling in particular!

Of the sports that I tried out, probably the most enjoyable I found were archery and flying the plane around the island. All I can say is that the controls to these sports seemed very natural. With flying you hold the Wiimote horizontally in front of you, tilting it to turn, climb and descend, I could have spent ages just flying around the island if there wasn't a time limit. The archery made use of the Wiimote and nun chuck but in reverse to normal. So if you are right handed you hold the Wiimote upright in your left hand representing the bow with the nunchuck in your right representing the end of the arrow.

As to the bad controls, there were a few namely the jet ski and frisbee. The jet ski left me with sore shoulders due to the way you hold the Wiimote and nunchuck, which is as if you are holding the handlebars of the jet ski, it just doesn't feel very natural at all. As for the frisbee, lets just say I'm not too good at frisbee in real life, so I have little hope of aiming one in the game. The dog is cute though.

Is Wii Sports Resort worth buying? Yes it is. In fact I would go so far as to say that this is probably how Wii Sports should have been made in the first place. If you do not have the greatest hand eye coordinated like myself, then the addition of the Wii MotionPlus will definitely add a challenge to all the sports on offer. No more bowling Turkey's and serving aces. That frisbee really could go anywhere. Then increasing the sensitivity of the Wiimote, which often does not register my backhand in Wii tennis can't be a bad thing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Keeping my adventures to myself

I'm good at keeping things to myself. This is probably not a surprise to people who read this blog, but I do keep stuff from you. Stuff I should probably blog about. Let me tell you a bit about my adventures that haven't made it to the blog yet.

In the last year I have been to every state in Australia (not counting the territories, ACT or NT).

I have been to Perth twice in the last year, once for the footy trip last September, and once on Easter Saturday this year. Yes for the day. The latter I will blog about shortly.

I have been to Sydney twice in the last 2 months. The first time in May I bored you all with a blow by blow description of the trip. The second time was a weekend trip last month, that was kind of last minute. I may as well blog a bit about that too when I get the chance.

Actually I have been to the ACT. I flew to Sydney the second time via Canberra. Stayed in the airport for an hour, but I did see the flagpole on top of parliament house while we were taxiing from the runway. That leaves only the Northern territory and a few outlying islands to go...

In August last year I took advantage of very cheap airfares and flew to Launceston for the day. Very cold day it was, but was a fun random thing to do.

I now have a reputation at work for flying to random places whenever it takes my fancy. This is far from the truth.

My final confession is that latter in the year I will be going overseas. My first overseas trip since I was 13. More on that later...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Tianjin Gardens

On the corner of Spring and Nicholson Street in Melbourne there is a small Chinese garden over the entrance to Parliament Station. This is the Tianjin Garden. I've been past it a many times, but barely taken any notice of it, until a few weeks ago...

According to the plaque the gardens were a gift from Melbourne's Chinese sister city, Tianjin. It was designed by experts on such matters from Tianjin. (A short City of Melbourne word document about the garden is here - I think this is what is written on the plaque)

The entrance to the garden is guarded by a pair of lions.

The large boulders you can see around the garden are local Tianjin granite.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bendigo Day Trip

On the Sunday of the Queens Birthday long weekend I went for a drive with my mum to Bendigo. Been meaning to post this one for a while, there's nothing like other bloggers posting on a similar topic to spur me into action.

Somewhere under all that cloud is Mount Macedon

We drove there along the Calder Freeway (it's all Freeway now) as far as Elphinstone where we turned "inland" towards Sutton Grange, Mandurang and Strathfieldsaye. Along the way we stopped to do a Geocache by a creek near Sutton Grange, and then went on all the way to Strathfieldsaye just outside of Bendigo.

The next stop was Kennington Reservoir, where I found a second Geocache.

Kennington Reservoir

Next was lunch, had in the car by Lake Weeroona. Sandwhiches from home along with hot jam doughnuts bought from one of two caravans beside the lake.

One of the main reasons for the trip was for mum to visit Bendigo pottery to top up the dinner set. After getting some plates and bowls it was back on the road and into the back blocks of White Hills to look for a house where a relative used to live. Successfully found, we continued on and made our way to Eaglehawk before heading back to Bendigo proper via a round about sort of route.

Shamrock Hotel

Old Buiding, now a museum and tourist
information centre.

I should know what it was originally, but can't remember.
I suspect it was whwere the kept the gold Does anyone know?

I had two more Geocaches on my list for the day, so we went back to lake Weeroona to look for the first. It was really busy on this side of the lake and had to wait ages to get a car park. Then I had to be extra sneaky to retrieve the cache without being seen. While I was waiting for my chance I made friends with a swan.

Lake Weeroona

Black Swan

Tram crossing creek

The Bendigo Creek, now a drain

The final Geocache I found before heading home was near the Bendigo station.

The functional side of Bendigo rail station

We stuck to the Calder Highway all the way back to Melbourne.