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Apr 5, 2010

The Girl Gamer's Gaming Tech Guide - Gadgets for Gaming

Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 – Top Shot Pack
Activision, Cauldron
Available for the Nintendo Wii

For the hunter in the family, there’s Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 Top Shot Pack which includes the game and a Wii remote peripheral shaped like a shotgun. The peripheral has a spot to place both the Wii remote and nunchuk and once the game is switched to the top shot control scheme you can use the shotgun peripheral to shoot almost like a real gun.

The Wii version of Big Game Hunter 2010 gives you 12 story missions and 13 shooting gallery challenges to work your way through, each with various animal life to hunt.

Nyko Charge Base IC for the Nintendo Wii
Holds two Wii Remotes or Nyko Wands

One of the biggest problems facing gamers right now is controller battery life and Nyko is serving up various solutions for all consoles. The Nyko Charge Base IC for the Nintendo Wii is probably the prettiest and most functional of all the chargers I’ve come across. The magnetic grips allow you to stick your remotes onto the charger without removing the rubber sleeves and the blue LED lights on the charge base turn green when the charge completes. The charger comes with two battery packs to insert into your Wii remotes and also includes a USB port on the back should you choose to charge another device like your iPod.

Charge times range from 8 hours with a rubber sleeve on to 4 hours without the rubber sleeve. I suggest taken a minute to remove your rubber sleeves before each charge. The base’s magnetic grip also improves with the sleeve off.

Nyko Charge Base 360 for Xbox 360
Holds two Xbox 360 Controllers

Also available from Nyko to help you with your charging issues is the Nyko Charge Base 360 which charges up to 2 Xbox 360 controllers. I love this charging kit because my regular Xbox battery won’t last more than a few hours lately and the Nyko NiHM battery lasted the full 25 hours it claimed in the manual. One controller takes 2 hours to charge and two controllers take 4 hours. The base has an indicator on the front which glows red when the controllers are charging and green when they are done. The controllers sit perfectly in the cream coloured cradle.

The only downside to this kit is that you can’t charge the batteries on their own without the controller being attached which I would love because I only have one controller that takes a battery pack but I read on CNET.com that you can charge the batteries separate by placing a book on top on them. I haven’t tried this method yet, so don’t blame me if a fire breaks out.

Sony Playstation 3 Wireless Keypad

If you’re like me and you talk to your friends a lot online during gameplay but don’t have a headset, then you have to use the basic controller to type in all your messages which can take forever. Luckily I discovered the solution to my messaging problems with the Sony Wireless Keypad for the Playstation 3. This small keypad device plugs into the top port of your Playstation SIXAXIS or Dualshock 3 controller and fits perfectly over the top portion of your controller. The keypad has its own separate power source, so you’ll have to charge it via the USB cord that plugs into your Playstation 3.

The QWERTY style keyboard features Bluetooth functionality and a few dedicated buttons that allow you to jump to preset features on the XMB like your message box or friends list. There’s even a touch pad button that allows you to use the entire surface of the keypad like a touch pad simply by moving your finger over it which is very useful for moving the pointer while using the web browser.

Nyko Wand Action Pack for Nintendo Wii

If you’re looking for the perfect solution for the over-priced Nintendo Wii controller problem, then look no further then the Nyko Action Pack which contains a Nyko Wand (Wii remote alternative), a Pistol Grip which allows you to enjoy accurate light gun action during all your favourite Wii games and a rubber sleeve to protect your Nyko wand.

The Pistol Grip has a trigger and a button on the back of the handle which can be assigned to either the B or A buttons on the Nyko Wand which respond digitally to the Pistol Grip via its trans-port technology. Putting the wand into the Pistol Grip can be difficult as the directions don’t tell you to pull the trigger away from the wand when installing it, so please be careful or you could break the thing. Ultimately this is a great alternative to buying another Wii remote as it is cheaper and you get more.

Your Shape Featuring Jenny McCarthy
Available for the Nintendo Wii

Generally I am the last person to promote exercise as I am the last person to get off my butt and game, but the toned body of Jenny McCarthy has found her way into the home of my sister along with a Nintendo Wii and I’m all for anything that will get my sister gaming again. Ms. McCarthy helps lovely ladies find their waist line again with her innovative exercise program that utilizes a Wii camera tracking system. This is a far easier system than holding the Wii remote and nunchuk in your hands or strapping them to your legs like in other Wii programs. You’ll be sweating to some general disco sounding tunes while taking instructions from Jenny and viewing yourself on screen via camera.

This is pretty much an aerobics based program which features jumping jacks, walking & running in place, etc. I suggest you alternate this program with another weight based game or a game with sports in it in order to mix it up a bit.

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