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Wiimote hacked to help people with disabilities

Nintendo Wii Nunchuck

At this month's DEFCON hackers' conference, engineering students Josh Marks, Rob Rehrig and Larry Aiello did a demonstration of their project WiiAssist, (PDF here) which allows people with disabilities to use the Nintendo Wiimote as a head-pointer and the Wii Balance Board as a mouse. VultureBeat's Dean Takashi writes:

"[T]he project adapts the infrared sensors in the Wii controller, which detects a Wii game player’s motion and position, so that it can be attached to someone’s head. The sensor is then used to track head movements, which can control a mouse in a computer application."

The University of Delaware students chose the Wiimote in part because it can track up to four infrared sources and it has Bluetooth capabilities, as well as an open-source library for Windows and Linux machines called Wiiuse, which supports "motion sensiong, IR tracking, nunchuck, classic controller, and the Guitar Hero 3 controller."

Long-term goals for WiiAssist include sign language recognition and a design that uses less power and fewer wires.

The Horror Geek presents: New Silent Hill: Shattered Memories trailer from GamesCom

Ah Sunday, a day for rest and relaxation–and apparently a day for no horror news.

I saved this clip of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for a day just like today. The Wii-updating (I'm hesitant to call it a remake—it is technically a remaking of the first game, but it's bringing a lot of new elements to the table as well) of the classic survival horror game is looking pretty good. Don’t take my word for it, though, have a look at this new trailer for the title that appeared at GamesCom earlier this month.

Expect Silent Hill to hit retailers on October 13th for the Wii, PS2, and PSP—just in time to creep you out for Halloween.

Real Heroes: Firefighter Review

The chinchillas are on fire!

Real Heroes: Firefighter Screenshot

HIGH It's a natural fit for the Wiimote, and a great concept.

LOW The graphics are going to be hard to get past for some gamers.

WTF You expect me to risk my life for some chinchillas?

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits Review

A little bit of myth

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits Screenshot

HIGH Smartly elegant controls and art design.

LOW The final level is mildly irritating.

WTF Why don't more people know about it?

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter Two: The Siege of Spinner Cay Review

Something's fishy in Spinner Cay

Tales of Monkey Island Chapter Two: The Siege of Spinner Cay Screenshot

HIGH The main characters are as strong as before—perhaps moreso.

LOW The secondary characters? Not so much.

WTF Swashbuckly ending! Wait—WHAT?!

NyxQuest, Dragon Age Limited, and too-early DLC

Started NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits on WiiWare yesterday. I only had time to get two or three levels into it, but I was really liking what I saw. The art style is very minimal and clean, and the mechanics are immediately accessible.

Basically, you take control of a winged girl and navigate puzzle-ish levels on a 2D plane. The jumping/flapping/gliding works well, and the formula is enriched by using the Wiimote to manipulate certain objects in the environment. In certain sections, you're controlling the girl with the left stick and a button, and moving stone blocks with the Wiimote pointer and a trigger. It's a little like the old "rub your stomach and pat your head" routine, but in a good way.

I look forward to spending more time with it.

The Horror Geek presents: Resident Evil Zero Gamescon footage

I have to be honest, this Wii version of Resident Evil Zero footage didn't exactly blow me away. It's been a long time since I played Resident Evil Zero on the GameCube, but I'd be hard pressed to spot any kind of difference between this version and the original. I kept thinking "how do I even know this trailer is new? They could have taken one from the GameCube release years ago and slapped a Wii logo on it and called it a day…"

That being said, I'm probably not the target audience for this title. Resident Evil Zero for the Wii seems to be aiming at folks who didn't have a GameCube, or just never got around to playing this game back in the day. That's cool—I guess. The title is set to sell at a reduced rated (30 bucks) and will feature Wii-mote controls. I'm not sure how that's going to work with the traditionally clunky Resident Evil interface, but I guess we'll all find out eventually.

There's still no official release date for this game, but it is supposed to be available before the end of the year.

The Horror Geek presents: New Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles trailer

This new trailer for Capcom's Wii-exclusive Resident Evil title (subtitled The Darkside Chronicles) debuted at Gamescon a few days ago. I was saving it for a slow news day—and lo and behold, that's exactly what today is.

This new clip is almost three minutes in length. It doesn't show any gameplay footage, but does spend a lot of time fleshing out the title's story. Truthfully, the story sounds like your typical Resident Evil tale—scientists playing god create horrible monsters who want to kill people.

I'm still interested in checking out the game. I have a weird fondness for the Resident Evil series' wonky narrative stylings and my Wii hasn't seen a lot of action lately. That will hopefully change when this game hits store shelves sometime this December.

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