Even when it was released in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii games were already looking a little past it, stuck as they were in the muddy depths of standard-definition resolution and on relatively old hardware. In 2011, they’re way past it.
Not to worry. If you’d rather play your Wii games in stunning HD – and trust us, they look stunning – then all you need to do is follow these simple steps.[jump]
While you can’t play Wii games in HD on the actual console, no matter what kind of snake oil you’re being promised, you can play them in HD on your PC.
How? Simple. Using a program called Dolphin, one of the most popular and accessible emulators around. What Dolphin does is simulate the workings of a Wii (or GameCube) on your PC, turning it into the prettiest and most powerful Nintendo console you’ve ever seen.
Note: We’ve prepared and tailored this guide to help those who already own a physical copy of a Wii game. Those who give Nintendo (and other publishers) the money they deserve for making these awesome games.
To get started, you’re going to need a program called Rawdump, version 2.1. You’re also going to need to make sure your disc drive is compatible with the program, as not all are.
The following DVD Drives are not supported to dump Wii or Gamecube Games:
SONY DVD RW DW-G120A, NEC/SONY Optiarc DVD RW AD-7173A, Optiarc DVD RW AD-7200A,TSSTcorp DVD-ROM SH-D163B, TSSTcorpDVD-ROM SH-D163BSB00, TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-W162L, TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-H653B FS01,TSSTcorp DVD-ROM SH-D162C, OFOD SHMBO5U381, Pioneer dvd-rw DR-TD08HB, ATAPI DVD A DH16AASH SA15,ATAPI DVD A DH20A65 7P56, ATAPI DVD A DH20A4P 95P9, LG HL-DT-ST BDDVDRW CH08LS10, TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223Q,HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GWA-4082N, TSSTcorpCDRWDVD TS-H493BD200, HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH22LP20.
Known DVD Drives that are supported:
LG 8161B, LG 8162B, LG 8163B, LG 8164B, LG GH20NS15, Optiarc DVD RW AD-7203A, HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM GDR8161B.
What this does is let you drop your Wii (or GameCube) disc into your PC’s disc drive and “rip” the content off it. This is important because you won’t be playing the game off the disc, you’ll be playing it off the “image” of the disc that you get using the program and save to your PC.
Drop the disc in, click “START DUMP”, and when it’s done you’ll be left with a file ending in .Wii or .Wod. Select the file, click “CONVERT RAW TO .ISO”, and you’ll be left with an .iso file, which is what Dolphin needs to run.
Now we’ve got the game ready, we need to get Dolphin so we can actually run it.
Make sure you get the right one for your operating system (it runs on Windows, Linux and Intel-based Macs). After it’s downloaded, boot it up.
A lot of emulators out there are complex, arcane affairs, but one of the reasons Dolphin is so popular is that it’s relatively simple to understand and easy to use. There are five big buttons that contain most of the settings you’ll ever need to mess with, and those buttons, as you can see, are pretty self-explanatory.
It’s not, however, perfect. It’s not a plug-and-play affair. You’ll need to mess around with a lot of the graphics and performance settings to get things running to a level that either suits you or to which your PC can handle. And yes, the better your PC, the better: because you’re only emulating a Wii or GameCube, it can be quite a strain on your processor, so if you’ve got an older or weaker PC you may need to dial the settings down a bit.
Because these settings will vary from user to user, and even from game to game, I’m not going to list them here. Feel free to tinker with them yourself, or visit the super-friendly Dolphin forums for more specific guidelines.
Because you’re playing on a PC, you can entirely customise the way the games are controlled. Dolphin lets users individually select each button press and axis of movement, so if you’d like to use a keyboard, control pad or combination of the two, you can.
For GameCube (and some Wii) games, all you’ll really need to do is plug in a control pad, configure the settings (just click on the big GCPAD or WIIMOTE buttons) and you’re off. For Wii games, though, you’ve got some choices.
While it’s possible to play games using the keyboard, control pad and mouse to replicate the movements of a Wii controller, it’s a shoddy workaround. The best way to play Wii games, especially those like Skyward Sword which require MotionPlus, is to use your actual Wii controller.
To get one running on your PC, you’ll need two things: a Bluetooth adapter (if your PC or Mac doesn’t already have the capability) and a wireless sensor bar. Some people will say you don’t need the latter, but it’ll save you a lot of hassle. The Bluetooth adapter lets you sync your Wii controller to your PC so it can read its movements, and using a wireless sensor bar means all you need to do is take the bar away from your console and put it under your monitor instead. Get them running and bam, you’ve got the perfect Wii control system, right in front of your PC.
Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to play! Click on the yellow “OPEN” folder icon on Dolphin’s main dashboard and browse to the .iso file you got from your Wii disc. Select it then, gods willing, your game should start up and look amazing.
If it doesn’t, or if there are glitches, or the controller isn’t working, or something else goes wrong, relax. Like I said, this isn’t plug-and-play. Most games usually take a little fine-tuning to get working, and once again, the best place for advice on specific games (since some can be a little twitchy in Dolphin) is to head to that title’s thread on the Dolphin forums.
And that does it! Hopefully those of you who have enjoyed their copies of Skyward Sword, or any other big Wii game recently (Okami and Mario Galaxy come highly recommended), can now go back and enjoy them all over again, only this time in shiny HD. Ditto for your GameCube collections as well, as Wind Waker looks amazing.
Football fans, get ready for yet another round of exciting NFL games today, including the Seahawks vs. Panthers, Patriots vs. Jets, and Steelers vs. Broncos — capped off with the Packers vs. Vikings on “Sunday Night Football.”
The TV broadcasts of today’s NFL games vary around the country. All NFL games today are being broadcast on major networks — CBS, Fox, and NBC — but most fans will only get to see a few games.
The Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings “Sunday Night Football” game is being aired nationally on all NBC stations, so NFL fans are sure to have access to that broadcast (or the live stream). Otherwise, the NFL TV broadcasts are different from region to region. Local CBS and Fox stations decide which games to broadcast in that part of the country: They generally air the local team’s games, as well as one or two other NFL games that should be of interest to viewers.
Here’s how to watch NFL games for free — online or on TV — including options to live stream games on your phone or other devices.
• Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET on CBS • San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET on Fox • Oakland Raiders vs. vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. ET on CBS • Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET on CBS • Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET on Fox • New England Patriots vs. New York Jets, 1 p.m. ET on CBS • New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET on Fox • Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET on Fox • Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts, 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS • Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS • Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
Again, fans generally don’t get to see every NFL game today on TV. But they should be able to watch some NFL games even if they don’t have cable or another pay TV package.
A decent digital antenna costs only about $25, and in most of the country once it’s hooked up to your TV it provides unlimited free broadcasts of major networks like CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC, and PBS. If you don’t have a TV, or want to watch NFL games online for whatever reason, there are free live streaming options as well.
How to Live Stream NFL Games for Free on Your Phone
To live stream NFL games on a smartphone, you’ll have to download the Yahoo Sports app or NFL App. Either app provides you with free live streams of many NFL games: You’ll be able to watch all of the Sunday games broadcast locally on CBS and Fox, as well as nationally televised games such as “Sunday Night Football” on NBC and “Monday Night Football” on ESPN.
These NFL game live streams are totally free, but they’re only available on phones. In other words, you can’t use the apps to watch NFL games on a laptop, smart TV, or any screen larger than a phone.
In most of the country, basic packages for these streaming TV services include local broadcasts of major networks, allowing you to watch NFL games online on any screen you like.
Package prices for the streaming TV services cited above start at $40 per month. But you can try them out at no charge during a free trial, which lasts about a week for new subscribers. That will allow you to live stream today’s NFL games for free, and then you’d have a few more days to check the service out. Just remember to cancel before the free trial ends if you don’t want to become a paying subscriber.
How to Watch All the NFL Games Today
If you want to watch NFL games that aren’t being broadcast on CBS or Fox in your part of the country, you’ll have to resort to a special package with access to out-of-market NFL games. And, most likely, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny.
DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package lets you watch NFL game broadcasts from all over the country, and prices start at $300 per season (on top of a pay TV package).
Alternately, the NFL Game Pass package lets you watch (or stream) NFL games — after they’re over and the outcome has been decided. If you can stay away from spoilers on social media, this is a cheaper option for watching out-of-market NFL games: NFL Game Pass costs $99.99 for the season, and new subscribers can check out the service for free during a seven-day free trial.
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Thanksgiving week is a time of eating food, shopping for crap, and then eating more of the same food all over again (this time as sandwiches). Of course, there’s a lot of downtime in there, too. Plenty of us will be heading home for the holidays, or spending time with friends—and to stave off the boredom, it’s always great to have a few board games on hand. But you don’t want to have to suffer through that 20-year-old copy of Taboo! or Stratego again, right?
To help out, I’ve compiled a handy list of cool games you can pull out whenever your aunt or cousin asks if everyone wants to join in on another game of Scrabble, Clue, or the like. Of course, to keep things interesting, I also included a few games that are more subversive than complimentary. Because it wouldn’t be family time without a bit of drama. Let the games begin.
If Your Family/Friends Like to Play…
Ah, the classic murder mystery game. There’s a reason escape rooms are so popular nowadays, and why there are even board game versions of them (I didn’t include any here, as they mostly amount to a series of jigsaw puzzles with a timer). People love a good mystery, and it’s an easy way to bring your family or friends together with a common goal.
I’ve already boasted the wonders of Mysterium before, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Suffice to say, this is the quintessential modern Clue game—especially for those looking for something cooperative. In Mysterium, players work together as a group of mediums trying to solve a murder. The twist is there’s one more player at the table, and they’re the murder victim. As a ghost, that player provides clues in the form of “psychic visions” to help the mediums figure out who did the crime, where it happened, and what weapon they used.
Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
While Clue is more of a classic “whodunnit,” Detective: A Modern Crime Board Gameis Law and Order: CSI on steroids. This game is great for those with family members who are obsessed with true crime shows or podcasts and have at least three hours to kill on Black Friday. Detective is a cooperative game where players work through a series of five interconnected cases, gathering clues, following leads, and questioning suspects. It’s not easy, as the team’s success depends on how many clues are gathered and deduced. It’s also a multimedia game, meaning it includes a database website that players may have to turn to for more information. In other words, Grandma may not be on board.
Card games are a quick and easy way to get people to the table for a bit of easy, competitive fun. And while I’m a fan of the classics—Hearts remains one of my favorite card games—there are plenty of new games that are just as challenging, with a bit of added hilarity.
Unstable Unicorns remains one of the most popular Kickstarter campaigns of all time, and for good reason. It’s a delightful and adorable, but remarkably tough, strategy game where players work to build their own unicorn armies. It’s all about timing and patience, as other players can slow your progress if they think you’re building your forces too fast.
If you want something that’s just as loud as Uno but more cooperative, Spaceteam is a solid choice. Players work together to repair a malfunctioning spaceship, coordinating to get the right cards lined up before the ship flies into a black hole. This means it usually ends up with everyone yelling hilarious commands at each other, like “I need that weird spindly corkscrew thing, you know what I’m talking about, right?”
This is a tough one, as having a family that’s into Risk can mean one of two things. Either they’re into conquest games, in which case I’ve got an excellent candidate, or someone at the table is way into war campaigning and political history in a way that can get real awkward real fast. That’s not to say you should avoid political discussions with your family, but you probably don’t want a bunch of game pieces scattered on the floor as a result. Your uncle’s certainly not going to pick them up.
Scythe is perfect for those wanting to play a campaign board game similar to Risk, but without the awkwardness of acting as an invading army of actual foreign nations. The engine-building game takes place in an alt-history 1920s Eastern Europe, where a great war has left civilizations devastated and giant armored mechs roaming the land. Each player is tasked with restoring their people’s honor and leading their faction to power through gathering resources, conquering territory, constructing settlements, and activating mechs. Gameplay is quick and streamlined, and players cannot be killed off.
If you’re looking for a defensive strategy game that will subtly send a message to that one person at the table (you know who I’m talking about), Spirit Islandis a good way to get a point across. Unlike Risk, where total world domination is the end game, Spirit Island is about fighting colonialism. Players take on the role of island spirits who have banded together to save their home and its people from invading foreigners. And before you think it could turn into a “Build The Wall” situation, the invading countries are clearly white colonists—from England, Brandenburg-Prussia, or Sweden. It’s a game that has a similar tone to Risk, but an entirely different message.
This is the game of choice for my side of the family (my husband’s family does not care for it). There’s something exciting about flexing your mind muscles with a game of both skill and chance, solving a puzzle of words that require you to know a) what words are; and b) how to spell them correctly. Trust me, my family gets super into it…and I usually end up losing. That’s why I came up with some alternatives!
One of the things that makes Scrabble so interesting is that it’s both competitive and cooperative. You often depend on the other person to help get you spots to play your best words. InThe Mind, that mind-melding cooperation is taken to the extreme. Players take turns laying down hidden numbered cards in sequential order, from lowest to highest. But here’s the thing: It’s entirely silent. Players cannot speak to each other about their cards, or hint at what they’re going to play next. It’s all about trusting in each other to ensure the group’s success.
Pantone: The Game
While Scrabble is about putting random letters together to make words, Pantone creates art with swatches. This card game has players designing different pop culture characters through a series of color swatches, trying to get others to guess who they’re referencing based on nothing but color (and a few hints as needed). It’s a challenging puzzle that feels similar to Scrabble, but is also the polar opposite. Of course this one isn’t appropriate for families or friends where one or more members have color blindness.
…Settlers of Catan
Congratulations, your family likes working together in a calm and peaceful setting! Actually, I take that back, Settlers of Catan can get competitive as hell. But at least it’s pastoral and looks really pretty. Here are some similar experiences for people looking for a beautiful game with a bit of an edge.
This is basically Settlers of Catan in space. In Terraforming Mars, players take on the role of corporations trying to terraform the planet, doing things like raising the temperature, creating oxygen, and establishing life and society on the planet. Given how screwed up our planet seems to be nowadays, thanks to climate change, the idea of terraforming a new one sounds pretty nice.
I’m a big fan of the Forbidden series, and Sky is the latest and perhaps coolest additions to the franchise. It’s a cooperative game where players are on a “mysterious platform” floating in the sky, as a dangerous lightning storm approaches. Players need to construct a rocket so they can escape while learning more about the strange place they’ve found themselves. This game doesn’t require you to have played any of the others in the Forbidden series, but it does make learning this one a lot easier.
…Apples to Apples
This is the classic party game for people who’ve realized that Cards Against Humanity is a toxic pile of poop. Of course, there are plenty of alternate versions that don’t involve hating yourself for saying “that thing.”
Bards Dispense Profanity
Save this one for after the kids go to bed. Bards Dispense Profanityis a copycat version of Cards Against Humanity, with one notable difference: All of the answers are real quotes from William’s Shakespeare works. That might make it sound totally dated, but trust me—they get really raunchy, really fast. It’s a fun way to channel some adults-only humor without the awkwardness of CAH’s casual bigotry. Instead, it’s old-fashioned bigotry, with a history lesson.
Ever wanted to introduce your parents to shipping? Slash is a hilarious card game where players create their ideal fan relationships out of beloved fictional characters and historical figures. It’s fun because not only is it an interesting social experiment in seeing how different characters would get along, but the game also encourages players to create their own fan fiction in order to defend their choices. It’s a silly game that will also get your family members wondering whether Darth Maul really could build a lifelong companionship with Goofy. For the record, they totally could.
…The Game of LIFE
This is another tough one. The Game of LIFE is a suburban capitalism dream, where players follow the literal road of life to financial success, a nuclear family, and a cushy retirement. Sadly, that game doesn’t reflect where we are now, and can end up feeling really depressing. Instead, I chose realistic games that better reflect our own desires, troubles, and conflicts. Keep in mind: These games are more emotionally challenging than others on this list, and care should be taken in regards to who you play them with, and how.
Discover: Lands Unknown
The Game of LIFE is about where it’s easy to thrive, but Discover: Lands Unknown is all about survival. Players wake up in a strange location and have to figure out how to survive and escape, and the location style can change with every game. For example, one day you might be in the chilly mountains needing to build a fire, while another is in a forest haunted by mysterious creatures. What’s interesting about this game is that each copy is unique, with a different combination of player and location cards inside each box. That means no two households will play exactly the same.
Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr
Board games are not often considered art, at least not by casual players, but games like Holding Onare sure to change their minds. In this cooperative game, players become a medical staff dedicated to the needs of a dying man named Billy Kerr. He has regrets he needs to get off his chest, and players are tasked with keeping him alive and comfortable long enough so he can tell his story and die in peace. I don’t say this lightly…this game is intense. An emotional rollercoaster that challenges players in ways we don’t often see in board games. Plus, it tackles something we all face: confronting the mistakes of our past. It won’t be for every family—but if yours is the right one, it can be a beautiful bonding experience.
Why yes, I too like to live dangerously. As much as we all like to pretend board games are simply a fun way to spend time together, there are some families and friend groups that get joy out of being truly evil to each other. They lie, they cheat, they steal money out of the bank when no one is looking.
No better way to be a villain than to play as an actual villain. This latest Disney board game, Villainous, has players take on the role of iconic Disney villains like Captain Hook, Ursula, and Maleficent. Each player has a different goal they’re trying to achieve while working to undermine everybody else. I personally loved playing as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. While every other villain is like “take all the gold” or “destroy the world,” the Queen of Hearts just wants to play a good game of croquet. I mean, who can fault her for that?
Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson had his 20-game suspension reduced to 14 games by neutral arbitrator Shyam Das, a dozen days after it was upheld by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Pursuant to this ruling, Wilson is eligible to play in Washington’s game on Tuesday night at the Minnesota Wild.
Wilson was banned by the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit to the head on St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in a preseason game played on Sept. 30. He was considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, as it was his fourth suspension since September 2017 — a span of 105 games. That included a three-game ban in the 2018 postseason during the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup.
“First good day in a while,” Wilson said. “It was definitely a nice text to get.”
Based on his average annual salary, he was scheduled to forfeit $1,260,162.60. Instead, Wilson will have $378,048.78 in salary returned to him, after having already served 16 games of that suspension, which began on Oct. 3.
The Capitals tweeted their happiness over the ruling.
Wilson said he’s had time to think about his physical game and what he can do in the league.
“Putting myself in a good position to not have the ball in their court. Make sure I’m controlling my end of it, that I’m controlling what I can do, because at the end of the day missing 15, 16 games, it can’t happen,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he doesn’t want to be thought of as a goon.
“The game is getting faster and more skilled,” he said. “When there are those big hits, it’s such a hot topic. It’s instantly scrutinized. … At the end of the day I don’t want my name to be put in that category.”
Wilson first appealed the 20-game ban, the longest in the NHL since the 41-game ban for San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres in 2015, to Bettman. He announced on Oct. 25 that the suspension had been upheld. Bettman dismissed the NHLPA arguments that Sundqvist’s head wasn’t the main point of contact and that a 20-game suspension was extreme and unprecedented.
“In my judgement, a 20-game regular-season suspension assessed to Mr. Wilson reflects and accounts for appropriately the unique combination of factors involved in this case, including the gravity of the offense, Mr. Wilson’s prior disciplinary record (particularly within the relatively short period of time in which it was amassed), the multiple warnings and guidance he has received from the DPS and the seriousness of the injury,” Bettman wrote.
Wilson and the NHLPA then appealed to a neutral arbitrator, as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement. In his ruling, Das agreed with the NHL that the head was likely the main point of contact on the hit and that this contact was avoidable, meaning that Wilson’s hit was in clear violation of Rule 48, banning illegal checks to the head.
Where Das disagreed, rather starkly, with the NHL was in the calculation for the 20-game suspension for Wilson.
Simply put, it was some fuzzy math by the league.
George Parros, director of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, used six other players who had been suspended at least three times in an 18-month span as examples for his calculation of Wilson’s ban. That included the 10-times multiplier applied to Torres in 2015.
“Parros concluded that 3x was an appropriate multiplier, that Wilson’s most recent suspension for three playoff games should be treated as equivalent to six regular season games, and that two games should be added based on the serious injury to Sundqvist. That is how the 20-game (3x2x3+2) suspension was determined,” Das wrote. “While not scientific, the Commissioner insists this was a reasonable way to impose discipline in this case to best ensure this does not happen again.”
But Das disagreed, for two reasons. First was a matter of intent: The severity of Wilson’s suspension was partially influenced by the danger of the play and what Bettman called “consistently dangerous” hits administered by the Capitals forward.
But Parros categorized Wilson’s hit on Sundqvist as not exhibiting an intent to injure, and noted in his earlier testimony that only six out of 250 hits by Wilson last were flagged by Player Safety. The NHLPA argued that the merits of each of his previous suspensions had been hotly debated within the Department of Player Safety as well, an indication that they weren’t “consistently dangerous.”
As for the NHL’s math, Das sided with the NHLPA, which contended that the “multiplier” formula to reach 20 games was “pulled out of thin air.”
Wrote Das: “There is no evidence that any specific ‘multiplier,’ as such, was used to determine the discipline in those (or other) prior instances of repeated rule violations, and the after-the-fact multipliers calculated by Parros for purposes of this case varied widely from negative numbers to 10x in Torres’ case. Parros explained that Wilson’s record of four suspensions within 18 months was unprecedented and that a multiplier of 3x seemed appropriate taking into account this was his third repeat offense. Setting aside, for the moment, whether 20 games was reasonable under all relevant circumstances, this explanation is too thin a reed to substantially support the application of a multiplier of 3x as used in Parros’ methodology.”
Das also agreed with the NHLPA’s use of former Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta as precedent. In 2013, Kaleta was suspended 10 games after his fourth run-in with Player Safety — a fine and three suspensions, including injuring two players with illegal checks to the head. Das felt these penalties in a short time frame were similar to Wilson’s record. The difference was that Kaleta was given a 10-game ban on a play that didn’t result in an injury. Yet Bettman, in his ruling on that suspension five years ago, called 10 games “a meaningful increase in the quantum of discipline.”
Wrote Das: “I am not persuaded that there is substantial evidentiary support for the League’s determination to impose a 20-game suspension on Wilson. In particular, the evidentiary record does not establish a reasonable basis for use of the 3x multiplier employed in this case or the wide disparity between Wilson’s 20-game suspension and the 10-game suspension imposed in Kaleta under substantially comparable circumstances, other than the injury to the opposing player, which was separately factored into Wilson’s discipline.”
Hence, the suspension was reduced to 14 games.
This is the second time recently that Das has overruled an NHL suspension. He dropped Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson‘s 27-game suspension, handed out for an offseason domestic assault incident, to 18 games on Oct. 12. He was also the arbitrator who overturned Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun‘s 50-game suspension for a positive drug test in 2012.