(WiiWare)

Fireplacing (WiiWare)

Game Review

Fireplacing Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

IT BURNS!

At last, the do-nothing, poorly-constructed, mindless fireplace simulator of your dreams has come to WiiWare. The only explanation: we've all been very bad boys and girls this year, and Santa's relying on digital download services to distribute his coal.

Let's face facts: if you're reading this review, you already know full well whether or not you think this is worth a purchase. Nothing we say is going to change anybody's mind. In fact, reading this review must be an experience much like watching a digital log burn; there will be no surprises. You knew what you were getting when you chose to sit down in front of it.

Fireplacing (a word, incidentally, that can be found in the dictionary right between "firepanish" and "fireplugation") is a program that causes your Wii to run an optionally interactive screensaver. It doesn't so much turn your television into a simulated fireplace as it does turn your WiiWare collection into something that suddenly seems like a really bad investment.

And that's it. If you're looking for a fireplace-themed minigame or some background Easter eggs to click on while the fire burns away, you'll be disappointed. Actually, even if you're not looking for those things, you'll be disappointed. There's not much here, and what is here runs the gamut from lazy to outright sloppy.

As far as the lazy aspects go, you seem to be getting six fireplace options, but in reality you're only getting two. The game gives you the choice between Classic, Christmas or Romantic fireplaces, each of which has a setting for either Automatic or Manual fireplace action. That last choice is the only one that really matters, as the choice of theme affects only the minor clutter around the fireplace itself: Classic has some candles and a mug of cocoa, Christmas has some nondescript presents stacked around the flames (where's the option to cite the homeowners for this negligent fire hazard?) and Romantic has some balloons and a bottle of what we're sure is delightfully tepid champagne.

Regarding the sloppiness, just listen to the sound of the logs burning (actually, that would require a download, so...don't.) It loops improperly, leaving a silent, broken moment every thirty seconds or so in the crackling. You'd think that with only one sound in the entire game – and one that loops the entire time it's running - the developers would have taken the time to edit it correctly. And, yes, you read that right; there is no music. An option for some relaxing library music would have increased the value of this download. Not by much, we admit, but anything would be nicer than listening to the hiccuping static that's meant to pass for the soothing crackling of fresh wood.

The visual presentation is also pretty poor, as the flames seem to remain rigid, like orange cutouts meant to represent fire, as you change the camera angle (which works by notches, by the way; you cannot adjust it between or beyond the predetermined settings.) The presents and other decorations also seem as though somebody took all of five minutes to render them and then never bothered making them prettier or more interesting. For a free download this would be disappointing, but to charge for it is almost an insult.

When set to Automatic, the fireplace will just burn on eternally, with cheap sound and visual effects haunting your living room until you are driven to make your own impact on the statistics for holiday suicide. Manual, however, requires a little interaction: you press A to toss some logs into the fireplace, then press A to light them, then press A to stoke them... then take a short nap on the couch, wake up and press A to add more logs. Oh, it's a glorious experience, to be sure.

Even lazier, the logs you add to the fire just replace whatever logs are already in there; they don't pile any higher. You also can't add logs or stoke the flames unless and until the game prompts you to do so. This is disappointing, as there might actually be a small amount of fun to be found in the process of overloading the fireplace and stoking the fire until it rages out of control. Or... uh... just arranging the logs into interesting patterns or something (but still, Christmas fireball.)

There's really nothing here to be enjoyed, especially considering the fact that certain television networks throughout the United States are in the habit of broadcasting a Yule log for free. Or, you know, you could just spend time with your family, watching a certified holiday classic instead.

Conclusion

There's only one good thing to say about this game, and that's that it doesn't actually set your Wii on fire. The concept is flawed from the start, and the execution only makes it worse. We are willing to assume that there is somebody out there who would download this and believe that he got his money's worth. But then again, he'd probably be willing to trade 500 Points for a punch in the crotch, too.

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User Comments (88)

Axoloth

#1

Axoloth said:

I imagine this would be better in HD. Not that a HD version would be worth it either, but at least a bit better than this.
Also, thanks for reminding me I need to watch It's a Wonderful Life now that it's almost Christmas and all. :O

ToneDeath

#4

ToneDeath said:

Will there be any downloadable content for this? I think some staff at Nintendo of Europe who get sent this 'game' as a 'gift' might like to have sprites representing unsold copies of Super Mario All-Stars for Wii to chuck on the 'fire.'

Mange

#5

Mange said:

I don´t get it??? What is so much worse in this piece of crap regarding to My Aquarium??

Golgo

#6

Golgo said:

"There's only one good thing to say about this game, and that's that it doesn't actually set your Wii on fire." LOL.

DazzaAdmin

#7

Dazza said:

Another classic appraisal from Chicken B! A pleasure to read as always :-)

vaguerant

#9

vaguerant said:

@Mange, while I don't have My Aquarium, I do have Zenquaria (AquaSpace), and I have to say it's provided far more enjoyment than it sounds like Fireplacing would. I was actually mildly interested in Fireplacing when I first heard about it, certainly not to the extent that I planned on buying it, but I thought if the presentation was good, it might be worth considering.

This is basically the main difference between FP and ZQ/AS: Fireplacing looks (and, according to this review, sounds) awful. They're both screensaver apps; they live and die on looking good. Graphics is the #1 concern because there's no gameplay to speak of. This is what made my choice of Zenquaria over My Aquarium, also--the Paon sim just looks better. Same deal here; Fireplacing looks like crap, so it is crap. It simply fails at being visually pleasing, its only goal.

RyuZebian

#10

RyuZebian said:

Instant download! Oh wait, I don't NEED to waste my money. My money is precious and best spent on good games. Good thing I remembered that before I bought this! :o

Link79

#11

Link79 said:

Ouch. No thanks. I'll pass on that punch in the crotch. Oh and on this peice of garbage too. I bet their next project is watching paint dry.

Token_Girl

#12

Token_Girl said:

That's a shame. It could have had potential to add some ambiance to holiday cocktail parties. Sound wouldn't even have mattered, since there'd be music on. It's a shame that they couldn't even get the visuals right. That's all they would have needed to do to appeal to cable-less (no Yule log stations here), fireplaceless, apartment dwellers like me.

rwq

#13

rwq said:

I believe that this being a wiiware release means its going to run at the correct speed in PAL territories. Which means I would rather have THIS title on my Wii than Super Mario All-Stars – 25th Anniversary Edition.

sillygostly

#18

sillygostly said:

I'll be looking forward to Korner releasing Paint Drying, Static and Bucket of Unwanted Penises (also known as Static II).

Ron_DelVillanoStaff

#19

Ron_DelVillano said:

My parents had a Christmas party at their house a few years back. My dad too his video camera over to his brother's house and recorded their fireplace for about 5 hours. He then played the tape back at his own party to make it look like they had a fireplace. My dad thought it was funny, but I can guarantee that even he would not pay for this.

shinesprite

#20

shinesprite said:

I was expecting something like "You'd get more out of burning the $5."But I must commend Chicken for maintaining his sanity whole "playing" this. :)

@Chicken I sincerely hope that you get promoted to better games. Perhaps you could lighten the burdens of other staffers and replace them with these "easier-to-review" games.

Unca_LzStaff

#21

Unca_Lz said:

Hehe, Korner "Entertainment". :P What did they make that was actually "entertainment"?

TheBaconator

#22

TheBaconator said:

You probably lied throughout this entire review. I know deep down, this is actually your favorite game of the year.

DiggerandIndy

#23

DiggerandIndy said:

I already decided before I read the review not to buy it. Seriously, a glorified screensaver for the Wii? Why is Nintendo allowing this piece of garbage? They MUST be targeting the gullible, pea-brained, "cheesy app" people who don't know what the heck a Super Nintendo is!

Zach

#25

Zach said:

Nice review, Phil. Ron, that's awesome, esp if he sat there for the whole 5 hrs holding the camera.

pixelman

#26

pixelman said:

Hahaha, another masterpiece by Chicken. I'd say I feel sorry for you having to review this, but honestly these are the most entertaining reviews on NL.

I look forward to your review of Korner's next smash hit, Paintdrywatching.

Noire

#27

Noire said:

This review... is ROAST CHICKEN. omg references

Seriously though, this game is a disgrace to fire and fire entusiasts everywhere. I can't even look at it without going 'noooooooooo'. D:

Pod

#28

Pod said:

Why oh why isn't this just a looping video of a crackling fire?

People have payed for that since VHS was invented, and it has served its purpose well.

LuWiiGi

#31

LuWiiGi said:

Chicken B, I really hope you get paid at least twice as much as the other reviewers, because you have the worst job EVER.

WiiWare has sunk unbelievably low. A two-year old could do better than this.

DazzaAdmin

#32

Dazza said:

@LuWiiGi we actually pay Chicken B 4x what the other reviewers get to compensate for all this :-)

What's 4x zero again?

Crunc

#33

Crunc said:

Lack of a policy requiring all download games to have a demo on day of release, and have them always, is what leads to "games" like this. They hope to take advantage of people before they're found out. Nintendo needs to change. They are to blame for this.

EdEN

#35

EdEN said:

Welcome back! The bad, bad games that need reviewing missed you...

Z_Bone

#37

Z_Bone said:

I can't believe they would actually put a trailer on the Nintendo Channel for this. The whole trailer constisted of looking at a fireplace.

RocketBird

#38

RocketBird said:

I was actually interested in this. But the review swayed me. Well done CB...well done.

idk34

#42

idk34 said:

i'm so impressed that you were able to write that much on this game. lmao

Wesker

#43

Wesker said:

You know, if all of the negative features or lack of features you mentioned were actually in the game and working I would probably buy this. There is a blueprint here for making a decent fireplace sim here if any dev wanted to make one... Ha! you've actually got me interested in fireplace sims now :-) The mind boggles!

i8cookie

#46

i8cookie said:

i don't know what the big deal is, I've bought it. But then again I did swap 500 points for a punch in the crotch as well

siavm

#49

siavm said:

Why a one? Better yet why a review? This is just plain lazy. How the heck could Nintendo allow this and the flash games on dsi. Nintendo needs to get back to letting quality games and apps get through. And stop things like this from getting past.

Sean_Aaron

#51

Sean_Aaron said:

@billy-beauts: You know someone could make a good virtual greeting card program for the Wii as well, but for some reason when someone does an app like this they half-azz it. If you want to make something that isn't objectively a game then why not put some effort in and make it quality?

You actually could have done some potentially interesting interactive things with this; if not then what's the point? Have they no self-respect?

theblackdragonAdmin

#52

theblackdragon said:

so i hear there's a sequel in the works involving watching a flaming bag of poo burn. i guess they realized they may as well not try to hide the fact that this is crap. >:3

Kid_A

#53

Kid_A said:

I feel it's worth repeating: Nintendo deemed La Mulana "no good." Yet somehow, this was perfectly acceptable.

Slapshot

#57

Slapshot said:

.... and I thought I had fun with the Deadliest Catch review! :)

Great read Chicken, I saw this and knew it was going to be a great review to read.

@Kid_A... That is a thought.

XCWarrior

#59

XCWarrior said:

The next great WiiWare seller, and its junk. Great. That will do wonders for the service...

Pokeman

#61

Pokeman said:

I love getting channels for free even if its sucky on the wii. It's stupid to make a fireplace game while you can listen to your own fireplace . It seems pretty relaxing and all but it has awful graphics and bad scoreboard too. Pretty dissapointing its not for free.

accc

#63

accc said:

This game is so realistic, I left it running while I went out to do some errands, and when I got back, my house had burned down! Thanks, Fireplacing!

Wolfenstein83

#65

Wolfenstein83 said:

I thought someone sold DVD's that had the same effect, except it looped a clip of a real fire burning?
They could have at least made a virtual can of that magic dust stuff that changes the flames different colors.
Probly not a good way to burn five bucks.
Why does the Wii get so much shovelware?

SmaMan

#66

SmaMan said:

I bet if you look closely, you can see an NES cartridge burning amongst the flames, reminding you of what you could have gotten instead.

And what's this Nintendo turning down La Mulana business? Sorry, I haven't been here in a while. :/

Rob_mc_1

#68

Rob_mc_1 said:

I hope you didn't have to bye your own review copy. Could you imagine how a video review of this game would go?

StarDust4Ever

#69

StarDust4Ever said:

All hail, return of the mighty 1 point review. :O

Well done Brewtus! Your blatant sense of sarcasm makes these one-point reviews hilarious to read, as always! :D

Bobpie

#71

Bobpie said:

Oh my god! DIFFERING ANGLES!!! That totally makes it worth a 10/10!!!

SafariSuz

#74

SafariSuz said:

In response to @5 Mange
|sf>My Aquarium allows for design choices, since you're constructing the aquarium yourself. You choose the objects in the tank and the fish in the tank. There are unlockable fish to gain over the course of playing the game. Plus, the game contains a library of classical music. On top of that, you can set 3 special days to attach to your tank which cause the fish to dance within the tank and you can send a copy of your tank to friends over WIFI without needing friend codes.

From the sounds of it, Fireplacing is just a one-trick pony without any customizing.

As for the review, I always try to read the one-star reviews on NintendoLife, because they nearly always give me a good, loud laugh while I read them. Thank you for the enjoyable review. This review didn't disappoint me, although I hope to never download this title.

GotWii

#75

GotWii said:

They need to add a new Genre "CRAP" so we now right from the start.
Also why is there a 500 point entry for WiiWare, even if this was a quality fireplace sim it would be worth about 200 max.

MeloMan

#78

MeloMan said:

Really too bad. If the basics could've been done right for this screensaver app, then this would've been great to go alongside MyPlanetarium. sigh oh well, if any other 3rd party wants to do a Fireplace app RIGHT you've got my money :(

Unca_LzStaff

#79

Unca_Lz said:

This "game" is one of the deadly sins: envy. This crapp is envious of real fireplaces that are 100x (+1 since 100x0 is still 0)

OnionOverlord

#80

OnionOverlord said:

Anyway, I'm actually surprised someone bothered to release what is essentially a glorified screen saver. It makes the term "Shovelware" make much more sense. In fact, Fireplacing should probably be used as the definition for the term!

Way to edit my posts. Bravo!

NovemberJoy

#85

NovemberJoy said:

I can't believe that Nintendo would let Korner Entertainment release this SCUM!!!
But, really, this wouldn't be worth the space on your Wii even if it was free. The only way anyone would want to get this is if it paid you 500 Wii Points, and they would just delete it after getting the points.

NovemberJoy

#86

NovemberJoy said:

By the way, there's an XX where the Metacritic score would be. My guess is that it means that everyone who tried to review this game died of boredom before getting to write the review. I bet they've lost some staff to that. :P

SkywardLink98

#87

SkywardLink98 said:

This is the quality of 90% of wiiware games. It seems with downloads the developers think it's an excuse to publish crap. Some games are good though and I guess that's what makes us keep coming back to the downloads.

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