There are more fun things in life than after only three hours of sleep taking the train during rush hour but the idea of spending about 2 hours testing the Wii makes up for a lot. Once arrived at Nintendo’s HQ I accidentally got caught up with the Nintendo Promo Team, but my undercover operation immediately failed since I was the only one not wearing a flashy Nintendo t-shirt.
Alas, since a storytelling style does more harm than good for web articles, I’ll just get straight to the point from now on. You’ve had the chance to read about the mini games in Wii Sports and Wii Play in our previous Wii-specials so we’ll talk about the gameplay and the Wii controller itself now.
The available games were Wii Play, Wii Sports, Excite Truck and a playable demo of the new Zelda. With a fancy German PR dude as opponent we started a tour through Wii Play. A classic like Duck Hunt baptised to Shooting Range set the tone. The first thing that struck me was that you do need to get used to the sensitivity of the controller that’s set and can’t be adjusted. A bit frustrating in the beginning but once you’ve gotted used to it it shouldn’t be a problem anymore. The controller itself is easy to… control from the wrist but you can also start swaying like a madman in front of your television screen; even better, for some games this is a must. As long as the sensor picks up your movements you’re fine.
But that also means you need to aim your controller to the screen. Especially with games like pool and tennis it can happen that the controller will get out of reach for the sensor because you’re holding it behind or too far from your body in your enthusiasm to make that perfect shot. But one learns while doing I guess?
Although Wii Play already gave a good idea on how much fun you can have with Nintendo’s newest console, the number one party game is Wii Sports. Here you can golf, play tennis or box against the computer or an opponent. The Wii supports up to 4 controllers on one console so even a double game of tennis is possible and will lead to many broken vases in the living room. The double can also be played with only two players and then you control two characters which is fun and works quite well in fact.
Boxing is done with the nunchuk, is one of the more fun games present, and shows that Nintendo has given new meaning to “immersive gameplay”. Holding your hands (and the controller) in front of your face to find that one opening to quickly hit and get your opponent on the floor. I guess you’ve guessed it already; playing with the Wii controller is great fun, even those that are a bit more shy will start swaying around after a couple of minutes like they’ve never done anything else.
The same goes for the arcade racer Excite Truck and – of course – Zelda. Especially the fishing and archery in Zelda extensively uses the possibilities of the new controller and are a lot of fun. Also here you shouldn’t forget to keep the controller in range of the sensor to hit targets as fast as possible.
Aren’t there any downpoints to the Wii console and its controller? Yes: the latter feels kinda cheap due to the plastic and works on 2 AA batteries. Although it guarantees over 10 hours of gameplay, it might not have been such a bad idea to use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. But this are again mere details that don’t change the gameplay experience and it’s without a doubt that there’s lots of fun to have with this console and you’ll take along the hurting of your shoulder with a smile.