Gamer Mania 2

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Nintendo Wii review

Tom Samiljan recently got his hands on the soon to be released Wii. He details his likes and dislikes about the new system, and while I can't speak on the system firsthand, I can tell you whether or not I think what he has to say is worth listening too.

What he liked:

Innovative controllers: What seemed goofy at first turns out to be pretty ingenious. In the Wii Sports Boxing game, for example, you use the Nunchuk and the Wireless Controller (one in each hand) to punch at the screen, making the whole experience more realistic.

I'm glad to hear he had a good time with the controllers. Afterall, if those fail to engage the player, nothing on this system will. The Wii is all about an innovative style of play, and these controllers will either make or break the Wii. Personally, I can't wait to experience these for the first time.

Pick up and play: Many of the Wii titles on display were of the no-previous-experience-necessary puzzle (Wario Ware:Smooth Moves, Big Brain Academy) variety. And the motions you make using the controllers on Wii Sports so mimic the actual sports (you literally swing the controller like a tennis racket) that even "uncoordinated" types who have grade-school-gym-class-enforced familiarity with, say, baseball, would be able to pick up and play.

As I mentioned in my "Meet SmilesD" introduction, the ability to have games that are fun and easy to pick up is a big deal to me. It's not that I suck at video games and want them as easy as possible, I just don't have the time anymore to dedicate 3 hours to one area of a game. I want to pick it up, put it in, and start playing without a big learning curve. Not to mention that the only person I have to play games with is my girlfriend. She has a hard time picking up the nuances of today's games, and the "pick up and play" style will surely make is more fun for her and me, as we can now play together.

Cool interface: I liked the Wii Channels, particularly the appropriately named Mii Channel that lets you create a cartoonish avatar of yourself. Like a version of you if you were a Gorillaz band member, this character can then be inserted into any number of games, including Wii Sports and Wario Ware.

Things like this aren't all that important to me, but they do sound some what interesting to say the least. I don't know how much enjoyment I'll get out of putting together an avatar, but adding an individual to your system is a good idea nonetheless.

What he didn't like:

HD or not HD: I couldn't find anyone at Nintendo to give me a straight answer on whether games would be in 480p (same quality as DVDs) or 720p (HD-quality). The component video output—there's no state-of-the-art HDMI—indicates it could go either way.

Well, for some this is going to be a sticking point. A lot of people really like the shiny pages, and I agree they can make a game go from a 7 or 8 all the way to ten, but once again, this won't hinder my enjoyment of a game, or the system.

If Nintendo has the ability to make their games HD quality, then I think they should. If, however, they decide not to go that route, that's fine by me. Like I said, I just want a fun game and the rest will take care of itself.

Thin launch lineup: Nintendo announced more than 40 first- and third-party titles due out by March 31st, but it was not specific about exactly how many titles would be out at launch.

Who cares? Anytime you have a brand new system the library is going to be small. The same thinhappenednd with the 360, and really a year later not much has changed for them. Don't use that as a reason not to buy the system. You also have to remember that developers are still getting used to the new game play the Wii offers. The games will come my friends.

Boy, do my arms hurt: Whether "casting" a fishing rod to catch virtual bass in Zelda or tossing a bowling ball in Wii Sports, I nearly dislocated my shoulder using the wireless controller.

What pansyzy! I know these controllers are adding a bit of activity to the game, but I doubt the average person gets tired and fatigued. Do a little stretching and you'll be in business.

So should you listen to reviews like this in making a decision? It depends. definitelyly wouldn't make a decision based off of one guy. Read up as much as you can, talk to people who've tried it personally, and give it a try yourself. This system might be for you, it might not.

Writer at Smiles That Kill


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