|features / game column||
content by: editor
games: nintendo wii
Death to joypads.Will the Wii be make or break for Nintendo? Will the new hardware achieve the company's marvellously messianic aims of trying to introduce gaming to non-gamers?
It's undoubtedly true that myriad punters, who are more than happy with the requirements of other cultural activities Ė watching TV, going to the movies, reading Ė seem to be alienated by gaming. Put yourself in the shoes of someone whose familiarity with gaming might stretch to a bit of Pac-Man, a dash of Tetris, a few online Flash freebies or phone games, and mainstream console gaming can seem baffling. For starters, a standard joypad is a complicated piece of kit. Meanwhile, the games themselves are part of an evolutionary process that sees their genre conventions become increasingly esoteric with each new instalment.
Sony tapped into these concerns with its EyeToy, which saw even the sniffiest of non-gamers being able to embrace some easily accessible PS2 fun. Nintendo, with the touchscreen and stylus interface of the DS, further pushed this concept and have had enormous success in winning people over, thanks to such titles as Nintendogs and Brain Training. With the Wii, they seem to be completely putting their money where their mouth is, and basing their entire business model on proselytizing urges.
"Wii will change the way you play forever," it says here. But one big question is, won't it alienate long-term gamers who actually enjoy playing games with joypads, who donít want it changed? That remains to be seen, but the good news is that the wand is a stupendous piece of hardware - something you can just pick up and use in a surprisingly diverse range of ways.
At a Nintendo event the other day, I tried out a selection of demos: a golf game, a tennis game, a shooting game, some Wario Ware and an orchestra-conducting experience (a very novel variation on the notion of rhythm action). My Wii tennis was as poor as my real-world tennis, but the actions were surprisingly comparable, likewise the golf. Unlike a lightgun, which is arguably a precursor, the Wii wand can be clutched differently (like a light-sabre handle, like handlebars, like an umbrella) and positioned variously around your body.
It's not yet clear how much calibration it will require from game to game, but it looks set to be a device that anyone can pick up and use. Any calibration required seems to be more a matter of your brain and arm/hand relationship. Personally, I'm gagging to try it with Link and Samus, but from the more basic demos it's looking extremely promising. Nintendo may just revolutionize console gaming, or at least the market for console gaming.
The Nintendo Wii will be available later this year.
Read members' comments related to this game.
comment by hmmmph Jun 19, 2007
lol joypad... who calls it that.... joy joy joy joy joy joy joy pad.....
comment by herby12345 Jan 5, 2007I like the way Nintendo is thinking, instead of investing millions in improving current consoles its developed a completly new way of playing games. I to am a fan of pc games and find pc fps more involving as its not all button mashing. rome tw rules.
comment by BEVERNO1 Dec 29, 2006Does anyone know when the uk is getting streetfighter 2 to download via the wii shop channel?
comment by BEVERNO1 Dec 20, 2006Gamers should stop worrying which machine will sell the most and just enjoy the one theyve chosen to buy.
Got the wii on launch day and have barely been off it since!
Zelda is fantastic.
Bit of advice ,if anyone is using their wii on an hd television with a normal scart lead go out and get the component lead for your wii.
The difference in picture quality is amazing.
And no,Im not a sales rep for nintendo!
comment by ravan2 Dec 19, 2006yes every1 has a point of view and there all different i do play on my computar on games i love some of them like neverwinter nights or rome total war wat im saying is nintendos try to make things different unlike xbox or pcs plus im trainging for my cross country team so i dont want to sat down on my butt all day during christmas unlike some people and also with the wii remote movement of the rists u can control the games sitting down and you can get a classic controller which i think you can use for wii games plus how many 60+ year olds do you see playing an xbox 360 or playing games on the pc unless its soliter not many wiis are aimed at all people so overal its the best gaming
comment by iPad Dec 18, 2006Raven 2 - no one system can take the crown for "best gaming" I'm afraid. Its matter of personal preferences. I don't like turn based rpgs but I know people who live and breath them for example. People will judge a system by how it satisfies their gaming preferences. Myself, the games I prefer tend to be good on the PC so thats where most of my gaming is at.
The motion controller should it work properly can make for some different games. I have heard some people complain its not as life like as they like, but its definately a feather in Nintendo's cap. But it does seem to be the fans main focus and I'm having trouble imagining which games can make good use of the controller beyond the examples already realeased. Sure they may make better fighting games than the new Links one, or better sports sims than wii sports but I don't see where else it can go without reverting to standard controls.
Personally I think if you are interested in waving a sword and shield around you should take up larp. You actually get to hit people a little like paintball is to shoot games I suppose.
comment by NeoslinkTR Dec 17, 2006Believe me when I say that the new Zelda is absolutely brilliant. In my opinion it's the best Zelda game ever. The new controls work really well. When you first play the game you will probably find that you try to attack by pressing buttons like youíve done in the past, but after youíve killed a few enemies, waving you hand to attack with your sword will become natural.
Also when you first have to point at the screen to fire a weapon you may find it a little strange, but again it doesn't take long to get used to, especially if you buy Wii play. Wii play isn't the best game ever but all the mini games involve pointing at the screen, and if youíre planning to buy an extra remote anyway, hey an extra £5 isn't going to hurt too much.
But back to Zelda. The game is huge. Every location is gigantic compared to Ocarina of Time. So far i've played the game for nearly 16 hours, and iíve only just entered the 3rd temple. Ok I havenít exactly been rushing from location to location, but I havenít been walking around everywhere that iíve been looking for heart containers either and you'll want to ride Epona most of the time as well or it will take you forever.
All the locations have a very open feel to them. I don't know if youíve ever played The Shadow of the Colossus on the PS2, but if you have the locations remind me of that game, only bigger.
If the games continue too use the controls as well as they are now, then I think the Wii is set to be a real winner. Although I showed my friend a bit of Gears of War the other day on my 360, and already the controllers are starting to feel big and strange to use.
I havenít played Red Steel yet, but my Bro completed it yesterday and he says it's a really good game.
If you have a chance to get a Wii and Zelda I would definitely recommend you buy it. I doubt you'll be disappointed unless you care about graphics power. Although the Wii isn't exactly awful in that respect either.
Sorry my posts a bit long lol.
comment by ravan2 Dec 16, 2006red steel looks good aswell the sword fighting and guns in the same game
comment by bionic lucas Dec 16, 2006i also loved windwaker altho it was a bit easy .my fave game ever tho would have to be ocarina of time ...it just blew me away. here's hopin that twilight princess is equally as good
i love the idea of the motion sensor and nunchuk for the wii, sounds like it has taken a very brave leap forwards in the gaming world . i just hope thay don't fall flat on their faces .
comment by ravan2 Dec 16, 2006yep technolagy in gaming is advancing although xbox and sony have better graphics the gaming isnt as good as the nintendo my brother has an 360 but quess what i play on the nintendo gamecube zelda windwaker isnt the best graphics but its different thats why i preferr nintendo
note: The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
previous gaming columns
half-life 2: ep one games #156
related member reviews
games archiveaccess 1000s of articles
books and comics archive
Author interviews and reviews from 2002 to 2008.
Watch artist interviews and see images from British exhibitions.