This Thanksgiving was a little different from usual, not only because I wasn’t at home, but because it included some Wii action!! The boy and I headed over to his friend’s house to do the turkey thing, and what sweet diversion should he provide us with while the bird finished cooking, but a pair of Wiimotes and his system all ready to go.
Ladies and gentlemen, the draw of the Mii channel is inescapable. The urge to create a pile of horrific little monsters is irresistible. Making yourself, sure, just a minute, but making Martians? That is the true work of art. Then, after viewing Missing in Action en español, we were inspired to create the perfect Chuck Norris. Yes, celebrities are obviously common fodder for the Mii machine. I’ve seen several versions of Jesus already, as well as a couple Michael Jacksons. The version of Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV seen here was done with Joystiq’s mock-up Mii generator.
But wait, this is a video game system, right? There must be like, games or something, right? Right! Twilight Princess, you can almost take for granted, at least if you’re a Zelda fan. On this particular Wii outing we had on hand a copy of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. By this time we had been joined by a couple others, and proceeded to have a 4 way mini-game battle.
This is where my reservations start to come back out. I want a Wii, I really do, but I’m still a little shaky on the motion sensor controls. The more I see, the more at ease I become, and maybe there is just a bit of a learning curve. I’ve heard that Twilight Princess plays wonderfully and there is no reason to go back to a GameCube pad, but other games I’m not so sure about yet. For instance, here we were motoring around in hovercrafts, flying through the air, running, throwing darts, all with the sincerest of physical effort. Either that or we were hovering straight into the wall, falling out the air, slowing to a crawl, missing the board completely, and cursing the controls the whole time. Or if we weren’t cursing them we were wondering why we were doing it at all. Well, to look silly and laugh at each other, of course! Dying was frustrating, but at least everyone thought it was silly. I’m worried that more game will be less like Twilight Princess and more like this, games where the controls aren’t so great, but it’s still fun with friends and you can just laugh at how bad you are. As the console ages, people will get the hang of what works and what doesn’t , so things should turn out ok.
This isn’t to say that there is no precision involved right now. The dart game is a pretty good example. Obviously you have to be aiming at the TV (I.e. the motion sensing strip, which is somewhere around there) and to help you do that (so your dart appears on screen) they’ve engineered a box into the air so when you move too far out of range you’ll feel it and come back. That really does work for the most part. That said, just aiming inside the box won’t get you points. You still have to throw the thing, and I was really bad at that.
Funny thing: after all that, I think my favorite part of the gaming portion of the evening was spent on Bomberman 3 for the Turbografx-16 downloaded via the Virtual Console. We had all four remotes plus a GameCube controller plugged in for a five-player destruct-o-thon. Yay, retro! I think we played a three-to-win match on every map.
Ultimately, I think my advice would be to get a Wii, get Zelda, figure out which mini-game collection sounds the most fun to you, and grab that, as well. Have fun, and then while waiting for the next must-have game, settle into the Virtual Console and enjoy!