09 January 2007

Testing the Nintendo Wii

I decided to visit the Nintendo World Store again -- so that I could try out the new Wii system!

First, I tried out the Wii controller on the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess game. It was pretty intuitive, but it takes some practice. I only got a ten minute session in which I tried fishing, drawing a bow, shooting a clawshot, and swinging Link's sword. The fishing was kind of tricky; I didn't figure that one out. The rest of the motions were pretty easy to perform. For example, to swing the sword, you whip the remote (will that cause RSI after hours of play?) and to do a spin attack, you shake the nunchuck. To make Link walk, you just use the analog stick on the nunchuck (the same as using the analog stick on a traditional controller). I had trouble getting the red crosshair to show up when I wanted to draw the bow or shoot the clawshot. An employee told me that problem is that the sensor bar was too low and that he complained to his boss about it. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of myself playing the game, but here's a photo of a boy aiming the clawshot.

Then I headed over to another section of store where they were demoing the Wii Sports game. In the main menu, you can choose from five sports: baseball, tennis, bowling, boxing, and golf. You can also pick an avatar for yourself (which Nintendo calls a "Mii" -- ha ha).

I watched a woman play tennis for a little while. She swung the remote like a tennis racket to simulate hitting the ball.

Golf and bowling sounded boring, so I opted for ten minutes of boxing.

The controller motions were extremely intuitive, fluid, and fun to use. You hold the nunchuck and remote in each hand as if they were boxing gloves. You punch with them in the air to hit your opponent. To protect yourself, you draw the nunchuck and remote together (just like blocking punches in real boxing). Here I am playing.

Here's a little boy playing the boxing game with the help of an adult (his father?).

I only played twenty minutes on two Wii games, but I came away with a very favorable impression. The controller is easy to use and while it didn't blow me away, it does bring a refreshing, new perspective to the video game world.

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