thoughts on the wii so far

January 26, 2008 ·

if nintendo or some game studio doesn't have this guy working for them yet, then they're idiots. what this guy here demonstrates is the promise i purchased this console on. he performs a number of other cool wii tricks in other videos found in the related videos section of this one.

now that i've had the wii for 2 months now, i wanted to lend my perspective. i'll set it up at the beginning to say i'm in no way a big gamer. this is the first system i've ever bought myself or wanted to buy. why? because it represented a big shift in gaming that was intuitive, more interactive and more interesting style of playing. note that i'm not hating on the system, i'm just a little disappointed with what's been delivered so far. granted, it's very early in the life cycle and it takes some time for developers to fully exploit what you can do. but the guy in the video has done it at this point, so why can't they?

my main beef with the gameplay being offered so far is that it is often meaningless. by this i mean in the use of the wii-mote and nunchuck's ability to recognize movement both on screen and in-hand. it's great that you can bowl, play golf, or swing swords by mimicking the motion of the real version, but it's somewhat falsified. take for instance pitching a baseball. there is no functional difference to me making a full swing a-la the real thing or just half heartedly flicking my wrist. the ball will go just as fast and in the same direction. to me that defeats the purpose of the system - to get you actively engaged with a semi-realistic version of the real thing. there is no reward or dependency for becoming more immersed and playing like you really would. i think that's wrong.

as another example, my most recent pick-up was the lego star wars game. aside from the game being to focused around picking up stupid lego blocks, it's lacking in the lightsaber wielding department. any shake of the wii-mote results in the exact same slice of the saber. most certainly the system can recognize how i'm holding the lightsaber (angle, direction, etc) and in what fashion i am swinging it, but it doesn't. a swing, is a swing, is a swing. now i can accept that this isn't the best example because the gameplay isn't centered around the lightsaber (rather picking up damned blocks at all costs) so building this in would be extraneous. but not in tmnt. the exact same holds true and leonardo's sword just swings in the same fashion with every shake of the wii-mote.

the second beef, and this is a huge one, is the lack of online support. there is no excuse why nintendo is so far behind in this respect. the developers are to blame for this too as they're not incorporating it into the games. there is no reason why the games in the sports pack that came with the wii are not playable online. these are simple games that would be vastly more playable and enjoyable if i could play my friend miles away.

on the plus side, rayman's raving rabbids was a big win in my books. the gameplay was smart, the game was fun and funny, the characters were cute and deranged at the same time, and the game took into account the effort you put into it. and that's only the first one. i heard the second was even better.

i have to believe that these changes are coming, that it's just a matter of time. now that developers have rushed to capitalize on the hottness of the console and rushing games to market to fill the demand, they can take a step back and make concerted efforts to build the type of games the system can really shine with.


Bill Gates said...
January 29, 2008 at 3:09 PM  

video games, or gaming, is for huge, huge nerds.



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