We Wii, Oui?

I had seen plenty of Asians wave playfully with joyous laughter in online commercials. I was understandably intrigued. Now I too stood before it: the little white box with the controller that looks like a TV remote. I stood, somewhat anxious (what if it sucks?), somewhat excited (what if it doesn’t suck?), yet wholly determined to find out just what all the hype was about. Yes, I’m talking about the Wii (As in “We just bought this Wii; we should go play it. Weeeeeee.”), Nintendo’s gaming system with controllers that can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions. Aiming, swinging, tilting, moving, and shaking the controllers is integrated in into most of the games. Other than that, the system has several other draws such as backward compatibility with the Gamecube and the ability to connect to the internet and download older games. However, what really matters is one question: “Is it fun?” Was the Battle of Hastings in 1066? Is Hastings your entertainment superstore? I had the opportunity to play Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Red Steel, and Wii Sports, and they were all pretty entertaining. If you like Zelda games then you’ll love this one. Interestingly, the 3-D motion detection isn’t needed for this game; it can, however, be used for aiming if you want. Wii Sports was fun as it entailed a variety of motions, but it doesn’t seem to have much replayability. Lastly, Red Steel reminded me of the kind of arcade machine where you point something at the screen, but this time it’s a remote-shaped thing. The aiming was kind of tough to get used to, but the overall the game was extremely entertaining. Another complaint is that the Wii controller needs two AA batteries to operate, and it would be annoying to continually replace them. Embarrassingly, my wrist was kind of sore after playing, but I suppose that after awhile you would build up stamina. Another popular critique of the Wii is that it’s a “little kid’s” system. Also, why not just go bowling in real life instead of just imitating it on the Wii? To be honest, I did feel really nerdy for these reasons when I first started out playing. Plus, I was probably way more into the boxing game than I should have been, but slowly it dawned on me… it may be childish or nerdy, but wouldn’t we all be better people if we let out our inner nerd-child? The Wii’s ad campaign is based around the idea that it’s not just for the typical gamer; the Wii offers something for everyone. It really is true. Games like Zelda provide the in-depth world some gamers are looking for, while games like Wii Sports offer the casual or unconventional gamer something to do. Any review of the Wii begs a comparison between it and the new Playstation 3. Although many dedicated gamers slept over at stores to get the Wii (search “Nintendo superfan” on youtube.com for an example), the PS3 generated much more buzz, especially because very few were released. They are both part of the “next generation” of gaming systems. Therefore, it should be no surprise that they both cost an obscene amount of money, though the PS3 is a lot more obscene: $600 compared to the Wii’s $250. My verdict is that although the PS3 has better graphics and whatnot, the ridiculous price just doesn’t make up for it. So embrace your nerdy side, you just might enjoy it. Or better yet, have a friend embrace their nerdy side and just mooch.