My Wii Impressions

8 November, 2006 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment

Today, I had my first time on the Wii. In fact, the first time I had seen in in the flesh so to speak. The first thing that came to mind was it’s size. Not just the unit, although it is small, about 3 DVD cases stacked on each other. Being on the stand also makes it look smaller, as it appears to angle in. What really surprised me was the size of the wiimote. It is tiny. Maybe 3 cm (little over an inch) wide and 15 cm long. It felt comfortable to hold, but my thumb kept on hitting the start button when I hit the A button, and I have large hands. I had to hold my thumb in an awkward position for it not to. The sensor bar was really tiny as well, and looked like they could break easily.
The first game I played was the duct hunt like game from Wiiplay. Wiiplay, for those that don’t know is a selection of 9 mini game like Wii sports, and comes with a wiimote. If you subtract the cost of wiimote from the package, the 9 games cost about AU$10 (US$5). The laser pointer appeared to be slightly laggy, but my friend said he didn’t notice anything so my wiimote might not have been set up properly. The game was fun, but lacked any instruction, so knowing what you should shoot and what you shouldn’t took a little time, but it possibly could have been explained before the game, I started as soon as the shooting started, and didn’t see the intro or menus. I also had to hold the wiimote awkwardly to point it at the screen, but that was due to the setup. I am sure if I was sitting on a couch with the TV at normal height, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

Wii Tennis off Wii Sports was also great. Although very simple (you only have to swing the racket) it was very fun and competitive. I saw people play Wii Tennis who had clearly never played a game in their life, but picked it up very easily. I am sure I could play a game with my parents. When playing multiplayer, the screen is split so both players get a view behind their player, but we were playing on a wide screen so I am no sure it would work well on 4:3 TV.

I then played Excite Truck. This is fun. You hold the controller on it’s side, use the 2 button to accelerate, D pad to boost and steer and tilt by moving the wiimote. Visually, it is what you would expect, apart from a few jaggys. You bounce around a bit and spend quite a bit of time in the air. There are quite a few little things you learn about the movement of the wiimote that give you a few extra seconds. For example, when landing, you tilt the front of the truck up to land more smoothly. The race is mayhem. The AI is erratic, going from extremely fast to extremely slow. You can go from 6th to 1st in 3 seconds, then back to 3rd 3 seconds later. There are a lot of bonuses, boosts, enhancements, and point scoring with flash across the screen very quickly. Apart from the little things you do with the wiimote and shortcuts, there is not much strategy to Excite Truck, just silly fun. When playing this game, you find that you need to be far more aware of you body when steering as relaxing with change the direction of you truck. This was a little awkward, as when I play using a normal controller, I automatically use the controls, and relax back in my seat. I found that I couldn’t do that, but I only played one 2 minute race and watched for 10 minutes so I might get used to it later.

Check back on the 17th November for more Wii coverage as well as full coverage of all the eGames expo press conferences, interviews and game previews and news.

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