Review by Zell17
Nintendo reinvents gaming...again.
It's finally here: The long awaited Nintendo Wii, complete with what is probably the biggest controller gamble since the Virtual Boy. However, after playing with my Wii (Yes, I said it.) for a couple weeks, logging over 30 hours into Zelda and quite a few with my friends on Wii Sports and even the machine itself, I can safely say that Nintendo made a good bet on this one.
Note: This is a review of the Wii as a console and its features as of 11/27/06. The Internet Browser, News Channel, Weather Channel, and Online play will not be delved into and no points will be detracted as little is known right now, and specific games will not be reviewed as those are not Wii Hardware.
"Are you actually doing that?"
The remote itself is remarkable. I have to admit, although I had high hopes for a long time, closing in on launch day I started to worry. Would it be gimmicky? Well, I picked up my Wii with a few friends at launch, and when we got it set up, it was astonishing. The title above is a quote from one of the guys there with me. After half a minute of getting used to my new pointer, it became very easy to use. I had worried a bit about the shakiness playing it at a local Gamestop before launch, but I have found that the shaking was due to the controller being too close to the screen. It works nigh-perfectly at a normal distance from a television. As for games, from what I've played, control is top notch. However, as that is based on individual games and developers, I will leave it at that here and allow you readers to go read reviews of the games themselves and learn. Oh, and make sure to invest in rechargeable batteries. -.5 for ridiculous battery consumption.
As for add ons, the Nunchuck is very nice. Smooth, easy to hold and use. Motion sensing on both parts works great. The Classic Controller is one of my favorite controllers to date. Think Super NES with Playstation joysticks. Feels great, looks great. Quality.
Channels within a channel.
The Wii's interface is very clever. Many small TVs sit before you, and on them your different Wii activities are laid out. Photos, Games (Wii and all Gamecube games, mind you), Virtual Console, News, Weather, Internet, it's all there. However, it's not all ready. At the time this review is written, we are still awaiting Internet, News, and Weather. The Virtual Console is one of the best features. I was raised on the NES and SNES, and never owned a TurboGrafx or Genesis. Luckily, Nintendo has me covered. I am happy to pay a fee to own great games that I never had a chance to play. My friends also have a blast (pun intended) playing the classic Bomberman 93. Who needs a game full of guns when you have a game full of bombs?
...Okay, bad example. You get the point though.
My friends and I have found the Mii Channel in itself to be tons of fun. Plenty of options for making Miis, and it's fairly fun to do. It's enjoyable to watch them interact with each other in the Mii Plaza and see your Wii Friends' Miis on the Mii Parade. And, of course, it's great to see your hard work shown in game on Wii Sports.
I want to see every bead of sweat drop from Link's forehead!
Wrong system, buddy. The Wii is definitely not the most powerful system out there in terms of graphics. However, I have had about 10 different people play my Wii, including my Parents, and every single person was impressed. Sure, you can't see the sweat, but you really don't have time to pay attention to it when you are playing. The games are honestly more fun with the controller. I'm not a sporting person, but I will gladly take up any offer to pop in the free Wii Sports and play. My dad, a rather technologically impaired man, actually asks me in the middle of playing Zelda if he can come and bowl with me. He doesn't care about graphics, he just wants to have fun. Contrary to what I've heard on these boards, casual gamers really don't care as much about graphics as they do about having fun, and the Wii proves it. However, I don't mean to undermine the importance of graphics, but there is a stage at which the returns from the investment in graphics are just not enough, and I think we have reached that stage. -.5 for taking out a marginally diminishing factor.
Is it really that great?
Go play one for yourself and realize why the Wii is gaming reinvented. It is honestly more fun and immerses you in the game more than any amount of anti-aliasing could.
Short Quantitative Summary:
Minus: .5 for high battery consumption on Remote
Minus: .5 for not making Link's face perfectly curved on your $3000 HDTV.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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