Review by Werts
"Nintendo was right with the codename "Revolution"."
Nintendo has been trying to make an appeal to other people, specifically, "non-gamers". They feel that by attracting a new audience, they can make bigger profits, and get all of the non-gamers to buy Nintendo's products, of course, resulting in even bigger profits. But to attract the non-gamers at all, they need to do something different. Something innovative. Something that's never been done before. The Wiimote.
The Wiimote is a remote control-like object. Someone mistook my Wiimote for a TV remote, for example. That's step one of attracting people who watch TV and don't play games. Step two is to make it work. Once again, Nintendo has gone for the totally different-different-way-to-enhance-game play. And it works great. Set-up was pretty easy, taking only a few minutes. When the console turns on, there's a hand cursor. By tilting the Wiimote, the hand always tilts. You can move it around by pointing. While it's been done before elsewhere, it felt very, very cool to do it. It was so simple, yet it was so much better than moving the control stick or selecting options with the d-pad. This is, for lack of a better phrase, more real. It's very sensitive, as well. You can see your hand tremble on the screen regardless of how you try to stop your hand's motions. After playing the Wii, I don't know how I can play anything else before it.
After set-up, the Wii Channels menu opens up. Nothing too special. So I insert the Wii Sports disc that so-kindly came with the new system and started a tennis game. It was amazing. Me and my friend who was there started to swing the Wiimote, hitting the ball. Now, obviously, nothing beats the real thing, but this was pure "pwnage". It would have been nice to move the characters to actually get to the ball (they move on their own) but once again, Nintendo's plan is to make things easier for non-gamers. Bowling was the best Wii Sport. You bowl just like in real life, with even a very slight turn, the game sees it, and so the ball turns slightly. Boxing, however, seemed unresponsive. Supposedly, you're supposed to punch with both the Wiimote and Nunchaku to throw your opponent off course. It hardly seemed to replicate my punches, so I was frustrated with that. Golf was fun, albeit a little too sensitive. Baseball was horrible, though. Neither the pitcher nor the hitter gets an innovative experience, like tennis or bowling. But this isn't a review of Wii Sports, is it?
Now let's take a look at another default software of the Wii... the Mii Channel. Like so many games before it, you can make digital versions of anyone you wish. These characters are unrealistic (they're supposed to be). It can be a lot of fun making these people, and then using them in games like Wii Sports, Wii Play, etc. Not much else to say, except that there needs to be more options for customization, especially with things like glasses, and other accessories.
Now, unfortunately, Nintendo must have spent all their time going for the Wiimote and forgot about another part of the competition: the graphics. Don't get me wrong, they're better than last generation's - but only slightly. They're not in the same league as Playstation 3 or XBox 360. The Wii graphics are much worse than either or those two, which may hurt its competition for the gamers who like good visuals. Don't get me wrong, taking the Wii and playing it's games, you'll realize the graphics are pretty good. But put it's competitors next to it and you get two totally different things. For example, in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the graphics are great, better than Gamecube's (which is funny, considering it's a mirrored Gamecube port). But you can still see the flaws of last generation's graphics. In trees, when the camera gets too close to its leaves, you can see how fake and blurry they look, while if you look at the same tree normally, it looks good. Textures in games also look slightly blurry. But, essential, this is a Gamecube game, so let's look at a Wii game: Red Steel. Graphics look, as I once saw someone else say, "Wanna-be next-gen". Better than Gamecube's, worse than PS3 or 360.
But, in my opinion, I'd sacrifice graphics for the Wiimote. When you play games, it feels real, like I said earlier. Now, I can finally play shooting games like in the arcades. It all depends on the player's certain interests.
One last thing: online play. Too bad there's no online games yet. But WiiConnect24 seems to be working. I personally had a lot of trouble getting to connect online, but that's just me. The Shop Channel was nice, too. Play all your favorite old-school games on the Wii.
Well, that's it. The Wii is today's gaming Revolution. I look forward to the future of the Wii. One thing questions me, though. What's next for Nintendo? They'll need something even better. Hmm... thermal controllers?
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/29/07
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