You may remember back in October when David and Ged risked frostbite and frozen fannies to pre-order their Nintendo Wiis from our local GameStop. Some may have called us crazy back then, but now that we have our consoles, we can tell you first hand that it was well worth it!
Much has been written about Nintendo’s new revolutionary game controllers and how they would “change the face of gaming forever”. Well, we’re here to tell you, that just about sums it up. Using the Wiimote to interact with the game isn’t just new and exciting, its satisfying. Striking a ball in Wii Sports Tennis almost gives you goose bumps. You hear the ball strike the racket, you feel the controller vibrate, and because you are actually swinging your arm to hit the ball, you feel like you are playing tennis. Four of us played here in the office at lunch yesterday, and we had loads of fun as well as got quite a workout!
Wii Sports has other hidden surprises as well. There is a daily fitness training regimen that you can participate in and track your fitness level over time. Think of it like Brain Age for the DS, but physical instead of mental. It is a great way to motivate you to get up off the couch and test your muscle mettle even for a few minutes each day.
Of course we’d be lying if we said that all is perfect with the new platform. After spending just a few minutes with Sega’s new Super Monkey Ball: Bananna Blitz, it was obvious that the designers didn’t spend nearly enough time play testing their creation. Controls for Monkey Ball are poorly realized, can cause wrist strain, and many of the dozens of mini-games are quite unplayable. Its a shame too because Monkey Ball was one of our favorite franchises and now we’ll have to bid it farewell. If you own a Wii, ignore the official reviews and steer clear (or at least rent it before buying).
Leaving some lackluster simians behind, what excites us most about the Wii is not Zelda or Rayman or even Mario. The most exciting part of the Wii is its potential. This console opens the door to all kinds of new gaming experiences, many of which have not even been thought of yet. A Wii based light saber duel is crying out to be done and would give fan boys everywhere spasms for months if done right. As a wise author once wrote – “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
Is the Wii worthy of the hype? We think so. Nintendo delivered on its promise to design a console that would change the way people played video games. It now falls to the game companies to create titles that are both worthy of the Wii and your hard earned cash. Do we recommend the Wii for your holiday shopping list? That’s a big, huge “YES!” :-)