Friday, November 17, 2006

Test driving the Wii

I stopped by EB Games and played the Nintendo Wii today. The only game demo they have is Excite Truck, but it certainly showcases the new controller (the "Wiimote"). First, I created a Mii character. These characters are very customizable, and are used in games like Wii Sports (included with the Wii). This is the first game I know of where you are playing as yourself, as opposed to Mario or some other fictional character. Since Excite Truck doesn't use the Mii characters, I didn't do much with it after I created it.

On to Excite Truck. I played the first course, after arbitrarily choosing a vehicle. The controls are similar to other racing games, where you use one button as an accelerator and the other button for the brakes. The real difference is that instead of using the directional pad to steer, you turn the controller like a steering wheel. This takes a little getting used to, but once you do, it is a very natural way to play. By the second lap I wasn't overcorrecting much anymore, and I was able to finish in first place and earn a "B" rating for the course. Not bad for a first try. You can earn stars for doing various things, like landing nicely after a jump. I think the stars can be used to unlock bonuses, or they might just be used to determine your rating.

I tried a second course, one which involved lots of water. At a few points there was a choice as to which path to take, and at other times I couldn't even tell where the course was. But again by the second lap, I had things figured out well enough to finish first again (with a "D" rating though).

Overall, I really, really liked playing. Now I'll admit a certain preconceived notion that I would like it, but it was truly fun. The controller is a nice weight, and feels sturdy. It is a little smaller than I thought it would be, but it is a good size. EB Games didn't have the nunchuck attachment, so I couldn't test it, but one of the Wii Sports games and Zelda are supposed to use it so I'll find out soon enough after all.

Now the real game is clear: how early do I need to show up at Wal-Mart on Saturday night to get one at midnight?


Justin (koavf) said...

Congrats on getting one (I head Mom say something about it...) Someone asked me how I felt about the Wii yesterday. My only response as a largely disinterested non-gamer was "if it's got fun games, it's a good video game system." If you can be innovative (Virtual Boy) and enjoyable (NES) at the same time (Wii?), then God bless you.

Tim said...

It's pretty fun. The Wii Sports game that is included is easy to pick up and lots of fun. And Zelda is, well, Zelda. Probably going to be one of the best games ever in many peoples' minds.