Wii Gun and Wii Zelda

Eurogamer has some photos of Wii accessories, including a light gun add-on for the wiimote and the (very unobtrusive) sensor bar.

There’s also a hands-on preview of Zelda: The Twilight Princess which left the author surprisingly disappointed:

Right now, with the general awfulness and tacked on feel of the Wii specific functions other than fishing, I have to say no, it really isn’t. It’s a strange choice to release your launch title killer app on more than one platform simultaneously, with neither looking to be particularly better than the other, but I guess Nintendo must have some idea what they’re doing, right? I mean, they’ll probably just intentionally cripple the GameCube version, or something.

Apparently the motion sensor is only used (badly) for archery, not for swordfighting as the earlier Time article claimed. What gives?

Nintendo made it pretty clear in the E3 press briefing that swordfighting would be handled by one of the buttons in the usual Zelda style. It does, however, seem like there was some sort of “finishing move” you could do with the Wii-mote (stabbing down into your opponent’s chest or something).

I can’t remember what the Time article said; perhaps it was referring to swordfighting in general, such as mentioning that it would be coming in future games (e.g. Red Steel).

The Time article did say he was “Swordfighting with the controller”. I guess it doesn’t explicity say he was swinging the controller around to mimic an actual swordfight. But yeah, it’s pretty much implied within the article.

It was already shown last week in the Nintendo’s E3 presentation that the swordplay would be done with the buttons, though.

Yeah, watched the Wii Zelda demo. The problem with it is it doesn’t embrace the Wiimote. Instead, it’s some bastard child of a current gen controller and the way Wii works. The Wii people really shouldn’t have allowed it to go cross platform, as it doesn’t really demonstrate how Wii does things.

Chris Woods

I have to confess that while I’m really pulling for Nintendo and all that, their new controller feels really gimmicky at this point. Here’s hoping that they get it right after a few games to work out its potential (it doesn’t surprise me that the new control is fantastic in a launch title, even if it is Zelda).

And some of the control possibilities seem like they could suck over a long term gaming sessions (like swinging a sword).

Having played with the Wii controller at the big show, I’m now utterly sold on the thing - issues with Zelda (which I didn’t get to play) aside. It’s rare that something lives up to my expectations, but the Wiimote certainly did.

It’s hard to encapsulate, but playing Super Mario Galaxy or the Tennis thing or Metroid Prime 3 just felt…right.

Confirm or deny: You can’t actually move your guy in the tennis game, you just swing the controller and that’s it. Assuming that’s true based on another hands on review I’ve read, it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that will hold my interest for more than a few days.

Right now it seems like a few games have got the Wiimote down pat, and most need significantly more work. Not surprising, while the Wiimote may be potentially much easier for gamers to use, I can imagine that using all the data that it reports from its positioning and tilt sensors would be non-trivial. Hopefully they can get it more polished in the next half of the year from the feedback they’re getting now.

I know I’m not likely to buy the Wii at launch, but then, I wasn’t going to anyway - I have very little money to spend on gaming at present, and for the first time, there are a few PC games coming that I really, really want. Not to mention that Zelda is on the GC, so I don’t have to buy the Wii for that.

I had a lot of fun playing with the controller at the show. I could totally see myself inviting over a few friends, moving the coffee table out of the way, and going crazy with the thing. Add a few drinks to that mix and it would be almost too much fun.

Confirm or deny: You can’t actually move your guy in the tennis game, you just swing the controller and that’s it.

Yep, as Eurogamer says, you have no control over your guys position on-screen - it’s just the swings. It’s more of a minigame than a complex sport simulation.

That said, it felt good and I’m sure we’ll be seeing far more in-depth Tennis type games once the thing ships.

How is a Wii tennis game where all you do is control the swings with a wireless remote substantially cooler than any of the legion of games where you control some small portion of the action with a gimmick remote?

Drinking the Wii?

How is a Wii tennis game where all you do is control the swings with a wireless remote substantially cooler than any of the legion of games where you control some small portion of the action with a gimmick remote?
…'cause I seriously doubt that the only thing you’ll get to play on the Wii would be a demo of a minigame, but that’s just me being a fanboy or something, drinking the Wii, right?

That said, I’m not buying this thing for Tennis. I’m buying this thing for Super Mario Galaxy. Even in a short, limited demo, the game looked and felt superb. Metroid Prime III ran a close second - controls need another round of polish (it’s a bit over sensitive at this point), but it’s certainly a mile ahead of playing an FPS on any other non-mouse and keyboard controller.

Paranoia and baseless speculation FTW!

That said, what’s the deal with the two versions? Are they both going to be on the same game disc? Will the extra hardware power of the Wii be used for anything other than coordinating Wiimote data? Because as it is now, it doesn’t sound like there’s much reason to pick up the Wii version over the GameCube one.

I was kind of thinking the same thing there…no particular desire to play Zelda on the Wii, since I have a Cube already, the Wii features seem somewhat tacked on and (despite my best efforts) probably won’t be able to get hold of the Wii first day.

I played Mario, Zelda, Wii sports tennis and baseball, and the plane-flying demo at E3.

I’m not sold on the Wii. Nintendo says that to really engage the player and bring in new players, you need to change the method of control. And yes, the man/machine interface is one way to make games more engaging (if done right, both from a hardware and developer support perspective).

But graphics, audio, AI, size and scope of the environment, online features…all those and more are also ways of making games more engaging. Making games look less game-y, making characters animate and move in a natural and believable fashion (I’m looking at you, Mass Effect), making objects in the game react in a physically appropriate way that normal people can easily understand, all make games more engaging. Nintendo is tackling the “engage players” thing one way, Microsoft and Sony are doing it another.

After playing with the Wii, I’m not sold that Nintendo’s way is better. It’s different. Definitely. But I didn’t feel better “connected” with the Wii games. Swinging my tennis racket is more like tennis, yeah. And if I did that in something like Top Spin 2 or Virtua Tennis 3, it would be sweet. But Wii Sports Tennis is completely shallow and unfulfilling. After a match or two, I’m pretty much ready to hang it up.

Controlling Mario was “neat” with the Wii controllers, but also inprecise compared to a normal controller, and it’s not like I felt it really moved Mario games forward, just laterally. The Zelda control kind of felt tacked-on, too. Of course, there is time before release to work on these problems.

Then there’s the whole 15 minutes of fun thing. The Wii controller is going to be the coolest, most novel thing ever in the first 15 minutes of your first session. How is it going to be after you’ve put in 20 hours on your Wii? Already I can see how I’m going to hate playing Wii games for more than 30 minutes or an hour. You can’t just lounge back and play it. You have to sit up front and center to your TV, or even stand in some cases. Waving the controller around, or pointing with the Wiimote with precision, is gonna get old fast in longer play sessions.

And did it sell the non-gamers? I don’t know about that. Michael Miller, a higher-up in our organization, isn’t a gamer at all. He tried the Wii, the thought the controller was “amazing.” I asked, “So are you going to buy one?” “No, probably not.”

One of the girls helping people with the Mario demos was chatting with the guy in front of me in line, and said she’s not a gamer. She said she knows this stuff because she’s been trained, but she doesn’t buy or play console games. She also said the Wii was really neat, but she’d never buy one. She was hyped abou the new DS Lite, and will pick up one of those. I honestly can’t take my experience and judge if that means non-gamers will pick up the Wii or not, because I’m about as far from that category as you can get. I have no perspective on it. But I know two non-gamers who are impressed and totally not sold at all.

I think the Wii’s price will probably be right, and I’ll probably get one. At least I’ll pick it up before the PS3. The Virtual Console alone my be worth the price of admission, depending on how deep the library goes and how much titles cost.

The Wii “won” E3 for sure - it had the most buzz, the most people talking about it, and it made the best impression at Nintendo’s press conference (even if Reggie Fils-Aime constantly looks really angry). But I think Nintendo’s not necessarily in for the slam dunk they think they are.

Sword swing is mapped to the “B” button on the bottom of the Wiimote. A “quick jab” with the Wiimote makes Link do a “shield shove,” which opens up the enemy for attacks. Also, it’s hard to tell but it looks like shaking the Wiimote makes Link parry. So I guess this could be called swordfighting using the motion sensor. Anyone know if the “large” attack is done with the motion sensor or a button? I know the finishing move with the boss in the demo was done with the A button, but it would be really frickin’ sweet to run up to the boss, and lift the Wiimote and plunge it down, making Link finish off the boss.

Oh, and you can pick up stuff with the A button and throw it by making a throwing motion with the analog attachment.

All this was covered in the Nintendo press conference.