Having a Wii

My Wii

That’s the last pun, I promise.

New console aside, I haven’t felt this excited about a new game (Zelda, in this case) since Ocarina of Time back in 1998. As much as I love my other consoles nothing gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling more than a new game from Nintendo when they’re on flying form. I think it’s that je ne sais quoi that the GameCube lacked and the DS restored for me.

But alas, although I have my Wii that’ll have to wait for now. Zelda and Trauma Center are in a separate order and left earlier, so they should arrive imminently, but the delay has given me some time to fiddle with the console and included software, which is nice. Every cloud, as they say…

While both the 360 and PS3 try to out-monolith each other, Nintendo deserves credit for making what is really the only one of the three next-gen consoles to have a lot of aesthetic appeal. They know it, as well, packing in a stand to sit it vertically rather than taking the obvious opportunity to leave it out and charge a tenner for it. Add in the nice luminous slot-loading drive – the first one I’ve seen that can handle 8cm discs – and the minimalist fa?ade which beautifully complements the DS Lite and, for the first time in a while, you have a Nintendo who are trying to make their kit look cool and desirable. No Fisher Price jokes this time.

Setup is nice and easy, although the usual pitfalls of setting up a wireless network device were exacerbated by the installation of a new router today. It took me several attempts to get the Wii to do as it was told and use my WPA key, which is something my recalcitrant PSP is still not playing nice with. Top marks to Nintendo for building in support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2; the inability of the DS to work with anything better than the swiss cheese encryption of WEP has been a pet hate of mine, and even the 360 won’t do WPA2.

Wii Sports is never going to go down as an all-time classic, but it’s one of the best bundle games that I can think of, playing to the strengths of the system and letting you know what it’s all about from the start. Even my father who thinks I’m wasting my time with these game things thought the bowling looked interesting, and I’m determined to see whether it has what it takes to get the non-gamers in my family playing. Christmas Day, then.

In years to come people will be talking about where they were when they first saw the Wii controller like they do for the JFK assassination or 9/11. I was in a Tokyo hotel room and was as wary about it then as I was until I picked it up for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Having tried it in several games by this point I’m going to reiterate what I’ve been saying about the DS controls – it’ll be great as long as it gets a steady stream of original titles designed for it, but shoehorning traditional control schemes onto it will not work. Try Call of Duty 3 and you’ll probably agree.

Otherwise I love the controls. It’s intuitive and accurate, and both the remote and the nunchuck feel very comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Not only that, but it has both motion sensing and vibration: a combination previously thought impossible. Ahem.

Oh, and my friend code is 6832 3589 6035 2844. Feel free to add me and let me have yours.

3 thoughts on “Having a Wii

  1. Damn that was fast… was thinking you’d be waiting a while longer for your import! Enjoy ! As you’re one of the few unbiased reviewers I can trust, I’m looking forward to reading your views on the new Zelda and how well the new controller holds up.

  2. Be sure to pick up some Component cables. I could not believe the difference they made. I have 60″ Sony SXRD (TVs are the only Sony product I’ll ever buy) and games looked pretty muddy via the composite cables. I really felt like I was playing a last-gen system. The component cables brought all the colors and sharpness out. Once I had them I seriously didn’t care about the 360’s higher res textures or bumpmaps or whatever. Wii games look brilliant now.

  3. I fully intend to and have an order with Play Asia for when they get some more. The problem is that finding component leads without paying extortionate prices is easier said than done at the moment ;)

    To be honest I’m surprised by how acceptable the composite signal looks. That’s probably down to the fact that stuff like Wii Sports looks incredibly basic, though.

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