IGN on Wii Sports - A Tough Balancing Act

Bill Loguidice's picture

Nintendo Wii Controller and AttachmentNintendo Wii Controller and AttachmentIGN has a surprisingly balanced look at the challenges, risks and promise of Wii sports titles, here. While I know it's an unpopular view, particularly with Nintendo's relatively recent goodwill as the supposed underdog and champion of innovation (and good business practices, and peace and harmony, blah, blah, blah), I think the article is worth reading because it illustrates my basic point about the control scheme itself. If you even look at the videos, whether it's Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 demonstrating Wii tennis or the promo video showing the enthusiastic Japanese three-some playing baseball, while having an alternative control scheme is great and fun and all that, you also lose a certain "crispness", a certain level of control that you don't get with direct intervention like you have with a typical, non-virtual, control scheme. In other words, pushing left on a little stick is instant reaction, while moving left in a virtual space achieves the same thing, but in a very different, approximate, manner.

As a big collector, I have over 200 systems at present. In that mass of stuff is a fair share of virtual reality-like product, all the way up to newer products like Sony's Eye Toy for the PS2, XaviX's XaviXPort and Toy Quest's GoGoTV. The Wii conceptually and in actual execution is and will be most similar to the latter two products, where you have things like plastic balls, bats, mallets, etc., that are detected by the base units by location, speed and motion. Obviously, holding a little bowling ball is nifty in and of itself, but there's a reason why I don't play it all that much in comparison to bowling on my MAME cabinet with "just" an arcade trackball. The latter simply works better. Quick experiences are great, virtual experiences are great, but there's a time, place and purpose for everything. Hopefully the accuracy is much better than I'm expecting with the Wii-mote and the way it's used is properly thought out. After all, if I can do better with moving with the included D-pad or analog puck, why not use it? I'd hate to use a virtual substitute just because it's there.

Finally, one good thing that the Wii may bring back is more quick and simple arcade-style games, as the sport game concepts demonstrated showcased. The renaissance has already begin over the past few years, but this can only help to move things along even further. After all, the more that are doing and having success with it, the more copycats there will be. That's good for classic gaming enthusiasts like us, and no doubt good for the growing gaming public at large. Certainly not everything needs to be an overburdened epic...

Comments

forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Wii Controllers Question

I don't think I've heard an answer to this question anywhere so figured I'd ask it here. Does anybody know if you can use the controller like a "regular" controller, with the D-pad and buttons? I assume from looking at it that you can turn the thing on its side and use like a regular controller. I wonder how the games will be made and if you can play the same game the traditional way and the new way. I heard you can play most all of the old GameCube games on the Wii, but again, the controller issue comes up...

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Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Yes, you can use the d-pad

Yes, you can use the d-pad and buttons just like a regular NES-style pad. As for GameCube games, just plug your GameCube controllers directly in. My particular point in the post was that if using one of the regular control options is a superior choice to the Wii-mote's virtual positioning, I hope those are utilized instead. In reality, if a game is designed to use the Wii-mote, there likely won't be a traditional option in that particular case.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Wii

That's good to hear about the D-pad and buttons.

Then that's probably how the next Zelda game will come out, using the Wii-mote controller only. There haven't been too many of these gimmic-type things that work for long after the initial "newness" wears off. I'm not sure if the Wii-mote will be one of them or not but if the game developers focus solely on the Wii-mote as far as controller options go it might be a bad idea.

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