We admit it. We’ve been cheering for the Wii’s success. But we do have some gripes with the system so far.

1. The most serious problem: Lack of depth in games

Unless you’re still playing Zelda, you know what I’m talking about. The Wii lineup is pretty meager at this point, and the problem is compounded by the fact that most games are too simple. Sure, that was one of Nintendo’s strategies, but has anyone played Wii Play yet? I hate it. Seriously. I know everyone is giving Wii Play a “pass” because its only $10 over the cost of the packed in controller. But the games are just mind numbingly shallow.

The good news is that this problem is correctable.

2. No online play?

WTF? I thought Nintendo had set their infrastructure in place with the DS and wireless online play. So why not launch with an online compatible game? Or for that matter, why not at least have an online game ready for Q1 2007? Nintendo needs to recapture their momentum, and now would be a perfect time to unveil online gaming…but I’m willing to bet it doesn’t come for quite a while.

3. The wire between the Wiimote and the Nunchuk

Anyone else getting thoroughly pissed off at the wire connecting the two controllers? When I’m boxing in Wii Sports, the wire sometimes literally causes me to lose the freakin match. Not only is it a distraction, but it can also throw off your movement sometimes.

4. Medicore control

Give me more fluid control. I hate how the occassional uppercut comes out as a jab, or even the very rare situation where a swing with the left hand gets made with the right. How about the utter lack of real directional control in Wii tennis? Instead of being able to push force in a certain direction, you literally have to control the direction by your timing, which is not completely realistic.

This is probably my biggest concern at this point because I’m not sure that it’s correctable. I’ve yet to see a Wii game with brilliant, nuanced, fluid control. Let’s hope that this isn’t a limitation of the technology, but rather a limitation of coding that will be solved in the coming year.

5 thoughts on “Where The Wii Fails So Far

  1. “Instead of being able to push force in a certain direction, you literally have to control the direction by your timing, which is not completely realistic”

    That’s silly, if you use the force to give direction, how can you select the swing force?
    The tennis game has the best controls ever.

    I’m worried about on-line play btw…

  2. 1.) I’ll give you this one. Red Steel and Zelda are the only games that have real plot lines. Elebits is a good game, though, just as Katamari was a good game for PS2. Wario Ware was never more than an appetizer, and the Wii Sports was just something to throw in the box. More games planned: Mario Galaxy, Smash, etc. etc.

    2.) I don’t think there is online play because there is really no use for it (yet). For example, how do you tie Red Steel into online play? You can’t. If you do, it would be a terrible game. I don’t care how you do it. MAYBE a game like Elebits would benefit, but come on. Who competitively tries to capture electric creatures. Excite Truck is the only game I can think of that would really have a good reason to go online, and that game’s not that great.

    3.) I don’t know how tall you are, but if you’re restricted between your hands while playing Wii Boxing, then you are either playing it wrong or are just really huge. I mean seriously. When you box, your hands are generally in front of your head. If you’re flailing your arms so wildly that they’re over a third of a meter to the left or right of your head, there’s obviously something wrong with your strategy. No offense.

    4.) Once again, it is quite possible that if you are angling your upper cuts outwards instead of inwards at your Wii Boxing opponent, you have some bad gesture recognition. I’ve rarely had ANY bad gesture recognition.

    If you’re looking for a game that is very good with the way it recognizes your gestures, try Elebits (if you haven’t already). It is THE BEST I’ve played so far.

  3. “if you use the force to give direction, how can you select the swing force?”

    No, the point is that if I jab my “racket” in tennis in a particular direction, say, out to the right, the ball doesn’t go out to the right. the only things that i seem to have control of in Tennis are 1) the timing of my swing and 2) the speed of my swing. In real tennis, a lot of times you don’t swing all the way through the shot, especially on finesse shots.

  4. “I don’t know how tall you are, but if you’re restricted between your hands”

    I didn’t say anything about being restricted between my hands. What I did say was that it sometimes throws off my movement (should have said “in subtle ways”). But that’s not because of length restriction (tightness).

    Perhaps the main problem is mostly mental, but it still affects my play simply in virtue of it being annoying. Next time you play, try to think about how things would be different if you didn’t have the wire, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

  5. 1. Give it time. Developers are still abit non-plussed by the innovative controller and how best to use it. Until they figure out what they can do with the technology and what its capable of I wouldn’t expect to see too much depth in games. They are running on tight deadlines and budgets after all, they can either spend the money on getting the best out of the controller or on writers to build an epic saga of truth, justice, and love in a universe gone mad.

    2. Again give it time. There will be plenty of online offerings once the console is established. Network code can be extremely trick to get right. The potential is there for some amazing online experiences.

    3. There’s not alot you can do about that but adjust your playing style, or wait till they come out with a wireless nunchuk. I find that you don’t really need to swing your arms about too much for the boxing, a flick of the wrist generally does the trick, like your playing a drum roll. Not only does this negate any restriction of movement from the cable it also lets you get alot of punches in in quick succession.

    4. As I have explained to one of my friends who was bemoaning the apparent lack of control. Its a software issue, simple as that. Remember that most developers have been used to coding for a 2d interface/control system and now they have to deal with a whole other dimension. The Wii is so far the only machine that delivers a truly 3D gaming experience and the games designers have to adjust to that. As the software (and possibly firmware) improves you’ll find that the control improves. There is also the aspect that if they made it too sensitive it would be nigh on unusable and the fact that it being such a different way of controlling a game or interface your body has to learn how to use it. It may seem simple on the surface but there are whole muscle groups that your body isn’t used to using in that context which have to be trained. You’ll probably find that as you play with your Wii your control will improve, along with the software being refined and the developers getting used to the system.

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