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James plays Wii
Written by James Hobbs

James got his hands on Wii on the first date of the UK Tour...

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Anti-climax is probably the best way of describing my very first experience with Wii.

Of course, that's the inherent danger with hype - the risk of being let down.

Wii is certainly something very different, that's for sure. It is surprisingly difficult to get used to at first, particularly on a game like Twilight Princess. What looks so devastatingly simple from an outside perspective is, in reality, rather complex. However, after a few attempts, the system does become more natural.

By far the best titles on offer were Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Wario Ware. Despite the apparent beauty of Twilight Princess, only the old E3 build of the game was on offer. The controls were twitchy and sluggish, and the camera positioning and control was for the most part ill-conceived. The game certainly didn't look the part, and whilst the fishing was fairly pretty, there was an overall lack of clarity and sparkle that was sorely missed. The demo felt constrictive and contrived, as if it had been knocked up in a matter of hours.

For the casual gamer, or even non-gamer, a quick blast on Zelda may seem absolutely fine. However, for a fan of the series, it was a big let-down. There are more recent builds of the game, so why Nintendo chose to exhibit such a shoddy version is beyond belief. The setting itself may have contributed to the control problems, however - a lot of light was streaming down onto the sensor bar, and many of the players were quite far away from the console itself - these circumstances no doubt exacerbated the ill effects of the demo. The swordfighting, whilst fun, mainly consisted of shaking the controller around as rapidly as possible - the movements didn't translate particularly well into on-screen action.

After playing on the Twilight Princess demo for some time, the control issues did seem to succede somewhat. Once used to the erratic nature of the controls, they can be compensated for. The fishing is particularly good fun, and surprisingly strenuous. Despite my concerns, I am still confident Twilight Princess will be a fantastic game - playing a rushed demo in a massive hall is definitely not the correct way to experience it. My recomendation is this: wait for the console to come out.

Wii Sports was fantastic fun, and really utilised the controller well. Golf is delightfully slow-paced and relaxing, and is far more difficult than it appears. Boxing is frenetic, and extremely physical, whilst simultaeneously making the players look like imbecile as they wildly flail their arms. Tennis is fun, albeit rather slow, with the 4 player mode being particularly good fun. The graphics are incredibly simple, but functional - this is particularly noticeable in Boxing - your character is translucent so that you can see your opponent as well as your own fists. Wii Sports is the kind of game that would be superb for a party, or just a quick blast if you have a bit of spare time.

Wii Play was similar to Wii Sports, but with different mini-games on offer. Again, it's much the same story - simple, exciting fun, with an emphasis on physical movement. The Duck Hunt esque game was surprisingly difficult at first - the sensitivity of the controller is rather high. Hopefully in the finished version it will be possible to adjust sensitivity on a personal level. Wario Ware was as ridiculous as in the previous incarnations - a screen pops up between games to tell you which 'style' to hold the Wii remote in - 'waiter' ( balance on your hand ), 'umbrella' ( hold vertically ), and others. Everyone playing the game seemed to be giggling and having fun, whilst getting confused with the rapidity of the games themselves.

Unfortunately, Red Steel was not on offer - apparently only early code was available, and it was constantly crashing the consoles. This was an incredible disappointment - Red Steel would surely have compensated for the patchy graphics exhibited by Twilight Princess, and talking to people it seemed to be the most eagerly anticipated title. I asked a French Nintendo employee if he would demo Red Steel to us - he refused, and then walked off smirking that 'he had already played it.'


Thankfully, the other staff were far more helpful than the aforementioned gentleman - they were all eager to demonstrate the games and the console, and literally pounced on passers by to inform them of the console. This is the kind of exposure Nintendo needs, and whilst they weren't heaving, there was a steady flow of consumers all day investigating the console, of all ages.

So, despite feeling initially rather underwhelmed, I am left wanting Wii even more.

Nintendo, don't disappoint us.

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