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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Control Schemes Part 3:Wii-mote and Nunchuck Attachment

In the third and last segment of this series of articles, Powerplay brings its focus on the special Wii-mote and its nunchuck attachment.

Thumbs up: After seeing the Wii-mote and its nunchuck attachment in action through some of the trailers, I was impressed. Players seem to behave like themselves when playing games with the remote. Actually, that is the aim of the Nintendo Wii – to revolutionalize the way games are played. No longer constricted to just buttons and sticks, players are free to move the remote about, making it feel as if they are the game characters themselves. This is one of the ingredients crucial to the extent of immersion of the game by the players. It is going to feel natural, realistic and just think of any exciting words that you can conjure out in your mind. Like the PS3 controller, the Wii-mote and its nunchuck attachment are also motion-sensitive, but it takes it a step further – the design and the shape of the controller is totally changed. It can work very much like a sword, a gun, a crossbow, a tennis racket, a magic wand, just about anything. Perhaps I should say that the control scheme is most suited to FPS games. The concept is: Point and shoot, exactly like what you will do in reality. What happens when you see an enemy? You instantly aim your weapon at the enemy and shoot. The same applies here. You get what I mean? Not only is this control scheme fantastic for FPS games, but also for sports games, and Nintendo is going to shove Wii Sports in your face and say, “I’m packaging it free with the console, so you must try it!” Just remember not to confuse the Wii-mote with a baseball bat and use it to hit someone. Do you remember flying paper aeroplanes when you were young? That is what happens when you play flight simulation games with the Wii-mote. Imagine the Wii-mote as a paper aeroplane and there you go, you are back in your childhood. Flying the Wii-mote in flight simulation games (example: Wing Island) just like what a kid does with the paper aeroplane.

Thumbs down: I am amazed by the versatility of the Wii-mote because it can be also held horizontally to represent a classic controller. But hey, the thing is that must be done in order for racing games to be played. In my opinion, tilting the Wii-mote left and right to steer your vehicle may give way to overly sensitive controls. What happens if someone accidentally knocks my hand and I tilt the Wii-mote too steeply? But until I play a racing game on the Wii, I am not going to jump to conclusions. The second flaw with the Wii-mote is that you may look weird when using it in party games like Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. Imagine holding the Wii-mote over your head. Well, as far as screenshots are concerned, it sure looks gimmicky. Just an advice: Don’t invite your friends over when you play such games. Also, I have noticed that some game developers have shunned the Wii-mote. As the Wii-mote is vastly different from other controllers, developers may be led into thinking that building a new control scheme just for the Wii versions of their games may be a little tedious and time consuming. But it remains to be seen if the Wii’s future is filled with hardcore, thrilling games (examples: Far Cry Vengeance, Red Steel, Splinter Cell Double Agent, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam) and fabulous, light-hearted family games (examples: Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports, Wii Music, SpongeBob Squarepants: Creature from the Krusty Krab) or with second-rate games that may overuse the special features of the Wii-mote.


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