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29 Controls of Christmas
Nintendo Wii Remote
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 22, 2008   |   Episode 26 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



This is the front and back of the Wii Remote ... but if we were getting funding from Nintendo we would have to put a condom on it!
Brief Synopsis: When Nintendo first unveiled their Wii motion control it took the world by surprise. Up until that point Nintendo had promised a revolutionary control, the type of thing that would turn the gaming industry on its ear. True to form, Big N gave us a remote control that sensed motion and offered a speaker. But is this really a revolution? Not only is this not the first motion controller, but it's not even the first on our list. Have we all forgotten about the Power Glove? All joking aside, the Nintendo Wii remote was a crazy gamble that has apparently paid off for the company. The video idea promises simple games with intuitive play mechanics. Sure we can argue about how successful the Wii remote is at doing these functions, but nobody is going to argue that this was a big risk and, depending on the game, was the right decision for Nintendo. Right out of the box the Wii remote has two parts, the actual motion-sensing remote and the nunchuck control you attach to it. Since its launch Nintendo has released a number of other attachments, including a steering wheel, a classic control and a zapper. While these attachments are interesting, they are not the reason we are here right now. Instead we plan on reviewing the two-part remote/nunchuck combo.

The Style: The Nintendo Wii remote is a gorgeous control. It looks like a standard TV control, but instead you wave it around and point it at things. Nintendo stuck with the simple one tone look, complete with a sleek and simple look that is made possible by stripping away a lot of buttons. In fact, the Wii remote has the fewest buttons of any current generation console. While not as attractive, the nunchuck attachment does its job of complimenting the remote. The nunchuck is where you find the analog stick, along with two more buttons. The analog stick is nice, but I can't help but feel like it was ripped out of the GameCube control. Either way, the design of these two parts is definitely slick. Sadly the controls go from hottie to nottie when you put that annoying Wii condom on. Not only is this thing hard to put on and take off, but it also makes the remote feel all wrong. Yet Nintendo insists

There have been signs that maybe the Wii is not the hardcore gaming machine for you, though I'm at a loss at coming up with a visual representation!
on having the Wii condom displayed in all of their commercials, even when the game is not a threat to your television. If you can get around the condom, then you will find that the Wii remote is one of the best looking controls on the market.

What the 28 Year Old Me Would Say: So I'm just supposed to shake this control? That's the whole point? Oh look, I can bowl by making bowling hand gestures, how original. And I can hit a tennis ball by swinging my fake tennis racquet. Super. But why isn't this control 1:1? There's a slight delay on all of my actions, and half the time it doesn't even register. Isn't the whole point of this control to mimic my movements? How can it do that when it's having a hard time keeping up? I certainly see potential here, but I'm not sure how many games will be improved by swinging my hands around. Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I kind of like playing games with my control.

What I Would Say Now: The me of two years ago is right, if Nintendo was going to have a motion control, then they should have done it the right way right out of the box. Instead we have to wait until next year to buy a stupid attachment that FINALLY turns the Wii's sensitivity up and gives us 1:1 gameplay. Stupid. Two years in I'm finding myself a little burned out on the Wii. It's not just the lack of software; it's also the fact that nobody is using the Wii's motion control in creative ways. There are a lot of games that use it as a gimmick, but it never feels natural and rarely makes the game better. Even Nintendo seems a little confused on what to do with this control. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they figure out some really creative use for the Wii, but I'm not sure I'm willing to wait that long. As it is the only time I turn on my Wii is to review games that are sent to me ... and at the moment my choices are Skate It and North American Hunting Extravaganza! My life sucks.

The Nintendo Wii Remote Haiku:
Wave your arms around.
It's fun to play with the Wii.
That's what they say.
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