Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday Trainwreck - There's No Substitute For The Original

The Wii generated a lot of buzz when it was first released, and sales continue to be at the top of the console charts. Unfortunately for Nintendo, most people seem to be buying the console just to play Wii Sports and Wii Play. But the big N is looking to change all that with some key game releases throughout 2007. Some of them look good. Others look like this:

Resident Evil 4 was a smash hit on the GameCube - it was arguably the best RE game to date. So, Nintendo decided that if it worked on the Cube, it'll work on the Wii. Way off the mark on that one.

Some people really enjoy the Wii's new control scheme using the Wiimote. For games like Wii Sports, the controls are intuitive and easy to grasp. For games like Madden 2007, not so much. The problem with the Wiimote is that it's not particularly accurate. It can be downright frustrating to lock on to a moving target on the screen and track it, just because the controls are too jumpy. For this reason, the Wii is not a console aimed at shooters.

Just to be clear here, the Wiimote does not work like a light gun. Those were quite accurate, because they bounced infrared light directly off the television screen. The Wiimote, however, uses motion sensors and the sensor bar to determine the controllers position in a three-dimensional space, and to determine its position and angle relative to the TV. If it sounds complex, that's because it is. The fact that it works as well as it does is a testament to Nintendo. That being said, there are limitations to the control scheme, and accuracy is one of them.

As far as the game itself is concerned, it looks and feels very much like the GC version did. And it should - aside from the control schemes, they are essentially the same game. But controls can make or break a title, and for RE4 on the Wii, they simply ruin the experience. Despite its low intro price of $30, this game is best kept on the Cube. If you haven't played the GC version, you should - you can probably pick it up for an even better price.

The Wii is bound to have some great titles eventually. Developers just need to keep the strengths and weaknesses of the Wii's controls in mind when porting a game over. Just like Wii Sports wouldn't play well on a PS2, some games just won't play well on the Wii.

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