(I really, really hate the name of the Wii. It goes way deeper than the Freudian pee-pee jokes - the Wii is the cuter-than-cute industrial design of the Gamecube graven onto our very language. It shouldn't be allowed.)
So here we are Holiday 2006. I'm not buying a PS3, being mere mortal and having no definitive genetic link to Zeus. I already have a 360. The Wii required more consideration. But I've decided to pass, at least at launch.
I was playing Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 on the DS when I had an epiphany. The bosses levels of MvDK2 all have the same conceit - you have a cannon attached to a bicycle chain and this chain is attached to a big paddlewheel. You can spin the wheel back and forth to move the cannon from side to side. Pressing the center of the cannon launches a mini-Mario up into the top screen. If you hit Donkey Kong a certain amount of times you win. The boss levels I don't like - it's another gimmicky Nintendo "Hey look! A touch screen! C'mon - it's a touch screen LOVE MEEEEEEEEE!" that I've ranted about before. (I suppose I should count my blessings in that I don't have to "blow on" the DS to activate the microphone. This alone makes the game one of a very small minority of DS titles.) In contrast I do like the regular levels and feel they actually need a touch screen to work effectively. So I suffer through the boss levels. Anyway it hit me: everything Nintendo does lately is all about making carnival midway games. It's all paddlewheels and blowing up the balloon with a water gun. And the Wii looks like more of the same. Does anybody really think that Mario Galaxies will feel control better than Mario 64? Or that Zelda: Twilight Princess will control better than Zelda: Ocarina of Time did almost 10 years ago.
Now don't get me wrong - going to the carnival and playing the ring toss can be fun. About once a year. But the other 364 nights you can have my controller with more than four buttons when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. The Wii's controller is not enough. It's not a complex enough system of verbs to support the games I play as somebody on the wrong side of 30.
I'm sure I'll buy a Wii eventually, but I'll predict that it never sees 10% of the playtime my 360 does. Or the eventual PS3 will once Prometheus brings the secret of fire down the mountain and we can all buy one. As for Wii launch titles? Piffle. Wii(tm) Sports might be interesting, but I don't really do video game nights anymore. Zelda? Zelda suffered on the last two generations from a controller that had nine buttons and two analog sticks (or one stick and another four buttons for the N64). I'm willing to bet all this analog "swing a sword and pull back the bow (With Real By-Ear-Bowstring-Sound(tm)!)" makes the game have less depth than the last few Zeldas. Mario Galaxy? Maybe but it's not coming out before next year sometime (and I'll be surprised if it doesn't slip past March). Wario Ware? Maybe - but I've bought four Wario Wares that sucked, and only two I liked. That "franchise" may have been the "Come On Eileen" of Nintendo franchises.
I'll save the money and buy 360 games thanks.
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