So, yeah. The Nintendo Wii came out on Friday. I’ve had mine on pre-order at HMV since the day the price was announced, because I was a touch excited about it. Obviously, then, it was slightly annoying that Naomi’s brother decided to get married the day after it was released, in another country, thus ensuring Friday was a breathless rush as I dashed into town, picked up my new baby, dashed home again, picked up Naomi and drove to Liverpool airport having not even had a chance to remove said toy from its packaging.
The wedding was nice, as weddings go – a very good service and a posh (if somewhat cramped) reception. Also, it gave Naomi and I a chance to “preview” our wedding, as the reception was at the same venue as ours will be – although I’m assured we’ll be having considerably fewer people at ours, which is definitely a Good Thing(tm).
Anyway, having firmly established myself as an unsociable alcholic heathen (I don’t like large groups of people – I find those sort of situations extremely stressful and exhausting – so I spent a lot of time hiding in a corner, nursing several large whiskys, and was so tired by the end of the day that I overslept the following morning and missed going to church with Naomi’s family), we flew back to England and some semblance of normality.
So, sunday I finally got to set up my Wii and – once I’d figured out how to get it to talk to my wireless network and apply a system update without locking hard – have a play with Wii Sports and the new Zelda.
Wii Sports is a nice demo of the controller – the games are fairly simple, dumbed down versions of their real-life equivalents, but the controls are, generally, pretty intuitive and easy to pick up. There’s a few annoying quirks – some of the games seem to experience a bit of lag, and some of the gesture recognition is a bit wonky at times: going from backhand to fronthand in tennis sometimes seems to register as playing a shot. However, for the most part it’s a good laugh and a nice introduction to the new controller.
Zelda, on the other hand, is very much a Real Game. Okay, so the graphics aren’t as spangly as stuff you’ll see on the XBox 360, but the art direction is superb and attention to detail is spot-on. The game plays much like any other Zelda – explore, fight baddies, save Hyrule, etc – and in style it’s much closer to Ocarina of Time than any of the others in the series (which isn’t necessarily such a bad thing). The new controller does feel a bit tacked on at times – I’m not so keen on the slash-with-the-remote-to-attack mechanic, although other people seem to like it – but some parts (aiming the slingshot and the fishing minigame) work very well; generally, though, the game is neither spoiled nor made by the controller. I’m only about three hours in, so I can’t comment too much about the story, but so far I’m enjoying it immensely and I can see it eating up a large amount of my Christmas holiday this year.