Pietriots Best Of Nintendo Wii!

Whelp, it’s already here. On November 18th, the Wii U ushered in a new generation of Nintendo hardware, and I’m very excited. Once again, we have a new controller that will deliver different experiences – but as we all know only niche developers and Nintendo will do something about it. Third parties? Haha don’t make me laugh, seriously.

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Hey U – Give Me Real Controls

The Wii Remote & Nunchuk was last generation’s innovation in violence – still strong today, still better than the competition. This was the method of controlling the last true console Resident Evil experience the world would know: The Umbrella Chronicles.

For the previous console cycle, there’s a seldom-stated lesson Capcom briefly learned (see RE4:Wii) then immediately forgot (see their “HD” games): if you’re pretending to KILL in a video game, do it properly. It’s just a shame we don’t have to pretend anymore: modern games, such as Capcom’s premiere action series, have gotten so smart that they play themselves (step aside Super Guide). The games don’t hesitate to handle much of the excitement on their own, and work hard to convince us that quick-button-context-flashback-retrospection-cutscene was an artistic achievement (“Best QTE of 2012,” is there such a thing?). Opponents of violent gaming love to point out how video games “teach kids how to kill”, but I know that’s rubbish cuz most games suck at that, especially as more games suck at being games. It’s supposed to be like watching a movie, right? Why not an effing GAME? Thru these last couple generations of analog masturbation, popular shooters have more or less surpassed “REALISTIC EVERYTHING” – nevermind the gameplay. And in a (not really) fun twist, “more realism” cheerfully graduated to “more Hollywood”; new gameplay became movies that look like gameplay. “Wow, it’s like playing a game,” – thanks, my confidence in the new generation is at an all-time high.

Before proceeding, I want to be clear that the major ideas in the blocks of text below don’t necessarily apply to every genre or gameplay mechanic. Many of our favorites are derived from things like tennis, team sports, board games, gambling, mazes, vehicles, boxing puppets, and Donkey Kong – there’s no reason to mess with certain core elements. However, TANGIBLE VIRTUAL VIOLENCE has a raw, engrossing quality that the majority of the Industry has not been interested in embracing for some time; fluid human movements seek the spillage of human fluid, yet they insist gamers don’t like movement and just seek Mountain Dew. Trapped in the game industry’s electronic erection contest, the prestigious computing “arms race”, we continue enduring their fake war: fake gameplay and fake value. Cash and companies continue to perish in the high-priced struggle to show violence; rarely do we see genuine imagination towards playing violence. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can still search for decency. Aim off-screen and raise your real arms to rediscover what’s in front of you: the gameplay in your hands.

/wii joke

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Reggie Play: Motion – Videos

The REGGIE SERIES is BACK, barely ahead of some JRPG that a handful of psychos cried for. NOA REGGIE ignored their grievances, spending his time more wisely by Wii-Playing with himself.

It’s been more than a year since Wii Play: Motion arrived, and like it or not, it offered a few glimpses of near-future gameplay elements Nintendo demonstrated in 2011 via 3DS and the upcoming Wii U. It explored additional curiosities beyond Wii Sports Resort, bringing another variety of “basic” motion concepts to life with effective results. Shamefully, the MotionPlus possibilities were hardly revisited in the context of more “complete” products by other game makers (aside from disastrous gimmicks on other systems) until the release of Skyward Sword. Wii Play: Motion is not robust – this 12-mini-game demo pack was never priced to be – but it is somewhat diverse, and some mini-games surprisingly have a lot more content than others (the very term “mini-game” is a bit misleading, making it sound like a one-shot deal worth only a minute before moving on to something new; each activity has a varying number of single and/or multiplayer modes, stages, and difficulty like its predecessor), but you can’t really count on journalists like GI-GN’s Gerstmasamassina to share useful information, can you. To top it off, these itty-bitty games actually work – no privacy-invading webcams and neon balls to calibrate.

Anyway, I have some inappropriate video and gameplay to observe. Reggie demonstrates.

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Here we go, another Zelda game; puzzles, bosses, exploring, fighting. You know the drill. Or do you? I never intended to review Skyward Sword, because I thought everyone would buy it and love the shit out of it and we’d all happily talk about our favourite parts and hold hands. Much to my disgust and surprise as I scan the twitterverse and look at sales trends, it seems gamers have let this one slip away. With some time and perspective now I can see why. A lot of games these days make you think, and Skyward Sword does that. The difference here though is that you also have to act.

Skyward Sword is a weird game. It’s lazy and closed off; it won’t play itself. If you want to get anywhere, you have to pick up the controller and ENGAGE. It’s the concept that started video games, and it’s the only reason they ever existed. If you want anything in this game to respond, you have to poke it. Skyward Sword is a naive attempt to put the focus on the actions of the player, and it completely tears apart the passive nature of recent blockbuster games like Skyrim and Mass Effect. Zelda is an AWAKENING. Skyward Sword will have you feel like you’re actually CLIMBING things, and actually wielding a sword. It all comes together thanks to the MotionPlus controller, and it WORKS!

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Go Vacation – MotionPlus Games

Welcome BACK! Free Roaming time is over – it’s time to get into some more activities! Go Vacation supports a shitload of control options through its wealth of games, including Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuck, Balance Board, MotionPlus, Wii Wheel and the Zapper. Today we’re going to get out our fancy new controller to play some MotionPlus games.

Windsurfing is the first game I’m going to talk about, because it really took me by surprise. Expecting a passable point A to point B race, I got a creative use of Wii controls I’ve never seen before. No buttons are used in this, and there are two things you control. The first is the sail’s angle, and the second is the direction of the boat. These are BOTH controlled, simultaneously, with the Wii Remote.

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Skateboarding (Go Vacation) – Impressions

Skateboarding is a huge part of Go Vacation, not only do several games focus on it, but it’s a primary method of transportation around the City Resort. When I was first thrust into the City Resort, I felt like a bit of a retard trying to control the skateboard. The concept of having to move both the Wiimote and Nunchuck in the direction I wanted to go was bizarre and felt awkward. Not only that, but to go forward, you have to shake the controller up and down to take off. This is unlike any other skateboarding game I’ve played; it’s very physical and everything is done by motion. Can’t I use the joystick and hold B? No. The reason for this begins to make sense very slowly, using motion for primary movement frees up the joystick and buttons for spinning and doing tricks while you’re in the air, and having motion turning lets you still move while spinning. The use of motion turning and accelerating also makes the entire experience of jumping, tricking and grinding more connected and active. It really gives you a solid feeling of balance, as you land from a jump and have to steadily correct the controllers to keep going. The simple act of going straight, keeping speed, and jumping from one place to the next is the challenge in this game. Whenever I screw up, it’s because I’m shaking when I should be turning or vice versa. The challenging aspect here is holding everything together and being consistent with your movements. It’s an amazing use of Wii controls to create a NEW experience, and after spending a few hours mastering the skateboarding mini-games I’m absolutely in love with it.

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Nintendo Connection Tour 2011 – Impressions

Nintendo Australia are currently touring the country with a new Connection Tour, giving fans the chance to show up and play some highly anticipated unreleased games. I was lucky enough to find time to attend one of them in Parramatta Westfield, and I spent a good few hours playing Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, Skyward Sword, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Kirby’s Return to Dream Land. Most of my time was spent mingling with fellow Nintendo fans, and basking in the glory that is Mario Kart 7. Here’s a recap of the whole event!

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Conduit 2 Wiimote Controls

I guess the timing is right to present the sequel to our Conduit/GoldenEye Wiimote Controls – my control settings for the first Conduit adapted to the sequel to The Conduit, which isn’t exactly The Conduit 2, but simply Conduit 2, a.k.a. DUKE NUKEM’s official return to video games. (The previous Note still applies, so keep those conditions in mind) My controls are geared toward an exploration/realism perspective, so it’s probably not the l337 onrine FPS’ing scheme suited to all those childish twitch-turning high-jumping strafe-running genre conventions that you were hoping to employ. I am raging infinity suns, but it’s not how I play shooty games.

Fortunately, this project includes somewhat less ranting and more explanation/analysis. Read on for screens/details and technical issues the gaming press probably didn’t mention in the reviews.

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