Thursday, 9 October 2008

Wii games, a graphical compromise?

With Nintendo’s small white box currently in a bit of a dry spell for games which appeal to the majority of people who consider themselves gamers, looking back there have been some real gems. The latest of these Nintendo classics that saw a UK release was probably Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which rather interestingly, did not take advantage of the one trick pony’s main gimmick, motion controls.

The unique way of controlling the majority of the games was probably the biggest selling point, along with an appealing low initial price tag. Now that the console war is in full swing though, the mighty Playstation 3 powerhouse is getting graphics that are clearer than a nun’s conscience, whilst the Wii has to make do with a lesser sense of prettiness. Two major games, one just released and another on the horizon highlight this point excellently.

Star Wars: The force Unleashed is on multiple platforms and sees the player control Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, hacking up everything with his lightsaber. Since the first thing I thought would be cool when reading about a motion controller was swinging around an imaginary deadly beam of light, I was rather excited at the idea. Unfortunately, the Wii graphics make each character look like a wire frame model coloured in with a paintball gun. When compared to the PS3’s, real life challenging, graphics of beauty (unsurprisingly used in every advertisement for the game), it makes you wonder if replacing a button press with a wrist waggle was really worth it.

It is a similar story to Call of Duty: World at War coming out on November 15. The trade off here however is a little easier to swallow. Instead of being forced to aim with a control pad nub, you simply point at the screen with the Wii remote just as if it were a really weapon. Of course it is obvious that the bright white, light weight, TV remote look a like could never be anything like holding a gun, but pointing something where you want to shoot just feels more natural than flicking a little analogue stick.

Unfortunately for the Wii, the motion controls are best suited to certain games, but due to the way the video game market works, there are a lot of games where they are no more than a novelty. The Wii is designed to be fun for everyone, but a lot of us still feel a bit shunned by the universal audience approach. You can never please everyone.

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