Wii Meet At Last: First Impressions

Posted in games at 9:19 pm by wingerz


One unfortunately thing about the blogosphere is that it can make you feel pathetically behind the times. Sometimes I feel like I’m one of the last people to get their hands on a Wii controller. Tonight that all changed at the Electronics Boutique in Watertown, where I spotted a demo unit with Excite Truck in the corner.

I traded in my license for a controller (to prevent me from running off with it). It felt quite comfortable and a bit smaller than I imagined (my expectations were probably set by the size of our remotes at home and seeing full-page spreads of the controller in magazines). I held it like a remote, clicking the bottom button a few times. It fit in my hand quite nicely.

In Excite Truck, an off-road racing game, the player holds the controller horizontally (like a normal gamepad) and steers by rotating it like a steering wheel. The 2 button controls the gas and the 1 button the brake. Hitting the D-pad results in a speed boost. Driving through exclamation points on the track changes the terrain for getting massive air, and once you’re in the air the orientation of the car corresponds to the orientation of the controller – line up all four wheels to land on the ground for an extra burst of speed.

The controls took some getting used to. At first I oversteered and snaked back and forth across the track. Once I got over that and used more subtle movements it felt pretty natural, though occasionally I’d wipe out in the woods. I felt myself moving my whole upper body as I played, a la James Coleman. I doubt that I’d purchase the game, but it definitely left me wanting to play more. Of course, the graphics were nothing to write home about, but it was also being shown on a pretty terrible display.

I ended up playing against two kids, and we were all pretty engrossed. They seemed jealous of me (“both of our paychecks combined equals zero dollars”) and were surprised to find out how old I was (they guessed 18).


  1. Ben said,

    November 12, 2006 at 1:08 am

    I can’t believe you were snaking already..could you not stand to lose to the poor kids who will never own a wii?

  2. wingerz said,

    November 12, 2006 at 11:40 am

    It was some serious snaking – the the point where I’d end up going a bit backwards. Not so good.

  3. Rob Gonzalez said,

    November 13, 2006 at 10:10 am

    Wait, you’re not 18? ;-)

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