One of the big stories of this year's E3 is Wii. A few weeks ago, Nintendo announced the name change for their next-generation console, from Nintendo Revolution to just Wii (pronounced "we"). This surprising change caused many of us in the industry to question whether Nintendo had an ace up its sleeve, or if the company was just giving up in the console war. The shocking name change came months after the release of pictures of the unorthodox controller, resembling a standard TV remote rather than a game pad. We've recently seen more pictures of the controller, connected to its opposite-hand counterpart, in what is called the "nunchaku configuration". Prior to E3, Nintendo claimed that they would revolutionize the way people play videogames, by incorporating more body movements into the input device. Nintendo states that Wii features "a remarkable controller and games that enhance the experience, realizing that the swing of your arm - not the movement of your thumb - causes a baseball to leave the park or a sword to find its mark." Sounds cool, right?
E3 presented many of us the first opportunity to play games on Wii, and I was able to spend Friday afternoon inside the Nintendo booth. I had to call in some favours to get into the booth without subjecting myself to the four-hour average wait time most attendees endured, and I was extremely happy for that once I got inside. I can only imagine the frustration people felt after waiting in line for hours on end to finally get in, only to be faced with even more waiting within the booth to actually get to the games. The lines for the big titles were fairly significant, and I wanted to try the controller on any game as soon as possible, so I jumped into the shortest line I could find: the one for Project H.A.M.M.E.R.
I didn't know anything about the game before playing it, and not much sticks with me now that I'm done. All that is relevant is that I was a big guy with a big hammer fighting robots. I'm right-handed, so the left-hand controller with the analogue thumbstick controlled the guy moving around the screen, and the wand in my right hand (the remote-looking thing) controlled the hammer. I swung the wand in, what I considered, a hammer-swinging motion and the guy did nothing. I started flailing with the wand like Thor having a seizure, until the lovely tour guide informed me that I had to hit the "A" button on the wand as well (unless I was doing the super smash).