We hate to sound like cranky ass gamers incapable of embracing “The New,” but we’re just about ready to tell motion controls to f**k off. That initial ocean of vast futuristic potential, promising to turn our entire bodies into dignified instruments of control, has officially run completely dry.
Seriously, we too were once like this:
Above: Future Past
Now much, much more like this:
Above: Future Present
At this stage in the console war, the Wii’s an easy target. But contrary to what many of you are thinking, our problem isn’t that it’s underpowered, gimmicky, ransacked with shovelware, or even that Nintendo’s the only developer dedicated to harnessing the power of the Wii Remote, and only when they’re not producing games meant for a standard controller. Nay! There’s something far more diabolical going on… and it’s ripping you off.
Above: And no, we’re not talking about free Flash games rendered imprecise and expensive
In these times of economic instability? The nerve! Herein lies the grift: Most Wii games achieving any amount of success (that don’t feature Mario, Tiger Woods, or a plastic guitar) are little more than facsimiles of mundane pastimes anyone could easily perform in real life (IRL), at any time, at a substantially lower cost.
Wii Sports Tennis
Take for example the tennis craze kicked off by Wii Sports, generously packed in at the system’s launch. Here’s how much it costs today to get you playing Wii Sports Tennis with another person:
Not a bad deal. Perhaps that’s why the Wii has become the most successful housewife accessory since the Filipino pool boy: It offers an inexpensive solution to an activity they’ve always meant to do but never got around to. After all, gaming isn’t always about escapism. Maybe Casual McGamer doesn’t aspire to obliterate Locusts on Sera, solve puzzles with a portal gun, or BASE jump off the highest point in Liberty City?
BUT… Any the “casual” ratio of reward flies out the window when you add motion controls to an already easily accessible activity. “It’s like I’m swinging a tennis racket!” Well… because you are, dumbass. Only with all approximation, imagination, and skill level removed entirely. Your version of “escapism” is now avoiding a twenty minute commute to physically exert yourself over a bad game of tennis. Did you forget how much tennis cost in real life?!
Even annual club memberships average about $50 a year. After that, your investment is basically as much as you’re willing to spend on gas and dumbass shorts. So, at the bare minimum of IRL tennis preparation, here’s what you stand to lose in the motion controlled transaction:
Ouch! Obviously, the there’s some great stuff on the console, but judging by the sales of MadWorld, Dead Space: Extraction, and Okami, you don’t give a shit! And since Nintendo’s A, B, and C-List franchises already spent, there’s a damn good chance forgettable motion controlled nonsense could end up defining the Wii’s legacy. Let’s point and laugh at some more of the brazen digital gyps shall we?
Balls of Fury
Don’t look away just yet! It’s not all variations on tennis! Although, it was shortly after the Wii’s launch, a time you may recall when every morning news show had morons swinging digital rackets around like tennis was the second coming of Donkey Kong. You have to admit, it was something of a selling point for a while. And since it looked like everybody was making an easy buck on tennis, then skimming one off table tennis had to be even easier. Here’s a rather drastic example:
Yeah, we have no idea why a licensed title based on one of the most forgettable comedies written by two guys from The State (also the masterminds behind The Pacifier and Herbie: Fully Loaded, so that’s saying a lot) and one of the lowest rated Wii games ever is asking for more than Halo 3: ODST… but you can see it here for yourself.
Anyway, all that’s beside the point. It was a boring ass Ping Pong game, which coincidentally, makes it just as good as any Ping Pong game ever made. And it’s a fact: Should any unimaginable table tennis enthusiast want to parlay his craft into a gaming experience with another person, inexplicably via Balls of Fury, that is what it’d cost him at this very moment. But wait, there’s hope!
Oh my! Ping Pong at almost half the price of a Wii at launch. Kind of like if Power Wheels sold a Barbie Ferrari for more than a Ford F-150. And look at that: comes with paddles so you don’t have to buy controllers!