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Wii may have a problem

Alarmingly, playing the Wii titles that are obviously aimed squarely at virtual enthusiasts has, so far, left us feeling underwhelmed. The shaking, waving, stabbing, rotating, thrusting, flicking and gyrating that's often required seems unnecessary, doing nothing to enhance the interactive experience.

Indeed, we're still trying to fathom out why Nintendo thinks shaking a controller to jump, change weapons, tackle and so on is an improvement over the more traditional and comparatively straightforward method of pressing a button, or why pointing a remote to aim, strafe or move the camera about is superior to using good old analog sticks.

The fact that a certain amount of hand wobbling and arm waving is now required in addition to the normal manipulation of fingers and thumbs to control on-screen actions certainly doesn't seem to make playing games any easier or more enjoyable. If anything, and contrary to what we were expecting, it's actually more complicated and feels counter-intuitive.

This was highlighted at last Friday's event in London by one publisher telling attendees that it wasn't letting anyone play its game because the controls took about half an hour to learn and were considered to be "too confusing". This kind of flies in the face of the pick up and play ethos that Wii is built on.



Ultimately, Nintendo is asking veteran gamers - who have developed an instinctive feel for the layout and function of controllers - to unlearn everything that's been hardwired to their brain in order to accommodate its radical new control system and, rather worryingly, we've yet to play anything on Wii to indicate that the remote and Nunchuk combo can do the job any better - or even as well as - buttons, triggers and sticks.

We admire Nintendo's crusade to attract more people to gaming by choosing a different path in the new console era and the touchy-feely DS is certainly in-your-face proof that success can come from breaking the mold and trying something different. However, as gamers, we desperately want Wii to be more than the chirpy party box or - with its Virtual Console system - a retro portal into nostalgia world.

Wii may be hoping to revolutionize the way people play games, but - even though we're positive we'll have good times with the diminutive monolith of fun - we're hesitant about joining the march with complete arm waving abandon just yet.

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