Hands-On | Nintendo Wii Games Preview
Jennifer Allen went to see future WII releases in London. This is what she thought of them.
I RATHER enjoyed Nintendo’s E3 press conference in June. It was easily my favourite of the big three thanks to a lovely line up of reimaginings of games of my youth as well as some new innovations with familiar IPs. Sure it might not have been quite as original as it could have been, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Then of course there was the 3DS: the console that promises to bring 3D to people’s hands and without the need for glasses. So I was rather happy when Nintendo kindly invited me to see the 3DS for myself as well as a few other intriguing Wii and DS based attractions.
Located in South West London, I made the perilous journey from very Welsh Wales to the great metropolis. Reaching the very modern looking location not far from the Houses of Parliament, I bravely went against what everyone else was doing and found myself at the Wii corner of the event first rather than the 3DSes. Yeah OK, so I wandered over to the comfortable chairs first and realised all the Wii displays were nearby. After a rather pleasant sit and a glass of orange juice, I started with Donkey Kong Country Returns.
I loved the original Donkey Kong Country. As an inexperienced platformer gamer, it was a challenging 2D platformer but it was fun which was the main thing. Donkey Kong Country Returns seems to have kept this appeal as while I wasn’t overly good at it, that urge for ‘just one more go’ remained. The game is still in 2D which feels right and proper. It’s the control system that feels distinctly new as it utilises the Wii remote and Nunchuk. Fortunately it doesn’t suffer from excessive hand waving gestures: actually shaking the Wii remote is only really needed for a handy ground pound move from what I saw.
The plan for the future is to allow players to play Donkey Kong Country Returns holding the Wii remote to the side like a conventional controller. In my time using the Wii remote in conjunction with the Nunchuk, I didn’t really feel an urge to switch to a more conventional controller though as the controls do work just fine as they are. I also had a brief experience with the two player co-operative mode which was suitably enjoyable. Diddy Kong can either jump on Donkey Kong’s back and tag along for the ride (suitable for playing co-op with less experienced gamers who might get easily stuck) or run along independently. As expected from the series, there are plenty of bananas to collect, barrels to jump in and monsters to jump on. It looks as luscious and as vibrant as the original too, but with a nice sheen added to proceedings thus ensuring that things look that bit sharper. Donkey Kong Country Returns looked to be a lot of fun in the few levels I got to try out. Fingers crossed the full release is as consistently enjoyable.
Next up on my wander was Metroid Other M. Somehow the Metroid series has managed to always pass me by, having only really played Metroid Prime on the GameCube many years ago. Metroid Other M looked stunning though. Immediately it was clear that this was a much deeper affair than the likes of Donkey Kong Country Returns and Just Dance 2 – which I’d nimbly dodged past a moment before. The opening FMV looked nothing short of stunning. Controls however initially felt a little odd to adjust to. You control Samus by holding the Wii remote horizontally like a regular controller. It works fine but it’s the fact that at other moments in the game, you must move the Wii remote to the usual position – thus changing the game to a first person perspective allowing Samus to lock onto targets. Switching between the two modes takes a bit of getting used to but hopefully extended play time will correct this.
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