So, for the last few months, I've enjoyed Wii as a... um, new platform for playing GameCube games. Then, I got Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which was ultimately just improved Melee and the Serious Players could just stick to GC controller.
And this week's new highlights for me: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Both will need more rambling in due time, but here's some rambling on the topic of Controlling The Games. Of course, I was a little bit sceptical about how these much-raved-about Wii controls really work in real life, but my fears have subsided.
The source of scepticism was pretty simple: Sure, it's one thing to do gimmicky technology demos like Wii Sports (albeit quite well-done and entertaining technology demos...) and whole another thing to do "real" games.
Here's what I figured: In today's multi-platform-driven world, is there room for funky controllers? Sure, the world wants innovative ways to control the games, and Nintendo does this pretty well, but would the game companies forget about that and just do bog-ordinary ports of the games for Wii? Also, will the new and so far unusual control schemes actually work in old kinds of games?
Metroid Prime 3 and Tomb Raider: Anniversary are both quite certainly rooted in "old kinds of games". I've beaten the first two Metroid Prime games and, gameplay-wise, they've always felt to me like fairly typical FPSes, when you really get down to it. I had beaten Tomb Raider 1 and Tomb Raider: Legend; what really new can I expect at this point?
Well, I can now definitely say - even after a relatively short bout with both games - that the games are definitely in the "new but old" category.
The newness of the controls comes primarily from the method itself. The gameplay of Metroid Prime 3 is pretty much the same as before - just that now you actually have a pointing device and an old Quake-hand can keep doing the same ol' thing, it just took a little bit time to get used to use a proverbial stick instead of a proverbial lump of soap to control the game. There's a few "gimmicky" things (wow, actually workable door locks - colour me surprised), but overall, the control scheme is rooted on the same old principles... finally used in the proper manner.
Likewise, after beating Tomb Raider: Legend (twice), I was a bit worried how the controls work in Anniversary, but there's little to no worries... just that I need to point at the stuff I want dead. Stick says where I go! Pointer says where I point and look! It can't get much easier than this.
...oh well, this is one of those "I got a good idea and ran out of steam" type posts for this blog. I'll just say that the stuff has worked acceptably and I'm not worried what the future will hold.