We came, we saw, and I…well I was a little disappointed. Not in Nintendo or the Wii, but more in the presentation and just a bit with myself. Fellow GN staffer Ben Berry already gave great impressions
of the games available for play, so I won’t waste time reiterating what he said, because I basically agree, and because I didn’t play all that much.
See, I made the grievous mistake of misinterpreting the surroundings. I played Wii Sports Bowling and loved it (more on that later), but then went for the Duck Hunt and Metroid kiosks. It might have been annoying at E3 to have gotten so little time with the Wii, but now I understand why. At the Fusion Tour, I must have stood in line for an hour and moved twelve paces. Basically, the time management could have been better and the lines weren’t very well regulated.
Those complaints aside, the event was a good showing, if a little minimalist. The bands were, of course, the main draw. I won’t give my opinions of the artists playing because either way I’ll make someone angry, so let me just say the music was a blaring cacophony that kept me from fully enjoying the gaming part of the tour. Other than that, I have no comment on the music.
The Wii portion was rather under-represented in my opinion. They had at most twelve kiosks, and while the ones on the bottom floor had lines that moved at a pretty good pace, the ones on the balcony dragged on in a jumbled crush of people shuffling back and forth. The games present were mostly the introductory sort—lots of Wii Sports, some Tony Hawk, Metroid Prime 3 and Excite Truck. I would’ve dearly liked to see Zelda or even Red Steel, but I suppose the point of the event was to get the message across, and Wii Sports does that incredibly well.
You could see it on the faces of the people playing baseball or tennis. It just works. They all seemed a tad astonished that their movements were what mattered, not the continuous hammering of candy-colored buttons. As I played Wii Bowling, the subtle brilliance of the concept dawned on me. This was the kind of fun I had back before gaming was like work, where I just picked up a controller and played. I realized that I could easily play Wii Bowling for an hour, working on my technique or competing with a friend. Using my own fluid movements to adjust the ball’s trajectory felt so good. For once I was putting a little English into the roll, not turning a stick and pressing a button. No longer is it a basic, natural concept mapped to an abstract selection of keys. My mind almost told me I was bowling.
And that made me want to try out the classics all the more. The Duck Hunt game called out to me, much as it did back in the days of the NES, its simplistic concept and aggravating depth as real as before. Strike that—it was better than before, and not just from a graphical standpoint—it was that controller that made it look so addicting. The original point-and-shoot was back, improved exponentially. Once they get that zapper gun shell done for the Wiimote, I’ll be there with my twenty clams. Metroid was also cruelly tantalizing. Regular readers of Gaming Nexus know I have an unhealthy fixation on the series, and having played it at E3 I wanted so badly to try it again. After all, the official word from Nintendo is that they’ve refined the controls to almost PC FPS precision.
But that’s when it started to go downhill. The line struggled lethargically as people spent too much time with each game, and when I asked one of the demo staff “how long,” he said it was mostly luck at that point. It was then I understood that the 7 minute limit at E3 had indeed served a purpose besides ticking me off at the time. At the Fusion Tour, such clockwork efficiency was not in effect; the event was more lax, per se. So, I could muscle my way through a crowd of fans while deafening music blared in the background, or leave. Reluctantly, I chose the latter—it just didn’t seem worth it, with the release coming up in a month and a half.
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