Time magazine playtests WarioWare Wii

8 May 2006
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Warioware: Touched!Nintendo gave TIME Magzine the first look at its new controller, the author explains as he plays WarioWare Wii & Zelda: Twilight Princess: “The first game I try (Miyamoto walks me through it, which to a gamer is the rough equivalent of getting to trade bons mots with Jerry Seinfeld) is a Warioware title (Wario being Mario’s shorter, fatter evil twin).

It consists of dozens of manic five-second mini games in a row. They’re geared to the Japanese gaming sensibility, which has a zany, cartoonish, game-show bent. In one hot minute, I use the controller to swat a fly, do squat-thrusts as a weight lifter, turn a key in a lock, catch a fish, drive a car, sauté some vegetables, balance a broom on my outstretched hand, color in a circle and fence with a foil. And yes, dance the hula. Since very few people outside Nintendo have seen the new hardware, the room is watching me closely.

Nintendo WiiIt’s a remarkable experience. Instead of passively playing the games, with the new controller you physically perform them. You act them out. It’s almost like theater: the fourth wall between game and player dissolves. The sense of immersion–the illusion that you, personally, are projected into the game world–is powerful. And there’s an instant party atmosphere in the room. One advantage of the new controller is that it not only is fun, it looks fun. When you play with an old-style controller, you look like a loser, a blank-eyed joystick fondler. But when you’re jumping around and shaking your hulamaker, everybody’s having a good time.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessAfter Warioware, we play scenes from the upcoming Legend of Zelda title, Twilight Princess, a moody, dark (by Nintendo’s Disneyesque standards) fantasy adventure. Now I’m Errol Flynn, sword fighting with the controller, then aiming a bow and arrow, then using it as a fishing rod, reeling in a stubborn virtual fish. The third game, and probably the most fun, is also the simplest: tennis. The controller becomes a racket, and I’m smacking forehands and stroking backhands. The sensors are fine enough that you can scoop under the ball to lob it, or slice it for spin. At the end, I don’t so much put the controller down as have it pried from my hands.”

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About the author

Ferry Groenendijk By Ferry Groenendijk: He is the founder and editor of Video Games Blogger. He loved gaming from the moment he got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. on his 8th birthday. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at Google+.


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