Yesterday night was spent playing with a Wii. Stock levels are still astonishingly low, and my friend Nod finally picked one up with the help of www.wiipreorder.co.uk. It arrived on Saturday, and was swiftly configured. I’ve never been one for consoles as I quickly get bored of pressing buttons1 but the Wii really is good fun.
The motion sensitive controllers mean playing tennis is a joy – it’s good enough that you can aim the ball, rather than just getting in its way – and two people leaping around a lounge makes for some entertaining moments. It supports up to four players, which would just be dangerous 🙂 I was also impressed by baseball (really quite tricky) and bowling (not so tricky), but the standout game was Rayman Raving Rabbids, which is completely mental.
In it Rayman the picnicking duck is kidnapped by a giant and placed into an arena with a crowd of dynamite and scythe-toting rabbits, and made to complete increasingly insane tasks in order to win plungers that allow him to climb a wall to his escape. It’s like David Lynch doing Watership Down for Dreamworks. The tasks are mini-games that take full advantage of the Wii’s motion-sensing abilities, from simply pumping the controllers up and down to make Rayman run very fast (this is surprisingly tiring) to whipping one in circles around your head as to throw a cow as far as possible to flicking the controllers to destroy rabbits attacking Rayman on the dancefloor, perfectly in time with the beats and syncopations of Cyndi Lauper songs. My favourite, however, involves Rayman manning some kind of beach-hut when from the sea rise hundreds of snorkelled zombie rabbits. Obviously the sane solution to this predicament is to fire your gun of carrot-juice at the invaders, filling their snorkels with orange goop until they drown. Aiming is done by the right hand while the left furiously pumps the carrot juice gun2. It hurts like hell, but is oddly entertaining.
If I could afford a Wii I’d pick one up in a heartbeat, but for now I’ll steal Nod’s 🙂